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There is nothing negative with negative reinforcement
My approach to Dog Training, behavior modification and dog obedience training is based on years of study. As one of the foremost students of dog behavior I have seen firsthand the effect of a combination of Operant Conditioning, Positive Reinforcement and Negative Reinforcement.
I have made these techniques the centerpieces of my training philosophy, which specializes in the elimination of aggression, fears, anxieties and phobias in dogs, as well as typical nusaince dog behaviors.
At Phoenix Dog Training we are always eager to counteract the flashing red lights some people see when they hear the word “negative reinforcement.”
Don’t let the term Negative reinforcement scare you, because in truth it isn’t negative at all! In fact it is non-aversive, as we don’t believe any dog should be trained with fear, pain or intimidation. As an example consider the following:
I am walking a dog and want to turn right
The dog wants to continue going straight
I tap the dog on the shoulder to get its attention so it can turn with me
That is all there is to negative reinforcement!
By combining all of the aforementioned aspects of training, Phoenix Dog Training are able to make their intentions clear to puppies and dogs. By opening the lines of communication he is able to provide a low stress atmosphere for puppy training and canine training while getting lasting results in a fraction of the time of other Phoenix dog trainers.
We are committed to providing dog training classes that offer the least amount of stress and the quickest results. Remember, we are training you as well as your dog, and the knowledge and insight you’ll gain into your dog’s mind and regarding the techniques with which to communicate your wishes will result in lasting good behavior and a more balanced home life. Contact us today for help with training your dog and correcting unwanted behaviors. (602) 769-1411
A Brief History of Dog Training: What You Need To Know
HISTORY OF DOG TRAINING; This article will be about dog training. Specifically, it will be a brief history of dog training. Dogs have lived and worked with humans for as long as history can recall, providing us with companionship, security and assistance. The idea of training a dog is not new; in fact, dogs have been helping us to hunt, track, guard and herd livestock, as well as assist the disabled for centuries. However, even in our modern world, humans still cannot agree on which methods or theories are best to train a dog to behave as a pet. Most of the disagreements on how to train a dog come from the two major camps of dog training methods: Force Extremists and Positive Reinforcement Extremists.
The Rise of Negative-Enforcement Only Training in The History of DogTraining
As far as the history of dog training goes, During the Great Depression, dog training began to grow in national popularity. At this time, food was scarce for humans, much less dogs, so trainers did not use edible treats to reward a dog for good behavior. Instead, good behaviors were rewarded with praise and undesirable behaviors were corrected with a small punishment, such as a quick jerk on a choke chain. This would condition the dog to avoid performing behaviors that cause pain.
One cannot talk about the history of dog training without mentioning William Kohler. The most popular pioneer in this dog training method was William Koehler, author of the best-selling dog obedience book The Koehler Method of Dog Training from 1962 – 1982. Koehler believed that training was a battle of wills and that it was harmful to dogs to allow them to go without correction for bad behaviors. While Koehler was a great trainer (you may have seen some of his four-legged students in Disney’s The Incredible Journey) he did not fully accept animal behavior theories. He assumed that dogs would understand why they were being punished and learn from it, as a rational person might. Anyone who has trained a dog knows that a dog does not learn behavior in the same way a human might, though they most certainly take cues from well-behaved owners.
Koehler’s influence and his status in the history of dog training, remains very evident in some of the popular training methods of today, especially those that insist that dogs have a pack mentality and are always involved in a conspiracy to take dominance from the humans. Here is an example of how this mentality is way of misunderstanding a dog: if your dog pulls you along on walks and you never take the time to teach him to walk with you, it is not the dog’s fault for being dominant. He likely has a desire to see and smell the world around him and does not understand that he must walk along with you rather than do as he pleases. This is not because he thinks he controls you, but by not setting rules and boundaries for the way your dog interacts with the world while on a leash, you effectively teach him that it is okay to pull you along. You do end up following him when he pulls you, so he is assured that you will be there with him while he does whatever he wants. What the dog really needs is to be trained to walk nicely because it is expected of him and in his best interests, and he will not learn that on his own.
A Generation of Only Positive Reinforcement Training in More Recent History of Dog Training
The generation that came after Koehler, and earlier history of dog training, in the 1980s championed a more positive dog training style that focused on rewarding good behavior with food or toys rather than correcting mistakes. One of the founders of this movement, veterinarian Ian Dunbar, started the then-unusual practice of puppy socialization, off-leash training and the lavish use of treats for rewards. Total Positive Reinforcement remains popular today, but unfortunately is unreliable when used alone and without any negative reinforcement whatsoever. This approach is fairly laissez-faire (hands-off) because it requires you to literally wait for the dog to decide on its own to behave in the desired way without any guidance from you. For example, if you tell your untrained dog to “sit” using only positive reinforcement, you must literally wait for him to decide to sit and then lavishly praise him when he does. He does deserve a reward for sitting, but if he does not understand what the command means to begin with, then you have not taught him anything. By the time he sits down, he has forgotten the cue “sit” altogether, and perceives that you are randomly giving him a treat. Not only does it take a long time for the dog to do what he is told, but he also may get frustrated when he does not have a clear expectation of what you want. Appropriate negative reinforcement would help in this case by allowing you to say the command “sit” at the same time as you push the dog’s rear end onto the ground. Once the dog sits, you can remove your hand from his behind and reward him with praise or a treat. Repetition of this activity allows the dog to connect the word “sit” with the physical act of sitting.
Attempting to use a clicker and treats to train a dog is only effective in very controlled environments. Your dog may be motivated to sit and stay for a treat while in his own home, but the second you have him sit and stay in an uncontrolled environment and he sees something more interesting, his desire to interact with that distraction (chasing a cat, wrestling with another dog, stealing a child’s ice cream, etc.) is going to be much stronger than his desire to have a treat. The fact that you have a polite dog at home means absolutely nothing when his behavior is out of your control where it matters: in public.
Balanced Dog Training Method Used by Phoenix Dog Training
Balanced Dog Training
No matter what the history of dog training shows us, it is true today that Negative Reinforcement, when used in conjunction with positive reinforcement does not mean pain, punishment or harsh corrections. Instead, in the Balanced Dog Training method, used at Phoenix Dog Training, negative reinforcement is a way to show the dog what it needs to do. For example, when you train a horse to turn to the left when the left rein is pulled, you are essentially using the annoying sensation of the bit in the horse’s mouth to show the horse what you want it to do. The horse reacts to alleviate the annoyance of the bit. Conversely, if you respond to undesirable behaviors by giving in to them, you only allow your dog to control you. Compare this to the analogy of a child throwing a tantrum in a store after his mother does not buy him a candy bar. If the mother gives in after his tantrum and gets the kid some candy, the child realizes that he has just taught his mother a new trick. He now assumes he can always have his way by throwing a tantrum. This same principle applies with dogs.
Phoenix Dog Training is able train dogs quickly and effectively because we take the time to understand why your dog acts out and work to motivate a total behavior change both in you as the owner and in your dog. Our Balanced Dog Training approach and method combines all aspects of learning theory and is constantly improving. As our knowledge grows, our toolbox of dog training tools expands, allowing us to find the right fit for each unique animal we meet. We also give you the tools you need to be the kind of owner your dog needs and provide him with the structure and attention he needs to continue to behave as he should with our lifetime guarantee.
Phoenix Dog Training is Phenomenal!! From the very beginning we knew we were in good hands. They worked so well with our whole family. Getting the kids involved in the training was brilliant. We would definitely recommend this company.
I recently called Phoenix dog training to train my out of control hyper Australian Shepherd. The training was excellent and the service was A+ all the way. I have used two trainers before that could not help with the pulling on walks when any dog came by and jumping on guests. Now "Molly" knows to go to her "Place" when the door bell rings. Walks are now enjoyable. I can even take her off leash and she stays right with me. I can not thank you enough.Tyler Thompson
My wife and I highly recommend Phoenix Dog Training. Our dog, a Labrador Retriever/German Shepard Mix, (Mr. Pickles) was trained last summer and we could not be more happy with the results. Mr. Pickles has been an excellent dog ever since his training. Everyone that comes in contact with our dog is amazed by his obedience and uncanny maturity even though he is not even three years old. He has acted perfectly on an international flight in-cabin, in the grocery store, restaurants and practically any situation one can imagine. My wife and I have Phoenix Dog Training to thank for training our dog to be the most well behaved dog we have ever seen or met. Phoenix Dog Training understands dog behavior and knows how to train a dog to meet the needs of their owners. Phoenix Dog Training utilizes empathetic, efficient, and effective methodologies in training dogs and we give them an emphatic recommendation!
I was referred to Phoenix Dog Training by our Veterinarian because of our Boxer Max, and his aggression.Phoenix Dog Training and their Harvard schooled Animal Behaviorist did an incredible job helping myself and my family bring Max under control. We realize we will need to manage Max's behavior for as long as he is with us, but now we have the skills and the tools to keep Max and everyone happy and safe. Thank you for all the great training help and support with our dog Max.
I have always trained all of my dogs myself. I have never had a dog I could not train. My current dog Jasper is the exception. I truly thought my dog had a mental problem. Thanks to Phoenix Dog Training I no longer think Jasper is mental. Jasper just needed his owner trained. I would recommend Phoenix Dog Training to anyone needing professional dog training.
I am so grateful I found Phoenix Dog Training. I live up in North Scottsdale and have a large yard. We get a lot of wild animals that come onto our property. Coyotes, Havelina, Bob Cats Mountain Lion, you name it. The problem I was having was my dog Skip would not come when called. No matter what we did he would not come when called. He would call me when there were no distractions. He would come when nothing was going on. But up another dog or another person or another animal is there, he will not come for anything! I have tried several other dog trainers in Scottsdale. They all promised me they could get my dog to come, and they did a great job getting my dog to listen to me when there were no distractions. But if there's another animal, they were not able to get my dog to come when called. Out of frustration and skeptical, I called Phoenix dog training. They said they had a money back guarantee. I figured if there was ever a time they would have to honor their money back guarantee it would be with myself and my dog Skip. To my absolute amazement, the dog trainer from Phoenix Dog Training was able to get Skip to come with the distraction of another dog he brought with him within about 3 minutes! It was absolutely crazy!!! No one had been able to produce any results, and here they have skip coming when called with another dog around, skip would normally go crazy. But this time he was coming when called! I would definitely recommend Phoenix Dog Training!!! They saved my dog from being eaten from a Mountain Lion I'm sure!!!
I really want to thank you guys. Phoenix Dog Training has made my dogs life and my life so much better. I get to finally enjoy my dog. Walks are now a pleasure. She sits and stays when I tell her. When I call her to me, now she comes. I love the "place" command and that seems to be her favorite command too. I'm looking forward to the Polishing and Maintenance classes that Phoenix Dog Training offers after our completion of our private at home dog training lessons. Thank you again.