January is National Train Your Dog Month! Through this national promotion we hope to promote how positive reinforcement based training can create a lasting bond between you and your dog.
Dog trainers are an unregulated industry, and training itself has many forms and tools. Anyone can claim they are a trainer! Please educate yourself and never do anything to your dog, in the name of training, that doesn’t feel right.
Here are three common myths regarding Positive Reinforcement training:
Myth #1 – Positive Reinforcement training is all about food rewards.
FACT – Positive Reinforcement training uses many rewards, not just food. A good trainer identifies what motivates each individual dog and encourages those reinforcers be used in training. This can include social interactions, access to “fun” things, playtime, and yes, food rewards.
Myth #2 – Positive Reinforcement trainers never “punish” the dog.
FACT – Positive Reinforcement trainers will use punishment in training. Removal of a reward, by definition, is punishment. So if a person walks away from a dog that is jumping up, this is a punishment. Positive Reinforcement based training, rarely, if ever, uses physical punishment of a dog in the name of training.
Myth #3 – Positive Reinforcement training fails to set rules/boundaries for the dog.
FACT – Dogs are much happier with consistent routines and leadership. Positive reinforcement training rewards the dog for the right behavior and encourages owners to set the dog up for success. Creating a routine that the dog can perform predictably, such as sitting before the door opens, helps create rules for both the owner and dog.
We encourage our students to be educated. For more great information on Choosing the Right Trainer visit the Association of Professional Dog Trainer’s website at https://apdt.com/pet-owners/choosing-a-trainer/