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If you have a new puppy at home, chances are you’ve been reading up on different house training techniques. There are many approaches, of course, but we think error-free house training is the best. Here are some things we tell dog lovers about error-free training when they are thinking about house training.
What is error-free house training, and why do we recommend it?
By definition, error-free training is a technique that involves a combination of very close supervision and positive rewards. It works so well because it goes along with your dog’s natural instincts. Dogs naturally do not want to eliminate in their den, or in this case, the indoor living area of your home. They also instinctively respond well to food treats as positive reinforcement. Plus, your puppy’s small, efficient digestive tract makes it pretty easy to predict when your pup will need to eliminate, which makes the approach easier for you to learn.
Puppies don’t know “right” from “wrong” behaviors, so punishing your pup for accidents may actually backfire. They don’t understand the punishment; they only know that they are afraid and that can interfere with your bond with your dog. Error-free training does not involve punishment, which makes it more positive and effective.
What are some steps to error-free house training?
While error-free house training involves more than what we can put in a short article, here are some basics to give you an idea of what this method entails.
Remember, like any kind of dog training, error-free training takes time and patience. If you are running out of either, or if you would like more information, contact us.
Lisa Marino, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP, PMCT, has taken her varied teaching experiences and applied them to helping owners understand and train their beloved four-legged family members. She has more than four years’ experience leading group dog training classes at Best Paw Forward in Hartland, WI, and opened Head of the Class Dog Training LLC in Winchester, VA in 2012, where she conducts group classes and private lessons, as well as helps owners to modify their dogs' problem behaviors.
Lisa earned her CPDT-KA in 2012, is a 2015 graduate of the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy and is a Pat Miller Certified Trainer.
She has 4 registered therapy dogs and is a Pet Partner Therapy Team Evaluator and a member of HOPE AACR. As a former middle school teacher, she works well with families and children and does school presentations on various dog related topics.