Derek Chambers of Finchley Dog Walker uses Only Positive Methods
There are a number of methods involved in reinforcing good behaviour in a dog. The point of the reinforcement is to show the dog that a specific behaviour is not good and will not be tolerated. When offering reinforcement to dogs it is important to remember that the dog is certainly not unintelligent but has to be taught much like children.
When we discipline our children we try to do it in a way that teaches rather than tear down their spirits. How we discipline our children should be much the same way in which we encourage good behaviour from our dogs. Some of the old methods of discipline have been proven to be ineffective and can actually stunt the behavioural develop of your dog. Methods that involve hitting the dog, the use of loud noises, spraying water, or rubbing noses into accidents on the floor are terrible ways to reinforce good behaviour and that is why we at Finchley Dog Walker do not resort to such barbaric practices to teach dogs how to behave.
Reasons Negative Reinforcement Does not Work
Finchley Dog Walkers is a company that you can trust with the welfare of your dog. Unlike other dog walkers that may strike or use some other form of negative reinforcement to attempt to show the dog where they wronged in their behaviour, we see the value in every dog and want each and every dog that comes under our care to feel loved and appreciated. Here are some reasons why negative reinforcement simply does not work.
Only Teaches What not To Do
It is important to actually teach the dog good behaviour rather than make him scared to make a mistake. Negative training methods only teach the dog what not to do as opposed to offering an alternate behaviour for your dog to model after.
Easy to Become Abuse
It is easy to become angry and have a quick reaction to the behaviour of the dog. Most of the time these quick reactions come in the form of negative reinforcement such as hitting the dog, but it is way too easy to go too far with hitting and turn a form of discipline into abuse. That is why Finchley Dog Walker stays far away from this type of reinforcement.
There are times when fear of specific things can be a great teacher, such as a child touching a stove and suddenly understanding and fearing things that are hot. As we want our dogs to remain safe and far away from harmful things, we never want them to fear us as their owners. Negative forms of reinforcement make the dog fear the person giving them the negative reinforcement.
Does not Earn Trust
As dog lovers we all understand the importance of trust in the relationship. The dog needs to feel safe and know that they can trust their human with their very existence. Dogs that have grown accustomed to negative reinforcement do not have trust in their owners and therefore do not trust humans in general.
The Attitude Does Not Change
A dog that is already aggravated and therefore growling at an owner or caregiver is not going to change his behaviour in any positive way simply because you give him negative reinforcement. If anything you will push the dog to snap at you should you strike him when he is upset.
Does not Mean He Will Not Bite
Many owners make the grave error of using negative reinforcement methods to get the dog not to bite. Although you may make the dog scared to bite you, it does not mean that he will not bite anyone. Truthfully, he may not lash out at the owner but take out his aggression on another human, such as a child or an elderly person that they view as weaker than they are. This is never a good result.
Mental and Physical Damage
A dog’s mental state is very important. Their mind can be very fragile especially if they have been abused in the past. Sometimes what seems like a way to fix a dog’s behaviour is actually completely tearing down his or her mental state and many times it takes years to repair the damage done if repair can even happen. In addition to mental damage jerking a dog around by his or her lead can result in physical damage to the dog’s neck and back.
We at Finchley Dog Walkers never resort to negative reinforcement methods. We want every dog in our care to enjoy themselves and should a redirection of behaviour be necessary we will work to fix the behaviour, but in a much more positive manner. We understand that reinforcing with the word no can do far more good than any negative methods ever could.