A balanced dog trainer is a trainer who employs positivity and correction in helping owners get results in regard to dog obedience and behavior modification that most compliments the owner’s lifestyle.
When training wildlife, I only utilize positive reinforcement. The same is not true or applicable for obedience training of companion dogs, in my opinion. Dogs live in a potentially dangerous human-dominated world and for their safety and the safety of the public they need to be obedient and yield to their owners. In my experience, using positive reinforcement alone to teach obedience to a canine companion leads to unsustainable behaviors to the dismay and disappointment of clients.
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Does your dog still come when called?
Does your dog come consistently upon issuing a recall cue/command?
Does your dog come in most or all circumstances at home or outside the home?
In my conversations with dog owners, I find that evaluating “good recall” in a dog seems to be fairly subjective. Contrary to what many dogs owners think, recalling a dog that has just run upstairs at home where there are relatively few novel distractions is not really considered a good test of recall.
Professional dog trainers rely on more stringent measures and more rigorous tests. For example, developing good recall means that you can recall your dog at the dog park 9 out of 10 times when the dog is engaged with other dogs and at a fair distance. Recall is a life saving cue or command, beyond just a convenient behavior.
The Dog Trainer Dude focuses on basic obedience and, particularly, behaviors that ensure safety and adhere to proper dog behavior etiquette out in public in urban areas, such as recall (coming on command). Most of my clients come to me after discovering that the behaviors taught to their dog with the assistance of conventional training methods are unsustainable.
I correct unwanted behaviors like inappropriate and unsolicited jumping on owners and strangers. I work on the sit-stay command requiring the dog to hold for more than just a few seconds. In other words, I polish off the kinds of things you thought you were going to be sustainable, but have proven not to be. I also work on shaping new behaviors and addressing more complex problem behaviors that result from environmental constraints or limited socialization. More to come…..