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The RSPCA believes that dogs should be trained using programs that are designed to facilitate the development and maintenance of acceptable behaviours using natural instincts and positive reinforcement.
The RSPCA supports reward-based training methods whereby the dog is set up to succeed and then rewarded for performing the ‘good’ behaviour (positive reinforcement).
Reward-based training is enjoyable for the dog and positively enhances the relationship between the dog and handler. Rewards may be in the form of a food treat, favourite chew toy, or verbal praise such as “good dog!” in a pleasant tone of voice, to be given when the dog performs the ‘good’ behaviour.
Reward-based training also involves generally ignoring any ‘unwanted’ behaviours. In this way, the dog is not rewarded for any unwanted behaviour. If dogs are not rewarded (i.e. receives no attention or treats) for a certain behaviour, then they tend to stop doing it.
Reward-based training is the most humane and effective way of training dogs and addressing any unwanted behaviours. Reward-based training does not involve aversive techniques, physical punishment or the assertion of dominance over the dog.
A dog jumps up to greet people: her owners have tried pushing her down and kneeing her to knock her off balance when she jumps. This has not worked, in fact she now jumps from further away to avoid the knee.
Please see AVA Reward-based training for more information.