ChevellesMomma wrote:See, and this is what drives me nuts about dog forums. I never said that your way of training was WRONG, but it was clearly stated that mine was....hmm. It always seems to be like that on dog forums, no matter what the POV, it's always "my way is right and yours is wrong blah blah blah". There is more than one way to train a dog and no two trainers will ever agree on everything.
That's because your way is based on debunked methods and old notions that that have nothing to do with how dogs actually learn. You want your dog to learn, right? Not just guess at which behavior is going to avoid him being clawed in the neck with a prong collar?
Sure, different approaches may be needed for different dogs but they should always be grounded in the best science available and always with the philosophy of first and foremost not doing any harm to the dog. Training your dog based on principles of operant and classical conditioning isn't opinion. It's fact that that is how dogs learn. Once YOU'VE learned the principles then you can decide whether a reinforcement for good behavior vs. a punishment for bad behavior is the best approach.
As someone who has done both approaches with one of my dogs, my older one being one who I thought was too tough of a case to use reward based positive reinforcement with, I will say that if you do become a trainer and decide to go the punishment route you would never have me as a client. My "tough case", the kind trainers like you aspire to be deemed too far gone for anything but the "serious" stuff, has blossomed under a gentle reinforcement training program. Not gentle as in I let her get away with stuff but gentle as in not punishing her for having anxiety and being stressed out and then reacting. Turns out just not putting her in those kinds of situations while slowly working her up to where situations that used to send her into a tizzy now just cause her to turn away and look at me like she's been conditioned to do. All through positive reinforcement and without the use of a shock, prong, or any other "tool".
I think it's great you're interested in dog training and behavior. And it always sucks to feel like you're being ganged up on and told you're wrong. But in this case you really are. I was wrong at one time too. And my dog payed the price for it. The difference is that I was greatful to be shown an alternative to the abusive methods my poor dog had been subjected to in the past. I embraced a new way that totally made sense to me and was actually based on science. Please take advantage of it and embrace it, don't fight it. Who knows where my dog would be today if I hadn't taken the advice from people on this forum, esp Red, and educated myself. My dog is 14 now and she is spending her golden years so much happier, calmer, and our relationship is amazing. Really, I know it sucks to be told you're wrong but please just at least consider that in this case you really just might be.