Which Dog Training Method is best, Positive reinforcement or Alpha Dog Method?
If you find yourself quite bored and in the mood to watch a fight, go to the local dog park, find a group of dog trainers and mention these two training methods. Just mention them, and voila! you have a fight. In this fight, you will hear traditional, old school dog trainers calling positive reinforcement dog trainers some stuff like “cookie pushers” and ‘treat slingers’, and the positive trainers will call the old-school trainers stuff like ‘choke folks’ or ‘cruel monsters’.
Once you see that, it’s easy to figure out that while it seems like it’s black-or-white issue, it’s not really that, and that there are no clear right or wrong here. Or is there?
One man have started a quest to try and find the truth and put a solution to the war between dog trainers once and for all, and this man is Cesar Millan, also known as the Dog Whisperer. Mr.Millan realizes that not everyone agrees with the ”alpha dog” approach which he himself uses, and so he decided to consult trainers from different backgrounds and see what’s what.
In his book, Your Way To Train a Well-Behaved Dog, he provides a range of theories and methods so that every dog owner can find what works best for his or her dog(s).
Millan said that he knows how humans need options, he added that dog people must know how to become submissive with each other, otherwise, how do we expect to lead by example?
The following is a brief look into the two major dog training styles.
Purely positive reinforcement has been made popular by positive trainers such Victoria Stilwell of the TV show It’s Me Or The Dog that airs on Animal Planet.
The belief is quite simple: Dogs learn good behavior when they are rewarded for doing well, and punishment doesn’t necessarily need to come in the form of a physical force or a harsh reprimand.
More dominant dog training techniques put too much focus on the bad things a dog doges and forces the animal to figure out what he must do in order not to be punished through trial and error.
Sylvia-Statisiewicz, one of the people who strongly believe in positive dog training methods and use it says:
“Training doesn’t have to be cruel and punishment-oriented, if you train using positive reinforcement, you’ll get a trained dog and you will maintain the spirit of that dog.”
Positive trainers often use verbal cues, hand signals, toys, treats, clickers, and games to help modify the unwanted behavior, correct the bad habits and teach the dog tricks. Other trainers use both positive reinforcement (giving rewards_ and negative punishment (taking away the things the dog likes)