How Dogs Learn

Positive reinforcement training will increase the probability of a desired behaviour being repeated.  Simply put, behaviours that are rewarded are repeated.    While rewarding behaviours, everything and everyone present during training will become associated with that reward.​

  • Train through positive reinforcement of desired behaviour.

  • Maintain desired behaviour through practice.

Feedback for any behaviour that you wish to increase or decrease must be given within a second of the behaviour

  • Use a reward marker “good” and a gentle no-reward marker “oops/whoops” as feedback.

Dogs are masters at reading body language

  • Use hand signals along with verbal cue/cue/commands

Dogs can discriminate fine differences in their environment

  • Train everywhere and with everyone

Benefits of reinforcement

  • Positive reinforcement fosters confidence and trust.

  • Positive reinforcement becomes associated with the person delivering it.

  • Positive reinforcement is easy to give and to receive.

Problems with punishment

  • Punishment can cause aggression.

  • Punishment becomes associated with the person giving the punishment.

  • Punishment has to be strong enough to be effective but without causing physical or psychological damage – a difficult and sensitive balance.


​We love clicker training.  Marker or Clicker Training gets amazingly quick results.  Here are some links to get you started.

FDSA Free Puppy Book

Articles to Read

Why Cigarettes are More Addicting than Heroin and How It Applies to Dog Training:


Why “Choice” is the Critical Key to a Great Dog

Its yer choice (IYC) - the long version of IYC with the red cattle dog mix.

Mouthing, Nipping and Biting in Puppies:

Teaching a dog to not Jump Up:

Dog Body Language and How They Communicate

Learn about how dogs communicate with each other and us - canine body language is very important!

Other good resources for training:

By appointment only please


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Site last updated: January 2021

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