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Positive vs. Aversive Dog Training Methods

What is best for your bird dog?

Positive vs. Aversive Dog Training Methods

Dog temperaments differ and it is on us as handlers to gauge which training method fits our individual pups. (Photo courtesy of Rockhouse Motion)

Pared down to the basics, our goal in training a dog for hunting or any purpose really, is to either increase the likelihood of having the dog do exactly what we want or, conversely, decrease the likelihood of the dog doing what we don’t want. Most of our training is based on giving the dog a stimulus (command), and the dog responds in some way. If the response is what we want or at least part of what is wanted, the dog gets a reward (reinforcement). If the reinforcement is positive, the dog is paid for his work and the response to that stimulus will tend to be repeated. But if the response to a given stimulus is not what is wanted, the reinforcement will be either none or...

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