5 Excellent Reasons To Use Positive Reinforcement
Sometimes we hear people talking about positive reinforcement without accuracy, they might say it’s bribery or some of the harsher dog trainers out there call it cookie pushing. It’s so much more than that though, and in reality, teaching with positive reinforcement is our only option as good dog guardians – here’s why..
Positive reinforcement includes plentiful and enjoyable reward. That reward talks directly to your dog’s neurochemistry, triggering a cocktail of feel great hormones which make learning easier for your dog.
Choices are the first step in learning anything new. With positive reinforcement we encourage good choices, creating a dog who is empowered and wants to make the right choice – in order to get the reward.
Using positive reinforcement, we always set the dog up to make the right choices, and we all know that doing something right is excellent for our confidence. Well it's even better for the confidence of our dogs.
When we teach our dogs with positive reinforcement we create trust between us. We never add punishment to the mix, we don’t need to because setting the right choices up and rewarding them carefully and in a timely manner doesn’t allow the dog the chance to practice unhelpful choices, so trust busting punishment is avoided altogether. There is no room for punishment in a trusting relationship with your dog.
It’s Based in Evidence & Welfare
If we examine all dog training methods closely, in most of them the evidence starts to fall apart. Pack theory for example was removed from scientific journals many moons ago, so we are just confusing our dogs and ourselves if we use the ideas of dominance etc. Whilst we know that punishment can change behaviour, it also has a terrible fallout in the dog and your relationship. Positive reinforcement is right at the centre of science, its being used with dogs and children alike because of its amazing welfare benefits.
Hopefully this resonates with you, if it does tell everyone you know because way too many people are still harming their dogs and their relationship with them through punishment or pack leadership. If you would like to learn more sign up to my email list through the yellow button or pop-up box and get my huge printable eBook of Positive Canine Coaching completely free.