What to do About Conflicting Information

What to do About Conflicting Information

There is a common saying amongst dog trainers – The only thing two dog trainers can agree on is that the third trainer is doing it wrong.

Anyone who has spent some time researching dog training, or any other topic for that matter, has surely come across some conflicting info.  One website or trainer will tell you to do it this way, another website or trainer will tell you to do it that way, and the third will tell you not to do it at all.  Here are some examples:

When dealing with a jumping dog:

Website/Trainer 1:

Turn your back and ignore your dog and wait for them to stop jumping, then you can pet your dog.  Your dog should receive praise when they are doing the correct thing.

Website/Trainer 2:

Quickly extend your knee and bump them in the chest when your dog jumps.  Over time it becomes so unpleasant that he will stop jumping.

When it comes to verbal communication with your dog:

Website/Trainer 1:

Repeat your verbal commands until your dog listens.  This will help them make the connection between the word and the action.

Website/Trainer 2:

If you give your dog multiple commands you’re giving them permission to listen when they choose, not when you ask.

When it comes to an emergency recall word:

Website/Trainer 1:

A separate emergency recall word should be used when you absolutely need your dog to come to you right away. This word should only be used in an emergency situation and is rewarded with a high-value treat.

Website/Trainer 2:

Every recall should be viewed as an emergency recall.

So who is right and who is wrong, is anyone wrong?

There is a lot of conflicting information about dog training out there because there is no one right way to train a dog.  There are multiple approaches and each approach has different theories and reasons for why they do things the way that they do.

As a dog owner, it’s up to you to decide which training system makes the most sense, works the best for you, your family, your dog, your lifestyle, and will most closely be able to meet the expectations that you have for your dog.  Block out all of the other information that you have used in the past on your previous dogs, ignore the differences in advice that your friend got from their trainer, and try to ignore all of the online articles that suggest that you’re doing it wrong.  Trust your trainer, they are the one that you chose to work with; do your best to let them help!
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