By Laura Sutherland~
Thank goodness canine training methods have come a long way!
Despite the old coercive/punitive style of decades past, science has proven that operant conditioning and relationship-based training are key.
These methods mostly consist of rewards for compliance and removal of rewards for non-compliance.
Without negativity in training, dogs learn and bond with their humans much quicker.
And, of course, we never strike or harm the animal in any way.
Most dogs love to work. Fifi often resorts to barking at anything that moves because she thinks keeping the home “safe” from intruders is her job. Luckily, training is also a form of work to keep her occupied. Taking the time to work with Fifi to solidify basic obedience, followed by some fun tricks, goes a long way to keep her employed with constructive behavior.
Toys, puzzles, and brain games are also effective for training. Work and other obligations means many families must leave their fur babies at home for extended periods of time.
But if you keep Fifi busy, she’ll hardly notice your absence! Various pet companies offer several items which owners can stuff with treats and leave around the house. Something as simple as a rubber Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter is an excellent way to have your dog associate your leaving with a tasty treat.
Socialization is also part of the modern trend and should be routine. Experts say many types of sights and sounds, in various environments, should be introduced to a puppy between eight and 20 weeks of age.
It is also beneficial to expose new pups to many types of people: young children, adults, men, women, people in uniforms, the loud- and soft-spoken, and folks of all different races and ethnicities. A well-socialized dog is a happy and easy-to-be-around dog.
With these early exposures, pet parents won’t have to worry about sudden adverse reactions to new demographics or environments. The pup will be happy to greet anyone and everyone with equal composure.
It is a great time to be a dog and a great time to own one! Modern training methods keep dog trainers, pet sitters, toy manufacturers, groomers, and other pet industry folks employed at a crucial time. It’s a win/win for all.
On behalf of all of us, good job and thank you. You deserve a treat!