Won’t feeding my dog treats when he acts aggressive or barks only reward that behavior?
I wondered about this question when I first began positive association training with my dog, Loker. I was starting the “Click the Trigger” (CTT) method to try to get him to quit being so reactive when he saw other dogs or strange people. Since I came into the dog training world practicing methods like Cesar Millan and thinking dogs were pack animals, to me it seemed like giving a treat every time my dog acted this way to a stimulus would only be reinforcing that exact behavior.
Since then, I have seen incredible results. If you have been following my blog you already know that we went through a whole 6 week group class last month. We would have never been able to do that and improve his behavior towards the other dogs with correction based training. I have seen first hand how it changes a dog’s perception of it’s stimuli and now that I know more about it, it makes more sense.
How much better did Loker get? Well, these are before and after pictures. We went from reacting from a distance of approximately 40ft to being calm at about 5ft.
It took a lot of patience, good observation skills, and tons of chicken on my part, but we did it! Now we just need to continue the training to make sure he generalizes his new skill to all dogs and stimuli. I am so happy with the results!
Special thank you to Stacy Greer of Adventures in Canine Training for all the support and information she has given me! I truly appreciate it!