Different Types of Dog Training
Dog training is one of the most challenging tasks. It involves a lot of patience and attention to detail. Dog training is basically the application of behaviour analysis that applies the historical antecedent and subsequent results to change the dog’s behaviour, either to help in particular tasks or undertake specific behaviours successfully. The scientific validity of this type of application relies on a number of factors, including the current state of knowledge about dog brain functions, the possible future implications and the extent to which a trainer is willing to follow through with the programme if it should result in positive results. Although this is not a simplistic area of study, it is important to understand some of the key issues associated with effective dog training.
Firstly there are several models of dog training, such as reinforcement based and dominance based. The first one – dominance based – has been scientifically proven to be highly effective. Dominance based dog training works through rewarding a dog whenever it performs a desirable behavior and punishing it when it doesn’t. This particular model-rival training and electronic training are the most widely used among this particular type of dog training.
The second model – motivational – is also highly effective, but the training is more difficult. A dog is rewarded or punished based on the presence of negative external stimuli. These typically include things such as hunger, tiredness, separation anxiety and other negative emotional states. The goal of motivational dog training is to help the dog understand and regulate its own behavior and thereby strengthen its ability to make better decisions and perform even more efficiently. This type of dog training dogs has had very successful results.
An alternative to the prior model – selective training – trains the dog according to a set criteria or pattern. The dog is trained to behave consistently and in a certain way. Rewards are given when the dog complies and/or misbehaves. Punishment is administered when the dog behaves in a manner that is inappropriate or brings about an undesirable result. For example, a trainer might train a dog to sit on command and then give the pet dog a firm “no” if it attempts to move out of the sit position.
Positive reinforcement dog training using positive reinforcements is also referred to as consequence-based obedience training. The purpose of using positive reinforcements is to encourage the dog to repeat the desirable behavior. For example, if a dog performs an action that is not desired, the trainer would use positive reinforcement to encourage the dog to repeat the act in the future. The positive reinforcers are often food treats, toys or praise. If the action leads to an undesirable result, a firm “no” is also a good response. In this instance, the trainer uses a negative reinforcer to discourage the undesired behavior.
Operant conditioning or classical conditioning is a type of conditioning in which the goal is to change a dog’s behavior without having to resort to punishment. Operant conditioning has been shown to be more effective than positive reinforcement in dog training. This type of training was developed by behavioral experts such as B.F. Skinner.
Classical conditioning is most often used in the training teaching dogs to lie down. It uses a reward system, in which a dog is rewarded when it performs the desired behavior. This reward system is sometimes combined with operant conditioning. Training using classical conditioning is considered less demanding than operant conditioning. Therefore, trainers have more leeway to train dogs using classical methods.
In the wild, dogs hunt small animals, such as squirrels, rabbits and birds. While most dogs can stay forage for days without eating, it is very rare for them to stay for more than a couple of days without scavenging. Although the modern dog is bred to be a herd animal, the instincts of wild dogs are to hunt. Therefore, most hunting dogs are bred to be obedient, intelligent and to possess a controlled, intuitive manner. These traits make the modern dog one of the most intelligent and loyal companions, a family can have.