We learn via daily interactions with our environment. Performing a behaviour which leads to a positive outcome will encourage us to perform this behaviour again and performing a behaviour which results in a negative or non desired outcome will discourage us from repeating the behaviour. For example
-Approaching people gets me cuddles and attention. This makes me more likely to repeat this behaviour (Positive)
-Trying to steal my big brother’s toys makes him get cross with me and he growls at me. This makes me less likely to repeat this behaviour (Negative)
If we apply this learning approach to training, behaviours our owners want us to perform must have a positive association to make us more likely to want to repeat them
eg Recall- when I return to my owner I get cuddles, praise and a reward reinforcing my positive behaviour
Behaviours owners do not want must not be encouraged and us doggies must not receive the desired outcome
eg Begging- I must not receive food from the table as this is the desired outcome and reinforcing my negative behaviour thus encouraging me to repeat this behaviour again.
This is a very basic description of how we learn but it is very important when we start training because it has to be fun and rewarding. We learn more effectively and faster when something is fun and rewarding than we we are fearful where we essentially learn nothing except how scary the whole experience was!!
This will form the basis of all future training advice given here on my blog