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What is Positive Dog Training All About?

If you’ve been searching for a dog trainer near you, you may have stumbled across words like “positive dog training” or “positive reinforcement dog training.”


So what exactly do these words mean?


Positive reinforcement is an aspect of learning psychology that deals with rewarding good behavior to increase its frequency. For example, you may give your dog a yummy treat for sitting or a belly rub for coming when called.


A positive reinforcement dog trainer uses rewards to increase the frequency of good behavior. We focus on teaching dogs what we do want rather than correcting mistakes.


Scientific studies have shown that positive reinforcement training is the most effective training method for all sorts of issues. From young puppies learning how to behave, to fearful or reactive dogs, positive methods help foster a sense of confidence while also achieving lasting results.


If you use positive reinforcement training, will you have to always have treats?


Nope! While some clients are surprised at how many treats we use in the beginning stages of training, the end-goal is to phase them out. An effective positive trainer can help you learn when and how to phase out rewards.


Many dogs trained through positive methods learn to associate the yummy treats with the praise and attention they get from their pet parents, and will eagerly perform an array of behaviors simply because they’ve been conditioned to enjoy working with their pet parent.


Does positive reinforcement training work for behavioral issues?


Yes indeed! An effective positive trainer will be able to help you develop solutions to a number of behavioral issues, including aggression or reactivity. Our focus is always on creating confidence in the dog-human relationship, which is best accomplished through positive methods that instill security and reward good decision-making skills in our furry best friends without resorting to intimidation or coercion.


Is treat-based training bribery?


No. Some old-school dog training methods suggest that our dogs should act a certain way because the trainer said so. A dog that doesn’t sit on command may be “corrected” until it sits.


Scientific dog training has pushed past the idea of “because I said so” being a good motivator for learning. It’s much more humane (and fun!) to focus on motivating our dogs with rewards rather than intimidation.


What are the benefits to positive training?


Dogs trained with positive methods learn confidence and good decision making skills, which makes for a more calm, predictable member of your family.


We have found that using positive training is usually the fastest and safest way to achieve lasting results. Our focus isn't just on training, though. We aim to educate people on dog behavior and the best ways to communicate with and listen to their pups.


The human/dog relationship thrives when good, science-based training meets a deeper understanding of our dogs' needs and communication style.


Here at Pawsitive Direction LLC, we're always excited to be a part of that journey.

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