ramblings

however you look at it, it's all ishkabibble


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dog training

(Anonymous)
Well apparently Mr Sullivan is doing something right, due to his television show and very popular training system. Sounds like someone is jealous, just saying,. Not to mention that watching some of his YouTube videos it seems like he has a very well behaved and well trained dog. I'm not saying that his methods are fool proof but apparently it works to some degree. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and to train a dog. So give him a break, till you have your own dog training show, thanks!

Jealousy is for those who aren't successful. *grin* I have the satisfaction of hundreds of well trained canine students, with happy clients who recommended me to random people that they see with a misbehaving dog or a new puppy. I have students who are now competing at high levels of obedience trials and agility, who are scoring reliably in the 190s at ages as young as six months old.

I have no desire to have a dog training show for several reasons:

I consider telling someone what to do for a dog with serious issues (such as aggression or phobias) without having actually met the dog to be highly irresponsible. There is simply too much that is easy to do wrong.

A good example would be a woman I had in my work today, who had watched an episode of Cesar Millan's The Dog Whisperer on male dog aggression, tried to do what he did, and failed. The two dogs got into a horrible fight, and her one dog required nearly US $2,000 worth of medical care to stitch back together. That is not something I would consider a successful training experience for her. This woman and her two dogs need personal attention, not generic "most of the time this works" training blather. Just because I recommend her to do a specific series of things for her and her dogs, could have no bearing on what I would suggest for a different pair of dogs. To assume that two different pairs of dogs have the same solution to their problems is simplistic and incorrect.

A huge number of my students started with training like his, and then end up coming to me because it often, quite simply, does not work to create a reliable dog.

No matter what training theory we're talking about, one will be able to find people who sing the praises of it, and people who utterly condemn it. A good trainer tries to work as specifically as possible for the particular issue(s) of their student -- in a way that is best for the dog and the humans that have to live with it. In my experience, his method is not the one that will be the most successful for the majority of people who have dogs.

Worked for me!

(Anonymous)
We purchased this progam. The DVD's are very good and helpful on lots of issues. My stubborn little terrier responded to this very well, she was pulling my arm out of the socket when on leash and lurching at my other dog incessantly at home. We never let her off lead, she was always tied to something in the house to protect our other dog. We'd been working with her for two months to try to stop this with diversions, downs, cookies, etc. etc. She quit in two days on the Perfect Dog system with a few corrections and consistent follow up. I'm grateful for this program. Our home life has changed for the better.

Re: Worked for me!

This is a vague enough endorsement that I can find dozens of them that are virtually identical -- I had "some problem with a terrier" and then this "program/system" magically fixed it by "unspecified correction an follow up."

What exactly did this DVD set do to fix your problem? What exactly was your problem that you needed help with?

Was she a puller? Was she dog aggressive? Was she afraid of other dogs and acting defensively? Was she very excited to see other dogs and her overenthusiastic greeting started fights? I'd be quite interested to know. You say a lot of words, but there is very little information behind them other than generic endorsement.

Your Review

(Anonymous)
I ADORE my dog and my children, I am fun, silly and loving, not stern but when you talk about "Love vs. respect" you are confused, they go hand in hand. Being stern does not mean you don't "love" them. If your toddler was about to run into traffic would you be a wimp and say: "oh, sweetie, I suggest you don't do that if that's ok with you" or would you yell "STOP!!!".
There are times to play on the couch and snuggle and times to be serious. If you are a good dog trainer then branch out, become a better business person, market yourself, sell YOUR system.
Good luck

Did you actually read my review, or did you only read the first part where I jokingly quoted Crimewave lyrics? Obviously love and respect go hand in hand! But respect doesn't come from fear of punishment.

I also agree, dogs (and children) need clear rules and clear boundaries. These rules do need to be enforced -- however, they need to be enforced in a way that the dog is capable of understanding. To use your example, toddler has the language skills to understand when you cry "stop!" Unless the dog is trained to understand that "stop" means "cease your forward momentum" than crying stop at your dog will have no meaning to the dog, and punishing them for not obeying is unfair.

They need to be taught, and teaching them should be humane, clear, and consistent. Mr Sullivan's "system" is not this way. He is inconstant, unclear, and forces the dog to play "20 questions" by punishing the dog until they do something he deems acceptable, at which point the punishment stops.

I doubt any human would condone strapping a prong collar on a human toddler, let the kid run off, and yell "stop," and then snap the child back by the neck to "learn" what the word stop means -- but this is the very system that he is advocating for puppies.

As I have never posted my training methods here, you have no way of being able to say anything about how if I am a "good" dog trainer or not. You assume simply because I reviewed a DVD training video in a way you do not agree with, I must be a lousy trainer. That's fine, everyone is entitled to an opinion.


However, in answer to your comment, I have branched out. I used to train like Mr Sullivan, back in the early 1980s. And I realized that it doesn't work in the long run. Sure, you'll find the success stories of how it fixed their problem "so fast!"; but you never get to see if it was a long term success, and even more rarely from people who will actually share their name and/or contact information. Those people (and their dogs) drop off the radar.

When I decided to try other methods, I studied how dogs learn, read up different training methods and long term studies on dog psychology and health, and watched and questioned the trainers whose dogs were kicking my dogs butt in both the show ring and with fostering dogs with "issues" such as aggression or phobias.

One of the reasons I haven't made long posts on how to train your dog here is that I tailor each training lesson to the specific dog and the needs of their owner. I feel uncomfortable with the idea of "this is the only method and if it doesn't work than you're doing it wrong and you should just do it harder." That training method has led to students only coming to me after they've collapsed their dogs trachea with snap corrections ("pops"). The other reason I don't do stuff online or via book is because owners are, quite frankly, often very bad at even knowing what the problem is. I've had more "aggressive" dogs come to me for training that actually had phobias than dogs with actual aggression issues -- and the way one would handle that is very, very different. I think it's very irresponsible to be telling people how to "fix" their dog without having ever even met the dog or the person.

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I totally agree with you, and thank you for the review of this. I saw the commercial on TV and immediately started looking for reviews, because quite honestly the man looked like a grade-A sack of bull. All he's marketing is force and a pinch collar. I can't stand the mass production training video crap that is so popular now. Dogs are not one-size-fits-all. You can't beat them into submission, just like you can't beat a child into submission. And the dogs aren't misbehaving to spite you (or to dominate you, what a load of crap), most of the time they are misbehaving because they do not know any better, do not understand, or because they know that there will be absolutely no consequences. Try treating your dog like you would your child. They're smarter than you think! Programs like this just encourage people to treat their dogs like property.

So, in conclusion, thank you, for proving to me that there is still hope for the world of dog trainers. Glad to see that not everyone has bought into this crap and tried to find the easy way out. Kudos. ^_^

Edited at 2013-09-10 06:21 pm (UTC)

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