Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cookie Slingers?

I did a survey last night of every FB dog training related page and it's website that I like and every FB dog training related page and it's website that another trainer likes who claims he/she is a balanced trainer. In 85% of the pages, food is a major ingredient for training. The most talked about concept in 90% of those pages is engagement/relationship.

You're probably asking why I did this and the amount of time that it probably took. As for the time, remember, I'm a computer programmer, I wrote a program to do the survey that took 30 minutes to write . As for why, well, I take a lot of classes and seminars every year, I never stop learning. I also buy a lot of books and DVDs. My library includes everything from Karen Pryor to The Monks of New Skete. I have dog training books from the 1800's to present day.

A few days ago I signed up for an online class on engagement with a group of trainers that have been around a long time, trainers who have trained thousands of dogs from pets to sports champions, and have produced many books, seminars and DVDs. These trainers would be considered "balanced" I suppose.

The basic premise? You want engagement? You want your dog to look to you and basically ignore the environment? Provide motivation in the form of food, toys, fun and movement that elicits the prey drive.

This theme was prevalent on the websites in the percentages I mentioned above on the "balanced" trainers and even some not so balanced.

So why are only those who try hard to maintain positive reinforcement methods of training called treat trainers and cookie slingers?

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