Archive for the ‘Clicker training’ Category

I’d given up writing about training methods, good, bad, and silly.  It seemed that the Non-Aversive loving, Operant-Conditioning Zombies had been winning the heart of the politically correct society we live in, and it just wasn’t worth the flaming stupidity that happened when you dared argue with the Clicker Sorority.  (Yeah, it’s mostly a female movement.)  I no longer cared what these people did in their training, as long as I was free to train in the method that I know works best.  Click your brains out ladies, and hope you don’t need to correct any behavior problems with that thing…And I left it at that.  What a relief…

But something has happened, and a new uprising is stirring in the dog training world.  Balanced Trainers, like myself, are beginning to rise up on blogs, chat rooms, and other canine based internet sites.  They are writing and making video’s, and finally pushing back on the tidal wave of Skinnerites, and Pryor Zombies.  They are exposing the failures of Non -Aversive training, they are pointing out the harm that a militant stand for any SINGLE method causes dogs.  When a Clicker trainer admits that they have behavior problems with their own dog, or a clients, the Balanced Trainers are finally jumping on it and providing guidance where none has existed before.  What happened?

Well, it seems that the “politically correct” (as a collective) , always seeking complete control, went to far too fast.  Amongst other actions, they have succeeded in legislating a complete “Ban” on certain training collars in the country of Wales.  They are aiming at the rest of the U.K., but Balanced Trainers are rising up in defense of methods that are not only successful, but completely harmless to dogs.  The methods of Balance succeed where non-aversive devotee’s regularly fail.   The Balanced Trainers have risen up.  It’s about freaking time!!!

I think this latest turn-around, and subsequent surge of Reason, came at the guiding hand of Ivan Balabanov, World Champion competitor and Trainer.  Oh yeah, he’s also a breeder of the Belgian Malinois, something else that ticks off the HSUS,  ASPCA, PETA and the other alphabet soup of busy bodies that think they know best for the dog world.  Ivan has probably been to busy traveling the world training dogs and winning everything to keep abreast of this nonsense.  He has really turned his attention to helping train new handlers, study canine learning, and inspiring a new era in dog training.  He’s written some fantastic new things, and I suspect and hope that he is working on a new book discussing the topic of “Aversives” in training.  Beware Non-Aversive types…such a book could cause serious brain hemorrhaging to many of your militant types…Here’s a link to some of Ivans stuff.  http://malinois.com/site-training-tips/positive-training-or-reliable-training/    Ivan knows his way around a training facility, the mind of the dog, and oh yeah…The top of the Winners platform.  But he also trains peoples pet’s.  The dogs enjoy being with him, and their families enjoy learning from him.  I’m writing a separate post about this remarkable Dog Man, so I’ll move on to some other very fine posts and opinions that have recently jumped into the public domain.  Maybe Common Sense is making a much needed resurgence…

Stop number 2 on our tour of Balanced Trainers is to Mr. Roger Hild of http://www.tsurodogtraining.com/  Check out his methodology on the main page as you scroll down.  The  Tsuro Method…Balanced, effective, and well described.  Also visit his interesting articles link http://www.tsurodogtraining.com/articles_of_interest.htm      Remember, my purpose in highlighting these trainers and their sites is to encourage you to pursue BALANCED Training, rather than a militant stand for any single method.  Every dog needs a unique combination of things to successfully  take to training.  NO SINGLE method alone can help a dog with behavior problems…One article that he writes on is here…http://www.tsurodogtraining.com/_articles/real_training.html     Another is titled, http://www.tsurodogtraining.com/plan_b.htm

Our next stop on the balanced trainers trail is Mr. Dale McCluskeys video heavy website…http://k9pack.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/dog-psychology-corner-physical-response-and-relational-disconnect-2/   Very strong on relationship training, Dale has lots of great balanced training while also going after the damage of an unbalanced view with a vengeance…Dale tells it like it is, but his experience makes the truth pop off the screen!

And then there’s The TerrierMan!  http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2010/02/calm-and-assertive-clicker-training.html   His is a wide open blog site with so many interesting things that you’ll search this site for hours!!  The link above is especially interesting if you want to belive that Clicker training is a superior method!

Finally, I have enjoyed Mr, Tyler Muto found here…(And on Facebook!) http://connectwithyourk9.com/    and the blog, full of great reading is found here:  http://connectwithyourk9.com/category/blog/.    So balanced, and wide ranging, that you really must explore it yourself…some of my favorite articles are: http://connectwithyourk9.com/humane-dog-training-a-different-perspective/   and  http://connectwithyourk9.com/the-relativity-of-pressure/   see also:http://connectwithyourk9.com/a/  and its follow up article  http://connectwithyourk9.com/now-that-i-have-your-attention/.

Sometimes it has felt that Balanced, omnivorous trainers have been shut into small prison cells and joyously shouted down by the cult of OC and Aversive Training deniers.  I am thrilled to be able to start hearing from and seeing the Balanced Methods finally get their word out and slowly eroding into the monopoly that a relative small group of VERY LOUD and media savvy +R trainer militants have held.  All I ask of you, my reader, is to investigate everything that is out there for your dog!!!

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“Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch,

that nearer, every Day,

Kept narrowing its boiling Wheel…”

-Emily Dickinson
 
 
  Natural Dog Training  has been like a maelstrom to me, especially as a writer.  I read and devoured the book “Natural Dog Training”  and “Your Dog Is Your Mirror”  by Kevin Behan  concurrently.  That caused a real storm of new ideas, adjustments to my intent, and a very real conclusion that I’ve been headed in the right direction with my own training for some time.  My mistake was having the incorrect understanding of why what I was doing was working.  I was making something simple and natural, complicated, and ultimately, more difficult for both of us. The “right training, with the wrong philosophy” to quote “NDT”.
  Trying to decide how to best approach NDT with the dogs in practice, and where to take my experience in words caused the maelstrom.  But as things came into focus, it reminded me of the above piece by Emily Dickinson.  Allowing Kevin’s books to sink in started to slow the wheel of the storm, and the eye of the storm came into focus slowly.  I was attempting to decide on a single starting point, a first step in what will be a prolonged journey.  I’ve skipped two weeks of writing about this, putting my effort into working it out with the dogs.  I began to see the application and explanation of Emotion, Prey-Drive, Energy, andCommunication coalescing into something that I had instinctively knew existed, but had not quite grasped…The Boiling Wheel has narrowed itself, and I have my starting point finally.  It’s very important to me that you get an accurate description of my experience in learning about NDT, and that I make it easy to grasp.  I want you to try Natural Dog Training  for yourself.  What I’ve experienced in 6 weeks time, (without hands on consultation from the author) has been extraordinary.  Imagine what I’ll learn when I can arrange an in-person meeting with Kevin Behan and some of his students!!!  I’ve never lost my enthusiasm for working with my dogs, but I’ve reached an entirely new level with this method.
 
My next post will address three things that I previously sub-divided into many categories, and treated them all as separate entities. 
Emotion, Energy, and Drive.  Not only are they most decidedly connected, they truly are the center of the Wheel.  They are the center of Natural Dog Training, and as a byproduct, the Communicative Approach.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Once again I tread the minefield of turning our dogs into little human beings.  I promise you that I won’t, but there are good, demonstrable reasons to include “Love Your Dog”, into the process of the Communicative Approach.  Let me start with the axiom, “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done To You.”

That’s right, the good, old-fashioned “Golden Rule”.  In case you are unaware, that was originally written in the Bible book of Matthew chapter 7 verse 12, about 2000 years ago.  It’s origin sometimes gets lost these days, but it’s good Life-Counsel no matter the source.  I just happen to believe it important to recall the words of Jesus Christ in this context.  No translation of the scripture says, “Do Unto Just Other Human Beings…”   Nope, they all say some derivative of “Others”, allowing for the conclusion that it applies to all living creatures.  Okay, Bible lesson finished…(That didn’t hurt a bit did it?)

All of the separate parts of the Communicative Approach, could technically fall under the umbrella of “Love Your Dog”, but there’s more detail to each and every one that I feel is important .  Therefore I’m using Love as a separate feature.  I know, as I develop this further that you’ll understand why.

First of all, what is your definition of “Love”?  Just think it over for a bit, as there are many ways to describe love.  For my purposes here, I will define Love as, “A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a friend…the benevolent affection of Man for his charges …A strong, warm, personal attachment.”    This is not romantic ,love, nor is it the love of Principal.  No, it just simply means that you are trying to treat your dog as you would like to be treated if you were a dog!

Okay, now imagine that YOU are your dog.  See the world thru his eyes, smell thru his nose, hear thru his ears…

From the day you brought your puppy or rescued dog home, he looked to you for nearly everything.  You were the source of food, water, play, care,  comfort, and (hopefully) leadership.  Loving your dog means giving these things freely and in proper amounts.  Making your dog know that you will always provide these things…Being prepared and willing to provide the best of these things that you can is part of loving your dog.  Does your dog spend most of his time locked in a crate, or small room alone, because you’re busy??  If your dog becomes sick, do you make sure that you consult a Veterinarian?  Do you carefully make decisions regarding vaccinations?  (This is a touchy subject, as some common vaccinations are actually dangerous and unnecessary)  This requires that you make informed decisions…Will you take the time???  Will your dog find itself tied outside to a post or tree in cold, heat, rain, or snow left to create a path where it paces alone wondering where his pack is???  Referencing the Golden Rule, would YOU enjoy that???  Your dog has a sophisticated and active mind.  Will you fulfill his mental needs with active play, exercise, and stimulation?  And 15 minutes a day is NOT enough.  Most behavioral problems have their source in boredom, inactivity, and lack of leadership.  Loving your dog means fulfilling these needs, and it takes TIME.  Maybe more time than you realize…Never let it be more time than you are willing to give, for your dogs sake.  This is a big reason why shelters and rescues are so busy and filled with dogs.  (Or should I say “Inmates”?)

Is your dog an “At Will” employee?  Meaning that you can “fire” him for whatever reason at whatever time?  Some dogs are gotten rid of when they become an “Inconvenience”.  Some of these are even “Euthanized” because they become more responsibility than the human wants.  Let me re-phrase that so you get the full impact.  SOME PEOPLE HAVE THEIR DOG PUT TO DEATH BECAUSE THEY NO LONGER WANT THE RESPONSIBILTY.  I grieve at the lack of “Love” that human beings are capable of demonstrating.

I believe you probably understand what loving a dog entails.  Time, effort, money, resources, more time, research, a bit more time…But the end results are MORE than worth the efforts!!!

You will always find that “Love” is a part of every facet of communication.  It is simply putting yourself in your dogs paws and asking yourself, “If I was a dog, and my owner did that to me, how would I feel?”

Next, we’ll dig into “Live With Your Dog.”   Thanks for reading, and please feel free to FOLLOW German Shepherd Adventures by pushing the FOLLOW icon at the top of the page!!!!

 

I’m never going to get rich from dog-training.  It would be wonderful if I was able to develop a bullet-pointed, annotated, technique rich, program that I could take on the road as a way to make a living.  Karen Pryor has her Clicker Expo.  Cesar Millan has a road-tour.  Michael Ellis has well attended seminars all over the country.  Roger Abrantes is known globally for his speaking engagements.  And there are lots more…

"I already know how to learn!  Now it's YOUR turn!"

“I already know how to learn! Now it’s YOUR turn!”

If  I developed such a speaking tour, each date would probably last less than 15 minutes, and my audience, (If they showed up at all) would feel as though I owed them more time for their investment.  I can give you the foundation of the Communicative Approach in just about 5 minutes, with 10 minutes left over for audience questions and a friendly meet-and-greet.  Write an entire book on the subject?  Five or six total pages does not a book make…The reason for this anti-marketing of myself and the Communicative Approach is simply this:  YOU alone are responsible to define, develop, and practice your communication with your dog.  The steps leading to that goal are straightforward, self-revealing, and they come from within YOU…Not a long-winded seminar, not a book, and not a DVD.  Not that I’m criticizing those talented trainers out there with something concrete that enables them to produce an actual “Program”, or  “Training System”.  They are certainly out there.  I recently reviewed Angie Winters new “3 Dog Days” dvd and it was wonderful…I love the Michael Ellis DVD’s produced thru the groundbreaking Leerburg company…and there are others.

But the Communicative Approach to Training Theory (C.A.T.T.)  does not make that approach possible.  The Heart cannot be fully instructed externally.  Your heart could NOT sit in a classroom and be taught to love,  develop relationships, or empathize with other living things in a meaningful way.  That comes from within you…That’s why this post carries the title above and this warning:

“Do Not Attempt This Technique Without Consulting Your Motives and Commitment. “

Many people “own” dogs.  Some because it’s a status symbol to have a cute little dog in your shoulder bag. (Think Paris Hilton)  Others because the dog is used as a tool to achieve some dubious and highly questionable honor or personal glory. (Think Michael Vick)  A few don’t think having a dog thru with any understanding. (“Hey…A cute little puppy!  That would be a great Christmas present for the kids!  What breed is it??”)  Others have the wrong motive entirely.  (I want me a dawg that’ll attack anybody that comes around my house or property!)Granted, perhaps Paris Hilton takes good care of her pup.  Or pays someone to do it for her.  I’m seeking evidence that her Chinese Crested is more than just another Helsburg Diamond to her.

But there also those owners/trainers that do pursue good training for the dog, and for themselves.  Yet something it missing.  I’ve seen them at schutzhund, agility, and formal dog shows.  The dog is incapable of socializing properly with people and other dogs, so they spend the balance of their time in a crate,often covered with a blanket to keep the dogs world insular.  The dog’s life is simply to perform when commanded.  They are trained as little robots…Thankfully, these types are not common.  Most Dog people at least try to develop a relationship that fulfills their dog.

So now I’m going to give you the only bullet-pointed list that goes with the Communicative Approach to Training Theory.  I will expand upon each of them in upcoming posts, but I hope you can think about each of them, and come to your own conclusions.  They work with  formal training methods, not replacing them.  You still need to learn about training.  But go beyond them, and embrace these attitudes, and you will  find success beyond your expectations!  (Note: These are NOT in order of importance.  That order can change and be adjusted every day)

* Love Your Dog

*Live With Your Dog

*Listen To Your Dog

*Learn With Your Dog

*Learn About Your Dog

*Learn Your  Chosen  Method Well

* Prioritize Play With Your Dog

There you go…The foundation of the Communicative Approach.  Next up, I’ll expand on each of these.  I believe that if we all practice these attitudes, our dogs will be better, our training will be better, and you just might learn something about yourself…Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to FOLLOW us!!!

*

You already know that my obsession in training is to focus on making things simple, and understandable to anyone that reads my little tomes.  You also know that people and disciplines, (Scientists and Dog-Trainers especially), that enjoy clouding their methods in big words, catch-phrases, and so-called “scientific”  jargon are a special annoyance of mine.  We’re training dogs here folks, not building a starship to Alpha Centauri.   Knowledge should be usable to everyone that has a dog, not just people who have a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior.  These people conduct what I call, “Subjection by Obfuscation.”  As a Canine-Handler from rural Michigan, I call it, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with Bull…”

(With acknowledgement and Thanks to Stephen R. Lindsay, Author of Applied Dog Behavior and Training)

The difficulty that I now have before me is this:  I find myself in a position that necessitates I write a post using big words,  scientific protocols, linear-reasoning, and the mind of a trained Scientist.  But I promise you this, anyone that reads this will understand what I’m postulating, (Don’t start with the big words) I am going to make this simple, direct, and user-friendly.  I want, more than anything else, for my method to be useful.  I want it to be worthy of someone saying, “That’s just common sense!”    Here we go

The Communicative Approach to Training Theory that I’ve been developing and writing about here for several months, is a mind-set that can be used with any method of training.  It is merely approaching the whole thing with the attitude of wanting to develop a deeper relationship with your dog.  The approach finds what motivates and enables your dog to truly enjoy training, playing, working, and living with you.  It is an evolutionary step forward for Operant Conditioning, Clicker-Training, or any other method.  It recognizes that every dog, troubled or not, is a unique individual, and needs individualized teaching methods.  It takes time to develop the approach, as it is as specialized to you and your dog.

At times, I have felt that I was working in a vacuum.  I’ve found several Trainers that agree with what I’ve written, and they have all been practicing it without knowing it.  That’s been encouragement enough to keep working at it…Outside support from professionals in the field.  People that I respect…That’s a nice feeling, and I’m grateful.

What I have been calling the “Communicative Approach” to dog training, actually has a scientifically established name!  While digging obsessively thru several research volumes and books in the Ohio State University Veterinary Sciences Library recently, I stumbled over a word that persisted in arising.  That word is  “CYNOPRAXIS”…

The word itself is of Greek origin, “Cyno” meaning “dog” and “Praxis” meaning “To Do”.   What’s interesting about the word praxis is the root meaning.  It refers to using a specific theoretical knowledge to accomplish a goal.  Praxis does not have a preference how that goal is accomplished, but is instead referring to the attitude of the practitioner of said method.   Simply put, I quote myself :  “I don’t care what type of training method you use with your dog, as long as it fulfills the dogs need for a relationship with you.”

Cynopraxic behavior is best nurtured within a close family arrangement, i.e  a “Pack”.  (Don’t run away Pack behavior deniers, please! There’s more!!)  The most important goal of Cynopraxis is to create a nurturing atmosphere that enhances good behavior, fulfills your dogs emotional needs, and builds the relationship between the two of you.  It thereby enhances your dogs desire to bond with you, and also improves the dogs quality of life. While based on sound scientific findings and observation, Cynopraxis also emphasizes something that many methods of contemporary dog-training seem loth to embrace…That is, the individuality  and uniqueness of each dog!  Again, simply put, “What works for one dog, doesn’t necessarily work for another.  Therefore, try something else! It’s alright to stray from a militant allegiance to one method!”

Cynopraxic practice, although used within a close-knit group or Pack, emphasizes The Individual uniqueness, and those needs specifically.  Each and every dog will be evaluated by association, and protocols will be used.  Every dog will receive personal attention, playtime, training time, discipline, and even nutritional help. 

A favorite quote that comes from my research is from the book “Myths of the Dog-Man” (1991) by David G. White.-

“Ultimately, the Dog, with its ambiguous roles and cultural values, its constant presence in human experience coupled with its nearness to the feral world, is the alter-ego of man himself, a reflection of both human culture and human savagery.  Symbolically, the dog is the animal pivot of the human universe, lurking at the threshold between wildness and domestication…There is much of Man in his dogs, much of the dog in us, and behind this much of the wolf in both the dog and man.”

I will be writing much more on Cynopraxic Training in the coming weeks, as I have voluminous notes and half-written posts.  You may find that I will intersperse the Communicative Approach title in place of “Cynoplaxic” increasingly, as they are indeed one- in- the- same.

“German Shepherd Adventures” was first published on the ubiquitous Facebook.  As my posts became longer, and more photo-centric, I moved into the wonderful world of WordPress.  I love my online home here, and I am ever so thankful that this well-run, and easy to use site exists.  WordPress you are THE BEST!!!

Recently, as Facebook has become more of a mind to make as much cash as possible, or gather as much  information about its users as possible, they are making it more and more difficult to publicize and share my blog there.  At times, I have received messages from FB stating that I am writing SPAM, and will be prevented from posting for as much as 15 days at a time.  I do NOT sell anything on “German Shepherd Adventures”, I do not espouse political or religious views, but rather, I write a very positive blog that most dog lovers seem to enjoy.  Why “German Shepherd Adventures” has suddenly been branded  as SPAM by the FB people is beyond my understanding.  I can no longer depend on them as a conduit to spread information that helps people and their dogs.  It’s apparently okay to spread other “unsavory” sites featuring puking, drunkenness, violence, and foul language, but not stories and information about German Shepherds.  So be it.

That’s why I’d like to invite as many of you as would like to Subscribe to “German Shepherd Adventures” by hitting the “Follow” button at the top of the page.  If you don’t like my posts, you don’t have to do anything.  I suspect that perhaps someone on FB has labeled “GSA” as Spam enough times to make some computer somewhere take this action.  If you don’t want to read something you disagree with, I’ve never forced you to do so.  I’ve survived other attacks on FB over training methods, and perhaps one of those knuckle-draggers has something to do with this.  I don’t know…

So, please, if you enjoy my blog, come on over and subscribe.  I promise you it will be free, and I’ll continue to do my best to entertain, enthuse, inspire, and help you out with every post!   Thanks for your support!!   Robert Vaughan

http://dogingtonpost.com/beware-of-trainers-who-say-dog-should-do-for-me/

 

When the nice lady Muse that helps me write descends, she’s normally very friendly and quite amiable.  To just about everybody…But ocassionally, she’ll have a raging migraine, PMS, or her bunions will be bothering her.  Then, she provides me with ideas that rarely see the PUBLISH button activated here.  Mostly because I pass these pre-posts pass my designated Voice Of Reason, or VOR .  My VOR’s name is Kimberly, and while possessed of a sharp and subtle wit, she seems convicted to keep me out of trouble with certain corners of society.  Like the idea I developed about re-writing the Wizard of Oz using dog people that I know as the characters.  The Wicked Witch of the West was played by a certain famous Clicker Trainer (who shall remain nameless), and the Winged Monkeys were played by a bevy of the drones that follow her ideas with militancy.  It wasn’t meant to be mean, but it was wickedly funny, and I enjoyed writing it.  Kimberly would have burned my house down if I had published it.  She’s good for that…

But the following piece came together so quickly and fluidly, that it had to be written.  The situation reminded me of scene #5 from the classic Monty Python film, “The Holy Grail”.  Therein, Sir Bedemere has been approached rather boisterously by a gaggle of medievel villagers.  They have detained a young woman that they have accused of being a Witch.  (A fairly acceptable occurrance in those times.)

The Militant Witch Hunters…

Bedemeres first question to the haranguing mob is, “How Do You Know She’s a Witch?”

The response is both simple and profoundly revealing.  “She LOOKS like one!!”

The accused woman then pipes up and says, “I’m Not a Witch! I’m Not a Witch!” to which Bedemere responds,

“But You LOOK like a Witch…”

“THEY dressed me up like this!”  And the mob had indeed given her a pointed hat, and a long carrot as a nose, which was attached by a string around her head.  The script continues:

WITCH:  And this isn’t my nose, it’s a false one.
 BEDEMERE:  Well?
VILLAGER #1:  Well, we did do the nose.
 BEDEMERE:  The nose?
VILLAGER #1:  And the hat — but she is a witch!
CROWD:  Burn her!  Witch!  Witch!  Burn her!
 BEDEMERE:  Did you dress her up like this?
CROWD:  No, no… no … yes.  Yes, yes, a bit, a bit.
VILLAGER #1:  She has got a wart.
 BEDEMERE:  What makes you think she is a witch?
VILLAGER #3:  Well, she turned me into a newt.
 BEDEMERE:  A newt?
VILLAGER #3:  I got better.
VILLAGER #2:  Burn her anyway!
CROWD:  Burn!  Burn her!
 BEDEMERE:  Quiet, quiet.  Quiet!  There are ways of telling whether
she is a witch.
CROWD:  Are there?  What are they?
 BEDEMERE:  Tell me, what do you do with witches?
VILLAGER #2:  Burn!
CROWD:  Burn, burn them up!
 BEDEMERE:  And what do you burn apart from witches?
VILLAGER #1:  More witches!
VILLAGER #2:  Wood!
 BEDEMERE:  So, why do witches burn?
[pause]
VILLAGER #3:  B–… ’cause they’re made of wood…?
 BEDEMERE:  Good!
CROWD:  Oh yeah, yeah…
 BEDEMERE:  So, how do we tell whether she is made of wood?
VILLAGER #1:  Build a bridge out of her.
 BEDEMERE:  Aah, but can you not also build bridges out of stone?
VILLAGER #2:  Oh, yeah.
 BEDEMERE:  Does wood sink in water?
VILLAGER #1:  No, no.
VILLAGER #2:  It floats!  It floats!
VILLAGER #1:  Throw her into the pond!
CROWD:  The pond!
 BEDEMERE:  What also floats in water?
VILLAGER #1:  Bread!
VILLAGER #2:  Apples!
VILLAGER #3:  Very small rocks!
VILLAGER #1:  Cider!
VILLAGER #2:  Great gravy!
VILLAGER #1:  Cherries!
VILLAGER #2:  Mud!
VILLAGER #3:  Churches — churches!
VILLAGER #2:  Lead — lead!
 ARTHUR:  A duck.
 CROWD:  Oooh.
 BEDEMERE:  Exactly!  So, logically…,
VILLAGER #1:  If… she.. weighs the same as a duck, she’s made of wood.
 BEDEMERE:  And therefore–?
VILLAGER #1:  A witch!
CROWD:  A witch!

“How Do You Know She’ a Wich?”

As silly and seriously funny as I find this interchange, and grand example of Circular Reasoning run amuck, it reminded me of a post I read by a Professional Clicker-Trainer not long ago…It was written by a young lady at the website, Dogington Post.  The article is no doubt the result of a fairly new and inexperienced trainer, that has been swept into the mob of Positive Trainers, and thoroughly drank the Kool-Aid that convinces them that “If you don’t Click, You make me Sick!”

Okay, the point is this. In the movie, the accused woman is a Witch, because the small but loud mob SAYS she’s a Witch.  They even go out of their way to put on garments and accessories that demonstrate she’s a witch.  This is what Positive/Operant Conditioning/Clicker trainers have done to EVERYBODY ELSE that doesn’t practice Pryorology.  We are BAD, and Old-Fashioned, or even cruel and brutal, because THEY say so!!  I’m going to list several quotes from the article below, as well as the link to the site, that demonstrates the attitude I’m pointing out.  “Your WRONG because WE say so!!”

http://dogingtonpost.com/beware-of-trainers-who-say-dog-should-do-for-me/

“Why should old-fashioned trainers come to the positive side? Because positive training works!” –  Apparently NOTHING ELSE DOES…

“… it won’t deteriorate the human animal bond, it will not cause negative stress or physical pain to your dog through the use of force or pain, and it’s totally supported by science and the laws of learning just to add a few reasons.” – I’m weary of being told that I’m causing my dog pain or stress when we train using Relationship Training.  And, I’ll put our Human/Canine bond up against ANYTHING you can demonstrate!

This next quote demonstrates the addled thinking of the writer.  She’s actually making my point for me…and she doesn’t even know it. – “There’s always more than one way to reach the top of the mountain. Being closed-minded and adamant about what they don’t understand can create dogs that lose their homes and family and possibly their lives. Shouldn’t the goal be to help in any way possible that will aid the dog in its understanding of what the owner is looking for from that dog?

The next quote is more of the same…- “Is it not our role as the allegedly intelligent species to understand our dogs and find a way that works for them rather than forcing them into a one-size-fits-all mold. (You mean like Militant Clicker Training?) When you’re forced to do something, do you enjoy it? Of course not, so why should dogs enjoy being pushed into downs and manipulated into sits, jerked by the neck in the name of training? ( You assume that non-clicker users hurt their dog to achieve obedience!  And you are WRONG.) 

“How Do You Know He’s Cruel and Mean to his Dog??”

“Because we say so, and the Laws of Learning and Science prove it!”

I’ll allow you the chance to read the rest of Ms. Sarasin’ post.  It goes off on a directionless path that merely mirrors what certain Trainers TELL her is true.  There is no accounting for the uniqueness of each dog.  No opportunity to learn about the individual mind in that single dog, and shaping a training program suited ideally to that dog.

Thankfully, many of us are seeing beyond Positive Training/Clicker Training zeitgeist, and incorporating them into something even better.  Aiming at developing a Relationship within the Canine/Human team.  Yes, We ARE positive trainers, we do NOT hurt our dogs, we do not stress them.  That’s only been the rumor because They have said it’s true.  Look beyond the methods and build something WITH your dog that fulfills his needs as a dog.  He doesn’t care about the science.