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Thread: Training , the mental game and a found crop.

  1. #1
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    Default Training , the mental game and a found crop.

    You can learn a lot watching what other people do with their dogs and the line between training method and ego gets very blurry. People, me most definitely included, will often react to their dogs because they are embarrassed having failed to impress the training partners. Really - who does not want to beat your training partners even in a "training" situation? Your dog can pick up on this. I was out training with a new person and her mix lab. Other people came to the grounds, set up a huge test and within a short time of escalating commands, one handler screamed "you SOB, G-D it! HEEL! HEEL! HEEL! ", the dog slinked in and the test set up again after some dog jerking and yelling at the line. There is something to be said for direct and indirect pressure but the first jerk was for the dog, the rest were for the handler. It was apparent the handler trained like this all the time. I learned to train like that back in the 80s with the old timer pros but for me, there is no way to reach that level and not be angry. We all know the rules. "Do not train angry".

    I've trained alone or in obedience/flyball/rally classes for the last few years, not field training with a large group or with such seriousness for so long I'd forgotten about outbursts of rage during training. While it didn't really bother me, my young dog was now sitting behind me and my friend's dog cowered; I realized this was not the place to train our dogs. No part of the field was far enough away.

    I bring this up because after 6 years wondering where my crop went, I found it in a the back of a closet last week. I never liked the wrapped golf shaft "heeling" sticks which, too often, I saw amateurs and pros alike, beat the heck out of a dog. I picked the small crop because it fit (and looked cool) in my back pocket and when I hit my own leg with it as hard as I could, I knew what it felt like, a sharp sting nothing more. I would not do the same thing with a golf club shaft but I would use the crop to deliver a swat or 5 if the dog "disobeyed" me. So, after not having the crop for so long and having rescues who shrink at any wave of a stick-like object I came up with other, less corporal ways to move the dogs or make them sit never reaching a level of anger. I think if you want to foster a good training attitude you need to train in a calm, working relationship. You have to create an atmosphere of balance: teaching, reinforcing, testing, correcting and reward in that order always ending on a happy note regardless of your lack of YOUR success that day. If egos have to play into it, what better way to "beat" your training partners than by exuding content and satisfaction with what your dog did today while they stew about their failures. As I looked at the found red and black crop I wondered, "what will I use this for? "

  2. #2

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    Thanks to all those calling and asking if this was me. No... Fortunately it is not. Unfortunately I'm catching fallout from an indirect post.
    I'm in Texas retriever training so those are folks operating on there own. I'm not condoning what Linda saw but I also don't know the circumstances as to why the dog was getting corrected. I'd rather hear some one curse than to take their frustration out on the dog.
    Each of us must choose a training program that will result in the level of training we desire. Your dog is only a product of your training. You get what you put into it.

  3. #3
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    No the trainer was not Baron, I've never seen Baron correct a dog in anger or swear for that matter. Better to ask the poster who they are talking about, but I wouldn't tell you anyway. Jeeese people.

  4. #4
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    Linda, I agree with you, training should never be done in anger. I mostly train alone now as to many egos in the retriver games for me. My 2 chocolate labs are my buddies. They are not perfect, nor am I. But I really enjoy them now more than ever since I retired. I still hunt quite a bit but do to not count success by birds in the bag. I have just as much fun sharing sandwiches with a retreiver and drinking coffee watching my decoys. Training alone has its disadvantages but I have found only a couple of people through the years that I trusted to train with. The groups I have trained with a long time ago were filled with ego's and the dogs always came up on the short end. Last summer I found a heeling stick last summer in a closet, it went straight into the trash. I have trained alot by the British method which uses very very little discipline and no force fetching. I have never in the last 50 pllus years remember ever losing a bird because my dogs were not forced fetch trained. I realize most do but that's just my 2 cents worth.

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