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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-21-2014 10:22 PM
Lobobear44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I just think that in his case "studying" dogs, if he's serious about it, needs to mean more getting out and actually training dogs, not just visiting dogs he knows or quietly observing dogs and talking to them. Honestly, the more I train dogs the more I *don't* think that human psychology applies, other than the basic concepts like operant and classical conditioning. Dogs do not think the same way and are not motivated the same way. The OP already seems to have a more extreme tendency to anthropomorphize dogs. He needs to learn what really makes a dog tick and not obsess over a fantastical "bond".
I think when I go to the humane society for an orientation I will ask for a personal mentor.
01-21-2014 09:55 PM
beezaur
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I see it more like sports though, like gymnastics. I wasn't developing my routines based on the physics. . . . .
Exercise physiology is the academic end of that, not physics.

Years ago I paid a personal trainer for my strength training. Best money I ever spent, but I did not understand anything. It didn't matter functionally, because I had (accidentally) chosen a competent trainer and - most of all - I had a 20-something body that still could be abused without consequence.

Fast forward 20 years and I get knocked off my bike, air-lifted to critical for a week. A half dozen breaks and 9 months later I was back to exercise, but with different goals (aging well, preventing injury, etc.). So I got the texts that personal trainers are trained with, went through them as I waited for my broken neck bones to stick themselves back together.

The studying I did opened a whole new world for me, fitness-wise. I'm not a personal trainer by any stretch, but I know far, far more about it than what I might "learn by doing" or just following directions. I can manage my own training and nutrition in ways that are far more flexible and customizable to my own situation.

What I am saying is that careful study almost always is required to become very good at anything. Being average is not that hard. It all depends on what one is after.
01-21-2014 09:27 PM
Liesje I see it more like sports though, like gymnastics. I wasn't developing my routines based on the physics. Most gymnasts at their peak are not even mentally mature enough to understand the hows and whys even if they wanted to. Good training in sport and with dogs is developed through trial and error, time and energy (repetition), developing a "muscle memory", having confidence in oneself.... The results speak for themselves.
01-21-2014 09:19 PM
beezaur
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
The problem here though is that the OP is busy reading books on training that are contrary to how the dog is actually being trained. . . . .
The really important thing is to understand the "whys" of whatever it is you are doing. Watching a professional in action and being able to talk with them to be sure you understand what you are doing is ideal. "Because it works" doesn't count. Encountering someone who can (and will) explain the whys is extremely uncommon.

The main advantage I see to study is that it can be more general, and because of that parallels can be drawn between people and dogs, and a foundational understanding build up for both at the same time. I've been coming at that from the other direction, learning about personnel management for my work and sports psychology for my off-the-clock, clocked endeavors . I keep getting deja vu with the dog training I've been going through.

But that's not a workable path for everyone. When it's not I would say take a brutally honest look at what deficits there are, and approach each one directly and explicitly.

What I would not want to see is avoidance of foundational knowledge for the sake of "jumping in" and attaining some skill set rapidly. Not the best way to set one's self apart.
01-21-2014 08:51 PM
Liesje The problem here though is that the OP is busy reading books on training that are contrary to how the dog is actually being trained. Just reading books and understand those theories has already got him in trouble. He doesn't understand why the dog is being trained that way because he doesn't have any practical experience training Lobo. Some of the best dog trainers I know and people I would trust with my dogs and to help my own training often misuse fairly basic terms/concepts that apply to both human psychology and dog training. I attended a seminar given by someone who travels all over giving the same type of seminar, making money doing this and some of the info presented was downright wrong from a "book smarts" standpoint but most people didn't notice because they are only interested in the practical application...actually working and training their dog.

I actually agree with you that the basic theory *is* important for a complete understanding but I find that when it comes to dog training, most good trainers figure that stuff out along the way. They insist they are not training based on book and theory but really they are doing exactly what you'd find in a textbook, they just refuse to acknowledge the terminology.
01-21-2014 08:02 PM
beezaur
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I just think that in his case "studying" dogs, if he's serious about it, needs to mean more getting out and actually training dogs, . . . .
I'm a fan of understanding the basics well before moving on to skill alone.

Everything I have encountered has been that way. The people who I watch make the biggest mistakes are often very highly skilled, but they don't understand the fundamentals of what they are doing very well.

Familiarity and real understanding are two completely different things.

My feeling is that both are needed to be a top-level trainer. Understand first, then concentrate on building skill up from that. Otherwise one is left to following recipe books (by that I mean blind trust in someone's advice) and hoping for the best. Following recipes works fine 90% of the time. It's that other 10% that will take you down.
01-21-2014 07:31 PM
Liesje I just think that in his case "studying" dogs, if he's serious about it, needs to mean more getting out and actually training dogs, not just visiting dogs he knows or quietly observing dogs and talking to them. Honestly, the more I train dogs the more I *don't* think that human psychology applies, other than the basic concepts like operant and classical conditioning. Dogs do not think the same way and are not motivated the same way. The OP already seems to have a more extreme tendency to anthropomorphize dogs. He needs to learn what really makes a dog tick and not obsess over a fantastical "bond".
01-21-2014 07:26 PM
beezaur
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Depends on his goals. When I'm looking for a trainer the only criteria I really care about is whether the person has *experience* training/titling/competing (if applicable) in the activity. I don't care if a person has a PhD in dog behavior or animal psychology, . . . .
That's not what I'm getting at, not at all. Professional competence in dog training is entirely beside the point.

I don't know Lobobear44, but he is doing a very good impression of someone who very much needs to improve skills dealing with pack environments - people as well as dogs.

There are so many scary similarities between human and dog psychology that I think studying dogs will have a lot of side benefit to dealing with people - that's actually the driving thought behind my suggestion of learning dog behavior and psychology.

So . . . I'm an engineer. Being an engineer and being unsociable is a chicken-and-egg problem: do people become engineers because they have no social skills, or does becoming an engineer do it to us?

It's moot, really. What I did to improve my people skills was to study it like hydraulics or something. I went from a typical nerd-boy with very few social skills to an engineer known for dealing well with the public and with difficult people.

I saw that I had a deficit, and I undertook to solve it in a way I understood: studying it as an engineering problem.

I think we all are like that. We have to approach learning from directions we can have success. Given that he likes dogs so much, perhaps learning dog behavior is a way to kill two birds with one stone, if you will.

Lord knows, if I can learn to deal with people, anyone can.
01-21-2014 07:20 PM
Lobobear44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Depends on his goals. When I'm looking for a trainer the only criteria I really care about is whether the person has *experience* training/titling/competing (if applicable) in the activity. I don't care if a person has a PhD in dog behavior or animal psychology, if they've never done a BH with a dog I'm not going to them for training help in Schutzhund obedience. A lot of organizations that give titles/certifications for dog trainers are just a matter of paying dues to that organization. I say, put up or shut up. Either you've trained dogs or you haven't.

Just being around a lot of dogs you don't own and have no control over can be really exhausting. That is why I always hesitate a little inside when people suggest volunteering at an animal shelter to "train" dogs or for beginners to get experience working with dogs. I started that way myself and it was just so frustrating and emotionally draining. It's hard as a novice to be working with some of the toughest cases as far as behavior, neglect, and just genetically bad temperament. It is very important work, of course, but if the OP really wants *training* experience, well, then he needs to train dogs and not just dabble with dogs that aren't his and he can't realistically set goals and follow through.
Well there is a training internship for volunteers at my shelter. So once my boss sees me coming more frequently than I can get that training internship!
01-21-2014 07:09 PM
Liesje Depends on his goals. When I'm looking for a trainer the only criteria I really care about is whether the person has *experience* training/titling/competing (if applicable) in the activity. I don't care if a person has a PhD in dog behavior or animal psychology, if they've never done a BH with a dog I'm not going to them for training help in Schutzhund obedience. A lot of organizations that give titles/certifications for dog trainers are just a matter of paying dues to that organization. I say, put up or shut up. Either you've trained dogs or you haven't.

Just being around a lot of dogs you don't own and have no control over can be really exhausting. That is why I always hesitate a little inside when people suggest volunteering at an animal shelter to "train" dogs or for beginners to get experience working with dogs. I started that way myself and it was just so frustrating and emotionally draining. It's hard as a novice to be working with some of the toughest cases as far as behavior, neglect, and just genetically bad temperament. It is very important work, of course, but if the OP really wants *training* experience, well, then he needs to train dogs and not just dabble with dogs that aren't his and he can't realistically set goals and follow through.
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