Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Shilo and Cammy Meet Ian Dunbar!

The girls scramble to get to Ian!
I was very lucky to be able to scrape together enough money to attend one day of a three day lecture series put on by Dr. Ian Dunbar called "Science Based Dog Training with Feeling." While I would have loved to go to all three days, it just wasn't in the budget. Therefore I chose the day focused on Lure & Reward training. I learned and was reminded of a lot, so let me see if I can boil down some top points from the lecture.
Keys to Lure and Reward Based Training
1. Lure and Reward Training allows the Training to attach verbal cues immediately (1st trial) to a  behavior
2. The food Lure should be  gone (in other words the dog can see and smell the food while they are doing the behavior) in 6-12 trials for a given new behavior. Note that you continue to reward behaviors you want.
3. Allows the Trainer to immediately select and reward for the best performances of the behavior.
4. When phasing out food ask  more for less and replace with other reinforce like praise and life rewards.
5. The games Tug,  Fetch, and chase are intrinsically rewarding for dogs and can/should be used as rewards in training.
6. Train opposites

I could go one for days with what I learned about lure and reward training, instead visit Dog Star Daily read more about this training technique.

Understanding Pet Professionals & Getting What You Need
1. All pet professionals run their business on the assumption that you dog is both people and dog friendly. If your dog is not good with one of these two expect to be charged more because the work will be harder, take longer and use more staff to get the job done.
2. Don't be surprised if a Trainer fires you, if you don't follow through with exercises and homework. Your dog could be trained by them, yes, but it is your dog and they need to respond to you. The only way that will happen is if you do the work.
3. Don't sign up for group class with specific goals then go in expecting the trainer to throw the whole syllabus out the window because you and you dog aren't ready for it.

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