We believe that Fido learns faster when there are immediate consequences for his actions.
So, if Fido is doing something you like, he gets a reward: a treat, praise, a stroke, “Good Boy!” or all of these! This is the Good Cop. But when Fido is deliberately naughty, he should immediately see a different side of us: a growl, lowering your body position or “No!”. This is the Bad Cop.
But the real key to this technique is to remember that as soon as Fido stops what he was doing and looks at you, you have to change instantaneously back to Good Cop and reward him.
This is the quickest way to teach Fido right from wrong. Fido now thinks: if I do X, Dad loves me and I get a reward (so I’ll do X again) but if I do Y, I see a different side of Dad and I get growled at (so I won’t do Y again) and then I get a reward when I stop and am happy again.
Our corrections never cause harm, pain or distress. They are designed only to snap the dog out of the unwanted behaviour and compliance is then immediately rewarded.
It’s not cruel, it’s a logical way of teaching – IMHO. Children learn their boundaries through consequences, dogs do too. But with dogs, consequences, both positive and negative, have to be immediate to be effective.