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What is "Avoidance" in dog training?

It is very easy when training a dog, particularly one who has negative responses whether on-leash or off-leash to avoid dealing with the situation that a dog reacts negatively to. Avoiding going down a certain road because you know another dog will bark through the fence and cause your dog to go nuts in response or not eating around your dog because he or she will jump up and knock the food out of your hand are all techniques that do not address the problem at hand, they are simply avoidance responses. The problem at hand will either not go away or in most cases get worse.



Instead of using avoidance in dog training, it's generally recommended to focus on redirection techniques. Here are some alternative approaches:


Rewarding your dog for desired behaviours with treats, praise, or toys encourages them to repeat them. This method builds a positive association and strengthens the bond between you and your dog.


If your dog starts to engage in unwanted behaviour, redirect their attention to a more appropriate activity or command. For example, if your dog starts to chew on furniture, redirect their focus to a chew toy.


Consistently enforcing rules and commands helps your dog understand what is expected of them. Make sure all family members are on the same page to avoid confusion. Get professional dog training so the trainer can train you all on positive and negative markers to guide your dog on what is right and what is unwanted.



Use clear, concise commands and signals to communicate with your dog effectively. Balanced, marker-based trainer reinforcement paired with clear communication helps your dog understand desired behaviours.


Dogs learn at their own pace, so it's essential to be patient and understanding during the training process. Avoid punishing your dog for mistakes; instead, use them as learning opportunities.


By focusing on these positive and constructive training methods, you can help your dog learn and develop good behaviours without relying on avoidance or punishment.

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