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I WRITE in response to the recent correspondence in Veterinary Record on the use of aversives in dog training (VR, July 16, 2011, vol 169, p 82; July 30, 2011, vol 169, p 132). Roger Mugford identified the ‘new’ school of behaviourists and trainers who follow a doctrine of using positive reinforcement only. All dog training should use ‘tempt’ before ‘compel’, but this kind of training has no alternative to ‘tempt’ and, should it fail, the consequences for the dog and society are potentially calamitous (O'Heare 2009). I believe that the pendulum has swung too far in one direction and that a moderate approach to dog training that uses both ‘tempt’ and ‘compel’ is a logical middle road that uses all of the …
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