This really belongs in the “I Couldn’t Have Said it Better” category:
From Maria DeLeon, a very nice piece in response to a recently published blog from a so called “balanced” trainer who thinks that positive trainers “kill dogs” and other such nonsense. In an unregulated industry, there is little, except a sense of personal responsibility, to force trainers to learn the science and the technical skill behind modifying dog behavior. Maria has captured what a lot of very well educated trainers are thinking these days – we prefer to be as un- “balanced” as we can if balanced means rejecting science that is coupled with ethics, and if it means that we stick with modalities that have been disproven as helpful:
At Paws for Praise we try very hard to keep up with the latest science, and improve the technical skill with which training is done. Timing, technique, and how to determine whether to use operant or respondent learning to address a given training goal are so important to success. You cannot claim that a method doesn’t work, or has poor outcomes, if you don’t know how to apply the method properly, or when to use it! It’s not enough, in dog training, or in any other professional field, to say that we do it because it works and we’ve always done it that way…….. Always seek to improve!!! Thanks to Maria for the reminder that trainers who do that are on the right path, not only to more successful training outcomes, but to more successful businesses as consumers begin to realize that there’s something to this science stuff, and they really are having an easier time living with their dog!