All pet owners love their pets unconditionally. However, your pets can test your patience at times, especially if they are not well trained. Having a well-trained dog as a pet can make your life a lot simpler and your experience as a dog parent more rewarding. Training your canine friend can not only improve their behavior but also help you bond more with them and strengthen your relationship. There are various approaches that dog owners take while training their canines. While it is best to start training them at an early age when they are most eager to learn and please you, dogs of all ages can be trained, albeit with a little extra effort. Various approaches are used to train dogs, but some methods are better than others. Here are some of the top ways to easily train your canine friend.


Positive Reinforcement 

Positive reinforcement training is based on associating your dog’s good behavior with a reward. Whenever your dog behaves the way you want them to, you follow it up with a treat. Over time, your dog associates that particular behavior pattern with a treat. Since the method relies on positive reinforcement, it does not resort to punishing or reprimanding your dog for bad behavior. Instead, whenever your dog exhibits undesirable behavior, you simply refuse to acknowledge it. A catch to this method is that it takes time and requires consistency. All the members of the family should enforce the same commands and utilize a consistent reward system.


Clicker Training

Clicker training, also known as mark and reward, is another form of positive reinforcement training where you use a clicker to mark the exact moment your dog does something you want. The clicker is a mechanical device that makes a distinguishable sound, one that the dog can identify and relate to, which makes positive reinforcement training more effective. In this approach, whenever the dog behaves in the manner you want it to, you click the clicker. Once the clicker is pressed, you must immediately follow it with a treat, which serves as a reward. The sound made after you click the clicker helps your dog understand what you want them to do. As such, the timing of the click is essential. While the click helps the dog identify the desirable behavior, it does not help them identify the undesirable one. In addition to using a clicker to help identify good behavior, the trainers at suggest using vibration collars. These collars can help your dog identify bad behavior.


Scientific Approach

The Scientific Approach is one of the more recent approaches to raising and training a dog. It is similar to the positive reinforcement technique in the sense that physical punishment, coercion, and force are never used to discourage bad behavior. The Scientific approach training is based on research of veterinarians and animal behaviorists regarding the behavior of dogs. In scientific approach-based training, treats and rewards are given to encourage positive behavior, just like the positive reinforcement technique. What distinguishes this approach from positive reinforcement is that when the dog exhibits bad behavior, the treats are taken away instead of not acknowledging it. The advantage of using this technique over positive reinforcement and other dominance-based techniques is that it helps the dog learn what the correct behavior in response to a situation is. So your dog learns not just what the correct behavior is, but also the undesirable behavior.


Model-Based Training

In this approach of training, the dog is trained through observation. The dog is trained along with another dog, which serves as a model. Another human could also play the role of a model. The method essentially provides the dog a model to copy or a rival to compete with. As a model, the person can show the dog the correct behavior, while as a rival, they compete to complete the given task to win a treat as a reward. This method generally results in a similar level of success as that of the positive reinforcement technique but is often preferred by trainers. The model-based technique is especially useful if the dog has a strong bond with you and often follows you around mimicking your actions.

There are numerous approaches that you can adopt while training your dog. However, the best approach for your dog depends on its nature and your relationship with them. All the methods described here have been tried and tested, and have proved to be extremely effective in teaching dogs the correct behavior. Furthermore, while they are the most effective if you start training your dog at an early age, these methods can be used to train dogs of all ages.