Will you please do me a favor and PM me a link to the thread where you got "skinned alive"?
If not I respect your silence and hope I'm not touching on something too serious or out of line.
I'm with some of you on the Hillman video....sit nick,sit nick,sit nick,sit nick,sit nick,sit nick,sit nick,sit nick,sit nick.The whole time the dog is sitting. I do like some of his other stuff though.
I just got fowldawgs 1 and was not impressed. My biggest problem is it started out with a 5 or 6 month old pup. What did he do until that point? I've only "trained" 3 dogs but I had mine way past the point where he started training.I also didnt care for how rough is was with the dogs. I did learn some things in it so it wasn't a complete loss.
On to the next program for me.
To the OP... I was in your position several weeks ago, trying to decide which training program to go with. This is my first serious training venture, so I was adamant on getting a program of some kind. After searching through numerous threads on this same topic, I ended up purchasing a couple of the Smartwork books... Smartwork vol 1 and Smartfetch. Being a beginner, I trusted the reviews that said Smartwork was easier to comprehend for beginners, and they didn't steer me wrong. Mr. Graham's methodology is very easy to understand, IMO.
My dog is approaching 10 wks old now and we're off to a great start I think. She's a Pointing Lab, so I've also read Julie Knutson's book on training pointing labs. While I really like Julie's book, it does have a lot more "fluff" in it than Evan's material, and I find myself spending more time re-reading so that it'll sink in. My plan is to use Julie's methods for the pointing side of things, and use Evan's program for the retrieving work.
I've got no exposure to the Lardy or Hillman programs, but IMO you can't go wrong with the Smartwork programs. Plus, Mr. Graham is an active member of this forum, which will undoubtedly come in handy at some point for me... and anyone else utilizing his program.
All skills are passivley taught first before pressure enters the process. CC to "here" is only one facet of the overall formalization process. Indeed, all basic commands are e-collar conditioned in my program individually as the dog progresses through Basics. In conditioning we often begin with continuous, working up and down a pressure scale that is determined by reading the individual dog, and then transitioned to nicks toward the end. It is extremely rare for me to use continuous stimulation on a dog that is past Basics.
I'll be happy to address any questions you have. Simly email to firstname.lastname@example.org .