German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Michael Ellis is probably the best dog trainer out there today. His dog training philosophy makes perfect sense and his knowledge is astounding. I always swore that I would never become the disciple of one specific trainer but there you have it, he got me!
I have trained my 4.5 month old GSD using his Marker training method and among other achievements he can already heal off lead in a strange environment with mild distractions.
This is not an advert for Leerburg or any of Michael Ellis's products and services but I just felt that I had to share it with everyone and give credit where it is due. This man is the real Dog Whisperer.:grin2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
Ivan, that's no secret. Francois Massart who does most of Cranks decoy work now is actually a really complete trainer. He is a best kept secret right now. If you are wanting to do French or Mondioring and you're in the LA area you need to go check him out. He does pet OB too. Dovat is also super nice in a suit and has won Mondioring worlds I think 5 times now. I haven't been able to work with him yet because I've been stuck training pets whenever he's flown into the States but he's impressed people I know that are not easy to impress. His record speaks for itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
Anyway the point I'm trying to make is this. ME isn't even the best trainer in the state of California. The best trainers in the world right now with the exception of Ivan and a few other US IPO people I'm not going to start naming off are European. The bulk of which are French Belgian or German.

I'm not even speaking in terms of competitive results either. I'm talking in terms of completeness as a trainer in what they know about dogs, their training methods, their knowledge of the animal in general.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,902 Posts
Isn't it all subjective when you get near the top? Its who you can learn from.
If I watched Michael Ellis, and his system didn't click for me, I'd think he's the worst. However if Deb Zappia's system clicked for me, I'd think she was the greatest. We all interpret things differently.
Just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
It's not subjective. It isn't philosophy. In the end whatever you decide to do to train a dog is based on hard science of learning theory. If you're leaving out entire quadrants of operant conditioning or can't understand them like you should understand them then you have serious gaps in your ability as a trainer. There are trainers out there that despite a huge gap in their knowledge can still accomplish a lot.

If you train everything the right way the first time you teach it you don't have to know how to go back and fix something later for instance. But that trainer doesn't have as much value as the trainers who know how to get it right the first time but also know how to go back and fix it when it goes wrong quickly and efficiently. Especially true in the case of sport training where lots of people have screwed up foundation work somewhere or another and have issues they need fixed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,491 Posts
I think by its very definition learning theory is not generally classified as a hard science. At least when I learned it academically, it was in my psychology courses....an entire course devoted to brain and behavior, entire course devoted to learning, under the bachelor's degree of psychology, which tends to be classified as soft science.

Bailif, to me what you said "there are trainers with huge gaps in their knowledge who can accomplish a lot" means it IS a little subjective.

Who is to say who or what is absolutely right and absolutely wrong when it comes to dog training? It isnt like math where there is only one right answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,202 Posts
I think by its very definition learning theory is not generally classified as a hard science. At least when I learned it academically, it was in my psychology courses....an entire course devoted to brain and behavior, entire course devoted to learning, under the bachelor's degree of psychology, which tends to be classified as soft science.

Bailif, to me what you said "there are trainers with huge gaps in their knowledge who can accomplish a lot" means it IS a little subjective.

Who is to say who or what is absolutely right and absolutely wrong when it comes to dog training? It isnt like math where there is only one right answer.
:thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,491 Posts
I mean, lets just say someone just reached the highest level of competition in some discipline, lets say Mondio worlds since you brought that up, say they did it with the type of malinois I think I remember you saying yours are Bailif, a dog who can really take a hard correction and bounce right back like nothing.

That person if they use those methods is not going to succeed at all with my male pup.

Or does part of being a great dog trainer mean that you adjust your methods to suit the dog you are working with, some of whom need rare and mild corrections, that again tells me dog training isn't a hard science.

If someone breaks their leg, there is one best way to fix that, one perscribed best way of acting (stay off it).

When someone has PTSD, sometimes CBT and an antidepressant will work the best. Or DBT and no meds, or maybe even benzodiazepines to control severe anxiety. Pyschology is like dog training to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,491 Posts
Sorry for ranting but the more I think about this, the more that pops up. I trained horses and apprenticed with horse trainers and traveled all over doing clinics with some of the best horse trainers out there, some of whom were world class at that timek some of whom shortly later were on our US olympic equestrian team. From that experience I can simply and easily say that some people had better chemistry with certain students and that matters as to whether the student is learning and succeeding. Some of them also had better chemistry with the horses, or with certain horses, or certain types of horses.

They did not all agree on what was the right or wrong way to accomplish certain things and sometimes you might hit a wall with one and need to get help from another.

I have not been so lucky as to be one on one with dog people quite as accomplished as the horse people I have had the privilege to learn from, though I am always looking for opportunities, but I doubt that it is really that drastically different on this subject.

My current method of judging a trainer is this: do they help me get better at what I do without making me feel like crap? Am I getting results that are noticeable (improvement) in my dog's performance and also attitude...is my dog happy?

Sounds like the OP's experience passed that test so Ellis is working for them. My experience was the same.

I also don't like to put people on pedestals so I try to be realistic about anyo e...do they know more than me? Yes, good. Are they a god? No. Might there be someone else who is better at something? Yep. Keep eyes and ears open
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
The people I named don't just work with one type of dog. If that was the case I would not have named them. They can work with any dog. Now can they win worlds with any dog in any sport? Of course not. You need a nice dog for those kinds of sports otherwise the dog just won't ever be competitive. It doesn't matter if you were the best Olympic sprint coach in the world you can't win gold with Joe Schmoe the couch potato.

Second ME does have a specific type of dog he works with. A play driven highly food motivated dog. Am I saying he can't train dogs that are not like that? No. He can train a dog. I'm just saying there are tons of trainers out there who are more complete and can do it better faster and with less energy expended.

Crank does take hard corrections and bounces right back. I very rarely correct him hard. It usually isn't necessary if you teach correctly. I didn't say dog training was a hard science I said learning theory was and on its not completely hard in terms of numbers but the basis of learning theory and learning by consequence is pretty cut and dry with few exceptions.

Dogs are much much simpler than humans so a comparison there between dog and human psychology is going to lose usefulness quick. Depression and neurochemical imbalances is a whole other bag of worms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
I think by its very definition learning theory is not generally classified as a hard science. At least when I learned it academically, it was in my psychology courses....an entire course devoted to brain and behavior, entire course devoted to learning, under the bachelor's degree of psychology, which tends to be classified as soft science.

Bailif, to me what you said "there are trainers with huge gaps in their knowledge who can accomplish a lot" means it IS a little subjective.

Who is to say who or what is absolutely right and absolutely wrong when it comes to dog training? It isnt like math where there is only one right answer.
:thumbup:

You missed the other points so I'll sum it up like this.

Dolphins are stupid but they work real hard.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,301 Posts
Ever heard of ****'s Last Resort restaurant?I wonder if a dog training franchise based on that business model would be successful?
I like Michael Ellis too,Tyler Muto,Jamie Penrith,and enjoy the Stonnie videos that MAWL has posted a few times regarding puppies.

*nickname for Richard!
The forum edited it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,902 Posts
The people I named don't just work with one type of dog. If that was the case I would not have named them. They can work with any dog. Now can they win worlds with any dog in any sport? Of course not. You need a nice dog for those kinds of sports otherwise the dog just won't ever be competitive. It doesn't matter if you were the best Olympic sprint coach in the world you can't win gold with Joe Schmoe the couch potato.

Second ME does have a specific type of dog he works with. A play driven highly food motivated dog. Am I saying he can't train dogs that are not like that? No. He can train a dog. I'm just saying there are tons of trainers out there who are more complete and can do it better faster and with less energy expended.

Crank does take hard corrections and bounces right back. I very rarely correct him hard. It usually isn't necessary if you teach correctly. I didn't say dog training was a hard science I said learning theory was and on its not completely hard in terms of numbers but the basis of learning theory and learning by consequence is pretty cut and dry with few exceptions.

Dogs are much much simpler than humans so a comparison there between dog and human psychology is going to lose usefulness quick. Depression and neurochemical imbalances is a whole other bag of worms.
Do you feel that ME is more of a specialist to loosely sum it up? As opposed to someone who is more well rounded?
Sorry for the dumb question in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,922 Posts
Do you feel that ME is more of a specialist to loosely sum it up? As opposed to someone who is more well rounded?
Sorry for the dumb question in advance.
What is dumb about wanting to learn from somebody with knowledge and experience?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
ME is probably not THE best trainer in the world. The best trainer in the world is probably some East European guy in a rural village somewhere. ME just opened up my eyes to a great training system and it works for me and most importantly - it works for my dog. It is infinitely better than the compulsion training I started with 20 years ago. Mmmmm, I sound like Ed Frawley.:grin2:
I also agree with some people that there are similarities between dog training and human psychology. Just like you have the Freudian, Jungian, Adler, Frankl, CBT etc. models of psychology, dog training is similar, albeit not AS varied. Try to get a bunch of psychologists to discuss the best models for psycho-analysis and then you will see a thread that will break the internet.
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top