In the thread - Dog digging under fence - by Toobs A really good question arised. I decided to start a new thread as it was not really related to dogs digging under fence.
The question is - When our training methods become 100% reliant on positive reinforcement, is it in fact going "over the top"?
Note: Positive reinforcement is when you use rewards and treats when your dog is doing the right thing, rather than punishing it for doing the wrong thing.
I will quote the post by Hyacinth,
Pay special attention to the part "I've yet seen a parent to be able to teach a child without saying no or not for you"I don't think of a mild static zap as violent, then again I use a water squirty bottle too - and some training agencies think that is evil - never mind it only acts as a distraction for my dog - and she loves chasing the jet of water. The electric collar at the right setting is only supposed to be an attention getter - in training. Ie to stop the dog chasing the rabbit / sheep / cat / car / jogger and get it to think about something else.
I suspect training a dog with all positive reward and no negative consequences for its actions is a bit like playing the game of "hot and cold" without using the word "cold". I've yet to see a parent be able to teach a child without using "no", "not for you", and some system of time out or negative consequence as well as the positive training methods.
My dog seems much more upset when I ignore it for being naughty than any jet of water or collar zap would do - unfortunately this only works when dog wants my attention - if she's off after a cat - that could cause permanent eye damage should she catch it - me ignoring her - is going to have no useful correction / distraction / disengagement effect, where as a quick squirt or zap by her collar - would.
This arises a really hot question and I would love for you to give me some feedback and let everyone else know what you think about this. I mean we can all be and always reward your dog for doing what you want it to do (ie. If she is yapping at your ankles then you take the opposite approach and wait for him to stop yapping and then reward him)
I, myself am a big fan of positive training works. I think that it is the absolute best way to train your dogs, as aversive methods are teaching your dogs to learn by fear. Although sometimes I wonder, wouldn't it just be ten times easier to just give him a quick slap on the nose and he would stop the yapping at your ankles.
So this is what I am discussing - where do you draw the line for positive reinforcement and overly positive works.
I would love to hear your opinion!