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  • Writer's pictureMecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI

The Power Of Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

Positive reward - based training is very powerful. As a Positive Reinforcement Trainer my goal is to always train in a very positive manner.

I have worked with dog's that needed basic training and dogs with behavior problems. Never once have I used harsh punishment on a dog. It is my goal to reward the behaviors I desire and ignore the rest.

I have worked with clients that has asked what to do when a dog does not give the behavior. A good example is a dog learning to "sit" but the dog moves or gets up. The dog moves then there is no reward. Once again ask the dog to "sit" once the dog's bottom is on the ground use a verbal reward-marker and I use "Yes" and quickly reward with a small piece of treat. Timing is very important in training. You have one second to reward the dog. Yes that is quick!

Be enthusiastic about training and be in a good mood. There is no need to use harsh punishment when training a dog.

When I am training a dog to walk nice on a leash it all starts with choosing a good management tool. I like using a front clip type harness, I also will recommend an Easy Walk or the Gentle Leader for dogs that do pull. These are management tools and you must train the dog too. The goal is to get the dog to understand that pulling is not acceptable. The training helps an owner to not become reliable on the management tool.

When a dog pulls I stop so the dog begins to understand pulling does not mean we continue moving forward. This is where I find what really works best for the dog. I sometimes make a neutral noise to see if the dog will come back or if I have trained the dog for "touch" I will use that too. But once again all I have done is just stop. We are not moving forward and I am always carrying treats to reward the dog for good behavior.

Positive training has much power!

There is no need in using aversive training tools such as choke, prong or shock. There is much power in rewarding behaviors we desire and ignoring the rest.

When a dog does not give the behavior you can use something like "Oh Too Bad" sometimes I use a sound.

When you are thinking about training and want to make a good choice then think about positive reinforcement training. Dogs will repeat good behavior when it's being rewarded. Correction only needs to happen by removing a toy or a reward.

Mecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI

Behavior Specialist

Sheboygan, WI.

© 2020 Mecca Curtice, Mecca's All Breed Dog Training, LLC.

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