Balanced Dog Training Is Successful Dog Training
In the dog training world, there are a lot of catch phrases and tag lines being coined to lure in more clients who are struggling with their dog’s behavioral problems. The term “positive reinforcement” is tossed around a lot, and many trainers will market themselves as such, some even saying they follow a “purely positive” methodology. There are also trainers who believe in dominance-based training and offer “boot camp style” training for dogs, either privately, in a group session, or as a board and train case.
Everyone has their own approach and every dog owner will find the trainer that meets their desires when it comes to their dog’s training. Results can be accomplished in many ways. As a professional dog trainer here in Virginia Beach, I try to incorporate a training that is customized to the dog’s issues and the owner’s needs, and taking an approach that is more reward-based and balanced.
I believe that going into either extremes of the dog training spectrum can be ineffective and/or unnecessary. On one hand, “all positive” sounds great, and for me and Hampton Roads Dog Training, I do employ positive reinforcement techniques. But those that believe you can always say “yes” and never “no” to a dog with problematic behavior might be digging themselves and their dogs in a deeper hole. Like children, in order to teach that a behavior is wrong, sometimes you have to swallow your pride and say “no” to your dog. This is not cruel or inhumane, but setting boundaries for your dog, and as long as you are teaching that dog what these boundaries are and how to succeed rather than fail, then you are bringing balance and choices into the dog’s world.
I also do not condone all negative behavior or punishment-based training. My goal is to always set the dog up for success so that they can see the rewarding consequences of good behavior. Setting up a dog to fail or to be punished can create serious distrust between you and the dog, and maybe trigger new behavioral problems such as anxiety or aggression. Those that want to follow dominance training can make their own decision, but I believe that behavioral change can be achieved without dominating your dog. Dominance isn’t always going to lead to fear necessarily, but if used excessively without any positive influence, then the risk of a scared, anxious and possibly aggressive dog increases.
We as dog owners and parents want harmony and balance in our home, so we should offer the same things to our dogs when teaching them. If we continuously allow dogs to decide on their own without giving any guidelines or boundaries, then the dog could become behaviorally worse and anxious. Anxiety can also form with dogs that hardly experience positive reinforcement, where dominance and fear are their teachers, consequently fostering distrust and other possible behavior problems.
Every dog is different and people need to see what works for them and their dog. I want to help clients and their dogs find positive behavior change through positive reinforcement and balanced reward-based methods. If you think this might be good for your dog’s behavioral growth, then call me at 800-649-7297 and we’ll find out for sure together!