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Merging two methods

L HL H Posts: 176Member
edited 9 January, 2014 in Behavior & Training
I want to be a dog trainer in the future,not for money,but because i just LOVE dogs to no end,they are fascinating creatures to me,and they also seem to be attracted to me. In short,I would like to merge two techniques and ways together,because it can be done. I love clicker training,but before you can train a dog in any way you need him to be respectful of you,and also to trust you. here comes Cesar Millan's philosophy. Not the alpha rolling,not the "push a dog to its limit till they submit in fear". none of those. I mean the good aspects,the "setting boundaries and limitations"correcting without the need of cues,being calm and assertive. I Love his techniques,but only the foundations,to earn respect and trust from your dog by showing them what is okey,what is not and listen and stop when he is asked to. in this vid,at 2:40 you can see i ask my pups to let go,they do,and are just there waiting for me to tell them to continue,no fear,no nothing. Then,comes the other side,the Victoria stillwell side,Kikopup's Techniques,Donna Hill *you can just search those last ones on youtube*. I adore clicker training,and after you have a dog that trust and listen to you,you can go ahead and start any training. When i say i like Cesar's ways i don't mean that i will punish a dog by hitting or any of those. I am not talking about using force or violence,just to be clear. In short,i would love to find a way to mix the two philosophies,there is a way,there are trainers who do already and the dogs are fantastic,you have the best of two worlds,sort of. here is an example,there is some unnecessary over correction,and you should not correct a dog for looking at another one as long as he/she is not misbehaving or pulling. looking is not a crime. Another good example: I just want to implement both methods on training. They both work,but there are things that just don't need weeks and weeks of training and can be corrected in mere hours. but then there are other that need possitive reinforcement. A good example of what i would like to do,can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxwAkAVVM2F_vsR2OKM0fqg http://www.youtube.com/user/TheGoodDogTraining?feature=playlist These two implement a mix of both methods. *one of them uses choke collars*prongs* which i hate and see as dangerous and really bad.* There are things that I agree and disagree on,on both methods. but i know it can be done. What do you guys think?. Of course there are things for that you cannot use any type of verbal cue and just need to teach the dog to behave on its own,something service dog trainers do because the owner won't necessarily be able to speak nor see the object they want to avoid. --------------------------------------------------- Ultimately,what do you guys think,it can be done? Is it right for me to want to use a little bit of both worlds and methods?.

Comments

  • Heathyr GillHeathyr Gill Posts: 915Member
    edited 1 January, 2014
    You don't need to combine the two because they already are combined. Since you don't like Milan's dominance techniques, there really is no combining. The goal of positive reinforcement training is you teach your dog the boundaries without intimidation AND the alternative behavior you want. The good thing most trainers agree on is exercise and stimulation. As a dog trainer you need to teach your clients how to train their dogs... they train the behavior, you teach the client how to do the training. Hopefully some others will chime in...
  • L HL H Posts: 176Member
    edited 2 January, 2014
    I do like his methods of teaching rules without the extremes of alpha rolls and forceful leash corrections. And i didn't actually realized they where already combined lol.
  • Jess DavisJess Davis Posts: 833Member
    edited 2 January, 2014
    Get three dog trainers in a room and the only thing two of them will ever agree on is that the third one is wrong. The basic check list for me when I deal with dogs is: a) Am I showing the dogs how to be right first and foremost? b) Am I working without the threat of pain, fear or intimidation? c) Is it working? There's nothing fundamentally wrong with corrections. A correction by definition is "to make correct", not "to make sorry". I would worry less about labels and more about what works for you and your dog(s).
  • Jess DavisJess Davis Posts: 833Member
    edited 2 January, 2014
    It's too late to edit my response, so I'm reposting to add: d) Are both the handler and the dog enjoying themselves?
  • Carolyn KinslerCarolyn Kinsler Posts: 405Member
    edited 2 January, 2014
    Any good trainer will set boundaries and inspire respect. My obedience coach uses a aphorism "Positive does not mean permissive." As long as you set standards and hold to them you are Golden! My pups are naturally cooperative, but for dogs with a challenging nature, NILF or Nothing-in-Life-is-Free is a good way to command respect and open communication lines with your dog quickly. I don't know if non-positive trainers have spread the idea that positive trainers don't have boundaries or their dog's respect or if positive trainers don't communicate the basis of their training clearly, but those two things are part of any successful training technique.
  • Lee WLee W Posts: 2,593Member
    edited 2 January, 2014
    The hallmark of a great trainer is the ability to use whatever works. Methods are overrated, IMO. A great trainer can take any dog and get it to work, while not treading on personality and drive. If your goal is to be a trainer study all methods, even ones you think you aren't interested in. It's all about tools in the toolbox and all methods have valid concepts. I am not a trainer, I do however train dogs. I love Koehlers methods for teaching heel, and his long line ideas, I don't use a clicker but I do shape and mark behaviors, I started using NLIF long before it became a method, I whole heartedly agree with Eisenmanns concepts and his statement that we limit our dogs. I have never had a dog who will respond to ALL methods, and to be fair it was the dogs who taught me to piece together methods. But I started with horses and brought many of those concepts with me as well. You will run into dogs who will tell you to take your clicker and shove it, you will also run into dogs who cringe at the suggestion of force or the slightest display of frustration. You may run into a dog like Sabs who will 'school' you, and teach you to respect your betters. Learn them all and push your own limits.
  • Sheila LysohirkaSheila Lysohirka Granville FerryPosts: 183Member
    edited 2 January, 2014
    Oh Sabi, you can make me laugh sometimes (clickers up the butt). Training for me (Schutzhund) started 30 years ago. I had only trained GSD's but even working within the same working lines, boy, every dog certainly has their own unique personality. I was so lucky having my female, which was my heart and soul dog, where there was nothing she would not do for me. I had the biggest compliment from a German judge in a schutzhund trial. Where there were other dogs that certainly scored higher in some areas than we did, the judge noted that my dog, was the only dog in the field, worked so beautifully, saying that my dog worked to please me and not because she was just trained to work. That I believe, is the best way to train any dog. The dog needs to want to please you, and this certainly is not done by force or punishment. Since then, the only dog I had that I done the "nothing in life is free" is my current GSD Seela. She was isolated in a kennel for many years and feel is why she is so independent. You need to have so many tools in the box for training, as no two dogs have the same personality, drive, experience in life, etc. etc. Whatever does not work, you have to be flexible and keep trying different training methods until you find one that works - then be consistent so the dog knows exactly what they should be doing.
  • Michelle FinleyMichelle Finley Posts: 624Member
    edited 2 January, 2014
    Bump
  • Karolyn WcisloKarolyn Wcislo Easton, PAPosts: 7,551Member
    edited 2 January, 2014
    Hey, as long as it does not involve pain or intimidation/ force, then all ideas are worth investigating. There are loads of other ways to work "positive" with your dog that do not necessarily involve a clicker. I only use a clicker myself when teaching a very specific new behavior. I don't use it for other "life" training, I just say good job as a "marker" of good behavior and reward with a treat/ rub/ game (depending on situation and energy level I want to support) On some level, people get a little stuck on semantics with the word correction. I do not use it as a "method" so to speak, but you can't avoid it, and it isn't always fear creating/ punishing... it's usually redirecting. I do make a sound (out of habit and reaction rather than a methodology) for things, in life, like trying to chew an electrical cord (and follow through with a redirection to an appropriate toy) but would never use them to try and develop a behavior specifically, like a sit, or down. As someone else said earlier, I think it limits our dogs. I want my dogs to be investigative, so when I present new challenges they are eager to try them. Even with rewards based training, training can be stressful and a dog can shut down if they get frustrated, I would never add corrections to the equation in that situation, even rather benign ones. I will encourage (as I do with my human students) that it is ok to make mistakes, and encourage to keep improving, stepping up the challenge, at a level they can process and "digest". I am constantly trying to look for different ways to communicate with the critters. Each of the three have such unique personalities, skill sets, and drives, but ALL are still approached with positive rewards based (treat/ NILF/ toys / affection etc... depending on what will motivate under the circumstance) concepts. And if they aren't performing, then they aren't "punished" but there is consequence (game ends, put in time out - or I remove myself, reward not given) In life in general, I try to manage rather than constantly correct - for example, I might separate the three when the puppy is over rowdy/ stimulated and tormenting the others and offer a diversion toy - but even when they do get over the top with each other, I am there so I can redirect by calling them off and changing the game - like a quick two minute run through of sits, downs and paws, taking turns, but together, and then into separate areas with a chewy until I know they are settled and can chill together... Just my two cent ramble ;) I am by no means a trainer, but have a bit of experience between "ownership" and fostering quite a variety of characters and breeds. I say, it's always got to bend... to meet the needs and skills of the handler, and the personality of the dog, but should never cause fear, pain, or intimidation...
  • Liz HardersenLiz Hardersen GranbyPosts: 5,862Member
    edited 2 January, 2014
    What you are aiming for is a Balanced training approach, which is the most acceptable and common method used. Very few use only positive methods with no negatives at all. Thankfully fewer and fewer use compulsion methods only. This is where the 4 quadrants come in.... Positive reinforcement - Always the first choice, always used with puppies, to teach new behaviors. A positive reinforcer is something you give to a dog for a behavior, to increase the chance of the dog repeating the behavior. (food, pets) Negative punishment - This is one second choice. Don't be disturbed by the word "punishment". A negative punishment is a loss of reward, privilege or opportunity. (removed from the room for jumping on guests) Negative reinforcement. - Also a common second choice. Negative reinforcers are things the dog does not like which are used if he misbehaves. When the dog offers an acceptable behavior this reinforcement is removed. (being ignored, shaker can) Positive punishment - This is the bottom of the barrel, you gotta be desperate to use positive punishment. This involves a negative consequence to an undesirable behavior. (Collar correction fall into this category) +P can work if applied properly, but it can also do more harm than good and send a dog the wrong message entirely. (For example, using leash corrections when a dog barks a people passing the house can build a negative association to strangers and lead to aggression toward them) This is Cesar Millan territory... I know Cesar Millan is a favorite whipping boy here, but I hasten to add that his clients are often down to this last resort when they call on him. If the alternative is a dead dog, and Cesar can fix it, I don't care how it gets done.
  • Lee WLee W Posts: 2,593Member
    edited 3 January, 2014
    Methods, every one is stuck on this method or that method. So what to do when you run into the dog who says 'yeah treats are good....but not that good' after the first Sit! Good Dog!, then flips you off and walks away. You go after her, grab her collar, and she says 'this is a perfect spot for a nap' and flops down. Your resourceful, Good Down! Treat, which she gobbles up. Now what? A gentle tug? Ever try and move an big, stubborn dog? Coax with treat? No thanks, already had one. Up the treat value? Nah, maybe later. Now what? Toy? No just want to lay here. Now what? What do you do with the dog who tries to eat you every time you get near it? What do you do with the dog who has no earthly desire to please you, no food drive and doesn't play? What about the one that just sits there looking at you like you're an idiot? All of these dogs exist and all of them are going to require outside the box thinking. Just like children, they all learn differently and that's why methods are dangerous. They limit your ability to adjust and adapt.
  • Jamie OJamie O SyracusePosts: 6,077Member
    edited 3 January, 2014
    I prefer to think of a method more as a mindset rather than a set way of approaching things. For example, I want to train my dog using the least aversive methods possible. Which is why I use positive reinforcement-based training. This does not limit my toolbox. Sure, I start out with treats as a reward but I'm not limited to that. What I need to do is find out what that dog finds reinforcing so I can reward behaviors I like. Most dogs find food reinforcing so it's a good starting point. :) I have worked with a few dogs who didn't fit the mold right away. My last foster dog, Crash, was very anxious about training at the start. He didn't want to have anything to do with it. The poor boy just paced back and forth and panted. I had started trying to teach him "sit" and other behaviors but the stress was getting to him. So I backed off. I started clicking and rewarding anything he did at all so he'd begin to understand that what he did earned him goodies. He was a very smart dog and an easy dog to train. I just needed to back off initially and give him a chance to get more comfortable with the process. I think it does anyone a great disservice to think that, just because you prescribe to a particular method, you can't train a dog who doesn't fit the mold you're used to working with. I have a lot of tools in my toolbox and I do adapt my training style to the individual dog. For example, I can choose to train a sit by luring, capturing, or shaping. Some dogs catch on to the luring method quickly while others get frustrated by it. I had three foster dogs who I couldn't teach how to sit using the luring method so I simply waited for them to sit on their own and rewarded it when they did (capturing). Each dog is an individual, for sure. Training is all about discovering what motivates your dog and opening the lines of communication between two different species. You do have to keep your mind open to other possibilities and work with the dog you have. That doesn't mean you have to abandon your training philosophy just because things didn't go to plan. You simply need to get creative.
  • Lee WLee W Posts: 2,593Member
    edited 3 January, 2014
    Risa, that's exactly my point. Sticking to an ideal is one thing, being stuck to a method is dangerous.
  • L HL H Posts: 176Member
    edited 3 January, 2014
    Then what i do is stick to an idea?. Of course i will have a set method but when i see that does not work i will totally move on and think outside the little box and try different approaches or methods until i find what works for the dog. All dogs are motivated by something*thankfully* be it a toy,a walk,a pet,a snack...etc. So what i am aiming to go for already has a name. good. So i would be using Positive Reinforcement+Negative punishment+Positive punishment For example,if a dog likes to barks at guest. i would use positive reinforcent after Positive punishment. but the punished would be to quiet the dog quickly and continue to reward any good behavior i like and its correct. If the above does not work then i would wait for the dog to calm down and be quiet,then reinforce that behavior with anything so at one point stranger means: Relax. Also removing the animal lets say to a matt and teach it to calm down is also a great way. But if the dog was barking out of fear then B.A.T* will come in handy. *Behavior Adjustment Training What I mean is. I would be flexible and open to anything that works,not only one thing.
  • Jess DavisJess Davis Posts: 833Member
    edited 3 January, 2014
    Getting caught up in learning theory quadrants won't do you any good. Forget quadrants and be more concerned with humane treatment of the animal. You're getting tripped up in your theories. Read books written by well respected trainers from all aspects of dog training. Identify which theories appeal to you. Identify areas that might create an intrinsic conflict via mixed methodology. Start applying them to your dog. Did you say you wanted to be a trainer? As a trainer, your dog will be your resume. Also, if you want to be a trainer (and I'm not misremembering) I would highly encourage you to find a trainer who you respect (and who has achieved a great deal of success with their dog(s) and those of their students) and shadow them. Assist in classes. Get some hands on experience with proper guidance. Consider taking a course.
  • L HL H Posts: 176Member
    edited 3 January, 2014
    Thank you!/ i really won't. i just like to have a name for things lol. And YES!! I will! the reason its because he offered to teach me!. I will be learning from a trainer and i also have been reading. So far i have read: The Other end Of The Leash. Patricia. B Mcconell Karen Pryor's books *will also take the online course on clicker training* some of Cesar Millan's books. TeamWork's books from Steward Nordenssen and Lydia kelly. The Missunderstood Dog by Jrdan Rothman The Dog Listener by Jenn Fennel Pukka's Promise By Ted Kerasote And i am planning on getting Low Stress Handling, Restraint, and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats by Sophia Yin and Canine Body Language by Brenda Aloff. Should I? And also I have had watch lots of youtube videos on dog's body language and documentaries about dogs,i follow trainers too on youtube. And i am still open to learn. lots. lots of things.
  • FlickaLucasClNerysCeltSaxonFlickaLucasClNerysCeltSaxon Norman OKPosts: 56,679Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited 4 January, 2014
    bump

    Flicka (My Beautiful Angel) & Lucas (My Gentle Angel) & Cleo (My Beloved Angel) Nerys, Celt & Saxon
    Flicka's Page
    Lucas's Page
    Cleo's Page
    Nerys's Page
    Celt's Page
    Saxon's Page

  • Liz HardersenLiz Hardersen GranbyPosts: 5,862Member
    edited 5 January, 2014
    Have you considered volunteering at a shelter? Walking and training shelter dogs is a huge challenge. You get the full mixed bag. Dogs with different personalities temperaments and drives. Adjusting to those differences is a challenge. Most are food driven, but not for the same foods. Some are toy driven. If it squeaks - YEAH! Bounces - woopie! Some are nose driven. Some are travelers and can't wait to go for a walk. Some are snugglers and enjoy a quiet time away from their barking kennel mates. Thinking outside the box becomes easier if you do so regularly.
  • Leah StratesLeah Strates Posts: 2,684Member
    edited 9 January, 2014
    Before you get really bogged down in method you should try and apprentice yourself out to a trainer or go to a shelter and observe. Watch how it is done, get your hands on some dogs. All the book smarts in the world will not make you a great trainer. It's good to know learning theory but I would never hang out my shingle without apprenticing for a few good years, then acquiring insurance. If you are interested in clicker training there are a few academies to consider as well, Karen Pryor for example. Also, you will come across dogs that do not seem to like food or toys, so widen your tool box to think of ways to to motivate them, or be prepared to refer out to other trainers if you honestly don't think you can make it work. Letting your pride get in the way can hurt your business at best and the dog at worst. Dog who don't take treats for all sorts of reasons are out there and they will inevitably come to you.
  • Evelyn CummingsEvelyn Cummings Posts: 11,879Member
    edited 9 January, 2014
    I have been conducting dog training classes for over forty years, I have people begging to get into my classes and I do not have any name(s) for my training methods!!!!! Do not get hung up in names, you need to have a toolbox (thanks for that word, Risa!) big enough to have more than one method, AND you need to be informed enough to know where to research for methods when your toolbox doesn't have the right tool. There isn't a single class session I do where I don't search out something to enable me to help a team get the most out of their training. (In the Olden days, I searched in books, now, thankfully, on the internet). You must be willing to ALWAYS be learning and willing to admit what you tried DIDN'T work and now it is time to try something else. These things do not need names as long as they are humane and fair for both the handler and especially the dog and do no harm to either. A couple of examples... I once had a young woman with a LARGE, barking labrador in a class. The dog was trying to get to every other dog in the class, not aggressively BUT both the owner and the other students thought it WAS trying to bite them. I though it was somewhat fearful instead and the owners nerves were feeding that fear. I found a wrap around cloth muzzle which the dog wore in class. Voila, owner relaxed, other students relaxed, DOG relaxed and was able to pay attention and learn. In my last class I had a woman with a chihuahua that was absolutely screaming at the other dogs and couldn't stop screaming. Owner wanted to drop out. Another trainer had told her he would only train them IF the dog wore a bark collar during class!!!!! I had her sit with the dog just outside the group and gradually each week get closer and closer. She was to reward quiet and attention on HER, not the other dogs. (She was also to train each weeks lessons at home!) By the third session the dog was able to join the group and actually ended up the top performer at the end of the seven week session, totally ignoring the other dogs and completely stopping the barking.
  • Nicole MoyenNicole Moyen Calgary, AlbertaPosts: 973Member
    edited 9 January, 2014
    Toto, I read your response before checking who the poster was and thought, "Now this is a good trainer!" Then I saw it was you. Should have known.
  • Evelyn CummingsEvelyn Cummings Posts: 11,879Member
    edited 9 January, 2014
    Lupi, thanks, I am honored!
  • L HL H Posts: 176Member
    edited 9 January, 2014
    I already said so. I am VERY open to change and very creative with ideas. I am in fact an artist so i think that helps. I won't be caught up on any specific method. Basically what i do is: see a method that calls my attention,i take what i like and leave behind what does not. Its like a big puzzle with each piece having a different picture. And yes i will work at a local group of dog walkers and where i will be learning there is a daycare/boarding kennel so i will be meating and dealing with a lot of dogs.
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