Why modern dog training?
Modern dog training relies on a science-based positive reinforcement approach to teaching dogs without the use of force or coercion.
This means using humane training and behavior modification techniques to teach dogs what we want them to do, addressing the root cause of behavior rather than relying on temporary behavior suppression through punishment and pain-based tools, and managing the environment so that problem behaviors aren’t practiced and desirable behaviors are easily achieved.
Teaching dogs by motivating them and reinforcing behaviors we want is more effective, more humane, and leads to far better relationships between dogs and their people. This is true for all dogs, regardless of breed, age, size, or temperament.
AMERICAN VETERINARY SOCIETY OF ANIMAL BEHAVIOR POSITION STATEMENTs:
“AVSAB’s position is that punishment1 (e.g. choke chains, pinch collars, and electronic collars) should not be used as a first-line or early-use treatment for behavior problems. This is due to the potential adverse effects which include but are not limited to: inhibition of learning, increased fear-related and aggressive behaviors, and injury to animals and people interacting with animals.”
“The use of dominance theory to understand human-animal interactions leads to an antagonistic relationship between owners and their pets…AVSAB emphasizes that animal training, behavior prevention strategies, and behavior modification programs should follow the scientifically based guidelines of positive reinforcement, operant conditioning, classical conditioning, desensitization, and counter conditioning.”
“AVSAB endorses training methods which allow animals to work for things (e.g., food, play, affection) that motivate them rather than techniques that focus on using fear or pain to punish them for undesirable behaviors. Look for a trainer who uses primarily or only reward-based training with treats, toys, and play.”
What is Clicker Training?
"Clicker training" is an animal training method based on behavioral psychology that relies on marking desirable behavior and rewarding it.”
The clicker is a behavior marker. We use it to mark the behavior(s) we like and want to reinforce. Behaviors that are reinforced will increase or become stronger.
Because of its distinct sound and precise ability to mark the very second a behavior is occurring, the clicker is a highly effective tool to teach dogs a variety of skills and behaviors. We can use clicker training to teach anything from fancy tricks, to a reliable recall, to helping dogs with reactivity and aggression.
Clicker training is much more than simply training with a clicker. It’s a philosophy and a practice. Clicker training creates a safe learning environment free from corrections and coercion. It empowers animals in the training process and fosters confidence and enthusiasm. It helps people to effectively and humanely teach their dogs the skills they need for a happy life-long partnership.