It seems like dog training techniques are a hot topic these days. A brief look on the internet reveals a multitude of trainers and training facilities purporting to use the most effective techniques that give “quick” results. But like many things in life, quick is not necessarily the best and depending on the type of training methods used, there can actually be a detrimental effect on the dog.
Reward based training is no longer just a different way to train, but scientific research tells us training with positive reinforcement or clicker is most effective. Building off the groundbreaking research of Pavlov and B.F. Skinner, we now know that dogs learn concepts faster and more effectively when they are rewarded for good behaviors, not punished for bad ones. So what does that mean in regards to training a Doberman? Said to be the fifth smartest of all dog breeds, his or her high intelligence contributes to a quick grasp of new concepts and ease of training. Building on a strong desire to please, rewarding your dog during training with treats, a toy, or lavishing praise and attention brings success! What specific type of positive training methods are best will depend on your dog’s personality and drive. An experienced certified positive trainer will help you and your dog find what works best. Dobermans thrive on learning and training classes provide much needed mental stimulation, physical exercise, socialization and time spent bonding with you. No wonder they love it so much!
Old-fashioned methods can work. Decades of well-behaved dogs and the owners who loved them can attest to that. So why should they bother to cross over to the positive side? The short answer is that positive training works, it’s fun, and it does not have the potential to cause stress and physical injury to dogs through the application of force, pain, and/or intimidation. Relying on this type of training has the potential to have the dog lose trust in you, be fearful of you and/or others, have low self esteem, and the dog may eventually react as any dog would – by snapping or even biting. Scientific research does not support this methodology nor do any professional dog training associations.
As a rescue we require that our adopted dogs attend at least one series of basic, reward based public training classes with you. Even dogs that are well behaved and have obviously had previous training must attend classes. They need to understand that now you are their new leader and they will look to you for guidance and direction. They will blossom and strengthen their bond with you. This bond is very important which is why we do not want your dog sent away for training.
Your dog will be genuinely happy having your undivided attention as you work towards your training goals. You will develop a healthy, respectful relationship with your new best friend that is not based on pain and fear.