You have just adopted a puppy or dog, and you do not really know which method to use to perfect his education? Do not look for and bet everything about positive reinforcement! Zoom on this sweet, caring and respectful method of the animal.
Positive reinforcement: What is it?
Educating his dog by favouring positive reinforcement is to opt for a gentle method without violence, and that makes sense. Reinforcing the good deeds of his dog positively is encouraging him to reiterate rewarded behaviours by systematically adding a pleasant stimulus.
Thus, since the dog is an opportunistic animal by nature that is only going to what gives him satisfaction, he will seek by all means to reiterate the behaviour that allowed him to obtain his reward.
To give you a simple example: when your dog comes back when you remember it, and you warmly reward, you reinforce his good action (R +) positively. Conversely, if it does not come back right away and when it runs, you grew (P +), you negatively reinforce the action to return home. In fact, you are not in a coherent approach, and it will have a direct impact on all other reminders you will ask for your dog. “Why come back if I make myself scolded systematically?” will then tell your dog.
From my point of view, positive reinforcement is simply a question of common sense. Would not you come to the idea of sanctioning your child for brought back a good note from the school? Well, for your dog, it’s the same thing: to encourage it, you have to reinforce your good deeds positively.
On the other hand, to stay on the analogy of the child and note: it is sometimes tempting to suggest to his offspring to do everything the same better next time because good, have a good note is good but having The best is still better. By doing so, we go against the principles of benevolent education and positive reinforcement. I explain: to positively reinforce the good deeds of his dog is rewarding the slightest progression that tends to the desired end behaviour. Thus, this method also makes it possible to respect the pace of learning of the dog and do not burn the steps.
The positive strengthening of the dog: what tools?
To educate his dog in positive reinforcement, you can equip or not.
I explain myself: you alone know your dog, so it’s up to you to know what will give him the most pleasure as a reward. So you can “arrder” with treats, toys, or just your enthusiasm to reward your dog.
Reinforce the good deeds of his dog positively is simply to please him so you alone can know what will please your dog the most. Some are “legs on legs”, the food will then allow them to redouble with effort in the exercises, some will prefer to play when others, very tactile, will satisfy a good caress.
But beware, when you want to strengthen your dog’s good action, it’s important for the reward to be a little “exceptional”; otherwise, it has no value in your dog’s eyes and therefore does not serve.
For example, if throughout the day you give “for free” treats to your dog, it will not make any distinction between “rewards” treats and treats “free”. Similarly, if the toy you use to reward it is the one it always has available in the house: the craze will not be clear. Finally, if you spend your time flying your dog, it will not be necessary to use the caress as a reward either.
In addition, the cliché is to say that to adopt the positive reinforcement method, and it is imperative to use the Clicker-Training method. Again, nothing is mandatory. You do as you want and as you feel. Certainly, the clicker makes it possible to accurately reinforce the good deeds, but some masters are not comfortable with this tool, and it does not matter! I always go out of the principle that education must be a nice moment of sharing with his dog: if using a clicker you stresses, or you bother: do not use it! It’s better not to use it than bad use!
Educate your dog in R + P-: What does that mean?
Educating your dog positively is to respect this principle: R +, P-!
To understand how positive reinforcement works and do not fall into the drifts and the clichés of this method, the following concepts should be included:
R + means “positive reward”: we add a pleasant stimulus for the dog to encourage him to reiterate the behaviour that allowed him to obtain it.
Example: I give a treat to my dog when he sits down.
R- means “negative reward”: we remove an unpleasant stimulus for the dog to reward him.
Example: I stop strangling my dog with his education collar when he is at the foot.
P + means “positive punishment”: we add an unpleasant stimulus to make it clear to his dog that he does not act well.
Example: I take my dog by the neck when he does not adopt the desired behaviour
P- means “negative punishment”: we remove a pleasant stimulus until the dog adopts the desired behaviour.
Example: I range from treats or toy until my dog cooperates.
As soon as you integrate positive rewards and negative punishments in your interactions with your dog: the account is good! And very beautiful things will be able to flow from this method. Opt for this educational technique to allow you to strengthen the relationship between you and your dog and bet more on cooperation on its part rather than listening under duress.
Because, we say it: Certainly a dog will eventually give in with his master, he will end up “cooperating” to avoid sanctions and flee pain: but at what price? Having a dog that obeys the finger and the eye but always with the head down and the tail between the paws: I do not call it the fruit of a good education!
The positive reinforcement method allows the dog to be well educated and obeyed with enthusiasm, joy and motivation!