Tested Dog Training Methods
Most dog trainers are looking for the best dog training methods for their pets. There are many training methods that exist today but trainers are confused which one is the best. Usually, dog trainers used to combine the traditional and modern methods of dog training. The effect to the dogs will only differ on the method of application. This article explains some basic concepts of popular dog training methods across the globe. You can choose from any of the following strategies that work best for your dog.
Classical Conditioning Dog Training Method
Classical conditioning was first popularized by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov was able to train his dog by associating the sound of the bell to the dog’s food. The dog salivates once the bell rings which mean the meat will be served right after the sound. Through classical conditioning, the dog will salivate even the bell alone. Likewise when your Labrador retriever hears the dog bowl, he will also salivate and feels excited about it.
Operant Conditioning Dog Training Method
American behaviorist B.F Skinner popularized the most widely used dog training methods these days which is operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is composed of two important methods, the positive reinforcement and the negative reinforcement method. Either of the two will greatly affect the behavior of your dog.
Positive reinforcement in dog training applies when you give a reward to your dog in exchange of a positive behavior. Most dog trainers put so much emphasis on this time-tested method. The reward comes in different forms such as food, toy, or praise. Give things what your dog loves most. A small treat will motivate your dog to keep on doing positive things. Dog trainers who opt to use this method should observe proper timing so that dogs will recognize what caused the positive response. Use a specific signal to command your dog for a certain desired behavior to be performed. You may use hand signals, audible signals, or any special device like the clicker.
By far, the best dog training method that belongs under positive reinforcement is the clicker training. Clicker is very effective for marker training of dogs. The trainer will use a hand-held device to make a better communication between you and your dog.
Negative reinforcement does not mean being bad to your dogs. Some trainers call it as positive punishment. You will use this training method just to take away unnecessary things to improve the dogs behavior.
Unknowingly, most people practice negative reinforcement by gently pulling the dogs head halter when he turns on opposite direction while you are both walking on the street.
Take note that negative reinforcement should not be abusive and inhumane. It could be as simple as ignoring your dog by turning your back. Physical corrections can be also applied with the assurance that you will not inflict pain and anger. However, there are still old school dog trainers that use painful physical corrections on their training classes using prong collars, shock collars, choke chains, or pinch collars. When used correctly, these can be also effective tools in training dogs.