Published at Thursday, 23 May 2019. Dog Training. By Wyatt Morel.
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.
Bring yourself into a training session committed to focusing on your dog to the same extent that you are asking him to focus on you. Avoid training when you are distracted or pre-occupied. This is basic respect and consideration, no more than you would give any good friend! To be attentive to your dog, you don't need to stare at him, but you should be aware of him. An effective trainer is aware, present, and ”in the moment” while training, ready and able to note and reward any and all good responses, as they happen. And if your dog gives a response you weren't hoping for? Instead of drawing attention to it, verbally or otherwise, ignore it and move on! Drawing attention to poor responses often simply cements them in the dog's brain, and makes it more likely that he will offer it again. Focus your energy and attention on behaviors you want to see again. As you practice this approach to working with your dog, you will soon find that your dog will be working to gain your attention by doing those things you like. As your dog's behavior steadily improves, voluntary cooperation increases, your relationship with your dog gets stronger, and you both have more fun training. Kind of hard to find a down-side to that, don't you think?
In addition to housetraining your dog, you can use reward training to teach him a number of obedience commands (”sit,” ”stay,” ”come” and ”down,” for example) and an assortment of fun tricks. But you can also discourage problem behaviors with reward training. For example, if you want to train your dog not to chew on your socks, teach him what he is allowed to chew (a toy, for example), and then reward him when he chews on it. Or, if you want your dog to stop jumping up on your guests when they come through your door, teach him to sit when visitors arrive and reward him for that behavior.
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