What’s Reward-Based Dog Training? – Dog Training Manhattan
When it comes to hiring a professional dog trainer, most dog owners do their homework and research. In our internet age, we have so much information available to us, sometimes too much. One might not believe there’s such as a thing as too much information, but with all the conflicting theories, with all the self-proclaimed “experts” publishing their diatribes online…well, it can be overwhelming and it could lead to inconsistency with the training. And THAT could lead to a more anxious or misbehaved pooch.
At Gotham Dog Training, I want to be the dog trainer that not only fixes the behavioral issues, but makes sure that the dog is still happy and retains their individual spirit. While I keep an open mind and try to make things customizable for my clients, I follow a reward-based philosophy when it comes to my training.
When I say reward-based, I don’t mean “treat-based” or “purely positive”. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against using treats, and I certainly utilize positive reinforcement techniques with my training. But I don’t assign myself to only one quadrant of operant conditioning. I also don’t like to have treats in my pocket, constantly throwing them at the dog in the means of bribing them to behave. Bribery is not part of reward-based training. Instead, through meticulous designs based on setting the dog up for success, I use reward-based training to teach dogs how to adopt a better behavior, showing that it is the right thing and this it what will bring the dog the most pleasure and happiness.
I don’t believe in setting dogs up for failure and having them learn through constant mistakes and corrections. Instead, I want to lean toward the positive so we can minimize the negative as much as we can. I believe in balance, though, and I believe that dog must learn what to do, but also must learn what not to do. Reward-based training also requires the committed involvement of the owner. As a reward-based trainer, I do not want to exclude the owner in the training process. They need to learn how to handle their own dog and continuously reinforce the successful regimen. Reward-based training is not about bribery, but it is also not about dominating the dog. I teach the owner that they are a leader, not an alpha that needs to instill fear in their dog. A dog should make decisions because they want to, not based on either fear or treat bribery.
With my training programs, I always want to work closely with the owners and dogs, suiting to their needs and the training goals. I have found setting the dog and owner up for success is what brings in the positive results. It also tightens the bond between dog and owner, where respect and trust is mutually exchanged. As long as everyone is committed, the training goals will be met, and the rewards will be plentiful!
For any questions on my training program and how I can help your dog’s behavioral problems, call me at 800-649-7297!