​​​​Training Collar Articles

Truth from Balanced Training Behaviorists, Not Manufactured Falsehoods from Inexperienced Positive Only Dog Trainers

Use Markers to Give Your Dog Feedback on YES and NO

"Markers" tell the dog "YES," you got it right or "NO," you missed the mark and now I'll show you what I want. Think of dogs as being black/white, yes/no, binary, with you in the middle. Positive Only dog trainers will ignore the NO, which gives the dog zero information that what he is thinking or doing is not up your alley. And these trainers profuse a high pitched, excited loud "GOOD BOY!" when the dog gets it right. This takes the dog out of the calm obedient learning mode and back into excited play, humping your leg, and frisking around with over-excited energy. Creating over-excitement is your enemy to creating a calm respectful submissive obedient dog.

Dogs hear words like "NO" all too frequently in our day to day human exchanges. A YES to your spouse could turn on the energy spicket for your otherwise calm relaxed dog, while a NO could cause him to shudder in the corner not knowing what set you off while, in fact, he has done nothing wrong. Stop using human language, use a different YES and NO for your pup. If you are experienced with dogs, body language is all you need.

If you have a tight bond with your dog, you directing him to do or stop doing something and him getting it right is rewarded with the positive energy which oozes from your mind and body - trust us, he understands. If you are earlier in the relationship, a soft "There you go buddy" can be soothing, rewarding and create the safe affiliation he seeks. This is what love is for a dog.

We let our clients make up their NO words if they find their calm assertive energy to be ineffective early on. A deep gutteral UNH UNH is instinctive to the dog and rare in our human language. Some clients draw on their upbringings, using affection filled but firm phrases. One client uses "Dolittle Chit" which came from his kid (Dr. Dolittle combined with Chitty chitty bang bang). We've borrowed this! Make up your own to uniquely use as a phrase for the dog to communicate disagreement and discipline (that word does not mean punishment, it is derived from disciple which means follower). These individual phrases are most certainly offensive to the Only Positives, but they work as aids for for furthering communication between some owners with their dogs; it becomes pack language. If we can't say no to a behavior, then we by fault allow it.

Always remember to match the dog's energy, even when he hits the top of the scale (that means you are late, not dealing with the thought as it is forming in the brain). But never vent anger or frustration. Figure out what phrases and systems work best for you that are uniquely served to your dog so he knows when it's about him and not your kids who just threw spaghetti on the wall.  Some people use another language like German, Russian, French, etc. when communicating to their dog.

Your dog looks to you for protection and direction. Fulfill his or her needs as a calm assertive pack leader.

     "Positive Only" dog trainers ignore undesired dog behaviors and reward behaviors they like with treats and praise. They believe there is NEVER any place for correcting the dog, and in a robot fashion not take into account the dog's personality, temperament and overall situation, despite huge differences in dogs and owners. They will recommend euthanizing a dog over giving it any correction, and, in a very un-positive manner, strike out with cult hostility to lynch the more experienced who use a more balanced approach, especially which addresses the dog's dominance or aggression.​​

     Balanced dog trainers use this same positive reinforcement along with a deep reservoir of knowledge, instinct, and canine drive management to communicate rules, not punishment, with corrections. A Balanced approach adapts to the individual temperament and situation of each dog vs. using the Positive Only one-size-fits-all. Those who profess to be Positive Only often are sell-outs who know better and do in fact use corrections but want to cash in on the rainbow and unicorn image. The rest are simply too

inexperienced with even mild to tougher dog cases to have ever worked with a dog with dominance, fear or aggression. These people toss dogs treats across the floor while sentencing these pups to doggie downer drugs for the rest of their lives or euthanized death -- instead of being willing to give a dog simple learning corrections.

     By the time most dog owners come to us for help, they have already had their dog kicked out of the pet store's training or tried many "Positive Only" dog trainers to no avail.  Meanwhile, their dog's behavior challenges have amplified. 

Positive Only Trainers Prefer Euthanasia Over Corrections   There is a silent euthanasia pandemic in progress which this kill-but-don't-correct dog training movement has fostered, with dog owners slinking to the vets to have their dogs put down because of risky behaviors. Many cases with the greatest risk are dogs who have been rewarded with ill timed affection in lieu of the exercise, discipline, structure, and socialization needed to shape their temperaments, personalities and behaviors.  Ignore the Positive Only fanatics and do not lose hope. We bring help and others like us who are now too scared to step forward are here to help you and your pup.

Results for your dog need to flow from you, the owner, first.  Every day we at Austin Dog Whisperer educate, motivate, and fill our human clients with confidence and leadership skills.  Every day we have fun with our clients and their dogs.  Every day we are planting seeds, cultivating a deeper and richer understanding of nature, energy, health, communication, persistence, relationships, and living an inspired life.  The owners and the dogs are always empowered to their fullest potential.  Success is something that is very important to our dogs.  It should be equally important to us.  Let's define it, take action toward it, refine it, and start living it every single day with our dogs.  


  • Training the Behavior, Gary Patterson, 2000
  • On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals, Turid Rugaas, 1997
  • Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know, Alexandra Horowitz, 2010
  • Cesar’s Way, Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier, 2006
  • Drive, Daniel H. Pink, 2011
  • ​The Intelligence of Dogs, Stanley Coren, PhD Canine Psychology, 1994
  • Merle’s Door:  Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, Ted Kerasote, 2007​​

help@austindogwhisperer.com​​​​    contact us

Positive Only Dog Trainers Hurt You, Your Dogs and Others Who Your Dog is Around ... like the 2 month child who was recently killed by an 8 year old German Shepherd.

Balanced dog trainers like us HELP YOU & YOUR PUP move forward. We don't ask you to kill your dog because of challenging behavior problems.  We bring help to you and your dog instead with learning how to have healthy communications with your dog, and fulfilling his/her needs.


Science (canine evolutionary anthropology) tells us that canines have cognitive (brain learning) powers similar to our human kids. If our kids were throwing spaghetti on the wall at the restaurant, we hopefully would not be ignoring them while we waited for them to stop. And then once they stopped and were politely paying attention to us, we wouldn't be rewarding this episode with an ice cream cone.  This scenario is what "Positive Only" dog trainers advocate instead of telling the kids at anyway along the spaghetti tossing episode to STOP.

They view the NO, the STOP, and any communication to tell the dog that we disagree with any behavior to be inhumane. They say ignore it instead and when the dog does the right thing (coming back to the table), reward that (i.e. ice cream). It is no wonder dog biting is on the rise given the ever more prevalent level of the Positive Only dog training movement. Zero corrections sounds nice like unicorns and rainbows, but could not be farther away from what mother nature teaches and presents to us as a model with how dogs deal with each other as parents to their siblings and in the pack, the dog world. 

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Positive Only (NO!) vs. Balanced Dog Trainers (What You Need)

Since 1995