Owning a dog gives you a lot of personal pleasure and satisfaction in life. A dog gives unconditional love and companionship to a loving owner. A trained dog increases your happiness and satisfaction as well as creating a more zen relationship. Research has proved that a well-trained dog is a happier animal than an untrained one. As a dog trainer, my goal is always to have a happy dog that I can control in all situations, including its interaction with other animals and kids. I have been achieving this with different dog training techniques.
In the world of experienced dog trainers, individual trainers have different techniques. We have different methods, skills, and beliefs on how to train dogs. What works for one trainer may not work for the other. But, there are some dog training techniques that will always work. The following are the different types of dog training techniques you can use when training your dogs.
Alpha dog training technique
This technique relies on the dog’s natural pack mindset to create a relationship of proper obedience and dominance. It makes the dogs regard their owners as their pack leaders and follow a social hierarchy just like pack wolves. When canines see themselves as alpha, they must learn to respect and submit to their human owners.
Some of the techniques used in this training include understanding the dog body language and reacting accordingly, projecting authority and confidence, and entering or leaving the room first, including walking the dog on a leash. If they want to eat, they should wait quietly while you are preparing their food. Normally, with alpha training, you don’t let your puppy be on the couch or bed with you. Because these are signs that show they have an equal place in the relationship. As a pack leader, you are in charge.
Positive reinforcement technique
The second dog training technique includes praising and rewarding your puppy for good behavior, or when doing the right thing. Dogs will replicate good behavior if it is rewarded. Bad behavior receives neither reward nor recognition. If there is a need for punishment it should come in the form of removing the rewards, such as taking away it’s toy or treats. Cruel rebukes or physical punishment should not be used at any time.
This training technique has to do with rewarding the desired behavior instantly, a few seconds after it occurs. In this way, the dog will relate the reward with the behavior. Only the desired behaviors get rewards, the reward can be toys, treats, and praise. To avoid overfeeding when using treats as a reward, it is better to use small foods to reward your dog. The positive emotions in your dog will make him want to continue to please you and repeat the process.
Clicker training technique
This third training technique is based on voluntary behavior and heavily relies on the same principles like positive reinforcement. Clicker training can be classified as a means of positive reinforcement rather than a method of training. It depends on the use of a device to make a sharp and quick sound. Like a whistle or as the name implies, a clicker is used to signal to the dog when the desired behavior is accomplished. This is a great way to teach new tricks and it can help shape the basics to more complex tasks.
Many dog trainers use this method. The benefit of using clicker training is that it signals the exact moment when the desired behavior is accomplished. Professional trainers can then use the clicker to add verbal commands and shape the new behavior. The dog needs to first interpret a click as a sound that a reward is coming. Then it can relate the behavior with a click and a reward.
Mirror training technique
This fourth training technique depends on the fact that pooches learn through observation. By offering a model of good behavior or a rival to contest for resources, pooches learn to imitate behaviors. Therefore, the trainer can have someone to act as a model, praising the dog for completing chores on command or rebuking them for their annoying behavior. As an observer, the dog learns what to do and how to do it right from the model. This training technique relies on a similar principle; using the owner as a model, then giving rewards for imitating good behavior. In simple terms, the dog learns through example.
This training technique operates the same level of success as positive reinforcement. But, some dog trainers might find this more natural and preferable. If you share a strong bond with your puppy and it can spend some time to observe you and follow you around, then this technique may be more comfortable than the regular training sessions.
This is the fifth and the last on our list. This technique combines different training methods, though it’s concentration on a more personalized approach for the dog and its owner. The purpose of this technique is to meet the needs of both the dog and its trainer. To help strengthen their bond and improve communication between them, it is basically a mutual benefit. The dog owner needs to read his dog’s body language, what are the most pleasing rewards for the dog and how to meet the dog basic needs before starting each training session.
For instance, a dog needs to learn to “sit” in a silent room before trying to perform the command in a park with children, squirrels and other distractions. Difficulty escalates bit by bit. When the dog does not perform the desired behavior, owners need to know why, instead of punishing the dog. This relationship-based training creates a deep bond, but it needs time and patience. There may not be much difference between this technique and other training methods; it seems to include many aspects of other techniques that have proven successful. Regardless of the training technique used, it improves your relationship with your dog and this bond will surely help you continue the training.