Training our dogs can often go wrong and lead the dog into the wrong direction. It's important to recognize that we as humans, condition ourselves that our training methods work at times due to
If a dog is misbehaving, it is common for the owner to intervene and yell. The dog will likely stop what it is doing, and the owner will feel that approach has worked!
...but then it happens again, and again. It never remedied the issue.
There is a psychological approach that is healthier than the classical training methods. The most common methods of training are
'bribery based' training methods
'classical' training methods.
I'd like to briefly explain both styles and their methodology.
You might see videos online of a German Shepherd performing quick and military-like obedience.
I've found through observation that the majority of these videos have some upsetting qualities often not seen through the impressive behavior exhibited by the dog.
The dog will often be panting, ears back and a dipped head.
The dog is afraid of the punishment that will follow if it does not exhibit desirable behavior.
Rewarding good behavior and harshly punishing the bad is the methodology in this form of training.
While this type of training does work in creating an obedient dog, it is not a mentally sound or healthy method of training for most dogs. It can and is likely to damage the relationship between you and your dog.
"Sit" says the dog owner, while holding out a treat.
*Owner gives dog treat.
Sound familiar? What happens if you don't have a treat on hand?
The dog is not likely going to listen.
This style of training is treat dependent.
So what type of training do we use?
Rewarding behavior and decision making rather than a response to a prior stimulus or command.
This style of training is about rewarding desirable decision making in the dog.
It will shape a dog that will make the appropriate decision in its working environment.
Essentially we're creating a dog that is on auto-pilot, making appropriate and desirable decisions in each scenario.
Whether it be when guests arrive, on a walk or when you're eating dinner, the dog will willingly offer and exhibit desirable behavior in each scenario... without having to be told!!
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