Thursday, June 3, 2010

How Best to Train Your Dog

How to best train your dog is a question that confounds the general public. What makes this question all the more difficult to answer is that even the dog trainers cannot agree on it. The reason for this is that no single training method will work for all dogs. Dogs are simply too diverse along with the environment and other factors. All these things can impact the training where the benefits from any one training method can vary from dog to dog.

There are really only two types of training for dogs: positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is given through taking the dog on walks, giving it attention, giving it a treat, playing with it, giving it toys to play with, etc.

In contrast, negative reinforcement will be things like spraying the dog with water, raising your voice, using a choker chain for corrections, ignoring the dog, taking her toys away, etc.

The goal of either positive or negative reinforcement with a dog is to either encourage a certain positive behavior or discourage a negative one. Through reinforcement, the dog learns what behaviors are good and bad and can learn over time to avoid the bad behaviors and do the more positive ones.

Dog owners should recognize that both methods may be needed for their pet and should not shy away from negative reinforcement. This treatment is not cruel if done in an appropriate manner and can help discourage the negative behavior from reoccurring. Since all dogs are different, some dogs will respond to this reinforcement better than only positive reinforcement methods.

By keeping these two different training methods in mind, you are far more likely to properly train your dog. A properly trained dog can be invaluable in avoiding bad problems down the road and can provide a great pet for your family.

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