Whether your dog has been your faithful companion for years or is a new family member, he or she probably exhibits behaviors you’d like to change. Luckily, there’s a wide range of training methods that can help. Before choosing an approach, consider your dog’s personality, the behaviors you’d like to change and your comfort level with performing different types of training activities. Most issues can be resolved if you invest time and patience into one of the top training methods but consider getting help from an experienced dog trainer Denver CO if your dog experiences severe aggression.
1. Positive Reinforcement Training
Positive reinforcement is the prevailing approach among dog trainers today. This method shapes a dog’s behaviors using immediate rewards as reinforcement for positive actions. When you first start training a particular behavior, you should reward it consistently. As your dog begins to adjust, you can reduce the frequency of rewards. Keep in mind that rewards are not one size fits all. Study your dog’s response to treats, praise, physical attention, toys and play to determine the most effective reward.
2. Dominance Training
Dominance training follows the theory that your dog should view you as the alpha and act submissively. It focuses on physical cues that convey dominance or submission and reinforces a hierarchical approach to everyday tasks that puts humans first and dogs second. Many people choose this approach because they believe it taps into a dog’s natural instinct to form a pack and behave according to a social hierarchy. However, others debate the efficacy and appropriateness of this method.
3. Model-Rival Training
In Model-Rival training, a dog learns to imitate positive behaviors by witnessing another dog receive rewards for good behavior and recognizing that he or she is in competition for those rewards. This is effective for commands ranging from sit to fetch. It’s best suited for social dogs that don’t exhibit excessive aggression.
It’s best to start training early, but it’s never too late to teach your dog new skills and behaviors using one of the top training methods.