Training Methods – Reward Based Training

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No Choke, No Shock, No Shame! Aunt Karen’s training method is not based on force or compulsion. Training based on physical punishment is not recommended due to the damaging emotional effects and potentially dangerous side-effects of creating repressed behavior, anxiety and fear in dogs.

Behavioral science and psychology shows that when a stimulus produces an event, that event triggers an emotion. In this regard, dogs are just like people. A dog who is scolded and punished during training will learn, by association, that training means unpleasantness, discomfort and the possibility of pain. Signs of training such as seeing the trainer, the training collar or the leash will trigger the negative emotions associated with punishment such as fear and anxiety. How your dog may react to those negative emotions will be unpredictable and your dog’s natural enthusiasm for learning may become repressed along with other normal behaviors.

Humane Dog trainers use Classical Conditioning to create rewarding associations and positive emotional responses as well as Operant Conditioning to shape desirable behavior by leveraging the consequences of simple behaviors. Creating positive emotions and rewarding consequences will produce predictable behavior results and give your dog opportunities to be cooperative participants in the training process.

AKLD uses Reward Based training which relies on praise and rewards such as treats, toys and games to reinforce behaviors that you want while eliminating unwanted behaviors which are not being rewarded. A dog who is rewarded and praised during training will associate positive emotions with training and will enjoy learning. Reward Based or Positive Reinforcement training strengthens the emotional bond with the handler and stimulates a dog’s natural desire to learn.

We do not use aversive punishment. Aversive punishment and threatening behavior will teach your dog to be afraid of you.

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