Positive Reinforcement Training: What Is it? And Is It For You?

Positive Reinforcement Training: What Is it? And Is It For You?

I’m sure many of you have heard just how important it is to train your dog. In fact most of us were taught or told to push down on a dogs butt to “train” them to sit and that kneeing a dog in the chest to stop them from jumping is the most effective way. But are these methods the best way to train your new puppy or dog? Are there other ways? And how do these other ways work?

Your Chandler dog sitter is here to explain and help you understand the benefits of positive Reinforcement training. BUT….What is it??? Positive reinforcement training is a way of rewarding your dog for GOOD behavior (instead of punishing them for behavior you don’t want),  and showing them acceptable ways to behave and listen. Using this method of training, dogs are not scolded, hit, or forced in to listening. They usually start out with treats when learning and praise is something that should be continued. Sounds great except…..How the heck do you make that happen???

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t use a more stern voice or a different tone, after all, if your puppy is ripping apart your couch you are not going to wait until they stop and then tell them how good they did! But yelling is not going to be productive. Dogs will either fear yelling or ignore it. You definitely do not want them to fear you (Just respect you!), and dogs can relate yelling as barking. You might be mad, but they may just be wondering why you are not joining in and later be confused when you confront them with a punishment. A deep, strong, and a confident voice using short words like “NO”, “LEAVE IT”, “STOP”, “ENOUGH” work great and are much more effective!

Also, another pointer for you – to avoid the problem in the example above proper chew toys, such as nylabones and kongs stuffed (and even frozen) with peanut butter, are great ways to keep your pup happy and mentally stimulated. If they start to chew on the couch give them one of the mentioned commands and redirect them to a proper toy. And don’t forget the reward part…tell them how good they are when they are chewing on their toys instead of your couch! Your dog sitters in Chandler know your dog will love to be praised and given attention by their pet parents/guardians. They will remember this in the future and start to go for that chew toy right away instead!

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Clyde sits like a good boy after fetching his toy, and a tree. 🙂

You’ll also find your dog sitter using positive training to teach dogs basic commands like sit. Using a treat to lure your pooch into a sitting position and then praising works wonderfully! And don’t be afraid to overdo the excitement, they will love it and will want to continue pleasing you!! Now of course you don’t always want to be handing out treats, and you won’t. Gradually over time, you will eventually lessen treats until you are using only praise! This method works much better than pushing down on a dogs butt. Ever notice with that method of training how often a dog does not listen and how often pressing them in to a sit is needed? Also, did you ever think how that could be harmful to their hips especially with certain breeds or the amount of force used?

Positive Reinforcement Training is not only a better way to bond with your dog, get them to listen better and quicker, but in this Chandler dog sitters opinion, it is also safer! Those are just 2 out of many examples of why this method of training is the best to use. It just takes a little patience, and breaking old habits, but ends with a lot of happiness and respect for both you and your pet!

 

 

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