Thanks for taking some time to check out my site.
A few thoughts:
DeeMcB: I'd say that the main reasons that I frequently end up working with people are to help strengthen the recall (although there are some steps along the way that contribute to that outcome) - or to help solve problems (like aggression, anxiety, hyperactivity, etc.). Even if you don't buy into the whole theory/approach completely, I think you'd find that playing tug and "pushing" (according to the instructions in the links that Jason L posted) to be really helpful with the recall.
Here's another link that sums up some of my thoughts on the steps further along the path to the rock-solid recall:
Get Your Dog to Come When Called No Matter What - Natural Dog Blog – Training and More
Realizing that the whole "mooseness" thing can be off-putting (DFrost, Denali Girl, Whiteshepherds), another way to sum up what I try to teach is:
- How to increase your dog's attraction to you - particularly when they're in a high state of drive (as those are generally the times in the "real world" when communication, or a recall, are most important)
- How to help your dog relax (which is a key aspect of their staying focused when energized) - and minimize stress for them.
- How to turn your dog's attraction to other things in the environment (squirrels, cats, other dogs - and particularly the things in their environment that "trigger" unwanted behaviors) into a stronger attraction to you.
- How to use that attraction to elicit obedience behaviors (and resolve the stress and tension at the root of problem behaviors).
That's pretty much it in a nutshell, although increasingly I've been also focusing on another key component, which is:
- Overcoming the obstacles in a person's approach to working with their dog (i.e. the "Inner Game") - as those things might actually be standing in the way of getting the results they want. As I'm sure many of you here are aware, it's often the habits of the owner that create the habits of the dog - and so changing a dog's "habits" often comes down to changing a person's habits.
The "moose" is a metaphor that's supposed
to help in understanding the prey/predator dynamic happening within a dog as they process their environment emotionally.
It's good feedback to hear that it didn't quite make sense to you - or that it seemed like "smoke and mirrors" - my goal with the Naturaldogblog has been to make it all crystal clear for people - which is why there are so many words on the site, I guess. I *think* (hope) you'd find the articles to be clarifying, not mystifying. That being said, because I have written many of the articles on the site in a sequence - some of the later articles might make less sense without the context of the earlier ones. So thank you for your criticism, and I hope you don't mind if I take it constructively.
And DeeMcB, I think you're right - that "channeling your inner mooseness" doesn't always come naturally, at first
. But in my experience, the more people learn about the method, the more they see things that make sense whether they're looking for a paradigm shift or not.
If you're into "Alpha" - then you might see a different explanation for why the alpha things work the way they do.
If you're into +R, or OC, then you might simply see some interesting techniques that don't require a "new paradigm" in order for them to be useful.
Many people with whom I work haven't found the success/relationship with their dog that they are looking for with mainstream dog training methods. Often those people really resonate with the approach that I write about.
I was actually one of those people, back when I happened upon "Natural Dog Training" - if you read the bio on my site, you'll see that I had a hopelessly aggressive dog who would have rather chased squirrels for months on end than come when called. When mainstream methods seemed to be failing me (and trainers - who one would assume would have an interest in helping - were telling me to euthanize my dog), I decided to look for an alternative.
At the time my dog was 6 - she's nearly 14 now. While I might have to rely mostly on hand signals now (she's gone deaf in the past 6 months), she comes when I call, and gets along with other dogs. I'm certainly glad I didn't take the "advice" that was offered to me way back when.
My hope is simply that you'll try the things out, with an open mind, and see what the results are for you.
Best, and happy new year!