7 Most Popular Dog Training Methods

Portrait of woman with dog Welsh Corgi Pembroke in dog park

There are many things to consider when one decides to bring a dog into their home. Whether you have purchased a brand new puppy or chose to go to a local shelter and adopt a dog, both come with an expansive list of things that will be needed to make a happy home for the dog and the owner. Of course, most people think about the daily necessities of food, water, a comfortable bed, and potty-training. However, one also must consider how they are going to train their new friend.

According to SpiritDog Training there are several many different training methods to consider. In this article, we bring you the 7 most popular dog training methods. You can read more about these on SpiritDog Training website by clicking here.

Positive Reinforcement

Popular among all the dog lovers out there is a technique for specific training, Positive Reinforcement. This technique is one in which positive behaviors are rewarded, and harmful behaviors are ignored. Dogs love to be rewarded. When they perform an action that is wanted, a reward is given. They eventually learn with this training to continue to do the positive behavior to earn a bonus. The key to this training is consistency for the dog and family members.

Clicker Training

Clicker Training is a method of dog training that is used extensively in professional dog trainers. This technique involves the use of a clicker that makes a sound. When the trainer wants the dog to perform a specific behavior, they push the clicker and do a verbal command. Once the action is done, the dog receives a reward. By combining positive reinforcement and operant conditioning, the dog soon associates the click with a reward. This technique has been proven a very effective training method.

Relationship-Based Training

Everyone wants a strong bond with their dog. By doing Relationship Based Training, there is a belief that relationships will grow, and training will benefit the dog and trainer. This training encourages putting the animal’s needs first, being aware of the dog’s body language, establishing trust, positive reinforcement, finding appropriate items to motivate the pet, avoiding negative reinforcement, vigilant supervision, and controlling the pet’s environment.

Mirror Training

Has anyone heard people say that kids will model adult behaviors? Well, dogs can even do that too. In Mirror Training, a human model may perform a behavior that the owner wants to see in the dog. Once the behavior is performed, a reward may be given. When a dog considers this consistently, they will mimic the behavior, hoping for the same result. In other words, the dogs are learning by example. By observation, the dog will learn desired behaviors.

Electronic Training

In this type of training, dogs will wear an electronic collar. The collar can produce a sound, an aroma, or even a shock to the dog. The dog learns not to do certain behaviors through the use of the electronic collar. For instance, the dog may learn to stop barking or stay in a specific home boundary. This technique is also very popular for dogs in the hunting sector. Although this technique has been proven effective, it is controversial to some. Some claim it can be harmful, causing unwanted stress, anxiety, and pain to the dog.

Alpha Training

Alpha training brings back the instincts of a dog to be in a pack. It is an instinct of dogs to be a part of a group, with one of the dogs being known as the alpha or head dog. In this type of training, the trainer or owner makes themself the alpha dogs forcing their new friend to follow their rule. The trainer/owner is the dominant one. The dog must learn to wait patiently for their food, be led out the door, or other activities requiring the alpha to take the lead. A family, which is considered to be the dog’s pack, must be consistent in showing the dog who the alpha is. They also recommend not to let the dog up on the furniture or in the bed to show the dog better that this is left for the dominant humans. Dogs instinctively will thrive in a tightly bonded pack.

Scientific Training

It can be said that the Scientific Training method involves several techniques that are included in all the other training methods. When something is scientific, that means it can be observed. So in this type of training, someone is observing or studying the dog. In doing so, they can understand the dog and the behaviors of the dog. This type of exercise can include positive reinforcement, conditioning, desensitization, and others. This training emphasizes the importance of understanding the dog, which causes certain behaviors, and what methods work best to maximize good behavior or decrease poor behavior. When someone can observe and better understand their dog, then training will lead to a positive outcome.

The responsibility of being a dog owner is no easy task and should not be taken lightly. The daily tasks involved in caring for a new friend are massive investments in time, energy, and money. When deciding to become a dog owner, one must be confident that they can provide the home and the necessities needed for a happy home. Many owners may become frustrated when a dog is not trained correctly, leading to damage in the home. That is why it is important to choose a good training technique to utilize that best fits the dog and the owner and creates a lasting bond that will last forever.