Who is a Positive Reinforcement Trainer?

thumbs up for dog trainers

I’m NOT a “Positive Reinforcement” Trainer (and neither are you). 

I’m fed up with being called a ‘positive’ or a ‘positive only’ dog trainer. It is usually in the form of an insult as in, “Them positive dog trainers with their clickers and their treats don’t understand what it is like to train a really dominant dog”. It is often used by the proponents of the ‘dominance’ theory of dog training who like to alpha roll and lead jerk to supposedly ‘show the dog who is boss’. 

Looking Beyond the Obvious…

dog eye

The APBC 21st Birthday Seminar advance publicity video which showed Emmet’s aggression towards another dog could be read in a number of ways. On a basic level it could have been superficially dismissed as a case of “frustration aggression”, or even "excitement" at seeing another dog, but closer inspection revealed the complexity of the underlying emotional aspect of the behaviour.

Dog Owner or Dog Guardian?

dog man bench guardian or owner

Dog Owner or Dog Guardian - which one are you?

People who have dogs are commonly referred to as owners, masters or pack leaders, which gives people the impression that dogs are property or followers, who should do what we say when we say it without needing to put in the effort to teach them.

So, instead of being a dog owner, why not be a dog guardian? Vow to love, protect and educate your dog! As a dog guardian, it is up to you to make sure that your dog is well educated, feels protected and cared for.

The Appliance of Dog Science

dog in basket looking thoughtful

Why is a scientific approach to dog training important?

Who is right? The person that says they trained their dog with a couple of leash jerks and now the dog walks perfectly on the lead? Or the person that says they trained dog with a couple of treats and now the dog walks perfectly on the lead?

3 Myths about Fish

fish apbc blog
Fish: we’ve underestimated them!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been told that fish are very basic animals, with a 15 second memory, good for very little but eating with chips or watching in the dentist’s waiting room. How wrong we all were. In the last decade, a great deal of research looking at fish behaviour and welfare has been done. This research has revealed a complicated, emotional animal, very different to the unfeeling, reflexive animal we all presumed the fish was. Let’s look at the evidence.

Christmas safety for dogs

dog christmas toy karen wild

Christmas – trees twinkling with shiny objects, crinkly paper concealing goodies wrapped up underneath, mulled wine and mince pies… No, it’s not an M&S ad – it’s your home!

As you know by now, everything new, shiny, crinkly or with an interesting smell, will at some point or another attract the interest of your pup. 

Reality check regarding welfare of livery horses

horse livery welfare
Many horse owners are becoming more aware of the needs of their horse, and are choosing to provide enriched environments that improve equine health and welfare. However, a recent survey conducted by World Horse Welfare (WHW) points out that more work needs to be done in regards to owner compliance with even the most basic requirements of owning a horse. 

Kinder Surprise For Your Kitty? - Two Environmental Enrichment Ideas for Cats

hunting cat

We’ve all seen big cats on the TV hunting large prey, feasting on it, and then going for a day or so without food. But the domestic cat that we all know and love is not programmed to hunt and eat in this way. Our cats are domesticated versions of the smaller African Wildcat (Felis silvestris libyca), and so hunt in a different way from their large cousins.  Rather than one big meal, our cats naturally want to hunt and eat many small meals throughout the day and night.

Dominant dog theory will soon be but a whisper

muzzled aggressive dog
The recent and huge popularity of TV shows such as Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer has led to many believing in the outmoded theory of 'dominance' in dogs. The dogs' behaviour is often dealt on these shows by using harsh punishment techniques which are regularly copied by viewers. The results can be disastrous. As this recent case study shows, choosing kind methods, with expert help, can improve situations almost immediately and with little risk to families.

German Shepherd Dogs - Tending to their flock

German Shepherd Dog Working Sheep APBC

Practically every guide you’ll pick up about the German Shepherd Dog brushes over the fact that it is a shepherding breed and suggests that the ‘instinct’ to work a 12 hour day with a 1000 sheep is somehow consigned to history. WRONG. The GSD is a sheep tending dog. The ‘instincts’ to work with sheep are alive and well and being put into practice every day in many parts of the world. 

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