Behaviour 2019
Search
Using Behavioral Principles to  Balance the Controversy of "Positive-Only" vs. "Balanced" Dog Training
Matthew D. Gross1,2, Richard T. Cook1. 1Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, United States; 2Applied Behavioral Medicine Associates, Hershey, PA, United States

Currently within the world of dog training there exists opposing schools of thought about the use of aversive methods when training dogs. Some trainers utilize only positive reinforcement and philosophically oppose use of potentially aversive procedures while training dogs. Other dog training practitioners advocate for the use of all operant conditioning procedures when appropriate, and do not exclude aversive methods. In certain situations, excluding the use of aversive/punishing techniques removes tools from the bag that might be the most appropriate, or even, only, method to effectively address certain dog-related behaviors in some situations, including to but not limited to severe behaviors, which may lead to situations where the dog is not successfully trained, or worse, euthanized. This controversy arises not only over disagreement over the use of aversive methodologies themselves, but also stems from erroneous assumptions and incomplete or differing understanding of the behavioral terms. This presentation will highlight and attempt to clarify the issues and misunderstandings related to this controversy, while allowing the viewer to form their own opinion on the matter.