Different trainers will use various methods of training to get their desired result. Depending on what you require from your dog, will dictate the type of training most effective for you and your dog. It is vital that as a dog owner/trainer, we all understand that every dog is different, as is every owner and so each training case can vary. What will work spectacularly for one may not work at all for others.
This is occasionally misunderstood as always food reward based training. However, positive reinforcement can be anything from rewarding your dog with verbal praise; "good boy", to rewarding with their favourite toy/ball/cuddly bear (as the drug sniffer dogs are trained) or rewarding them with something tasty such as a yummy bit of cheese!
Some dogs are very food motivated and can be trained to do pretty much anything using just that. However, some are more motivated by their owners affection and attention whereas others will do all that is required just to have their tennis ball.
If an owner would like to use clicker training for their dog, we are happy to accommodate.
Basic training such as heel work, sit and recall can normally be done using any or all of the above. Whether the dog is being primed for a working life with sheep, or getting ready to become the next Pudsey on Britains Got Talent, positive reinforcement will always be the preferred method used by most trainers (including us) in a first instance.
One thing we strongly promote at Swift Dog Training is respect from your dog to yourself and vice versa. This can be something as basic as going through a gate or door, you should go through before your dog. If necessary (in certain cases) we will use corrections (please understand this does not mean hurting the dog).
There are two basic types of 'negative' training. Negative reinforcement and negative punishment, the latter being used infrequently in most trainers techniques.
Negative reinforcement is the removal of something already present. For example, I often use the reward of retrieving for my Labradors. To them retrieving is the ultimate reward. Therefore when training steadiness, if when I throw the dummy, the dog fidgets, whines etc I will walk and pick up the dummy myself. Then when they behave as I desire I allow them to get the retrieve.
Negative punishment is the introduction of something unpleasant. This should be a absolute last resort. For example, if a dog is yapping in the house and rewarding the positive behaviours has proven ineffective, the introduction of using a water spray bottle each time they yap can discourage them and eventually stop the undesirable behaviour.
We attempt to be as practical as physically possible, so that in the majority of situations you come across, you are well prepared and equipped to deal with whatever is thrown your way whether you are armed with cheese or not!