Rumour has it…


Rumour has it that we, the balanced trainers in this world, use pain and fear to train and control our dogs.

Where did I hear this rumour? Well, I hear it everywhere, everyday and the rumour is mostly built up on a total lack of knowledge and mostly hear say / 3rd party gibberish. Yesterday I read a post on FaceBook that got me somewhat angry. this post was made by a gentlemen (and I use the term loosely) named Drayton Michaels. This gentlemen posted on “Pain trainers / Balanced trainers” He wrote an entire unsubstanciated rant on how balanced trainers are to be seen as “Pain trainers” and that in fact we do not have a clue on what we are doing. I do not want to withhold the post from my readers so if you are interested in reading what this man has to say then please do so by clicking on the link.

Pain trainers or “Balanced training” Drayton Michaels

If you have read the post you can see for yourself that this person makes a lot of claims about the balanced training methods and or the tools that might, or might not be used. He loves to use words like “Fear, Pain, Choke, Shock.” But is this really what a balanced trainer does? Or is it just a mantra that the Pure Positive or Force Free crowd like to use? Let me help you solve that question… It is based on fear mongering and not fact. Use harsh words, create a mental visual idea of what happens and try to make money of it, as Mr Michaels is doing with his dog training. If you look at any of his posts, or video’s, it soon becomes clear that knowledge is lacking about a lot of things dog training related. He does however like to “Verbaly Masturbate” to his own posts and to the responces he garners from his followers. He admits he has a hero complex but he did not really need to spell that out since his posts clearly show that already.

Enough on this gentlemen tho… (again using the term very very loosely.)

So, what is balanced training? To be honest it is the simplest thing in the world.

You teach the dog a desired behaviour or action. Once it knows the desired behaviour or action you ensure that it performs this behaviour or action by proofing the behaviour. We do not slap E-collars on our dogs and zap them into submission. We do not put choke chains on our dogs and choke them so that they can no longer be trained. We do not puncture our dogs necks with prong collars because then we would not have a dog left to train with, right? We do not train through fear or pain. We teach our dogs… we take our time to teach them. Do we use tools? Yes, we do. But we are patient and we realize that you can not correct a dog for what it does not know or has not learned. We do not use a “one style fits all” training like PP or FF does. We look at the dog in front of us, determine what it needs and use that to teach and train the dog. We use corrections and reward… This is the quickest and most non confusing way to teach a dog what is needed, or wanted in any given situation. We do not treat our dogs like children and we CERTAINLY do not anthropomorphise our dogs. We stick to simple rules and treat our dogs with the respect that they deserve and we have all adapted the strongest and simplest rule in dog training… “If your dog is showing you unwanted behavior your first question should be “WHAT did I do WRONG”

This is something that the PP/FF crowd still has to learn….



Regards, Alice MacKenzie.


One thought on “Rumour has it…

  1. Glad to see you back. Unfortunately it is towards the negative side of dog training. I have not read the post, that you have brought to view. This is the reason that I limit the time I spend on Facebook. I am subscribed to some of the local pet pages, and of course Malinois rescue ranch. I have found that the local pages has some members who are just like this guy. All mouth and no brains (my opinion), seem to think that they can be important, just because they have Facebook. Unfortunately now with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram nothing has to be true to write it. But glad to see you showing the iresponsable nature of this guy, and that it is only opinion and not fact.


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