There are many thing in dog training and work that people disagree with but one of the biggest disagreements revolves around purely positive vs balanced vs yank and crank.
Purely positive is a reward based training with no punishment or negative sensations.
Yank and crank is purely negative sensations until they comply with little to no rewards.
Balanced is a combination where good behavior is rewarded and negative behaviors are met with a negative sensation of some kind.
Now few people anymore still think that yank and crank is good way to train, but unfortunately because of this method a large portion of the community swung to the opposite extreme where no negative sensations are used for negative behaviors. While this can be done with SOME dogs this method does not work with all dogs.
We use the balanced method with all of our dogs, rewards which can be anything that the dog finds enjoyable when they do good and negative sensations when they exhibit an undesired or unsafe or negative behavior. Now in our philosophy this is manly used in the initial stages of training until we build enough bond with the dogs that they work out of the simple desire to please or work with us. This requires a lot of work but is necessary so that you don’t have a dog that only listens to you if you have treats in your hands or worse listens to who ever has the treats in their hands.
This is why we firmly believe the owner of the dog should be the one training them. If they don’t know how they can work with a trainer, but they should be the one with the contact with the dog.
Building a bond with your dog is also the foundation that any other training especially the more dangerous and stressful kinds, are going to build off of. It will be the source of trust the dog will need in order to take that leap of faith in certain forms of advanced training. This is going to be easier with some dogs than others but how you go about it is pretty much the same.
The key is simple, Its not what you do for your dog but what you do with your dog. So spend time with them. At first you will want to do this at home in a safe area, especially if they are not trained well.
Once they have more training and you start adventuring beyond your house take them with you when ever you can even if its just down the drive way to get the mail.
The more time that you spend with them and the more things that you do with them the more that bond will strengthen as well as the more environments and situations that they are exposed to will improve how they handle stress and new situations in the future. This bond is going to to be key in more stressful training and in more stressful situation should any arise because when that stress starts ramping up for them they will then look to you for guidance and reassurance.
This is where you keeping calm and composed is important. Just like it would be in an emergency with your family if your freaking out they are gonna freak out. So stay as calm and collected as possible. Especially when you are training.
This reassures your dog that what you are asking them to do is not dangerous, and even if it is, that you are there to get them through it.
Now that being said Avoid any where that other people bring their dogs normally, like the damn plague. This means petco, dog parks, dog beaches, anything of that sort as anyone with a dog whether they are trained or not will take them there and it is asking for nothing but trouble.
Now once you have that bond, you will be able to work with your dog on a whole new level, and most importantly your need for treats to get your dog to work will become almost nonexistent. You do not want to be dependent on treats or a toy in order to get your dog to work, especially in an emergency situation. Not to say they should not still be rewarded, or be able to play with their toy but at this level the work it self becomes in a way its own reward as well as the time with you the handler and the praise you bestow upon them.
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