The 8 Dos and Don'ts of Reward Based Training

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The 8 Do's and Don'ts of Reward Based Training

Reward based training is an excellent way to build the bond between a dog and its owner, and to teach the dog obedience lessons. Reward based training is used in agility training, aggression coaching and for general obedience. There are many ways to train a dog, but it's important to do so in a positive and constructive way that will build a dogs confidence with trust as opposed to using intimidation.

eBay has a number of toys and treats that can be used in reward based training, and there is a greater variety and better value for money than that found in pet stores or on dog training websites. This guide shall examine the most important aspects of reward based training, as well as how to find suitable products on eBay.

Reward Based Training

Dog training can be started at any time with a dog of any age. However, older dogs may not be as receptive to training, and owners may find it takes longer to build the level of trust and understanding with them. Puppies tend to work better with reward based training and are often very enthusiastic to take part. If done right, reward based training will help build the relationship between the dog and owner, as well as physically and mentally exercise the dog.

Reward Based Training Do's

It's very important to maintain a positive stance when training the dog and to keep them feeling good about what they are doing. This is the key to successful training and will make a big difference during the sessions.

Emit Positive Behaviour

Dogs mimic the behaviour of their owners and their owners need to lead them by example. Always be nice to the dog during the training session even if they have performed a task incorrectly. Verbally praise them when they complete a task. Remove the word 'no' from the training sessions and use a flat and normal tone of voice when addressing the dog. Dog's have much a keener sense of hearing than humans so even the slightest infliction in tone will affect their understanding of what is being said to them. Always address the dog by name when trying to get their attention, and follow this with a command. Refrain from using overt body language when addressing them. Reward behaviour that is appropriate. Once a command has been learned, begin to reward the dog on a random basis. Always be honest with the dog and never trick or tease them with a treat.

 

Practice On A Regular Basis

 

Begin practicing in the garden at home so that other dogs or people will not distract the dog. Keep the first few sessions short, at around five to ten minutes long. When the dog is ready to practice in parks then the sessions can be extended. End the session positively as this will encourage the dog to participate in further activities. To reduce the potential of the dog barking and the chance of it becoming distracted, first work out what it is that is causing the dog to react like this. It could be seeing a squirrel, another dog or a bird, or could be a sound such as those from cars.

 

Clear And Concise Commands

 

It is very important to keep the dog active and a good training session will also include plenty of exercise. This will prevent the dog from becoming bored. Teach the dog one command at a time and during the first few sessions only teach one lesson per session. It's a good idea to try using hand signals with verbal commands as dogs respond very well to this. Allow the dog to have enough time to understand and act on the command. Rushing a dog will just confuse and frustrate it. Patience is the key to good reward based training.

 

Reward Appropriately

 

 

There are a number of different ways to reward a dog and some owners may find certain options more suitable for their breed of dog than others. The most commonly used reward is a dog treat. Give the dog a treat immediately after it has completed a command or acted in a positive manner. Offer the dog treats that they enjoy and will want more of. Small bite sized treats work best for reward based training. However, treats should not be used with dogs that have diabetes or any sort of weight problem. Dogs that have these health issues can be rewarded with games such as a tug-of-war. Another game that can be used in reward training is fetch, and this works especially well if teaching the dog waiting and delivering commands.

Reward Training Don'ts

It's easy to lose patience with a disobedient dog that is refusing to follow commands, but owners need to remember that this is a dog and it should not be disciplined like a human would be. Dogs have a limited understanding of what their owners are trying to convey to them and this must be taken into account when training.

 

No Negative Reactions

 

Never react in a negative or threatening manner when the dog approaches, or do anything to cause it distress. This may seem obvious but people forget that dogs are very perceptive to human emotions. If an owner is angry at their dog, the dog will know it without the owner having to say anything. Never yell at a dog, as this will encourage them to act in an aggressive manner.

 

Don't Neglect

 

Neglecting a dog's basic needs and behavioural patterns can be very damaging to the relationship between the dog and owner, and can lead to the dog becoming bored and depressed. When training, don't let the dog become bored and if this happens end the session immediately. Owners need to be attentive to their dog's needs, and to take them for regular walks and training sessions. Dogs need a lot of love and attention, so give them this and you will receive it back tenfold.

Don't Reward Bad Behaviour

This is very important, as dogs do not have the abilities for moral understanding like humans do. If a dog is rewarded for bad behaviour, or encouraged to act in an aggressive manner, they will think that this is the appropriate way to behave. Owners should never chase their dog when they want it to come to them, as the dog will believe that they are playing a game.

 

Don't Practice In Distracting Places

 

Again this may seem obvious, but dog's senses are far more acute than humans, and they can hear, smell and see things that we can barely register. Areas that have a lot of noise surrounding them will confuse the dog and it will have trouble following commands. Also avoid training in busy parks until the dog has become familiar with the training regime.

Reward Based Training Products

There are plenty of products that will assist with reward based training for sale on eBay, and the following are among the most popular.

Treats

Dog treats are the most commonly used product in reward based training and will keep a dog interested and enthusiastic about the lesson.

Clicker

Clickers are small devices that emit a click and should be used in conjunction with the dog treats. Owners should use the clicker immediately after a command that is obeyed, followed by a dog treat. This will help the dog quickly reference good behaviour with a reward.

Crate

It's important to set boundaries with the dog and to enforce good sleeping patterns at home. Using a dog crate will help teach the dog to obey and is good for dogs with destructive behaviour. Dogs should never sleep in the bed with their owner, and instead should retire to their own crate at the end of the night.

 

Collar

Dog collars play a vital role in training and all dogs should have one. Using a collar assists with obedience. Depending on the type of dog, one collar will be more fitting than another. These are also very important for identifying lost dogs, so always attach personal contact details to the collar.

 

Leash

 

Used in tandem with the collar, a dog's leash will teach the dog to walk alongside their owner and to not bolt off when they see fit. Buyers are advised to buy tight leashes, as loose and extendable leashes encourage bad behaviour.

 

Chew Toys

 

Chew toys make great rewards and are beneficial to the dog's teeth. Giving a dog a chew toy will also distract them from chewing up furniture, shoes and other household items.

 

Treat Dispensing Chew Toys

 

Treat Dispensing Chew Toys are excellent at keeping the dog occupied and work well with dogs that have behavioural and attention problems.

Conclusion

Reward based training is a positive and constructive way to build on a dog's confidence and help it understand what behaviour is appropriate. The key to successful training lies in the owners behaviour, and it's important that they lead their dog be example. There are plenty of toys and treats used in the training, and some will be more fitting for certain breeds than others.

eBay is a great place to shop for these products, and owners can expect to receive better value for their money then they would in pet stores or on rival sites. Always read the Description box for further details about a product, and contact the seller with any questions.

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