New puppy? SPCA offers up 5 elements of humane dog training | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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New puppy? SPCA offers up 5 elements of humane dog training

Dog training.
August 02, 2020 - 6:00 PM

The SPCA is offering up some tips to ensure that your four-legged family members are happy and behave in a way that's not totally unruly.

If done right, they say, training will enhance your dog’s life by helping them learn the skills they need and increase their happiness. That is what humane dog training is all about.

The SPCA said that dog training is unregulated in B.C., so trying to find reliable dog training information can be overwhelming and that's why they have five things to keep in mind to create a well trained and happier pup. They call it "humane dog training" and it basically is training that does not scare dogs or use punishments like shouting, pushing, hitting or leash corrections. Instead, it is training that is positive, effective, and builds the human-animal bond.

What is humane dog training?

5 elements of humane dog training

1. Humane dog training uses rewards like food and play to help dogs learn.
Rewarding dogs when they get something right (i.e. positive-reinforcement) motivates them and increases the likelihood that the behaviour you want will reoccur. A good example is a treat that is given to a dog when they follow a sit cue. The treat is the added element that builds the dog’s desire to continue to sit when asked – their paycheque! Positive elements to add go beyond treats. A “good boy!”, petting, play and toys can all be valuable tools and will result in your dog eagerly looking forward to a training session.

2. Humane training requires dog guardians to participate and learn along with their dog.
Dog guardians need to learn alongside their dog. Even when a trainer is working alone with your dog, it is essential that you learn training skills so you can continually reinforce your dog’s learning. Humane training relies on building strong guardian-dog relationships – your dog can’t do it alone, they need you!

3. Humane training educates guardians on dog body language and communication.
Dogs “tell” their guardians their feelings with every movement their bodies make. In humane training guardians learn to recognize what their dog’s body language is communicating about their emotions. This allows the guardian to anticipate dog behaviour before it happens, and intervene in a positive way if needed.

4. Humane training does not use punishment-based methods that cause pain or scare dogs.
Fear or pain-based training methods have no place in humane training. Choke, prong or shock collars and punishments like shouting, pushing, hitting or leash corrections should not be used. These methods are unnecessary for learning. Evidence shows that they can increase anxiety and aggression, and even make dogs afraid of their guardians. That is something you do not want.

5. Humane training is fun for you and your dog and makes your bond stronger.
When training activities are fun and enjoyable, both the dog and guardian stay motivated. It is not fun for either of you if you find yourself continually punishing your dog to train them, and it is likely not the relationship you dreamed of when you got your dog. Humane trainers know that a positive approach that treats both dogs and guardians with respect and kindness is the key to learning.


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