The Pros and Cons of Dog Training Models
Dog training is an activity of behavior analysis that applies the principle of natural selection to the dog’s social skills, using the existing environmental circumstances of antecedent and subsequent consequences to change the dog’s behavior, either to help in certain desired activities or undertake specific tasks, or for it be effectively able to perform in modern domestic life. In the simplest form, the analysis may be performed on instinct alone. However, it is also possible to do it on knowledge or experience. This latter approach has the advantage that you can analyze a dog’s performance in certain situations under controlled circumstances, and thus you will have a better idea of how a dog functions under varied sets of circumstances. The results can then be used to improve your dog’s performance in future undertakings.
The popularity of dog training is understandable when you consider that it can bring about remarkable improvements to your dog’s temperament and behavior. It has long been recognized as a valuable tool for transforming maladjusted canine toward socially acceptable behavior. However, some behavior trainers have viewed it as an ineffective means of changing behavior because of its “punishment” methods.
It is critical to keep in mind that dog training should not be considered as a form of punishment. Punishment, like training, requires the consistent application of an instruction until the outcome is achieved. Like classical conditioning, dog training uses positive reinforcement (increased amount of treats or praise) to influence your pet’s behavior by linking the good behaviors with the good stimulus (exposure to the conditioned stimulus). In addition, classical conditioning is based on the idea that the strength of a stimulus is dependent on the intensity of the animal’s pain or discomfort. This conditioning has been proven scientifically by many experts.
Although there are several forms of dog training, the two most popular methods are reinforcement and motivational training. Reinforcement method aims to condition the animal to react in a particular way by giving him an extra treat or reward whenever he behaves in a certain way that is desirable. Meanwhile, the use of motivational training focuses on positive reinforcements to encourage and motivate your pet to behave well.
Both types of dog training are effective. The operant (the reward or treat) is operant conditioning or classical conditioning. On the other hand, the motivational training uses operant and motivational types of operant conditioning. This type of training results to the same end as the classical conditioning; however, operant conditioning focuses more on the intensity rather than the frequency of the stimulus. As for the motivational training, it emphasizes the association of the reward with the desired behavior.
operant conditioning dog training uses a positive stimulus (food, praise, petting etc.) paired with the undesired response (getting angry). With the operant conditioning, your dog will simply respond to the positive stimulus, thus replacing it with the desired behavior. As for the motivational type, your dog will only respond to positive reinforcements, thereby eliminating the negative ones, thus strengthening his self-control and improving his temperament. However, both types of dog training have their own advantages.
Operant dog training requires the help of a professional trainer who can provide the positive and negative motivators to effectively condition your dog. Meanwhile, motivational dog training requires that you work with your pet dog to provide the positive and motivation needed by your pet dog to learn new behaviors and tricks. As a result, trainers may also be asked to conduct sessions with the dogs themselves in order to condition their response to the trainer’s commands. And in most cases, you need to continue to do this until your pet dog has learned all that he needs to know in order to be obedient and properly behaved.
To conclude, both operant and motivational dog training models have their own pros and cons. But as an owner, you should consider carefully which model fits your lifestyle better. As for the electronic training system, it may not be right for all dog owners due to its possibility to cause discomfort or injuries for the dogs and trainers, especially for those who are unfamiliar using electronic tools. And in regards to the operant model, dog training models such as the clicker training or the selective feed training are highly recommended by experts both in the field of animal behavior and dog training.