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

How To Train Your Dog – Philosophies & Approaches

Dog Training Approaches & Philosophies

We naturally love our dogs and they naturally love us in return. No matter what, they love us unconditionally. Unfortunately, this is not always the same sentiment in reverse, especially with respect to untrained dogs. Many untrained dogs can be problematic and ultimately end up in shelters. When these dogs are (hopefully) adopted, their behavioral problems are unwittingly adopted too. Although trained dogs can end up in shelters, this is a rare occurrence and they are often quickly adopted, which is yet another indication that trained dogs are highly valued. Continue reading