science based dog training

Science Based Dog Training

 What is “science based dog training. ?”

Learning how to train a dog is not just about following strict scientific methods.Engaging in science-based dog training requires more than strict methods. While science is useful, it has limitations. Successful training demands compassion, patience, determination, and intuition Instead, a successful dog trainer should focus on the bigger picture, putting an emphasis on understanding the intricacies of the human-animal relationship. While scientific insights can be useful, relying solely on science can be limiting. It is essential to approach dog training with compassion, patience, determination, flexibility, and intuition because a dog’s emotions and instincts influence their behavior. Dogs often struggle to adapt to life in human society, which is why we need to teach them emotional regulation and behavior management techniques. While science is helpful for understanding behavior, it is not without its limitations. Science can be biased, wrong, manipulated, or sometimes even used to bend the truth.The problem is that when a lot of people say “my training is scienced based” they normally disregard have the science because it doesnt fit in with their agenda. Most self proclaimed “science based dog trainers” also use the term “force free” (a fallacy)and “positive dog training” and “positive reinforcement” They pick the parts of science that sound nice. Therefore, a good dog trainer must possess a combination of innate traits beyond just scientific knowledge.[Science-based dog training] often gets misused, with trainers selectively adopting positive terms. True expertise involves innate traits, beyond scientific knowledge. Positive reinforcement and punishment methods are essential to consider. Claims of ‘scientifically proven’ methods often fall short in delivering results. Prioritizing methods over outcomes poses a problem. A balance of insight, experience, and trust is crucial in the human-animal relationship, where science alone may lack. Science categorizes behavior but doesn’t control or limit dogs; understanding, compassion, patience, and flexibility are paramount in effective dog training.

4 quadrants of operant conditioning

Using "science based dog training" as a reason is feeble

In the past six years, I have heard many people claiming that their training is ‘science based dog training ‘ or ‘scientifically proven‘. This topic tends to come up when clients come to me after months, and even years, of training elsewhere with little to no results. While I believe that learning experiences are important, I believe there is a problem with prioritizing methods over results.

,It takes insight, experience, patience, and trust, and sometimes science can help us, but in the end it all comes down to the human-animal relationship.

A mother dog does not understand science, yet she is still a competent and effective mother to her puppies. In the same way, science helps us to categorize, explain, and predict behavior in dogs, but it does not control or limit them. Science is often biased, wrong, and manipulated to fit an agenda. You don’t need science to properly train a dog, but you do need understanding, compassion, patience, determination, instinct, and flexibility. Those who rely solely on science may lack some or all of these qualities.

Dogs are driven by their emotions and instincts, and they often have difficulty living in our world. We must teach them how to regulate their emotions and how to control their instinctive behaviors. This requires understanding, insight, experience, patience, and trust. Science can be helpful, but the human-animal relationship is ultimately the most important factor.

I’m not saying science is bad, but it should not be taken as the be-all-end-all answer to any problem. Science can, of course, provide helpful information and insights, but it should not be the only source of knowledge. Science can help us categorise, describe, explain and even help us predict behaviour in dogs, but it does not control dogs, limit or teach them anything. In fact, I would argue that understanding, compassion, patience, determination, instinct and flexibility are much more important for successful dog training. Don’t get me wrong, I love science, but it doesn’t make anything better or worse. It simply gives us a narrative if the science is correct, but often, VERY often, science is biased, it has been used to prove a point, it has been wrong, and it has been manipulated to further an agenda. Therefore, it should not be taken as the ultimate truth.