The Magic of Training the Positive

The magic of training with positive reinforcement and living with your dog in a positive way is the special relationship you develop with your dog. The communication is two-way, rather than the one-way communication of traditional force training. It is always exciting for me to watch a puppy who is just starting training discover this two-way communication. It can happen in a puppy as young as nine weeks. I start by using a treat to teach the puppy to sit. After a couple of repetitions, the puppy figures out that he can make you give him food by sitting in front of you. He starts to follow you around the room, sitting in front of you, without any command or signal from you. I keep rewarding the puppy with a treat. I want him to know he can get my attention by sitting, as opposed to jumping up or barking. But what I really want him to know is that he can communicate with me; I am "listening" to him.

When your training is not based on force, your dog is not inhibited from trying new behaviors out of fear of being punished. Your dog thus becomes a much more interesting companion. He shows you more of himself and his intelligence. You learn more about your dog.

Training the positive way makes you and your dog equal partners in the training. Both of you get something you want. You get the good behavior you want, and your dog gets something he wants, as when a puppy exchanges a sit for a treat. The idea of training the positive way is not to dominate a subordinate species, but to communicate with an equal but different one.

Training should be a way of making friends with your dog. (Golden Retriever)

Training should be a way of making friends with your dog. Making friends means establishing mutual understanding based on two-way communication, mutual respect, and trust. Training in a positive way will help you accomplish that goal. So let's get started!

Be prepared with treats to reward your puppy when she relieves herself outside. (Golden Retriever)
Dog Owners Handbook

Dog Owners Handbook

There are over a hundred registered breeds of dogs. Recognizing the type of the dog is basically associated with its breed. A purebred animal belongs to a documented and acknowledged group of unmixed lineage. Before a breed of dog is recognized, it must be proven that mating two adult dogs of the sametype would have passed on their exact characteristics, both appearance and behavior, to their offspring.

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