The Truth About All-Positive Only Dog Training Methods
As our society is evolving and becoming more advanced, modern ideas seem to be affecting all aspect of our lives. That includes dog training.
Unlike man-made modern technology that evolves constantly to fit more advanced human needs, nature seems to always stay the same. In fact, advances in technology is helping us to reveal more secrets about the way nature has always existed.
From day one, humans gained their knowledge by observing nature. To this day, most of our inventions are the result of nature’s inspiration.
With that being said, it makes perfect sense for humans to observe how dogs interact with each other and then mimic their behavior in order to properly train them.
In nature, everything is based on balance, and without balance, everything will fall apart. Problems arise when humans that have little knowledge about dogs intervene to change things for their own desires and comfort level.
In the modern world of dog training, positive reinforcement-only dog trainers are causing a lot of confusion for dog owners. For those who might not know, an all-positive reinforcement dog trainer uses only positive punishment methods, like clickers, to mark good behaviors and then over-rewards the dog with treats. This type of training uses very little to no correction when a bad behavior arises. In fact, they do not believe in correcting bad behavior at all. Instead, they believe in ignoring a bad behavior and withholding a reward, using time-outs, intimidation tactics, ignoring the dog, withholding affection. This fools dog owners into thinking that this method is humane.
All-Positive Reinforcement Only Training Method Has Limitations:
- All-positive reinforcement trainers are using people’s emotions to manipulate them into thinking that discipline and dominance theories are all outdated. They convince dog owners that there are more modern, scientifically proven ways that we can train dogs, but they can’t seem to explain a dog’s aggression, nor can they rehabilitate a dog that exhibits aggressive behavior.
- All positive reinforcement dog trainers deny dominance as a normal dog behavior and label any dog with aggressive behavior either fearful or mentally ill. Their lack of knowledge in dog behavior is the reason that many dogs are being put to sleep every day.
- These trainers underestimate a dog’s intelligence and try to condition dogs into responding only with treats. If the treats are gone there is also no trick!
- They are the reason for increasing amount of dog bites every year. Dogs who have only been “positively” trained can be unpredictable since there have been no consequence for unwanted behaviors.
- Any one with a bag of treats and clickers can call themselves a trainer! It doesn’t require a special talent to hand out treats!
- They use time-outs as a punishment and ignore bad behavior. This makes the dog think that the unwanted behavior can continue. A time-out is a way to train a child, not a dog. Dogs do not have the ability to sit still and think about what they did wrong – there must be a clear instruction for a dog to follow. Time-out is considered a punishment, and you should never punish a dog. Instead, you should enforce a correction and give clear instructions.
- A time-out never solves a problem when a dog is detached from it’s family and does not care to interact with anyone. It is actually considered a reward for this kind of dog when you are giving it space. It is very important to establish a bond with your dog rather than create distance. Most behavior problems stem from not having proper interactions with your dog. Additionally, putting your dog in time-out creates separation anxiety. Every time you leave the house, your dog thinks it is being punished by being left alone and abandoned. You must teach your dog that being left alone is not a bad thing and that you will always return.
- An all-positive reinforcement trainer will tell you to turn your back to your dog when they do something you don’t like. This behavior can be very dangerous. Turning your back to an aggressive dog will encourage them to bite you, especially if you are dealing with an aggressive dog that lacks confidence. These dogs prefer to attack when they are not being watched.
- A very small percentage of dogs are food motivated. They have no other way to train your dog if treats don’t work.
- They will tell you that dominance theories are outdated. For that I have a question: Since when has nature become outdated? Dogs are primitive animals and aggression in domesticated dogs can prove that. This behavioral trait in dogs is the reason why humans discovered the benefits of domesticating dogs for hunting and using them as life stock guardians and resulting in starting of dog domesticating dogs as pets.
- Service dogs, therapy dogs, and police and military dogs are not trained solely with treats. This shows that dogs trained with only with treats are not reliable, so why would you want to train your dog that way?
- The all-positive dog trainers substitute affection and love with a boring treat. Treats don’t encourage your dog to bond with you! There must be a physical interaction between you and your dog. Also as mentioned before not all dogs care about food, if chasing the squirrel is more rewarding that the high value treat in your hands… well you know the rest.
- They use punishment, intimidation, a loud voice, spray bottles, can of coins, etc. to stop an unwanted behavior and they consider it “positive training.” A dog owner should never intimidate their dog in such a way. It is cruel to use these method on nervous dogs with anxiety. This only results in more anxiety. A good dog owner is the source of trust, not the reason for mistrust and intimidation.
Always keep in mind that as long as you stay balanced in training your dog – meaning you balance love and discipline – you will raise a balanced dog who is very confident and understands how to behave in every situation. Discipline must be done in a way to increase your dog’s intelligence and to guide your dog toward the desired behavior. Punishment is wrong and does not provide any guidance.