Dog Training

A lot of behaviour problems benefit from correct training techniques. But this is not to say that all behaviour issues “just require better training”. Training you dog with correct positive reinforcement techniques will help your dog to learn quickly and creates predictable positive outcomes for your dog. Appropriate training creates better communication between owner and pet, improves social enrichment for a pet ( and owner!) and helps an owner to feel predictability from their pet in circumstances where they previously felt out of control.

It is very important that owners research the techniques that are used by the dog trainer they are considering using. A good recommendation is to go and see a session before taking your dog.  If aversive, older-style techniques are used by the trainer you are observing, it is in the best interests of your pet to seek advice with a different dog trainer.

Training techniques that are currently considered unacceptable due to their effects on animal welfare are ANY training techniques that rely on aversive stimuli. If your pet suffers from a disorder relating to fear or anxiety, these will become worse with the use of such techniques and the animal will suffer. There is also a risk of increased aggression in family pets who have been exposed to punishment.

Current techniques work on positive reinforcement and working on the motivations of dogs (and other species). Using positive reinforcement (the presentation of something pleasant in response to a behaviour such that there is an increased likelihood of that behaviour occurring in the future under the same conditions), helps stimulate the “reward pathways” in the brain and shift an animal further towards a positive emotional state. In this way, they can act as an adjunct in the therapeutic plan for most animals with behaviour problems.

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