|Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M|
I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
|Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 11:33am PST |
|For someone like Noah, aspiring trainer, not necessarily aiming to use everything but wanting to expand knowledge, Koehler is a must read. An amazingly accomplished trainer....the sort who seldom if ever will bother to write a text. Many outdated ideas, many things were not yet available....from the clicker(for dogs) to the ecollar.....he still ended coming up some remote training ideas, the longline concept, the forebearer of "be a tree," and the list can go on. To understand the approaches, and there's wisdom in there somewhere to root from and adapt, somewhere down the road, remembering that this is someone who had a tremendous ability and versatility.
I do think you need to train dogs as individuals. I do see dogs who are R who work from anxiety. Surely not all, but I think some it stresses and having too much of a concept that dogs need to be paid for a job well done and that they love their reinforcer may make you read anxiety (tension-release) as joy. As a trainer, a level-headedness is what I aim for.
Work with the individual. I think a lot of training out there....R, balanced, ecollars.....can be made to work on a vast array of dogs, but if you would have the optimum relationship and enthusiasm with all/any of these is a different matter. Check back with me in twenty years, though .....training methods lead to success and success leads to breeding, so perhaps we are building dogs who are more genetically wired to respond best to clickers and ecollars as those two things fall under more and more favor.
Trigger's statement resonates with me and can be seen in bite sport and OB equally well -
"I do not believe you can produce a happy, healthy minded dog under those circumstances simply because of what I've seen in the hunt test and field trial arenas. Handlers who are too soft usually end up with low drive goofballs and that equates to sloppy performance (I personally have never seen otherwise but will concede I've obviously not seen "it all"). Handlers who are too hard usually end up with the robots which may indeed be the distinct goal and dream for some....which, whatever floats your boat I suppose - OR - belly crawling cringers.....which, ewww. Handlers offering positive AND negative feedback always seem to have the most well rounded dogs IMHO. The perfect mix of happy, bonded, yet respectful and focused performance.
I always will start with praise and see how far that gets me. I am praise oriented, and to me that IS bond. I do feel dogs shoot praise back at you just as readily. That's my ideal world, I aspire to it, but my head is not in some hole. It's a pipe dream for some dogs, and I am ever there to branch out as needed. I have two Cockers, and one, Daniel, is the sweetest, most snuggly, social dog you can imagine. The other, Chester, is field bred, more independent, and has more timed affection...."here, let me throw this love at you for a second and then I am outta here" And of the two, which is praise based? You'd think it's Daniel, but he's a massive foodie and incredibly stubborn. Chester, on the other hand, is HUGE for praise. If I have praise and a ball, he needs nothing else, ever, to turn himself inside out for you. And in all my years of training, few have ever shot praise back at me to the level that he does. He is awesome
And speaking on Chester, my dirty little secret I suppose. An ecollar would have been a boon for him. I came to find he has massive drive out in the field. To Lou, I know in our debate before you said you seldom find pet owners who claim to have "high drive" dogs have any such thing, and on that we concurred even then, but Chester IS very high drive. And out in the field, for fear he would get himself killed for being as intense and caution-to-the-wind as he is, and also for my fear he'd kill a furry woodland creature, I have found myself constantly interrupting him, constantly collecting him, and all I can say is "I am sorry." And my dirty little secret is that while I started this thread, I have my ownfunk about putting an ecollar on my dog. Sabi is a braver soul than I am. I know all the rational and founded reasons why they are kindest in some scenarios. I can totally relate to the "oh, not on MY dog!" kneejerks. I have no doubt, NO DOUBT, in my mind that if Chester could be gifted speech and given the option, he'd say "strap that sucker ON!" Ack, too set in my ways, I suppose. Part pride (i.e., "whaaat, I have a dog who would NEED an ecollar" vs my own training skill) and part years of having it drilled into my head that they are about pain and punishment. So just spoken honestly. I know it's not rational. I know what I should have done (he's 13 now). And more to the point, I know what he would have opted for, in a heartbeat.
Edited by author Mon Dec 3, '12 11:40am PST
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