'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

New Training Class: Week 1.

We've started a new puppy training class! It's at Reedyford Dog Training, and it is hugely better than the old class. (Speaking of which--I reported the trainer there to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, who profess to use no aversive/punitive methods, and am waiting to speak more to them at length; they shouldn't be advertising her as a clicker and positive trainer when she does things like pinning a dog down, trapping puppy paws and the, what did they call it, 'yank yank yank' method if your dog pulled.)

The class isn't perfect. They have some odd ideas, like how to teach a dog to stand (put your hand under it's belly and push up!), and still use some aversives (just clapping at your dog when it barks, though I did see some people jabbing their dogs in the neck for barking - which the trainer didn't tell them to do, but didn't say not to do either...), but they do use treats! and toys!

The trainer commented on how good Lola's sits, downs and leave its were, as that was what was being 'taught'. I said that we'd already taught all of this, and got a bemused look and a 'then why are you here?' I said simply for the socialisation (pointing out Lola's earlier barkfest at other dogs; though by then, thankfully, she'd calmed down), rather than going too-much-information on her and babbling about giving it us something to work on each week, and helping build a solid foundation for more future stuff.

Also, I forgot my clicker. Idiot moment ahoy. Next time I'll definitely bring it - Lola was responding to our verbal marker ('yes!') pretty well, but she'd have been better with the clicker. Bringing her tennis ball to play fetch beforehand was a good plan though, and I'll be doing it again!

2 comments:

Sara said...

I'm glad you found a class that will work (with some quirks) for you and Lola. SOunds like Lola earned an A+ in class today, thanks to all your hard work with her.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

I think it is really hard to find a class that is the right fit for you and your dog. I hope you enjoy this one - it sounds like your goals for Lola in the class setting are perfect!