Published at Thursday, 23 May 2019. Dog Training. By Beal Fremont.
Dogs are amazing creatures. They adapt to countless situations. They are phenomenal at associations: including learning the meaning or implication of many sounds, such as human language. A dog's ”vocabulary” can reach upward of 150 distinct words! However, regardless of how smart, how skilled, and how adaptable they are, dogs will never be verbal animals. Their first language, so to speak, is not words, but body language. Because of this, it's only natural that your dog will interpret your words though a ”filter” – of body language, facial expression, tone of voice, even your attention. And if one or more of these ”disagree” with the words you are using, most dogs will ”obey” your body language!
In addition to being effective, reward training provides a much more positive training atmosphere than some other training techniques. Because it's a reward-based method, you reward your dog whenever he does as you ask. Scolding, striking, punishing or correcting your dog for not following your command is never used in reward training. You simply reward and reinforce the actions you do want your dog to perform. This positive reinforcement makes reward training a much more pleasant experience for owners and dogs than punishing him. You do need to be careful to only give your dog treats at the right time during training sessions, however. If the timing of the rewards is unrelated to your dog doing as you ask, he'll get confused about what you want, and he might even start thinking he'll get treats no matter what. So, make sure you only reward your dog for doing something right.
Take housetraining, for example. The two methods approach the task in significantly different ways. There are a multitude of places a dog could relieve himself inside the house, and they're all unacceptable. If you used aversive training techniques, you'd need to wait for your dog to eliminate somewhere in the house and then correct him when he does. Think about this for a minute. Isn't it unfair to punish your dog before he's had a chance to learn your rules? And, you need to realize that using this method for housetraining can require numerous corrections and a lot of time. Isn't it quicker, easier and more effective to simply show your dog the right place to relieve himself and then reward him when he uses it?
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