There are several things people have to remember when they start dog training. There's also a lot of different dog training techniques available. Some of these techniques work, while others seem to work against you. So how do you know which techniques work the best.
One of the biggest things that confuses people with regards to dog training is when to reward and when to reprimand your dog. If you have trouble deciding when to do which, please read on. Most dog training course instructors will tell you that positive dog training is the best technique to utilize. I totally agree.
But unfortunately, there are some instances when you do have to reprimand your dog. Reprimanding your dog should not happen often, as dogs respond better to positive reinforcement used in dog training. Before you learn when to reprimand your dog, you should first learn when to reward your dog. You should reward your dog any time your dog does something it is supposed to during dog training or any other time. This can be when it sits, stays, comes, eliminates where it should, fetches, etc.
The reward you use during your training can be many things: praise, play, tummy rub, pat on the head, or a treat. Dogs learn very quickly from positive dog training. They also tend to want to make you happy and this is why they do so well with this type of dog training. However, be sure you never reward bad behavior. That will encourage that particular behavior.
Reprimanding is a type of dog training that should not be used unless necessary. This can be when your dog jumps, eliminates in the wrong place, barks, growls, pulls on a leash, destroys something, etc. You must only reprimand your dog if you catch it in the act of doing something wrong. Otherwise, he will not realize what he did.
A reprimand's purpose is to redirect your dogs attention. The reprimand used should be a quick, sharp "no" or quick snap of the leash. Your tone should be stern, but remember to be short and quick. If you overdo this, your words will end up being ignored by the dog. Never spank, hit, or constantly scold your dog. This will only lead to more problems in the future. Remember timing is very important whether you are rewarding or reprimanding your dog during training. Also remember to be patient and remain calm because your dog is learning and trying its best. With some love and consideration, your dog should do quite well with its training. Then it will be a rewarding experience for you both!
Also, never reward undesirable behavior even though it may not be considered bad behavior. For instance, if your dog jumps up on you excitedly when you return home from somewhere there is no bad intent, he's just happy to see you. But if you pet him just as excitedly, you're reinforcing that behavior. It will make it nearly impossible to keep him from greeting guests the same way. Or, if your dog gets nervous during a thunderstorm, our tendency as human beings is to try to comfort by petting and saying things like, "Oh it's o.k," in a calm reassuring voice. First of all it doesn't help your dog feel any less frightened and secondly, to a dog this is reinforcing that behavior. Now fear of a storm should certainly not evoke a reprimand but it should also not be reinforced.
Your reaction to each behavior sends a message to your dog so consider them carefully and be consistent.