There are many methods of dog training. Some are more effective than others, and pets tend to respond more to one kind over another. Positive reinforcement dog training and the correction method are two of the most common training techniques. How do they compare to each other and how can you tell which one is best for your dog? Keep reading to find out.

Positive reinforcement dog training is so popular because it uses rewards and praise to help a dog learn the right way to behave. The dog associates a certain behavior with a particular happy outcome, which helps him learn to continue the behavior. Positive reinforcement training encourages your dog to want to please you by behaving in a way that elicits an upbeat reaction.

Benefits of Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

Many people prefer this method of dog training because it focuses on the good. This makes the training experience more enjoyable for your dog (and for you). Offering a reward (treats, clicks) guides your dog into making the right behavior choice. Since the focus is on positive outcomes, it is also a great way to bond with your pup. It isn’t about a contest of wills and it avoids creating anxiety or aggression. Your dog needs clear communication and a positive reward to exhibit the desired behavior, which then builds your dog’s confidence. Positive reinforcement training tends to be more fun for your dog, and more helpful to teach obedience skills to last a lifetime. 

Keep the Focus Positive

One of the few caveats of this method of training is that you have to be careful about how your dog sees rewards. If she steals some cookies left on the counter while you are not looking for example, she might consider this a positive reward. In order to avoid this confusion, make sure to use positive reinforcement any time you see good behavior. This way your dog will associate the reward specifically with you instead of just getting something she wants.

We do not recommend correction based training which focuses on punishing “bad” behavior to teach a dog how to behave. It creates anxiety and is about who is dominant. We recommend redirecting attention when undesirable behaviors are being exhibited, and we do not punish a growl as this is a dog’s way of communicating they are uncomfortable with a situation. If we punish the growl, they learn to not give this effective communication warning in the future.

At Union Lake Pet Services, we believe that positive reinforcement dog training is the most effective and kindest way to train your dogs. Our certified Karen Pryor Academy Certified Trainers use a combination of praise, positive reinforcement, and guidance to make training both rewarding and fun for your canine companions. To learn more about our training process, please call (248) 363-6262.