Positive Reinforcement Training For Dogs: We all know the comfort of warm praises and pats when we do something right. Just like humans, dogs too love praises. It’s a simple technique but is widely used to teach dogs the right behavior. It is technically referred to as positive reinforcement training which was first famously used by B.F. Skinner on his rats but today we use it worldwide to condition behavior.
Positive reinforcement for dogs works equally as it did for Skinner’s rats. It’s a way to reinforce a behavior by proving a desirable reward. They repeat the behavior in anticipation of receiving the reward again. It’s the most effective way to teach and shape your dog’s behavior.
Dog reinforcement training has its roots in psychology and thus carrying it out requires some prior guidelines. We at Buckaroos 360 Dog Care employ this technique to teach your dog behavior from basic commands to advanced behavioral training in Oklahoma.
What is Positive Reinforcement Training For Dogs?
Operant conditioning either adds or removes a desirable reward/ thing from your dog to reinforce a behavior. Today we will focus on the addition technique simply known as positive reinforcement training for dogs. Eg- Giving your dog a treat for doing something right.
The treat here acts as a positive reinforcer for your dog and they indulge in the same behavior consistently to receive the treat/ reinforcement again. It is not necessary to always provide treats as reinforcement. There are four distinct types of reinforcers-
- Natural reinforcement for dogs- food or water
- Tangialbe reinforcement for dogs- toys, play, or walks
- Social reinforcement for dogs- pats, praises, or belly rubs
- Token reinforcement for dogs- long drive or water park
The type of reinforcement you use to condition your dog will depend on your personality and likeness. If they love to play or walk more than treats then you can continue using it to condition your dog.
We at Buckaroos 360 Dog Care find the best reinforcer for your dog to make learning a fun activity for them.
Benefits of Positive Reinforcement Training For Dogs
We can also use negative reinforcement training for dogs as it brings quick results. But we don’t because it can negatively affect your dog’s mental health as happened in the widely known, ‘Little Albert Experiment’ by John Watson. So we at Buckaroos 360 prefer using positive reinforcement in Oklahoma. Here are some reasons why we love this training method-
Strong Bond With Dog
When you start positive reinforcement training, it helps you build a strong bond based on trust and support. Your dog starts looking at you as a lovable person instead as a whip master.
Keeps dogs Calm
The reward system after every right behavior reduces their impatient and aggressive tendencies and clams down their nervous system. Thus they become more friendly than aggressive.
Mental Stimulation For Dogs
If your dog sits and sleeps all day it will reduce its activity levels as they age. So training them can be the best mental stimulation they can receive. It keeps them occupied and forces their brains to think.
Build Dog’s Confidence
When praising and patting your dog instead of scolding them builds their self-esteem and boost their confidence. So go and praise your dog right now to keep up that spirit!
Long Term Benefits
Positive reinforcement training is proven to have more long-term benefits than negative or aversive training. Extinction of conditioned behavior is rarely seen in positive training after the reinforcement stops.
Avoid Punishing Your Dog
There is a reason why positive reinforcement works and not punishment. Negatively torturing your dog in anticipation that they would learn the desired behavior is a lie. It would only increase your dog’s fear and aggression toward you. They would eventually hit depression and become inactive if not treated early. So it’s best to carry out positive reinforcement even though you do not see results.
With time they would surely learn what you are trying to condition.
How To Use Positive Reinforcement For Dog Training?
There are some key guidelines to follow when using positive reinforcement training to condition your dog.
Clear Goals For Dog Training
When you start reinforcement training for a dog you first need to set up clear goals for training. These include the type of reinforcer/reward you use, the behavior you want to condition, the verbal cues you will use, and the frequency of rewards.
It is advised behaviorists use positive reinforcers that give feed their dog’s instincts. They also advise focusing on conditioning a single behavior than focusing on a range of behavior. They also advise using short verbal cues that the dog can easily understand.
Making a list of all these pointers will help you carry out the process in a more systematic and improved way.
If you aren’t consistent with the frequency of your rewards, then it might take longer for your dog to learn the behavior. Every family member is advised to use the same reward instead of changing it frequently. This will in turn confuse the dog and might reinforce the wrong behavior.
You need to only reward the right behavior otherwise this method won’t show your desired results.
What is the right time to reward a dog? Well, it’s best to reward them immediately after they successfully engage in the desired behavior. This is known as a continuous reward. Rewarding them beforehand or after a while won’t be effective. Once they get a hang of the behavior, shift to intermittent rewarding, where you reward your dog frequently for engaging in the right behavior. This avoids the extinction of behavior.
This way you teach your dog that if they continue the behavior they might get a treat occasionally. For that inconsistent reward, your dog won’t forget the behavior. Later on, they might do it to receive your praise instead of the reward.
Take Professional Help
If you are struggling to teach your dog even basic commands like sit, stay, or no then you need professional help. Sometimes the overdriven anxiety that your dog carries can make them inattentive to your commands and that’s where we at Buckaroos 360 can help. We provide world-class positive reinforcement training for dogs in Oklahoma.
All the above-mentioned tactics are tried and tested at our center. We do not take up an anxious, aggressive dog training case just to make an excuse later. We work full-fledged until you get your desired results.
So come visit Buckaroos 360 today, if you want the best for your dog!!
Positive reinforcement training for dogs is an effective method to condition your dog to the right behavior. It boosts their self-esteem, gives them mental stimulation, and prepares them for future cooperation with family members.
If you keep struggling while training your dog then give Buckaroos 360’s positive reinforcement training for dogs in Oklahoma a try!!
We insist on never hesitating to give your dog the life he deserves!!