Our dogs will sometimes get it wrong when we are training with them. How we deal with those mistakes determines not only how fast they learn the behaviour but also their attitude about working with us. Should we focus on getting the results we want or helping our dog get it right?
Choosing a different approach to dog training can be difficult and a little scary. Especially if you have never done it that way before. When things seem to break down 7 years into your training it can be soul shaking. That’s when it’s all on the line and you have to trust that you made the right choices.
Most of us have had that feeling of relief at encountering something familiar when we are in a new situation. We shouldn’t be surprised that our dogs can feel that same sense of relief if we present them with something familiar when they are uncomfortable. Do you know what your dog has good feelings about? Do you know what comforts them? You can use that to help them learn and cope with difficult situations!
Between all of the criteria and learning theory and Operant Conditioning and Clickers and reinforcement rates, do science-based trainers have enough time to actually love their dogs too? The answer is probably more and less complicated that you might think. Science can be far from cold. It has sparked great passions in humans for hundreds of years.