Dog training methods can be a tricky proposition when it comes to training your pup. Some dogs respond well to certain methods while other methods may not work so well for them. The secret is to find a training approach that works for him. Not all training methods are created equal for all dogs. That’s the key idea to remember.
I recently came across a question in the forums which prompted me to write a post about this. The owner had a dog who was doing quite well with his training, but he was afraid of the clicker. The owner tried various ways of getting the dog over his fear of the clicker, but none of them worked. She said that her dog did well with a pen click or a tongue click, but those methods weren’t convenient for the owner. So when is it time to change your training approach?
Training Methods Should be About Success
One of the things that I want to stress about training is that it should be based on your pet’s success. By that, I mean that if you stumble across something that works, even if it wasn’t what you were going for, roll with it. The alternative is a dog who doesn’t follow your instructions or your lead, and that is absolutely no fun.
Without picking on the poster of the question, she said something that struck me. “My dog responds well to a pen click or tongue click, but it isn’t convenient for me.” While I understand that inconvenient training methods might not be ideal, something that works is far better than nothing working. So my personal advice for training methods is going for what works.
So what do we do in the case of training methods that don’t work? Well, the simplest answer is simply to stop using them, and I say that from experience. As owners, we may be dead set on using a certain type of training method, but if it doesn’t jive with our dog’s personality, it doesn’t jive. In this case, the woman’s dog is terrified of the clicker for some reason. Whatever that reason may be, the end result is still the same. When she tries to reward her dog with the click, she actually just terrifies him. That’s when it’s time to switch to another approach.
Using Our Brains to Influence Theirs
The really important thing to remember with training methods is that it’s all about using our brains to influences our dog’s brain. We have big old brains, and it’s our responsibility to use them to help our dog’s effectively use theirs. One of the aspects of that responsibility is using training methods that work. If we are using a method that either doesn’t work or makes things worse, it’s time to try something new.
Training methods are many and varied. All it takes is trial and error to find the one that works best for your pooch. Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Our dogs will tell us what is working and what isn’t. It’s up to us to follow that information.