Traditional vs Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

Can you trust the advice your trainer's giving you? Sadly, I often hear of trainers giving advice that appears made up, with no real theoretical or scientific basis. In most places, becoming a dog trainer requires no formal training or education. Therefore, uneducated trainers dispense a lot of misinformation. This is sad and inexcusable, because in the last twenty years, our scientific understanding of how dogs think, learn and feel has greatly expanded. We no longer have to guess at what training methods are most effective. Based on the scientific data, we can examine both how traditional training works and how positive reinforcement training works, as well as how these trainings impact dogs. In particular, we now have enough information to understand how the use of pain and force negatively impacts a dog's ability to learn as compared to positive reinforcement-based techniques. To understand these differences, we must first understand how these two training methods work. Traditional Training Traditional Training is the basic philosophy of traditional trainers which is to correct any unwanted behavior using a leash correction or “pop” and then praise the appropriate behavior. For example, a traditional trainer may ask a dog to sit. If the [...]

By |2022-04-18T13:14:41-07:00March 17th, 2022|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

Teaching the Humans

Teaching the Humans Like humans, dogs respond best to praise, encouragement, and rewards. When I am working with my clients, at some point they eventually realize that I am not actually teaching their dogs, I am teaching them how to teach their dogs. I admit that working with a dog who is experiencing fear, anxiety, one who is barking, growling, or lunging, may be more challenging, but teaching your dog the basics is not as complicated. In addition, once you understand the basics of how to teach your dog, helping them in fearful situations will be easier. I work with dogs who just need to learn manners, dogs that bite, and everything in between. No Bad Dogs, Only Bad Behavior With all of the dogs and people I have worked with, I have never met a bad dog, and I have never met a bad person. I have met many dogs that exhibit bad or inappropriate behavior, and I have met many people who don’t know what to do in those situations. I often compare it to a parent who has a child that had severe ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s, or another brain disease. The parents are not [...]

By |2022-01-11T16:30:25-08:00November 10th, 2021|Blog of the Month|0 Comments

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