Did you know your dog and an otter learn the same way?
Hi guys, Callie here. If you’ve had the chance to talk to me, you probably know that I previously worked as a zookeeper before sidestepping into dog training (I like to talk about all of my critters from my old job a lot). I worked with a variety of animals, but they all had one thing in common: they all learned the same way. Most professional zoological facilities teach their animals behaviors using positive reinforcement training techniques. Have you ever seen a dolphin do a flip? That was trained using some fish, a target pole, and a whistle. An otter stacking cups? That was trained using some fish and a clicker. A gorilla doing a handstand? That was trained using verbal praise and some fruit. All those behaviors are performed voluntarily, trained using positive reinforcement, and add enrichment and choices to the animals’ lives. From the very start of my career, I was taught to use these training techniques that I then applied to the various species I worked with.
So why does this matter to you and your dog?
Well, I use the very same training techniques that are used with dolphins, otters, and gorillas with every single one of my dog clients. There are many different training methods used in the dog training world today. Positive reinforcement based training has been scientifically proven to be a more effective way of learning. It also leads to long lasting results and helps build a foundation of trust and respect between owner and dog.
What makes positive reinforcement more effective than other training methods?
Positive reinforcement training allows you to build a relationship of trust between you and your dog. Your actions make deposits or withdrawals to and from your dog’s “trust bank”. For example, I ask my dog to sit and he gets a cookie, that’s $5 in the trust bank, but if I were to ask him to sit and then I ignore him, well that is a confusing message and that would be considered a withdrawal from his trust bank and he would be less likely to perform that behavior again. If your dog suddenly stops doing a behavior that they used to do, take a step back and think about how often you have been reinforcing that behavior. You may need to go back to the beginning and train the behavior all over again.
When using positive reinforcement you are giving your dog back some control in their life to make decisions; you are putting money in their trust bank. Giving them that freedom, leads to a happier animal who will be much more willing to listen to you. Rules, consistency, and cookies are your biggest asset on the road to an easier life with your dog.
The Freckled Paw’s Commitment to You and Your Dog
Here at The Freckled Paw, we will always train your dog using the most up-to-date positive reinforcement training techniques. We believe this is the best method to use to build a healthy, functional relationship between dog and owner. Every dog is different, but every dog learns the same way when given the freedom to make their own choices. We know you love your dog, and we do too! We are always here to help lead you down the proven path to an easier life with your dog (or otter).