The Evidence for Positive Reinforcement Training In Dogs

The Science Behind Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

Positive reinforcement dog training (PRDT) is a method of teaching dogs how to behave positively towards humans. It consists of two main components: positive punishment and positive reinforcement. A dog’s behavior is improved when it receives a reward after doing something right or performing some task correctly.

If the human teaches the dog to perform certain actions, then the dog will learn these behaviors automatically without any further instruction from him or her.

The main reason why PRDT is effective is because it trains the dog to associate good things with being rewarded. For example, if you give your pet a treat after she does something right, then she will probably do it again. This habit of associating good things with rewards makes the dog more likely to repeat such actions in the future.

This helps prevent undesirable behaviours like barking at strangers or chasing small animals away from your home.

In addition to this, positive reinforcement training involves using a variety of other techniques such as praise, treats and toys. These are all used to teach the dog new tricks and skills. However, there is one technique which is especially useful in PRDT: the use of positive reinforcement training in conjunction with socialization.

Socialization teaches the dog not only how to interact properly with others but also how to behave appropriately around them. For example, a dog might be taught not to act aggressively towards other dogs after being properly socialized.

However, why is it that positive reinforcement dog training is becoming more popular?

The answer is: because it works better than any other type of dog training. While dominance and punishment-based methods can sometimes yield results, it is only temporary and often has negative side effects on the relationship between owner and pet.

What happens is a dog’s resistance to commands increases after it has been punished as a result of disobedience. This causes more stress for everyone involved and can result in a vicious circle where the dog’s behavior worsens as a result of the owner’s punishment. In addition to this, the dog might not know what is expected of it and so the owner must resort to increasingly harsher punishments until the animal simply gives up altogether.

While some people believe that this method is the only way of ensuring that their pets obey commands and behave, it simply doesn’t work and causes undue stress for all involved. Since positive reinforcement dog training has no negative side effects on the relationship between owner and pet, it is clear why it has become increasingly popular with dog owners.

The Science Behind Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

You may also be interested in reading our article “How to train your dog to come when called.”

Sources & references used in this article:

The effects of using aversive training methods in dogs—A review by G Ziv – Journal of veterinary behavior, 2017 – Elsevier

Obedience training effects on search dog performance by MB Alexander, T Friend, L Haug – Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 2011 – Elsevier

The relationship between training methods and the occurrence of behavior problems, as reported by owners, in a population of domestic dogs by EJ Blackwell, C Twells, A Seawright… – Journal of Veterinary …, 2008 – Elsevier

Canine scent detection—Fact or fiction? by D Johnen, W Heuwieser… – Applied Animal Behaviour …, 2013 – Elsevier