Positive reinforcement in dogs
Many people search the internet for methods to solve the problems that arise during the education of their companion animals and that is where the positive reinforcement in dogs comes in, a good tool to contribute to their learning. The training of a puppy is not only applicable in its stages of puppy, since this also continues in the adult life of the dog to reinforce its behavior.
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In other words, behavior strengthens when it is followed by positive reinforcement. The term “positive” means that the booster appears or is added soon after the behavior. Positive reinforcements are often pleasant things to the individual, or things for which the individual is willing to do some work.
In this article from YourCatCareguide we will tell you about positive reinforcement in dogs and the effectiveness and results they present in training.
What is positive reinforcement
There are many methods and different techniques of canine training in the world, including positive reinforcement, an option that allows our dog to perceive and relate positively to perform an activity, order, etc.
Carrying it out is simple: it consists of rewarding with treats , caresses and words of affection our dog when correctly performing an order. Unlike other methods, the dog understands the whole process in a more fun and makes you feel useful following our directions.
In this way, we can reward you when you sit or paw, when you show a calm attitude, when playing right, etc. Positive reinforcement is applicable in a multitude of cases.
The most common positive reinforcers in dog training are food and games . However, there are also other enhancers that you can use. All dogs are different from each other, and each has particular preferences. Therefore, it is not possible to state that all dogs have to be trained with this or that type of food or that, a given game serve as a booster in all cases.
The clicker is an advanced tool that applies positive reinforcement with a small instrument that makes sound thus improving the attention and perception in the animal.
Getting started in the clicker is a great idea if we are thinking of educating our dog, since it allows us to “capture” certain behaviors of the dog when the use is already advanced. If you already know how it works, find out how to load the clicker to start practicing with your dog.
More training tools
Reprimanding and punishing our dog is not a way to educate him , since we put him under a generalized stress situation, which causes him to respond in a worse way and to remember less of what we are trying to communicate.
In addition, we must remember that after some time the dog no longer remembers what he did wrong and that shows submission only because he knows we are bored. He will shrink and be scared because he knows he has done something wrong but does not really understand why.
Punishment methods such as the electric shoplifter or the electric shock collar are very dangerous and negative instruments for the dog, since it has been proven that they can cause the dog to direct its anger towards those who are nearer, behavior can become an aggressive, apathetic and antisocial dog.
Benefits of positive reinforcement
The truth is that both coaches, educators, ethologists and veterinarians always recommend positive reinforcement in the dog’s education, since making the puppy learn in a more fun way makes them remember more easily.
In addition, positive reinforcement allows better relaxation between pet and owner, which makes our pet feel loved, in addition to feeling well-being and socially opening up.
It is the ideal kind of education for people without experience in dog care and for people who already have experience because it gives the opportunity to positively educate our dog making him feel happy and respected.
Correct use of positive reinforcement
In our article about teaching your dog to sit down , you can watch how we use the food for the dog to do the trick, and once it succeeds, you must reward it (we are using positive reinforcement) to understand that you did it well . Repeating and continuing to enforce this order helps the dog understand that he is doing it well and that he is being rewarded for his abilities.
Incorrect use of positive reinforcement
If you are teaching your dog to paw , for example, you should make sure to reward good greeting once you have done it correctly. If we let too much time pass between the action and the prize or, on the contrary, we anticipate, we are causing the dog does not correctly relatethe order with the treat.
Educating your puppy takes time and patience, but something much more important, the accuracy of rewarding the animal at the right time.
One of the most common mistakes when scolding the dog is to scold the dog out of the way, that is, when it has been some time to do something wrong. This type of behavior harms the animal and creates confusion.