Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: North Jersey
Dogs Name: Dakota
Titles: I Has a Rescue
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I think it depends on the situation, your dog, and a combination of other things. Like most methods, what is the "best" is the one that works better for you and your dog. I don't think there is any "best" when it comes to dog training. I may suck at one method and/or technique, and someone else may excel at it, or vice versa. Doesn't make one better than the other. I think there are methods and techniques that are BAD, but I also think there's more than 1 way to effectively teach a dog.
I see positives to both ways... if I can repeatedly mark and reward a dog for looking at something without reacting, especially something that previously caused a negative reaction, and build duration, than in my mind, that technique was succesful. At the same time, if I can get a dog that usually becomes fixated on something to look at me instead, again, succesful. Why not try both?
I think one of the biggest pitfalls to people's training success is the ability to be consistent, and to have propper timing consistently. It seems simple in theory, but it's very hard to be consistent! If you can do both of these, I think either and/or both methods are fine. Timing and consistency is something I put a ton of emphasis on... Pretty recently, I was able to teach a previously 100% untrained dog (very, very well behaved, surprisingly... ONLY command listened to was come, other than that, nothing... but very well behaved) to give me direct eye contact in a matter of minutes, just because of timing and consistency. My buddy was not able to do it, even after I started the lesson, simply because the timing was off.
Moral of the story, I feel like timing and consistency are more important than what methods you choose to follow.