How to Use Positive Reinforcement To Train Your Dog

How to Use Positive Reinforcement To Train Your Dog

Positive reinforcement is a great method to manipulate the kind of behavior you expect from someone and it can be especially useful when training your dog. The idea of positive reinforcement means rewarding the behaviors that you like while ignoring the behaviors you do not like. There are various tactics to use such as praise, life rewards which include games, walks, and/or car rides, and also treats to rewards your dog’s good behavior. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits that come with training your dog with positive reinforcement. 

Gets Everyone Involved

By implementing positive reinforcement, it allows the entire family to get involved in training the dog. You will not have to speak in a strong tone, use any strength, or put yourself or another family member in danger. For example, it may be a little dangerous to allow a child to use certain methods of dog training like leash corrections and other forms of punishment. So, with positive reinforcement, you can give your child a handful of dog treats while teaching them the commands you are using allowing them to train your dog the same way you do, while under your supervision.

Establishes Communication

Positive reinforcement also allows you to communicate with your dog. You simply decide what it is that you want your dog to do and then let them know by offering rewards when they do that desired action. As you continue to reward them for doing things correctly, they will be more likely to repeat these good behaviors. Using punishment is not always as clear, for example, when you punish a dog for housebreaking accidents. Say, you catch your dog urinating on the carpet and you scold them or even resort to smacking them with a rolled-up newspaper. Your intention is to let them know that it is not acceptable to eliminate in the house, however, your dog might interpret it as that they should not eliminate when you are around. This kind of confusion can be avoided through positive reinforcement. Using this same example, the goal is to teach your dog to eliminate outside rather than inside the house. So, rather than punishing them, you would just reward the behavior you are seeking which is using the bathroom outside. So, every time your dog eliminates outside, you would shower them with praise and treats.

You Can Use It For Various Behaviors

Training methods like leash corrections or other forms of punishment may not be effective for every dog. In fact, sometimes, the punishment can only make the behavior problem worse. Aggressive dogs are a great example of this because, in the face of punishment, they tend to become even more aggressive. Similarly, fearful dogs might not respond well to even the slightest punishment as they may become even more fearful when you use it as a training method. Clicker trainers, however, have noticed greater success through positive reinforcement when it came to training aggressive and fearful dogs.

Keeps It Fun

If you are someone who keeps training sessions short and upbeat, positive reinforcement training can keep things fun for you and your dog. Once your dog realizes that training will lead to a lot of good things for them, they will start to view them as playtime and will simply offer good behavior in hopes of getting the rewards.

If you are looking for additional ways to best train your dog or any pet, feel free to contact Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258.