It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that training methods are one of the most contentious topics for dog owners. There’s no faster way to start an argument among dog owners than asking them for the “best” training method. For the most part, people are divided into two camps: positive reinforcement and correction. By far, these are the two most widely used training methods among dog owners. But which of them is better? If you’ve always wanted to know the answer to this question, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Here’s everything that you need to know about positive reinforcement and correction-based training.
The method of dog training that uses correction, including leash corrections, choke collars, spray bottles, and shaker cans, is the conventional method of dog training. Correction is the most common aversive used in dog training. While each of these items produces a different level of discomfort and stress for the dog, all of them are used to punish dogs for incorrect behavior so that the dog associates their misdeed with something negative. That is why they work. Dogs learn to avoid punishment.
It’s important to note that there are risks to this type of training method. This is especially true if you are careless with how you correct your dog. Providing ill-timed corrections can confuse the dog and lead to worse habits as you’ll end up angering your dog and fostering a feeling of resentment.
As the name suggests, positive reinforcement training is when trainers teach dogs by using a reward system. Whenever the dog displays positive behavior, the trainer rewards them with a treat, a toy, or even praise. Proponents of this method don’t just believe that it is more effective but it’s also a more straightforward way to teach your dog. Now, this method can be rather tricky for dogs who aren’t enticed by food or toys but you can easily adjust your reward system to match your dog’s preferences.
Correction-Based Training vs Positive Reinforcement
While the two methods are vastly different from one another, it’s important to remember that they also have similarities. For both methods, time will be key as knowing when to reward or correct your dog will be vital to the success of your training. Both methods also require you to be consistent with the rules that you’ve put into place. Acting inconsistently, whether it be to correct or reward your dog, will lead to poor results when it comes to how effective training will be. It’s crucial to keep this in mind so that you can train your dog in the best way possible.
We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to furthering your understanding of these two training methods. Neither of these training methods are better than the other. It’s also important to note that there may be instances wherein one might work better depending on the situation. It’s best to take things on a case-by-case basis rather than just use one method throughout. Be sure to keep everything you’ve learned here in mind so that you can make the most informed decisions possible.
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