Dog training is the process of teaching a dog to perform behaviors in response to certain commands. The most common behaviors are "sit", "lie down", and teaching the dog to relieve itself outside. The most effective way to train a dog involves using treats and positive reinforcement. In addition, many trainers use a clicker.
There are many methods of dog training and many objectives, from basic obedience training to specialized areas including law enforcement, military, search and rescue, hunting, working with livestock, assistance to people with disabilities, entertainment, dog sports and protecting people or property.
As pack animals, wild dogs have natural instincts that favor cooperation with their fellow dogs. Many domestic dogs, either through instinct or breeding, can correctly interpret and respond to signals given by a human handler.
Most dogs live with people who want them to behave in ways that make them pleasant to be around, keep them safe, and provides for the safety of other humans and pets. Dogs do not figure out basic obedience on their own. The fundamental rule that must be remembered is that one should never apply human standards of society onto the dog with the assumption that the dog will understand.
The hardest part of training is communicating with the dog in a humane way that the dog understands. However, the underlying principle of all communication is simple: reward desired behavior while ignoring or correcting undesired behavior.
Basic pet obedience training usually consists of six behaviors:
Recall ("come", "here" or "in")
Close (or loose-leash walking)
Corrections are a form of punishment. Corrections can be physical i.e. leash correction or mental i.e. withdrawing a reward. There have been wide swings lately on negative and positive training, but most skilled trainers use both. The dog's personality, the behavior and the importance of the correct behavior should all be taken into account in using corrections with your dog. In a nutshell negative corrections should only be used to eliminate a behavior and positive rewards to repeat a behavior.
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