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What Is Positive Dog Training? – The Ultimate Guide

Training your dog is vital. This training will teach your dog proper etiquette and how to behave correctly in certain situations.

Not to mention, the straining can build a strong bond between the dog and the owner.

What Is Positive Dog Training - The Ultimate Guide

Generally, positive reinforcement is the preferred method of dog training. Relying on rewarding your dog for positive behavior, positive dog training offers a whole host of benefits.

Let’s dive into the meaning of positive dog training and its many advantages. 

What Is Positive Dog Training?

Positive training is the process of using positive reinforcement to train a dog. To encourage desired behaviors, dogs will be rewarded.

These rewards can take different forms, such as food, treats, and toys, which may be given to a dog when they have behaved well. 

After introducing this reward, dogs are more likely to repeat this action. This is because the dog will associate the behavior or action with the reward.

This is a great way of teaching your dog tricks or trying to get it to behave a certain way (see also “Why You Should Try Heelwork With Your Dog“). 

Essentially, positive dog training is the opposite of negative dog training. Negative reinforcement relies on punishing a dog when it misbehaves.

As a consequence, these behaviors will be discouraged. For example, a pet owner may remove a dog’s favorite toy after it has behaved poorly.

Negative reinforcement is often frowned upon in dog training, as it has been deemed inhumane. 

What Are The Benefits Of Positive Dog Training?

Most people believe that positive dog training should be used over negative reinforcement. This is because positive training has numerous advantages, such as:

  • It will create a positive relationship between the dog and the owner. 
  • Positive training can allow your dog to become more confident. 
  • It allows owners to successfully correct behavioral problems.
  • Positive reinforcement can make your pet feel loved.
  • Dogs are less likely to become anxious or aggressive when positive reinforcement is used instead of negative reinforcement.
  • It can be mentally stimulating for your beloved pet. 

What Are The Main Components Of Positive Training?

To ensure that you are using positive training, you should fulfill these four components:

  1. Positive reinforcement has been used.
  2. The dog has not been punished or intimidated.
  3. You have rejected the misconceptions of dominance theory.
  4. You have attempted to understand the training from the perspective of the dog.

By combining these four traits, you can ensure that you are using positive training instead of negative reinforcement. These traits will help you to better understand the ideology behind positive training. 

How Can You Use Positive Training?

If you are eager to use positive training methods for your dog, here are some top tips:

Find The Right Reward

Every dog will like to be rewarded in different ways. For instance, some dogs will love eating their favorite treat (see also “Best Way To Store Dog Treats For Freshness“). Meanwhile, other dogs will like to be groomed after they have behaved correctly. 

Food and toys are the most popular forms of reward for dogs, but it is best to tailor the reward to suit your furry friend. After all, there is little point in using a reward that your pet will not appreciate. 

Food Is A Great Reward

Dogs love food, meaning that they are bound to appreciate this reward. Sausage or cheese will work wonderfully as a reward for your furry canine companions. 

It’s important to bear in mind that your dog can become obese if you give it too many treats. This will increase your dog’s risk of developing a plethora of different health problems.

To avoid this, you should reduce the amount of food you are giving your dog at mealtimes.

One of the advantages of using food as a reward is that you can create different levels. For instance, you can give your dog its favorite food, such as chicken, when it does something impressive.

Meanwhile, less exciting treats can be used for more mundane accomplishments. 

Know When To Reward Your Dog

When you are encouraging your pet to pick up a new skill, you must constantly reward them for behaving well.

For instance, when you are teaching your dog to sit upon command, you should reward it every time it manages to do this. 

Once the dog has embraced this behavior into their everyday habits, you no longer need to reward them as frequently.

As a result, your dog will not be able to predict when it will receive a reward. It is likely to continue this behavior in the hopes of receiving a reward. 

Give Short Commands

Dogs have the impressive ability to comprehend language, However, their understanding will be rather basic. Therefore, it is best to use short sentences and phrases when using positive training on your dog. 

Among the most popular words that are used as commands include:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Roll
  • Heel
  • Drop

Don’t Reward Bad Behavior

It’s vital for dog owners to not use positive training for bad behaviors. Otherwise, your dog is more likely to repeat these negative habits. 

For instance, if you are attempting to discourage your dog from barking at other people, you should not reward it after it has done this.

Instead, you must only reward your pet when it does something good. In this case, the dog should only be rewarded if it has managed to not bark at a person.

Final Thoughts

Positive training is the recommended method of teaching a dog to act and behave properly. This training method can be rewarding to dogs and pet owners alike.

You can feel much closer to your dog by rewarding it for behaving appropriately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Positive Reinforcement Work?

Yes, positive reinforcement is successful. Research has found that it is usually more effective than negative reinforcement.

Additionally, positive reinforcement is much more ethical. Positive reinforcement works by creating a positive stimulus to encourage certain behaviors. 

What Is Positive Punishment?

Positive punishment is another form of behavior modification. It is the process of giving unwanted consequences to discourage certain behavior.

Unlike negative reinforcement, it adds something instead of taking it away.

Sharon Isaacs