Myth: Positive Trainers are Permissive

Some really good training gems.

Paws Abilities

This is a common myth about positive reinforcement training. One of the biggest criticisms circulated about positive reinforcement training (besides the misconception that dogs should work for praise instead of food or toys) is that clicker trainers are permissive.

This is patently untrue, and comes from a misunderstanding of positive reinforcement training. Here’s the thing: positive reinforcement trainers are no more likely to let their dog “get away with” naughty behavior than compulsive trainers. However, the way we go about handling misbehavior is very different.

As discussed before, in compulsive training the dog is set up to fail, then corrected for it. The dog learns avoidance behaviors that keep him from going out of line. This can be quite effective for some dogs, but as we discussed last week it can also be risky due to fallout.

In contrast, clicker trainers set the dog up for success

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