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  • Donal Mac Sweeney

Do You Want a Positive Only Dog Trainer?

If a child starts to draw on a reading book we will say, "Ah Ah, don't do that!" We will then give the child a piece of paper and say, "Draw on that instead." When the child does, we will probably acknowledge them for drawing on the sheet of paper and give them a verbal reward: "Well done... Great picture!". It's a successful training method for children and dogs, but a positive-only dog trainer won't say "Ah Ah" to a dog!


Positive-only dog training focuses on only using rewards and positive reinforcement of desired dog behaviours. While positive reinforcement is a valuable training tool and probably used for 95% of a balanced trainer's work, positive only is less effective than balanced dog training, which incorporates a variety of additional training methods. 


Balanced dog training takes a holistic approach by incorporating positive reinforcement, negative punishment, and sometimes negative reinforcement, and positive punishment. Letting the dog know when it has done the wrong thing with a simple "Ah Ah" allows trainers to address a broader range of behaviours and challenges, ensuring a more well-rounded training experience for the dog, and better results for the owner.


Balanced dog training provides clear and consistent communication to the dog. While positive reinforcement is great for rewarding desired behaviours, it does not effectively communicate to the dog what behaviours are undesirable. By incorporating other training methods and showing the dog its undesirable behaviours, trainers can provide more precise feedback to the dog, helping them understand what is expected of them.


Many dogs exhibit problem behaviours that require more than a positive reinforcement-only training program to address their behaviour effectively. Balanced dog training allows trainers to address these behaviours using appropriate corrections and deterrents when necessary. A balanced training approach can be essential for behaviours that may pose a risk to the dog's safety or the safety of others.


Every dog is unique, and what works for one dog may not work for another. Balanced dog training allows trainers to tailor their approach to each dog's specific needs and temperament. By using various training methods, trainers can find the most effective strategy for each dog.


Balanced dog training aims to prepare dogs for real-world situations, which may involve distractions, temptations, or potential dangers. By incorporating different training methods, trainers can expose dogs to various scenarios and help them develop the skills and self-control needed to navigate real-world situations successfully.


It's important to note that balanced dog training should always be done by a Qualified dog trainer, using humane and ethical methods. The goal is to find the right balance of positive reinforcement and other training techniques to achieve the desired behaviour safely and effectively. 



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