Our pets occupy so much of our lives. We love them and want others to feel the same way. No one wants to go visit friends or family, only to be told (in a nice way) not to bring our pet. So we train them and we socialize them. There are different ways to train our pets and that goes for cats, dogs, bunnies and more. Most of us believe that positive reinforcement training is the best way. However, no matter how we train our pets we must continue to reinforce the training.
Every pet can learn behaviors that will be maintained by one form of reinforcement or another. When our pet is well behaved everyone is happy. Our friends and family, neighbors and coworkers all support having our pet with us. The rub comes up when the training is abrupt and negative reinforced to achieve well-mannered pets. The animal may become sullen, afraid and unfriendly; because the pet is afraid to make a mistake. Also, negative reinforcement training takes longer and we must calculate in the time necessary al time to break or significantly damage the spirit of the animal. Then we attempt to rebuild a relationship. And this can provide reinforcement for aggression if not tempered with some hands on love. Some examples of this type of training can be found at http://4pawsu.com/trainingmethods. We almost assuredly make the pet uneasy, as we cannot provide a pleasant and calm manner when we are breaking the animal. We are usually firm handed and gruff, usually unsmiling and not providing praise.
Positive reinforcement training on the other hand allows us to have a good relationship with our pet. One of the best methods of training a pet, any pet in this manner is ‘clicker’ training. This kind of training is always positive because we are bringing a treat to the table. Before anyone calls this a way to a fat pet, remember a ‘treat’ can be food, however more reliably is a praise and a hands on ‘Good Dog’ command. We are smiling and happy, the animal is getting the positive words, petting and enjoyment of pleasing us. This kind of training leaves us with a pet that will remain trained for a longer period of time (partly because it is not likely we will be harsh and gruff, as our friends and family is in the area). Most all pets seek to make us happy and then they are happy. A happy pet is fun to be around and in most instances well behaved. Clicker Training is the most well known of this type of training and Karen Pryor Training is the top of this training www.clickertraining.com/get-started.
This article has mentioned more than dog or cat training and that is because most if not all animals can be trained. Bunnies can be taught to us a litter box. Horses can be taught to come, knell down and more. Our pets are an extension of ourselves and we want others to enjoy having them around. Let’s start with the best foot forward positive reinforcement training.