Training Collars Help Dogs Learn Through Association

Brian is the exception to the "Dogs don't read" rule.

Dogs don't read or watch informative documentaries to learn about the world around them. All of a dog's learning comes from association, either positive or negative. Positive associations are the way to encourage good behaviors, and negative associations are the way to discourage bad behaviors.

Dog owners should also realize that positive and negative associations are not the only factors that come into the learning process of a dog; a dog's breed is also a big factor. Some dog breeds are more apt to learning certain behaviors than others. For example, Labradors love to retrieve, Collies are great at herding, and Greyhounds are obsessed with chasing. If owners can keep these things in mind, the training process will become a whole lot easier.

The Art of Positive Association
Providing a reward to a dog is the best way to encourage certain behaviors to continue. Depending on your dog, a reward might be a treat or a toy or just extra praise. The best way to make sure the message comes across is to reward the behavior as it happens. Sometimes, this can be more difficult than it sounds.

Picture this: your dog comes into the house right when he is called, but he jumps up onto you when you look to reward him. In this scenario, there is a mixture of good and bad behaviors, and the dog may associate his treat with jumping up. The best way to eradicate this is to show the treat before the behavior is done and then immediately reward him when the behavior is done. The amount of reward time can be extended by pairing the reward with a verbal cue, like "okay" or "good boy". Saying these phrases will let your dog know what act is being rewarded and will encourage him to not deviate from it.

Training your dog will help to keep him safe!
The Art of Negative Association
Bad behaviors can be detrimental to a dog's health (running out into traffic), the integrity of your home (couch chewing), or can hurt others (biting). So, it's important for your dog to learn that these acts are just not acceptable. This should be done through negative associations.

For smaller things like jumping, these negative associations can be built slowly and very gently. Negative associations can range from taking attention away, saying harsh phrases like "NO," or taking his treats away. However, this may not be enough for more dangerous behaviors. For more detrimental behaviors, using a training collar is a great solution. These static charges can be administered at the exact moment that the bad behavior occurs. By administering these early on, owners can eliminate potential harms down the line.

Dogs learn through association, both positive and negative. As a dog owner, you should let the action dictate the method. No matter which solution you choose, you can feel good that you are taking the time to help your pup learn and be safe.

By: Tim Snyder
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