The Failure Of Treat-Focused, “Purely Positive” Dog Training

So-called “purely positive” training is a huge new fad. It means you only reward your dog’s good behavior; you never correct the bad.

Most purely positive trainers are what I call “treat-focused”, centering around giving the dog edible treats at the exclusion of other more readily available, natural, and fulfilling rewards like offleash play, pets, praise, socialization and so on.

If you’ve read pretty much any of my writing, you’ll know I’m a vocal opponent of the treat-focused, purely positive fad. Much more is needed to raise a calm, peaceful, happy, respectful, obedient pup.

Below is a succinct, humorous, yet spot-on summary of the frutstration many owners find with purely positive training. I’ll let the cartoon speak for itself. Find it in a hilarious book called Hyperbole And A Half (pp. 88-90), by Allie Brosh (for more info goto

purely positive training