Train with your brain, not pain

How dogs learn

 

When it comes to working with dogs, I am passionate about using kind, effective, reward based dog training methods, based on the science of how dogs learn.  The idea of inflicting fear, pain and harm to our dogs – through the use of aversive training techniques – is not something I would ever consider.

The use of harsh training techniques and methods, such as shock collars, anti-bark (citronella) collars, choke chains, prong and pinch collars and electronic containment systems (which shock the dog, if they pass the invisible boundary), have no place in modern dog training. In every day speak we would recognise these methods and devices as punishment and, indeed, they are.

However, when it comes to training, the technical term for the use of these techniques is ‘Positive Punishment’ (also known as P+).  Quite rightly, you may say: “what an earth is ‘positive’ about these methods?” This is where language and terminology can get confusing.

When we use the word ‘positive,’ we tend to think of it as  meaning being pleasant, beneficial, or good –  which it is when used as an adjective! In training and, more specifically, in operant conditioning the ‘positive’ means the ‘addition of’ something; whereas ‘negative’ means the withdrawal (subtraction) or withholding of something.

If you’d like to learn more about how dogs learn, why not download my FREE downloadable leaflet which explains it in more detail.

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