Jennifer Arnold of the non-profit Canine Assistants said in a previous interview that even positive reinforcement dog training classes are a bad thing. Listen HERE on Steve Dale’s Pet World as Arnold explains what she means. It’s not fair when dogs trade obedience for love – you only demonstrate affection when dogs comply. She says dogs’ survival depends on our benevolence.
I don’t agree. I believe training classes provide a basis of communication, structure, and important lessons (like “come” when a dog is running toward a street). But her points are interesting and provocative. Arnold’s most recent book is “Love Is All Your Need: The Revolutionary Bond-Based Approach to Educating Your Dog.” Arnold says,
We used to believe at Canine Assistants, a great dog is a dog who’s behavior we can control. Today, we believe a great dog is a dog who can control his own behavior.
Arnold says no approach – so far – takes into consideration that dogs are social animals, and will want to do the right thing to make others in their group happy. She says, it’s that love – not directives – and that is all you need.