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The Paradigm Shift!

The Paradigm Shift!

Dog Obedience

Definition of Paradigm Shift

formal: an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way This discovery will bring about a paradigm shift in our understanding of evolution.

The Koehler dog training or Correction Based training has been serving the obedience needs of dogs and their owners since 1946. W.R. Koehler wrote the book the Koehler Method of Dog Training in 1962.

The B.F. Skinner Operant Conditioning or Reinforcement was coined in 1938. Skinner in 1948 studied operant conditioning by conducting experiments using animals which he placed in a 'Skinner Box' which was similar to Thorndike’s puzzle box.

Given the facts, the formation of training was coined and studied in the 1930s to 1940s, Methods has been studied and well accepted. However, Positive Reinforcement didn't get its full recognition until the 1980s.


In the 1970s to 2000s where we arrived at the Millennium, in those 30s Years, we were living in the realm where punishment meted against offenses were the ONLY way. I remember during my Childhood to adulthood days, from School to Work, doing well is the NORM, however, if you do anything wrong, it will magnify and punishment will follow.

Just like in my distant memory, even if I manage to do FIFTY GOOD THINGS, I just need to do a silly mistake, I will be condemned to the core. we are very hard on ourselves and our dogs. Is with this mindset, we are so good at catching ERRORS and we often ignore or oblivious to GOODS.

It seems this is the way of life. GOOD is expected and anyone does not do good will be punished.

Not until the 21st Century, as people are better educated, the ideology of life has shifted. I began to hear things like give a reward, praise your kids, reinforce them as they display good behaviour etc ...

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

A special quote from Gandhi;

It's with education, bring us the ability to distinguish what's moral and humane to use for Training our Dogs. People are now openly seeking for more dog-friendly techniques such as Reward Based, Positive Reinforcement and gone are the days where people shy away from Positive Reinforcement.

If you look into it in detail, you will realize, it takes the same amount of energy, the same amount of time, and the same effort to catch your dog in offering good behaviour.

An example, how would you train a Sit? For the corrective based, they either model by pushing the dog's into a Sit or they will use a choke chain to check for a Sit.

In positive reinforcement, I will use a hand signal to the position above head till his back quarter drop to a Sit, he will get a Click-n-Treat (C/T). After a few succession, your dog will get the idea of a Sit equal to C/T!

Here's another example, what will you do some your dog is barking? For the corrective based, they will use either a rolled up newspaper to whack the puppy into submission.

In contrast, we positively based, we apply positive punishment to the situation. For example, the moment your dog barks, he will hear a dropped-book that created a loud bang, this is to associate the barking will bring out this 'bad situation'.

I have heard from some rookies, they applied punishment on their dogs to stop undesirable behaviours, this is so unfortunate and unnecessary.

I hope you will be brave enough to choose the BEST Training Techniques for your dog, do not be influenced by others. If you really have doubts and need to talk to someone, contact a local Professional Dog Trainers and not other self-claimed gurus of any fields.

As a familiar and famous quote,

To You He is Just a Dog, But to the Dog, YOU are EVERYTHING!!!

Have fun & stay positive!

Dexter Sim, Professional Dog Trainer

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