Positive Reinforcement in Dog Training
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- An enormous preponderance of dogs at the shelter are there because of bad behavior. While some people think a "firm hand" is what gets their dogs to behave, one trainer from Gainesville says its all about positive reinforcement. This trainer believes she can attract more potential dog owners with honey than with vinegar.
"Dog training should always be fun."
And Melanie Phillpot is doing just that.
"95 percent of dogs turned in across the country are turned in for digging, barking or chewing."
With a percentage that high, Phillpot decided she was going to do something about it.
What started out as simply volunteering for Gainesville Pet Rescue, turned into a passion.
"I realized how many good dogs are turned in, are lost, somehow show up at the pound, and there's nothing wrong with them! They might dig, chew, jump or bark but those are normal dog behavior and totally retainable."
So she got certified by a national association and opened up "Eager Pup."
And for the last eight years, Phillpot has been training dogs with positive reinforcement.
"Your dog is so much more intelligent than you realize. And if you will use positive reinforcement and teach that dog to work for something it likes, rather than working against something it doesn't like, you're gonna have a much better relationship with your dog, you're gonna have a much happier dog."
Phillpot says she doesn’t believe in negative reinforcement techniques such as shock collars.
"Patience is a great part of dog training."
And with the help of some treats, penny finally sat.
"People are under the misconception that if you have a dog that chases livestock or you have a dog that chases cats or whatever, that you have to use a shock collar, you have to get big and bad with it, you don't."
All you need is patience, love, and a bag full of treats.
Phillpot says her goal is for dogs and their "people" to understand each other… that way, no more dogs are left at the pound.
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