How Will You Train My Dog?
Every dog is an individual. They each have their own breed characteristics, personalities, preferences, and different ways of dealing with situations or tasks they find difficult. All rehabilitation programmes and training plans are tailored according to the needs of every individual dog.
What Is Positive Reinforcement
Lead By Example only uses relationship centred, welfare focused, reward based learning.
Positive Reinforcement encourages a behaviour, by a offering reward when the behaviour we wish to see is exhibited. The more we reward (reinforce) the behaviour, the more it'll be repeated again. Nobody wants to work for free, right?! So if we want our dogs to learn, we must motivate them to do so in fun and exciting ways. Every dog's motivation is different. Some dogs are motivated by food, but others may prefer a toy, a ball. or lots of affection.
Positive Reinforcement - adding something desirable to increase a wanted behaviour;
e.g. a dog has learned to 'stay'. If we reward him, he'll 'stay' again.
Positive Punishment - adding something aversive to reduce an unwanted behaviour;
e.g. a dog is barking. If we squirt him with water, throw a jar of pebbles at his feet, or
shock him using a shock collar, he'll stop barking.
Negative Reinforcement - removing something aversive to increase a wanted behaviour;
e.g. a dog is having difficulty learning to 'sit'. If we push down on his hindquarters, shout at him, or pinch his ear, he'll sit; to avoid being pushed, shouted at, and pinched.
Negative Punishment - removing something desirable to reduce an unwanted behaviour;
e.g. a dog likes to jump up for attention. If we ignore him, he'll stop jumping.
Imagine a friend asks you for a favour. Are you more likely to do it if they shout and shake their fists at you? Or if they ask you nicely and take you to the pub later?
To shape our dogs' behaviour, we reward the behaviours we wish to see, and ignore or retrain the behaviours we don't; e.g. we can ignore the jumping dog, or we could ask him to do something else (sit on a mat, or do a fun trick), and reward him for that behaviour instead.
Making Learning Fun
Dogs are certainly not motivated to learn in relationships dominated by punishment and fear. Positive Reinforcement is a kind, collaborative, and fun way of learning that both canines and their companions can enjoy. Building a connection with your dog and understanding one another is the key to success.
I reject the use of any methods that use pain, force, physical manipulation, or aversive tools (slips leads, choke/prong/shock/spray
collars, training discs, pebble jars, water, shouting, etc).
They exacerbate the behaviour 'problem', cause further genuine behaviour problems (fear, stress, aggression, amongst others), do not teach a dog the behaviour we wish to see instead, damage the relationship between you and your dog, and cause lasting psychological and physiological damage.
They are cruel, unnecessary, and ineffective.