Does balanced dog training really exist? Being a balanced trainer is part of my background in dog training. In many discussions about dog training methods, you will frequently hear about the four quadrants, so I’m going over what those quadrants are and how our experiences can tip the balance. We’re covering the science of operant conditioning and how dogs actively learn.

In the episode you'll hear:

  • How I started to learn about dog training from a book called “How to Raise and Train a Chow Chow”.
  • About the four quadrants and the meaning of +R, +P, -P and -R.
  • An explanation of the terms Positive Reinforcement, Positive Punishment, Negative Punishment and Negative Reinforcement.
  • The importance of understanding that punishment suppresses behavior.
  • How the key with positive reinforcement is that only the dog knows what is reinforcing.
  • Examples of using the four quadrants in dog training, and how we really want to optimize positive reinforcement.
  • The reason why no dog trainer is truly balanced.
  • The decision I made in 1993 only to use positive reinforcement and what I learned.
  • How our core values, education, curiosity, mentorship, and peer group impact our dog training.
  • About what pressure and frustration can do to our dog training decisions.
  • The most valuable lesson I learned from Feature when she was a puppy, and when I realized I’d come the full circle in my dog training.