Do you know the difference between Balanced Dog Training and Positive Dog Training? Don’t worry if you’re not sure because I’m here to explain…

There are only two categories that all dog training fits into: Balanced Dog Training and Positive Dog Training. But which one is right for you and your dog?

What is Balanced Dog Training

Simply put, Balanced Dog Training refers to any training that uses positive reinforcement and negative correction. In other words, reward and punishment. Let me give you some examples to explain both.

Positive Reinforcement

  • When you bring your puppy home for the first time, it’s important to start  puppy house training immediately. Part of house training requires you to go outside with your puppy when they need to go to the toilet. An example of positive reinforcement would be giving your puppy a treat a few seconds after he/she has successfully done their business outside.

Negative Correction

  • Let’s say you’ve just arrived home to find your puppy chewing your brand new couch. An example of negative correction is punishing (more on appropriate techniques below) your dog in the heat of the moment. I.e. you must punish your puppy while they have been caught in the act (or only a few seconds following).

Negative Correction Technique

When it comes to negative corrections, it’s important to use techniques that only startle your puppy or dog. You can use a simple humane leash or collar correction (tightening the collar for just a split second). Note that I’m not at all saying to hit or hurt your dog (never do this!). All we are trying to do is startle your dog while they are caught behaving in a bad manner. It’s important to seek help from a professional if you are unsure about your technique.

Overall, Balanced Dog Training is ‘balanced’ because it’s about teaching the difference between good and bad (right and wrong) through positive reinforcement and negative correction.

What is Positive Dog Training

Positive Dog Training is basically a one side approach. Can you guess which of the two strategies above we are going to use? You guessed it; positive reinforcement.

The strategy is always the same but in my experience, the method and techniques differ greatly. And this goes for balanced dog training as well. So what are some of these differences? Let me show below.

Some trainers use the below methods while some do not:

  • clicker training
  • collars (ranging from harnesses to head halters)
  • trick training
  • repeating commands as opposed to saying it once. e.g. sit, sit, sit (if you know what you are doing, you should only need to use a command once).
  • a few treats versus lots of treats (I recommend only a few treats when appropriate)
  • ignoring undesirable dog behaviour (I recommend a correction as soon as your dog breaks a command)
  • tight leashes (I recommend a loose leash and only tightening if absolutely necessary)

You can see from the above list that training methods can vary so I’ve added my recommendations in brackets for those of you that want the most efficient and effective way to train your dog.

It’s important to note that dog training should be fun but ‘balanced’. If dog training is all about having fun, then your dog is not going to learn much, if anything at all. This is due to the lack of correction, control and respect for dog training and too much of an emphasis on having fun. There’s plenty of time to have fun with your dog after they have successfully been trained.

So do you understand the difference between balanced dog training and positive dog training? Which one is right for you and your dog? Are you going to use Positive Training where you only use positive reinforcement or Balanced Training where you utilise negative correction and positive reinforcement?

Feel free to contact me today if you have any questions.