Lamont County, Fort Saskatchewan, Redwater, Gibbons, Mundare, Tofield, Sherwood Park, North Edmonton
What a misunderstood topic. Push-over, Cookie pusher, bribery, and in a way this is true. I use food as a primary reinforcer to increase behaviour I like. That doesn’t mean I let my dogs walk all over me and turn a blind eye to rude behaviour, but I certainly do not hit, jerk, shock, prod, or intimidate my dogs for it either.
My Grandmother used to tell me,
So why do we try to force our dogs to change?
Many people and trainers do not understand the science of learning, it seems complicated and us humans resort to intimidation tactics far to quickly when frustrated. BUT my Grandma was right. Forcing a dog to change does not work. It maybe masks the problem in your presence but in turn it creates more problems, mainly the loss of a dog’s trust in a human. Using force in conjunction with positive reinforcement does not work. In fact it can be more detrimental to the dog! One minute you’re their best friend and the next you’re an intimidating beast, talk about bipolar.
I come home and my dog goes crazy jumping at me. I don't want my dog to jump.
I remove my attention and close the door. Next I open the door I ask my dog for a behaviour other than jumping (sit is the go to) I pay for the sit with treats to start (we'll go into why in future posts). Repeat. It doesn’t take long for my dog to realize sit earns food and keeps my attention. It takes very little time to wean off of the food and my dog sits when greeting me for some love and attention. It sounds simple and it is.
All too often us humans resort to getting upset, scolding our dogs, shoving them into a sit. We tend to over think or not think enough and have a bit of a napoleon complex. Why? What does your dog learn? Did it work?
Now the criticism to my method is I’m ignoring ‘bad’ behaviour. Yes, I was very consciously ignoring my dog because attention is attention so I removed it. Then I was proactive and asked my dog for the behaviour I wanted, and payed for it.