Positive reinforcement dog training is a friendly method of teaching your dog to perform behaviors using dog food, treats and other positive actions in the form of a reward. Rewarding appropriate dog behavior makes that behavior more likely to become a future re-occurrence. This is one of the most powerful tools you can use to reshape or change your dog’s actions. Using positive reinforcement dog training teaches your dog what behaviors you do and don’t desire in a humane manner. This training method will also help to create healthier and much stronger bond between you and your dog.
Training based on physical punishment involves some level of discomfort or even pain and is most definitely not recommended. This also may cause your dog to bite in order to defend himself. Punishment may also be associated with other stimuli, including people, present at the time and occurrence of the punishment. For example, a dog that is punished for getting too close to a small child may become fearful or even defensive around that child.
When getting started, timing is key with positive reinforcement dog training. Your dog must be rewarded immediately for responding appropriately to your command. Every member of your family should use the same command system and of course, never reinforce the wrong behavior. For example, if you command your dog to sit, he should be given a treat the moment his bottom touches the floor. If you wait to long before giving him the treat after he stands up again, the moment will be lost. He will then think he is getting rewarded for standing, not sitting.
Most dogs will gladly work for positive rewards such as a tasty dog treat, play time and toys. We suggest that you choose a treat that is relatively small, soft, and easily broken apart. Treats should be highly valued by your dog as well as easy consumption. It is difficult to train a dog when he spends valuable time chewing and swallowing his reward. You want your dog to quickly eat the treat and look to you for more. Try to experiment with several different types of treats and find out which ones will work best. There are some dogs out there that are not motivated by food. If this is the case, try training using praise or build motivation through the company of other dogs.