Friday, January 20, 2006

More Than One Way

It's always interesting how people talk about training methods. As someone new who has really jumped in and read everything and listened carefully, I frequently hear instructors and trainers talk about their preferred methods as if it was the only way to do things. Some examples:

Stand or Wait command: most feel that this is essential; some say the dog should automatically stay until released.

Corrections: always use positives; some say correct only when the dog knows what to do; some correct all the time of course and don't use positives

We are off to the All Dog's Gym in Manchester, NH for a CPE meet this weekend. Hope you have a rewarding weekend with your dogs!


Aerynn said...

I find that for me, I prefer to stay as positive as possible. Since I don't like negative, correction-based training, I deliberately looked at a "softer" breed that doesn't require as forceful a hand.

Yet, I spent years working at SeaWorld and got to know the animal trainers there. The most "correcting" they do is ignoring the behavior. After all, how do you issue a correction to a killer whale or a huge, male dolphin? They manage to get consistent performance out of their animals without ever resorting to corrections and negative training. Whenever I hear a dog trainer tell me to issue harsher corrections, I can't help but think of SeaWorld and how well that trainer would do with a killer whale.

John Heffernan said...

I am with you, Aerynn... I think your point about working with animals at SeaWorld is a good one. I imagine it would be hard to get a choke collar around a killer whale!