The Dog’s Perspective
The Dog’s Perspective is a dog training philosophy that is both dog-friendly and human-friendly. All training techniques are not only humane, but more importantly “dogmane”. This training philosophy is a canine-version of Positive Discipline, a popular parenting model for human children. Positive Discipline incorporates all four quadrants in operant conditioning to better parent and educate children. Likewise, the Dog’s Perspective utilizes all four quadrants of operant conditioning in a similar way to raise and train dogs.
The “positive” part of Positive Discipline stresses that children should always be treated with calm, friendly and respectful methods. This same approach should be practiced with dogs. Human voices, dispositions and actions should always be calm, friendly and respectful. Your approach to dog training must always be as calm teacher, because that is one of your roles to your dog. You become their teacher and mentor.
The “discipline” part of Positive Discipline has NOTHING to do with punishment, but everything to do with teaching and guidance. Positive Discipline recognizes there are good and bad behaviors exhibited by children, but the children, themselves, are good. Parenting and schooling includes establishing boundaries, which allows young children to thrive. Establishing appropriate boundaries is a key element that is missing from many dog training approaches.
There are No Bad Dogs
Applying Positive Discipline to dog training, there are no bad dogs, just good and bad behaviors. Dogs should be taught that the safest place for them to be is next to their human companion. Good behaviors can be encouraged and bad behaviors are discouraged without negatively impacting dogs verbally, physically or emotionally. Just like humans, dogs have feelings and core emotions. Warmth, gentleness and kindness should be how you approach your dog to build their confidence and encourage them to look to you for guidance. Your dog learns to be your loyal companion and partner. These ideas are the foundation of the Dog’s Perspective.
Kathryn R. Gubista, PhD is an evolutionary biologist, college biology instructor, former zookeeper and certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with Lucky Dog Training Asheville and has over 30 years of training experience. The Dog’s Perspective is a training philosophy based on how dogs think.