- Dogs are rewarded for GOOD behavior with treats, praise, etc.
- Dogs are NOT punished for bad/inappropriate behavior.
- Choke, pinch, and shock collars are NOT used.
- Training is based on building a good relationship with your dog.
As our justice systems shows us, punishment does NOT change behavior. How many repeat offenders do we hear about in the news on a regular basis? Let’s make this more personal. Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket? Did it stop you from speeding? Probably not. It may have slowed you down for a time, or made you selective about when and where you speed. Ultimately, it made you smarter about how to get away with it, but did NOT change your desire to speed. Let’s think about motivational reward training at this moment. It might look like this. You were pulled over by a police officer for doing the speed limit. He gives you a $100.00 reward! Would you be more inclined to go the speed limit?
Now, you will be more successful at going the speed limit. Dogs need to be set up for success too. Learning is much easier when done in a nurturing environment. One where you are willing and allowed to make a mistake. We learn from our mistakes. ex. A teacher in a classroom asks a question. You are the student who thinks you know the answer. You raise your hand. The teacher calls on you. Unknowingly, you give the wrong answer. That teacher embarrasses you and makes you feel stupid. Later on the teacher asks another question. This time you are absolutely positive you know the answer. Are you going to raise your hand? Most likely not. You want to avoid the risk of embarrassment. Now, if when you answered the original question the teacher said,” Wow, that was a really good try, but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Try again.” Would you then be willing to extend yourself the next time a question is asked? The second response leaves you with the
feeling that it is ok to make a mistake and you should continue to try. You’ll get it soon, as long as you keep trying! Would punishment have helped YOU learn? When a punishment is instilled, especially during early learning, it usually leaves the dog feeling like he/she doesn’t want to risk being wrong for fear of punishment which inhibits learning.