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  • Writer's pictureViatoris Dog Training

Positive or Balanced Training?

This is an ongoing battle in the training world. No one agrees yet everyone is right. Which is the best you might ask? First, let me explain which each training method is.


Positive trainers believe in just that, using only positive reinforcement. This means you can't use negative reinforcement. This means you can't say "no", can't pull against their collar and can't use any corrective collars. Positive trainers rely heavily on using praise and reward-based methods to motivate and create behaviors.

  • Not the most reliable because it isn’t always possible.

  • Humanizes the dog, forces people to think about them in ways simply don’t think.


Balanced dog training teaches a dog desired behaviors using both reward-based techniques and corrections. The intent of the correction is not to punish the dog, but rather to change the dog’s behavior. When applied, the pressure delivers just enough information to interrupt the dog’s train of thought and bring the focus back to you, the handler. With practice, the dog will understand that the choices they make will avoid pressure application, reducing the need for corrections. In circumstances when a correction is required, the dog understands why it happened and can learn to avoid the same situation in the future. Pressure does not equal pain!

  • If not educated or used incorrectly, the methods and tools may hurt the dog.

Both Positive and Balanced

  • Encourage play

  • Use reward-based methods

  • Play recall games

  • Teach boundaries

  • May use clickers

  • Value praise

  • Incorporates marker training

  • Uses motivation and drive to create behavior

My beliefs

I believe that like people, all dogs are different. Something that may work for one dog might not work for another. I believe in using both methods when applicable and realistic. Be an advocate for your dog, have their best interest at heart.

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Is an evaluation necessary?

My answer: Absolutely! Meeting with a trainer or facility is extremely important when choosing someone to help you in the process of training your dog for several reasons. The Methods It is important


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