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What is "positive reinforcement" training?

Positive reinforcement training is rewarding your dog for learning to behave the way you want him to.…by rewarding the behaviours you like, which will increase the likelihood that he will want to repeat the behaviour again, as he knows he’ll probably get a reward for doing it!​

Timing and consistency are key to this type of training; you must reward your dog promptly upon getting the desirable behaviour you were looking for, so that your dog will begin to associate that behaviour with a reward. The training must be consistent as well, so your dog does not become confused as to what behaviour you are asking him for.

People used to think that dog training was only about teaching dogs obedience "commands", usually through the use of heavy-handed punishment-based techniques. Science has evolved, and with it the profession of dog training has become more popular, but not without controversy. Not all dog trainers are the same and sadly the dog training industry is unregulated.

Many traditional trainers still continue to promote outdated dominance and punishment-based philosophies, so caution is advised when seeking out training information online and when choosing a trainer.

Dog Training at MADRA

At MADRA we only use and promote positive reinforcement dog training. We use cues instead of commands and rely on peer reviewed science-based training methods to make learning as rewarding, ethical, successful and easy as possible - for the humans as well as the dogs!

Our team, led by our IMDT* qualified trainer, Carrie Hoade, always use positive training; working on rewards and motivating dogs for behaviour we want. It also allows us to foster a relationship with our dogs based on mutual trust and respect, instead of fear and intimidation. We want training to be fun for our dogs. Our team are always motivated to keep up-skilling and stay up-to-date with the latest research in dog behaviour and training. This helps us to teach our rescue dogs new life skills that they can take with them to their new homes when they're adopted.

*Institute of Modern Dog Trainers

Sam on Table

Looking for Help?

Since dogs are now sharing our homes and lives in ever closer ways, it is more important than ever that every dog be given a good canine education. Doing so will prevent thousands of dogs being surrendered to shelters like ours due to behavioural issues that could have been prevented. Investing the time to teach your dogs will make living with them easier and that investment could also save their life.

If you are having training or behavioural issues, such as jumping up, lack of recall, lead reactivity, separation anxiety, aggression, toy/food guarding, anxiety/fearfulness, excessive barking and so on please get in touch with a qualified positive reinforcement dog trainer or behaviourist to help you and your dog.

Coops in training
Jacob learning 'paw up'