POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT DOG TRAINING is a MUST if you want a HAPPY DOG, that enjoys doing the work.

positive reinforcement dog training

In today’s dog training you will hear a lot about POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT DOG TRAINING. 

I use mostly positive reinforcement in the dog training that I do.  There was a time when all I did was positive reinforcement dog training.  Prior to that the dog training I learned back in the 1970’s had very little positive reinforcement.  Dog Training back then was harsh, heavy compulsion training.

The dogs got trained, but you could tell by the look in the dog’s face and its body language that the type of compulsion training that was being done had fallout.  In this case it was the mental well being of the dog. 

So back in the 70’s  most dog training was heavy compulsion training that involved heavy leash and collar corrections usually a prong collar or a choke chain.

Then in the 1980’s the dog training pendulum swung far in the opposite direction to the use of positive reinforcement dog training.  “CLICKER TRAINING” by pioneer Karen Pryor, took off like crazy.  It got to the point that dog trainers gave up corrections completely, everything became total positive reinforcement dog training.  Pryor and her group of clicker training devotes extolled the use of TPR or Total Positive Reinforcement.

The Clicker trainers took over, at least the voice of clicker trainers did, and boy were they vocal.  This trend of Total Positive Reinforcement Trainers started to claim only their brand of training was science based, which is false.  Science based dog training includes positive reinforcement but it also includes negative reinforcement and punishment.

Positive Reinforcement Dog Training and the positive reinforcement only dog trainers began a nationwide campaign to vilify any dog trainer that used correction no matter how mild the correction might be.

They made big claims that ANY behavior could be trained in or trained out with positive reinforcement dog training ONLY.  This included severe dog aggression to humans with a severe bite history.

Positive Reinforcement Dog Training 01

Fast forward to 2018 and realize that over the last 30 years dog bite hospital admissions tripled.  Dog Trainers that are total positive reinforcement had had a feel good marketing campaign since the beginning.  Their claim, ALL DOGS and ALL BEHAVIOR can be modified with total positive reinforcement and food.

When the total positive reinforcement only dog trainers fail to get the desired results such as with a dog with a bite history and severe aggression to humans, their answer is to euthanize the dog.

Really!? They want to euthanize the dog.  They will kill a dog before using a correction.  They deem the dog “untrainable.”

Today more and more dog trainers and more and more dog owners are taking a balanced approach to dog training using a lot of positive reinforcement, but also using humane corrections, punishment and negative reinforcement.

Great dog trainers go beyond total positive reinforcement and are highly skilled in the use of negative reinforcement and punishment.  These dog trainers are skilled at using corrections that DO NOT CAUSE any psychological damage to the dog.

Be careful when looking for dog training for your dog.  If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.  If you have a dog with difficult behavior problems, positive reinforcement dog training ONLY has limitations.  You are taking away half of the way animals communicate.  

Dogs correct other dogs!  I’ve never met a total positive reinforcement DOG!