It is important to remember that you have the ability to give and take away everything that is important to your dog. This puts you in a position of power automatically. You can shape behavior by simple applications of giving and taking away what the dog deems important. You can use your position of power in a positive way; not a fearful coercive one. As Ghandi said, “Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.”
For the last several weeks we have been discussing the Power of Positive Dog Training; specifically the science behind it, and why some old school techniques that are still around are long overdue to be thrown out for good. Our focus has primarily been on basic obedience, and rewarding behavior that we want to see repeated. However, there are times when we want to see a behavior decreased, or there is a behavioral issue that may need discipline. Let’s discuss how to handle these things in a positive manner.
Over the course of the last few weeks we have been discussing the power of positive dog training. We have discussed why the old “alpha” and “dominance” theories have been debunked, we’ve learned a little history about positive dog training, and we’ve discovered some science behind modern positive training techniques. This has left you, I’m sure, with an array of questions, and more than likely, a little confused, as I’ve shot down, what many deem as, “sacred canine law.” All you want is what’s best for your dog, yet you hear experts saying all different things. What’s a dog owner to do?
A major contribution of the positive training movement was introducing research that had long proven that pain induces fear, and that fear in turn, is likely to produce aggression. In addition, coercive techniques, even without “pain,” induce fear, and again, fear is likely to produce aggression. It is always much better to be kind in training a dog (or any animal) and to reward for good behavior. Because of this scientific research, the old philosophy of training dogs using “dominance” and “pack-leadership” diminished from popularity.
In the early 1980’s a revolution, as it were, occurred in the dog training world. It was the positive dog training movement. It started when Dr. Ian Dunbar, a British born veterinarian and animal behaviorist went looking for an obedience class for his new pup. He couldn’t find one that he found suitable and that did not use coercive techniques. As a result, he started designing and teaching his own classes. Through those classes the positive dog training movement was born, as he and others began doing scientific research into the most effective methods of behavioral modification in canines. The rest, as they say, is history.