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the art of dog training

The Art of Dog Training

By: Sandi Munson


  • I want to give you an overall insight to the world of training. I will be touching on some of the history, techniques, and some of the controversy in the industry. I want to leave you with an idea of what to do when you or someone you know gets a puppy.
what we will cover
What we will cover:
  • The importance of dog training
  • History of training
  • Methods
  • Training Tools
  • Major controversies
why train your dog
Why train your dog?
  • Enhances the human-animal bond
  • It makes living together easier
  • It is necessary i.e.: cattle or sheep herding
  • It is fun!!
how do dogs learn
How do dogs learn?
  • Classical Conditioning
    • Pavlov’s dogs
  • OperantConditioning
    • Positive/Negative Reinforcement
    • Positive/Negative Punishment
classical conditioning
Classical Conditioning
  • Ivan Pavlov:
    • Was a Russian physiologist who was conducting a digestion study and noticed that the dogs began to salivate at the sound of a tone.
    • Was credited with the discovery of classical conditioning
classical conditioning7
Classical Conditioning

How it happened:

1.) Researchers fed meat after a tone sounded

2.) Researchers noticed the dogs began salivating at the sound of the tone before food was present.

3.) This led to more studies in behavior

classical conditioning8
Classical Conditioning

Definition of Classical Conditioning:

A type of stimulus acquires a capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus. (Weiten/Craig)

operant conditioning
Operant Conditioning
  • This is controlling volunteered behavior.
  • Defined as:
    • It is a form of learning in which responses can be controlled by their consequences. (Weiten/Craig)
  • Clicker training developed from here
  • Positive Reinforcement:
    • basis for most of the popular forms of training.
    • Adding something the animal likes to increase the behavior occurring.
  • Negative Reinforcement:
    • Removing something that promotes the behavior
      • For Example: Walking away from jumping dog, promotes the behavior of sitting for greeting people. Removing person increases the desired behavior, the sit.
  • Positive Punishment:
    • adding something the animal dislikes to decrease a behavior.
  • Negative Punishment:
    • removing something for the behavior to stop
  • Most common mistakes:
    • Negative reinforcement and Positive Punishment aren’t the same thing.
    • This link takes you to AVSAB’s definitions and examples and position on punishment.
    • Explaination of Punishment
positive reinforcement training
Positive Reinforcement Training
  • Basics: dog performs behavior, get a reward!
  • Types of reward:
    • Treats (most common)
    • Toys
    • Praise
  • Luring and Clicker training
    • Main forms of training today
  • Easy to do
  • Ask the dog to do something that comes natural and reward when desired behavior happens
  • This clip was found on youtube and is a very common way to train sit
  • Common demonstration of luring: the Sit
clicker training history
Clicker Training History
  • Invented and developed 30 years ago by Keller Berland, Marian Bereland Bailey, and Bob Bailey.
  • First used and developed in marine animals
    • They commonly used the whistle
  • In 1992, Karen Pryor along with Gary Wilkes, Gary Priest, and Ingrid Kang Shallenberer put together the first clicker training seminar. (
clicker training
Clicker Training
  • Why use clicker? This link will take you to Karen Pryor’s website discussing why clickers are more effective than your voice
  • Why you can't just use your voice
  • The ‘click’ signals animal of good behavior
  • Tells the dog that a treat is coming
  • Allows the trainer to bridge the gap from when the behavior occurred to when the reinforcement comes
  • Follow this link for a demonstration of clicker training!
    • Clicker Training Video
training tools
Training Tools
  • Halters and Easy-Walkers
  • Gentle Leaders
  • Pinch/Prong Collars
  • Choke Chains
which is the tool for you
Which is the tool for you?

Almost all dogs can be taught not to pull on a normal flat collar. But it takes time, if you want help, you can use a training aid.

gentle leaders
Gentle Leaders:
  • They are a training tool that allows the handler complete control over the dog’s head.
  • Works a lot like a halter on a horse
  • Follow link to premier's instructions on fitting and desensitizing.
  • Gentle Leader fitting instructions
  • Come in a wide variety of styles
  • The front clasp halters (bottom picture) are showing to be more effective in controlling pulling.
  • Click to learn more about Easy Walkers
pinch collars and choke chains
Pinch Collars and Choke Chains
  • Get desired results by a jerk of the leash
  • Follow link to choke chain hand out from the APDT
  • Choke Chain Leaflet
controversy in the industry
Controversy in the industry:
  • The trainers face off
  • Cesar Millan vs.. Ian Dunbar
  • Why the controversy?
    • Most trainers are either highly credentialed or
    • Just doing things that work
cesar millan
Cesar Millan
  • Grew up with a natural talent for working with dogs.
  • Read several psychology books.
  • Major method: “Leader of the Pack”
  • Methods are very dangerous, the show constantly flashes “Do not attempt at home” on bottom of the screen.
  • 2004 National Geographic Channel aired his first series The Dog Whisperer
ian dunbar
Ian Dunbar
  • DVM
  • PhD in animal behavior
  • Special Honors in physiology and biochemistry
  • In 1981 began the idea that dogs can learn at a very young age. Before it was thought that dogs shouldn’t be trained until 6 months of age.
  • Started the industry doing puppy classes at 8 weeks while the window of opportunity for socialization is still there.
why the controversy
Why the controversy?
  • While Cesar is charming and his face is out there promoting ‘leader of the pack’ and not working on sit, stay; he says he is “working for a balanced dog” and says he is rehabilitating dogs. He has almost no credentials and almost no training. He does what comes naturally, but can cause major behavioral problems.
  • Ian Dunbar advocates for positive reinforcement and it is training you could let a supervised 4 year old to do. Highly educated and has studied behavior for years.
what to look for in trainers or behaviorists
What to look for in trainers or behaviorists:
  • Backed by major dog associations: AKC, APDT, AVSAB
  • Has schooling such as:
    • Bachelors, Masters, or PhD related to behavior.
    • Click here for APDT's tips for what to look for in a good trainer.
american veterinary society of animal behavior
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior
  • Are a group of professionals, DVM and research professionals who are dedicated to animal welfare.
  • Reviews papers and trainers
  • Helps support the first masters program at University of Illinois in Applied Animal Behavior
association of pet dog trainers apdt
Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)
  • Association of professional trainers that promote education makes good trainers.
  • Founded by Ian Dunbar in 1993
  • Not all trainers are behaviorists
  • A trainer has to sit an exam that test over a wide range of topics to become a certified pet dog trainer (CPDT).
positive vs negative reinforcement study
Positive vs. Negative Reinforcement Study

Training methods of military dog handlers and their effects on the team’s performances.

  • The basics of this study was to see how the team’s (dog and handler) performance was influenced by rewards and punishments.
  • Main Results:
    • Found that the traditional teams are not efficient (mainly aversive stimuli)
    • That dog’s behavior is closely linked to the handler’s.
  • A couple of graphs
so you got a new puppy now what
So you got a new puppy, now what?
  • You just brought home a new puppy, and 6 months seems a very long time to wait to be able to get them trained.
  • AVSAB's handout on puppy socialization
  • Early classes and training will get you going in the right direction and keep your puppy socialized and happy!
dogs at play
Dogs at play
  • Be very skeptical of who you let your dogs socialize with in the beginning:
    • Big dogs: They will let puppies hang off their necks and ears, not all dogs will enjoy that.
    • Rough players: puppies will learn to play rough from them.
    • Socially awkward dogs: will teach your puppies bad habits and show mixed signals.
    • Follow this link for a video of good examples and explanations of play
  • Click here to watch a video with explanation of dogs at pay.
  • You now have all the tools to make informed decisions when it comes to dogs and dog training.
  • You can find classes in your area through APDT for a trainer, or ask your local veterinarian.
  • For more information follow this link to the Bibliography I pulled almost all the information in this presentation and some other interesting papers realted to training.