As far as "where would he be if he used conventional methods?"
I'll answer it with a question:
Where would Carol's dog be if she would only hire the right pro and put her dog on a pro's truck?
Where would /Paul's other dogs be, if /Paul had simply stopped wasting training time on that troubled dog who made improvement, but still not test worthy?
Both would have more ribbons, but that's not what they're in it for, according to their posts above. It's the same thing. Let's face it, if you're going to embark on a "different" training method that uses little to no punishment, you better dang well have a smart, well bred dog with a top notch pedigree who was developed to succeed in this sport. That's what Lindsay got, and I don't think it's a waste. especially if he paves a road that will be enjoyable for others to follow.
As for the contrarian theory. I guess my husband would say I am a little bit that way. But here's why I am trying this method: it's amazing. I have been training dogs for people (basic obedience) for years using the choke chain, prong collar, leash jerks, intimidation etc. It works. It's also tiring, not fun for me and the owners could not sustain the standard for long.
Then I was exposed to clicker training and was dubious. But quickly, I was amazed. Started watching the right people doing it the right way and was more amazed. Started practicing and made mistakes, learned and practiced and watched some more. Started using it to teach my client dogs. Skills like instant sit or sit and stay while I walk away were taught in one day - and stuck! Could build on to the next steps on day 2 and by the end of the week i have a dog who sits instantly, stays while I twirl a bird, while opening the front door and walk 30 feet out. Once the dog learns the behavior you can stop clicking and treating. Done. Heeling is the same way, no jerking, choking etc. And guess what - it's a lot more fun to train that way than the choking way. The dog looks at you afterward and says THAT WAS FUN! Thank you for teaching me that, what else can we learn?
Then I started delving deeper into applications for training the skills up through basics and transition. Found some great sources from R+ trainers who use platforms and other tools to teach position and at-distance behaviors. Taught my pup a perfect square sit whistle sit with a correctly sized rectangle platform. Take the platform away and she still has the behavior because she LEARNED it! It's amazing to me. Can't wait to see what else I can learn. It's a joy for the person and for the dog.
The first client dog I clicker trained to sit stay while I open the door and walk through, comes to my daycare and automatically offers this behavior every time we're at a door or kennel. He will not come through until i release him to, despite enticing distractions.
I know, simple stuff so far, it will get harder, but that's what's fun in life - the challenge and the road traveled.
Jennifer Good for you for trying and sticking to your training methods. And also for the fellow who got a jam with his Golden. After all if the owner and the dog are having fun does anything else really matter. Because that it what is important to me to have fun and enjoy the sport and my dogs! Yes I want to do well and work hard every day at it. I also try various methods to have success with my dogs because I want him to enjoy what they are doing! There are many avenues to achieve the same goals. We all see the route a little different and we all are not as experienced as some on this forum but we all have one thing in mind our dogs. Great thread Jennifer.
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Glad you're here, Mary Lynn, and enjoying your route!
Anytime there is a deviation in training methods the hair goes up. I wonder how the pro trainers reacted when E-collars were first introduced. You got me thinking and I applaud you for that. Thanks for the post Jennifer.
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There you go!!!! Well said, Happy ...
Mary Lyn.."Laddie" earned TWO Reserve JAMs among the 4 in a row. You have to take notice of that
Five years old..well, among other things, Laddie may have had some growing up to do. I was told by a long time HT guy and totally sold on the "Snapper" pedigree (kept going back to it for a new pup over the years...and after going away for one pup ..who he still had, very old..went right back to Snapper for his next)...."give him time to grow up and use a great deal of patience" re my Sebec. He had approached me at a group training offered by a club to ask if my pup was a Snapper pup. He had his newest with him that day along with his older guy that he did work. He is an avid hunter as well.
Many FT people do not want to wait for the growing up...if it is needed. Titles and points/championships etc are desired at a very young age....or the dog is a washout. Kudos to those that recognize and have the patience when needed. There is a wicked guilt trip put on those that really want to train there own retriever. If you do not send to a pro..you should not achieve success. Gets a little tiring.
I like most of the pro's that we see at tests or trials. Never have had an issue with any and most are quick with the "good luck", "how did you do?"..etc It is more likely to be faced with some amateurs that are rude, condescending that you dare step into "their" world..so....
Loved the Rorem Workshop about 5 years ago now in MI...his truck was one of the best managed that I have ever seen. A Snapper son was on it at the time and I did get to run him..what a fabulous dog and will never forget it along with my still favorite little from the "dark side" bitch.."Abby".
Then, too, an owner/handler training their first FT prospect may take some time to use the standard training aids used by "most" field people. Watching field training DVD's at first is kind of a jolt...not to mention some group training sessions. It might not be until their next retriever..as well,
Have seen long time FT handlers ruin good dogs with their harsh training..and that is due to temper, lack of patience..and not the Lardy or Stawski or Farmer/Aycock training programs.
A welcome "to the world of field trials" would be nice to hear across the board..especially here on RTF.
Off to train...again...
Congratulations! and Best in 2013 in whatever venues "Laddie" is taken to
Last edited by Judy Chute; 12-04-2012 at 04:18 PM. Reason: sp
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Great post, Judy! I will send it to Lindsay. Don't know him personally, just through another forum and facebook. Ironically, it was a fellow RTFer who sent me Lindsay's contact information last year. Thanks to that person, whom I can't remember, unfortunately!
Some of us tend to project our viewpoint on others, I know I am suseptable to doing that, and that is what I did here. I bolded the part of your post that really interest me. I am a product of all the trainers both pro and amateur that I have trained with for the past twenty years. It is quite a large number, but the general methods don't vary much from individual to individual. That said I occasionally run into Janice Gunn at a trial here or there and have a nice visit with her. I would love to learn how to obedience train with her. I would also like to see this clicker technique you brought up. I've got a five month old, very smart Golden that I'm doing obedience with right now. He's an smart, easy, tractible pup, so everything is going along smoothly, buteasier and smoother would be better.
Anyway, I apologize if I poured a little cold water on Laddie's impressive accomplishment, I have had very talented dogs go through long dry patches running all stakes, so four in a row is very impressive.
No apology needed John. I'm glad you asked the questions and I knew you asked them in a caring spirit! It has been a great discussion with everyone. Thanks!
Kum ba yah regards,