In Dog Training, Nothing In Life Is Free
The most effective puppy and dog training approaches use science and psychology as the basis for teaching desired behaviors.
You know that, in life, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The same philosophy holds true in dog training as well and, as professional dog trainers like to say, nothing in life is free.
Understanding the “Nothing In Life Is Free” Philosophy of Dog Training
“Nothing in life is free” – or NILIF as we call it – is more than just an old adage. It’s actually a philosophy that underlies some of the most effective pet training techniques we have available today.
Has your puppy come to you demanding attention? Do you comply automatically, and give him an ear-scritch out of habit? If so, you’ve just given him something – your attention – for free.
Your pet’s most precious resources are your attention, and probably treats. Do you make your pup sit before he gets his treat? Most of us do, and this is an effective positive-reinforcement technique. But when you give away your attention and affection, you undermine any training that’s taken place.
Before you pat your dog’s head, take him for a walk or throw his ball, require something of him first. Use the obedience commands he already knows, such as “sit,” “stay” or “lie down.” Remember that consistency is the secret of NILIF, so carry this through at dinner time and before you release him from his crate each time.
When the NILIF Paradigm of Dog Training Is Most Effective
We can successfully employ the NILIF technique in almost any dog training scenario. It offers even more benefits, however, when used in response to certain behavioral issues.
For a dog who isn’t clear on pack order, or who may try to boss you and your other pets around, we can change his perception significantly by applying this technique. Timid dogs also respond very well to NILIF, because the structure provides them with a sense of security. Pushy dogs quickly learn that you’re the one who decides when to pet him, throw his ball or give him a treat.
Can You Use NILIF at Home with Your Pets?
Of course you can, and you should. But what we have provided here by way of explanation touches little more than the overarching theory of this approach.
In the hands of a professional dog trainer, NILIF can transform a seemingly impossible situation. But this approach will likely be used in combination with other behavioral strategies. For example, if your pet has fear or aggression issues, we must provide him with effective coping mechanisms first. Otherwise, he may never grasp the concepts of NILIF.
Once your pet has come to understand his new reality, however, we can help you learn to apply the NILIF principles yourself as a part of your at-home follow-up work.
In Northern Utah, the professional staff of Innovative K9 Academy uses the NILIF technique and many other scientifically based programs for training your pet. We offer puppy classes and boot camps as well as all types of behavior modification and socialization for dogs of all ages. Contact us today to learn more about our highly effective approaches to dog training.