With the sensation harness and similar products, the leash is attached to a loop on the front of the chest rather than between the shoulders or on the neck like traditional harnesses. When the dog pulls, she feels a gentle pressure on her chest. The dog tends to pull herself around rather than forward and it doesn't create the tension between the leash and the handler like a forward puller can. I bought one and tried it out on Whitney. Instantly, she was manageable. I had never seen anything like it. Not everyone agrees these harnesses are effective, but I've seen the difference they make firsthand.
Another distinct difference between positive reinforcement training and dominance-based training is the use of the handler's voice. I admit I loudly reprimanded my dogs, stood over them and shunned them when they misbehaved. It was really a reaction to my loss of control. The dogs usually cowered and turned from me, stopping the behavior momentarily. But in time it became clear that I conditioned my dogs to fear me instead of trust me. They began to cower when I was speaking loudly in general or when I was arguing with my husband.
Using a happy voice when a dog successfully completes a task is the standard with positive, rewards-based training. Ignoring a dog by turning your back to him is a way to show that you are not OK with your dog's current behavior. No harsh words or shouting are used. With dominance dog training, harsh words, loud voices and stare downs are standard tools.
Kristin Greene is a shelter volunteer in California who has 20 years of experience working with dogs exhibiting behavioral issues. She feels that dogs are "black and white" and capable of processing information and making the right decisions for themselves. Kristin believes that they must accept their position in the pack and respond to the pack leader's direction. She believes that they will test the pack leader, but with consistency from the pack leader, the dog will learn to respect and enjoy the rewards from following direction.
She uses choke and pinch collars and insists when properly fitted, they do not cause pain or injury. She feels that people who simply buy them off the shelf without an experienced trainer's assistance are the ones who cause harm to the dog. She also says that the timing is key when using these collars - at the time of correction, so that the dog feels the pinch of the collar when being corrected. The handler should release the tension once the desired behavior is achieved.
Kristin is not against rewards-based training. She uses it during the basic training - the sit, stay, down experience. She says praise is essential when using both types of training methods. Kristin feels the bottom line is placing these dogs safely into good homes, and by preparing these dogs for success instead of failure, their chances are increased tremendously.
Kristin Greene's dogs Louis, Vanda, Kussen and OzzieKristin Greene