Paul daly in Abington park

What is dog training?

What is dog training and how does it help our pets?

Dog training is the process of teaching skills or behaviors to your dog. This can include teaching your dog to respond to certain commands, or helping your dog learn coping skills to certain environments.

Dog Training is called classical conditioning designed by the human get a dog performing a desired behavior or skill.

A person who trains dogs is said to be a dog trainer. There are many methods of dog training and many objectives, from basics to more advanced including, Police, Security, Military, Rescue, Hunting, working with livestock, Dogs for the disabled and many more. As pack animals, wild dogs have natural instincts to cooperate with their fellow dogs. Many domestic dogs will either through instinct or breeding correctly interprets and responds to signals given by a human handler or owner.

There is much controversy about what is the most effective way to train a dog. Some dog trainers are said to be ‘positive trainers’ as they mostly use positive reinforcement to elicit, motivate, and achieve desired results. An opposing camp comes from ‘traditional’ trainers encouraging the use of punishment, often a physical stimulus used to regain the control of the dog. Then there are dominance trainers, who believe all animals have an innate desire to dominate others, and that this dominating behavior needs to be overcome by owner leadership. In practice nearly all trainers use all quadrants of Classical conditioning in their training, and so use both reinforcement and punishment whether they know it or not.

So what do I mean by this well corrections are a form of positive punishment. Corrections can be physical (i.e. leash correction) or mental (i.e. withdrawing a reward). The dog’s personality, the behavior, and the importance of the correct behavior should all be taken into account in using corrections with your dog.

In a nutshell Positive Reinforcement training is in fact the use of negative corrections to eliminate a behavior and positive rewards to repeat a behaviour. Pure positive training does not work because the positive reinforcement practice is a basic Classical conditioning technique that rewards dogs for responding accordingly to the trainer’s or owner commands.

Rewards often come through treats or verbal praise or other types of positive reinforces, such as a tug toy or ball, social interaction with other dogs, or the owner’s attention. The more rewarding a dog finds a reinforce the more work it will do to obtain the reinforce. Or does it or does it just causes additional expenses to the owner and risk the dog to potential to become overweight due to overeating. Studies show that positive reinforcement can also manipulate an animal to show both desirable and undesirable behavior depending on its experience.

But you add positive punishment (i.e corrections) which studies show that positive punishment has its place in dog training when combined with positive reinforcement you have a sustainable, reliable training method. Training a dog takes time and patience, however with clear and consistent communication your dog will begin to understand what you or your trainer wants from them fairly quickly.

This corresponds to Animal Cognition the mental capacity of non-human animals. The dog takes in the smells, the sights and sounds to remember something it has been taught. It uses your body language and your energy to gauge how serious you are about getting them to respond to you. All dogs work differently due to the breeds we have created, however they are all they same psychology.

We teach, we guide and we lead our dogs. Remember training is training whatever method you use or think you use.