Positive training with dogs has many names, including rewards-based training, positive reinforcement, science-based training and even force-free training. The general theory behind this method is that your dog learns that good things happen when they offer a behaviour or action that you like. This means this particular behaviour or action is most likely to be repeated. For example, if you dog sits when asked, he is likely to get a treat, a smile, a hug, a play with a toy or some praise (positive reinforcement can come in many guises) and therefore he is more likely to sit when asked next time. The behaviour or action has been rewarded.
You can tackle undesirable behaviour using positive training. At first you must work out what is causing the undesirable behaviour and then how to modify that behaviour by giving the dog the ability to learn a more rewarding behaviour. If you punish a dog or use force, the dog's trust in you may be violated and he or she may be anxious if they feel you may respond in an unpredictable manner. By working positively with your dog at all times, your dog will trust you implicitly and will look to you for direction about the desired behaviour required.
Using positive techniques will encourage an extremely strong bond between you and your dog. In addition your dog will want to cooperate with you as this is when good things happen. Your dog will be able to make choices and this will bring about a sense of confidence and trust in your dog, banishing anxiety-based behaviours and helping your dog to cope with everything life throws at us.
Positive training requires you to be kind to your dog, to recognise your dog's concerns and understand their body language. You will have to foster a two-way communication system that is unique to you and your dog. It will require consistency and lots and lots of patience to work with your dog properly and effectively.
"...so now my son can walk our two dogs and let them off the lead when they get to the park, knowing full well they will come back when asked. What a relief for all of us." Helen & Oscar