Top training methods for your apartment pet

basset hound

Training is a vital part of being a pet owner. When done properly, it results in an obedient and well-behaved friend. Instilling these traits in your pet is especially important when living in an apartment, where space may be limited. There is no shortage of information on how to train pets, and just as many techniques. Here is a rundown of some commonly used training methods for you to consider.

Positive reinforcement rewards good behavior. This method seeks to increase the frequency of a desired action, such as going outside to go potty or sitting on command. When your pet performs the action you are trying to train them to do, provide them with a treat or favorite toy, along with praise and physical affection. By increasing the pleasantness of the experience for them, you encourage them to repeat the preferred behavior. This method works well for a wide variety of pets, including more independent ones, like cats.

Positive punishment penalizes bad behavior. With positive punishment, you create a negative experience for your pet in an effort to discourage unwanted actions and reactions. This method usually requires a leash in order to execute the punishment, which is usually a quick tug on the pet’s collar, but it can also be a mild electric shock or pinch with more sophisticated, professional dog training equipment. The idea is to create just enough stress on your pet to coerce them into performing the correct action, but, when done improperly, can cause them to become afraid of you. It is thus important to balance the punishments with praise for good behavior. Some experts have voiced apprehension over positive punishment; this style may be best left for professional use only.

Negative punishment takes away what your pet likes. Instead of adding an unwanted stimulus to an experience, this method simply takes away a desired stimulus until the undesirable behavior in the pet subsides. For example, if your pet nips at your feet in order to get a favorite toy, withhold that toy from them until they stop biting. On the most basic level, this teaches your pet what kind of conduct is needed to receive what they want.

The alpha-dog method is more aggressive. Sometimes called a “balanced” approach, this style of training seeks to establish a hierarchy between pet and owner. This method asserts the owner as the pack leader and persuades the pet into taking a more submissive position. This type of training requires the owner to be a good leader and may be best used in conjunction with a professional dog trainer.

The takeaway? Use the method that your pet is most receptive to. Remember to be consistent with training once you find a system that works. When done properly, the results can be highly rewarding.

Dog Training Methods [4 Paws University]

Training Tips for Your Cat or Kitten [Web MD]

Dog Training Methods: Positive Reinforcement vs Alpha Dog Methods [Web MD]

  • July 25th, 2016
  • Posted in: AVA, WAG