I usually line up more on the positive side, probably because of the people that are so avidly against it, but the trainer I use is very balanced. She uses the treats to train new behaviors, phases them out, will suggest prong collars to people, and suggests other tools as well. She does proofing and expects good behavior and gets it.
One day we were in a line of people waiting their turn to do a meet and greet with her, and her dog was across the room, behind a small fence. It stood up. I was about halfway down the line, and she really didn't have a good vantage point to give the dog a command, so she told me to down her dog. I turned and gave the command and not only did her dog hit the ground, so did everyone else's dog in line. Kind of embarrassing as some of the dogs were kind of shaky on that command.
I don't think she calls herself a positive trainer or a balanced trainer or a compulsion trainer. She is a dog trainer and a good one, I would say balanced.
Balanced sounds kind of like mentally fit.
Now, I have had the opportunity to work with someone who called herself a positive trainer. She was unbalanced to be sure (mentally that is). My first experience with her was a dog that was becoming mature and suddenly felt he should bark at everything around him. At the time, I did not know better. I took him to a day class with about 30 dogs and the trainer fitted a prong on him and showed me how to deliver a correction, and he was getting better by the end of the class. She told me to continue working with him and get him into some classes. So I found Little Miss Positive. Her first thing was to say he was afraid for his life and take that nasty prong collar on him and put this Halti on him. Keep him totally away from other dogs.
It wasn't the right thing to do with him. I took him there for about six sessions and we kind of saw a duck once but no other dogs. Anyhow he got put on the back burner while I worked with another puppy with her in classes. The classes would start with 5 or 6 people, and by week three, there would be me and her. The woman would make such disparaging remarks about the dogs that most of the people just stopped coming. She was afraid of Jenna who was 10 weeks old and said she would be a fear biter. Totally batty. Jenna is neither fearful or bitey, but whatever.
One day when Jenna was in heat I brought Babs, and as her other class members had already quit. It was just me and her, so she decided to train her Great Dane puppy who was about 9 months old, Babs was 8 months old.
Her: Sit your dog!
Me: Babs Sit.
Her: Sit Hugo! Sit! SIT! SIT!
Finally Hugo's butt grazed the grass.
Her: Down your dog!
Me: Babsy Down.
Babsy assumed the proper down position.
Her: Hugo DOWN! DOWN!! C'mon DOWN! LAY DOWN!!!
She then body slammed the pup to get him in the down position.
This woman who was little bigger than the Great Dane puppy was litterally laying on top of him, while Babs and I calmly looked on. To be fair, her breed of choice was shelties. Still, positive training??? If I was true to myself, I would have been on the ground too, rolling around, laughing my butt off.
She told me when I left that her dog doesn't have the work ethic of mine. Really?
I am kind of in the air about the balanced term. Most things in life are better if you use a balanced approach. I can see that term getting a fan-club. I guess I really don't care what people call themselves. Does what they are doing make sense? Can they explain it effectively? Does it get good results? Do they adjust methods for the dogs and the handlers they are working with?
Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC
Heidi, RA CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC