Category Archives: Veterinary

Dog Training – What Works, And What Doesn’t

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Many dog training methods are based on what makes the OWNER feel good, rather than on what actually makes sense to the DOG. For example….

“Positive only” dog training has become popular nowadays.
With “positive only” dog training, you bribe your dog to do something with food or a toy. If he does the desired behavior, he receives the reward.

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“Positive only” dog training often includes a clicker device – a little metal tab that makes a clicking sound when pressed with your thumb. Clicker training is a form of “conditioning.” You click at the precise instant your dog is doing some desired behavior, then immediately give a treat. The dog learns that whenever he hears the clicking sound, whatever behavior he was doing at that instant will bring him food.

The problem with “positive only” dog training

Positive-only dog training and clicker training work well for teaching fun things – like tricks – where it really doesn’t matter whether your dog obeys or not. If you tell him to shake hands or roll over and he doesn’t do it, who cares?
But for teaching your dog to come when called in the presence of temptations or distractions…. for teaching your dog to stand quietly while his teeth are brushed or his coat is groomed…. for teaching your dog to act politely toward strangers and other animals….

….and for teaching your dog all the other behaviors you want a well-behaved family dog to do (or not do!)…. positive-only dog training is less effective.

Think about it. What happens when you want your dog to stop chasing a cat and come to you – but at that particular moment he’s not hungry and would rather chase the cat rather than munch on a biscuit?

Dog Training

Owners who rely on positive-only dog training are stuck whenever their dog “isn’t in the mood” to do something.

An old trainer once said that if a dog really wants to chase a cat, he will chase it “regardless of biscuits showering upon him like manna from heaven.”…. continue reading  on