There’s a very famous old axiom in the dog training industry that the only thing two dog trainers can agree on is that the third is wrong. There are probably as many dog training methods and techniques as there are trainers. Don’t let it discourage you though! Knowing that the number of dog training methods that exist can be overwhelming for many new dog parents, we have shortlisted some of the best ones.
Whether you’re looking to hire a dog trainer or want to train your pup yourself, the following dog training methods can give you the best results:
1. Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement dog training has been touted by a large number of dog trainers, including Obama’s dog trainer Sylvia-Stasiewicz. It is based on a simple ideology – reward your pet for every good behavior (immediately) and withdraw rewards or treats to discourage and rectify wrong behaviors. Positive reinforcement method strictly advises against using force or physical punishments.
Some other key aspects of positive reinforcement dog training is that the commands have to simple and short and you have to be consistent with rewarding and not rewarding.
2. Clicker Training
Clicker dog training method is based on the same principles as the positive reinforcement method and the two are often used together.
Clicker training involves using a clicker – a handheld device that makes a loud, sharp noise when clicked – to help dogs identify good behaviors. Every time a dog displays a good behavior, the trainer clicks the device before rewarding the dog. This helps the dog associate behaviors and rewards with the sound of the click.
3. Relationship-Based Dog Training
This dog training method is based on the idea that your dog too has feelings, capabilities, and limitations just like you and you need to take them into account while training your pet. Use techniques that do not stress out the dog and commands that they can easily comprehend. Do not put the dog in any stressful situation as it can affect the quality of relationship between the two of you. Also, give your pooch enough time to master each command; do not burden them with too many things at pace. Teach them at their pace not yours.
This type of dog training may work slowly, but if used the right way, it will ensure a healthy and happy pet.
The Final Word
Even though these are some of the most popular dog training methods, not all of them might work for every dog. The reason being that dogs, just like us humans, also have different personalities, learning potential, and behaviors. Hence, what works for one dog may not work for the other. You may have to experiment with different dog training methods or combine a few different techniques to have a method customized for your dog.
When in doubt, use positive reinforcement; it’s the most proven of all techniques. And when nothing seems to be working, do not hesitate to consult a professional dog trainer.