5 Famous Dog Training Hacks to Modify Unwanted Behaviour in Dogs
The most frequent complaints of dog owners are the unwanted dog behaviours such as chewing, jumping up, food stealing, aggression, etc. Even after hiring professional dog trainers, the optimum satisfaction is not achieved.
However, some dog owners who prefer to train their pooch at home by using these 5 training methods have found success. Moreover, they begin training at a young age of the dog to modify his behaviour and smartly manipulate his psyche.
These 5 effective and famous training methods are based on researches conducted on the canine mind and thought processes:
- Clicker Training
- Scientific Training
- Positive Reinforcement
- Mirror Training
- Relationship Based Training
The first three methods are linked to each other and are based on the stimulus-response system. The last two are based on the human-canine relation.
Clicker training is conditioning of canine mind in Pavlov’s fashion. The dog identifies the sound of the clicker and performs the task at hand or follows the owner’s command to gain the reward. Clicker training and positive reinforcement go hand in hand. Moreover, it helps the dog to understand which of his behaviour is getting rewarded.
Clickers are great instruments to teach new behaviour and new tricks. If your Fido walks ahead of you, you can recall him using the clicker as it signals reward to the dog as well.
Reward, however, can be physical or non-physical and you should switch between different kinds of rewards to avoid bribing the dog as this sends the wrong message!
With more research in dog training and behaviour modification, scientific training evolves itself and includes those updated techniques. The prominent training technique is operant conditioning which is similar to positive reinforcement.
Operant conditioning is based on the reward-punishment method, that is, the Fido is rewarded for performing the desired behaviour and punished for not performing the desired behaviour.
Four methods are used in operant conditioning to condition the dog’s mind according to consequences. They are 'positive and negative reinforcement' and 'positive and negative punishment.' It is the conditioning of mind along with clickers towards or away from a behaviour. You can distract your fido from unwanted behaviour to rewarding behaviour.
You can use the operant conditioning to distract a dog from negative behaviour and shift his attention towards a rewarding behaviour. With repetition, the pooch will stop repeating the old behaviour.
Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, the Obama’s dog trainer, introduced positive reinforcement. The underlying philosophy of positive reinforcement is that the dog responds and repeats the behaviour that’s rewarded, and discontinues the behaviour that goes unrewarded. The only punishment is “withholding of the reward.”
The dog trainer has to persist in rewarding the good behaviour and punishing the pooch for inappropriate behaviour. The reward is given when the dog is still performing the action. Delays in reward can confuse the dog about what’s being rewarded. Positive reinforcement is a proven technique to mould pup behaviour and to modify negative dog behaviour.
Mirror training or model-rival training utilizes the toddler-level mind of the dog. The dog learns through observation. The owner may model the desired behaviour to make the dog follow him, or else he can ask a young one in the house to do so. When the right behaviour is rewarded, the dog replicates it to get the reward too. This training develops a close affiliation of the dog with his owner.
This behaviour modification technique can prove best for those owners who have a strong bond with their pooch. Such love and affiliation create a desire for the dog to follow the owner’s actions and to try to make him happy. In return, for the love of pooch, you can let him explore the surroundings using sturdy retractable leashes.
This training technique mainly focuses on the bond between owner and dog. Punishments are not induced instead the reason for ‘not performing the desired action’ is found out.
Relationship-based training is an amalgam of different training techniques to fulfil the needs of both the owner and the dog. It is useful for dog owners who can understand the body language and needs of their dog, and, in return, their dog tries to satisfy the owner.
The dog owners using this technique can read the dog’s body language, understand the best rewards that motivate their dogs, and know how to meet the necessities of the dog before training sessions. Distraction is switched to a minimum during the initial training session. The dog attempts to satisfy the owner and gain rewards and praise in exchange for good actions.