Every day, your dog is learning, with each interaction, you are training them, whether you intend to or not.
The simplest way of explaining what training is, is that training = teaching. Regardless of your intentions, your pets are learning from you and your responses to their behavior each and every day.
In 1905, Edward L. Thorndike, a well known psychologist, discovered the Law of Effect: behavior is determined by its consequences. His work, along with that of B.F Skinner allows us to better understand the process of how your pet learns and allows you to modify their behavior. This means that when their behavior results in something desirable for them (treats, toys, affection, etc.) they are more likely to exhibit that behavior again. Compare it to when someone praises you for doing well on an assignment, or buys you a gift as a thank you for a favor you did. These types of reinforcers motivate us and make us want to do more. They help us feel seen and appreciated and encourage us to want to help again in the future.
Intentional training strengthens your relationship with the individual. This is the same with your pets. When you draw attention to desirable behaviors (sit, down, heel, stay, leave it, manners, or even fun behaviors, etc.) and reward them using treats, food, toys, praise, and affection you will continue to strengthen your bond with your furry best friend and also begin to train the behavior you want them to exhibit in the future. When their behavior does not result in something desirable, it is not as likely to occur in the future. Timing of reinforcement, or lack thereof is the key to training!
“The simplest way of explaining what training is, is that training = teaching.”
Your pet probably knows you better than you know them. They observe your actions, your patterns, your behavior, and your reactions each and every day. When they see patterns in how you react to their behavior or notice changes in their environment, it shapes what behaviors they do in the future. So if your animal is constantly learning from you, why not make it intentional and ensure they are learning things you want them to continue doing in the future. Training allows us to strengthen our relationship and bonds with the animals we care so much about.
It increases mental stimulation, physical exercise, and allows you to provide better care, which ensures they live a more fulfilling life by increasing their welfare and aiding in better overall health.
Training also allows your pet to better understand your expectations, deal with new things or changes in a calm demeanor, reduces anxiety and stress levels, allows them to demonstrate better manners, and it makes life at home and life outside the home easier and safer for you and everyone around you, including family members, friends, neighbors, veterinarians, strangers, and other animals.
What can training do to help your life specifically?
Is your dog always pulling on the leash when going out for walks? Have you thought about what you are doing to encourage the behavior? Training with you and your dog can teach you how to discourage pulling and teach them how to understand what to do when they hit the end of the leash such as stopping and wait for you or slow down their speed.
How about jumping on guests or barking at the door? There are plenty of natural dog behaviors that can be difficult to assimilate into someone’s lifestyle and that is where training can help.
Training improves not just your dog’s life – but yours.
We train all ages, all breeds in South Florida.
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We’d love to help you learn how you don’t have to be RUFF to teach your dog stuff.
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