GO!

"Anyone can be a good dog trainer"

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 16, '13 11:32pm PST 
I have worked around some mighty great horse trainers. I wouldn't call them for dog training advice, and if I did I think they would be rather perplexed. No one has trained an Orca to walk through PetSmart. Most training of exotic animals is done in contained conditions and the behaviors are simple. None as complex as, say, calling an aggressing dog off a target.

And as far as service dogs, perhaps true, but equally true that many wash out. Not every dog can be a service dog, so I don't think that makes them more reliable. I think that makes them suited to the task, so inherent in that is that they will be reliable.
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Risa- W-FDM/MF RE- RL1 CA CGC

Awesome Dog
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 17, '13 7:23am PST 
IMHO, there is some merit to being able to train other species. It can make you more observant and more skilled simply because those animals are less willing to work with humans. They don't have the same connection with people that dogs have forged over millennia. You have to be a bit more creative and, typically, less-forceful when training an animal like that.

That being said, you still have to know dogs. You have to be able to get inside their heads and know what makes them tick too. Reading dogs is also critical especially if you're working with fearful, aggressive, or reactive dogs.

I think it's great if a trainer is capable of connecting with and training various species. But if you need input on training a dog, your best bet is to get someone who has experience with dogs.

Edited by author Sun Mar 17, '13 7:25am PST

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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 17, '13 9:11am PST 
I agree with Risa, particularly when you are talking about dogs with some dysfunction, or certain breeds....many sighthounds (who often lack the level of emotiveness and please happy ways...the culture was different and so are the dogs), highly independent breeds, etc. Dealing with other animals who are more "apart" (from you) can be very helpful. But dogs are still dogs, and knowing, and even more critically living with them, is key.

I have Giant Schnauzers, and if you ask around the training community you are going to find some will say they are very difficult to train and others consider them one of the top training breeds in the world. The reason for this is that they bore extremely easily. That will be a stumbling block for a lot of trainers....they get put at a loss. Their handler focus is ridiculously high. You don't have to develop that...they almost have it to a fault. But their ability to bore (doesn't matter much what the reward is), at which time their sense of mischief comes into play, makes for them being extremely trying if you don't know how to counterbalance the repetition of training with the unpredictable and fun. Cookie cutter training won't work with them, whereas understanding and having a particular love for dogs and their goofy and silly ways often pays dividends.

One thing I always like to remind about training exotics is that the dangerous species tend to remain very dangerous. People are killed every year. They know behaviors well, but their level of training can't reach that of a dog. Or something like parrots (who I love and know well). A number of species are a given to hate the spouse of their preferred member of the household once they start to sexually mature. There isn't a lot of training you can do to prevent that from happening. Birds, compared to dogs, are extremely opinionated.

So much differs between species and types. Being able to get into the head of an animal is critical, so some sort of a specialty always is best. Knowing the animal is always best. "One size fits all training" to me has broad application, but at the same time is inherently limited. Once you get into the specificness of the species is when the horizon spreads out wide.

Much like Doug Sues (bears) and Kevin Richardson (lions...although major hyena love from him also), who really break molds with their specific animals. They just get them and have a special way.

And so on it goes.
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