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Let’s discuss why we use positive reinforcement (reward-based) training at Cohesive Canine!

There are a few different training methodologies that trainers will use. Cohesive Canine focuses on positive reinforcement and follows LIMA (least intrusive minimally aversive). The real question is what does that mean and why does that matter?

That means that when we are presented with your dog's undesirable behaviors, we will set up the environment for success and prevent the behavior from happening. Then we will work to reward alternate behaviors and focus on what we want your dog to do instead of punishing or correcting your dog.

Not only do dogs benefit from using positive reinforcement training methods, but species like tigers, elephants, and gorillas are also trained in the same way. Zookeepers train large and potentially dangerous animals to sit calmly for exams, blood draws, vaccines, grooming, etc. If they can learn using these methods, so can our dogs!

Here are a few of my top reasons for using positive reinforcement:

1. It helps build your dog’s confidence! When your dog is rewarded for getting something right, it naturally makes your dog feel good. Don’t you like it when your boss gives you a bonus for doing a good job?

2. It helps promote a positive and strong relationship between you and your dog! Who doesn’t want that?

3. Studies show that reward-based training is more effective than using aversive or harsh training methods. How would you feel if you made a mistake at work and your boss yelled at you in front of the entire office? It could severely impact your relationship and may even be enough to make you quit or shut down.

4. The more a behavior is rewarded, the more often it gets offered. Think about when you taught your new puppy to sit and then you gave them a treat. Once they learned this earned them a treat how often would they offer this new, fun skill?

The list is endless on why this style of training is beneficial for both you and your dog! Check out the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior website, they have lots of resources and a specific position statement on humane dog training.

Questions? Or need help changing your dog's behavior? Reach out, I’d love to help!

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