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Training & Behaviour Methods

Methods of Dog Training I use for training and behaviour problems?

We all want our dogs and cats to behave well not because they are frightened of us but because they want to please us. I only use positive, reward based methods. No punishing, aversive techniques or gizmos such as shock collars or choke chains of any kind are ever used. Science has shown that problems are resolved more successfully if the cat or dog learns to behave well through kindness and reward rather than through fear, intimidation, pain or punishment. Methods using harsh punishment can also dangerous as the animal may turn to aggression to defend itself. Veterinary associations, the RSPCA and the Dogs Trust all now support only reward-based methods of dog training.

Why do I only use positive methods of dog training?

  • Rewarding good behaviour builds a bond of trust between the owner and the pet
  • If a dog or cat trusts its owner then it is more likely to do what is being asked of it
  • Using rewards encourages the dog or cat work for the things that they want – the reward
  • Reward is not bribery - it is the appreciation of effort and good work
  • Rewards can be anything your dog or cat likes - toys, food, games, cuddles and even your attention
  • A behaviour that is rewarded is more likely to be repeated – a behaviour that is not rewarded is less likely to be repeated
  • Training through reward is quicker, easier and more satisfying for both the owner and the cat or dog

Why don’t I use punishment & harsh methods of dog training?

  • Harsh methods of dog training and punishment increase a problem behaviour
  • The cat or dog does not link the punishment to something they did a while ago but to what it is doing now
  • The cat or dog is likely to associate the punishment to the person doing the punishing thus breaking your bond and resulting in confusion and fear
  • Harsh methods of dog training through fear - aggression is rooted in fear so a cat or dog that is continually punished may turn to aggression to defend itself
  • Animals that are frequently punished may ‘shut down’ and become unwilling to learn or communicate with their owners
  • Punishing animals for aggressive behaviour often leads to an escalation
  • Animals do not feel ‘guilty’ or ‘spiteful’. An animal that looks ‘guilty’ is actually looking frightened in anticipation of punishment
  • Punishment and fear breaks trust which is extremely difficult to reinstate

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