Let’s cut right to the chase…1)
IT ADDRESSES TWO COMPONENTS OF OPERANT CONDITIONING
- The desire to do/learn the behavior.
- The discipline to do the behavior when there’s no desire to do the behavior
You’ve got to have both! Pure desire to do the behavior with no discipline will not yield reliable behaviors. Pure discipline without the desire to perform the behavior will give you a very miserable dog. A nice balance of both gives you a happy dog that understands boundaries.
balanced training reason 2)
IT ALLOWS YOU TO HELP MORE PEOPLE WITH THEIR DOG PROBLEMS
Let’s face it, when you put dogs and people in a household there’s a lot of room for misunderstanding. Especially nowadays when adoptions are going through the roof.
I have seen first hand the incompetence of trainers that are purely positive AND “crank and yank” trainers who rely on one half the quadrant too much. This makes sense because if I only give you a set of tools to fix a problem, you wont be able to fix most problems. This analogy makes sense if you’re a handyman as well.
Not to brag, but my students and I have been able to help so many people with their dogs when previous trainers were no help. That’s not to say we’re special or smarter, we’re just armed with all the tools we can possibly use for any given problem.
balanced training reason 3) IT’S MORE ENJOYABLE!
I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to limit yourself to only one way of training! You end up blaming the dog or the owner. That’s what I see a lot in the dog training industry. It’s not the dog’s fault that you’re too close minded to help it. It’s not the owner’s fault that you decided to stick to your moral agenda.
It’s frustrating, it’s not enjoyable to train with a limited set of tools. I was a handyman at one point in my life and I know how irritating it was to not have the proper tools for the right job at the moment.
Training as a balanced trainer is satisfying and enjoyable because you can actually help the dog figure things out while maintaining a happy attitude.
balanced training reason 4 ) IT MAKES YOU A BETTER PERSON
This may sound weird but it’s TRUE! when you understand the principles of operant conditioning you understand how to properly communicate with an animal that doesn’t speak your language in a very compassionate and clear way. Operant conditioning procedures were studied, developed and applied on animals, ultimately for the benefit of human psychology. Understanding these principles, automatically makes you understand people in a clearer way, thus making it more likely to be a better person.
**Just to be clear, calling yourself a “balanced trainer” while refusing to properly use Positive Reinforcement and Negative Punishment, justifying extremely forceful techniques on a consistent basis for the sake of convenience and taking pride in how you can make any dog behave in 2 minutes, doesn’t make you a Balanced Trainer, it makes you an incompetent and insensitive douche-bag.**