7 Most Popular Dog Training Methods

Training your dog determines the most vital aspects of the kind of relationship you share with your dog.

Picking the right dog training method is essential. However, the choice can be made only when owners know helpful training methods.

The importance of training methods is undeniable. Practical training determines the personality of your dog.

Choosing the wrong approach to train your dog or letting inconsistencies creep in can make way for an ordeal. 

As dogs and humans have shared a friendly embrace for ages, specific decided training methods have emerged.

Before getting your puppy home, it is advisable to skim through these basics. You can then choose to settle for the one that suits your needs and breed best.

However, it should be considered that you need not stick to just one at most times, and different skills can be fostered through various methods.

At the same time, a certain level of consistency is desirable to avoid transmitting mixed information to your dog.

Proper training can be achieved with persistence and determination. Popular dog training methods fall to your rescue as you struggle with the lack of training ideas.

1. Traditional dog training


Spending so many years around our canine counterparts brings us buckets full of information about them.

Traditional dog training relies on the knowledge we have about dogs. We carry basic ideas about how dogs think, perceive, act, and feel.

This form of training evolves from our continuously evolving knowledge about the species. We use the desired behavioral information and train the dog accordingly.

If you are still confused about how traditional dog training works, here is an elaborate explanation.

Through our understanding of dog behavior, we can establish specific patterns of training for dogs.

For example, knowing that a dog is beginning to assert dominance will lead us to perform an act that repeatedly proves that it is you who the master is. The Alpha roll is a well-known technique.

Traditional training harbors the essence of establishing dominance. It brings requisite punishment into account to teach your dog about desirable/undesirable or permissible/impermissible behavior.

It makes way for dogs to make mistakes, and the cure is found by appropriate training or punishment that would convey the desired signal to the dog that is being trained.

However, owners must resort to suggestive punishment that does not go overboard in all instances.

All your action needs to achieve is telling your dog that it needs to mend its behavior. The method proves helpful with constant Reinforcement in instances of bad behavior.

2. Classical Conditioning


The most common psychological approach that we learn about happens to be “classical conditioning.”

When it comes to training your dog, classical conditioning can help develop its very first ideas of how it needs to behave.

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It means that you need to teach your dog to act to a certain stimulus in a certain way through constant repetition and reward.

For example, rattling the bowl can serve as a signal for “dinner time.” In this case, finding food in the bowl serves as a reward for your special friend.

With constant repetition of this pattern over days, it will learn its meaning and significance. It will thus grow accustomed to a specific behavioral pattern. 

Classical conditioning serves as the formative block. It can help you train your dog in essential food time, playtime, and even potty training. The exciting part is that you can decide the keyword/sound/action you feed for every behavior.

However, since our main concern revolves around effective training, the thumb rule is to keep your cues distinct from each other.

The dog should not confuse one cue with the other. It will lead to it being confused and you being troubled. Nevertheless, Classical Conditioning is one of the best methods to feed basics to your dog.

3. Positive Reinforcement


Positive Reinforcement alone cannot form the entire training pattern for your dog. However, it is one of the most determining and useful techniques that come into play with canines.

Once basic dog training is imparted and your dog has a certain sense of acceptable behavior, you need to encourage positive behavior.

The moment your dog receives affirmation for a specific action in the form of your love or a treat, it is very likely to repeat it. 

In this case, a simple way to discourage bad behavior is not validating it with a reward and paying the least possible attention to it.

In all cases, positive behavior must receive a welcoming and positive gesture so that your dog gathers the hint. This method needs to be acknowledged for its unwavering ability to foster frequent good behavior in dogs.

It can be combined with basic dog training to serve its purpose well. There have been constant debates around this training method.

An important observation to make is that they treat you bless your dog with should remain in control. The dog should not indulge in desired behavior for the treat while failing to act the same way in the absence of one.

Thus, positive Reinforcement needs to be approached with a sense of balance. When training your dog, this method needs to be carefully implemented. 

4. Clicker based dog training


Clicker-based training can be understood as a systematic positive Reinforcement.

While positive Reinforcement demands affirmative action and reward from the owner, the involvement of a clicker enhances the dog’s ability to understand when its behavior is positive.

This is accomplished through a clicker. The clicker conveys a click to the dog when positive behavior is noted.

This click then becomes indicative of an upcoming reward or appreciation. The dog can understand the reception of its behavior better.

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Clicker-based training allows dogs to develop a constant sense of acceptable and unacceptable behavior as the clicker does the job. 

Classical conditioning works in this technique as it is through constant use that the dog can understand the use of the clicker and what will follow.

Once the dog understands the desired pattern of behavior and knows that positive behavior is rewarded, it is likely to incorporate that and act accordingly.

There may be exceptional circumstances when the dog refuses to obey the rules it has long followed. These situations might need special care and consideration. Immediate punishment without evaluating the causal agent is frowned upon by researchers.

We need to try and understand our dogs better each day. Clicker training or electronic training are methods that have come up relatively late.

It is alright if owners decide to abstain from the external help of such aids and decide to take the normal route of traditional training.

However, dog training is case-specific, and your choice must rely on immediate and specific factors that concern your dog.

5. Observational dog training


The term speaks volumes for itself. All living creatures exhibit the quality of imitation to some extent. In living beings as well developed as dogs, it is very predictable to note a behavior such as this.

It is proven that dogs pick up cues from visuals around them. So, how you act around your dog is very likely to impact its behavioral attributes.

Observational learning is learning brought in through observation. However, you cannot rely on your dog to pick pleasing aspects from observation.

The training process requires you to create the right atmosphere and behavior around your dog so that it can pick these positive cues.

When we talk about observational training, it is not just providing an excellent behavioral atmosphere that counts. At times, bringing in a rival can prove to be helpful too.

It has been noted that dogs tend to behave better when under the threat of some rival that has the ability to steal their place.

Observational training exploits these aspects. Another human can serve as a rival, promoting the growth of good behavior in the dog.

A technique such as this works well with friendly dogs who spend quality time with their owners. A good attention span and obeying ability also come into play.

So, if observational training seems to work for your dog, there is a lot you can teach your dog comfortably and at ease.

6. Dominance based training


Bringing a dog home and having it grow closer to you each day feels like a blessing. However, letting your dog feel that he’s the master could prove to be troublesome for your household.

Dominance-based dog training is necessary to help dogs understand that they need to obey your command and cannot act willfully and wildly according to their pleasure. 

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Dominance-based training brings into use some classic techniques that help you achieve this. This form of training relies on the “pack mentality” that dogs carry instinctively without failure.

Even among humans, dogs tend to assume you are a pack member. A dog needs to realize its position in the pack to exhibit proper behavior.

When the dog begins to see itself as the “Alpha,” you need to resort to techniques to flip its faith.

Whether or not your dog is trying to sport dominance can be understood through its body language and behavior.

There are some basic rules for Alpha training. For example, you can choose not to allow your dog on household furniture to sit alongside you. Promoting this behavior might lead to it seeing itself as your equal or your leader.

Thus, simple techniques that repeatedly convey the power hierarchy to your dog prove to be helpful in dominance-based training. 

7. Relying on Science


Science-based dog training has gathered all the recent buzz. With constant research into play, there are ever-developing streams of knowledge that help us understand our dogs better.

In many ways, relying on scientific facts is considered advantageous when it comes to training your dog.

Science-based training makes way for a wide horizon of things to explore. It stresses that the best training pattern for you can emerge out of essential components. 

The behavior of dogs is studied, and almost all relevant training methods come into play.

Operant conditioning, classical conditioning, traditional conditioning, etc., easily slip in. The knowledge that science-based dog training brings in is continuously changing.

Several new rewarding and punishment methods that are considered appropriate have turned up. Several behavioral insights lie on the table.

Following basic dog training methods accompanied by contemporary knowledge that floods all the time is the best possible way you can go about things. It also comments on the level of awareness and affection you exercise towards your dog.

Several interesting points that are contradictory to other methods also float in. For example, scientists believe that positive Reinforcement should not always rely on exaggerated rewards to achieve healthy training.

Such new arguments pour in now and then, and an informed owner must exercise sensibility and balance combined with scientific researchers to make the best possible arrangements for dogs. 

These basic training methods are likely to help you train your dog. These popular methods have gathered the best results over time and formulated after years of studies concerning dog behavior.

Although it might be difficult to choose the perfect training pattern, the best pattern can be self-tailored.

Your training method can be an eclectic mix of the right proportions of these seven best dog training methods.

With adequate knowledge and its application, it will not be a difficult task for you to train your pet. We wish you nothing but the best with your canine friends. 

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