We ran across this link to Six Random Questions for Victoria Stilwell, positive reinforcement dog trainer and host of It’s Me Or The Dog on Animal Planet. (BoingBoing.net is one of my favorite daily websites! – Christopher)
Some selected quotes:
We’re bringing these animals to live in our domestic environment, where they have to live by human rules. That can be very hard — why can’t they poo and pee everywhere? In the dog world, they go when they need to, and chew and mark as they please.
A lot of people think positive reinforcement training is just for little dogs and nandy pandy behavior, but it’s actually based on the science of learning. If your dog does something good, you reward it, and that’ll make him feel good and want to repeat that behavior. Discipline shouldn’t be used to make a dog fear you — you get much better results if you use it as a guide.
It’s a human thing to think that a dog thinks it’s human. There are some things that dogs do that make people think, oh they’re acting human! But dogs are just trying to work out what brings rewards, what will make them feel good.
We use positive reinforcement techniques here at Dawg House – check out more on this topic: http://positively.com/positive-reinforcement/why-positive-reinforcement/