When you welcome a dog into your family, you may be excited about your new arrival but unsure how to train a dog to be obedient and polite. At Petco, we teach you how to speak your dog’s language through fun, informative classes that focus on encouraging good behavior and nurturing the bond between you and your pet. Our positive training classes can help new pet parents with kennel training, potty training, loose-leash training and obedience training. We offer a safe environment where pups can learn the skills they’ll need to thrive in real-world situations.
What Is Positive Dog Training?
Positive training focuses on rewarding good behavior instead of punishing naughtiness. A dog that is punished may become antisocial or aggressive. Our trainers use science-based positive reinforcement techniques backed by decades of research to build respect and trust between you and your dog while teaching him to put his best paw forward.
How Does Positive Training Work?
The general principles of positive training are simple. Just like humans, dogs will repeat behaviors that they are rewarded for. Begin by choosing a behavior you want to encourage, such as sitting. Give the command, then watch carefully. When your dog does something close to what you asked for, quickly give her a reward. As she learns the command, you can shape her behavior by rewarding only a more accurate response. Your training coach can assist you and offer advice for tricky situations.
Timing and Consistency
Timing and consistency are essential to successful puppy training. The reward must be given immediately following the good behavior so the dog understands which action has earned him a treat. When you begin training, reward the behavior every time to strengthen the connection between the action and the outcome. Effective rewards might include:
- Dog treats
- A favorite toy
- A quick game
Treats should be soft and bite-sized so your pooch will immediately be ready for more. Couple all rewards with verbal praise and your dog will soon form a positive association with the sound of your praise. Once a behavior is well established, you can slowly reduce the frequency of other rewards. In time, your dog will respond to your command simply for your praise (and the possibility of the occasional treat).
Use Consistent Commands
You and your family members should use the same simple command each time you want to elicit a specific behavior. Positive training can be used to teach your dog everything from essential manners to entertaining tricks, including classics such as:
- Leave It
- Roll Over
Once you’ve learned the principles of positive pet training, you can use them to teach your dog new skills and commands, including how to open and close a door, pose in “downward dog” and even dance.
Find Your Class Today
Whether you want to learn how to train a puppy or are hoping to teach your old dog some new tricks, Petco’s expert trainers in Columbia are here to help. We offer beginning through advanced classes for puppies and adult dogs, including complete training packages and a canine good citizen class. Learn more or sign up today by calling (803) 250-4386.