What Is Reward Based Training?
One of the most common questions I get from potential clients is “What type of training method do you use?”
It’s a great question! Finding a dog trainer whose approach you understand and respect is crucial for long-term success.
I am a certified professional dog trainer and behavioral specialist. I believe that good dog training requires an understanding of canine psychology that is grounded in science. I incorporate the quadrants of operant conditioning. I believe in balanced dog training, which means I incorporate positive reinforcement but am also not afraid to let a dog know their behavior is inappropriate. I am also an owner trainer and feel strongly that owners should be involved in the training process and empowered to handle their own dog.
My training techniques are reward-based. This does not mean that my dog training is simply about bribing a dog with treats. While I do use them occasionally, I know that treats alone can’t change a dog’s behavior. What instills positive behavior in dogs is a consistent routine, strong leadership from the owner, and exercises that set the dog up for success.
Some trainers create situations where the dog is tested in a way that they’re destined to fail. I choose not to do this in my training program. Instead, I try to create situations where the dog is set up for success. I focus on the positive rather than the negative because I believe frequent negative instruction—where there is little chance to be rewarded—causes dogs to become nervous. You may be able to train a dog using this negative-reinforcement method, but you’ll get a dog that reacts to commands out of fear and mistrust. I prefer to practice a Decisions, Not Dominance motto, where I teach dogs to make good decisions because they want to. Rather than obeying due to fear, their training helps them understand the rewards of their good behavior and motivates them to behave well. It creates a better environment for both dog and owner!
If you think my reward-based approach to training is right for you and your dog, give me a call at 215.709.2560 or get in touch via our contact form. We can discuss your situation and come up with a customized training plan that teaches your dog the joys of being obedient!