|Barked: Tue Nov 6, '12 11:47am PST |
|My root is traditionalist training modified by R . It is really a split set now. I train by positive reinforcers, but I proof traditionally....which means once a dog knows a command well, to school him in the novel/distracting with use of light corrections to keep him on track, correct responses then PR'd lavishly. I think you get a more willing dog via positive reinforcement. But old school proofing, they haven't reinvented that cart - at some point the training needs to move from the actual commands to the interplay when all is not peaches and cream. Where the dog is schooled in maintaining the handler connect in the unideal, unexpected, bizarre, and for a trust and camaraderie to be built there. The former (PR) gives me happy dogs. The latter (proofing) gives me a dog that can be handled in any situation, which has darted so many impending disasters and results in dogs with strong coping mechanisms. Just links to the old adage...."training is not for the moments you do expect, but those you do NOT." I have been around long enough to know the latter is the far more important. You may need it only four or five times in a dog's life, but those times are the ones that prone a dog to getting totally messed up and issue-y, or it just being another day in the park.
Different methods do work best for different dogs. I have two very contrasting breeds in Giants and Am Cockers. The approach between the two is quite different. Same basic fundamentals, but applied from different angles. Here are some contrasts.
.....Cockers are soft, Giants are hard. Approval matters muchly to a Cocker, whereas Giants do not give a fig. Being reassuring to a Cocker is essential, and with Giants either wasted motion or it disengages them.
.....Cockers are dependent, Giants are independent. The only time I will lose a Cockers focus is one he is not functional. I will lose a Giant's focus when he may be highly functional. Focus building exercises, thereby, are differ with these two very different bananas.
.....Cockers LOVE reinforcers. Balls or food....I have one food freak (like MAJOR, lol!), and one utter ball freak. It is how they tick. Giants, on the other hand, not so much. They are much higher drive, and what the real world can offer is so much heroin compared to the comparative aspirin of liver snaps
.....Cockers are very stubborn. Moreso than Giants, I find. Harder to redirect. I need my patience far more well filled than with the Giants, who by reputation may be more stubborn, but I do find embracing that Cockers are stubborn and you just need to be a little more enduring and patient with them goes much better.
.....Giants are very testing and will be sneaky. Cockers are not. Those who use clickers with Giants usually need to have immense aptitude and skill, as they often figure the system out, and after getting their C/T will do something outrageously disobedient. I have one cohort who was working with a Giant who would start to nip at his handler's ankles once he got his C/T. I cannot explain to you how Giant-y that is. They are equally famed for knowing when they hit out of range with an ecollar and just taunting you. Intelligence? Not always a great thing, lol! You need to be far more on your toes with a Giant and look for every little nuance.
.....Cockers are lovers who really can't get in much trouble. Giants are potentially quite dangerous. Do I train them to a higher level and expect more? Yes. I do admit my Cockers are far more spoiled, just because the potential fallout with them is so slim.
.....Cockers do not mind repetition if it gets them their reinforcer. They will do something 10,000 and never tire if it gets them their reinforcer. Giants bore ***incredibly**** easily.
Just some examples. Hope that helped!
Edited by author Tue Nov 6, '12 12:06pm PST
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