I, myself, prefer positive training methods, but do not limit myself to positive only. As with human research, I believe that you need to have a balance of positive reward and correction (I'm avoiding using P+/P-/R+/R- terminology for simplicity). That does not, however, mean 50% reward/50% correction IMO. I use approx 80% positive/20% correction as my ratio.
And I DO enjoy training my dogs. And I DO encourage members in my classes to enjoy their dogs and have fun with training. And I SEE huge benefit to my students who do have fun and enjoy training. YES, it works!
But; here's my question, based on personal experience:
I adopted a 6 month old Dobe. He weighed in at 26kg when I got him. He had no training when he arrived and was a bit of a disaster, really. As a result of stupid breeding, he also has a mix of anxiety and HUGE drive. (Bad combination, bad, bad, bad- but that's another issue).
So, my boy on walks would LUNGE out at trucks. Not little trucks, BIG trucks. So much so that we are probably lucky to be alive after one incident where he pulled me off my feet (I'm not small, and I am strong) and almost under a log truck.
Now, we know that to counter condition and teach, we need the object that the dog is fearful of to be present. And this boy would be fine and calm UNTIL we were close enough to be in danger and only then would he LUNGE!
I was able to teach my dog a loose lead walk with reward based training. I was able to teach him that as his leader I woud protect him. But I also needed to teach him that this lunging at trucks was NOT ON.
Now, I also believe corrections need to be administered efficiently and effectively. Not "nagging" little annoying tugs, but a correction that says "this behaviour unacceptable". I believe you administer the most effective correction you can with a view to only having to do it once- or twice. To continually "nuisance correct" is cruel, IMO, to efefctively and fairly correct is good teaching.
I therefore purchased and used a PP collar. The dog gave himself one enormous correction. And has not done it since.
Since that massive correction, I have applied positive strategies to desensitise and counter condition, to reward loose lead walking, have taught and trained a number of skills to high level. You would not recognise this dog now as being the disaster he was at 6 months.
So... Dog Fanatic or others- what strategies would you have used in my situation? Could I have done it differently?