There are different techniques of learning the dog. The most common are so-called conditioning.
The arrival of the dog in the house begins a long experience, and that of his learning. The method used depends on you and also the temperament of the dog. Let’s review the different techniques.
The Basics of Learning the Dog.
To succeed in learning of your dog, it is of course preferable that it takes place as soon as possible. This is one of the foundations with the understanding of what is meant by learning. In this case, it is a matter of modifying an instinctive or social behavior of the dog in relation to a given situation.
Whatever technique is chosen, it is important to know that a dog acts on its own, on its needs, on its pleasures and on the consequences of its behavior and therefore your reaction to these same behaviors. A negative answer (consider it unpleasant for the dog) causes the behavior to stop, as well as a neutral response (your indifference) since it does not bring anything to the dog.
On the other hand, a positive response in the form of congratulations, caresses, sweets, etc. leads to a reiteration of behavior.
All this on one condition: that the dog manages to make a precise link between behavior and response. This explains in particular that it is quite useless to scold a dog ticking.
The so-called conditioning techniques.
Packaging techniques are the most commonly used for learning dogs. There are two types of learning by conditioning.
The Classic Packaging.
This is the best known technique. By responding as his master wants to a stimulus (an order) the dog receives a reward. Conversely, he gets a reprimand or your indifference. If you play with your dog and he chews you, then it does not obey your “no” farm. Then stop playing with him will make an animal understand that your attention is above all and your behavior is not good since the pleasant situation for him stops. This learning requires using material like the leash under various circumstances.
The Operating Conditioning.
The operative conditioning is distinguished from the classical technique by the fact that it is the dog who, by desiring the reward, will repeat the positive behavior on his own. This learning is based on Skinner’s cage theory where rats could reach to food if they operated a lever. The dog “analyzes” the consequences of his behavior. He will therefore reiterate the positive behaviors, especially since the master will practice the reinforcement by always giving him a reward, to stop the neutral or negative behaviors.
For this learning, the keys are the absence of delay between the behavior and the consequence but also the regularity: the same behavior must have the same consequences (one does not prohibit the sofa to its dog to authorize it the following day)
The Positive Method.
A “variant” of learning by conditioning is to use the positive method: the dog is not reprimanded or punished, only rewarded when it adopts the desired behavior. If so, nothing happens for him. To give an example, learning to walk without a leash (one does not pull to bring the dog towards you) but with treats in your hand along the leg.
Games and other learning techniques
There are other learning techniques including play, a great tool to develop mental abilities and facilitate the dog’s social relationships. Through play, the dog learns more quickly as he takes pleasure in it.
Learning is based on the repetition of situations. It is mostly intended for dogs who often encounter such situations, hunting, agility dogs, etc.
Shaping translates into shaping. This technique aims at rewarding small actions carried out by the dog – without physical or verbal intervention of the master – until the sum of these small actions naturally brings the animal to the desired behavior.
This technique is only possible if you already have other dogs since it is by the observation or even the imitation of its congeners that the newcomer adopts the same behaviors from them.
Whatever the method chosen, learning the dog does not happen overnight. It requires patience, firmness but also constancy: decide the rules before even welcoming your dog and do not derogate under any pretext.
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