Ask The Dog Trainer

The Power of Positive Dog Training

Larry Kay, Positively Woof's Leader of the Pack with the late, great HigginsLet’s clear up a myth about dog training. Some say that dogs need to be bossed around because that’s how it works in dog packs: there’s an alpha dog that dominates and even bullies the other dogs in his pack. The truth is: that’s not how dog packs work. Dogs, and especially pet dogs, love to follow leaders who provide food, shelter, and safety; leaders they see as benevolent and fair. That leader is you.

The truth about training dogs is that, by nature, dogs love praise and rewards. By nature, dogs love to have fun. “By nature”—that’s the power of positive dog training. Positively Woof celebrates our “by nature” bond with dogs with state-of-the-art dog care and training resources.

Good pack leaders provide praise, rewards, social experiences, and lots of fun to bring out their dogs’ spirited personalities. Who uses positive dog training? Champion show dog handlers. Movie dog trainers. Even police dog trainers have begun using positive reinforcement. The best and safest way to train a pet dog, in my professional opinion, is positive dog training.

In fact, relying on punishment, fear, and what we call dominance-based, aversion training is actually dangerous. Aversion training suppresses unwanted behavior like a lid on a pressure cooker, and at some point the pressure becomes too much. That’s when a dog can snap at, for example, some innocent action by a child. In fact, 450,000 children have been bitten by dogs this year.

I believe that for families with children, positive reinforcement dog training is the only acceptable method. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior agrees. So does the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Both organizations have recognized our award-winning book, Training the Best Dog Ever.

Let’s put the old myth about dog packs to rest. Thanks for reading.

Good human!
Larry Kay, Leader of the Pack
Positively Woof

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