Simple Introduction To Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

January 24, 2016 3 min read 0 Comments

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Kendall Abbott author of Simple Introduction To Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

Positive reinforcement dog training is the best way to train dogs, and people for that matter. If someone gives you a compliment, when you do a certain thing, you will probably want to do it again. Dogs work the same way. Positive reinforcement dog training is effective because it works to help dogs know what we really want them to do without any negative feelings associated with that action. It also feels good to you and your beloved companion; it's fun to train using this method which builds a stronger bond between you and them. There are many ways to train a dog but positive reinforcement is fun and enjoyable for both dog and owner alike which can't be said about some other forms of dog training. 

Types of Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

The two main types of positive reinforcements for dogs are praise and treats.

If your dog is a snuggly lover kind of pup you can effectively use praise, you will want to be consistent with certain positive phrases like "good boy" or "good" every time in a pleased excited voice. Praise can also include physical contact and affection like petting and snuggling your good boy after they properly follow a command or learn a new lesson. 

If your dog responds better to food, you can use training treats. You will want to give your dog a single training treat every time they properly learn or follow a command or at the end of a training session put some treats into a toy designed to hold and dispense them slowly. This can be a bigger reward for a training session that went really well! The Mazeeis a great example of a treat dispensing toy that builds dogs logic skills and rewards them with lots of delicious fun. It can also be a good idea to switch the type of treat you use so that your dog doesn't get bored. Or if you are doing lots of different types of training with your dog it helps to find the treats that really motivate them well, high-value treats, and use those for the harder lessons your dog is learning. The harder the work, the yummier the treats should be! 

Most owners and trainers use a balanced combination of both treats and praise for best results while using positive reinforcement with dog training. It is up to you to find the balance that works best for you and your dog.

How to Use Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

If you are trying to teach your dog new commands or skills, you will want to reward the dog every time he or she properly follows the new command or completes the new task properly. For example, if you want him to "sit"; you will say "sit" and reward him immediately when he is in the proper sit position. Honest Kitchen Quickies make great training treats to keep on hand for everyday use while training your dog; they come in a small container that fits in your pocket for on the spot rewards and impromptu training sessions. 

The key with teaching new commands is to speak clearly and always use the same phrase or command. Positive reinforcement can also be used to break bad habits they already have. If you have a dog that barks constantly, you will want to reward her for sitting quietly. If your dog jumps on you, reward him for sitting at your feet. The second key to positive reinforcement is to always focus on and reward the behavior that you want, instead of punishing or highlighting the behavior that you don't want.

Why does positive reinforcement work?

Dogs instinctively want to please us. This is what makes them such wonderful companions, and what makes positive reinforcement so effective. The biggest key to success is being consistent, patient, and making sure your dog understands what you are asking of him. If you follow these simple tips, you and your dog will be well on your way to success.

Meet The Author 

Kendall Abbott

Kendall Abbott obtained her Bachelor's Degree at the University of Kansas, she then went on to pursue her education and love for animals by attending the Animal Behavior College. Kendall began her professional career as an animal care technician for the Kansas Humane Society. After finishing school Kendall followed her passion for dog training and took a position with Beyond The Dog. After 5 years she then left to focus on being a freelance dog trainer.