Top 10 Effective Dog Training Methods: A Complete Guide on Dog Training

Are you tired of getting appropriate dog training methods for your beloved dog? 

Whenever we come to discuss our pets’, it’s always sensitive and confusing. We have to give a second thought before we make a decision to training a dog. 

So, How dogs are trained? 

We all know, even it is true that training a dog is one of the toughest things to do, even there is a risk if misleading it. So this is confusing to decide which way should take to train your dog. 

I have one, so I know how it feels if anything bad happens to our dog. 

Table of Contents

10 Effective Dog Training Methods

Today I come up with 10 excellent and most popular methods that you can follow to train your dog. Let’s get to the topic and find out what would be your dog training method:

Dog training methods

1. Model-Rival Or Mirror Dog Training method

One of the most interesting dog training method you can use for your dog. This method suggests that dogs learn by observation, providing a model of ideal behaviour or rival to compete for resources, dogs come to learn imitate behaviours.

Dog training methods

So you or the trainer can be the model and appreciating them for completing tasks on command as well as punishing them for misbehaving. 

The targeted model can also act as an opponent, competing to do the right task for a reward, fascinating the dog to pick up on the task and accomplish it quickly. 

Mirror training also has the same principle, the owner of the dog is the model offering rewards for any accomplished tasks or good behaviour. This method can be very effective if you think that you have a strong bond with your dog. 

2. Electronic Dog Training method

By using an electric collar, you can train your dog easily. The electric collar delivers a shock when a dog is not performing the aspired tasks. It is generally used in distant training when a leash can’t be used.  

Shock collars can train the dog to obey the rules the trainer set. For example, it can train the dog to stay within the boundaries, work in the field or do hunting. 

However, there are some problems with this method. Every method has positive and negative outcomes, but it really depends on the trainer. Misuse can do harm to your beloved dogs. When you use an electric device to give him a shock for any misbehaving then you should be concerned about how you use it because it can bring psychological harm to your dog.

3. Classical Conditioning method​

Defining classical conditioning can be well described without Pavlov’s dog theory.

Ivan Pavlov ran experiments where a bell would be rung each time before meat powder was sprayed into a dog’s mouth. Obviously, the meat powder caused the dog to be slobber.

At this point, the bell ringing was a totally unrelated event to the dog salivating. But the point is, by the ringing of the bell before the meat powder was given, the dog learnt that the bell ringing meant that the meat on the way. 

Classical conditioning occurs daily without any effort from us. You can see that when the dog bowl rattle, your dog start to salivate. When the dog sees you pick up his meal, he gets excited to do anything. These are not a natural behaviour, these are outcomes of classical conditioning.

4. Operant Conditioning method

Operant conditioning is related to instrumental conditioning, it is a learning process that employs rewards and punishments for behaviour. Through this method, an association is made between a behaviour and a consequence (negative or positive) for that behaviour.

Dog training methods

If your beloved dog performs something appreciating, he is likely to increase performing that behaviour. As similar, if your dog performs something bad, over time, he will learn to eliminate the behaviour. So by punishing something bad we can decrease them, and by reinforcing good behaviours, you can increase them. 

This method is very effective, and it has been used to train many animals for many decades now. You can go for it too, it’s a best practice.

5. Traditional' Dog Training

Traditional dog training is based on the presumption that dogs required to learn to obey commands or signals given by their trainers/owners. The dog has respect for the owner’s authority.

The leader of the gang

It was widely thought that left to themselves dogs form ‘packs’ with a structured hierarchy completing in the ‘alpha’ or ‘top dog’ that controls all the other dogs. The traditional dog training requires the owner to be the alpha or the leader by suppressing any attempts by their dog to become the alpha in the family.

The fight for power

In the past, there were many aspects of unwanted dog behaviour that were seen as a sign of the struggle for the pack leader position. 

It included behaviour like as ignoring the owner’s commands or signals, aggressiveness etc. In that case, owners were encouraged to dominate the dogs by using aggressive body postures and the action that dogs notice intimidating. 

This method allows a dog to make mistakes, and then punishments are given to reduce the behaviour in the future.  

Dog training methods

6. Science-Based Training method

In science-based training, in-depth understanding of dogs, their nature, behaviour, classical conditioning, punishers, reinforcers, everything related to it comes into account. 

Science-based dog training is continually being improved from the outcomes of investigations by animal behaviourists to try to truly understand dogs.

Science-based dog training or it can be considered as modern methods as well. It is important to remember that all dogs learn according to the laws of science. The dogs learn by the outcomes of their behaviour, whatever those consequences may be. In this method, all trainers follow the law of science. 

The difference between the traditional and modern is that the traditional trainers are often unaware of the law of the science that underpins the results they are getting.

7.Positive Reinforcement method

Dog training methods

Positive reinforcement is indeed the part of operant conditioning, but it should be described as a sole method when the trainer exclusively uses it. The theory of this method is simply straightforward. The dog will repeat good behaviour when he will be rewarded for the accomplishment. on the other hand, bad behaviour does not get any recognition. If any correction needed it will come as the form of removal of rewards; anything being taken back away from the dog. In this way, the dog comes to learn what should do and what not.

Certainly, positive reinforcement requires regularity. So, everyone in your home requires to use the same commands and reward system, so that the dog can use to it. Give them a reward every time after completing any desired task. It is probably the best method that you can use for your dog.

8. Negative Reinforcement method

Don’t necessarily think negative is always mean bad. In this context, it certainly doesn’t mean to be abusive to your dog. Here negative means taking something bad away and reinforce means trying to increase a behaviour.

Therefore, negative reinforcement is taking something undesirable to develop behaviour. 

For Example Suppose you are walking in the park, and you want your dog to walk left side, but he is walking at the right side, just pull him correct him to the left. So which one you think better? I think negative one would be more effective, though there are mixed opinions regarding this.

dog training methods

9. Clicker Training method

This is considered as one of the most highly effective and popular methods of dog training. This training method uses a hand device to create a sound that is used to signify the point at which the dog completes a polite/desirable behaviour. 

It is easy to use for the new dog owners because it is easy to create a sound with a device than your voice.

Therefore it creates a better understanding between you and your dog that leads to more productive training. 

After many repetitions of this act, your dog will come to learn the functions of the clicker device, and you will have the pleasant behaviour form your dog. 

10. Relationship-Based Training

This type of method based on training combining several different methods, but it directs to a more personalised approach for dog and owner. It is nothing but the only relationship between the dog and the human that leads to everything. This method seeks to meet the needs of both dog and owner and establish their connection. Actually, it is something like mutual understanding, and it is surely beneficial to both. In this method, the owner must know his dog’s psychology, body language and how to meet their basic needs before each training session starts. 

For example, a dog must learn to “sit” in a room before trying to make the command in a park with squirrels and kids and other games. The difficulty level increases gradually.

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July 11, 2023

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