Training a dog is as important as feeding it. The fact that having a dog is a responsibility cannot be overemphasized. The pet owner must establish a good relationship with her dog. And the best way to establish this desired good relationship is to conduct dog training. Training a dog must become a regular activity. And in order to get the best out of dog training, the owner, who is also the trainer, must know the basics of different kinds of training.
Kinds of Dog Training Methods
The methods of training dogs are based on the way the dog trainer reinforces the pet’s behavior. The reinforcement can be positive and this is done by giving rewards. The reinforcement can be negative and this is accomplished by giving corrections. Or the reinforcement can be neither positive nor negative and this is carried out by using a neutral sound, such as a click. The dog trainer can use all three kinds of reinforcement in various situations.
The goal of positive reinforcement is to encourage the repetition of a certain behavior. For example, when the dog trainer gives the command “sit,” and the dog actually sits, the trainer can immediately give the reward. There are many forms of rewards. The most common form is the dog training treat. But in the absence of a treat, the trainer can use other forms such as verbal praise, an affectionate rub, and the dog toy.
The goal of negative reinforcement is to make the dog discontinue a specific behavior. For example, when the dog is given the command to sit and the he does not sit or even barks, the dog trainer can correct the behavior by physically holding the dog and making it sit, while verbally repeating the command. The theory is that the dog will associate the command with the position that it is being forced into. Similar to rewards, corrections may also come in different forms. It can be a verbal “No!” that will signal the dog that its owner is not pleased. Or the correction can be very physical such as the use of electric shock collars. For example, if the pet is not allowed to enter a specific room, the collar will send an electric shock if the dog crosses the threshold towards this room. Some dog trainers, however, do not approve of electric shock collars. They believe that the best dog training methods need not involve anything that will give pain.
A click is a neutral sound. But the variations of it can be used to make the dog understand that a certain behavior is desirable and another behavior is not welcome. The major advantage of the use of clicker dog training is that the trainer need not physically hold the dog. This kind of reinforcement is the preferred method of many professional dog trainers. These dog trainers claim that clicking is efficient and flexible.
Once the owner is familiar with the different methods of training dogs, the next step is to decide which kind of training will be carried out first. Some of the popular kinds of dog training are dog agility training, dog potty training, dog house training, and dog obedience training. These can be carried out one by one or simultaneously.