Does your trainer only use one method of training a behavior for all dogs? I don't believe in 'cookie cutter' training.
I read a lot of training books and watch a lot of training videos and I have always just taken things that I liked and gave them a try. I use what works for me and my dog.
I work with a trainer who shows me how she teaches a behavior. I may train it her way or I might find something that works better for me and my dog.
My trainer doesn't believe in using clickers. I do! So, with any behavior I taught my dog, I did with the use of a clicker. It's a valuable tool and works well, but I keep that a secret. (Hummmm, a closet clicker?)
Anyway, I had been training the go outs with a treat on the target method. While he had nice go out with a primary reinforcer, I found him doing more of a search than a go out.
I didn't like that, so I tried a clicker training method. This was basically sending him to a visual target. I liked the fact that they had you send the dog to the target without a treat and that he had to do the behavior to get the click. It got rid of the searching behavior.
As a Michael Ellis fan, I decided to get his DVD, "Training the Send Away." His method was similar to what I was doing with the clicker method, but he was using a touch pad vs. a vertical target. In his video, he explains why. He also talks about dogs searching instead of going. It made good sense to me and I gave his method a try and it's working well.
My trainer can't understand why I don't trust in her method........after all, her mentor and many others have been successful with it. Of course, she also had to remind me that she has years of experience.
She then went on to tell me that if my new method isn't working, she won't be able to help me because she doesn't know that method. (Her loss.)
I might be new to this, but I really feel a good trainer has many ways of doing things. What works for one dog, may not work for another. They should have many "tools" to work with.
I'm always looking to gain more knowledge. I always wonder about her other clients.........do they just do things her way? I need my trainer to show me how she trains a behavior and then I modify it to what works for us. If I get the goal accomplished, does it really matter how I get there?
I need her to make sure we are doing things properly. I guess it's a little insulting to her when I don't trust her methods. What really irked me was her question, "How many UD titles do you have?" I may not have one yet, but I'm working hard to get there.
Sorry, this is more of a rant that a discussion. Just wanted to know your thoughts. I'm independent. I like doing things my way. I think I'm smart enough to see if I'm liking the results or not and when I don't like something, I find ways to improve it.
Last edited by Karla; 02-09-2013 at 12:15 PM.