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I confess to being quite unimpressed with your current puppy class, based on what you've described. At least the puppy play portion of it. The (very positive only, force free) trainer I went to with my puppy would have immediately interrupted that behavior and, yes, physically removed the offending puppy if necessary. Many "force free" trainers and handlers are not against physically restraining or removing a dog (or cat, in your example) if they're exhibiting poor (and especially dangerous) behavior - that's not a training scenario, but a management one, and best management is sometimes physically removing the animal to a place where it can calm down and doesn't have the opportunity to continue bad behavior.

That being said, we do have to work with what's available in our areas. Sometimes that means a balanced trainer is the one with the most experience and best approach for a particular dog, because the options for force-free training are just not very good. You've shown that you have good instincts when it comes to things not feeling right in training classes, and I urge you to continue that! Don't let anyone pressure you into using tools or techniques you don't feel are appropriate for your puppy, whatever their core training philosophy.

As for the kibble thing, it's not unusual for very food-motivated dogs to struggle to contain themselves with high value treats. I often use kibble for training treats around the home, because to my dogs, they ARE rewarding. I break out the good treats in higher distraction environments, like when there's lots of other people and dogs around, because that's when my dogs need a little extra goodness to help focus them and make the reward I have better than the reward they can get from their surroundings. Neither of my dogs can train well on a totally empty stomach - they become too frantic about food - so instead of skipping dinner as my trainer suggested, we would do a half dinner. What I mean to say is kibble is still a food reward, and use what reward works best for your pup! The "best" treats - meaning the highest value ones - aren't always best for all training or all scenarios.

If you're interested, I highly suggest reading The Other End of the Leash, which is by Patricia McConnell, a dog behaviorist of high repute who has been successfully working with serious behavior problems (including aggression) using force-free and positive methods for years. Not all postive trainers (or balanced trainers, for that matter) are able or willing to work with serious behavior problems, and that's fine! Nobody should be putting themselves in harm's way to work with issues they don't have the experience or desire to handle. But just because your puppy class's trainers don't do it doesn't mean it's impossible to do without corrective techniques.
 

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It really is a great read! Less of an instruction manual but more about how dogs think and learn, and how we interact with them, supported by experiences from McConnell's professional and personal life working with dogs and other animals.

I suggested it not to convince you to stay postive only (I don't know the trainers you've spoken to, nor your dog, so I trust you're making the best decision there), but because the narrative that behavior problems can't be addressed with non-invasive methods is something I personally find very... sad? It's really distressing to hear that your current trainer is spreading that message. And it's just inaccurate. There's a lot of wonderful behaviorists out there with robust, minimally invasive toolkits to help people build management and behavior modification programs for their dogs. I'm not going to pretend that there's not scenarios where corrective tools can and do help dogs with serious behavior problems, but punative methods are absolutely not the only answer for the grand majority of dogs with serious behavioral concerns. It sounds to me like your current training facility has fundamental misunderstandings or gaps in their training knowledge, which is deeply unfortunate, to say the least.
 
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