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Clicker Vs. Corrections training

July 26th, 2008, 10:40 AM
I am going through a HUGE dilemma with training my dog, and what approach we should take. I'm going to post a thread about him which I'll put a link to here.
I would love to hear opinions on clicker vs. corrections training. Clicker being....well of course clicker, but also rewarding good behavior and ignoring bad. Corrections being using things like shock collars and choke collars when necessary to correct bad behavior instead of ignoring it. What are the pros and cons of both?

This is why I'd like to know the pros and cons:

July 26th, 2008, 11:33 AM
I honestly think both approaches have good points, and tend to use a combination. I try to focus on positive training and NILF (Nothing In Life is Free - Google it if it's new to you!). I don't use a clicker, but the verbal mark "Good!" - so basically same difference. This has worked very well for my dog Chase, and other than some pulling issues while walking that we are working on, he will typically do all that I ask of him, and I think, because he WANTS to please me.

My new foster Kailey is a different story however. Positive approaches are workign reasonably well in the house and I'm hoping will help bond her to us. But outside, she is VERY reactive with other dogs and distracting her with a treat is 100% useless. In my mind, her behaviour is a safety concern and I am finding that there is NO way to interrupt her focus without a leash correction. That said, a quick sharp correction is one thing, and excessive force is another. I would be VERY weary of any trainer who uses shock collars or choke collars. I use a martingale (which has a small chain portion, the rest is flat nylon). I am personally uncomfrtable with prong collars, but they are much safer for dogs than a choke, and as long as you learn to use one safely and properly, there is no reason not to try it if nothing else is working.

So I hope that made my opinion positive, clicker-type training is ideal, but corrections have their place for serious concerns. And I would try to avoid trainers that are really extreme with their corrections. GOOD LUCK!

July 26th, 2008, 07:41 PM
We took obedience classes that were mostly postive but did have corrections if needed (hope that makes sense)

For instance, if you told dog to "come" and he turned and came back--bigtime praise, playtime, or treat as reward. If dog ignored you, there was a leash pop (nothing drastic or violent, almost like a flick of the wrist).

I have a sheltie that is reactive and is constantly a work in progress. If she's corrected to harshly (and my mistake, I've done that) her eyes get this panicky look and she shuts completely down.

The little, mild corrections don't seem to bother her. If I call her name, I want her to look at me. If she doesn't, I'll say her name again and nudge her hip lightly as a reminder that I'm here.

She absolutely loves clicker training. We tried shaping her to stand in a box with all four feet and she tries so hard to please. She's a very smart dog.

I would never use a shock collar on my dog, but I guess some people use it as a last resort.