I understand your concern, however, there are times when a dog needs to have a negative association with an activity in order to break it and before you can reinforce the positive, you have to have it occur. Before I used the spray bottle, Emma would bark continuosly for a half hour straight just over seeing the neighbors garage light turn on. She has been to obediance training (positve reinforcement based) and even the head trainer called her a "Diva". I have trained her in everything else on only positive reinforcement. The water bottle is a minimally negative stimulus and when she stops barking she is given positive reinforcement for being quiet. You might try reading Tamar's book. You'll find that it is all about positive treatment, but even in the wild, the Alpha male will have to give a gentle negative stimulus to a pack member who doesn't pay attention. Actually, with Emma, it's not all that negative. She loves water and tries to drink it the few times she has been sprayed.