Part of being a dog owner is to make sure that your dog is educated and well-behaved with others, and at the same time, you are responsible for the safety of your dog. This means not only preventing him from getting hurt but also preventing him from running in front of a car or getting into trouble with the authorities for bad behaviour. The best way to make sure this does not happen is to train him for obedient behaviour.
Canine ethology is based on studying the dog’s natural behaviour. The fundamental idea is based on making the dog understand that his owner is the “dominant male” or “leader of the pack” therefore he is the one who commands at all time. There are different training techniques published in books, movies, or created by professional trainers, however, there are some basic aspects to train beginner dogs. From learning how to teach your dog to remember the command just by hearing a certain sound to teaching him how to stop biting the leash, here are 5 methods that proved to be the best for making you fluffy friend obedient and well-behaved.
1. Traditional Canine Training
This technique of canine training has its origin in the schools of war dogs and proved to give very good results. This type of training, during the 2nd World War, gave rise to lots of “hero dogs” and the traditional training gained a lot of popularity. However, this technique is based on negative reinforcement and punishment, and many animal rights activists are completely opposed to this type of practice. Yes, the dogs end up obeying, but the training method is based on suffering and infusing fear into him. In this technique, tools such as choke, barbed or even electric shock collars are used. It’s very cruel! Unfortunately, to this day, there are still people who practice and defend this canine training technique as the most useful.
2. Giving Reward for Positive Behavior
Positive training includes a set of techniques based on the principles of operant conditioning developed by BF Skinner. Its popularity was very low until the 90′ when the book ” Do not kill it … teach it ” by Karen Pryor became a best seller. With these techniques, it is not necessary to use training collars, and the training sessions are very rewarding for both trainers and dogs. The main teaching method is the use of positive reinforcement, popularly known as rewards. Therefore, what is done mainly is to reinforce the desired behaviours either through some biscuits, congratulating him or some others. There are also means to eliminate unwanted behaviour, but punishment is not used in any case. Currently, the most popular way to do this method is with a clicker that can even teach your dog at a very young age to stop biting the leash.
3. Mixed techniques
Mixed techniques are intermediate points between traditional training and positive training. These techniques have given very good results with dogs that compete in canine sports, such as the Schutzhund, RCI, Mondioring, Belgian Ring, etc. Generally, trainers who use mixed techniques combine the use of the choke necklace with rewards. However, they often prefer to use toys instead of food. According to the trainers, this stimulates the prey impulse. The exception to not using food usually occurs in the initial stages and for tracking training, but this depends on the trainer.
4. Training with Target Stick
A target stick is an adjustable stick that uses a clicker to train your dog. In the beginning, the target stick should be rubbed with food to attract your dog. Once he smells it, you do the click. Repeat this exercise so that your pet learns that touching the stick results in a reward. The next step is to have your dog follow the stick, which you can achieve by shaking it up or under your head and rewarding it each time he follows your movement. Now try to move the staff away from him and reward him for moving in the same direction. Now that your dog has learned to follow the stick, you can teach him to move to different places, collect objects and enter certain areas
5. Training by Differentiation
This is a training technique used by different police and government agencies. Use both positive and negative behaviour to clarify what actions are appropriate and break down each action into simple steps to make the learning process simpler. First, you must choose a positive word such as “yes” to reward good behaviour and a negative “no” for bad behaviour. The next step is to make these words envolve so that they have a meaning for the dog. Use some time to say the positive word and immediately give a prize to the dog. When speaking the negative word, show him your empty hand and say “no”. Once the words have been said aloud, in a manner of command, separate the task in small steps and say “yes” for each correct action and “no” for each error.