Amichen Bonding -Jan Fennell - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-30-2011, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Amichen Bonding -Jan Fennell

On Friday a Jan Fennell Associate (The Dog Listener) is coming out to the house and she's going to spend the better part of the day (about 6 hours she said) trailing the dogs and I around.
http://www.janfennellthedoglistener.com/

We've done a lot of training but this is supposed to be entirely different, not training like in obedience, so I'm looking forward to learning more about the Amichen Bonding Jan F is known for. I've read the books but having someone here to actually interpret things is going to be fun, and interesting....I hope.

Has anyone ever worked with one of her associates? How was it?

We had started this once before but an emergency call came through and we had to stop. I'm so excited, Friday can't come fast enough. I think I'll even give the dogs a bath tomorrow so they look presentable.

Anyway, that's it! Just wanted to share my excitement and wondered if anyone else had done this and what their experience was like.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-30-2011, 11:03 PM
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I;m excited for you! I've read her books so I will be interested in hearing how it goes!

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-30-2011, 11:39 PM
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What is this 'Amichen Bonding'? I am very curious.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 04:21 AM
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I wouldn't have picked Monty Roberts as an example.

and

Can anyone say , Barbara Woodhouse -- walkieees . Any UK member will know .

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 07:36 AM
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Wow you so lucky I have read her books and wish I could experience this training session. Please let us know how it goes.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 09:03 AM
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I have read her books but was put off by the old fashion dominance ideas she has. Still, I will be very interested to hear about your experience. A 6 hour private lesson seems pretty intense!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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It's been a month since we started working with the Jan Fennall associate, thought I would give an update.

It's very interesting. (for lack of a better word) To dispel rumors or perhaps old information.... No alpha rolls, no chokes, no prongs, no compulsion, no leash pops or tugs, almost no talking, eye contact only when you want them to do something. (this part is really interesting) Also, no clickers. It's you, the dog and sometimes a leash. Treats are used at the beginning and phased out. It most closely resembles positive reinforcement. It takes patience.

I've studied and used other training methods. I'm doing this because I wanted to understand the theories behind this method. Because our dogs are already trained it's been a little strange, but the longer we do it the more I can see they were trained to respond to commands, which isn't the same as always letting me make the decisions. Not the easiest thing to explain.

All training methods have things in common and this one is no different. The biggest difference is, this method isn't about teaching formal obedience or agility, it's about communicating with the dog. Once the dog learns to take it's cues from you and stops trying to make it's own decisions or stops trying to tell you what to do, they become very relaxed and biddable. (again, hard to explain) So it isn't about having a perfect heel, it's about setting a foundation so eventually you can get that perfect heel everytime.

I don't think this experience would be the same without Pat being here because she can explain why certain things happen, as they happen. The experience might be different with just a book or DVD. I paid $500 for this course. There was an intense 5.5 hour first meeting, then we met every week for 4 weeks. Now we'll meet every two weeks for a while and keep spreading the meetings out further and further. After that it's a lifetime on call situation. (And because she owns a kennel and has been in this area for over 30 years I'm pretty sure she'll honor it)

For me it's been a great experience. A little bizarre at first but very comfortable now. I see it as a very viable training tool for new trainers. For those with experience using other methods, you have to put aside some of the things you've learned in the past if you want to really test this theory. Anyway, that's it. On a scale of 1-10 with ten being the highest I'd give it a 9.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 07:02 PM
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Thanks for posting an update. The basis of the method still seems a bit old fashioned (your dog "stops trying to tell you what to do") but it definitely sounds like an interesting method. Will you now be "certified" in this method?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 10:42 PM
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I dunno personally I like my dogs to think for themselves and offer behavior rather than stop making their own decisions and just wait for me to tell them things. It definitely makes it easier to teach them new things.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagocanine View Post
I dunno personally I like my dogs to think for themselves and offer behavior rather than stop making their own decisions and just wait for me to tell them things. It definitely makes it easier to teach them new things.
I agree and honestly, they do think for themselves but that's different than making decisions they shouldn't be making. (so hard to explain) Here's an example.

Walk over to your front door, open it, and put something there so it can't close. Door is wide open. Don't say a word and don't look at your dog. What does your dog do?

If the dog looks out the door and then looks at you, waiting for you to tell him it's okay to go outside, he's letting you make the decisions.

If he runs out the door and you have to run after him and call him back, he made a decision.

He thought for himself in both examples, the only difference is, in the first example he waited to see what you thought about the whole thing. In the second example you were the last thing on his mind. Does that make sense?
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