Basic Positive Training
PawsitiveWalks uses basic positive training (also known as positive reinforcement training) to redirect unwanted behaviours (e.g. pulling on the lead, barking at people or other dogs, getting over excited, etc.) onto positive behaviours.
The idea is that, if you reward your dog for a behaviour you like, there is a greater chance that your dog will repeat that same behaviour in the future. And when paired with the removal of something the dog wants (like food, attention or toys) or the use of vocal interrupters (like “naa haa”, “no” or “ah ah”) to redirect negative behaviour onto wanted behaviour, you will guide a dog into making the right choices.
With time, your dog will understand that good things happen when he does what you like.
*Rewards can be lots of praise, favourite play game or toy and a piece of food or treat*
why use basic positive training
Although there’s much discussion about the use of positive reinforcement methods, especially between old school trainers that trust in the Alfa Dog method and who disdain basic positive training by believing that it shows weakness and lack of leadership, I personally have seen the great results of the use of positive reinforcement training.
Besides being a pain-free method that neglects the use of force, intimidation, physical punishment or fear, because you had to learn what makes your dog react to certain triggers to be able to redirect and correct its behaviour, in the long term the bond that you end up sharing with your dog is one of trust and confidence.
Basic positive training, or positive reinforcement training, techniques use non-confrontational methods to stimulate and work a dog’s brain:
- rewarding positive behaviour
- establishing routines
- reducing a dog’s anger and frustration
For us to be successful in our basic positive training, it is essential that we determine the cause of the misbehaviour and then figure out how to modify and change the behaviour giving your dog the ability to learn and feel different about what triggers its actions. By allowing your pooch to spend more time with other dogs, people and places, you are permitting your dog to enjoy life in a pleasant way and adding hours of exercise and play into the mix, your pooch is getting what it needs to deal with the pressures of domestic life and its frustrations.
long term results
Dogs that are trained using basic positive training methods are more tolerant, self-controlled, confident and behaved, being more predictable in various situations. And if you practice positive reinforcement training with your dog since he was a puppy, your dog has experienced the consistent guidance that leads to a confident, relaxed, balanced and happy dog.
A balanced and happy dog has no need to express anxiety or aggressive behaviours and the bond between you will be stronger than ever. The best relationships between dogs and owners are based on cooperation, kindness and patience, rather than forceful dominance and submission – which increases trust, resulting in a healthier bond and life.
NO NO to punitive methods
It is no brainer that if confrontational and punitive techniques are used to redirect your dog’s behaviour, in the long term it doesn’t work, but can heighten an aggressive response making your dog even more agitated. Many who promote old-school training techniques, believe that the punishment used in the form of an electric shock collar, for instance, is not damaging. But instead a tool to force your dog into a state where he will obey a command.
Whatever your beliefs are, at PawsitiveWalks, we do not practice any type of confrontational or punitive techniques. We rather avoid doing anything that will make your dog feel pain or fear, and leave the ‘debatable’ techniques for expert dog trainers, if they are willing to go that far.