Why and How Positive Dog Training Works

When it comes to dog training, there are numerous suggestions and tactics to consider. The majority of individuals adore their canine pals. When your dog isn’t trained to act in specified ways or avoid unpleasant behaviors, however, you might not enjoy your time with your dog. There are many techniques passed on from unknown sources that tell you the best ways to get your dog not to do something. But, which method is the most effective, and how do you put these techniques to use?

Dog with ball in the mouth


A dog can be trained in one of two ways.

The aversive-based strategy is the first. The second strategy is the one that is based on rewards. When you combine positive punishment and negative reinforcement tactics with your dog, you are doing aversive-based (discipline) training. Only the behaviors you want your dog to follow are rewarded in reward-based systems.

To encourage your dog to behave the way you want, aversive-based training employs strategies such as loud, unpleasant noises, physical punishments, and severe scoldings. Reward-based training, on the other hand, uses treats to motivate your dog to accomplish what you want. To reinforce that a behavior was excellent, treats, belly rubs, or other dog-pleasing actions are used.

Two dogs

Various experts favor one way or another. It is entirely up to you which one you use.

Some individuals believe that using a rewards-based strategy for training your dog creates an “event sequence” in which your dog associates you with good sensations when they follow your commands. Aversive-based techniques, on the other hand, make them fear you. Because of this dread, your dog will do whatever is asked of them in order to escape unpleasant situations.


Dogs, like small children, learn a lot. They have the IQ of a two-year-old human. They just care about the immediate implications. They begin to understand our words as they get older. Some intelligent breeds can respond to up to 250 different stimuli! Nonetheless, every dog responds more to the tone of our voice than to the words themselves.

Scientists have identified three forms of dog intelligence:

  • Instinctive
  • Adaptive
  • Working and Obedience

When your dog learns the habits that were bred into them, this is known as instinctive learning. Adaptive learning refers to your dog’s ability to solve difficulties by learning from their surroundings and the environment around them. Working and obedience refer to their ability to learn the jobs and directions you give them. 

You should focus on training that incorporates obedience tactics and the exact actions you want from your dog to get them to be obedient. Aversive and reward-based training have both been shown to be effective.

 If you want your dog to be a loving pet, however, you should use reward-based obedience training. Your dog will not develop fear-based responses as a result of this method. It actually strengthens your bond with them.



Obedience Training Rewards

Dogs are intelligent enough to learn the behavior you desire. They’re also astute enough to figure out how much they can get away with. One of the most successful strategies for training a dog with a specific behavior is to give them rewards, praise, or affection. Above all, the best reward to give them is the one they desire the most. 

Treats may be more effective than praise if they are motivated by food. If they crave your attention, tenderness may be the best reward.

The most important thing to remember is to continuously reward your dog for the desired action. Rewarding undesirable conduct is not a good idea. When your dog exhibits the desired behavior, he or she should be rewarded. They become perplexed if you order them to lie down and then refuse to give them a treat until they stand up. They won’t be able to tell which conduct was rewarded.



When you use reward-based training, your dog must understand that behaving in a way you don’t like has repercussions. When they do something wrong, the repercussions are withholding their prize. A dog that jumps up to welcome its humans as they enter the house, for example, can be dangerous to an elderly person. 

If they jump up at you, don’t greet them or pay attention to them to teach them not to. Turn around and walk back out the door, repeating this process until the dog does not leap up. While you’re doing this, keep a treat in your palm.



Remember that your dog has the attention span and Intelligence Quotient of a two-year-old while you’re teaching them anything new. Short and to-the-point training sessions are recommended. Keep them to a maximum of 15 minutes. So that they don’t get confused, concentrate on one task or behavior at a time.

Make sure you’re using the same commands for the desired actions. Your dog may not understand if you use the same word but put it in different words every time you speak it. If you want to teach your dog to lie down, for example, saying “Lie down” one time and then “Fido, lie down or no treat” later in the day will confuse them. They may be at a loss on what to do.



These are the basic obedience dog training that you can engage your dog with.

  • Come
  • Heel
  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Down

What dog training method works best for you? Are there any other methods that you find helpful?

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