Dog training is simply the application of behavioral study that applies the historical antecedents and relevant effects of previous behavior to modify the dog’s behavior, either for it to perform certain tasks or undertake certain activities, or for it generally to perform effectively in modern domestic life. It is a systematic approach to solve the problems of dogs and owners alike in learning new behaviors and handling aggressive or misbehaved dogs. It is a popular and effective tool that is used by many dog trainers and is highly recommended.
In this discussion, we will focus on the basics of dog training and what are the essentials of this discipline to achieve the best results for both the owner and the pet dog. First of all, it is important to know the dog breed that the owner has. Every breed of dog has its own strengths and weaknesses, as well as an inclination towards certain behavior patterns and ways of responding to certain circumstances. The dog training master should be able to find out the dog’s breed and learn the necessary basics and then adjust the obedience routines accordingly to address the dog’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the desired behavior of the owner.
Classical conditioning is one of the dog training basics wherein the dog is taught how to respond to a specific stimulus. There are basically two types of classical conditioning: positive and negative. Positive classical conditioning focuses on rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behaviors, while negative classical conditioning focuses on punishment of the dog for bad behaviors. This type of conditioning has been proven to be more effective than positive conditioning when dealing with challenging behaviors. This is because it provides a motivational force to train the dog to react positively to a specific stimulus such as the clicker, treats, praise or leash.
A good example of classical conditioning is clicker training. Clicker training involves a small, simple toy that clicks when the dog performs an appropriate response. Clicker training was developed by the Australian dog trainer, John Markham, back in the 1960s. He found that if he attached a mild electric shock to his dogs clicker whenever he clicked, then he could train his dogs to respond to his commands by responding to the clicking sound. The dog would then start to anticipate the click, and respond to it whenever it happens again.
Classical conditioning can also be incorporated with positive reinforcement. In positive reinforcement dog training, the trainer uses positive stimulants such as treats and praises to reward the dog’s good behavior. This can further be supplemented with the use of a verbal reprimand, in order to further encourage the positive behavior of the dog. Positive reinforcement is more effective if it comes from the owner instead of the trainer. However, both of these techniques can be useful when combined. Consult your dog trainer about combining these two powerful dog training techniques.
Many dog trainers also teach their trainees how to do dog sports. These activities include medicine dog and race dog sports. These sports enable the dogs to display their desired behaviors, which the trainers seek to encourage. Medicine dog sports usually require agility training. Race dog sports are generally for endurance or tracks, which are considered the most desirable behaviors for the dog to exhibit.
In many instances, a trainer may choose to combine a few different dog training techniques, such as negative reinforcement, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning. The trainer will combine one or more of these techniques to create the desired behavior in the dog. For example, in the negative reinforcement dog training technique, the trainer provides a scolding, or a verbal reprimand for the undesirable behavior of the dog. After that, the dog must go fetch a ball or else the scolding will continue, unless he finishes the requested task, such as bringing the food back to the trainer.
Positive reinforcement and operant conditioning are commonly used together. If you want to train your dog for both obedience and hunting, you can combine the techniques by mixing some positive reinforcement with the traditional operant conditioning techniques. In this case, the dogs will be expected to behave for treats, praise, and other forms of praise for the correct behavior. Positive reinforcements will help train the dogs for both obedience and hunting, but they come hand-in-hand with the traditional conditioning techniques. When the dogs are used to receiving treats in addition to the traditional praise, they become much easier to train.