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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Price

What kind of Dog Training do you use?

I believe in the use and effectiveness of "Balanced Dog Training."


 

Every dog is different and using a cookie cutter approach for each dog does not produce lasting results. Positive only methods slow down the communication process and take much longer and many more repititions to see results. Choosing an aversive only method is a thing of the past. There is no way to grow a healthy bond with a dog if you're not giving them positive feedback. The dog could grow to have learned helplessness and give up thinking no matter what they do, they will never succeed. The dog, just like people, are motivated to work when a reward is presented. Rewards can be treats

, toys, belly rubs, positive phrases like "good" and "nice, and petting or cuddling" Would you work for no pay?


Choosing a balanced method, I have more tools in my toolbox to adequately train each dog for their unique and specific needs. Dogs have different temperaments and require different kinds and levels of corrections.


I always begin with high value treats to teach (communicate) with the dog to paint a clear picture of what I want. I do not use aversive methods until after the dog shows that he/she has made the association of behavior = reward and they are consistently following the command and have generalized what they are to do. Generalizing simply means, teaching your dog that when you ask them to perform a behavior, it means the same thing regardless of the scenario or environment you are in. (This is why I take the dogs I train into public spaces.) It would be inhumane to correct a dog if they don't understand what you want to begin with.


The purpose of a correction in dog training is not to punish a dog for bad behavior, but rather to change a dog's behavior. It quickly communicates what is expected whether it's boundaries, distractions, or etiquette that you're working on.


To be more clear, balanced dog training is a style of dog training that uses various tools and methods to communicate effectively with your dog, including both positive and aversive methods. It focuses on striking a balance between reward-based training (positive reinforcement) and the appropriate use of punishment or correction (negative reinforcement) to promote obedience and sense of control in both the owner and the pet.


Positive reinforcement involves rewarding desired behaviors to increase the likelihood of the behavior happening again. On the other hand, aversive methods involve using certain tools or techniques to correct undesirable behavior and discourage the repetition of such behavior. Once the dog knows a command, they should ALWAYS behave accordingly. If not, they are knowingly being disobedient. Some of the aversive tools commonly used in balanced dog training include prong collars and e-collars. When used correctly, these tools can help with behavior modification such as barking, chewing, biting, nipping, jumping, and aggression.


In balanced dog training, it is essential to monitor the dog for any distress signals during the training sessions and modify the training plan if the dog shows any signs of discomfort. The key is to use both positive and aversive methods with consistency and adapt the approach depending on the individual dog's needs and responses. The balanced approach is often considered effective for treating various behavioral issues and promoting better communication between the owner and the dog.


Overall, balanced dog training aims to build a healthy bond between the owner and the dog while ensuring that the dog understands expectations and boundaries through a balance of both reward and correction.



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