Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Which dog training method is right for you?

In dog training school I was exposed to three different training methods: Traditional, Modified Traditional and Clicker training. As every trainer you develop your own style and choose the method that works best for you. Nevertheless, as a dog trainer you also have to be open to other dog training methods.

The traditional dog training method is based on praise and petting. Modified traditional training is based on praise, petting and a treat. So how does that work? It is not that complicated. You say the dog's name (attention), you give a command (verbal/non verbal), you lure or assist the dog to perform the desired behavior and when it does you reward the dog.

Clicker training differs from above methods. You wait for the dog to offer the desired behavior and then you reward it. Clicker training is a fun way to train your dog but most people stay away. They find running around with a clicker ridiculous. Clicker training is time sensitive but when done correctly offers great possibilities to train your dog (and cat!).

We train all three training methods as people differ and so do dogs. If you feel more comfortable training your dog in one way than stay away from the other. The main goal is to start communicating with your dog to show what behaviors you desire and what behaviors you don't. Training is a great step forward to build up a long lasting and happy relationship with your dog.

I personally use the traditional modified training method. Using more body language and luring the dog into a behavior versus physically assisting the dog. My husband uses the traditional training method. There is nothing wrong with using different techniques as long as training is fun for everyone involved and helps build up a relationship with your dog.