Konrad Most began training dogs for police work in Germany, and was appointed principal of the State Breeding and Training Establishment for police dogs in Berlin, where he carried out original research into training dogs for a broad range of service tasks. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he was charged with organising and directing the use of dogs to further the war effort. He headed the Experimental Institute for Armed Forces' Dogs during the Second World War, and afterwards ran the German Dog Farm, a centre for the training of working dogs, including assistance dogs for the blind. He played a leading role in the formation of the German Canine Research Society and Society for Animal Psychology. His 1910 publication, Training Dogs: A Manual, emphasised using instinctive behavior such as the prey drive to train desired behaviors, advocated the use of compulsion and inducements, differentiated between primary and secondary reinforcers, and described shaping behaviors, chaining components of an activity, and the importance of timing rewards and punishments. The book demonstrated an understanding of the principles of operant conditioning almost thirty years before they were formally outlined by B.F. Skinner in The Behavior of Organisms. While publishers of the 2001 reprint warn that some of the "compulsive inducements" such as the switch, the spiked collar and the forced compliance are unnecessarily harsh for today's pet dogs, the basic principles of Most's methods are still used in police and military settings.
All dog lovers take puppies, rescues and strays home in the hopes of raising them to be obedient, reliable dogs. After all, who does not want a well-trained canine companion? Dog owners, especially first-time dog owners, often think that training a puppy to be well-mannered and socialized is easy. This assumption leads them to take the time, commitment and effort needed to train any dog.
When it comes to training, you must define what is keeping your dog from picking up what you are teaching; defining if your dog has what problems or why problems can alleviate frustration. Professor Donaldson explains how to motivate a dog and adjust your rate of reinforcement for these and a number of other common obstacles that may stand in his way. She also provides tips for transitioning out of training mode and into integrating what your dog has learned into common behaviors. x
Also, please note that because of volume, we are unable to respond to individual comments, although we do watch them in order to learn what issues and questions are most common so that we can produce content that fulfills your needs. You are welcome to share your own dog tips and behavior solutions among yourselves, however. Thank you for reading our articles and sharing your thoughts with the pack!
We love our dogs and we want to do right by them. While there are numerous benefits to owners in having a well-behaved, obedient dog, there are surprising benefits to the dog as well—one of which is the potential of a significant improvement in both the quality and length of your dog’s life. Good training is enriching, mentally stimulating, and gives them a sense of control over their environment. But how do we know which training path to take when there is so much conflicting advice? How do we make sure we’re not doing more harm than good?
While this may seem to be an opposite of positive reinforcement, it is an important word that every dog and human needs to understand. Sometimes the answer is no, and it is for their own good. When your dog misbehaves, use the word “no.” Use a disapproving tone of voice and be quite firm so they understand that their behavior is not acceptable and that you will not tolerate it. Yes, dogs can be put in a time out, just like toddlers. In fact, they are very much like children when it comes to learning. They have a desire and need to learn and grow in their personalities and it’s up to the owner to guide them in the process.
Unless you plan to keep your dog outdoors--and few of us do because it's not recommended--you'll need to teach your dog where to eliminate. Therefore, house training (also called housebreaking or potty training) is one of the first things you need to work on with your dog. Crate training can be a very helpful part of the training process. This includes house training as well as many other areas of training:
The University of North Texas in Denton’s Department of Behavior Analysis is offering graduate and undergraduate courses on behavior modification through positive reinforcement shaping. Students do their hands-on research at zoos and animal shelters and at home. Training a pet is a course requirement for graduates and undergraduates alike. To learn more about this and other university programs that involve modern animal training, visit the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas.
Sheri - It was great having you here. Trigger is doing great and we have even made progress with the cats. He is definitely learning his place in the pack. With visitors he is also doing pretty well. My brother came over on Thanksgiving, when he knocked on the door, we made Trigger stay behind the line and we let him in. We didn't have to correct...
When you follow these basic tips for training your dog, you should see results fairly quickly. Keep in mind that every dog learns at their own pace, so don’t get discouraged if it seems to be taking awhile. If you are really worried about the pace your dog is learning at, go back through and check that you are following all 5 super tips. We are confident, that with time and patience, your dog will eventually figure out what kind of behavior you expect and successfully learn to follow your commands.