Two Conflicting Training Methods:

Cesar Millan dominance Victoria Stilwell positive

Dominance Training vs. Positive Training

The methodology of dog training has sparked a lot of controversy in recent years. Though there are many different ways to effectively train a dog, the two biggest arguments are between dominance training and positive training. The main spokespeople for each discipline are pictured above. Victoria Stilwell, star of Animal Planet's It's Me or the Dog, represents positive training, and Cesar Millan, star of National Geographic's The Dog Whisperer, represents traditional dominance training. Put simply, positive training guides the dog to learn good behavior on his own by using positive reinforcement like treats, attention or toys. Dominance training simulates the dog's instinctive behavior by creating a wolf pack dynamic. The dog responds to the training as he would in nature. Once a dominant leader asserts himself, the dog will submit to the "alpha" and respect him.

To prevent my bias opinions from surfacing, I will only define the meanings of the two terms. For a more in depth explanation, please click either of the trainer's pictures to view their websites or click on the training method to go directly to a quote or example.