Pet Training-- Exactly what Works, And Exactly what Doesn't.
Numerous canine training approaches are based upon what makes the OWNER feel good, rather than on what actually makes good sense to the PET DOG. For instance ..."Favorable only" canine training is a big fad right now.
With "favorable only" canine training, you bribe your pet to do something with food or a toy. If he does the preferred behavior, he gets the benefit.
If he chooses not to do it ... absolutely nothing happens. You don't provide him the benefit, you do not show him ways to do the habits, you simply stand and wait ... and hope.
"Positive only" pet dog training frequently includes a clicker gadget-- a little metal tab that makes a clicking noise when pressed with your thumb. Remote control training is a kind of "operant conditioning" (a term a few of you may acknowledge from your college psych classes).
Here's how it works: You click the remote control at the precise instant your canine is doing some desired behavior. You then right away offer a reward. The canine thus finds out that whenever he hears the clicking noise, whatever behavior he was doing at that instant will bring him food.
The issues with "positive only" pet training.
Favorable only dog training and clicker training sound extremely honorable, and if your pet is food-oriented, this training technique works well for teaching enjoyable things-- like techniques-- where it really does not matter whether your pet dog obeys or not. If you inform him to shake hands or roll over, and he does not do it, who cares?
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But for teaching your canine to come when called in the presence of diversions or temptations ... for teaching your pet dog to stand quietly while his teeth are brushed or his coat is groomed ... for teaching your pet dog to act pleasantly toward complete strangers and other animals, and for teaching your dog all the other sorts of habits you want a civilized family pet to do (or not do!), positive-only pet dog training simply doesn't cut it.
Think of it. What occurs when you want your dog to stop going after a feline and come to you-- but at that particular moment he's not hungry and would rather chase after the cat rather than munch on a biscuit?
Here's how it works: You click the clicker at the exact instant your dog is doing some preferred habits. You then instantly provide a treat. The pet dog hence learns that whenever he hears the clicking noise, whatever behavior he was doing at that immediate will bring him food.