When it comes to dog obedience training virginia beach, pet owners want to know what’s the best method to use. Usually, they ask what method produces the fastest results and while this is part of the consideration, we believe that deciding on a method should be based on your dog’s welfare above anything else. Your dog’s safety and well-being are the top priorities in dog training. Besides, how fast your dog learns depends largely on your dog’s learning capabilities.
If you do your research, you will find various training methods and philosophies. With the many options you are presented with we know it can be overwhelming. To help you decide, we encourage you to read about these philosophies and weigh the pros and cons of each training method. The three most popular dog training techniques widely practiced today are reward-based dog training, aversion-based dog training, and balanced dog training.
Reward-Based Dog Training
Another term for reward-based dog training is positive dog training. This method of dog training focuses mostly on giving rewards in an attempt to reinforce good behavior, hence it’s called positive reinforcement. When dogs are given rewards for good behavior they are likely to repeat that behavior because they know the outcome is in their favor.
One example of reward-based dog training is giving your dog a treat when it does something good like when you say “sit” and it obeys. When your dog realizes that obeying command results in a reward it will do it again when it hears the cue word “sit”.
This method avoids physical and emotional trauma to your dog. Don’t get confused when you hear “negative punishment” because this does not involve physical punishment but instead it removes something that triggers your dog to misbehave. An example is when your dog starts barking when you sit and rest on the couch. When your dog starts barking to warrant attention you should just ignore your dog and leave. This will make your dog learn that barking is an ineffective strategy to get attention.
Out of all dog training methods, reward-based dog training has the highest success rate.
Aversion-Based Dog Training
As the name implies, this dog training method involves aversion. This method uses intimidation, discomfort, and pain to train your dog. It also uses negative reinforcement and positive punishment. Negative reinforcement is when you remove something to increase a certain behavior like when your dog refuses to sit you’ll push it down to force it to sit. When the dog is already in the sitting position you remove the force. Generally, dogs do not like this form of pressure The dog will later learn that when it sits, the pressure will be removed.
Positive punishment is when you add something that your dog will view as unpleasant to stop the unacceptable behavior. An example is giving your dog a leash correction whenever it tries to pull in an attempt to stop the leash pulling.
Balanced Dog Training
Balanced dog training is a balance between the two methods. Dog trainers used both punishment and reinforcement based on the situation. One example is a collar correction whenever your dog tries to pull and if your dog doesn’t pull you give it a treat. Trainers may also activate a shock collar if your dog digs and gives your dog praise if it stops digging.
The methods used vary but to give you peace of mind, you may ask your dog trainer what strategy he or she intends to use on your dog. Knowing the type of method they use will reassure you that it’s safe for your dog.