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Dog trainers

KimandAutumn
March 13th, 2007, 10:45 AM
I stumbled across a website last night which I prefer not to name. It had a lot of really interesting and informative articles on just about everything dog related until I read the part on his theory of corrections. He raises GSD, mostly police/protective work. He rates a correction on a Level 1 10; 1 being a verbal correction of No and giving the dog 2 seconds to correct its action on its own otherwise he will offer a leash correction. A Level 10 correction is a leash correction hard enough to pull the dog off all four feet onto the ground. His theory is is that if you correct at a Level 3 and the dog still repeats the action then the correction was not harsh enough, therefore, correct at a higher Level. Its the principle I think of not nagging. Ask once, and expect the desired behaviour rather than keep asking.

Is this type of training behaviour really necessary? This is just my opinion FWIW but causing pain, either physical, mental, or emotional to an animal to force him to act as you think he should is wrong. Doing so only reflects the ignorance of the trainer. I am no trainer, so please correct me if I am wrong in my thinking, but I certainly believe there is a better way to train a dog?

Lissa
March 13th, 2007, 11:29 AM
I'm not a trainer either but IMO the yank and crank methods are old! It sounds like this trainer is working with only one type of dog (high drive breeds) in one field (police/military work) - he is training dogs to be a tool... His methods have no business being used on the average household pet (although I personally do not believe that such harsh corrections are necessary in his field anymore either).
Check out Sheila Booth, Gottfried Dildei and Steve White - all use positive reinforcement mehtods for schutzhund and police work.

We do not have the right to inflict pain on animal that is working and living with/for us - whether that's as a police dog, the family pet, the agility star etc... "Owning" a dog is a privilege not a right and its our responsibility to learn about dog behaviour and learning so we can apply positive methods and avoid all but the mildest of corrections (if not avoid them entirely!).

LynLyn
March 13th, 2007, 12:56 PM
i always thought that a gentle leash correction was to shock the dog not hurt him!

sissani
March 13th, 2007, 02:12 PM
The purpose of a correction is not to cause pain, but to break the dogs train of thought on what he wants to do and refocus it on what you want them to do. When non-trainers usually think of "yanking a dog by the collar" they think violent and painful. But done correctly - when you have training in how to use a training collar and in the methods - it causes very little pain and can effectively get the dog to perform the desired behavior.

Its complicated, and its the reason people really do need to consult a professional trainer before just doing it themselves. Because thats when it can cause pain and traumatize the dog.

Prin
March 13th, 2007, 04:08 PM
His theory is is that if you correct at a Level 3 and the dog still repeats the action then the correction was not harsh enough, therefore, correct at a higher Level.That's not right... If you correct and the dog repeats the action, he doesn't understand your correction and your training method, so it's time to try something else. To escalate the pain, IMO, will only teach the dog that when the leash snaps this many times, the next one is super painful, even if he doesn't know why it's snapping in the first place.

Spirit
March 13th, 2007, 05:12 PM
He rates a correction on a Level 1 10; 1 being a verbal correction of No and giving the dog 2 seconds to correct its action on its own otherwise he will offer a leash correction. A Level 10 correction is a leash correction hard enough to pull the dog off all four feet onto the ground. His theory is is that if you correct at a Level 3 and the dog still repeats the action then the correction was not harsh enough, therefore, correct at a higher Level.

While it's true that if your dog doesn't respond to a leash correction, the second correction should be a bit harder, it should NEVER, EVER pull a dog off it's feet. The idea of a leash "pop" is a quick "snap and release", and should be only as firm as needed to get the dogs attention. If you're dog is in a "red zone", no amount of snapping (or pain, for that matter) is going to get his attention.

I've seen this "2 second, level 1-10" method (and used it myself) but the one thing I find that people do wrong (even professional trainers), is they pop the leash backwards. If you pop the leash back and it doesn't work, popping it down and to the side will, and you won't have to pop very hard at all. Like I said... it's a very quick "snap and release", and it's not intended to hurt.

It's the same principle as tapping someone on the shoulder. You tap only hard enough to get their attention. If they don't respond, you might tap harder or try something else, but I'm sure you won't outright punch them.

we3beagles
March 13th, 2007, 05:27 PM
Compulsion methods of dog training are indeed the oldest know methods. IMO if the correction makes no difference you need a different correction or the dog does not understand what you want of it. There are more corrections than just leash corrections and it can differ from dog to dog (no breed to breed). Some dogs you could literally hang and it would not correct the behavior and some will fold with the least little correction. It is wayyyyy too harsh a correction in my opinion. One or two pops at most are all that should ever be needed for correction.

lt_danish
March 13th, 2007, 11:34 PM
Ouch. I don't have a great deal of experience in the training field but common sense tells me not to do that. If the dog isn't 'getting it' then I just try a different approach.

MyBirdIsEvil
March 16th, 2007, 12:01 PM
Is this type of training behaviour really necessary? This is just my opinion FWIW but causing pain, either physical, mental, or emotional to an animal to force him to act as you think he should is wrong. Doing so only reflects the ignorance of the trainer. I am no trainer, so please correct me if I am wrong in my thinking, but I certainly believe there is a better way to train a dog?

I know which website you're referring to, and I wouldn't call him ignorant. Barbaric yes, ignorant, no.
The reason I say this is that his methods produce the type of dog HE wants to have. They produce a dog that will do the type of work he wants out of them. Also keep in mind that he's carefully picking which dogs he actually wants to train.

Is this type of training behavior really necessary? Absolutely not. There are other methods that can produce a good working dog. Most trainers don't use such harsh methods anymore, for any sport or work.