Published at Wednesday, 22 May 2019. Dog Training. By Marquise Rey.
Personally providing your dog with proper obedience training has some very obvious benefits — establishing strong bonds with your dog, you'll correct bad behaviors, it stimulates your dog's intellect and desire to learn, it encourages inclusion between your dog and the rest of your household, and, in the long run, it saves you time that otherwise would be dedicated to cleaning up your dog's messes, smoothing over offended parties, and repairing damaged property. Here, I'd like to bring to light some of the less obvious, but no less important, benefits of obedience training. Hopefully you'll be further encouraged to make obedience training an activity you and your dog will embark on immediately, if not sooner.
Communication Begins with Attention. Possibly the most fundamental form of communication is your attention. This is true whether you are teaching some new skill, practicing an old one, or refining an advanced behavior. When you give your attention to something your dog does – through touch, voice, eye contact, smiling, or laughter – you draw attention to the behavior. This tells your dog that you find the behavior worthy of interest. Dogs, being sociable creatures, find most interaction and attention reinforcing. They value it, and will work to get it – and this is not even considering whether or not the dog finds the behavior reinforcing in and of itself. So when training, keep in mind that you don't have to actively reward a behavior to reinforce it.
There's another reason why reward training produces better results than aversive training. Consistency is essential when you're training a dog. If you're using corrections and punishment to discourage unwanted behavior, you'll need to consistently punish your dog each and every time he performs that behavior. Well, we're not robots, and it's impossible to be ready to do this every minute of the day. You'd need to never leave home and never take your eyes off your dog before you'd even have a chance of punishing him every time he makes a behavioral mistake. Make one slip-up and fail to punish your dog for a mistake, and he'll learn that sometimes he can get away with the misbehavior. That's probably not the lesson you want him to learn.
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