Positive education is popular today and more and more people are interested in it.But this has a double edge because it is also the source of many debates between professionals in the dog world. We hear many different opinions about dogs and positive education and we are going to talk about 3 preconceived ideas that we hear today!
THEY ONLY WORK WITH TREATS IN POSITIVE EDUCATION
One of the most common misconceptions we hear is that dogs should only be given treats throughout their lives. However, this idea is completely false, because a dog may not like treats and may like to be rewarded in other ways, such as playing with a friend, getting out of the car, etc. Treats are not the lifeblood of positive training. The dog does not understand our human language, it is up to us to guide him towards what we want.He looks at a walker with walking sticks without saying anything… He ignores the dog who barks at him through a fence… The fact of rewarding all the good behaviors that we like and that seem adapted to our expectations will help the dog to gain confidence in himself and in his environment. In addition, it will develop its autonomy because it will reproduce these behaviors more and more often since they will have been associated with something positive. The dog learns by associative mode. Positive, neutral or negative. If something brings him pleasure, he will continue. If it causes fear or anxiety, he will try to avoid it. And it’s as simple as that. A dog can’t be paid in money. So you have to use his dog interests… Which are: food, toys, smells, etc. Would you like to work without any feedback other than a “that’s nice”? This is a question to ask yourself seriously. Find out what your dog likes and pay him properly for his work.
3 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT POSITIVE TRAINING
IN POSITIVE EDUCATION, THE DOG CAN DO WHAT HE WANTS
We also have this image of the educator who lets his dog do everything without ever punishing him. And yet, we are far from this image. Working with respect for your dog’s emotions does not mean an open door to all bad behavior. It just means that the dog is more listened to and respected according to his needs as an individual. Does this risk making him a capricious dog? No, on the contrary. If we force our dog to work when he is not ready, he may be less focused during his session, or take longer to engage the next time. He will indeed work with you, but through coercion and this is not what we are looking for in positive training. This notion of choice is still very controversial, but it allows us to judge the emotional state of the dog. If your dog does not engage with you during a training session or in general in everyday life, shouldn’t we question the way we work with our dog?
3 COMMON IDEAS ABOUT POSITIVE TRAINING
POSITIVE EDUCATORS DON’T SHOW THEIR WORK
It is obvious that positive education is a work that takes more time because we are not going to force the dog to work in situations that will be too uncomfortable for him. We are not going to make Hollywood video montages and show a spectacular before/after in only a few days. Positive education is indeed not impressive to see. Because the work will be long, progressive and will advance according to the dog. The goal of the game is not to make the dog trigger with the objective of breaking him afterwards. It is indeed interesting to find the limit of the dog in order to adapt the work plan afterwards and know where to start. But the idea is to keep the dog in a positive emotional state while learning.
The goal of working with humane techniques is to make the session enjoyable and to make the dog want to continue the next time without giving up. A dog trainer working with humane education can show his work in order to explain his educational techniques, but this will be a montage of several sessions over perhaps several months and not a film of a single session. It is also important to know that a dog educator involved in his session will not necessarily have the reflex to take his phone out systematically as soon as the dog does something good. This is simply because we are in principle focused on our work with our client at that moment.
3 COMMON IDEAS ABOUT POSITIVE TRAINING
To conclude, these clichés about positive education should no longer be relevant because the dog world is constantly evolving, so rather than attacking the new advances and techniques of others without thinking, should we not rather discuss and progress together for them?