Why do we use Positive Reinforcement?

Training to a T, LLC prides itself on using positive reinforcement methods in their training, but in today’s world, with so many training techniques, why do we focus strictly on the positive? The short answer is because it is much safer for your dog. Focusing on the positive while training not only removes the dangers that come from fear and pain-based training, but it allows you to build and deepen your relationship/bond with your dog. It develops trust between you and your pup, which could mean the difference of them minding you or not when the stakes are at their highest. Every time you use a fear or pain-based technique, you erode away a small amount of trust with your dog and risk the potential of planting a seed that could grow into a much larger problem later on.

Positive reinforcement training has also been proven through many scientific and other studies to be the best way a dog learns. It is backed by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the Pet Professional Guild, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, the Kennel Club, and many others, including top-level veterinarians and behaviorists.

If you are interested in learning more about the fallout for punishment-based training, this is great article on 9 Effects of Punishment Training. For a list of studies proving fallout from using these methods, visit Fallout from the Use of Aversives.

All of the provided links are great resources to use as you are researching what route to go with training your dog. The United States is behind some countries in a complete ban of these devices and others who have current legislation working it’s way through. We may very well get there at some point in the future. In the mean time, as a dog owner and a training professional, I highly encourage all dog lover’s to research these links and the effects of using fear and pain based techniques in training.

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