Category Archives: Training philosophy

But Isn’t it Punishment to Withhold the Treat?

Lots and lots of people think that if you withhold the treat you are punishing the dog. Some will ask the above question in a gleeful, challenging way, feeling certain that they have caught the positive reinforcement based trainers in … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior analysis, Extinction, Operant conditioning, Punishment, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

My Dogs Are Not in Charge

As a Humane Hierarchy trainer, it is part of my value system to help my dogs get what they want, within the confines of our mutual comfort and safety. It’s important for me to give them choices and let them … Continue reading

Posted in Enrichment, Training philosophy | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Using a Training Plan to Retrain Summer’s “Target”

In our last episode, I shared how I messed up Summer’s hand (and object) targeting behavior six ways from Sunday. Now I will share the process of retraining it. When you follow directions from a book, such as the Training … Continue reading

Posted in Clicker, Cues, Dog training hints, Examples for Teachers, Positive Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

6 Ways I Messed Up My Dog’s Targeting

Hand targeting is usually suggested as a great behavior for new clicker trainers since it is easy to get and easy to define criteria for. I guess I didn’t read the brochure carefully enough because I messed up hand targeting … Continue reading

Posted in Clicker, Cues, Dog training hints, Examples for Teachers, Positive Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

But I Want to Use All the Tools in the Tool Box!

Have you heard the one about the toolbox? This is the sixth in a series that details and rebuts fallacious arguments against force free training. Today’s erroneous argument is directly related to “But Every Dog is Different!” in that it … Continue reading

Posted in Punishment, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 37 Comments

Calm Submissive

According to the well known TV personality (I won’t call him a trainer) Cesar Millan, “calm submissive” is a very desirable state for your dog to be in. OK, I don’t even want to begin to address the word submissive. So … Continue reading

Posted in Dog behavior, Fear, Human and dog misunderstandings, Stress Signals, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

Force-Free Training and the Continuum Fallacy: Defining Ourselves

Although this post is about discussions and accusations about humane training, it doesn’t provide fodder for pithy sound bites or snappy answers. The whole point of it is why it can be difficult to explain succinctly our position as science-based, … Continue reading

Posted in Examples for Teachers, Punishment culture, Shock Collars, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 30 Comments