To follow up with some of the comments from my webinar I would like to share this one from Darlene who took a great deal of time to share her perspective. Thanks Darlene I do appreciate you sharing your viewpoint.

Here is what Darlene posted to my “Struggles” webinar. It was so involved I thought I would do a video reply. In addition I knew asking Swagger to stay put for 20 minutes or so while I taped my reply would give me an opportunity to demonstrate how I “re-direct” and “Stop the reinforcement” in my own training for those of you who don’t get a chance to join us in Puppy Peaks.

Here are Darlene’s Comments, I have highlighted the key points she brought up that I will address:

I might like to live in do-land but it takes too long to get there and dogs don’t live long enough. Most of all I don’t want my dogs to get frustrated figuring out what it is I want. I don’t want to get bitten 300 times/day, note she does not mention how many days ignoring the bite it took before the dog lost the behavior. We need to understand how it is that dogs learn!!!!!!!! Does she think puppies would teach their littermates to stop biting by doing nothing? Does she think they learn to not trust or lack the desire to play because the litermate bit back? The hole in her theory is that she thinks it would take 300 corrections a day before the dog changed the behavior. One apropriate corection is all that is needed. The littermate bites back one time hard enough to change that behavior. Not so hard it leaves the other screaming or afraid. This is how dogs learn. Dogs are problem solvers. If you give the dog a problem to solve they will learn twice as fast when they know what does not work. Ignoring a self rewarding behavior (bitting, jumping, chasing the rabbit) will get you no where fast. I love her managing and redirecting soulutions. She can get her dogs to come at home by managing to have a lot of acerage. I want to know how the average person would get a dog to come with a busy road and a rabbit on the other side. The average person does not know how to find and keep the reward the correct solution. The wrong soultion can kill the dog. Granted in agility the wrong solution, breaking the starting line, only loses your entrey fee. But in the dogs world he did get to jump and he thus solved his problem. My dogs love all their jobs. They learn at 7 weeks they do something for me I will do something for them. I call it patient training. They can quickly learn to wait or even move away from the reward to earn the reward. Without corections an 8 week old motivated retriever puppy can learn to stay on a platform while a treat or bumper is thrown. Waiting until released to get the reward. If we are to pass anything around about training dogs lets make it something that can help people train their dogs. Something the dog can understand.

Here is my video reply to some of Darlene’s comments. I didn’t take the time for any fancy editing (I still haven’t packed yet:)) so here you go — semi-rough cut.


Today, as John and I head out to Italy (I am teaching for 5 days and then we will be vacationing — first time in many, many years) I am grateful for the Mary who is moving in to take care of my adult dogs and Andrea who is taking Swagger home with her for two weeks. It is easier leaving home when you know your dogs are all in good hands!