From one trainer to a group of trainers:  “Don’t attend that seminar because she’s purely positive”.

In my mind, that makes as much sense as saying, “Don’t make new friends; you might enjoy their company” or “Don’t go to school; you might learn something interesting and useful”.

Too much smiling and laughing in one place?  Happy dogs and happy people?   How can that possibly be a problem for someone?

Don’t attend a seminar based in positive methods because you might learn….

How to train a dog based on “want to” rather than “have to”?  How to achieve success without force?  How to successfully relate to your dog as a teammate?  How to make obedience an attractive sport to new competitors?  How to smile and laugh while you train?

Which one of those might a person want to avoid?  Seems that if even one of those changes happened for you it would be a pretty cool thing.

One of the saddest things I see when watching some obedience competitors train is the wary hardness in their expression; it is always there, just waiting for the mistakes that simply cannot and must not happen.

How freeing some people would find it to give up that hardness.  How might that small change bring people into our sport?  If our culture were forgiving and team based rather than controlling and handler driven….would our sport be able to grow again?

Of course, you might attend this “purely positive seminar” and you might learn nothing.  In that case, you’ve wasted some time and money.  If that is a concern (which it would be for me), its easy to research seminar presenters these days – try Google or a Facebook training group.  If people attended a seminar and learned nothing, they’ll say so.    If they learned a lot…well, that will come out too.  And that’s free.  Unless a trainer is brand new, there is plenty of information to be had, if you simply look for it.    One would hope that you could get more information than, “don’t go because she’s positive”.  That’s just weird.

Unless a fellow exhibitor knows these things already, why would you want to discourage someone from having that opportunity?  Worst case, they learn nothing and you have an ally in your resistance to positive training.  Best case, they discover just what an amazing journey obedience training can be.