Almost every dog owner has heard of Ivan Pavlov and his conditioning method, which uses a sound to stimulate a response in a dog.
In the case of Psychologist Pavlov, it was using a bell to inform the dog that it was time for feeding. The dogs would begin salivating at the sound of the bell, knowing something positive was heading their way.
Finding the best canine obedience training method for conditioning your dog’s general manners is essential to having a long and enjoyable life together.
Although there are many forms of training, you will find a piece of the Pavlovian Conditioning Method in each one. Based on your dog’s breed, specific obedience training methods work better than others.
Building a lasting relationship with your dog is the best starting place for successful obedience training.
Clicker training is a type of positive reinforcement dog training method.
Gundog breeds, such as Labs, Golden Retrievers, and Cocker Spaniels, tend to do very well with this training method. When your dog performs a task correctly, you immediately create a clicker sound and provide a reward.
Clicker training can be beneficial for training dogs at any age.
As you implement the strategy into your day, your dog will learn that the clicker means it did a positive behavior and will receive a treat. Therefore, your dog will eagerly learn to do the right action to get rewarded. Teach your dog to shake, sit, and come with clicker training and positive rewards.
Positive reinforcement training
Obedience training is a lot of work, but with routine, it can create a life-long bond between you and your best fur buddy. Mikkel Becker, a certified canine trainer and co-author of several books, says, “You need to know what motivates your dog and how to properly reinforce good behaviors.”
Positive reinforcement training is one of the most used and encouraged training methods. It teaches that providing consistent rewards every time your canine completes the correct task will result in a natural draw to the behavior.
No dog walks away from a tasty treat, but all will do the right thing to get one, especially the Terrier and Hound breed of dogs. They love earning treats and tend to pick up on obedience training well with this method, so when training your Terrier, have a pouch of goodies ready for every positive opportunity.
If you are teaching your dog to sit, start with the words and hand motions for the dog to learn what to listen and look for in the instruction. When your dog learns to sit, you immediately provide a treat. As your fur buddy realizes that sitting equals a yummy treat, sitting will become a more natural response for your dog.
Model and mirror training
Model and mirror training is another method that uses positive reinforcement and adds a personal touch. It works wonderfully for toy dog breeds, like the Shih Tzu, Pug, and Pomeranian.
Teaching by example encourages your dog to follow the leader. In the case of this method, you, your dog trainer, or another well-trained dog becomes the model of the desired behavior with the intention that your dog will mirror the activity.
For example, suppose you are teaching your dog to lie down. In such a case, you may have a command and signal to teach your dog the instruction, but how will it know what to do if there is no one to demonstrate the action? That is where you or someone else comes into play.
You will provide the command and signal, and the other person or canine will demonstrate laying down.
Once you or the other dog lays down, reward with a treat. As your dog sees this technique completed several times, it will follow suit because it desires a reward, too.
Ben Ryba, a co-founder of True canine, says, “True, simple training is successful when you take time to communicate well and build a great relationship with your dog.”
By building a relationship with your dog, you learn about your canine, how it acts, what motivates it, what grabs its attention quickly, and so forth. You take the time to educate yourself on how your dog behaves and then use that information to build communication and training plans.
Spending dedicated time with your dog on the front end of training will start the building blocks for a positive relationship.
It will allow you to see your canine’s best training times, routines, and behaviors. You will understand the best training environment, such as in-class training, at-home lessons, or board and train programs.
When you start to learn the nuances of your dog, you will be able to mold learning styles to what your dog responds to the best.
Start obedience training with your dog today
Finding the right professional trainer to work with your dog’s behavior plan is vital to successful training.
Whether you use a clicker, positive reinforcement, or model training, you will implement relationship training in the course.
Start training your dog in a comfortable environment today and see the positive changes in your dog’s behavior.
Julia Nikolaus is a content strategist for an LA-based company. She enjoys working with pet brands and writing about pet care. Julia shares a dog, chickens, and two pygmy goats with her parents on their joined farmette in Columbia, Pennsylvania.