Behaviour 2019
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To Cue or Command? A Qualitative analysis of word use and choice by United States dog trainers
Anamarie C Johnson, Clive DL Wynne. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States

Dog trainers’ choice of words to describe what they do may provide information about how a trainer understands and relates to the dogs they work with. To date, there has been little analysis of the words that dog trainers use or whether specific words or phrases can readily differentiate the type of training methodology practiced. 
We qualitatively analyzed the texts of 100 dog trainer philosophies from 10 US cities. Trainers were identified as using either positive reinforcement or balanced (mixed use of reinforcement and punishment) training methods. Using the text analysis software, MAXQDA, specific words were turned into codes that then were examined for the context and frequency of their use across the 100 philosophies considering the trainers’ different methodologies, gender and certification status. 
20 codes were analyzed across all documents. Some codes differentiated between training methodologies, particularly those related to equipment use. 
This research showed that dog trainers differ in word choice and context in describing their methodologies. However, there was also a wide variability in word use leading inconsistencies in information spread to the public.