Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Centre Update

Well we’ve been really busy and I’m quite shattered today. Jon my OH has put all the stud walls up, the plumber has fitted a new toilet and sink in the existing toilet. My dad fitted 23 meters of electric cable to the wall so the electrician can fit an electric box in the office. We have laid the office and kitchen floor and filled with insulation. I started to clean the loose pain off the walls ready for new paint! The windows have been measured up and the new ones will be fitted this week.
Next weekend we can start fixing the ply to the walls.

Also we found the little baby pigeon had died yesterday that has been squatting in the centre. I think it was probably the stress caused by all the building work but were not sure!

Well I’d better get on with my assignment, I have lots of dogs walking and training this week and an assessment to do for the RSPCA

Friday, 22 May 2009

Dominant Dogs?

There has been a research paper released link here http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2009/6361.html

This has also hit the newspapers today which is great! This is not something new and most good dog trainers have been aware of this for a long time and the reason why we use only positive techniques.
I am what you would call a cross over trainer which means I started out using old school check chains and correction years ago but have changed. Over time I have studied and tried many techniques and now only train using positive methods because it works the best and is safe and kind and I love dogs and don’t like being mean to them.

It is sad that I visit many homes where dogs suffer because people are led to believe by other trainers and TV programmes that they need to dominate their dogs and become a pack leader. This only leads to confusion and a dog/human relationship that is in permanent conflict.

Dogs are pack animals but they don’t have the structure that wolves do and are behaviourally very different to a wolf. The studies based around using rank reduction techniques was done on wolves not dogs. Humans love hierarchies, we are surrounded by them and probably the reason we bought into this theory even though there was never any real substantial research to back it up. Humans trying to behave like wolves to train dogs is as ridiculous as it sounds!

Recent studies question if dogs even understand what you are doing when make attempts to assert dominance and leadership over them. I could go on all day about the behavioural difference between dogs and wolves!

Also ignoring a dog and only ever giving it attention when you want is actually random positive punishment for any social species, meaning that it happens irrespective of the dogs behaviour and that causes stress. Research shows that if this type of social depravation is successful in reducing aggression it is because it is a variant of learned helplessness caused by the loss of control over social contact. Not a nice psychological mind state to live in day to day.

Also many of these techniques are confrontational and aggressive such as alpha rolls and pinning. If you have ever seen a true alpha/leader (wolf or dog) you will notice that they are totally non aggressive and don’t even have to make any physical contact with another to gain respect or status, why? because they were born with it!

If an owner has been aggressive or uses physical violence on the dog using correction techniques such as scruffing, hitting or pinning the dog will think this is the way to do things. Aggression causes aggression.

I have a relationship with my dogs where we respect each other, my dogs do things because they want to not because they have to. They don’t live with the daily fear that if they make a mistake they may experience pain or punishment which sadly many dogs do. They love learning and training because together we achieve great things. My aim as a trainer is to share my knowledge and experience with others and see more happy dogs.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Its All Go!

The work on my centre has begun. Ive attached a photo of the centre before anything was done and the new floor now partly laid. This should be finished tommorow and at the weekend the stud walls go in for the office, kitchen etc.

Then there is the toilets, new doors, windows, painting, padding for posts,rubber mats, carpets etc!!
Its going to be like Grand Designs for Dogs!

Im mad busy arranging stuff at the moment and trying to do assignments!! I also start my CAP2 on Saturday! I could do with cloning myself at the moment.
The new Website should be up the end of next week and we will be taking bookings for all new classes then too, we have Pet Dog Agility, Flyball, Games, Ringcraft, Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme and much more.
We plan to open on the 06/07/2009

Friday, 1 May 2009

CAP and Planning

A quick update, firstly I passed my CAP1 with full marks gaining a distinction and I’m now starting CAP2. For those that don’t know, CAP is a Clicker Trainers Competency Assessment Program run by Learning About Dogs.

The council have granted my planning permission for my training centre. So I’m going to be really busy for the next few weeks as there is a lot of work to do. We hope to be up and running in 6 to 8 weeks.