Have you ever wished that the secrets of dog behavior training were available to anyone who wished to take their dog obedience training to a new level? The truth is that proper dog training can be simple for anyone who is willing to educate themselves on the best way to communicate with man’s best friend. In order to succeed at puppy training or adult dog training you must first understand why dogs do what they do. There are only two reasons why a dog performs any behavior:
1- To increase pleasure: Have you ever wondered why your dog pees on the floor, chews up your couch, and jumps on your guests? That’s right, these activities produce pleasure for your dog. It’s as simple as that. If these behaviors didn’t produce a fun experience then your dog wouldn’t do them. Any time you wish to correct behavior problems with your dog it is important to first realize that your dog is doing these things out of pure pleasure.
2- To avoid discomfort: Old school dog behavior training prescribed a very harsh method of correcting behavior problems and fomented a dog obedience regimen that was very disciplinarian in it’s root form. That type of dog training is unnecessary and will often do more harm than good.
Very skilled dog behavior training, though, should use humane corrections that merely provide an annoying deterrent to help correct behavior problems. Humane corrections can run the gamut from spray bottles to annoying noises all the way to training collars. Yes, used properly, a training collar can be a very valuable and humane tool for getting rid of unwanted behavior problems. It is recommended that you seek out the services of a qualified professional if you are going to use such a tool. These dog training collars are merely used to provide an annoying feeling and not a painful feeling.
In understanding these two concepts it is then much easier to formulate a training program that will fit your individual dog. With my own dogs or with the dogs of clients I always have a two-fold approach to training:
1- Obedience training must be mandatory. This is where the new school of dog trainers go wrong. The new school of dog obedience training uses lots of treats. The correction for an unwanted behavior is often a simple ignoring of said behavior. This style of dog training will never make obedience a mandatory endeavor for your dog. Think about it, if your dog has the option to come when called to get a treat or run wildly towards a busy street in the direction of a fleeing cat, which option do you think your dog will take? Likely he will head to the street and risk life and limb for the cat. This is because the owner never enforced their training efforts to the point where obedience is mandatory.
2- Obedience training must be fun. Just because something is mandatory doesn’t mean it also shouldn’t be fun. Dog behavior training is intrinsically fun for your dog because your dog gets to work side by side with you. Your dog is able to bond as he learns from you and learns a deep level of trust as you guide him along with his training. If you skip this step then you may have an obedient dog, but he sure won’t enjoy it.
I have referenced old school and new school dog training practices. Old school training is harsh and rough. New school is all fun and games. To truly have the best trained dog you need to combine the best of both schools. From the old school we use corrections to get rid of unwanted behaviors. From the new school we use a great deal of motivation and fun. The end result is the best trained dog on the block.
When you understand dog behavior training and how your dog views his world you can truly accomplish amazing things with your canine companion. Dog training can truly be made easy when you live these principles, rather than practice them at random intervals throughout the day. It’s time to get to work!