Can Never Step in the Same River Twice •
ARTICLES & ADVICE
FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY
No matter what you are training, dogs, cats,
horses, spouses, children, the basics are the same. To change behavior,
change both how you
interact and the timing of the interaction. Misbehaving should not
games, food, being let outside because this rewards the behavior you
seeking to change. Pay attention to good behavior and take that time to
talk and treat or feed your pet then. Animals learn quickly what
gets rewarded, and will try to seek your approval.
Training today concentrates more on positive reinforcement which means
you add something rewarding or pleasant to your pet's environment to
increase the likelihood of getting a desired behavior. The other side
reinforcement is extinction, the removal of all positive reinforcement
decrease or extinguish the unwanted behaviors. (You may have seen this
in school, think of Pavlov's Dogs, and your Psychology classes.)
Start thinking of punishment in a new light, consider it more like
and less like beating a red-headed stepchild. With all animal behavior
there are three basic behavior modifications: reinforce the behavior
want to see when it happens; removing positive reinforcement and
for the behavior you don't want to see when it happens; catching the
in the act and startling them into quitting and then redirecting them
something more appropriate.
The positive approach to training seeks to teach animals without
them. As with any training method there are some guidelines to
Using positive training methods teaches your
pet your rules so they don't
have an opportunity to invent their own rules.
- Do not punish/discipline/correct the dog
after the fact. If you come
home from work and pooch has eaten the dry wall, you have missed your
You need to see pooch committing the crime to correct the behavior.
- Do not use pain or corporal punishment.
If you inflict pain on your
dog, you may create an aggressive dog that is more of a problem than
issues you were having.
- Do not punish the dog by isolating them
in the yard or stuffed into
their crate / kennel / carrier away from interaction.
- Do not jerk on a training collar
(sometimes called a choke chain) to
correct your dog. Training collars used incorrectly can cause permanent
to you pet's windpipe, neck and spine. Learn how to use your collars
to avoid these issues.
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