There are days when I feel like I’m doing it all wrong and I might as well just go out and buy some quick-fix prong or e-collar. This post reflects how much my technique needs improvement, and how I’m not setting Knox up for success through my lackadaisical criteria setting.
Most importantly, reexamining the way I provide feedback is critical and this line describes my current training program perfectly: This is not positive reinforcement. This is a mixed bag of reinforcements and punishments, more aversive than not.
About fifteen years ago, when I started apprenticing as a trainer, I used leash corrections and other forms of “discipline”. I no longer leash correct, and have not for more than a decade. This is not because I had a moral agenda. I simply needed an effective training solution.
Kiki, my learning dog pulled like a tugboat. We tried so many techniques we could have been the poster child for:
“But I tried positive reinforcement and it did not work.”
I chuckled and snickered with other trainers, “Ignore bad behaviour? So you just LET the dog knock grandma to the ground?” Teaching with food and then proofing with corrections seemed to make more sense.
We ran the gamut on protocols:
|Food luring||Collar corrections – flat collar|
|Collar corrections – nylon slip||Head halter use|
|Head halter to reposition dog||Head halter corrections|
|Chain choke collar correction||Special choke…|
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