Updated: Nov 9, 2022
For me, positive reinforcement is the best educational method. I highly recommend it to dog owners who want their pet to progress.
It allows in particular to develop a bond between man and dog, capable of understanding about three hundred codes, verbal or gestural. My dog masters about twenty-five.
No matter how old it is, it's important to keep teaching your dog things. Many believe that a dog, once an adult, can learn nothing more: like a human, the animal can acquire new behaviors throughout its existence.
Positive reinforcement is a training method to teach your dog new tricks or change bad behavior (like barking when the doorbell rings). Everything resides in the repetition of an order, whose adequate response is rewarded with a “motivator”.
The principle of positive reinforcement:
The motivator (treat, kibble, sausage, ball, etc.) will encourage your dog to understand what you expect of him. The more the motivator interests him, the more he will strive to succeed, to please you, to obtain his gratification. If food does not motivate your dog, you can also use a toy.
We reward good behavior while ignoring bad ones.
Thanks to positive reinforcement, the dog will always want to provide more diligent work!
Conversely, negative reinforcement, based on constraint, frustrating, provides a minimal response.
We know that "all work deserves a salary", and if the salary is based on the quality of the work, we strive to produce the best to earn a good reward. Ditto for the dog, who, attracted by the reward, will work to satisfy you to receive it.
Thus, you have to "pay" to see your dog your dog perform a "ball roll", an unnatural movement, in short, give him a treat!
How positive reinforcement works with a dog:
If the dog reacts correctly to the command “sit!” », we reward him immediately, not five minutes later: the timing is important since it allows memorizing the exact association order/response..
Motivating him, for the rest of his life? Of course not, it only serves the duration of the training. Once the reaction to a given order has been acquired, whatever the environment (in the street, in the forest, at home, among other dogs, in a puddle of water, etc.), the motivator is gradually removed. It will only be given back randomly: the dog continues to obey, motivated by the idea of obtaining a reward.
Mistake not to make: show the treat to the dog to motivate him. This must remain hidden in your pocket. Otherwise, we can remain a prisoner of the reward.
Positive reinforcement is a proven, effective educational method, which also allows you to develop a real bond between you and your dog. The absence of constraint promotes serene learning, with, on the other hand, a lot of training and patience. The exercise is acquired only when it can be done in all situations!