Question:Reward based training and the use of positive reinforcement techniques have been considered a key element to quality obedience training for quite some time. What is reward based training?
Also known as “positive reinforcement training,” reward-based training is the pairing of positive associations with a desired behavior. This approach aims to teach pups to display specific behaviors by rewarding the behavior with things our dogs desire, such as praise, or treats.
Question: Why is reward based training important? Give us some examples that pet parents can work on at home or examples of how Meadowlake uses these techniques in your training programs.
Reward based training is important and beneficial for a host of reasons, not only does it help you maintain a positive relationship of trust and excitement between you and your pup when training, but it can also be used to help reshape fearful situations or negative associations you pup may posses by making them less scary.
An example of reward based training: For parents with pups afraid of a particular household item such as the vacuum cleaner, a reward based training approach would pair your pups favorite treat, or cuddles, next to the vacuum. Start with the vacuum turned off, then move to having your pup remain at a safe distance in a spot where they receive rewards while the vacuum is turned on, but not yet in use. The final step would be to use the vacuum while rewarding your pup in their spot. The goal is for your pup to no longer associate the vacuum with fear or as a scary object.
Here at Meadowlake our program is based on reward based training. We believe that training should be fun for pups and parents and what better way than to incorporate plenty of praise and treats.