REWARDING THE DESIRED BEHAVIOR MAKES A HAPPIER DOG
Diva Dogs personnel use modern-day dog training methods and practice the scientific principles of operant conditioning and classical conditioning to modify behavior. We believe every dog would prefer the freedom to make a choice between right (the desired behavior) and wrong (the undesired behavior). Dogs want humans to provide kind and patient instructions rather than corrections. Is that not what we as humans prefer when we learn? We may not agree with everything dogs do naturally, so how do you curve the undesired behavior? We believe as caregivers we must facilitate what’s the better thing to do under a variety of circumstances. When a dog is under our care, we have a responsibility to understand the dog’s body language and coach the behavior we want to see more often.
How Animals Learn
Animals learn in two ways, by consequences and by associations. Dogs experience when I walk by your side (the behavior) something pleasant (food) or scary (leash jerk) - the consequence - happens to me. Each method, reinforces a positive and negative experience for the dog and produces the same terminal behavior (walking by your side) but one method applies pain, fear and coercion (force-based), and the other is reward-based. The second way of learning is by association. For example, most dogs associate the leash with going outside for a walk, a chance to smell new and exciting things, seeing fun places (the beach), meeting humans or other pets. Dogs quickly learn the leash brings good things into my life when it’s used in a positive way.
Choosing a Trainer
Diva Dogs offers relationship building training programs for dogs and the humans who care for them. Cindy Lonnstrom, CTC is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (www.APDT.com) and a graduate of the San Francisco Academy for Dog Trainers (www.academyfordogtrainers.com). Visit their websites to learn how to choose a professional dog trainer.