It’s funny, as the owner the Dublin Dog company I get asked all the time what’s the best way to train a dog, as though by my ability to make cool collars, leashes, and toys I automatically have the answers to all things dog related....hardly. The way in which you train your dog is a very personal choice, and one that needs thoughtful consideration. One must consider their amount of time with the dog, the age and breed of the dog, and the desired results you are trying to achieve.
There are countless methods, and each has it’s merits and drawbacks, from reward-based training, clicker training, RCC or radio controlled collar training, negative punishment, and on, and on. And for each of these examples, there are small nuances and philosophies that go along with each.
As a parent of two small children, I can see a lot of correlation with my kids and my dogs and the way I promote certain behaviors and try to eliminate others.
- I promote with love, praise when I see good things and verbally correct when I see things going astray.
- When danger/harm is imminent: ie. going into traffic, biting, or all out craziness, I correct with more stern resolve but patience, and my response is consistent each time I witness the error. The result, I don’t send mixed signals and everybody knows why I’m giving the correction.
- Yes, kids and dogs are not the same thing! No question. However both learn from experience, both thrive from love and praise, and more patience means less stress for all involved.
Bottom line, do your research when thinking about how you want to interact with your dog and what behaviors you want to create and/or eliminate. There are a lot of options, and there are a lot of “experts”, but consider your dog, your situation, and your goals. Once you have that nailed down, be consistent and do it with love and respect. You’ll both get more out of it.