7 Common Dog Training Methods

by | Aug 31, 2021 | Training | 0 comments

Dog training the basics.

Dog training deals a lot with the owner and less and less it seems to deal with the dogs themselves.  The dogs themselves already understand how to sit and lay down along with all the functionality of the training.  Training is simply the aspect of placing a cue to the specific action.  As dog owners we treat our dogs as part of the family which is a wonderful and sweet thing however it does lead to some issues when we humanize the actions a bit too much.  As trainers we attempt to help owners set boundaries for their pets as well as teach the owners how to work with their pets in a productive way.

1. Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive Reinforcement has always been a part of nearly all training methods.  Without reward it would be nearly imposible to get any animal to follow a comand or request.  Reward equals results plain and simple.  The thing that sets this type of training into its own category is that with Positive Reinforcement training there has of recently been a push to only use reward with no punishment at all.  This training method is also combined a lot of times with clicker training see below.  This training method is proven however in some cases of more advanced training it may not be the best method for training approach.

2. Scientific Method

This training method is pretty much exactly what it sounds like it is the scientific study of the dog in every way.  This method solves problems and behavioral issues of the dog by examining the dogs behavior in every way.  The primary theory in this method is that in order to change a behavior the behavior must first be understood in every way very scientifically.  This method involves a lot of body languageand behavioral study to better strengthen good behavior and discourage bad behavior.  As an owner it is important to stay up todate with these studies to help you with your dog but consult a trainer or behavioral specialist before delving too far into this method.

3. Clicker training

Clicker training was initially started in zoos to help animals with targeted behavior using food with specific sound.  The clicker is the sound that means a treat is coming with this the trainer is able to reward as a very specific time for just about any behavior they desire to promote.  This makes this method very simple and easy to pick up even for novis trainers with a very minimal ammount of training and practice.

4. Electronic Training

This type of training typically involves an electronic collor and is used in a wide variety of areas of training.  Some of these areas are missused unfortunatly and can give the training method a bad name.  Electronic training is primarially used in hunting due to the long distance needed to be able to communicate with the dog.  Primarially trainers using the collar may only need to use the vibrate or alert button to gain the dogs attention for visual comand such as recall or direction.  Electronic is widely used on invisable fences for homeowners very effectively withe the exception of not being able to keep other animals out of the area. It is highly reccomended that if you are using this type of training consult a trainer first with experience in electronic training.

5. Mirror Training

This method is a unique method that involves the dog observing correct or desired behavior then mimic the same behavior for a reward.  This will work minimally at best.  while one dog may watch one dog do something and get a reward it does not mean the dog understands to do the same behavior.  This is a higher learning skill that has been proven to be unreliable in dogs to say the least.

6. Alpha Training Dominance

This training method was made famous by Cesar Millan and the dog whisperer tv show.  What most don’t realize is that while Cesar is using a lot of dominance training he is also using behavior training and relationship training as well.  Dominance training is one of the formerly thought of as its own category but is really a sub category of a lot of other training methods.  Alpha training is more about body language and reaction of the person to the dog’s behavior.  This method is ver effective and worth exploring but typically needs a lot of specialized training to fully understand so the learning curve for a home owner is steep.

7. Relationship Training

Relationship training is a combination of several typies of training combined into a wholistic approach for woner and dog together.  The driving factor is the bond of the dog and owner to get the dog to the training level desired.  This training starts out by limiting distractions  during training and adding more distractions as progressing in training.  When the dog does not follow the comand it is the trainers job to figure out why before proceeding.