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Identify the Different Dog Training Methods

A trained dog is a good one. They behave when at home, they are sociable to your friends and family, they know where to poop or pee, they know where to eat and they will protect you when they think you are in danger. Training your puppy during their early years lays the groundwork for future good behavior. Understand the different dog training methods to identify which one works best for your furry friend.

An experienced puppy trainer mentions the various training methods they may use on your dog.

Clicker Training

This method follows the parameters of operant conditioning. A trainer uses a clicker that creates a signal whenever a dog accomplishes the desired behavior. It also shows the dog the types of actions that will get them a reward.

One of the advantages of this approach is that a pet forms habits, but is still flexible to learn new behaviors. It also allows the trainer to diversify their verbal commands and reinforce them. The puppy needs to know the association of a “click” with the reward they will get. This takes time and repetition but is effective. Professionals use this method to teach their dogs tricks and move them from basic to complicated tasks.

Positive Reinforcement

This approach is as straightforward as its name. A good dog gets a reward, and if they don’t follow a command or do bad, they won’t receive a reward. It is similar to click training and follows the same principles. This method starts with rewarding a pet immediately when they do something a trainer likes. The dog understands the association of the reward with good behavior. The rewards come in various forms, not just food. Some of these include toys, petting, and praise. This approach requires consistency, which means everyone living in your house must reward the same behavior.

dog playing with a ball

Scientific Training

This method uses a variety of studies to train a dog. Animal behaviorists study dog psychology and take some practices from other pet training methods. Trainers that adhere to this form rely on operant conditioning, some punishments, and positive reinforcement.

Mirror Training

This method relies on a dog’s ability to observe. A trainer provides an example of good behavior or a rival that will vie for similar resources. This way allows dogs to mimic certain behaviors that a trainer wants. This approach comes more naturally compared to rewarding a pet. If the owner has a strong connection with their pet, a trainer can rely on them as an example.

Alpha Dog

This method relies on a do’s instincts to either create a dominant or submissive relationship. This theory cites that a dog considers their family as their “pack” similar to wolf packs. They follow a hierarchy wherein they see their owner as the alpha. An owner must project confidence and authority in ways such as: eating first, walking on a leash, or standing above their pet at all times.

These are some of the dog training methods that reinforce good behavior. Identify which one you think will help your pet. Consult with your trainer to know which behaviors and rewards to use whenever your pet returns home from training sessions.

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