Guest Blog by Lynne Jones – Digs for Dogs franchise owner, Northwich
Training with Pawsitivity
Use ‘paw-sitive’ training to bring up a reliable, confident & well-controlled dog.
As a behaviourist, I regularly work with dogs who suffer from fear, anxiety and aggression which has been triggered by out of date training techniques that are nowadays considered abusive. Being endorsed by the Kennel Club, or being advocated and demonstrated by well known TV personalities is not always a sufficient recommendation.
My golden rule is to always treat your dog as you would your children. This means teaching your canine housemate how to live harmoniously with it’s pack (who happen to be humans not dogs)!
Shouting at dogs, dragging them on a lead or using any kind of intimidation or bullying tactic is completely unacceptable, and using fear or pain to intimidate a dog is only likely to trigger fears, phobias and ultimately aggression in your canine companion.
Positive Dog Training Involves:
1. Teaching dogs the behaviours we want as opposed to the ones we don’t want.
2. Helping dogs to learn step by step.
3. Motivating dogs with food, fun, exercise and games.
4. Encouraging dogs to think for themselves – problem solving wears dogs out as much as a walk and builds self confidence and improves self esteem.
5. Valuing dogs’ voluntary and natural behaviours.
6. Understanding how a dog is feeling from watching its body language.
7. Understanding how dogs learn, what they want and need to thrive in our world.
8. Using methods that work with ANY dog, big, small, puppies, elderly, disabled and reactive dogs can all learn and can enjoy a richer and more relaxed life if their humans make the effort to understand them.
9. Managing your expectations about your dog’s behaviour. Your dog is no more going to be 100% obedient than your children are, but most of us are able to negotiate peace within our home most of the time!
The Three Pillars
There are three “pillars” to help create a rock steady dog who is relaxed, compliant and friendly – most of the time. Remember a dog is still a dog and will still react to new things with fear and suspicion, especially if it is anxious or lacks confidence.
1. Develop Self Control
2. Develop a trusting relationship
3. Build Self-Confidence
By using positive reinforcement we talk not only to the dog but also to their brain chemistry. Anything that produces a nice result (a game or a treat) will fire up the brain’s reward area and the neurotransmitter dopamine. This aids motivation and memory so the dog learns, remembers and enjoys the lesson. Dogs are also far more likely to repeat a behaviour that is rewarded and has positive associations.
This involves waiting until your dog does something you like, then rewarding with a treat. A few repetitions of this when the dog makes the link between the behaviour and the treat, will create a very solid behaviour that the dog will start to offer, in case there’s the chance of a reward.
Here are some positive training activities for you to try:
• Reward your dog for all four paws on the ground with a treat and ignore jumping up.
• Reward a barking dog with a treat or a stroke when he falls silent and ignore the barking.
• Reward a loose lead by walking forward and stand still when the dog pulls on the lead.
Use the word “Yes” or “Good” as you deliver the treat and your dog will quickly learn that these words mean he or she is getting something right!
You can read more about positive training on >>Lynne’s Blog Page<<.
You can also contact Lynne or >>visit Paws for Assistance website<< if you are concerned about your dog’s behaviour, or if you are looking for help and support in training your dog.
Contact Lynne Jones:
📧 [email protected]
☎️ 07503 035169