Purely positive training started in a huge tank of water, with very hungry porpoises. They are intelligent, willing to offer behaviors, and are willing to eat what we want to give them. Dogs are not trapped in a watery world. When a dog learns, he/she learns MUCH faster if there is a negative AND a positive aspect to training.
Fearfulness is natural. You cannot "train" out fearful behaviors with positive, because the absence of food/reward is the only outcome. And, in reality, using food/positive in social settings like you describe may actually be TEACHING him to be fearful.
Child approaches. Dog appears fearful. trainer offers food. Dog moves toward food, which incidently (to the dog) is being held by child. How does the dog understand that the food is being offered to him for his movement forward, and not for the fearful behavior, since the food was retrieved by his owner AT THE MOMENT HE SHOWED FEARFUL BEHAVIOR. Timing in purely positive is absolutely essential. So, the best way to use pure food/motivational is to deprive the dog of any food (as they do early in the porpoise training) for three days. Then, your helper child arrives, dog sees child offering food as a unit, meaning that when the dog FIRST SEES THE CHILD, THE CHILD ALREADY HAS A TREAT IN ITS HAND. Dog moves forward, child says yes, dog receives treat. Doing purely positive will be a four to five year long process, with a number of volunteers needed throughout.
Let's try some negative, shall we?
Dog is walking down the street at a loose heel. He sees something scary. He moves away from the loose heel position. You correct with a choke or prong collar until he is ACTING AS IF HE IS NOT SCARED, EVEN IF HE IS!!! He is more concerned to not make you correct him, and he is even more mindful that he is being socially INCORRECT when he makes you correct him. In the mean time, the scary thing ceases to have any power, because he has to think about too many things at one time.
this is how most of us train, and even those who train horses do the same. Do not limit yourself to purely positive, especially with a decent herder. You are asking for tremendously complicated behaviors, not just a chain of cute body positions. You must use the adult brain of your dog.
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