Training German Shepherds seems to be comparatively easier than some of the stubborn breeds like Shiba Inu, Chow Chow, Pekingese, Borzoi etc. Yet wrong techniques can make easiest things tougher. Even with the most intelligent breed like GSD, training may be incredibly challenging if not proceeded correctly.
However, abusive training methods are a big ‘NO’, and ‘NO’ for ever, and ‘NO’ for any and all animals – irrespective of breed, group, class and species.
Importance of reward based training finds its role to play here.
What does a reward have to do with training?
Let’s start off with asking ourselves: “why should we need to train a dog at all?” Well the answer is simple… we train our dogs because we want them to behave the way we want, which means we want to modify their behavior to suit best the way we live and mingle in the society. Rewards can really do the trick.
For dogs, the punishment (traditional and primitive way of teaching tricks for example leash jerks, shock from the collars, hitting, and using prong choke chains) works just temporarily and on a surface level. Training based on rewards like lavish praises, treats etc. is a better, safer and smarter alternative that gives desired outcome more effectively. The reward-based dog training (positive training) methods has drastically won over the traditional discipline-based training methods. Most contemporary canine behaviorists and trainers are relying on the effectiveness of treat reward training systems. Reward based training system emphasizes on praising and rewarding on correct actions of your dog, rather than not rewarding and accompanied with punishments based corrective measures when your dogs behaves incorrectly. Years of experimentation and study of canine psychology concluded that “not rewarding and accompanied with punishments based corrective measures when your dogs behaves incorrectly” works less effectively compared to “praising and rewarding on each and every correct action of your dog”.
What the reward based dog trainers stress on?
Most modern reward based trainers believe in eliminating the undesirable behavior by gradually replacing them with desirable ones. And that can be done by rewarding your dog when he does what you want and refusing praising or rewarding him when he does what you don’t want. The new behavior that is the one that you want him to act like is called “incompatible behavior” (good behavior - not compatible to the current situation, and needs to make them compatible), which can be eventually induced through Positive Reinforcement – rewarding. Food like cookie tidbits yield awesome results in a Reinforcement Training. However, with wrong identification of the specific behavior to target, the reinforcement training may backfire.
To conclude with I should be pointing that the most important thing about reward based, positive reinforcement training is “Attention”. Attention is the best reward for your dog when he does something good and another important thing is that training should be a fun for both your and your dog. Proper exercise in the form of play is the best source of stimulation to ensure physical and mental well-being. Just came across CollarsAndTags.co.uk-kong-dog-toys an online shop for pet toys offering a good assortment of fun and indestructible dog toys. A content dog (the one that usually adequate exercise and play) is mentally more stable and more focused which make him a better student for any experienced trainer.