Category Archives: Punishment culture

Why “Red Zone Dogs” Need Positive Reinforcement Training

Aggressive, dangerous dogs (a.k.a. Red Zone Dogs) should be trained with positive reinforcement, desensitization, and counterconditioning. Here’s why. Training with pain, startle, and intimidation carries huge risks. Decades of science tell us that aggression begets aggression. It’s that simple. Two … Continue reading

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Posted in Fear, Punishment culture, Why Use Positive Reinforcement? | Tagged | 7 Comments

Corrections Are Punishment (If They Work)

Correction is a term used in certain segments of the dog training world. It commonly applies to jerking the dog’s leash (also called a “leash correction). Sometimes “correction” refers to other physical things people might do to a dog. Trainers … Continue reading

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Posted in Operant conditioning, Punishment, Punishment culture | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

It’s Not Painful. It’s Not Scary. It Just Gets the Dog’s Attention!

This is the short version of this post. Here is the longer version. Some dog trainers who use tools such as shock, prong, or choke collars, or startle the dog with thrown objects or loud noises, claim that these things are … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Human and dog misunderstandings, Operant conditioning, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Why Prong Collars Hurt

Please see additional note at the bottom of the post. Prong collars, also called pinch collars, are metal chain collars for dogs that include links of prongs whose ends press into the dog’s neck. When a dog pulls on leash, … Continue reading

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Posted in Punishment, Punishment culture | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

World Dog Trainers’ Motivation Transparency Challenge

What should a dog trainer be willing and able to tell you about his or her techniques? And how valuable is it to get that information in clear, concrete language? Renowned dog trainer Jean Donaldson has put a lot of thought … Continue reading

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Posted in Critical Thinking, Dog Training, Punishment culture, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

It’s Not Painful. It’s Not Scary. It Just Gets the Dog’s Attention!

An updated version of this post. Some dog trainers who use tools such as shock, prong, or slip collars, or startle the dog with thrown objects or loud noises, claim that these things are done only to “get the dog’s attention.” … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Human and dog misunderstandings, Operant conditioning, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 40 Comments

Bark Busters: Promoting Facts or Myths?

When I first published this piece in 2014, I had no idea of the firestorm it would create. I thought (and still think) it was a pretty mild critique. It’s an analysis of what Bark Busters’ own written materials say … Continue reading

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Posted in Human and dog misunderstandings, Punishment, Punishment culture, Reactivity, Review | Tagged , , , , , , | 89 Comments

Haters

We interrupt this dog blog for a rant about rhetoric and civil discourse.  Here is why I plan never to call anyone a “hater” or refer to them as such. History: Haters Gonna Hate It’s a good bet that the … Continue reading

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Posted in Punishment culture, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , | 8 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

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Posted in Punishment, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Why Use Positive Reinforcement? | Tagged , , , , , | 37 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

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Posted in Behavior Science, Examples for Teachers, Punishment culture, Shock Collars, Training philosophy, Why Use Positive Reinforcement? | Tagged , , | 43 Comments