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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
With a dog I had 10 years ago I decided to go to classes for the first time. This was after a few dogs, all well trained and really very good dogs.

As part of that I studied the 4 quadrants of training/learning and went back to the Skinner rat box and some other things. In the end, I titled the dog in AKC obedience. I went to various R+ trainers and found out everyone interprets how to effectively use the quadrants to get a dog trained. I tried it all.. and just about ruined the dog in the process (mostly from ignorance on how to effecitvely use R+ and the non P+ quadrants and partly due to a lack of Pack Drive in this particular dog).

Eventually I purchased another dog.. sired by a world class winner in the show ring (conformation) and this was my first IPO dog. Pretty dog, but not really cut out for IPO. Then end result is that I learned from her. Lessons that cannot be replaced.. she was difficult to engage as she was nervy and lacking in drive. She is a dog that worries and stresses over every little thing and a stern look or clearing your throat filled her with apologies. She was a good dog because she never ran out of TRY and I will always appreciate her for giving me all she had. It wasn't enough for an IPO 1, but giving me her best and all she had was simply fine.

In comes dog #3 all working lines and sired by a world team dog and out of a solid and titles female line. I have her now. This dog doesn't much care if I clear my throat.. in fact, her idea of fun is to see how far she can push the boundaries. This is the dog that taught me that yes, indeed, positive punishment has its place and that you need to balance that with perfect timing and the dog's behavior. You also need to balance every correction with a Positive Reinforcement that is is three times greater than the correction. This is the dog that taught me about E-Collars.

Now, in this sport there are trainers who will tell you that you teach the dog "how to" do a thing, like Sit in response to a sitz command. Next you get them to "want to" do that behavior. Some dogs this is where it ends. You never have to go to the next phase, which is "have to" do the behavior. How to and want to is taught best using R+. The dog responds and attitude shows happiness (dogs exhibiting stress lose points in my chosen sport!).

"Have to" introduces the P+ quadrant, which is the smallest quadrant in dog training because it is used rarely. P+ cannot be used before the dog TOTALLY understands "how to" and "want to" and the task being requested. Most dog owners do not realize their dog does not have the behavior down pat. Most dog owners have not proofed behaviors in "how to" and "want to." THIS very fact removes use of P+ from their dog training tool box. P+ MUST be countered with a positive reinforcement (R+) three times greater than the P+. MOST dog owners do not emphasize enough the dog "getting it right!"

When training a TASK, the only time P+ is effective is when the dog totally completely KNOWS the task being asked AND clearly has elected to NOT respond. Again, most dog owners are not good enough at reading dogs to know when this is happening and are not good enough at timing to clearly convey a P+ and have it effective.

If P+ is the option that is right for the dog and right for the situation, it must be effective. Nagging teaches the dog to ignore the handler (like repeating a command cue with out a response from the dog). Nagging teaches the dog you are not fair. The correction should be meaningful and be given ONCE at exactly the right time. Timing is HUGE.

P+ should NEVER be used out of anger or frustration. NEVER. P+ is a tool that needs the right handler, the right dog, the right situation, careful management, perfect timing and be used infrequently. If you must use P+ more than once or twice for the same behavior, you are doing it wrong. STOP. Go back and retrain using R+.

Willy Nilly pounding on a dog that does not understand suffices to do one thing: Destroy your relationship with the dog. The dogs sees you as unfair and unclear. Dogs thrive on black and white. Nagging and pounding on the dog are grey and simply confuse the dog who is often trying but does not understand.

P+ Correctly used to fairly establish boundaries can actually clarify the relationship with the dog and, in some dogs (usually solid, confident dogs) be absolutely necessary.
 

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Theres alot of people out there who dont believe any dog should be subjected to any form of force or punishment. Had a discussion recently on another forum about this very topic. It was interesting but the thread was hard to read. I started the thread asking the positive only crowd about the philosophy of it and such. I was genuinely interested in what they had to say since I do believe truth can be found everywhere. In what I was reading, the argument against corrections and punishment starts to fall apart when you have a dog that wants to do what it wants to do more than anything you can offer to motivate it to do otherwise. I do use corrections, but I dont do sport or anything, so my corrections are pretty much limited to when I'm telling him to do something he's proven he knows how to do, but blatantly blows me off. The dog I have now is very biddable and a pleasure to train. But he's also pushy, confident, and strong willed...... There are the occasional times where a good correction is needed, he recovers almost instantly, gets rewarded for doing right, and life moves on. There are some things that would just take waaaaaay to long to sort out without the use of corrections. But if he were an easy going dog that didnt need the strict obedience for his own, and others safety, and I was able to indulge in taking a longer time to get that solid obedience, then by all means I'd do without punishment. But so far I havent owned a single gsd that I was able to get where I wanted to be without the use of some level of force or punishment. I guess for me, the idea of not having to use it sounds great. But either I'm just not good enough with my gsds to do that, or with some dogs its just not possible. I know I'm no great dog trainer, but after owning several gsds, none of which were ASL, and a couple dogs of a big powerful guarding breed, I tend to lean towards the opinion that some dogs need to be corrected at times.
I've made a ton of training mistakes in the past, and I still do, but the dogs we've owned didnt seem to suffer for it. No mistakes were so bad they couldnt be undone fairly easily. This probably had more to do with the dogs temperament and genetics than my training ability.
As far as certain training tools and collars....I would think that if my dogs were so terrorized and abused by them, they wouldnt get so excited when they see them come out. One collar in particular gets my current dog literally bouncing with excitement when he sees it in my hand. He sits happily, ears up, tongue hanging, bodily posture confident, and waits politely while I put it on him. Without being told to.
I think any tool can be abused, I personally see more potential for bodily harm in a head halter than a prong collar, but I could be wrong in that opinion.
I think your assessment of things is dead on the money and I cant disagree with anything youve said.
You've titled your dogs, they obviously love what they do or you wouldnt have made it as far as you have, the proof is in the pudding.
I put more faith in the opinions of someone who has walked the walk than in someone who just reads scientific studies and then sits at a computer and goes online to state their opinions as facts when they've never even successfully handled the kinds of dogs they're talking about.
Its just different means of communication. No one method is going to work for every dog out there. Show me 99 dogs who do just fine with no corrections, and motivation only, theres still going to be that 1 dog who doesnt give a crap what you say, hes got his own ideas. And there is where that small piece of the quadrant comes in.
 

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Ian Dunbar has said this, in a succinct list, ages ago.

Good on you and your competition world. I still stand by the fact that a deliberate correction phase or P+ phase is not necessary for most pet owners out there. I wager it is not necessary with most dogs in competition either (looking at Fenzi, Garrett, Romanik, and many others). But I will speak to the world that I know most about.

Also, I acknowledge that most people (including me) will use P+ at some point. The "HEY!" I shout out of frustration when I'm not thinking straight enough. When I accidentally step on the leash and 'leash pop' my dog unintentionally. When (despite building a foundation with R+) I misjudge and my dog runs in front of the bike, gets hit, and then learns not to. And many other examples.

I would rephrase the idea that "some dogs need to be corrected" and instead replace it with a lengthier but more thorough phrase, "some people would rather use corrections than find the time and motivation needed to achieve the same goal with R+ and P-". Some goals are faster achieved with P+, I'll give you that. Some dogs are not damaged with some P+, I'll give you that. But to say that it is outright IMPOSSIBLE to achieve certain results, with some dogs, without P+... Well, of course not, with that kind of attitude :)

I want to emphasize that most dog owners out there are pet owners. I have met PLENTY of dogs who, mentally and physically, could probably take a correction to extinguish an unwanted behavior like nipping, jumping, etc. But why the heck would I ever suggest that or try that with an owner who already has imperfect timing, who already jumps to corrections without reinforcing often enough, and does not have a solid understanding of basic training theory? And why would I suggest that when R+ and P- would also give them the results just fine, albeit maybe taking a little longer?

Lastly, the way this whole thing will be interpreted by the average pet owner, who isn't even versed in basic dog body language, is people will start justifying their corrections. "Oh, my maltipoo definitely falls into this category! She is so strong willed and dominant, definitely the kind of dog who needs just a few corrections..." You know what I mean? Most people start out already wanting to use corrections. I appreciate this philosophical debate and I have no reason to believe that 3GSD is not a good trainer, based on objective proof that she has titled dogs with good scores and shows an understanding of learning theory. But really, (and maybe it's because I teach), most people still need to grasp 'how to use R+ effectively' before even considering this discussion.
 

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Great insight from a great trainer: http://lauraromanik.com/my-training-evolution.html
http://lauraromanik.com/training-philosophy.html

I love this quote and it speaks to me: " I never realized how much I was hurting my goals by associating the skills with the stress of compulsion, nor how powerful positive reinforcement can be, until I stopped viewing aversives as anything but a last resort and a sign of weakness in my skills as a trainer. "

She is not being evangelical, not demonizing P+. But shifting her perspective from "needs corrections" to what she wrote above, made her a better trainer and opened up a world of possibilities. I fully agree with that.
 

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Ian Dunbar has said this, in a succinct list, ages ago.

Good on you and your competition world. I still stand by the fact that a deliberate correction phase or P+ phase is not necessary for most pet owners out there. I wager it is not necessary with most dogs in competition either (looking at Fenzi, Garrett, Romanik, and many others). But I will speak to the world that I know most about.

Also, I acknowledge that most people (including me) will use P+ at some point. The "HEY!" I shout out of frustration when I'm not thinking straight enough. When I accidentally step on the leash and 'leash pop' my dog unintentionally. When (despite building a foundation with R+) I misjudge and my dog runs in front of the bike, gets hit, and then learns not to. And many other examples.

I would rephrase the idea that "some dogs need to be corrected" and instead replace it with a lengthier but more thorough phrase, "some people would rather use corrections than find the time and motivation needed to achieve the same goal with R+ and P-". Some goals are faster achieved with P+, I'll give you that. Some dogs are not damaged with some P+, I'll give you that. But to say that it is outright IMPOSSIBLE to achieve certain results, with some dogs, without P+... Well, of course not, with that kind of attitude :)

I want to emphasize that most dog owners out there are pet owners. I have met PLENTY of dogs who, mentally and physically, could probably take a correction to extinguish an unwanted behavior like nipping, jumping, etc. But why the heck would I ever suggest that or try that with an owner who already has imperfect timing, who already jumps to corrections without reinforcing often enough, and does not have a solid understanding of basic training theory? And why would I suggest that when R+ and P- would also give them the results just fine, albeit maybe taking a little longer?

Lastly, the way this whole thing will be interpreted by the average pet owner, who isn't even versed in basic dog body language, is people will start justifying their corrections. "Oh, my maltipoo definitely falls into this category! She is so strong willed and dominant, definitely the kind of dog who needs just a few corrections..." You know what I mean? Most people start out already wanting to use corrections. I appreciate this philosophical debate and I have no reason to believe that 3GSD is not a good trainer, based on objective proof that she has titled dogs with good scores and shows an understanding of learning theory. But really, (and maybe it's because I teach), most people still need to grasp 'how to use R+ effectively' before even considering this discussion.
I agree. There are experienced people out there like 3GSD who know how to effectively use corrections and know how to evaluate the dog in front of them, but 90% of dog owners out there can't. Most of them would never ever need to use corrections, anyway. I don't feel it is good advice when people give P+ training suggestions to new posters who clearly are not experienced with dog training, based on their questions about 'aggressive 3 month old puppy is biting me' or 'my herding breed dog is nipping at my heels' that are very normal and aspects of dog ownership, which would lead me to believe they may be brand new to the whole thing and probably have no idea how to time a correction, or how to evaluate their dog. (We've all been there, no shame.)

I also feel that P+ is not something that should be learned over the internet from a bunch of strangers...If I read instructions or watch a video on how to teach my dog something using R+, I give my dog a treat at the wrong time and he learns something he wasn't supposed to, but he's still happy about it and I can fix it fairly easily (I've done this, lol). If I mess up instructions for P+, my dog will learn something he wasn't supposed to, probably be scared about it, and it will take a long time to fix. I've done this too (Not with Ralphie, a previous dog) because I messed up a correction and then the dog was scared of leashes. It sat with me in a bad way, and I still think about it. I read about how to train a dog to loose leash walk using P+, mostly, and that's what it got me because I messed it up, and the dog I was teaching probably was not a dog that could handle corrections well, anyway. I was an inexperienced 16 year old kid who had been around dogs for my entire life, and I still messed it up. Most dog owners are probably just like that 16 year old me!
 

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I don't believe most dogs are harmed, much less damaged by punishment - even harsh punishment. Heck, in some situations I even think it's the most appropriate (and kindest) decision that can be made - because one well time correction (a harsh one) can keep the dog safe and eliminate a longer, more stressful, process. I absolutely agree that 'purely positive' is a situation that cannot and does not and should not exist outside hypothetical thought situations because life.

I believe advising it online is irresponsible in the extreme.

I do think that anyone who believes it is a necessary part of the training process for any dog, much less every dog, is about as bright as a box of rocks and SERIOUSLY lacks training skills. PARTICULARLY when they're using a game they play with a dog as justification for it - and, yes, that includes IPO and obedience. It's still just a game you choose to play with the dog.
 

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Oh, and no.

It is most decidedly not a necessary part of the competition world. There are a few, shrinking, areas (sports) where positive punishment is still part of the competition CULTURE, but that has got not a thing to do with how necessary it is to effectively train the dog for competition.

If you are regularly using, and dependent upon, positive punishment to get competition behavior either you're a bad trainer who only knows how to use one training method and by god you're going to use that one, you are a fundamentally lazy trainer and if you recognize that you're using it because it's faster and easier for you, whatever man, we're all lazy sometimes, or you are trying to make a dog do a sport for which it is completely ill suited.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you read the original discussion (which it seems some of the comments indicate they did not) I have stated very clearly that P+ is a small quadrant of training and most pet dog people and quite a few people who have been in competition dog sports for years, do not have the skill or knowledge to effectively use. I even bolded it but will repeat is here "most dog owners are not good enough at reading dogs to know when this is happening and are not good enough at timing to clearly convey a P+ and have it effective. "

I am not one to try to control the behaviors of others out of fear they will take written words from me and use them incorrectly. There exist many (better known!) trainers/sources out there on the internet and in books on the use of P+ that go far and away beyond this academic discussion of the subject!!!

To ignore and "be afraid" (really? fear?) to discuss an entire quadrant of training/learning seems a bit odd... like trying to control all outcomes by limiting knowledge or any possible thoughts!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh, and no.

It is most decidedly not a necessary part of the competition world. There are a few, shrinking, areas (sports) where positive punishment is still part of the competition CULTURE, but that has got not a thing to do with how necessary it is to effectively train the dog for competition.

If you are regularly using, and dependent upon, positive punishment to get competition behavior either you're a bad trainer who only knows how to use one training method and by god you're going to use that one, you are a fundamentally lazy trainer and if you recognize that you're using it because it's faster and easier for you, whatever man, we're all lazy sometimes, or you are trying to make a dog do a sport for which it is completely ill suited.
Did you read the post? I think not (or at least not with an open mind)! "Regularly use and dependent on Positive Punishment..." WHERE was that stated?

I discussed four dogs. Two were not candidates for P+ and that was stated.

You need to "read the dog" and most people cannot do that (this was also stated).
 

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Peoples attitudes towards this are the same as anything else that has a percieved dangerous side to the coin....... Some people feel the need to protect others from themselves....since they believe other people arent capable enough. Short changing people in otherwords. I personally would rather see +p presented as just another tool in the box for people to educate themselves on, rather than just sweep a good tool under the rug, because some people believe that the majority arent capable human beings.
Good lord, you can find instructions for building bombs on the internet, but we need to just do away with any open discussion on +p??
The bottom line to me is education. Just like anything else, people are going to use punishment and corrections with their dogs. Its not going away.
So which is better, sweeping it under the rug, saying its something that shouldnt be done and closing down any conversation, making it harder for people to educate themselves on the proper use of something they're going to do anyway, or have open discussions and just accept that people need to be educated and actually try to help them.
The war on drugs. Same type thing, and we see how well thats worked out....
Underage sex. Same type thing. Trying to just do away with it didnt work so well either.
The list goes on and on.
What next we make prong collars illegal like so many people would like to see? Then we make crates illegal because some people misuse them, keep their dogs locked up too often? Its already happened in certain places.
Im going to say this, and then I'm done- go on some of the working dog forums where the use of +p and how to properly apply it is openly discussed.....and you'll see a forum full of people who have far far far less issues with their dogs than on the forums where it is not openly discussed.
No offense meant to anyone, just giving my personal, limited experience opinion
 

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Eh, prongs and crating are already illegal in parts of the world. Not something I'd like to see happen in the US, but it doesn't hurt my feelings (and I have and occasionally use a prong - and am far from purely positive or thinking aversives in training are terrible).

For me, there is nothing wrong with saying 'if you need to do this you need a professional'. You give advice about how to use management or rewards that's either not expressed clearly, or misunderstood, or not 'quite right' because of missing detail, misunderstanding (either on the part of the person presenting the problem or of the person reading it), or the owner's handling, timing, understanding, or skill level is just not good and you get slightly more ingrained issues or (if they really go overboard) a fat dog. Your advice involves pain or physical manipulation someone can gets hurt.

There ARE REASONS that dog trainers do NOT train 'blind' and at minimal want video before giving advice and, likewise, reasons like even the very, very, good balanced trainers (like Ellis) will absolutely not use punishment or corrections on all dogs. Not even all dogs with the same behavioral problem. Because some dogs? Will learn. Some will come back at the owner harder. Some will shut down, freak out, and/lose all desire to work and trust. Dogs are not universally the same and I, at least, can't tell which kind of dog a poster has based on some words on a screen.

And these are well proven professionals, not a bunch of yahoos screwing around a dog forum.

(And as an aside: Hang out on any forum where people are actively competing or working with dogs regularly and the number of issues drops almost zero, regardless of method. Including those places where suggesting positive punishment is straight up taboo. That is nature of actually TRAINING the dog and working it - as opposed to a novice pet owner or just pet owner who just wants the dog not to pee in the house and to stop eating garbage - not the function of method used to do it.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I find it interesting the number of people who go to Ellis (and I have used some of his ideas too because I am interested in getting the dog to do what I want). One thing I cannot find on Ellis are titles on dogs. I don't think he has actually titled a dog.

This does not make him a bad trainer, but when you go to title a dog there are nuances you miss if you have never stepped on the trial field and titled a dog. He makes money training dogs much like Parelli training horses. When you are getting ready to trial at higher levels I can tell you from experience, you want trainers eyes on you and the dog as a team from someone who has walked that walk. It's a points game.. so you train to maximize your points and minimize battles trying to get something "perfect" that has low point value. That is the competitor thinking!

When training you can no longer (as in the old days) "crank on the dog." This creates conflict and conflict creates uncertainty and uncertainty comes out as stress. You can drop an entire category or even be excused if your dog shows stress on the trial field. Such things as a dog that is in a long down putting his head down between his paws. That is interpreted by the judge as stress (even if the dog naturally does this and always has). You have to teach the dog to keep his head up and do the down in a sphinx position and be happy about it. When it is 95 degrees out, and your dog is in the long down first, he has to look at the end of 10 minutes as happy as he did at the beginning of that 10 minutes. Then he has to do his routine and be happy and show energy and positive attitude. This takes a tough dog with a ton of drive!! You cannot get that by hammering it into the dog. This is WHY P+ is a small quadrant and managing P+ is so important.

OTOH if you have that dog.. with the drive and power and desire.. there is likely a day in that dog's life where you are going to have that "have to" discussion.
All of the quadrants of training are used for these high drive dogs. Most of it is rewarding to the dog. Sometimes, a dog in drive will NOT listen. He or She gets out there and it can be like "WOO HOO! I am gonna do what I want to!" and then you have an issue. You cannot squash the dog's drive, but you need obedience. This is where P+ comes into play. The instant the dog complies he HAS to be rewarded and you can see the light bulb come on. Dog is like, "Ohhh.. NOW I get it.. if I do X then I get Y and I REALLY want Y so I will do X!!" The result is clarity and the dog truly is happy to have that.
 

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I'm just curious why you decided to pursue IPO with an ASL ? Not saying that it can't be done but the odds are not in your favor.
 

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Pardon the interruption, but getting back to this for a moment.

When training a TASK, the only time P+ is effective is when the dog totally completely KNOWS the task being asked AND clearly has elected to NOT respond.
When one of my dogs blows off a command or behaviour that I believe he fully knows and understands, I IMMEDIATELY STEP BACK and assess the situation calmly, slowly, thoughtfully, and in detail. First, I'll consider if there is a medical or physical reason for the refusal. Just for example, when practicing Retrieve Over High Jump, dog goes over jump, but "refuses" to pick up dumbbell. It would be easy enough to quickly conclude the dog 'knows this' and apply a correction. But what if the dog has broken a tooth recently, and that's the reason for refusal. What if, the dog has suffered acute pain in his shoulder on the way over and it hurts too much to jump back. What if, the ring is set up in such a way that the direction of the ribs in the rubber mats are not providing adequate traction for my dog. Well, I guess I could kiss his fair say goodbye with one foolish assumption and a hasty correction. Not to mention doing a tremendous disservice to my dog, by way of negligence in varying degrees. But. These are the things that MUST be considered, first and foremost, and there's no possibility they can be ascertained in the micro-second between refusal and immediate or timely correction. The way I train, my dog has a say in everything. Assuming the dog "knows the task" and thereby resorting to a correction in haste can be just plain selfish, regardless of whether one's anger is internalized or suppressed. It's certainly not allowing a dog to have their fair say.

Aside form that. I tend to accept full responsibility for all training failures myself, rather than push any blame onto the dog, which is exactly what occurs when you correct or punish. Chances are extremely high that virtually all refusals stem from either .. 1) I* haven't created a strong enough reinforcement history and / or 2) I* haven't proofed the behaviour sufficiently. Those are the two major culprits, in my experience. And those are two issues that fall squarely onto my shoulders and mine alone.

*Note my use of the term "I", not she he or even we.
 

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Aside form that. I tend to accept full responsibility for all training failures myself, rather than push any blame onto the dog, which is exactly what occurs when you correct or punish. Chances are extremely high that virtually all refusals stem from either .. 1) I* haven't created a strong enough reinforcement history and / or 2) I* haven't proofed the behaviour sufficiently. Those are the two major culprits, in my experience. And those are two issues that fall squarely onto my shoulders and mine alone.

*Note my use of the term "I", not she he or even we.

Yep, and this is by far the most common 'attitude' in agility - where performances must not only be correct and precise but happy (you do NOT want to make a dog careful in agility). And I know, personally, quite a few dogs who HAVE "refused" to do things wherein the fundamental problem was physical. Check that, respect the dog, look at your handling, look at the environment, and then back up and train it. You correct, particularly in agility, and create caution around an obstacle or behavior, and the dog's doing it because it has no say? Your performance tanks.

And I fail to understand the appeal of working with a dog who is not happy.

I think that anyone who claims that you can't do without punishment in a performance dog needs to sit down and look at agility very objectively and think. Surely, to goodness, if I can get speed, precision, independence, impulse control, rapid responses, in behavioral chains often 40 behaviors long, without applying a correction, surely for the love of god it is not some necessary part of learning and training.
 

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I find it interesting the number of people who go to Ellis (and I have used some of his ideas too because I am interested in getting the dog to do what I want). One thing I cannot find on Ellis are titles on dogs. I don't think he has actually titled a dog.

This does not make him a bad trainer, but when you go to title a dog there are nuances you miss if you have never stepped on the trial field and titled a dog. He makes money training dogs much like Parelli training horses. When you are getting ready to trial at higher levels I can tell you from experience, you want trainers eyes on you and the dog as a team from someone who has walked that walk. It's a points game.. so you train to maximize your points and minimize battles trying to get something "perfect" that has low point value. That is the competitor thinking!

When training you can no longer (as in the old days) "crank on the dog." This creates conflict and conflict creates uncertainty and uncertainty comes out as stress. You can drop an entire category or even be excused if your dog shows stress on the trial field. Such things as a dog that is in a long down putting his head down between his paws. That is interpreted by the judge as stress (even if the dog naturally does this and always has). You have to teach the dog to keep his head up and do the down in a sphinx position and be happy about it. When it is 95 degrees out, and your dog is in the long down first, he has to look at the end of 10 minutes as happy as he did at the beginning of that 10 minutes. Then he has to do his routine and be happy and show energy and positive attitude. This takes a tough dog with a ton of drive!! You cannot get that by hammering it into the dog. This is WHY P+ is a small quadrant and managing P+ is so important.

OTOH if you have that dog.. with the drive and power and desire.. there is likely a day in that dog's life where you are going to have that "have to" discussion.
All of the quadrants of training are used for these high drive dogs. Most of it is rewarding to the dog. Sometimes, a dog in drive will NOT listen. He or She gets out there and it can be like "WOO HOO! I am gonna do what I want to!" and then you have an issue. You cannot squash the dog's drive, but you need obedience. This is where P+ comes into play. The instant the dog complies he HAS to be rewarded and you can see the light bulb come on. Dog is like, "Ohhh.. NOW I get it.. if I do X then I get Y and I REALLY want Y so I will do X!!" The result is clarity and the dog truly is happy to have that.
Ellis has titles. His personal competition dog (Pi) got his MR 3 in 2010. http://loupsdusoleil.com/our-dogs/pi/

Pi's father (Fiest) was MR 3, SchH 3, and FR 3, but I don't know if he was trained by Lisa Maze or Michael Ellis.

I am pretty sure Ellis has titles in Schutzhund as well. I don't think ME competes anymore though.
 

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Theres alot of people out there who dont believe any dog should be subjected to any form of force or punishment. Had a discussion recently on another forum about this very topic. It was interesting but the thread was hard to read. I started the thread asking the positive only crowd about the philosophy of it and such. I was genuinely interested in what they had to say since I do believe truth can be found everywhere. In what I was reading, the argument against corrections and punishment starts to fall apart when you have a dog that wants to do what it wants to do more than anything you can offer to motivate it to do otherwise. I do use corrections, but I dont do sport or anything, so my corrections are pretty much limited to when I'm telling him to do something he's proven he knows how to do, but blatantly blows me off. The dog I have now is very biddable and a pleasure to train. But he's also pushy, confident, and strong willed...... There are the occasional times where a good correction is needed, he recovers almost instantly, gets rewarded for doing right, and life moves on. There are some things that would just take waaaaaay to long to sort out without the use of corrections. But if he were an easy going dog that didnt need the strict obedience for his own, and others safety, and I was able to indulge in taking a longer time to get that solid obedience, then by all means I'd do without punishment. But so far I havent owned a single gsd that I was able to get where I wanted to be without the use of some level of force or punishment. I guess for me, the idea of not having to use it sounds great. But either I'm just not good enough with my gsds to do that, or with some dogs its just not possible. I know I'm no great dog trainer, but after owning several gsds, none of which were ASL, and a couple dogs of a big powerful guarding breed, I tend to lean towards the opinion that some dogs need to be corrected at times.
I've made a ton of training mistakes in the past, and I still do, but the dogs we've owned didnt seem to suffer for it. No mistakes were so bad they couldnt be undone fairly easily. This probably had more to do with the dogs temperament and genetics than my training ability.
As far as certain training tools and collars....I would think that if my dogs were so terrorized and abused by them, they wouldnt get so excited when they see them come out. One collar in particular gets my current dog literally bouncing with excitement when he sees it in my hand. He sits happily, ears up, tongue hanging, bodily posture confident, and waits politely while I put it on him. Without being told to.
I think any tool can be abused, I personally see more potential for bodily harm in a head halter than a prong collar, but I could be wrong in that opinion.
I think your assessment of things is dead on the money and I cant disagree with anything youve said.
You've titled your dogs, they obviously love what they do or you wouldnt have made it as far as you have, the proof is in the pudding.
I put more faith in the opinions of someone who has walked the walk than in someone who just reads scientific studies and then sits at a computer and goes online to state their opinions as facts when they've never even successfully handled the kinds of dogs they're talking about.
Its just different means of communication. No one method is going to work for every dog out there. Show me 99 dogs who do just fine with no corrections, and motivation only, theres still going to be that 1 dog who doesnt give a crap what you say, hes got his own ideas. And there is where that small piece of the quadrant comes in.
LOL, I think I know which threat/forum you are talking about.
 

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Who is refusing to discuss P+? I think no one is trying to shove it under a rug here.

3GSD, I agree with most of your OP except for...
"Have to" introduces the P+ quadrant
Somewhat agree. Yes, you can use P+. But P- will also work. And with enough R+ for some dogs, the "want to" is strong enough, as you've stated.

and, in some dogs (usually solid, confident dogs) be absolutely necessary.
I would have agreed with "be effective without being detrimental to relationship or performance"
I do not agree with "absolutely necessary."

The correction should be meaningful and be given ONCE at exactly the right time.
I totally agree. Except.... Where are these balanced trainers who correct once for a behavior and then don't need the prong/e-collar/correction again? If this truly was how P+ works, P+ trainers would all eventually become trainers who no longer use P+. Yet, here we are. There is always something to correct, isn't there? There is always those missing points...
 

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I'm just going to leave this here.

https://denisefenzi.com/2015/12/28/have-to-vs-want-to/

And, well, also this:
Quote from the comments (by Denise - referencing, in part, the fact that you're taking neither cookies nor the ability to correct into the ring with you)

The better your training, the better it will hold up. Train how you wish – but the phrase “the dog has to understand that they have no choice…” that phrase makes no sense. They are beings who have a choice. The fear overwhelms them? I hear people say “Make them more afraid of you than of everything else”. The distractions overwhelm them? I hear “Make sure they know that getting distracted isn’t an option”

And all of that is meaningless. When you get in the ring, either your training holds up or it does not. At that point, your dog has a choice. Their emotions matter.

For people who read this blog with care, there really is no controversy. There are no guarantees – even with all the ‘have to’ that trainers apply. So we should stop using that phrase, because training in the name of “have to” seems to lead to some very unfortunate training decisions. Why not just say, “train better?”

The reason people are upset is because they are extremely attached to that phrase. “The dog must know that they have no choice” And letting that go? Admitting that at the end of the day, that a dog’s emotions and alternative interests might actually win over all of that ‘have to?” That gets to the heart of our need to control. And when our need for control drives our training decisions rather than good training, then we’re setting ourselves up for some thought patterns that probably need to go.
 
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