Training should be fun for both you and your pet; so if it isn’t. What gives?
I am a clicker trainer! I train using positive reinforcement and negative punishment. I try to keep my training sessions short, positive, and fun for all, regardless of what we are trying to accomplish.
Before I move forward, I really want to outline the 4 Quadrants that control how people train their dogs. There is a lot of confusing language to be found on the internet when it comes to training your dog but really it all boils down to this:
Further more, we need to remember; These are things that the dog perceive as punishing or reinforcing. Sometimes corrections can actually be rewarding to the dog and they actually increase the behaviour you were trying to extinguish. Let’s use jumping up as an example! A lot of people will scold their dog and say “NO!” or “OFF!” when the dog jumps, simultaneously pushing or kneeing them as they perform the action. If your dogs jumping behaviour increases, odds are they are finding your words and motions reinforcing! They are thinking: Yay, she’s giving me verbal attention and these pushes are actually kind of fun! Time to come back for more.
So stop, think, and be analytical about your training! What exactly are you trying to accomplish? What are you doing to accomplish the behaviour? Is it working? Yes or no; Why is or isn’t this working for you? What do you need to change to make something more or less rewarding?
An incompatible behavior with jumping is sitting. So, instead of saying NO or OFF, ask for a sit and reward your dog with food and praise. When your dog does jump, jump walk away from them. Rewarding them all the time for sitting, and walking away for jumping will make their brain start to think: Hey! Sitting works for me. When I sit I get treats and praise! When I jump, they just walk away.
Asking simple questions goes a long way for problem solving behaviour.
Keep an eye on the blog training tips for common household issues!