Dog obedience training : Positive Reinforcement vs Dominance Based Training
Owning a dog can be a rewarding and exciting experience. It can also be challenging and irritating if your dog does not listen to you. Proper dog training is the key to a happier, healthier relationship with your loyal friend.
The main objective of obedience training is to increase desired behavior and decrease unwanted behavior. You may want to train your dog to follow basic commands, such as sit, stay and lay down. However, perhaps your dog has negative behavioral issues, such as pulling on his leash or running away if he is off-leash, and you would like to correct these negative behaviors.
Positive Reinforcement Training
Positive Reinforcement training, also known as reward based training, is the most popular method of dog obedience training. This type of training reinforces desired behavior and motivates the dog to obey his master. The dog is rewarded with a treat and/or praise for responding favorably to a given command. For example, if you tell your dog to sit and he sits, you reward him. The idea behind this method is that the dog will learn to follow basic commands given by the owner and at some point, the dog will no longer need the reward him to be obedient as the behavior has become second nature to the dog.
One common form of positive reinforcement training for dogs is a method known as clicker training. As soon as the dog begins to perform the desired behavior, the owner clicks a clicker, which is basically a small device that when pressed, emits a clicking sound.
The dog will begin to associate the clicking sound with praise. Once the desired behavior is completed, a treat is given to the dog.
Dominance Based Training
Dominance based training is based on the belief that the owner needs to establish dominance, or the position of the alpha dog, rather than the dog. This method of obedience training utilizes physical correction. When the dog displays unwanted behavior, he is punished. The idea is that the dog will begin to associate certain behaviors with punishment and he will stop the undesired behavior. An example of dominance based training would be for you to put your knee into the chest of your dog if he jumps on you.
Shock collar training, also known as electronic collar training, is one common method of dominance based training. Basically, this form of obedience training emits an electric shock when the dog displays unwanted behavior. Generally this method is most commonly used for off leash training and teaching the dog to stay near the owner when off leash. It also can be used to correct unwanted behaviors. For example, you can shock your dog whenever he gets near something he is not supposed to be near or when he does not listen to basic known commands.
Dominance based training is a training method which is considered as a more harmful, often cruel and generally less effective training method. An increasingly large group of dog trainers and dog owners are strongly against this type of training and consider positive reinforcement training as the only acceptable method to train a dog.