U.S. Fish & Wildlife Headquarters - 12 February 2012

How To Train Your Dog – Part 5

Cesar’s Corner

This training philosophy is named after Cesar Milan, star of National Geographic Society’s Dog Whisperer. Although trainers who practice these so-called “confrontational methods” are not all in agreement with Cesar’s training philosophy, their general approaches have similarities with an assertive style that includes active physical contact while training. Cesar Milan is the most famous of all, with books, DVDs and the all important fame and notoriety. However, if you have ever read or seen his work, he is the first to attest that he is NOT a dog trainer. He prefers to be called a dog rehabilitator. It is ironic that the leader of the pack in some dog training corners admits he is not a dog trainer at all. Continue reading

Dog Training Philosophies

Spectrum of Dog Training Philosophies

The multitude of dog training styles can be divided into 2 general training camps or philosophies that are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. On one end is the “positive reinforcement” or “reward-based” training camp. On the other end are the trainers who use “confrontational methods” like “negative reinforcement” or “positive punishment” training. Unfortunately, using these charged terms immediately sets up a bias that “positive” is good, “negative” is bad and “punishment” is cruel. No one wants to be considered bad or punishing their dogs, so many novice trainers will gravitate to the “positive” end of the spectrum without much understanding that “positive” does not necessarily mean better. Also, the confusion with “positive discipline” for raising children feeds into the idea that dogs also need similar positive discipline. Continue reading