All behavior professionals at Delighted Dog Training Academy utilize current, humane, science based methods. With a holistic approach to behavior, you will learn to set your dog up for success. You DO NOT need to use pain, force, fear or intimidation to teach or modify behavior – even the difficult behavior! Family friendly training methods using good sense management and positive reinforcement will help you reach your training and behavior goals.
Positive reinforcement simply means following a behavior with something your dog likes to increase the chance they will do that behavior again. There are many misconceptions about using positive reinforcement – like that you must carry treats forever, or it is only good for tricks. It is actually a simple and effective way to quickly teach your dog what you like.
It’s Fun! – – Dogs love to play, just like us. Work their brain, teach them something new, build on something they already know – good training is cooperative. A good teacher makes the game challenging, but achievable.
Low risk – – Even if you make a big mistake when using positive reinforcement, the risk of causing any lasting damage is very low. When using correction based methods that rely on fear, pain and intimidation, going too far can make your pet fearful and aggressive. It isn’t easy to know where that line is, it is different for every dog. Once it is crossed, repairing the damage is a long road. These methods can damage or destroy the bond you have with your pet. We just don’t think it is worth the risk!
Confidence building – – Dogs taught using only positive reinforcement based methods are more willing to try new behaviors. They learn more quickly, and feel free to experiment, knowing that when they find the right answer it pays! Getting a pay off for making a choice is great for confidence, and confident dogs are better behaved, and easier to train.
Great relationships – – Good communication is the basis for strong relationships. Training is a great way to build communication with your pet. Each time you reinforce a behavior, they learn what you expect. Working with a trainer is a great way to make sure the lines of communication work both ways. We can help you make sure you are able to read your dog’s communication too.
Proactive – – The focus when using positive reinforcement in on what you want your dog to do, instead of a reactive response after the fact. When you teach your dog what you would like from them, they will be more likely to offer appropriate behaviors, instead of making choices you don’t like. Unfortunately, reactive responses often inadvertently reinforce the problem behavior. Any attention is good attention in many cases.
Attention – – Your dog will have more motivation to engage with you, because they know you are the source of all the good stuff! Use the things they love to reinforce behavior you like, it’s a win-win!
It’s simple – – There’s no need for complicated or scary equipment that make you wonder why you even got a dog. Watch for the behavior you like, and make sure they get paid with something they like. All positive reinforcement training is just a variation on this theme.
It’s safe – – Have you heard you have to wait to start training your puppy? Historically, that recommendation comes from trainers that use collars/equipment that apply significant pressure or shock. The chance of causing damage with these tools when used on a young, developing puppy are high, so they would wait until they felt the dog could ‘handle it’. In addition, toy breed and those with short snouts can be at high risk from damage for these kinds of tools. Positive reinforcement works with any age, any breed, any size. It also works with any species – yes, including people!
Lasting results – – Behaviors trained using positive reinforcement are strong, and long lasting, because the dog does them because they are fun and feel good. They aren’t avoiding being punished when they behave, or worried what might happen when they can’t figure out the right choice.
Science based – – The use of positive reinforcement in training is based in the study of learning theory, animal behavior, neuroscience and biology. The field is growing and improving all the time!