Learn To Use Positive Reinforcement to Train Your Dog

Learn-To-Use-Positive-Reinforcement-to-Train-Your-Dog 1

What we call dog training is really trying to modify or change a dog’s behavior. For example, instead of pulling at the leash, we want him to walk quietly at our side.

Motivate your dog.

If we want the dog to change his behavior, we must give him some motivation to do so. In other words, we want to give our dog a better alternative. When your dog is behaving in a way you don't want him to, gently stop him and show him what you want him to do. It's not hard to side-track a dog if the diversion gives him a more rewarding experience. For instance, jumping up to welcome people may be undesirable behavior, but it is one of the things dogs do to greet each other. We have to show him that keeping all his feet on the floor is a better alternative.

what is positive reinforcement

For dogs, a treat is the strongest motivator. Food gives them a great reason to listen to you and will encourage them to try to get more rewards.

This type of training is called positive reinforcement. It means that the dog is rewarded when he displays the behavior you want. In the beginning he is rewarded even if he approximates the behavior. He will come to associate the treat with the desired action.

The reward does not have to be a treat. If, for example, you are teaching a dog not to pull on a leash, you can use forward progress as a reward. If he pulls, you stop walking. When the leash is slack, you start to move forward. You are teaching your dog to associate forward movement (which is what he enjoys) with a slack leash.

positive reinforcement is a form of conditioning

This style of training is a form of conditioning. You are conditioning your dog to associate two things. A certain action with a positive outcome. A lot of the early work on conditioning was conducted by a Russian Physiologist, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov. Working in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he found that over time dogs learned to associate two different things. He sounded a bell just before he fed his canine subjects. He found that dogs quite quickly began to associate the sound of the bell with getting fed. They started to salivate.

You can phase out food rewards once a desired behavior is established. In the beginning, you can reward every good behavior with food; then, once the behavior is established, give the treats more randomly. Behaviors are imprinted faster when the rewards become unpredictable. Your dog will have no idea whether a particular effort will pay off... but being ever-hopeful, he will work extra hard to get the reward. Using verbal praise and/or physical affection along with food accelerates learning.

One problem with using positive reinforcement is that it is sometimes difficult for the dog to work out exactly what he is being rewarded for. The desired behavior needs to be marked in some way.

Related Training: Clicker Training For Dogs

positive reinforcement gets better results/

The traditional method of training dogs, which involved yelling and using physical punishment has no part to play in this type of training. It focuses on stopping the dog from doing a certain thing with less emphasis on teaching the right thing. It is certainly not enjoyable for the dog. It is more likely to be rewarding for the trainer who is getting rid of his frustrations. In the end,

It is not moving towards the end goal which is to have a well behaved, obedient dog who is eager to please

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Learn To Use Positive Reinforcement to Train Your Dog
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Learn To Use Positive Reinforcement to Train Your Dog
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Positive reinforcement is a surefire pathway to an obedient well-trained dog. Learn what you have to do to achieve results
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Dogs Are My Universe
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