The use of punishment is a controversial topic among dog trainers. While the lay definition of punishment is often equated with cruelty and retribution, many trainers reserve the word for less-severe methods of correction. Others call such methods effective communication tools, while still others say that they only serve to startle a dog. The key to using correction-based training is to use positive reinforcement in moderation. For example, a dog that barks at a noise should not be rewarded with a treat. Instead, use shaping techniques to reinforce the behavior and gradually increase the response before offering a treat.
Whether or not to hire a pet behavior correction instructor is an individual decision for each owner. You must choose between group classes and one-on-one help. In some cases, you might find that it is more practical to hire a board-and-train provider than a trainer. However, this choice is based on a few other factors, including the type of behavior problem your pet has and the experience and education of the behaviorist.
The most effective corrections are leash-based. A quick pop on the collar will stop a dog’s behavior, but timing is vital. Depending on your pup’s size, you may need a stronger correction if it is a large breed. Also, a big dog that displays a strong focus will require a stronger correction than a small one. Likewise, a small dog with a low-key distraction may require only a mild correction.
Some correction-based trainers use positive reinforcement and do not punish the dog for inappropriate behaviors. Hybrid trainers use elements of both. The use of negative terms is effective when applied sparingly and successfully. Using the word “No” should be combined with a leash correction and praise. Although the word “No” has some benefits, overusing it can lead to serious consequences, including ineffectiveness.
A positive method of correction may not be the most effective for every dog. While many dog trainers advocate the use of shake cans and squirt bottles, they are controversial. A dog trained this way may be discouraged if the squirt could harm the animal. Positive training methods have become more popular in recent years, as they can achieve similar results without endangering the dog and their owners. You might want to consider hiring a pet behavior correction instructor to teach your dog basic manners.
The best way to find a quality trainer is to visit the website of a local dog behavior center and observe a private session or class firsthand. While private sessions and classes are the best ways to find the right dog trainer, you should also take your dog to the veterinarian to get the proper care. The veterinarian will refer you to a dog behaviorist if your dog is experiencing severe behavioral problems. However, sudden behavioral issues should be diagnosed with a blood test and a veterinarian.
While teaching your dog the desired behavior, the reward system should be appropriate for your dog’s age and temperament. A correct training program should include a reward for each good behavior. If your dog has not mastered the correct reward method, a behavior correction instructor can assist you in this endeavor. The reward system for dogs is also important for raising a guide dog. Whether the punishment is given via leash corrections or verbal cues, it should be effective.