Myths About Positive Dog Training

1 “Reward based training is a bribe “. NO . Trainers who tell you this  are demonstrating their lack of understanding of how learning happens . In the early stages rewards may be used to counter condition , that is to build positive associations and expectations  when a trigger is encountered to change the behavior  , or to lure the dog into position or to focus on you ,  but once the dog  understands,  which happens relatively quickly,  it is replaced with a reward for behavior  you already have .

2 “Rewards must be given forever “. NO . There is an argument that rewarding your  dog forever is a good  thing ,  and  certainly zoo animals are rewarded every  time they perform a taught skill for their keepers. Complex skills and some behaviors  such as recall should be rewarded every time forever because the more it  is reinforced the more reliable it will be  , but on a practical level rewards can be  phased out according to a specific schedule  relatively quickly (depending on how often you practice)  . The  wanted behavior will be  reliable because it is now a habit  ,  and rewards are now intermittent  and  therefore  always possible and always motivating.

3 “My dog is not food motivated”. Rewards can be anything your dog finds rewarding ( I  once rewarded a blood hound with a sniff of a  sweaty sock because that’s what he wanted !). Food is easiest ,  but rewards can be  fun (toys and  training games ), lavish praise , ear rubs  or  a chase. If you change the way you feed  your  dog,  your  dog has more fun  and becomes much more interested in food rewards  .I  hear this a lot – but  I have never not been able to motivate a dog  with food! It depends how you do it. 

4 ” You  shouldn’t have to reward your dog “. Dogs do not  want to please you. They want to please themselves .   Pay  your  dog ! If a trainer tells you not to reward  your  dog  for a job well done, praise the trainer  but  don’t pay them !5 “Positive reinforcement  means  you can  never say no to your dog “. NO . Of course there are boundaries and consequences  for unwanted behavior , but   not scary or painful ones !

6 “You need to take the dog to the place where the problem happens  to train it “. NO. Doomed to fail unless you resort to  punishment  severe enough to shut the dog down, and punishment  will by association with the trigger  create more intense reactions  and  in some  dogs aggression to  or fear of the handler. You must teach the behavior you want before you can  ask  for it . 

7 “ Your  dog must respect you and  you must dominate your dog and be the alpha “. NO. ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. This  thinking has been scientifically debunked for decades and is scientifically proven to  create aggression or anxiety . Any trainer who tells you this has just admitted to  no understanding of how learning happens . Every  dog I have trained who bit  or was fearful has been hit, dragged by the collar , or yelled at .It may crawl to you and lick you but that is appeasement (“don’t hurt  me “ ), not love . Don’t teach your dog that people  may hurt  it if you  don’t want to get bitten .

8 “You cant teach  this all in a day , it will take weeks. Dogs must  go to   classes. “  A trainer’s job is to teach you how to teach  your  dog . Your  job is to practice . Creative learning , where your dog is encouraged and rewarded   for thinking and offering behavior ,  is proven to get results hundreds of times faster than traditional rote learning . I can show you everything you need to know to solve any problem in one afternoon, the  dog understands and is doing it in minutes ,and  if you practice, permanent change happens over  a few  weeks  up to a few  months  .Over 130 5 star reviews cant be wrong ! If your  dog is distracted or reactive , a class is not the most effective place to train your  dog . A familiar environment  with low distraction (at first)  is . (your  home).
Teaching both ends of the leash

Contact Us

  •  0452 466 031
  •  Ridgehaven, South Australia