How to train dogs - No hitting allowed
Any behavioral specialist (and any parent!) will tell you that you get better results with rewards than you get with punishments, and with a little of thought, it's easy to see why this is the best way to train your dog. For your dog's own safety and for your own sanity, you'll find that using a rewards-based system is one of the most effective ways to train your dog and to make the training stick.
Although at times it may seem like your dog's sole mission on earth is to drive you absolutely nutty, that's not true by a long shot. The problem is you've probably gotten so caught up in trying to figure out how to train dogs that you've forgotten that all your dog really wants is to make you happy. He's just not sure how to do that.
The positive reinforcement method can help you train any dog. Contrary to what you've heard you can teach an old dog new tricks. This method is great for dogs of all ages so whether you're learning how to train a new born puppy or an older dog it's extremely quick and effective.
The key when starting out with the positive reinforcement method is to give your dog a cue that you will use consistently throughout training. It doesn't matter whether it's word or a gesture. Your cue will signal your dog to perform the desired action so make sure it's something that's relatively easy to understand.
Let's pretend you're training your dog to lie down. You say to your dog in a clear, even tone, "lie down," and assist him by gently pushing his legs down. Once he has lain down you can reward him with a big hug and say, "great job" or you can give him a treat. The key is to let him know that this is a good thing and you're happy with his performance.
It's crucial that you remember to only reward your dog when he's done something on your cue. Do not give him praise when he does the task without first being prompted. This will cut down on confusion and let your dog know to only perform on cue.
Also keep in mind the fact that if you are trying to train a destructive behavior out of a dog that you should not scream at him. Losing control and yelling or hitting your dog will only teach him to be afraid of you, and nervous dogs will often do a lot more damage than calm ones. Only reprimand your dog if you actually catch him in the bad behavior, so make sure that you are there to see it!
With patience and a little effort you'll have your dog trained in no time. You'll feel comfortable with your dog's behavior and your dog will be happy because he's pleasing his owner.