Dog training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do dogs learn?

 

If dogs do something that brings a reward, it increases the possibility that they will do it again. All animals learn through, or perform for rewards - including humans!

The science is called operant conditioning .  Understanding reinforcement is key to understanding how learning takes place.  Each day is made up of a series of behaviours that are either reinforced or not reinforced.

When puppies are born they do not know how to behave in every situation they meet.  In order to adapt and survive they are equipped with the ability to learn and throughout their life they will make use of their experiences to develop a range of behavioural responses. 

Owners often find some behaviours ‘cute’ or funny in a puppy but once it matures that behaviour can become a problem. Jumping up to greet you can be cute in a puppy but not so good in a full grown adult dog.

 

 So why train your dog?

 

  • To help build and maintain the bond between you and your dog

 

  • To improve communication with your dog

 

  • To help your dog become more confident and resilient

 

  • To keep your dog and others safe

 

  • To allow your dog to be part of your daily life

 

  • To be a responsible dog owner

 

  • To have fun with your dog

 

Dogs have needs and desires that can be grouped into four categories:

 

  • The need to stay safe

  • The needs to maintain the body

  • The need to reproduce

  • The need to be in a social group

 

For all dogs, whatever breed, if their needs are not met they will attempt to find their own outlet for whatever behaviour they need to show.  It is not just physical needs that must be met but also their emotional needs. We must consider the emotional needs of each individual dog. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using olfactory