Importance of Positive Reinforcement in Dog Training
Dogs are known to repeat behaviors that bring them rewards. That makes positive reinforcement integral to dog training. You can reinforce positive behavior in your pooch through rewards. Treats, praise, and rewards are some positive reinforcement examples to reward good behavior. Of course, this lays the foundation to turn your canine baby into a good boy.
Define positive reinforcement
As far as dog training is concerned, rewarding positive behavior is a good training tool for dogs. It should happen immediately. That means praise and reward your pet’s desired behavior as it happens because dogs live in the moment. This can be in the form of treats and/or affection. One example of positive dog training method is to reward him when he works on commands. Pat him or give him a treat immediately so he starts to associate the reward with his good behavior. Pet him each time when he does his business outside at the desired spot. He will never go wrong again and you will have a job well done as far as dog potty training is concerned.
Dog training tips
The objective behind training with rewards is to send a message across to your fur baby that making a good choice results in rewards. So this might ensure that the canine starts to associate good behavior with rewards. They are more likely to repeat it next time. You may choose a treat depending on the intensity of the dog training.
Research finds that training with rewards is the biggest motivation for a dog to obey your command and repeat it on a day-day basis (1). Planning is important when you are trying to reinforce good behavior in dog so he always behaves like a good boy. In doing so, you will realize that good behavior will become a norm even without treats.
Training a puppy with rewards is fun, helping strengthen your bond with your canine. Research claims that owners who use positive reinforcement through rewards report fewer behavior problems in their pet.
Not only this, reward-based dog behavior training can help build confidence, encouraging them to think for themselves.
- Food is the best reward for a dog because the canine family loves food. The best thing is you can deliver it much quickly than anything else. Pick something your fur baby really likes to keep him motivated.
- Play is a form of reward in dog training.
- Petting and praise are also forms of dog reward.
Wean from treats
You want to reinforce good behavior in your fur baby so it’s absolutely okay to use rewards when you start with the dog training project. However, this should not become a part of their life. In fact, over time, it is important to wean your canine off rewards while continuing to offer praise and affection. The objective is to train the dog to forget about the treats while still obeying your commands. When he does something to please you without an expectation of reward, that’s the beginning and your trick to wean him off treats has started working.
What does that mean? Well, the dog will forget the reward and your praise will become the treat.
Or there is another form of dog behavioral training that most pet parents employ to train their furry friend. Positive punishment provides avenues to changing dog behavior, while utilizing added stimulus to reduce the chances of a repeat bad behavior. This is meant to send a strong signal across to the canine that something unpleasant awaits if he does not do as directed.
Should you opt for positive punishment?
Well, positive punishment teaches is only aimed at preventing an action of the dog. But does it teach him alternative behaviors? Well, with positive punishment, the canine is not told what to do instead of the undesirable behavior that you are trying to eradicate.
For example, the dog starts barking at a stranger while you are walking him. You try to pull the leash. In doing so, you do not realize dog collars hurt dogs.
Unfortunately, since the dog does not know what to substitute that bad behavior with, he may revert to the pattern he knows. Besides, the use of pain and force in dog behavior modification does not do the pooch any good. Rather, there is a risk of adding fear and anxiety in his life, which may eventually degrade his trust in you.
How To Train Dogs – stop correcting them
Does positive reinforcement mean that you cannot say no to your dog?
If a dog acts inappropriately, it is important for a pet owner to correct his behavior through positive reinforcement. However, remember to compare reinforcement versus punishment. Think about whether he is getting some sort of reward for their behavior – good or bad. For example, a dog jumps up on someone, who may stare at him while telling him to “get down.” In some situations, the dog might enjoy such behavior of being stared. As a result, they may start to relate this interaction with reward. That also means you can expect them to repeat the action since they enjoyed the reaction and did not see it as punishment.
The whole objective of dog training is to guide your dog into making a good choice in place of bad behavior. That means there is a substitute to bad action. Think about using dog rewards within the environment so he can associate them with good actions. What does he enjoy? You should use them as a reward for good behavior.
Training with rewards is a fun activity that strengthens the human-pet bond. Not only this, it encourages a love of learning in your canine buddy.
Using positive reinforcement acts as a bulwark against bad behavior can strengthen the human-canine bond. Besides, positive reinforcement versus punishment is better for animal welfare. It is linked to better success in training a dog. The use of punishment, on the other hand, may be received with an aggressive response by the dog. Remember, simply punishing them for an unwelcome action with the best dog training collar does not correct their behavior nor teach them a new acceptable action in its place.
You should focus on positive reinforcement in place of positive punishment for your canine as a form of incentive motivation. This keeps them motivated to obey your command.
(1) Bremhorst, A., Bütler, S., Würbel, H., & Riemer, S. (2018). Incentive motivation in pet dogs – preference for constant vs varied food rewards. Scientific reports, 8(1), 9756.
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