Heh. Well, I am all for positive training, but I also will not lie to my dog. I don't believe in nagging or cajoling - I think it's better to make one big scary fear-for-your-life, unequivocal correction than to make tons of little wheedling ones a dog is largely going to ignore. Because, when I say something, I mean it - I'm not gonna lie! Dogs are incredibly honest creatures, we owe them the same courtesy.
I am talking about correcting a behaviour the dog knows is incorrect, of course - not scaring the crap out of your dog while teaching it something new.
So, Cooper is a real pig about other dogs. To make things really clear and easy for him, he is not allowed to interact with other dogs, at all, ever, when we're at class, or at a trial. No sniffing, no looking, nada. It's less confusing for him than saying, well this one looks friendly and your body language is OK - but don't look at that dog over there.
And, usually he is really good about this, even in crowds of dogs. If he and another dominant dog start keying off each other or posturing, a quick word from me gets his attention away.
Cooper does not like Boxers, haven't a clue why. In obedience class there's a nice, friendly Boxer and on Monday he stared at Coop - I told him to leave it, and he did. Five minutes later, Boxer stares at Coop again, who decides to do the idiot lungeing cussing dog thing when I wasn't paying attention.
So...he gets put on the ground very emphatically because he knows that was wrong! I held him down and impressed on him what a terrible and bad dog he was, until his eyes went soft and his ears went back.
For the rest of the class he was a model obedience dog, making a big point of NOT looking at the Boxer; instead looking at me as if saying "aren't I just the bestest dog here, look how well I'm doing!" He was quite proud of himself for doing the right thing. It's good for a dog to get a sense of self-satisfaction for a job well done, not merely working to please their human.
Apparently the Boxer's human was quite distressed by this - whether she thought I was too overbearing, or cruel, or was making my dog mean, I don't know. The trainer told me later...and Boxer Mom wasn't at the last class so I hope she didn't get scared away! I really do well with Cooper's bullying ways - I worked REALLY hard to get him to be a gentleman - otherwise he'd never get to play agility, obedience, go to the the Ren Fest or any of the other things he so loves.
I've been told plenty of times that people are relaxed around him with their dogs because I do stay on top of it. I've very rarely had to put him on the ground and shake his little head until his eyeballs rattle (not really) but it sure makes an impression. He is a confident and strong-minded dog who isn't going to get stressed by much. Mainly, he knows there are consequences for acting out and I will not lie
I'm far from a perfect trainer and make mistakes and learn from every dog....by the time I'm 300 years old I might be pretty good...
Anyways Boxer Mom, I guarantee Coop won't do that again!