The Problem With "Positive Only" Dog Training
"Positive only" dog training is a fairly new training method that has come about in the last few years. The practitioners of this philosophy ONLY use positive training methods, such as praise and food rewards, to train dogs. They will not use a prong collar, a slip lead, corrections, or any other type of corrective behavior.
The problem I have with this training method is not the "positive" part of it.
I use a balanced method of training as a dog trainer. That means that I use positive praise, food rewards, slip leads, prong collars, corrections, and any other humane dog behavior techniques and tools that will help each specific dog in conjunction with the dog's owner and the dog's needs. I go into each client's home and assess the client's needs and the dog's needs and together we come up with a plan to correct the dog's unwanted behavior using the tools and techniques that the dog best responds to and that will work best in each unique situation.
No, the "positive" part of positive only dog training is not what I have an objection to.
It's the "ONLY" part.
That's the part I have a problem with.
It is very frustrating to see rescue organizations post about dogs that can only be adopted by families that have no other pets and no children. They post about how the dogs in their care are at risk of being euthanized because they have such specific adoption needs. However, those same organizations are sometimes unwilling to explore any training methods that are not "positive only."
All humans learn differently. some of us are visual learners. Some of us prefer hands on instruction. Some of us simply need a sheet of instructions to read.
Dogs are no different. Each dog is unique and learns in a different way.
Some of them are trainable using only praise. Some require correction. Some, especially those who have gone a long time without being taught the proper way to behave and who have been allowed to misbehave and act out of control, need several techniques and tools in order to determine what they will best respond to.
It's a disservice to any dog to attempt just one method of training and then give up if it doesn't work.
And that is why I use a balanced method of training.
For more information, you can check out the series of videos below from my Youtube channel. Be sure to click "like" and "subscribe" if you enjoy them! Thanks!