Why Training with Positive Reinforcement Works


dog training

Positive training is a method of training animals that does not use force, coercion, or other harsh methods.  The basis of positive reinforcement training is to help the dog do what you are asking him to do, then reward him for doing it.  Many of my clients have made this comment to me after watching training take place: “It’s just like teaching my kids”.

Top 10 Reasons Why To Train With Positive Reinforcement

  1. More successful training outcomes.  Pets learn quickly when their behaviors are reinforced. Using rewards to reinforce the behaviors we want is key to positive training success.
  2. It’s a confidence-builder.  The human-animal bond is made stronger when we reward the behaviors we want from our pets.  Positive training builds healthy confidence in our pets, helping them learn how to live in our human world.
  3. You and your dog are happier.  It is more fulfilling for us when we train our pets with rewards instead of punishing them for misbehaving.  Plus, no harm is done to your pet if you make a mistake such as poor timing of a reward.
    Alternatively, poor timing when delivering punishment can cause your dog or cat to fear you or worse, to shut down completely.
  4. A better bond is built.  Dogs and cats are more trusting of humans in general when they are trained with rewards.
  5. Behaviors that are rewarded often are repeated.  So, reward the behaviors you want, and ignore or redirect the behaviors you would like to change.
  6. Pets learn “how to learn”.  Positive methods teach dogs how to think and figure things out.  This is likely because they are not afraid to offer behaviors since nothing bad happens if they get it wrong.
  7. It’s proactive.  Training with positive methods is actually training, instead of reacting to behavior.
  8. Results are more measurable.  Training with positive reinforcement is rewarding to your pet.  Results that you can see easily and quickly can be measured with every training session.

Image: iStock


Susan Giordano is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer and owner of K9U Training. She is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). Susan graduated from Pat Miller’s Peaceable Paws Intern Academy, one of the country’s most respected and comprehensive dog trainer programs. Susan believes in doing no harm, emotionally or physically. Dog training should be fun and pain-free for all involved, dogs and humans. To learn more about Susan, please visit www.k9utraining.com