Why Rewards-Based Training Is The Right Thing To Do
Trying to choose the right method to train your dog can feel overwhelming. What your dog learns is important, but how they learn matters too.
The best dog training advice you'll ever get is to train your dog with positive reinforcement. Praising your dog will reap big rewards in your dog obedience training, you'll discover that it is easy to train dogs. Even house training a dog is easier when you affirm good behaviour with lots of treats and praise.
Most trainers and veterinarians agree that positive reinforcement is the safest and most humane choice. Also known as reward-based training, it's a method that’s effective for dogs of all ages and really is the right thing to do.
Reward-based training uses treats or play to acknowledge your dog’s good behaviour and removes them in the case of bad behaviour. It's a humane way to work with your dog and it doesn’t use force, physical punishments or raising your voice.
The type of reward you use during training depends on what motivates your dog. While acknowledging good behaviour with verbal praise is important, in the early stages of training most dogs need some sort of tangible reward. Nearly every dog appreciates treat training, like using pieces of chicken or cheese, but play-motivated dogs might also love a game of fetch as an acknowledgement of a good job.
Lucy Heath's Recall Game
5 Easy Steps To Train Your Dog To COME
1. Place food at your feet where your dog can see it.
2. While they are eating the food run away whilst Using Your CALL Word: eg "Come" . Don't use their name, we use their name so often, rather find a safe word that means COME NOW.
3. And while they're eating the food on the ground you run away again, Using Your CALL Word again.
4. They've got to keep chasing you to earn the food. Repeat this step often.
5. After you've established the game you can use a ball game or high praise instead of a treat depending on the character of your dog.
Watch Lucy Heath model positive reinforcement, she teaches us how to train our dog to come. Lucy uses treats to make your dog think that the word 'come' means 'all good things happen to me'.
Unlike traditional training, which focuses on correcting your dog when they do something wrong, positive reinforcement training focuses on acknowledging when they do something right. This shift removes any stress and fear during the training process.
Reward-based training also provides important enrichment. Since your dog will be an active participant in the training process, they’re more likely to use their problem-solving skills and think of creative ways to work through challenges. This type of engagement ensures they have fun throughout the training process.
It is also a great way to improve the bond between you and your dog. Because reward-based training is collaborative and conflict-free, dogs trained with this methodology thrive. Acknowledging your dog for correct behaviour and avoiding unnecessary corrections helps dogs understand how to make the right choices more often.
Dogs of all ages, breeds and temperaments can be successfully trained using reward-based training. It’s an amazing tool for teaching your dog new behaviours as well as addressing unwanted behaviours.
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