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In another thread, the point came up: "someone please link me to a trainer who claims to be positive only".

I consider myself to be an experienced [and over-educated] switchover amateur. So, I've seen some very impressive old-style, correction-based trainers, adroit and capable of providing a correction that is both effective and non-aversive. I'll never have that level of timing and precision.

Although I'm mostly +R, I also love the effects of withdrawing attention, something like what Dunbar used to call: instructive reprimands, and re-directions. I believe that most pet dogs will require some distraction and correction (or re-direction) at the end of good training exercises to fine-tune and proof. It doesn't have to be aversive, but I don't know an R+ way that always works.

[On the other hand, I think that Sue Garrett's 5 minute Recall might use careful increments to create a well-reinforced "perfect" Recall, that even seems to work in the face of many unforeseen distractions. I don't know if she asserts that it is all +R . On her free videos, she is Not purely +R .]

I know I don't have the anticipation, planning, and timing, but I've wonder about some folks that seem to be 'positive' only.

Some other names that come to mind include:

Turid Rugaas [known for Calming Signals]
Karen Pryor [known for 'modern' clicker training]
Sue Ailsby [known for Training Levels]
Victoria Stilwell [I don't know her specific methods]
Dr. John W. Pilley [ Psychologist, trainer of Chaser the dog who knows 1000 words]

Comments about these and other trainers?

Secondary topic - Using whatever methods initially, to create a confident, independent pet (or working) dog that matures into an animal that loves to learn.
 

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"purely positive", so far as I know, means only R+ of the learning quadrants. That means Stillwell and Pryor, at least, do not qualify - because things like removing access to a reward or a the opportunity to earn that reward briefly knock you out of the realm of purely positive.

And the people who know their stuff don't usually claim to be, as a result. It's just not really compatible with life.
 

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Honestly, I think basically all positive reinforcement based trainers also think about what is reinforcing to their dog and remove the reinforcement from undesirable behaviors. I think we get caught up in semantics sometimes about what pure positive reinforcement is. That being said I think a really good positive based trainer will also think about setting their dog up for success and not put them in situations where we need to use P-. I'm familiar with Turid Rugaas, Karen Pryor, and Sue Ailsby and I would say all of them use P- to some extent. Victoria I don't honestly see as a dog trainer more of celebrity, to be honest...

My focus on thinking about whether a dog training method is something I can embrace is whether it looks out for the emotional well being of my dog. If something is designed to hurt or scare him then I find a different way.
 

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Yes, I set my dog up for success by limiting his options to fail. When he fails I ignore it and reset or retreat to something that works then that session is over. Since his options were limited the failure is limited as well. We're a team, if he isn't learning then I modify the task. I don't know about now but when I got my first dog I was the master and dog must obey.

I'd like to train mostly in R+ and P- but due to poor reflexes, lack of training chops and so on P+ will happen even though I crossed over decades ago. Bucky got his nose stepped on during leave it training last week for instance. R- is a harsher method of training than P+. Think ear pinch to teach a hunting dog to retrieve or constant stim on an Ecollar to teach dog to recall. It is probably easier for the dog to figure out what to do to avoid the abuse with R- than P+ though. One of my best training tools is waiting for dog to do the right thing whether that counts as P- or not don't know. Thing is your dog decides what belongs in which quadrant so you can see the mildest of behavior from the handler and the dog can get really upset or the other way around especially with dogs that are aroused.

You cannot train with one quadrant, at least R+ and P- are needed.
 
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