When I started dog training many moons ago, the field was based mainly on the now-debunked dominance theory. The current principles applied to dog training were just mere whispers of what was to come. However, I think this goes to show how far dog training is behind other forms of behavior modification and learning. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen any zookeepers or marine mammal trainers apply corrections to their animal students and expect anything other than certain death. Why do we seem to think that dogs are different than any other mammal on the planet?Read More
With the dog training world being unregulated, labels for various types of training have gotten out of control. You can pretty much call yourself anything and define yourself however you please to sell yourself to clients. Marketing methods like this, put future dog training clients at a huge disadvantage. Dog trainers can confuse you before you even set foot in a training class. You might think you are getting one thing, but you are getting another.Read More
My first thought about this is we have no data to even prove that statement. Someone’s opinion on what they think they have seen a handful of times isn’t enough to make it factual information.
I have had many clients not helped by both other force-free trainers and more punitive trainers. My guess as to why? The trainers both aren’t experience enough in their methods to successfully handle that case. End of story. Nothing more and nothing less.Read More
Well, here we go into one of the most debated topics in the dog world. We had to go down the rabbit hole at some point. A few days ago I came across a post on my Facebook feed by an aspiring trainer, and I was disappointed to see how a blooming once-promising positive trainer was talking about how “corrections” were needed to train dogs. Their point was that “positive only” training is much too permissive, and we are leaving out a huge chunk of information a dog needs to learn – what they are doing wrong.Read More
Last night, I had a pretty cool experience. In my brochures I was handing out about Faithfully Yours, a man read the section that said I was studying Psychology.
He asked me where I was studying and what plans I had after that. I told him I would be continuing on for my Animal Behavior degree in a year or so. He said, “WOW! They have an animal psychology degree now!?”He then told me this amazing story about his older dog he had trained to sit at intersections on their walks and wait for him to point in the direction they were going, before the dog would continue walking.
He then added, “I used my psychology degree to teach him all that stuff, come to think of it.”Read More
My name is Lauren Parks and I have been training dogs using positive methods for 11 years. I started training dogs in Nashville, TN. Eleven years ago, trainers in Nashville were using positive methods to train dogs. Clicker training was highly recommended and you rarely saw a prong collar on a dog. Fast forward to today, I am training dogs in Mississippi.
Mississippi is known for many things. Most of those things are negative, like having obese citizens, having lax animal cruelty laws, and being the most corrupt state in the nation. We are known as being backwards and behind on the times.Read More
Clicker training, for those who are unfamiliar (and boy, are you missing out), is a positive reinforcement method that can be used to train any mammal, domesticated or wild. I have even seen fish learn from a modified version of clicker training.
While clicker training, you use a clicker, which makes a “click” noise, to mark the behavior we want to reinforce. The clicker doesn’t mean anything to the dog at first, but by following Pavlov’s lead, we can condition the dog to be reinforced by the clicking sound.Read More
Congratulations on your new fur baby – literally a baby. If you haven’t had an entire night of whining or accident piddling, just wait, it is coming. My recent foster, Rugby (now named Maxx by his forever mom), who many of you have seen in videos I have posted, reminded me of what it is like to have a puppy.
Of course, I am a dog trainer, so I knew what to do the moment he started crying or sniffing around for a potty spot. Don’t think I do not remember the days when I didn’t know though.Read More