Training can strengthen the dog-human relationship, while improving behavior and increasing confidence. To be effective, training sessions can be brief, but should happen regularly.
Training can focus on “good” behaviors such as sit, down, and loose leash walking. You may enjoy teaching your dog tricks like shake or fetch. You can use training to help your dog accept basic care such as grooming. You can also use training to reduce undesirable behavior such as barking or jumping.
Compared to other training methods, positive reinforcement training is:
- easy to do
- the most humane training method
Positive reinforcement training rewards good behavior with food, attention, toys, or play. Training can be used to either increase or decrease the frequency of a behavior. With positive reinforcement training, we avoid using pain, startle, or force to change behavior.
Training kenneled dogs can help dogs feel good about people. It teaches skills that helps them be good companions. Training provides both mental and physical exercise and enrichment, and promotes wellbeing.
A recent study found that dogs were less stressed when trained with positive reinforcement.
Deldalle, S. & Gaunet, F. (2014). Effects of 2 training methods on stress-related behaviors of the dog (Canis familiaris) and on the dog-owner relationship. J. Vet. Behav., 9, 58-65.
Skill Building Library
Bare Bones – If you only have a few minutes for the basics
Snacks – If you want to learn more
Kibble – If you want to take a deep dive into the science
Training Dogs With the Help of the Shock Collar: Short and Long Term Behavioural Effects
Survey of the Use and Outcome of Confrontational and Non-Confrontational Training Methods in Client-Owned Dogs Showing Undesired Behaviors
The Effects of Using Aversive Training Methods in Dogs – A Review
Does Training Method Matter? Evidence for the Negative Impact of Aversive-Based Methods on Companion Dog Welfare
Give the Dog a Big Bone: Magnitude But Not Delivery Method of Food Impacts Preference and Reinforcer Efficacy in Dogs
An Investigation Into the Impact of Pre-Adolescent Training on Canine Behavior
Additional Resources to Support Dogs in Other Environments
SHELTER & RESCUE
Dogs living in shelter or rescue kennels face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers, including those caring for dogs in home-based foster systems or rescue networks, are provided to support efforts to improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.
Dogs living in homes as family pets face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers, support the human-animal bond, keep pets in their homes, and improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.
Research & Teaching
Dogs living in research or teaching kennels face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers are provided to support efforts to improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.
Applications for Research & Teaching
Applications for Pet Families
Perfect Puppy in 7 Days
Yin, S.A. (2011). Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right. CattleDog Publishing.
What is Positive Reinforcement Dog Training?
Saito, M. and Chin, L. (2012). What is Positive Reinforcement Dog Training? Retrieved June 21, 2023, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/lilita/7420827860/sizes/l/.
Effects Of 2 Training Methods On Stress-Related Behaviors Of The Dog (Canis Familiaris) And On The Dog-Owner Relationship
Deldalle, S. and Gaunet, F. (2014). Effects of 2 training methods on stress-related behaviors of the dog (Canis familiaris) and on the dog-owner relationship. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 9, 58-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2013.11.004
Why You Shouldn't Yank a Dog's Leash
Bekoff, M. (2022, July 4). Why you shouldn't yank a dog's leash. Psychology Today. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animal-emotions/202207/yanking-dogs-leash-welfare-concern-dogs-and-humans?fbclid=IwAR2DCIr8fGbeJjoE_S1WQ4KYVVYmriQQ6HdXz42ZVccUmLyWDfe6tdaPgek
The Dog House - A Metaphor for Skill Building
Ryan, K. (2021, July 21). The dog house. Dog Adventures Northwest. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://dogadventuresnw.com/the-dog-house/
Be Dog Smart: Training Your Adult Dog
Pet Leadership Council. (2019) Training your adult dog. American Pet Products Association. https://bedogsmart.org. Used with permission.
The MUZZLE UP! Project
Muzzle Advocacy, education, and training. The Muzzle Up! Project. problem behavior recognition
Applications for Shelter & Rescue
Implementing a Clicker Program in Your Shelter: An Overview
Pryor, K. (2002). Implementing a Clicker Program in Your Shelter: An Overview. Retrieved June 21, 2023, from https://www.clickertraining.com/training/shelters.
Positive Reinforcement – Training with Rewards
Dog's Trust (n.d.). Positive reinforcement – training with rewards. Retrieved June 21, 2023, from https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/dog-advice/training/techniques/positive-reinforcement-training-with-rewards.
Improving In-Kennel Presentation of Shelter Dogs Through Response-Dependent and Response-Independent Treat Delivery
Protopopova, A. and Wynne, C.D.L. Improving in-kennel presentation of shelter dogs through response-dependent and response-independent treat delivery. Environmental Management Noise
Training and Motivation
Center for Shelter Dogs. (n.d.). Training and Motivation. Tufts University: Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Retrieved June 21, 2023, from https://centerforshelterdogs.tufts.edu/dog-welfare/enrichment/training-and-motivation/.
The Effects Of Social Training And Other Factors On Adoption Success Of Shelter Dogs
Protopopova, A., Gilmour, A. J., Weiss, R. H., Shen, J. Y., & Wynne, C. D. L. (2012). The effects of social training and other factors on adoption success of shelter dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 142(1), 61-68. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2012.09.009