What is the difference between obedience training and behavior modification?

Obedience training, in short, focuses on teaching a dog to perform a specific task on command. You present the dog with a stimulus–the word “sit,” for example–and the pup responds with a memorized action associated with that command.

While teaching obedience is useful, simply teaching a dog to sit does not address behaviors that can affect how well they respond to commands consistently. This is where behavior modification comes in.

Behavior modification emphasizes changing the response to a stimulus in a way that mitigates inappropriate behaviors and ensures a consistent response to a command. This discipline seeks to change the associations your dog might have to create positive associations with the stimulus.

Many might associate giving out treats with being a consistently positive stimulus related to learning how to sit. Still, there are many cases where dogs can get too anxious or fearful to enjoy a treat. Obedience Please focuses on showing owners how to reward their dogs with love, not treats, to create a more consistently positive association with following commands and unlearning inappropriate behaviors.

Fostering obedience, loyalty, and trust with your pet takes more than just teaching them how to sit, stay, or heel. Modifying reactions to stimulus allows for changes in behavior that come from a genuine place of enthusiasm and allow those changes to stick even after professional training has ended.

Obedience Please’s in-home dog training in San Marino is tailored to meet the needs of both dogs and their owners. Contact our team online or give us a call today at (616) 799-9615 to find out more about our services.