Social The Dog Training World Debate: Force Free vs Traditional Methods

Zeke's Chaingun

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TL/DR or Don't Care:

Two Different Dog Training Philosophies: Purely Positive/Force Free vs Traditional Balanced. The PP/FF advocates have been relentlessly attacking and trying to destroy the business and reputation of Traditional Balanced Trainers, accusing them of animal abuse and advocating for "sCiEnCe-BaSeD mOdErN" methods only. They're low-T Karen douchebags.


THREAD:


Most of you probably own dogs, or have owned dogs. What you may not know - and may not have any interest in - is the ongoing debate in the Dog Training World, and what it is about.

In short, there are people known as "Purely Positive" or "Force Free" advocates who believe that you should never use any kind of "negative" training. No "force", no physical corrections, no assertiveness, etc. To them, this is abuse and it should never be used under any circumstance. They feel like the use of any such methods is abusive and archaic, and that they have the new modern "science-based" methodology.

On the other side we have what is typically described as "Balanced Trainers", but what is truly just traditional training methods. It's not that they are all about physical training methods (leash corrections, touch corrections, assertive behavior, etc,) it's just that they use those methods in conjunction with positive training. So in essence, the traditional trainers use both positive and negative training methods.

My concern is what works best. If I want my dog to be trained, then I want results. If a purely positive/force free method will get me the desired result, then sure, use it. However, these methods cannot help all dogs, and among the types of dogs that these methods do not help with are the aggressive and dominant types of dogs. It's not limited to them, however. You can also include extreme cases of fear, extreme cases of excitement, etc. There comes a dog where they red-zone so badly that no treat is going to take their mind out of the red-zone. I'm not just saying this, I've asked the top dog trainers in the Purely Positive/Force Free world to show me videos of them dealing with a red-zone large aggressive dog and demonstrate that their techniques will fix that behavior and bring the dog back to balance. I've even got responses from these top trainers and they have never been able to show me these cases being fixed by their methods. The best any of them have done is show me a video of them being with an "aggressive dog" (which was one that wasn't even highly aggressive) and demonstrated the dog warning them off at first, but then they clip the video to later on and they're in a room with the dog giving them treats. They did not show their methods, but most importantly, they did not show that the owner can now take the dog into situations that had been triggering them and demonstrate that people can now approach the dog. In other words, show that the methods fixed the dog's behavior. The best I got was that after being in a room being tossed treat after treat after treat, over who knows how many hours, that the dog was looking for more food while the trainer held the dog on a leash. That is not demonstrating that the owner can now take the dog out and people can approach the dog and it won't bite anymore.

On the other hand, you can find ENDLESS videos of traditional trainers taking on far more aggressive dogs and bringing them back to a balanced state of mind. Even better, they show them working with the owner on how to properly handle the dog to keep them under control and prove this by having the owner enter such circumstances with the dog, employ their techniques, and see that the dog isn't being reactive anymore.

So who cares, right?

Here's where the controversy comes in. If it was just a philosophical difference of methods and that's it, then who cares. However, you point out a famous traditional trainer and you will find a trainer who has had relentless attacks on their reputation and their business by Purely Positive/Force Free trainers and their activist fans. You NEVER see a traditional trainer disapprove of the PP/FF trainers methods and then sick their fans on them to destroy their reputation and business. Any such conflict is always initiated by the PP/FF folks. In their mind, traditional trainers are abusers and they will clip videos of traditional trainers working with hard cases (cases they won't take on themselves) and then make an attack video to talk about how awful that trainer is using "outdated" and "abusive" methods. Cesar Millan, Dog Daddy, American Standard K9, you name it. They've all been attacked, with these activists going so far as to call venues that are hosting these traditional trainers to get the venue to cancel their events.

You can always spot these PP/FF Trainers. Their videos online always have them dealing with easy dogs and puppies, and half of their videos are them talking to the camera about science and theory. Well, real science and theory requires real world testing and results. If all they can do is talk theory and tell you they have science but won't show you their methods working on the really hard cases, then you're probably looking at a PP/FF advocate. They're the Stop Oil people of the Dog Training World. It's a religion to them.

This video is from a traditional trainer, but one that I personally don't feel is near the top of the game. I think he is more of a middle-level trainer despite his big following online. He does good interesting videos, but IMO he comes no where near the Cesar Millan's of the world. Still, in this video he breaks apart these PP/FF people who have been attacking him as well, and it's pretty amusing:



The big conflict that has been going on for awhile now is between PP/FF Trainer Zak George (who until recently was the biggest Dog Trainer YouTube Channel) and "The Dog Daddy" (who has since replaced Zak George as the largest Dog Trainer YouTube Channel.)

You can already tell which side I'm on, even though The Dog Daddy - IMO - is a bit of a drama queen and posts weird shit for attention from time to time. Despite that flaw, Dog Daddy (Augusto) is able to handle much tougher cases than Zak George, and does so all of the time. In this conflict, I am with Augusto, but overall Augusto isn't on the level of Cesar Millan and his biggest flaw is that he is promising more than he delivers when he runs seminars and only works with a dog for 15-30 minutes before moving onto another paying seminar attendee. You can't get real help that quick, so in a way that's kind of a scam.

Augusto actually challenged Zak George after Zak began attacking him and sending his followers to protest and cancel Augusto's events. Augusto put up money to have both of them meet and demonstrate their methods on difficult dogs on film, with proceeds made going to a charity of Zak George's choice. Of course, Zak George declined.
 
I went to a positive only trainer with a rescue dog that would redzone as you put it. It was my roommates dog but I went because I walked and helped out with the dog too. the trainer basically said this won't work fully with your dog and needed to find a different trainer. It worked fine when they were non redline. But did nothing to stop it.
 
I've always trained dogs with the traditional method and always had great results. It's great if you have a dog that will always respond to non physical corrections, but all dogs aren't like that.
 
So when your positive fucking hippy vibes dog follows its predatory instincts to attack something smaller I suppose the brilliant idea would be to wait until it is done murdering the smaller pet and then give it a cookie for stopping?


So much stupidity could be avoided if more people experienced at least one good old fashion passionate ass whooping.
 
ChatGPT———————->

Gtfo
 
It's an animal. At the end of the day, like some humans, you can't reason with them. A force correction is the only thing they understand.
 
Using a forceful tone or jerking the leash a bit is fine as long as you aren’t causing the dog pain or hitting the dog.

I’m sure some dogs can be trained using only positive reinforcement. But like humans, I’m sure it depends on the dog.
 
It's an animal. At the end of the day, like some humans, you can't reason with them. A force correction is the only thing they understand.

And for that, you would raise the ire of the Purely Positive/Force Free advocates. If you had a business, they'd flood your Yelp page with awful reviews. They'd probably get people to protest you outside your business. This is what they do to the traditional dog trainers, particularly those with a large audience.

It's a cult, a religion.

Being interested in dog training and dog behavior, I signed up for a message board like this for dog training. I was hoping to bounce ideas and hear from others on dog training. I didn't last a single day. When someone posted a story about the issues with their dog, like others I posted my thoughts on how to resolve the situation. I was then responded to by multiple people telling me that my "archaic" and "abusive" methods aren't allowed here and they locked my ability to respond in that thread. This is how pervasive and religious they are.
 
Traditional works for me, so will stay with that until the end of my dog-owning days. My dobie would laugh at force-free training, and run all over you.
 
And for that, you would raise the ire of the Purely Positive/Force Free advocates. If you had a business, they'd flood your Yelp page with awful reviews. They'd probably get people to protest you outside your business. This is what they do to the traditional dog trainers, particularly those with a large audience.

It's a cult, a religion.

Being interested in dog training and dog behavior, I signed up for a message board like this for dog training. I was hoping to bounce ideas and hear from others on dog training. I didn't last a single day. When someone posted a story about the issues with their dog, like others I posted my thoughts on how to resolve the situation. I was then responded to by multiple people telling me that my "archaic" and "abusive" methods aren't allowed here and they locked my ability to respond in that thread. This is how pervasive and religious they are.

I find it funny but sad that in a debate where one camp says 90% positive reinforcement but sometimes negative corrections may be warranted and the other camp says NOTHING BUT POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT the second camp has decided to start a paradigm war where they attack the first camp with only negative corrections and no positive reinforcement.

Like isn't that what ya'll said not to do?
 
I love my dog and always will.. but, at the end of the day, they are a dog and not human. It may work for some, but many need more traditional training to learn.

I'm not saying to ever abuse the animal, but just to get its attention and to teach negative corrections.

You are not supposed to just be friends with your dog - you are supposed to lead your dog and its supposed to respect you and know its position in the pecking order. That doesn't mean you can't love your dog to death at the same time.
 
And for that, you would raise the ire of the Purely Positive/Force Free advocates. If you had a business, they'd flood your Yelp page with awful reviews. They'd probably get people to protest you outside your business. This is what they do to the traditional dog trainers, particularly those with a large audience.

It's a cult, a religion.

Being interested in dog training and dog behavior, I signed up for a message board like this for dog training. I was hoping to bounce ideas and hear from others on dog training. I didn't last a single day. When someone posted a story about the issues with their dog, like others I posted my thoughts on how to resolve the situation. I was then responded to by multiple people telling me that my "archaic" and "abusive" methods aren't allowed here and they locked my ability to respond in that thread. This is how pervasive and religious they are.

That sucks man. I'm sorry to hear if that's what happened to you. These people might mean well, but sounds like they have limited experience in the field, but then want to preach to everyone like they're experts. You can't ever harm a hair on an animal, but they'll burn you at the stake for disagreeing with them. You're right, and this cult mentality is pervasive in many aspects of society unfortunately.
 
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