Going Negative as Dog Trainer Marketing Tool
Someone sent me this link, which I think says it about as well as it can be said:
The trainers that identify as “positive reinforcement dog trainers” tend to spend way more time explaining what methods, techniques and tools they don’t use, rather than explaining their own personal training ideology. Their website content, blog posts and Facebook pages are full of tired, now decades-old, rhetoric decrying any method that isn’t theirs as “un scientific” or “outdated” and “based on old ideas and mythology.”
In short, though they say they employ a positive methodology, their message is primarily negative. Before I go on, let me set the record straight. When a trainer identifies as a “positive reinforcement trainer,” what they are essentially implying, or often saying outright, is that they reject the use of one of the 4 learning quadrants of operant conditioning -the use of positive punishment – in their dog training protocol. By doing this, they also imply, or also come straight out and say, that if a trainer doesn’t follow their philosophy, they probably just rely on the use of just one of the quadrants, positive punishment, to achieve results. Furthermore, they will go on to cite examples of extreme punishment techniques that they never do. They talk about old, “military style” training techniques. They describe horrific things like hitting, kicking or hanging a dog by the leash, and then categorize these abusive techniques right along with the use of any type of training collar. On and on they go. “Never work with a dog trainer who does this”, “I never do that”. Negative phrase after negative phrase.
What’s missing from their websites though, is an explanation of exactly what it is they do to achieve results, and what those results are....
... Effective dog training is results driven, and so is having a successful dog training business, especially in these times of social media, reviews, and instant status updates. If a dog trainer is not getting results, they probably aren’t getting much business. If that’s the case, then just like a candidate with slipping poll numbers, they begin to switch their message away from what they are capable of achieving, and focus on what others, like their more successful competitors, might be doing wrong.