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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please share your thoughts on the hazards involved in mixing two different methods.

If you know of interesting threads that discuss this topic, please post a link.
 

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while all programs are like, say. ... a path in the woods to the same outhouse.
not all paths have the same steps.
a person jumping from one to another, and back.
may get to the outhouse with no TP.
or may never find the outhouse and have to poop in the woods.
now if you have been to the outhouse many times.
and can see the woods in your mind. then you can start jump paths.
or take the loopers out of the truck and clear your own.
 

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Whether or not a trainer mixes components of two or more training systems, it's ultimately good or bad depending on the trainers baseline of experience. If you're new to dog training you don't have experience upon which to base any practical judgements about using techniques that philosophically oppose each other, and may be unfair or confusing to your dog. Someone with substantial experience, especially in training at a high level of fieldwork, should have ample experience to make use of many different ideas and practices, and is far better positioned to benefit from multiple programs.

It's not a one size fits all proposition. Whether or not it's a good idea to 'mix systems' depends on who is asking.

Evan
 

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Robin,

I tried to address this twice in your post asking about Bill Hillmann's methodology. I also typed a note to John Fallon about it.

Did you read the "role modeling" link that I posted in your other thread?

Chris Post with Role Modeling Link

Do you understand the message in that article? The most telling example in that thread is the bit about Lance Armstrong.

If you are new to field work, and you seek to accomplish results similar to another field trainer, you are best to pick a program and role model that program if you seek to have results identical to that particular trainer. If you are looking to roll the dice and just wing it, then go ahead and experiment with your first endeavor in field work.

Good luck.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I'd read the Bill Hillman role modeling link before. I read it again yesterday. I just read it again. I thought all night about why I was mixing programs. Honestly I think that there is a bit of the rebel in me that says I can do it better. In reality, I don't think I can do it better. I need more experience before I can make that kind of judgement in all areas of dog training. It is tough to admit my immaturity in being resistant to following a program. Now that I see the roots of my attitude I will take steps to fix the problem.

When I first started knitting I had the same problem...I thought I had better judgement than the pattern designers. Several projects that turned out like this:



resulted in a change in attitude so that now I follow the knitting pattern very closely. I keep this butt ugly project around just to remind me why it is important to follow directions.

The more examples that you can give me about the hazards of mixing programs the more solid I will become in this change of attitude. That is why I asked the question today.
 

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Robin,

Good luck in what you choose. Some of the programs that are published have some pretty major credentials behind them.

Only you can choose what's "better".

There is no right, there is no wrong. There is no single size to fit everyone.

If you find someone you want to emulate to try and achieve their results, go for it.

If not, keep on searching.

I will tell you one example and I'm punching out.

For nearly a decade, I worked reasonably hard at becoming a "World Champion" in the competitive duck calling circuit. In that venue, there are human judges who score competitive routines, basically 90 second long "songs", and the highest pointed caller at the end wins.

Some folks in that venue would emulate a role model and strive to reproduce their results. This is particularly true of the RNT crowd, many of whom emulated John Stephens, with very good results.

Others would approach judges after each contest to get their comments. Each judge, would offer their own personal preferences. The callers were constantly chasing their tails, making adjustments to address what they were told by last week's judges, in an attempt to better please next week's judges.

A retired callmaker (Wendell Carlson) had a phrase called "The Search for the Magic Flute". This was the phenomenon of competitive callers changing up techniques and getting new calls - constantly trying to find the new trick that would put them over the top - as opposed to role modeling a world champion and striving to consistently be just like them, to try and produce the same results.

Here's the thing: some guys WANT to constantly search and be the rebel. If they do, that's OK.

But some of the most knowledgeable in the sport, once they realize someone operates in that manner, eventually choose to not spend a whole lot of time trying to help those individuals. The reason is that they know that person will run down the road and repeat the whole dialogue with someone else. Those who spent their time trying to help the magic flute searcher, wind up feeling like they could have spent their time doing something more productive.

Good luck in your quest.
:cool:
Chris
 

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Please share your thoughts on the hazards involved in mixing two different methods.
Mentally groping for shortcuts and/or searching for more scenic routes will often result in simply becoming lost. The next steps are to first rationalize the route and then seek direction from someone who may (or may not) know where you are. Even then the question begs, will the "finder" have enough skill to force you along the winding road to success.

Avoid looking in all the wrong places regards, Jim
 

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Search on "what program" or "what program are you following" or using. There are enough threads to keep you busy for awhile because that is the first question that that someone asks when a poster is lost.
 

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Robin,

I said I was punching out. But I'm also a fan of reinforcing desired behavior. So one more comment.

I think your knitting project is a great analogy. I'm going to remember that!

Phase 3 is a great place for a trainer to go.

Enjoy!

Chris
 

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I to thought as a beginner that it would be ok to mix programs and internet advise on my first dog. Long story short I had my dog and myself so turned around that we drove 6 hours to watch her blow of a flyer at junior level.I'm sure lots of folks here have experienced the dreaded drive of shame home and wondering why we just can't get it together. My decision was that I needed first hand help with advise from RTF .I found a pro in my area and he seen something in my dog he liked. Mind you he BASIS his training from Lardy but has been at it long enough that as stated above has the experience to understand when and where to and a pinch of this and a shake of that. You can either be a mad scientist or a dog trainer. Its been about 11 months since we failed that junior test and since then he has took her to the next level .she has a couple placements in the Derby games her seasoned title in UKC and has aged out but will be running Quals this fall and. Probabley ready for master test

So any problems that I might have had I tried to blame on the dog early on where a result of the combination of inexperience and me mixing programs because if I didn't understand the step I would immediately think its the program and turn the internet or another program for the answer .looking back I realize that there was so much wasted effort from me and her on this mix and match training. Luckily she is very forgiving and has a huge desire to please.
 

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I think all this talk of picking a program is very easy to say, but very difficult to do..

Example... lets say You are a very inexperienced trainer. You pick a program,,,, you are following it to the letter. You also, at the same time,, have joined a club,, attend their training sessions, or maybe work with a Pro a day or two during the month...

You have very good intentions and try and work your way through a program,, but alas, you have questions,, or possible problems with the dog at some point.
Now,, your training group, or Pro, starts giving advice as to what to do,, or NOT to do,, that really doesnt follow that program you were so religiously trying to follow..
That advice, may lead you to skip steps,,do things that may be confusing to the dog, or just plain work against what you are trying to accomplish, and that was,,,,,,,,, follow a program..
I find it very hard.. Everybody has an opinion as to what works and what doesnt.. You see that on a daily basis here on discussions on RTF..
Its very hard (at least for me) to stay focused and comitted to following a regulated program, if you allow "others" advice to come into play..
ANNNND since most of us Mere Mortals are very green,, we tend to listen and experiment with ideas just because it worked for that guy or gal we Idolise...

Its very hard... You have to be very commited..

Gooser
 

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Have you read what Marilyn Fender wrote on the topic in Retrievers ONLINE?
 

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Regardless of what program you decide to follow, there are a few things that are universally important.

Honest obedience is the key to ANY program. Your dog needs to understand that it needs to sit until told to move, heel without charging ahead, and it needs to learn to wait for it's turn. These skills need to be so well taught and understood that the dog will respond to them in any situation. Without that, it's an uphill battle. The key is for you to be calm and matter-of-fact about it, and your dog will learn to be, too.

You will have lots more success with your dog if it wants to work for you than if it feels forced to or punished if it does not. Force is a part of training, and that is another thread-but what I am referring to is your dog's attitude. Foster good teamwork; have a relationship with your dog that results in your dog wanting to make you happy and do as you ask. It's easy, especially as a novice, to over correct-lots of heeling stick whacks, lots of nicks with the collar-and many forget to praise for a good try, even if it is not perfect. Attrition is a novice's best friend, many times. Learn to recognize what is effective for YOUR dog, don't just do what the book says or what other people do. They have different dogs than you do, and different relationships with their dogs. Watch people with dogs who enjoy their jobs. Do not always assume that a wired-up, fire breathing dog is one who likes what it is doing. Don't emulate people who have dogs you wouldn't want to own or run.

Be patient, and quit if you are frustrated. Be fair. If your dog does a great job, reward it, and quit for the day. End on a good note-if the day is not going well, pick something you know your dog can do, and end with a success. No dog wants to go out and get hammered on every day. If that is happening, then you need to take a step back to something that works, and proceed slowly to find out where the miscommunication is, and then fix it and move on. Assume that you are confusing your dog somehow, because that is usually what the problem is for a novice trainer. You have skipped a step somewhere, or your dog has not learned a skill you assumed it knows.

The path you follow should be one that makes sense to you, and one that you understand. Not all programs work for all dogs and trainers. Read lots, and find the one that appeals to you most, and follow the steps so you give your dog a proper education. Ask people who follow the same program you do for help if you hit a road block. If you don't have anyone to ask, back up and try the next step a little differently, don't skip it and move on.
 

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I would say if you are a new person to this sport following one program until you get more information and get your dog going is better is best. It would be less confusing for both you and the dog. And by all means after you have the program finished and feel comfortable doing the info with your dog and want to branch out, do so. As well, when one person asks you on this forum or if you are in a group training they ask which program are you following it is easier for the more experienced to give you some advice. You can then say to whomever I am having this problem at this stage and things are easier to pinpoint. But if you are doing several programs that is more difficult to tackle.
 

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mix recipes when making a cake...you still might get a cake

mix recipes when making a cocktail...you still might get a drinkable cocktail


mix programs when dog training....you might still get a well trained dog....BUT what inevitably happens and is witnessed every day here on the RTF is when one gets stuck or into a problem...which methodology does one use to fix the problem..do you use Lardy, Graham, Stawski to work your way out of it...then once you do , which program do you revert back to..

No where is peer pressure more evident than here on the RTF..people come on here looking for solutions and quick fixes and band aids...and are barraged from everything from trying to methodically help them to changing their training "religion" in one felled swoop


Training "ala carte" is something most cant pull off, unless they are extremely talented or their dog can overcome whatever shortcomings the trainer has
 

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I was shall we say too "cheap" or maybe too "stubborn" to purchase and follow a program. So my training program consisted of a mis-match of very developed skills and some not-so developed skills. It served me well enough until after SH, when we had to actually find an instructor and take some advise. Because everything was so mixed, it took awhile to figure out what was missing. Might have done better with a program, and yet even with a bunch of research on different programs, I've done, I have not found a program I entirely like. I like things from one and things from another. I doubt it will ever be in my nature follow a program, step for step. I much prefer to take instruction from a pro. etc. who is there in the flesh, training, passing and running dogs that are dang good, every weekend. Books don't work for me, I need somebody standing behind me to smack me in the head. ;)
 

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I loved coloring but hated coloring books because they had LINES you were supposed to stay in. Not for me. I would rather have a library of ideas in my head and try to problem solve with a big library of ideas, than fix different dogs with the same cookie cutter way. It didn't work for me in school and nearly failed me until I had a teacher that realized that I just needed a new metho, It doesn't work well for my children in school, and I have more fun mixing. I actually rarely stick to a recipe either, for what that says.
 

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mixing programs

The problem with it is, what do you do to fix a problem? If the proper foundation has not been laid the dog may not have the tools to fix it...Lardy, Graham, Stawski ,Farmer programs are not that different when you analyze the material covered....They may have a slightly different order they do the drills or use different drills to accomplish the same thing... It is this out of order from one to the other that may get you in trouble...Then you have other trainers that have a totally different approach to the training...completely different...I had a friend send his dog to Jim Kappas years ago and when it came back he had some problems and I told him I couldn't help him because at that time the the two programs were so totally different.... Steve S
 

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I follow TRT pretty exclusively. However, I do supplement TRT with some items. I use Walking Baseball by Evan Graham. I also use some holding blind techniques and casting timing from Dave Rorems Art and Science of Handling Retrievers. I also use some items from Training Alone by Dennis Voigt.

I don't think that any of these things conflict with TRT program but help me in so many ways.
 
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