Your Pet Care

Search My Pet Care

Training Your Dog Using Rewards And Positive Reinforcement

By suegold TEXT SIZE Minus Plus

Training dogs using positive reinforcement and reward training has long been recognized as both highly effective for the owner and a positive experience for the dog. Positive reinforcement training is so important that it is the only method used to train dangerous animals like lions and tigers for work in circuses and in the movie and television industry. Proponents of positive reinforcement swear by the effectiveness of their techniques, and it is true that the vast majority of dogs respond well to these training methods.

One reason that positive reinforcement training is so effective is that is uses rewards to teach the dog what is expected of it. When the dog performs the desired behavior, he is provided with a reward, most often in the form of a food treat, but it could be a scratch behind the ears, a rub under the chin or a pat on the head as well. The important thing is that the dog is rewarded consistently for doing the right thing.

Reward training has become increasingly popular in recent years, but chances are some sort of reward training between humans and dogs has been going on for hundreds if not thousands of years.

When understanding what makes reward training so effective, some knowledge of the history of humans and dogs is very helpful. The earliest dogs were probably wolf pups that were tamed and used by early humans for protection from predators, as alarm systems and later for guarding and herding livestock. It is possible that the wolf pups that made the best companions were the most easily trained, or it is possible that these early dogs were orphaned or abandoned wolf pups. Whatever their origin, there is little doubt today that the vast variety of dogs we see today have their origin in the humble wolf.

Wolf packs, like packs of wild dogs, operate on a strict pack hierarchy. Since wolf and dog packs hunt as a group, this type of hierarchy, and the cooperation it brings, is essential to the survival of the species. Every dog in the pack knows his or her place in the pack, and except in the event of death or injury, the hierarchy, once established, rarely changes.

Every dog, therefore, is hard wired by nature to look to the pack leader for guidance. The basis of all good dog training, including reward based training, is for the handler to set him or herself up as the pack leader. The pack leader is more than just the dominant dog, or the one who tells all the subordinates what to do. More importantly, the pack leader provides leadership and protection, and his or her leadership is vital to the success and survival of the pack.

It is important for the dog to see itself as part of a pack, to recognize the human as the leader of that pack, and to respect his or her authority. Some dogs are much easier to dominate than others. If you watch a group of puppies playing for a little while, you will quickly recognize the dominant and submissive personalities.

A dog with a more submissive personality will generally be easier to train using positive reinforcement, since he or she will not want to challenge the handler for leadership. Even dominant dogs, however, respond very well to positive reinforcement. There are, in fact, few dogs that do not respond well to positive reinforcement, also known as reward training.

Positive reinforcement is also the best way to retrain a dog that has behavior problems, especially one that has been abused in the past. Getting the respect and trust of an abused dog can be very difficult, and positive reinforcement is better than any other training method at creating this important bond.

No matter what type of dog you are working with, chances are it can be helped with positive reinforcement training methods. Based training methods on respect and trust, rather than on intimidation and fear, is the best way to get the most from any dog.

About the Author
The author Tony Williams manages the dog behavior training website that offers access to expert dog training tools and resources and a chance to get quality dog training DVD's and videos by an expert dog trainer.

Article source:

Tags: , , ,

More ArticlesDog Training for Proper Dog Behavior

There are many reasons for teaching proper dog behavior, and teaching such behavior has many benefits for both the human and canine partners. Dog behavior training is vital to such life and death issues as preventing aggression .. (more)

Use a Dog Training School

There are a number of reasons why using a dog training school is the best way to train your dog. Perhaps most important is having the best poassible relationship with your dog. (more)

Related Articles Suggested Reading More ArticlesNew Puppy - Basic Dog Training

Bringing home a new puppy is always an exciting time for the entire family. Getting that new puppy off the right start with proper training is very important to making that puppy a valued member of his human family. (more)

Learn about Clicker Training a Dog

If you are looking to train your dog you might consider using the 'clicker training' method, which has recently become popular amongst dog trainers all over the country. In this method the trainer has to make use of a clicker, .. (more)

Super Dog Training Secrets Revealed

The socialization period is the most suitable time for bonding between you and your dog. During a puppy s socialization stage, it learns by experience and can easily learn to foster relationships with both humans and its fellow dogs. A puppy learns new behaviors during the socialization stage that helps it learn its master s needs. (more)

Training Your Dog To Eliminate Bad Habits

Anyone who owns a dog or puppy will eventually run into the need to eliminate unwanted habits. While most dogs are eager to please their owners and smart enough to do what is asked of them, it is important for the owner to properly communicate just what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. (more)

Dog Training Toronto

In Toronto, there s no shortage of dog training options. All you need to do is enter dog training Toronto into your web browser and you will get more links than you could ever click. The problem is not finding a dog trainer in Toronto, it is finding the one that is best for you and your dog. (more)