Consequential Training Vs. Reward Only Training

Consequential Dog Training

In this post we're going to talk about two very different styes of training. Both training methods can be highly effective although, here at the Local Pack Dog Training we focus on one of these. Today we're going to be talking about consequential dog training and reward only dog training. 

First things first, lets define these two methods. Consequential training means that when a dog does something wrong, preforms an unwanted behavior, or breaks the command given to them, then you provide a consequence in return. Reward only training means that you only reward the dog when they do a wanted behavior using positive reinforcement.

NOTE: With consequential training you can use both rewards and consequences. 

Here at the Local Pack Dog Training and Rehabilitation, we use the consequential method along with the reward method. 

Consequences are like a handbook to life for dogs

The reward only method can be very beneficial to helping a dog understand that they performed a wanted behavior. When a dog does something right then you reward them and that tells the dog "good job, repeat that behavior." The only problem with reward only, positive reinforcements is that unfortunately you cant get a dog to stop an unwanted behavior. You can get them to repeat a wanted behavior but you can't get them to stop a behavior that is unwanted with reward only training. 

With Consequential training it is very clear to a dog what you allow and don't allow. A Consequence is something that makes the dog uncomfortable after having performed the unwanted behavior. It is not something that hurts the dog or mistreats the dog. It is just something that snaps your dog out of it and makes the uncomfortable. A consequence could be provided by using a bonker, a prong collar (leash pop), or a remote collar (stim consequence). Again these don't harm your dog and they don't cause your dog to fear or hate you. A consequence simply illustrates to your dog exactly what is intolerable to you. When something is intolerable to you and your dog is aware of that then they are highly less likely to perform that behavior.  

This is why consequential training mixed with reward training is so beneficial. This leaves out any gray area that you might be having with your dog. This solidifies your communication with your dog by 100 fold. This helps your dog know exactly what you expect from them, and it is why we use consequential and reward training here at the Local Pack.