Imagine teaching someone to drive by waiting for them to crash, and then punishing them (with yelling, shaming, hitting, or any other thing you like--rub their nose in it?) every time they made a mistake.
Just as they are for learning drivers, the stakes when we work with dogs are very high. If we fail to teach bite inhibition, if we fail to provide sufficient exercise & interaction to prevent frustration -- innocent children, neighbors, other dogs, are all at serious risk.
Good training is rewarding every good decision a dog makes, all day long. Advanced trainers can elicit good decision making, even from historically bad decision makers, using precise timing and crystal-clear (to the dog) communication.
Poor training is failing to plan. Failing to anticipate. Reacting to the dog's behavior.
Leadership is a controversial subject. But for dogs who require human leadership, REACTIVE (punishment-oriented) training is FOLLOWING THE DOG. By clearly indicating what the dog is to do, eliciting that behavior via physical guiding, luring, or simply waiting for it, and actively rewarding it, you are LEADING THE DOG. Not all dogs require this kind of leadership.
Dogs who don't necessarily require so much explicit human leadership don't need directive commanding, but still benefit from rewards for good behaviors.
Imagine yourself in kindergarten. Imagine being asked to write an "A" on your paper. In your entire life so far, no one has told you to write an "A". You may not even consciously realize that "A" exists.
Now someone starts yelling at you for your defiance. Or they do something painful to you.
Wouldn't it be easier if someone gently took your hand and guided you through the strokes to make an "A"? Or at least pointed to where you should guide your pencil? Or at least encouraged you when you made one correct stroke on your paper?
This is learning.
Will you later benefit from knowing when your stroke is at the wrong angle? Yes. Does that matter for the first one? No.
Being the teacher is facilitating the learning. Not just knowing what is a carrot and what is a stick. It's knowing how to communicate success and failure. Knowing how rapidly to escalate criteria. Knowing what criteria to choose. Knowing how to clearly compare and contrast success and failure.
Smarter teaching = faster learning.
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