The Role of Positive Training in Rehabilitation

by Cathryn Adolph, LVT

A little cookie goes a long way…Kona

In our office, we use positive training to teach our patients new behaviors with specific form and proper posture.  These behaviors are targeted at improving strength, balance, and/or proprioception (body awareness).  The pet needs to pay attention to what their body is doing.  We use a combination of targeting, luring, shaping, and molding using positive reinforcement.

In rehabilitation and fitness conditioning, negative or force based philosophy of dog training is avoided.  When we use force, often the dog does not really “learn” or pay attention to what their body is doing and the form is frequently incorrect.  A fearful pet can become difficult to work with if a technician continues to force the pet to perform an exercise.  If bad enough, the pet may avoid the exercise, the people, or equipment involved all together. Continue…