Over the past several years my training philosophy has continuously evolved. Some of that evolution has been driven by the vastly different temperaments and capabilities of the dogs I was training, some was due to the constantly changing "dog training fads", and part was due to my own growth in understanding of my dogs and their unique needs and abilities to learn (or even to WANT to learn). I've embraced some "punishment based" strategies as I struggled with trying to work with my severly dog reactive and "full of himself" Murphy. I've had the luxury of barely suggesting to Guinness what I wanted him to do and getting full compliance. All this while I used kind of a conglomoration of methods. When I was at my most confused state of mind about the best way to train my boys I did find a trainer who taught me that it was all about bonding and trust. Once you have that the rest seems to fall into place. That's not to say that you don't need a "method" and consistency though. Our guys are easily confused and when we're always changing our minds about what we want and expect they really just don't know what to do...so they often make the wrong choices. I've also struggled with full positive reinforcement training and correction based. I now believe both are just fine depending on the dog and the circumstances. If you want your dog to sit, stay, down, catch a ball, high five you, etc., reward is great(if done correctly abnd consisently)...and fun for everyone. If you have a dog who reacts to any other live animal by wanting to chase them down and "attack", reward is probably not the best approach. The target is way more fulfilling than that cookie or piece of liver in your pocket. So I now believe. both approaches work...again depending on the dog and the situation. I've also learned about how critical consistency in execution is to training. I know my guys are always waiting for me to slip up.....yes, they are watching. The classic example in this house is that they are never allowed on the stairs while I am....they must wait at the top or bottom until I reach my "destination". They do it perfectly 95% of the time.... but every now and then one of then will try going up or down before me....just to see what happens. I send them right back to where they started and make them wait. Then they're good for a few days....until they decide it's time for another test. It's usually Guinness who is the rebel....Murph is too scared that I will yell at him. So all this brings me to a video that I recently came across and really like. I like the trainer and I like his method. I'm not 100% sold on everything he has to say, but he comes really close and I have learned some new key things from him. I thought I'd share and will be interested in anyone else's thoughts.