Learn why this training method has gained popularity and how it all began. Understand what this training method entails and why it works.
The Mirror Method started when a group of first-time dog owners who met in dog training classes in Budapest, Hungary decided to incorporate their canine companions into their social lives and teach their dogs some amazing tricks. Soon, videos of dogs trimming a Christmas tree and dogs spending a day at the beach performing tasks together were broadcast and quickly became popular.
This Hungarian group who created the Mirror Method is called ”Népszigeti Kutyaiskola” or People Island’s Dog School. They are basically a group of friends with a strong passion for dogs uniting them. They usually meet three times a week to practice and train with their dogs of different ages, breeds, and personalities. The Mirror Method, in particular, was developed in this dog training school with a particular philosophy in mind.
How the Mirror Method Works
The term ”mirror method” was coined because it was noticed how dogs often reflect their owner’s behavior and personality. Dogs trained with a positive attitude by their owner will very likely reflect this positive energy and will respond with a great eagerness to give one hundred percent. On the other hand, dogs trained with aggression or brutality, or even simply with a negative attitude, will respond to such training by displaying signs of fear or even aggression.
In order to be effective, this method of training must consist of three parts. These three parts are integral parts of this training method and only when all three parts are mastered can effective results be seen.
The first part consists of building up a relationship with the dog. You really cannot get anywhere in training if this fundamental piece is missing. You must be a benevolent leader to your pack in order for your dog to respect you and follow your guidance and rules. This bond needs to be strong, but in no way does this have to be accomplished through force or violence. Clear rules, consistency and a good understanding of canine psychology are all it takes.
The second part consists of actually teaching the dog. In this training method, a clicker is used. Clickers are noise making devices that mark wanted behaviors. Dogs learn through classical conditioning that every time they hear a click, they have done well and a treat will follow. Clicker training highly motivates dogs and makes them eager to learn. This is a powerful positive reinforcement training technique.
Finally, the third part consists of determining the best lifestyle. Each dog requires a certain lifestyle in order for it to thrive and this cannot be accomplished by simply walking the dog and feeding it. When owners do not provide the appropriate lifestyle to their dog, their dog may get sick or exhibit behavioral problems. Working dog breeds, in particular, require a certain lifestyle in order for them to live happily. Hunting dogs, for instance, may need games to fulfill their strong prey drives and long walks in the woods. This allows dogs to work down their instinctive energies and most of all allow canines the freedom to just be ”dogs”.
Benefits of This Training Method
Being a reward based system involving the use of positive reinforcement training, the mirror method is a very powerful, yet rewarding system for training your dog. The principles it is based on not only benefit the dog but the owners as well. The philosophy behind this training method allows dogs and owners to bond together and live in harmony.
Dogs trained using the Mirror Method are eager to please and look forward to their training sessions with healthy anticipation. With a benevolent leader providing guidance and rules, clear communication, and an outlet for pent-up energy, dogs live happier and are better balanced.
Because this training method covers every part of how to live together with your dog, it will certainly benefit anybody looking forward to building a better relationship with their dogs and, because dogs are like mirrors, you surely want to bring out the best of yourself so you and your dog can live a happy and fulfilled life together for many years to come!