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gunnvald 12-27-2013 06:11 PM

An article that touched me.
I have been looking in different places for info on what type of training/behaving method to use , I had dogs since I was a todddler then we had a period of 15 years without before I got a mix of lab/gsd into our home again and after that we had different breeds in the last 25 years(time runs... )
The breeds I had was Saluki,after being introdused by friends and I had 22 great years with 4 males , but its as far away from GSD mentality as possible :) then I got a Lassie by coinsidence and he was with us for 2 years and he was the kindest thing for our children , and after soe months without dogs we came across Vilja and we had her now for a month and I always like GSD (we had one when i was a child) but I need to "relearn" the breed I feel .
And of course I fell into the training method trap/war aka " Cesar vs Victoria " impressed of Millans results but all the hate is making me stop a little, making me go more into the articles and discussions, and I do confess I am confused. There are benefits of both methods but very few embrase both , for me its like 100% for or 100% against it seems. THIS CAN'T BE HEALTHY in my opinion. This is opinions war and it not the dogs best intrests.

Then I came across a blog that made me deside , it described how the results of this is developing in real life and I decided to be on both sides , not just one. Dont want to offend anyone but share what I feel is important

I am just linking as its not my blog , its from

"Loving" a dog to death. | Unleashed Potential | Stratford, PEI


Mary Beth 12-27-2013 09:33 PM

Very interesting article. For myself, when considering different training methods, I keep in mind the advice from the Monks of New Skete "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend" which is to listen to my dog - which I interpret to mean to observe, learn, and keep an open mind, and find which methods or mixture of - work the best.

Vagus 01-02-2014 06:51 PM

As face-palm inducing as those two stories were (pregnant lady refusing to teach her dog to walk properly, and golden retriever owner who lets her dog eat whatever he finds), I don't really see them as proof that +R is a bad approach. Both of those people were just permissive. You can train a dog to walk well on leash and not eat rocks while using +R. Just like how you can use corrections without abusing your dog. There are extremists in both camp, but its silly to see either training style as ineffective.

+R is fantastic for newbies however, which is probably why its so heavily advocated. It's harder to 'ruin' a dog and create any fear associations using a mark and reward system. Sometimes it is kinder (for the dog) to just cut to the chase, use a correction (voice, prong, e-collar, whatever) and let them know what not to do. There are a few studies floating around showing cortisol levels in dogs after different forms of corrections are administered and sometimes what we see as harsh is not the same as how the dogs view it.

I find ignorance of how to properly execute the decided method is potentially harmful regardless of which camp you fall into.

SuperG 01-02-2014 07:02 PM


Which approach makes most sense to you?

I understand a combination but there are those who would frown on ever crossing this subjective line.

I am in the camp of "whatever works" as long as I exercise my supposed "higher intellect" over the beast, to it's best ability.


Kaimeju 01-03-2014 11:28 AM

I think the point of the article was more about social pressure to train a certain way rather than which methods are "best." In the example given of the golden retriever, there are other ways to solve that problem besides a prong collar (though that may be the best option, hard to say). The woman says she is ashamed to use one because of what others might think, not that she is morally opposed. There has been a lot of discussion about this article and others over at and it sounds to me like there is some really petty political stuff going on that has nothing to do with the efficacy of training methods.

I like to sit in the sidelines and watch more experienced people discuss topics like these. I count myself among the ranks of people who found using +R only unsuccessful because a good +R program relies on systematic procedures and control over the environment. Unfortunately neither were possible in my life situation but I still needed some way to get through to my dog and prevent bad stuff from happening.

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