The majority of people find house training a dog to be quite stressful. In addition, most people believe that house training requires investing in expensive materials such as a crate or potty pads. This is a common misconception; in fact, there actually is a way that you can potty train your dog using an inexpensive method. This type of training is mostly based on positive reinforcement. Today, more people are learning about positive reinforcement and many prefer this method for house training their dogs because it is a lot more efficient and less stressful. As stated in eHow, positive reinforcement is the best way to teach your dog how to properly eliminate because it does not cause negative effects. Punishment and other negative types of training are not only less efficient, but they can cause side effects as well. With positive reinforcement all you need is to remain patient throughout the entire process and put the needed effort into it.
What Exactly is Positive Reinforcement?
As defined in Wikipedia, positive reinforcement is anything that your dog feels is a reward. Positive reinforcement can be many different things including; treats, verbal and physical appraisal, and play time. Some common verbal appraisal words used are; “good boy/girl,” “good dog,” and “great job!” Examples of physical appraisal include; petting, belly rub, a game of fetch, and even brushing (if your dog enjoys it). In order to be successful with house training your dog, it is recommended that you first find what things motivate your dog the most. Once you figure out what your dog loves, you can start your journey into house training.
House Training Your Dog with Positive Reinforcement
Before starting training you need to remember that each dog is unique. While some dogs learn quickly, others need longer training time, more patience, and persistency. The important thing about using positive reinforcement for potty training is learning what time your dog is more likely to have the urge to go. During training, it is also very important to keep in mind that puppies have a shorter than normal attention span (usually 5-10 minutes). For this reason, rewards should be granted as soon as possible after your puppy goes. To start, you need to take your dog out to the proper elimination area at times he or she is most likely to go potty. These times include; early in the morning, right after a meal, before each meal, each time the puppy wakes up from a nap, and before bedtime. Your dog needs to be taken out during these times even if he does not have the urge to go. This will make your pup familiar to the area and condition him to go to that spot when he feels the urge to urinate or defecate. In the beginning, you may notice that your puppy can take a very long time to go or that he may not at all go. This is nothing to worry about; with positive reinforcement, your dog will start learning that urinating and defecating in the specific area is a good thing. After a while, your puppy will start going to the area all on his own. Continue the positive reinforcement for a couple of months and after that it is no longer necessary; your dog will naturally eliminate in the proper area whether or not he is rewarded.
Positive Reinforcement and Its Benefits
Using positive reinforcement is not only great for house breaking; it is also very useful for training your dog for other occasions. If the proper training is not conducted using positive reinforcement, everyday tasks can be difficult to accomplish. Things like, dog bathing, grooming, or even taking your dog on a walk at the dog park are impossible to do without teaching your dog good behavior. Imagine how stressful it would be having to clean your dirty dog each time he gets muddy if he is resistant and misbehaves during the whole process every time! These things are simple to do as long as your dog is trained using appropriate forms of training such as positive reinforcement.
With consistency, patience, and of course positive reinforcement you will not only achieve potty training your dog, but you will also be able to teach your companion overall good behavior.