There are a lot of all positive trainers out there and one is an actress turned dog trainer. Why are there so many all positive trainers? My guess is because anyone can be an all positive trainer. All you need is food. 99.9 percent of dogs that come into my facility for training already know how to sit. Some know how to do so couple of tricks like speak and shake. The owners simply lured the dog with a treat and with repetition taught there dog to sit and shake. It’s not rocket science. Where the all positive trainers struggle or lack in results is when there are actual issues going on; nuisance barking, jumping, leash pulling and aggression. Another issue is distractions. I hear, “My dog does great in the house but once outside won’t listen, come, or runs away. They listen in the house and not outside because of distractions. Suddenly any treat you may have is not as interesting as the kid riding by on his bicycle or the odors in the grass.
Dogs learn much quicker if they have all the answers, not just yes; behavior-yes-treat, behavior-yes-treat, behavior-yes-treat. Dogs learn quicker with yes and no. They learn quicker with consequences for unwanted behavior. I wish I had a quarter every time I have heard, “The trainer told me to turn my back on the dog when he is jumping on me”. I ask, “How is that working for you?” Their answer, “It’s not.” I teach to step into the dog, tap him, and say “off”. Off is a command which means get your paws off whatever they are on. Dogs with very high food drive will counter surf, stealing food from the counter. The trick is not to leave food on the kitchen counter but let’s be practical. It’s a kitchen counter, there is going to be food on it. Your dog should have consequences for jumping on the counter; squirt bottle, shaker bottle, or leash correction. Something negative has to happen or he is going to continue to steal food from the counter.
You cannot reason with dogs. “Please stop jumping on the company and barking at them. Daddy doesn’t like it.” All your dog hears is “blah blah blah”. Some dogs even think “NO” is “blah. If you find yourself saying the word “no” to your dog several times a day, it just might mean “blah”. If you are saying blah blah blah to your dog, they have no idea what you want. You have to communicate clearly with your dog. Now say “No” and squirt him in the face with water and he will start paying attention. No with consequences and you will start making progress.
My dogs are calm when I leave the house and calm when I get home. Why? Because I am calm when I leave the house and calm when I get home. I don’t talk or give my dog’s attention when I leave. When I come home they greet me at the door and I say “hi” in calm voice and let them outdoors so they can go potty. I do not talk in a high pitch voice, talking baby talk and touch them all over. If you do this you will have an overly excitable dog, not a calm well- mannered dog. The dog is not your child it’s a dog. If you want a well- mannered dog that people enjoy, you need to treat it like a dog.
Balanced training leads to a well -balanced dog.