Methods of Dog Training.
|Methods of Dog Training.
The best methods used for dog training:
The methods used in Dog Training and teaching them obedience vary, and all these methods should be followed and implemented carefully based on the training goal. Here are some of the best methods used for dog training:
Training Dogs Using Positive Reinforcement:
The principle of positive reinforcement revolves around dogs learning to perform good actions when rewarded for correct behavior. Punishment should not involve harsh methods or the use of force. Many dog training experts emphasize that using positive reinforcement helps in obtaining a well-trained dog while preserving its spirit.
The positive reinforcement method relies on using words, sounds, hand signals, as well as sounds produced by hands, like clicking and clapping. It also involves using games that contribute to modifying behavior. When the dog behaves correctly, it is rewarded, and when it fails to do so, the reward is withheld without resorting to violence.
Science-Based Dog Training:
Training dogs using science-based methods requires trainers to stay informed and keep up with the latest research in dog behavior science. This method primarily depends on understanding the dog intended for training to choose the most suitable method for modifying its behavior and acquiring new skills.
This method must interact with other dog training approaches, such as positive reinforcement and even various punishment methods. It is worth noting that this method may not be suitable for all dog breeds, and it requires the trainer to stay continuously informed through ongoing research.
Training Dogs Using Electronic Training:
The electronic training method primarily relies on the use of electronic collars programmed to deliver an electric shock or a spray of citronella oil (a natural oil used to repel insects) when the dog exhibits any undesirable behavior. This is done by controlling the collar remotely, especially in cases where using a leash for dogs still under training proves challenging.
Most experts believe that this method is more harmful than beneficial. It depends on teaching the dog what not to do rather than instructing it on what to do. Additionally, it may cause psychological and physical harm to the dogs.
Competitive Model Training for Training Dogs:
Dogs learn well through observation. Having a model in front of them that performs desired actions and avoids undesirable ones can significantly facilitate the training process. Whether this model is another trained dog or the trainer himself demonstrating behaviors in front of the dog.
This method proves highly beneficial if there is an opportunity for the dog to stay with the model for extended periods, allowing the trained dog to observe and follow the behaviors that need to be taught.
Training Dogs with Firmness or Dominance:
The method of firmness or dominance is also referred to as the alpha technique. This approach involves using physical force to subdue the dog to its trainer, making it aware that the trainer is in control, and the dog must submit.
This technique is considered risky because the trainer may instill fear in the dog, attempting to teach behaviors without reinforcing trust between them. This can lead to additional problems or even aggressive behavior. Some trainers, however, see this method as essential, like other reinforcement methods, for achieving balance. They argue that a combination of different approaches is appropriate during dog training.
Training Dogs with Relationship Reinforcement:
This method encourages adopting an approach that builds trust between the dog and its trainer rather than basing the relationship on fear and threats. Instead of punishment for undesirable actions, the trainer should consistently provide positive reinforcement, even if the dog hasn't done anything. For example, greeting the dog while it's sitting strengthens the bond between them.
The trainer merely shows disapproval by turning away if the dog does something undesirable, affecting the dog if the relationship between them is strong enough. Some trainers argue that, while this method may yield slower results than purely positive reinforcement methods, it has proven effective, even with challenging cases of rehabilitating and modifying dog behavior.
Practical Examples of Dog Training Methods:
Training Dogs to Lie Down:
Dogs are trained to lie down through repetitive sessions in short but regular intervals until the dog masters the action. The trainer begins by signaling the movement by passing a hand holding a cherished reward over the dog's nose, down its chest, and onto the ground, indicating the lie-down motion. When the dog lies down, it is immediately rewarded. Once the dog easily follows this motion, the trainer progresses to verbalization by saying "down" as the dog approaches the lying position. Teaching the dog this action and training it in different locations, especially in gardens, is crucial to ensure mastery of the behavior.
Training Dogs to Sit:
Dogs can be trained to sit by following a few simple steps:
- Train the dog to sit using a tasty treat, bringing it close to its nose for recognition.
- Move the hand in a continuous arc above the dog's head, prompting it to sit naturally as it raises its head towards the hand and lowers its lower body to the ground.
- Repeat this training regularly, reinforcing the dog's sitting behavior with consistent rewards.
- Introduce verbal cues to let the dog know it has completed the task, using encouraging words.
- The trainer starts pronouncing the word "sit" when the dog sits, associating the word with the action after the dog smoothly repeats the sitting process.
Training Dogs to Stay in Place:
The trainer uses gestures indicating the dog to stay in a specific place before rewarding it. For instance, initially, the trainer signals the dog with a close-range "stay" motion while showing the reward. When the dog accomplishes the task, the trainer rewards it, gradually increasing the distance between them and the dog while instructing it to stay.
This training is regularly repeated in different locations, such as the garden, other people's homes, and the car. The dog must be monitored, and if it attempts to move, it should be immediately rewarded to reinforce its compliance.
Training Dogs to Come When Called:
The trainer starts by being gentle with the dog, making it feel that coming to them is more rewarding than anything else around. The trainer can use a tasty treat or a captivating toy, showing it to the dog while calling its name. The crucial step when the dog comes is to provide it with food, a toy, or petting as a way of expressing approval for its behavior.
Additionally, lowering the trainer to the dog's level during the call can enhance attraction. The trainer can gradually increase the calling distance as the dog gets accustomed to the command and executes it promptly.
Tools Used in Dog Training:
Some tools used in dog training include:
- Dog collar: Choosing a comfortable collar that doesn't press on the neck.
- Dog leash: Selecting a leash ranging from 1.2 to 1.8 meters.
- Dog toy.
- Dog food.
Things to Avoid in Dog Training:
There are certain things recommended to avoid in dog training, such as:
- Showing signs of stress or tension during training.
- Stopping training if the dog behaves well.
- Instilling fear of learning something new.
- Allowing too much time between training sessions.
Importance of Dog Training:
Continuous training and teaching of new skills to dogs are of great importance because:
- Dogs enjoy learning, and the happiness and excitement they feel when acquiring a new skill contribute to their overall well-being.
- Training dogs and showing care for them make them feel that the relationship between them and their owner is filled with trust and safety.
- Regular training for the dog benefits the owner by teaching proper interaction and strengthening their positive relationship.