If you are going to consult a dog behaviorist fredericksburg you’ll discover that they use various strategies depending on how your dog responds to training. Rest assured that these methods are backed up by science and research so they are safe to use on your dog. As a pet owner, we encourage you to learn about these methods so if ever you decide to continue training your dog at home, you’ll know what dog training techniques to use.
Classical Conditioning – the theory was popularized by Pavlov. He did an experiment on his dogs. He rang a bell whenever he fed his dogs. After some time, the ringing of the bell became associated with food. Whenever Pavlov would ring the bell, his dogs would drool and excitedly anticipate feeding time even without seeing the actual food.
The point of this theory is that Pavlov has successfully aroused his dogs to react when presented with a stimulus, a reaction that didn’t happen before. Before this experiment, his dogs didn’t react to the ringing bell. In classical conditioning, you’ll use a stimulus whether it’s sight, smell, or sound to trigger a reaction from your dog as a result of repeated association.
A good example of this is when your dog barks when it hears the doorbell ring as it has come to associate it with a stranger.
Operant Conditioning – this theory is more complicated as it encourages or discourages certain dog activities. Operant conditioning consists of four types. First is positive reinforcement, second is negative punishment, the third one is positive punishment, and last but not least negative reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement – this method involves giving your dog a reward if it behaves well. If your dog obeys your command you can give your dog a treat. For example, if it behaves and lies down while you work, it deserves a treat. According to studies, this is one of the most effective methods in dog training and it’s also the most popular technique in teaching dogs certain behaviors. When you use this method, you’ll reward your dog for being good and ignore your dog if it behaves badly. When you consistently practice this method of discipline, your dog will strive to do good to impress you because it knows that doing good will equate to freedom, food, or fun.
Negative punishment – this form of discipline involves taking away something good when your dog does something bad. People often think the term “punishment” involves physical force or violence but in operant conditioning, it means you are taking away something that your dog considered valuable. An example of this discipline is removing yourself when your dog starts barking at you. In this example, your presence is viewed as a reward. Negative punishment will compel your dog to change its behavior into something that you would find pleasing.
Positive punishment – positive punishment is subjecting your dog to physical force when it does something undesirable. The term positive denotes that you are adding a negative element (punishment) that’s why it’s coined positive punishment.
If this confuses you just remember that when you say negative punishment you are removing something that your dog considered desirable while positive is adding something undesirable. Positive punishment include activating an electric collar, using a chain, hitting your dog, or yelling at your dog. This form of discipline is rarely used because it is viewed as damaging to your and your dog’s relationship.
Negative reinforcement – this involves removing something unpleasant when your dog does something good. Just like positive punishment, this form of training is seen as ineffective and it often leads to a terrified and anxious dog.
If you’re not sure what type of discipline to use on your dog, try consulting with dog training experts. They can give you insight as to what’s best for your dog.