Positive Reinforcement Training for Dogs & Puppies

With Professional Dog Trainers in Miami

What is positive reinforcement?

Positive reinforcement, frequently called “R+” in dog trainer lingo, is the presentation of something pleasant or rewarding immediately following a behavior. It makes that behavior more likely to occur in the future, and is one of the most powerful tools for shaping or changing your pet’s behavior. Whether a good or bad behavior — if something is presented (a treat, love, your happy voice, a toy, a petting hand, eye contact) that an animal perceives as pleasant, that particular behavior WILL increase! The R stands for reinforcement and the + means that you’re adding something….in this case, something an animal likes!

So why all the fuss about R+?

Dog training has come a long way in the last 20 years. With each new year, more and more scientific research is conducted to explain how and why animals learn. Canine behavior experts (the PhD’s!) around the world are all pointing to the fact that positive reinforcement (R+) is the best and most effective way to train a dog (and all animals!). The added bonus to this fact is that absolutely no force is needed to create the behaviors we so desire from our canine companions. Sure, using only positive reinforcement means being patient and committing to teaching your dog instead of intimidating it — but don’t you want a relationship with your dog based purely on trust and mutual enjoyment of each other’s company?

If that’s R+, then what’s all the other stuff?

It’s rubbish, is what it is! Most “traditional” training use a combination of what is called positive punishment and negative reinforcement. Either an animal receives something aversive (something unpleasant) after performing a behavior, like a jerk on a choke chain or a smack with a rolled up newspaper, or a screaming human yelling “NOOOOOO”, or the animal is presented with an aversive first in order to induce a desired behavior. If I was a dog I’d enjoy doing what you tell me because I like you, not because I’m afraid or intimidated by you. And just because I may not show it, doesn’t mean I’m not afraid of you. I’m just a dog, after all, so while you’re jerking away on my choke chain I still am forced to “like” you because I depend on you for my food and shelter.

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