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Q&A: I’ve decided to become a dog walker and further my training by learning how to train dogs, but…?

Question by : I’ve decided to become a dog walker and further my training by learning how to train dogs, but…?

there appears to be 2 main schools of thought on this subject. There is the Milan camp and the Dunbar people. I’ve never heard of “positive” training but I’ve just read an article where Dunbar says that “training is training”, and that training people and training dogs is similar. I’m not sure I agree. I think a dog is a dog and too many people treat their dogs like people (so much so that I’ve had to physically move other people’s dogs who decided to jump on my face or lap when I’m sitting at a friends house). I just don’t understand what’s wrong with setting the appropriate boundaries. Dogs are cool, but I have a right to space also. I’ve watched the dog whisperer and I honestly don’t see anything violent about Milan’s methods. Even his alpha rolls are never done forcefully or violently and sometimes the dogs submit without him raising his finger. He’s good with dogs. But I still wonna learn positive techniques too. Where should I start reading, and who should I go to for training?

Best answer:

Answer by gigamis
good luck, anywhere you look will give you a different answer

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  • The Academy for Dog Trainers in San Francisco is a Very GOOD school. I highly recommend it for you!

    You can get a complete dog training education at The Academy for Dog Trainers.

    The two different approaches to dog training are not as you seem to think. BOTH sides believe in setting boundaries, the difference is in the HOW it is done and WHY it is done one way and not another. Cesar is currently being sued for damages done to a client’s dog that required emergency hospitalization and surgeries.

    An example of the different methods: A large dog was afraid of going up the stairs of the family home. Cesar ran the dog until it was panting then, using a choke chain collar, cut off the dog’s air supply to force it up the stairs. It took several tries to get the dog up the stairs. Was the dog “cured” of its fear of the stairs or did the method make the dog More afraid of stairs? We may never know. We DO know that such forceful and harsh use of a choke chain causes permanent trachea damage. It’s a medical fact.

    The positive trainers could have simply rewarded the dog, using a clicker with tiny treats or a favorite toy or petting, for approaching the stairs, touching the stairs with one paw, then placing the paw on the stair, then another and another until the dog completely willingly was climbing the stairs and being relaxed and happy about it. The training would have taken about the same amount of time as (or less than) Cesar’s way and would have been much more kind.

    There is also the point to be made that while “traditional” training methods do work, the dog must be practiced in all he has been taught quite frequently or he will gradually forget it all and have to be retrained. Clicker training makes for permanent learning.

  • I have to disagree with the school another poster suggested simply because of the explanations given.
    It is my firm belief that you are right in everything you said in your question. I also believe each dog is different and no dog should be treated like a human. Dogs do not want to be treated like humans.
    As for Milan, his show is just that… a show and I believe the one that was referred to with the choke collar may have well been one that shows some dogs do require a little extra when it comes to training. Clicking and treating does not teach a whole lot when you are in real action with a dog. First, you may need the dog to move on a hand signal, silently … and if he hears the clicker, so will everyone else. Clickers may have their place, but in serious dog training, you are not only training the dog, but training people to handle a dog. This means that you are also training yourself more-so than the dog and you may have to put the clicker, the treats and the bunny down at some point in order to actually handle the dog.

    I have been working with and raining dogs since I was a child since it was a part of our life on the farm. I believe you learn much more working with someone as an apprentice who has an excellent reputation than going to any of those schools that use the motto: “Hug the Tree, the Bunny, and give the dog a treat when he pees on the tree and eats the bunny. He will learn eventually.”

    I am not totally pro-Milan though I will take his methods over many others I have seen. I would never advise anyone to try the things they see on TV as that is a very shortened version of a full training session, and he does select the “nicest” cases for TV. I have seen the man in action in person and do have a lot of respect for him, though he did not write a Bible that I have seen.

    I will star your question for those trainers who are better equipped to respond, and we do have some excellent ones on this site.
    Good Luck.

  • I don’t believe “training is training”, nor do I believe all dogs are the same and equal methods can be applied equally. If you are looking simply to supplement your dog walking income with basic obedience training offered to the same client base, then you need not look far to accomplish this, and my advice is to only represent positive training methods to the general public, who too often can misunderstand heavier handling techniques which can cause significant damage when inappropriately utilized. If you wish to honestly learn about proper handling to affect for your purpose, then I urge you to make the commitment to thorough education, work towards becoming an animal behaviorist and the proper application of psychology in the animal kingdom, not to mention the proper handling of their human counterparts, which I believe to be the far more difficult task of my work! The reality is that every single interaction you have with a dog is a training session, regardless of your intention or not and often the lessons learned are not necessarily those intended or desired since too many fail to recognize this.

    Every dog is different, as are their backgrounds and experiences and the families they live with and their expectations. To treat each the same as the last and all others is to do a true disservice to the dog, the family and whatever job he may be assigned. Don’t get your information from tv shows, which are edited and managed…real life is neither!…and most are designed simply to showcase the hosts specialties.

  • Email Caesar Milan about this. He’s great on all this

  • i would recommend reading around about all the different types of positive reinforcement methods. my favorite is the clicker. but its up to you. basically is positive reinforcement there are no corrections, we simply just ignore the “bad” behavior and reward for only the good one. this way the dog is reinforced to do good, and knows that if he does something well he will get a treat.

    you can look around for the method you like online with positive reinforcement..but if you want to look into the clicker training here it is the website of the person who introduced clicker training to other animals other than just dolphins.

    there are also many more other helpful websites..just put clicker training in a search engine.

    ADD ON:

    for those who said clicking doesn’t help in aggressive situations and such, yes it does. it’s been proven..and there are many books and articles trainers wrote that made unruly dogs awesome dogs with clicker training. but every dog is different, and i personally think every positive reinforcement method works if your doing it right. 🙂

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