Have you noticed how often Humane caring pet parent fur-baby appears on dog sites so often now ?
The aspect of having fun when training your dog has become increasingly popular these days.Many a website will state how much fun you and your dog will have at their training sessions. With the terms of pet-parent and fur-baby becoming also popular its no wonder these sites would purport to such a thing.
I wouldn’t class dog training as fun as more so enjoyable. Enjoyable for the owner seeing the difference in their dog as it becomes more trustworthy and obedient. Enjoyable for the dog knowing that he now has a place and order in its life.And further on, enjoyable because it doesn’t have to be restrained with a lead.
Inferring that dog training is fun ,to me takes away the vision of training a dog. Ask yourself what type of training have you had that was fun? Been in the army ,fire fighter , police. Yes I’ve picked some severe occupations why? Because the training they have equips them for their jobs.Would their training be fun. I doubt it. Stressful yes ,tiring yes ,difficult yes. Do you think the trainer/teacher has fun teaching them .. I doubt it. But as they finish their training the enjoyment and confidence gained from knowing that almost what ever challenges are thrown at them they can overcome it because they have been trained to do so.
But fun sells.Along with words like Humane,caring,pet parent, and fur-baby.But what do they say about their training of dogs.
“Learning must be as much fun for both you and your dog as it is for us. Our programs are developed around “reward based”humane training. This makes learning a happy time and helps to build confidence in your dog and encourages your dog’s desire to please.”
“As well as basic obedience exercises to teach good canine manners, every lesson also includes some simple agility exercises which we have found increases the dog´s confidence by offering new challenges, as well as being fun for both dogs and owners.”
“Our aim is to teach doggy parents how to train their dogs, and to learn the tools that will last a lifetime, making it a pleasure to have your dog around.” and same site
“All of the training methods used by are reward based, non-confrontational and motivational for dogs and owners; above all we make training fun” and again
“Reward based training is a less stressful and humane approach to training and will help to produce a much stronger bond between you and your dog, it’s also fun for both of you!!!”
And that was only two sites on the first page of google.
Now why am i going on about all this. I was reading some Karen Pryor ( a well known clicker trainer) writings.One of them was about “why she hates long downs”
By the way its one of the compulsory tests in dog obedience.
She says “Other parts of the old training are fading, but somehow the custom of teaching sit-stay and down-stay for longer and longer durations and in the face of bigger and bigger distractions, remains. And I hate it. ”
Why ? its part of standard dog obedience so why not teach it. Could it be that the ideology of the “fun” trainers wont allow them to teach a dog how to stay with its owner out of sight regardless of distraction notwithstanding life or death situations.So rather try to change the rules rather than learn the lesson. So now it seems if you go to a “clicker training” training session long stays are out of the question.
Remember for those that are old enough the dogs that would be sitting or laying outside a shop or hotel waiting for their master to return ? Not so any more with the new scientific fun ways of dog training,
She goes on to say why not have the dog ignore distractions while moving rather than in a stay. Ummmm I thought that was an obvious and basic requisite of dog training, but she makes it sound as though its an alternative not an addition. Because her ideology is using a clicker and it doesn’t fit into teaching a dog a long stay her idea is to not do it.
She says “The dog has been asked to lie down in an exposed situation, maybe outdoors. The owner is further and further away. If it’s in a training class, there are other strange dogs around. The dog has no permission to flee or defend itself if things do go wrong; and no one knows better than the dog that things could go wrong.”
I want the dog that will stay if something goes wrong. If another dog walks past or gets up i WANT HIM TO STAY not get up. If someone else asks him to move or heel i WANT HIM TO STAY not move That is WHY he is staying.
She goes on “The dog has no permission to flee or defend itself if things do go wrong” His natural instincts will tell him to flee or defend if its life threatening or dangerous and you cant hold that against the dog can you.I have yet to see a dog that is in a stay and not move if its in a threatening situation.Its called preservation of life.
So it seems as though some groups of the dog training fraternity have lowered their standards for dog training because in essence it doesn’t fit into their new humane fun scientific ideology.