Positive Dog Training is still relatively new even though it has been around for a couple of decades now. People still train their dogs using force, even as little as using choke collars or pulling back on the lead when walking. Unfortunately, this does not teach the dog what to do, it only teaches them to be afraid. Welcome to the world of positive dog training. There are four main parts to positive training:
1. Use positive training
2. Avoid the use of intimidation and physical punishment or fear
3. Understand the misconceptions of dominance theory
4. Learn about the canine experience from the dog’s point of view
So what is positive reinforcement?
Positive reinforcement means rewarding a behaviour you want, which means your dog will offer that behaviour more. When paired with negative punishment (the removal or withholding of something the dog wants like food, attention, toys, or human contact for a short period of time) or using a vocal interrupter to redirect negative behaviour onto a wanted behaviour and to guide a dog into making the right choices, these methods are a foundational element of the core of positive training. Traditional trainers argue that positive training shows a lack of leadership, but the truth is that the most respected and successful leaders are able to affect change without the use of force.
Why doesn’t punishment work?
Science has shown that punitive training methods don’t work long term and may create aggression problems or exacerbate any pre-existing aggression.
What is dominance theory and why isn’t it true?
Dominance theory is based on research into wolves and how they operate in packs. The study showed that wolves would show aggression and violence to protect or claim resources. They would dominate the other wolves and there was a definite alpha dog. However, the research was flawed as these wolves were studied in captivity and weren’t related. All scientific research since has disproved the theory. Your dog knows that you are not a dog, and isn’t trying to dominate you. If they are rushing through the door, it is because they want something beyond the door, not because they are trying to dominate you. There is no pack, and you don’t need to be their pack leader. They need you to be their guide and their friend.
Why do I need to see things from my dog’s point of view?
If you want to build a positive relationship with your dog, then you need to put yourself in your dog’s paws. Learn about the breed of your dog, learn about the makeup of a dog and what they need. Spend time just observing your dog’s body language. Learn to think dog and talk dog.
To find out more, then make sure to go to www.moderndoggroup.com
To find a positive trainer, go to www.moderndoggroup.com/directory