Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Resistance is futile III

Godpa says I have cute eye lashes and he turned my head around to pose for this shot since I don't have modeling experience.

Godpa has read another book about dogs: "How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do" by Stanley Coren. He finds it useful to know that skills training using operant conditioning can be categorized into i) behaviour capture, ii) lure training, iii) physical prompting, and iv) shaping.

He tells me that my obedience training uses physical prompting, which is a traditional method often using the slip/choke chain. It's good to also know that all training methods can be useful, and success depends on finding an experienced trainer. Of course the human student must also want to work hard and put in the hours. I'm glad godpa found a good trainer for us, he is experienced and has used lures and shaping for specialized training of performance dogs. In the language of Coren's book, he does not distinguish which are positive methods and which are not positive. After experiencing it for himself, godpa feels other humans should not prematurely rule out traditional training methods. Godpa says the downside of using slip chain is probably the physical control and self-confidence needed in order to use it correctly without hurting dogs.

So how is my progress? Godpa says he's very proud of me because I can now do proper heels and will automatically sit when he stops. I'm also a lot more confident when meeting people and dogs outside. We're eagerly anticipating how I can go off leash.

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