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Thread: Trust, Respect, Duty and Conflict (Andy Attar)

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    Senior Member cakaiser's Avatar
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    Default Trust, Respect, Duty and Conflict (Andy Attar)

    Quote from Mr. Andy Attar. The complete article can be found here..http://www.prta.net/PRTA/Ask_The_Pro/Ask_The_Pro.html
    I hope it is ok to post..

    "The growth of our relationship regarding
    efficient communication with our dog
    can be summed up with these concepts in
    mind.
    Between stimulus and response there
    lies a space. In that space lays the freedom
    and power to choose a response. In
    that response lays growth and freedom.
    (Dr. Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly
    Effective People”)

    It is a very fine line in our training between
    conditioning (controlling responses)
    and allowing dogs to choose a response.

    Too much freedom and not enough conditioning will allow dogs to make poor
    choices therefore reducing the chance of
    behavior change. Not enough choice and
    too much conditioning results in dogs not
    tapping into their own ability to reason
    through a problem. When this occurs, dogs
    perform poorly in new environments and
    cannot solve complex problems.
    As a friend
    and colleague has said to me many times, “A
    smart dog knows what to do when it does
    not know what to do!”

    Seems to me, this kind of balance is missing in many of the threads I read here lately. The art of walking that fine line, the true balance in training a retriever.
    Charlotte Kaiser: " The Problem Lies In The Talent."

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    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Prolly a hard balance to achieve as every dog is different. Some dogs are able to accept what you are referring to at an earlier age than other dogs who are always making poor choices even if their handler has ability.
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    Senior Member Gawthorpe's Avatar
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    So it is late, but my first example of this can be viewed during many field trials.

    The dog is sent to an area where it's instinct and memory tell it the bird is there. The dog puts up a short hunt and then "pops" and looks back to the handler for help. I believe this is often caused by too much conditioning. The trainer and handler have not given the dog the freedom to work through similar problems before. The competing dog then begins to rely on the handler to find the solution for the problem. Popping becomes the easiest and quickest solution to solving the problem.

    Late night thoughts.
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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    This is good. Balance. So simple, but, so difficult for many to understand, let alone keep, in our dogs. We hear so much about pressure, pressure, pressure, drill this, drill that. I think many expect/demand overmuch perfection in their dogs before they ever get out of the yard. Or, the opposite, choose not to correct or use any pressure, maybe because we have seen so much used so badly. Mostly though, I think alot of us just are in the middle. Average people trying to train our dogs, making corrections inconsistently, incorrectly, too little, too much, we struggle with producing a really polished finished dog. We get to a test or trial and there are the big guns who make it all look so easy. We grouse about yeah, they're pros, or they're rich amateurs with plenty of time and grounds to train and travel with the season. But, those people got there because they understand training retrievers, keeping them in balance. You don't place consistently in FT with a dog that's out of balance. You could give me a thousand acres of groomed training grounds/tech water, all the bells & whistles, year round training, the best bred dogs, but I still couldn't compare to the A-listers. It takes a fine hand to achieve a balanced dog. For some of us, that's a lifelong process in development.

    When you see the good ones run, it looks effortless. The dogs are a joy to watch. When you train with good people, you learn, balance is so important. Conditioned dog that will take your line and casts at the mat, with enough brains and confidence left in so the dog makes the decisions it needs to dig out the marks. Understanding training doesn't mean endless, tail-chasing debates over operant conditioning and throwing around a bunch of jargon. Basics have to be solid, of course, you need the tools to train. But, to train a dog to mark and run blinds, you have to get out of the yard and run marks and blinds. You have to understand concepts and factors, the end goal, be able to read the dog, build your teamwork with each other, alot of which is based on trust between you and the dog. When a dog is buggy or pops or no go's or starts jumping in every piece of water on line or not, then I know I've gotten out of balance in training, the dog either doesn't understand what I want or trust that I'm the leader and know what I'm doing, and the answer isn't always put on more pressure, or go back to the yard, or do this drill. Every dog, every situation, every answer is different. The total picture is needed and balance should be understood, to train & maintain a dog to its highest potential, or you're just continually fixing problems you create by being out of balance. So unfair to the dog, so unfun for the handler. Like so many intangibles of dog training, it is hard to describe, but you sure know it when you have it, and when you don't.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

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    Senior Member kjrice's Avatar
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    IMO, most think their dog is "off" or having a bad day instead of realizing they are out of balance.
    Last edited by kjrice; 01-29-2013 at 11:03 AM.
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    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    Wow! This thread is so........so........refreshing.
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    Based on discussions recently with Mr. Attar and Pat Burns at their seminar, I think the conflict met in advanced field work is gradually reproduced in training via yardwork and transition. The journey and teamwork involved between trainer and dog working through this conflict is what conditions the dog to face difficult scenarios and work through them not being afraid to make decisions. Its not the training task itself but the process of working through it with the trainers guidance that creates a balanced dog.

    At least thats what I took from it.....

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    Senior Member Kirk Keene's Avatar
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    Excellent thread...most refreshing!

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    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Lynn Metras View Post
    Prolly a hard balance to achieve as every dog is different. Some dogs are able to accept what you are referring to at an earlier age than other dogs who are always making poor choices even if their handler has ability.
    Actually, the fact that every dog is different is what makes dog training an art. Reading the dog and knowing WHEN a dog is mature enough to accept the conditioning is part of the art. If the dog is always making poor choices, it means that the conditioning has not been proper. This is what makes working with someone like Andy Attar, who is truely one of the finest out there for young dogs, such a priviledge.

    Gawthorpe gave a fine example. Another example would be the dog that goes out to get his mark, and camps out on the wrong side of the gun. Never leaving. He shows he cannot solve the problem.
    Susan

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    Senior Member Wade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeDog View Post
    Actually, the fact that every dog is different is what makes dog training an art. Reading the dog and knowing WHEN a dog is mature enough to accept the conditioning is part of the art. If the dog is always making poor choices, it means that the conditioning has not been proper. This is what makes working with someone like Andy Attar, who is truely one of the finest out there for young dogs, such a priviledge.

    Gawthorpe gave a fine example. Another example would be the dog that goes out to get his mark, and camps out on the wrong side of the gun. Never leaving. He shows he cannot solve the problem.
    Or he has real bad eyes!!
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