There is a lot to consider when you are house training a dog, from toilet training to teaching it not to get up on the furniture. But it is not just the dog that needs to be learning from you – you need to be learning how to train the dog.
Possibly the most common mistake that new dog trainers make when teaching a dog for the first time is to shout a lot… but often this doesn’t work as well as you would like. For example when toilet training a dog you might think that shouting at it when it chooses to relieve itself inside is a good idea. However there are two reasons this doesn’t work
1) Shouting will cause the dog to think that it is wrong to relieve itself when you are there, a backwards step if you want to take it out on a walk or to the garden to relieve itself.
2) Dogs can’t understand that something they did previously is wrong, so if you shout at them for relieving themselves when you weren’t there they won’t understand what you are talking about – even if you ‘rub their noses in it’
Positive Reinforcement is the Answer
Unlike negative training, positive reinforcement is something that dogs instinctively understand. They like to be rewarded with fuss and treats (such as food) when they do something right – and they learn very quickly from such rewards and are keen to earn them again.
House training a dog takes time for the dogs to learn what you want,but research has shown that positive, not negative, reinforcement is the best way forward – positive gets results quickly, by contrast it seems that negative methods of training a dog can be slower and less accurate.