Richmond, Understanding Popular Dog Training Methods

The best way to train an aggressive and misbehaved dog is to get a professional trainer. Many pet owners attempt to train their dog themselves in the hopes of saving money. While it’s true that training your dog at home is cost-efficient, there are plenty of downsides to it. If you use inappropriate dog training methods, you can hurt your dog emotionally, mentally, and physically. To make sure your dog is trained using methods that are based on science and research, we highly suggest you consider hiring professional dog training experts. To give you an idea, here are some of the most popular dog training methods experts use.

Alpha Dog Method or Compulsion Training

The Alpha Dog Method was popularized by the famous Cesar Milan. In this training method, the trainer will let the dog know that you are the pack leader. One example is if your dog wants to get out of the house. To get out of the house, your dot has to sit first before you open the door. Another example is if your dog is hungry. If your dog wants to eat it has to sit still and keep calm and wait until you’re done preparing the food.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Perhaps the most popular dog training method is positive reinforcement training. Many famous celebrities vouch for the effectiveness of this training style like Victoria Sitwell of It’s Me Or The Dog and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz who is famed for training Barrack Obama’s dog. The concept behind this method is rewarding your dog for good behavior and withholding rewards for undesirable behavior. Rewards come in various forms like food or playtime.

An example of positive reinforcement training is clicker training. This training uses a “click” sound to reward good behavior. Why is giving rewards an effective strategy? According to Steven R. Lindsay, the author of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, rewards result in the development of active strategies like risk-taking, exploring, and searching. Conversely, punishment will lead to risk avoidance, ritualization, and hesitation. Dogs that are punished also manifest passive behaviors.

Scientific Training

Scientific training is a combination of operant conditioning and classical conditioning. In this form of training, there will be negative punishments as well as positive rewards.

Electronic Training

Electronic training, which is also called shock-collar training is usually used when the dog is far from you and you can’t use a leash. However, studies show that using electronic training can result in stress to your dogs.

Model/ Rival Training

The concept behind this training is that dogs learn when they observe. The trainer will use the owner or another human as a model for doing the desired behavior and once it is done, he or she will be rewarded. The trainer will set the human as the example while the dog observes. However, this method is only effective if the dog is close to the owner or has already developed a strong bond with its master.

Relationship-Based Training

Relationship-based training is a fusion of other dog training methods that depend on the relationship between the owner and the dog. This form of training will need patience from both the owner and the dog. In relationship-based training, the trainer will try to understand and determine why a dog would misbehave. Once the root cause has been identified, efforts will be made to eliminate the root cause so that the dog will be able to behave properly without the need for punishment.


Even though there are various dog training methods available, dog trainers swear by giving rewards. Therefore, if you plan to train your dog at home, we encourage you to give this method a try and see if it works.

Nick White

Nick White is the owner of Off Leash K9 Training. He has over 80 dog training franchise locations throughout the United States. He currently hosts the A&E show, America's Top Dog.

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