I believe firmly in an approach to dog training that promotes reward and praise as well as correction and reinforcement. Let's call this "balanced training" because it takes techniques from both ends of the training spectrum. Reward also balances the pressure of correction. There are lessons to learn from all philosophies of training. The key is finding what works -
Balanced training means that your dog will be taught to cope with all real world situations. We do not work exclusively "below threshold" as some trainers do. We teach the dog to learn to cope with normal, everyday things. We introduce the dog to the "trigger" and teach them an appropriate response. This is done in thoughtfully and in stages. We use reward so the dog learns the benefit to coping with this new pressure. We introduce correction to teach the dog that it must follow through with our command.
I believe in balanced training because I've seen it work first hand with my own dog and many others. In my experience, some training works well for teaching commands, but they don't always "stick" in areas of distraction. "Positive only" didn't help to reduce my dog's aggression towards other dogs. It taught me to distract my dog, not how to feel safe to play and be comfortable around other dogs. It wasn't until Correction and Reinforcement were added to the Positive Reinforcement that I was able to move to a new training level.
If you are new to Cause and Effect Dog Training and are wondering what we mean by correction, reinforcement and reward, here is a simple explanation.
~Written by Kathy Kear