Friday, June 6, 2008

Dog Training - How to Decide the Best Training Technique For Your Dog

Dog training. There are as many opinions are there are dog owners. We all want well-behaved dogs. Yet the same technique may work for your golden retriever but not for your lab. How do you decide what method is the best for your dog? You experiment.
Transforming your dog's behavior is the goal of many dog owners. Sometimes the best thing for your dog is a combination of several different methods. Below are some different training techniques. You should choose the one that you are comfortable using and the one that is best suited to your dog.
Reward Training. This is usually the first method many people use because most dogs are highly motivated by food. Giving a dog a reward for something he does "right" teaches him to associate his good behavior with a treat. Giving treats, in addition to praise, is often highly effective.
Clicker Training. This is similar to reward training because it is often used with treats. When your dog does something good, you will click the clicker, then give him a treat. Soon, through classical conditioning, he will associate the clicker with good behavior and know that he will be getting a treat.
Choke/Prong Collar Training. These collars are sometimes controversial. Many people associate these collars with inhumane treatment mainly because the majority of people use them improperly. The idea behind this type of training is that when you pull on the collar to "choke" or "pinch" the dog's neck, he is supposed to recognize that he is being corrected for an undesirable behavior. The hope is because it is uncomfortable to him, he will not repeat the behavior. The loose collar is the reward for discontinuing the unwanted behavior.
Head Collar Training. There are a few different types of head collars. These are basically "harness" leads and include the Gentle Leader and the Haiti. They have a strap that goes around the dogs nose and around the back on his head. If he tries to eat a stick or pull out in front of you, for example, you pull on the leader and redirect his movement.
Electric Collar Training. Using an electric collar is also a controversial training method. You should administer a small electric shock only to correct undesirable behavior. It is essential that you be fully trained in this method of training. Both the timing of the shock and the timing of the reprimand are very important as the dog must learn to associate it with the correction.
Dog Whispering. This is a fairly new form of training but one that is gaining popularity. It is based on understanding the body language and behavior of your dog and learning to communicate in a way the dog understands. This method requires much patience and persistence and is not a quick process.
And now I invite you to learn more about training your dog. Visit for more information in all areas of caring for your dog.
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