It’s been four months since Pet Parent Hannah, first wrote about her experiences of positive reinforcement training with her two Jack Russell pups, Rambo and Oscar.
Positive Reinforcement Training: 4 Months On
It’s been four months since I first starting using positive reinforcement training, and since it’s been a while, I thought it would be a good idea to provide an update for all you pet parents who were curious how successful it’s been. Especially since the main reason I decided to attempt positive reinforcement training was the uncontrollable barking – you could stop Oscar, but then Rambo would start and vice versa.
To get straight to the point, Positive Reinforcement Training certainly works, and over the past four months, I’ve more understanding of the mechanics of positive reinforcement training. Recently Darren hosted an Instagram live with Matt from HelpWithHounds, who delved into what positive training techniques mean for our dogs.
Positive Reinforcement: Oscar & Rambo too!
As I’ve previously mentioned, deciding to try positive reinforcement training came from Oscar’s uncontrollable barking. The fact that once either started, it was getting increasingly hard to get him to stop – he simply would just get carried away!
But what surprised us most with positive reinforcement training, although we started with Oscar in mind, it affected Rambo too. Rambo’s barking was sometimes just as bad as Oscars, but it often drowned out Rambo’s attempts to be heard due to Oscar’s being at such a high pitch.
However, after a while, we started using the technique outside of barking but out on walks too, and we slowly saw that it encouraged them to follow good habits and behaviours, which meant life was a little less stressful.
What I’ve Learnt From Positive Reinforcement Training
Although attempting positive reinforcement training was a success, there have been so many mistakes that we’ve made along the way, which has allowed us to learn and adapt even more.
- As the CityDogExpert said in her Instagram Live, her job is training humans, not their dogs. Well, positive reinforcement training really inforced that for me. It’s not just about changing your dog’s behaviours but your mindset and language too.
- It’s not always going to work. Even if you use the positive reinforcement training daily, you’ve got to expect some slip-ups. It’s not perfect, and sometimes the neighbourhood cats will be determined to torment your dogs by hanging out outside not only the front window but the back garden too.
- As Pet Parents, we have to stay consistent with the training. The moment we forget or think the behaviour is magically fixed forever, this often is when those behaviours occur again. Stay consistent for you but also your pup to avoid any confusion.
- I learnt a lesson before starting positive reinforcement training, it’s all in the eyes and having good acknowledgement from your pup is the best sign you can receive that it’s working.
- Positive reinforcement training is not just about training out bad or unwanted behaviours. It’s about figuring out what your dog’s needs are, something that is important we do anyway in our role as a pet parents. Sometimes unwanted behaviour occurs simply because your pup requires more mental stimulation, additional physical exercise, or simple wants some extra playtime too.
If you’re thinking of starting positive reinforcement training yourself with your pup, check out our positive reinforcement training tips that we learnt initially and let us know how you’re getting on!