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Is positive training making the rounds?

1326 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  pit.bulldog
I've heard from people who train in schutzhund that there are a lot more handlers/trainers who use positive methods than there were years ago.

I've heard that you can't use negative training methods for agility dogs. (obviously you can, but there must be a reason for this saying)

I've also heard from dock dog handlers/trainers, dog show judges, and various other 'dog experts' that positive training methods are becoming more popular.

I've also heard from 'the good ole boys' who believe their ways is the only way that positive reinforcement creates soft, weak, passive dogs that won't work. I figure if the dog's used to being forced to do things, of course it's not going to work if it's not forced. Obviously I'm in the positive training camp.

What do you think? Have you seen more positive training methods in your circles lately? Do you only surround yourself with a certain method, and if so, why?

Mods, I wanted to put this in training, but there's no one general training section, and it applies to all dog sports.
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I want to preface what I'm about to say by saying that not every training method works for every dog. Training your dog is about finding what works for YOU and YOUR DOG, whether that's completely positive (no corrections at all), mostly positive (with corrections like No), or more traditional methods.

IME with Kane, I'm mostly positive. He can be stubborn when he wants to be, but I've seen what he's like when I force him to do what I want versus when I show him that good things happen when he does what I want (thus giving him the CHOICE to obey me) and I won't go back to the more traditional methods.

Kane works harder and with more spirit and enthusiasm when he WANTS to work and not when I FORCE him to work because I want him to. So, for me, positive training is about finding what motivates him (not too hard because even just a happy and excited voice gets him pumped to do whatever I ask him). I started clicker training him a couple months ago and since then he's become even more responsive, learning things a lot more quickly.

Because of my preference for positive-based methods, I tend to surround myself with other positive-based dog owners/trainers on other dog communities. But that doesn't mean I completely denounce those who use the more traditional methods.

If it works for them, it works for them.
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I think his is fine here. I know that we need a general training section.

I use positive training. I find that my dogs work better if we are all happy. I know I enjoy our time together alot better if i can have fun and enjoy what I am doing and that reflects in my dogs too. Dogs want to please us so why not use positive training?
Dog training is a passion of mine, and it's something I seem to be very good at. I just naturally tailor what I do to the dog at hand, and I've never really had a problem, beyond having to ask for help to really fine tune things (like working with a cat killer who destroys doors).

Maybe one day I'll pursue a career in it, but for now I can't tolerate most dog owners.
You need to take over the stupid chick at Petsmart's job.
I've seen her flip a dog onto it's back,and hog tie it,telling the owner it's the only way to get the dog to calm down,and be submissive.
I wanted to go over there and let her have it.
Don't even get me started on Petsmart's 'training' program. It's all about the opportunity to make money for them, and definitely not about the dogs. One size fits all, follow the book, don't deviate. I know a woman who's the regional head trainer in SC/GA and she only does the job for the money, but really enjoys giving extra pointers, or inviting people out to her kennel clubs training meetups, to show them how to really work with their dogs. It's how I got started in Rally!
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