Sunday, August 18, 2013

Purchase the Book

              Snake Avoidance Without Shock - The Book

Snake avoidance is purely about teaching a dog that the sight, smell or sound of a rattlesnake is to be avoided.  This is no different than teaching a dog not to cross the street without our approval, rush the open front door, beg at the table or poop in the house. It’s also a lot easier then teaching a dog to alert someone to an impending seizure or a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels.
Training a dog is all about teaching it what to do when.  It doesn’t matter whether that when is a word, a signal, a smell (detection and medical alert dogs), an object (agility and fly ball), or a shock (avoid pain). If training a dog what to do when wasn’t possible, guide dogs, bomb sniffing dogs, cadaver dogs would none of them exist.  Very few of these dogs were trained with the use of a shock collar and even the small percentage that are is lessoning as everyone embraces the fact that dogs are a lot smarter than we’ve given them credit for in the past.
Does it work? Yes.  Just two days ago, as I write this, we encountered our first rattlesnake since moving to our current property. I had not yet finished the avoidance training with my own dogs.  What they did as soon as the rattle started was:  Brynda and Asher ran away and as soon as I opened the back door ran into the house.  Micah was barking up a storm at this creature from about five feet away.  This is Micah’s normal response to just about anything new or that he feels doesn’t belong in his space.  Temperance was trying to herd it in high heeler fashion, but still staying about five feet away and mostly behind Micah. 
A frantic, emotionally charged, high pitched “COME” from me pulled the two of them away and into the house.
I have other success stories from clients who took the class, but there is nothing like the adrenaline rush of seeing your own dogs in danger and realizing that your training has worked.

Buy now, before the release date, and receive 12 more games - two full weeks of fun and learning!

Release date is September 1, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Possibilities and Perfection

There are many methods of training a dog and some are a mixture of others. It seems however, that they all promise to create a dog for you that can do no wrong, that will comply to your commands/requests instantly each and every time. But is it really possible? can you turn a dog into a robot? can you make a dog that is better then all humans?

Nature is more powerful then any dog training method.  Emotions are more powerful then any method also. There isn't always a training or behavior solution for every dog problem.  Each time a dog does something, cued or not, it's slightly different then the last time she did it, or the next time she will do it.  Nothing in this universe is ever an exact duplicate of another, not even actions, even if the only difference is time or space. 

This variability can work for you however IF you train your dog to think, to solve problems and to be able to listen through arousal or depression.  This is how nature works, it's what allows animals to actual survive in the wild. Each and every situation is at least slightly different than any other, and if a dog cannot change it's own behavior that slight bit, it may not survive that situation.

If you could train a dog to 100% reliability, there would be no need for sports and competition because there would be no way to win against other dogs trained to 100% reliability.  It doesn't matter what method you are using - clickers, toys, play, shock or choking - creating a robot dog out of flesh and blood and emotions cannot be done.

And yet, people still look for magic wands. We have created a culture where everything has to be done now.  "Make your child a genius, just put these ear phones on your stomach", "lose 16 dress sizes with this diet in 5 weeks" and other strange advertisement trying to part lazy people from their hard earned cash.

Think before you expect something of your dog that even you aren’t capable of. Acting perfectly all the time is a pipe dream for dogs or any other species. Get out there and do the work necessary for getting the best dog possible but at the same time remember that we all have bad hair days.

How Many Lessons?

How many lessons, how much time, does it take to train your dog? This is the wrong question to ask. It isn’t about the number of lessons, or even how much it costs, it's about committment and seeing things through to the end.

I had a phone conversation with someone who has literally talked to almost every trainer in town about her needs.  She sited answers such as "for $2000, in two weeks you'll have a perfect service dog", "first you have to pay $1500 for the obedience and then another $2500 for the service dog training and it will take a month", "Your breed of dog cannot do what you want it to, give me your dog and I'll trade you for a breed that will", "your dog is too young", "your dog is too old" and many other either canned answers of time and money or reasons why it couldn't be done.

If all you are concerned about is how long and how much, you will not get effective results. If all you are getting is excuses about why things can't be done or weren't done after you did pay the money, you need to find an effective trainer. There are some excellent trainers in this area and there are some who only want your money. The trainer and the methods you choose can directly impact what is going on in your home. Your dog is part of your life, it's up to you to determine how your dog fits in.  You can take the easy road and have a "trained" dog in 2 weeks and a permanent collar attachment, or you can make the commitment and work with your dog for the time needed.

BTW, she signed up with Seize The Leash.