In my line of work I meet a lot of struggling owners who are tired and understandably frustrated with their dog's behaviour. Some clients have unknowingly sought help from old-fashioned trainers, who use physical punishment, aversive smells and sounds to scare the dog from what they are doing.
After a while, these clients stop the training due to the increased bad behaviour or simply feeling too guilty to carry on with that method of training.
Tools used in this type of training can be stones in a plastic bottle, shaking it, making a loud crashing sound to scare the dog. Other trainers use sprays, like citronella collars, causing a very powerful smell right by the dogs incredibly sensitive nose!
Reversing the roles, would you like to be scared out of doing something you want or need to do?
Some dogs are scared and so bark or lunge to make a scary trigger (like a stranger dog or person.) to go away. However, when the dog does this natural and instinctive behaviour, it gets a big spray of a very pungent scent, that they can't control nor get away from.
Would you like that to happen to you in a scary moment?
Not very nice to think about.
That's why I use a training method based on modern scientific evidence that boosts confidence, builds a bond betweend dog and handler and provides a clearer form of communication; it's called positive reinforcement.
Positive Reinforcement - How It Works
Positive reinforcement teaches dogs using a marker (such as 'Yes!' or a click from a clicker). This tells your dog that what they just did was the right thing! Think of it as a 'ding!' sound in a quiz show, signifying the contestant got the right answer!
When your dog does something we like, they get a click and a reward! Whether it's a small treat, verbal or physical praise, play time or something more personal for that dog such sniffing, roaming outside, running etc.
This training is perfect for all ages and all breeds.
It's fairly similar to when a toddler gets a gold star at school for being really, really good! (Though, the more in-depth you look into it, dog training can be very complex!)
With positive reinforcement you can help your dog overcome phobias (yes, dogs get phobias just like us!), socialisation issues (barking at people or dogs.), communication issues as well as teaching your dog basic obedience cues: Sit, Stay, Wait, Down, Leave It, Drop It, Go To Bed and many, many other behaviours!
Ditch the bottle full of stones, bin the citronella collar, throw away the idea of being dominant over your dog and simply give your dog a reward for being such a good pooch!