Basic Theories of Dog Training-
There are two distinctive schools of thought when it comes to dog training. They are generally referred to as "Positive Reinforcement" and "Dominance Training".
To evaluate them, you need a simple understanding of how dogs "learn". Dog's learning process is called Operant Conditioning, which is where the strength or consistency of a behavior is modified by reinforcement or punishment. So the difference in the two training styles is how a trainer goes about modifying the behavior.
This technique is based on the simple premise that all animals work for rewards. In this technique, you reward the behaviors you like and ignore the behaviors you do not like. In doing so, the dog will be more likely to perform the rewarded behavior than an unrewarded one.
This theory suggests that your dog's natural genetic disposition respects the pack hierarchy structure. By establishing yourself as the pack leader, your dog is naturally conditioned to look to you for structure and how to respond in situations. Once alpha respect is achieved, the dog's pack mentality makes them want to follow your lead to improve their position within the pack.
So which is right? BOTH!
Proven fact: Any animal, including humans will perform tasks for rewards (aka paychecks). The highest reward to most dogs is food. But is this alone the most effective or efficient way to teach a dog? I mean, the dog's mom doesn't have a treat bag or ignore inappropriate behaviors. So should you toss out everything we know about how dogs teach each other?
For training, I put a dog in a situation and then give them the parameters I want them to operate under. When they perform under the standards I set, they are rewarded. And if they know there is a negative consequence if they fail to behave within the standards, they will be even more likely to consistently perform the desired behavior.
Honestly, you can use either of these techniques exclusively and eventually get results. But I believe a balanced structure of both is the most effective and efficient way.
Have a dog training question? Email me at PawsRMade4Walkin@gmail.com