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Controversial ZG dog park video

8289 Views 36 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Deacon.dog
Why is this dog even at the dog park ??? ... good grief.

Honestly I'm not a big fan of McCann's either, generally speaking. But I have to say in this instance I'm 99.9% in agreement with what they say.

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Any trainer (Zak) who takes a dog out for training with a (d***ed) harness on is completely without merit. McCann's catch this in the video.

McCann's are correct that you must be the "go to" when the dog is stressed or over excited. It is called ADVOCATING for the dog.

McCann's are correct.. ask the dog for attention. Looking at (and interacting with other dogs through sight) other dogs IS self rewarding. They are correct that rewarding her for focused attention on other dogs is incorrect. What is he rewarding? He is rewarding her for looking at other dogs and NOT focus on the handler.

Next the dog is sniffing.. absolutely this dog is not sniffing to smell, the dog is showing stress.

The rest McCann's have their discussion spot on. Totally spot on. And NO HARNESS for TRAINING. I know you all think I am a crack pot for nixing harnesses, but they are NOT good training tools. Not at all. You cannot be clear with a harness.
Plenty of dogs get trained perfectly well with harnesses, mine included. It's no different than training with a flat collar, really. Unless, of course, you don't understand how to train without corrections, which is all I'm getting from your little anti-harness diatribe.
You and I have been down this road before. Even the McCann's (multiple titles in agility at high levels which is as nearly purely positive as one can get in dog sport) say "lose the harness."

You are welcome to train any way you wish (as is anyone). It does not mean it will work for others or as well.

Harnesses are unclear for communication in training. If you are training using a harness you might as well not have any physical connection to the dog (during training) including outside the home (NO leash, NO harness, NO collar). Every time the dog hits the end or pulls on the leash the dog is corrected no matter what the device or training method. If, in your training, your dog never ever ever hits the end of the leash then kudos to you. Most people are not capable of that.. and most dogs as well.. regardless of your teaching method.

Even in puppy class if you have a leash attached to your dog, it is HIGHLY likely your puppy is not going to keep that leash loose.. and every time he/she tightens the leash you have just given a correction. Might as well make it clear.

In classes around my area the first class is without the dog. Everyone to a person says "no harness; no head halters" Flat Martingale is preferred to start and to teach. Dogs cannot escape (they often do from harnesses) and the control, if needed, is far better. It does not mean you yank and crank. It simply is far more clear in communication.

Not every dog in a class is a brachiocephalic breed with a thick neck where a collar might be a device you move away from AFTER the dog is trained. Most dogs and handlers do better with collars, and most good trainers (including the McCann's) nix the harness until a dog is well trained (at which point the equipment used is superfluous.
Some of us neither want nor require a physical connection to the dog in order to communicate, beyond keeping them from doing something dangerous. And if you seriously think reaching the end of the leash is a correction ... lol.
most good trainers (including the McCann's) nix the harness until a dog is well trained (at which point the equipment used is superfluous.
Dang, I guess my trainer wasn't a good trainer then. Except HOW did a lousy trainer accomplish all of this? It's a mystery!

Nikki Sherwin has a degree in psychology and a College certificate in Child and Youth Worker. She always had a keen interest in behavior. She started off being professionally employed in 1994 teaching behavioral programs to children. She developed and taught anger management, self-esteem and friendship groups and participated in one to one counseling. Her experience in child psychology transitioned to dog behavior and she never stopped.

Since 1997 Nikki has worked professionally with dogs.
Nikki’s experience has included:
  • Member of the SuperDogs team for 5 years
  • Attained master level agility titles
  • Head instructor of an obedience centre for 6 years
  • Developed a bite prevention class and introduced a R.E.A.D (reading education assistance dog) program in elementary schools.
  • Participated in the St. John ambulance dog therapy program.
  • Manager of an animal hospital
  • Pioneered "Canine Community Connects". CCC hosts biannual seminars for the professional community in the field of dog behaviour
  • Developed Winnipeg's first and only scent room. Nikki has applied dog research to a new application in the positive approach to dog behaviour in a daycare setting.
  • Canine Class Educator for 20 years
  • Seminar presenter in the field of dog behaviour. Her latest presentations have included: Canine Compulsive Disorder, spatial aggression, thunderstorm phobia, The hyperactive dog and canine communication, Collars and the unintentional damage we may be doing.
  • Coined "P.I.E.C.E.S." a method for assessing, and what not to look for, in a dog daycare. For more information click here (coming soon)
  • Professional member of the Pet Professional Guild.The Pet Professional Guild is a membership organization representing pet industry professionals who are committed to results based, science based force-free training and pet care. No pain, No Force, No Fear.
Her professional training was far too lengthy to copy paste here, but the link to is below.

Nikki Sherwin's Professional Development

Sorry dear, a good trainer knows how to train and communicate with or without force. A great trainer never needs to use force. I know this is hard for you to understand, but true nonetheless.
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From soup to nuts; from harnesses to ... tractor parts? This thread has it all. LMAO.

Yeah. I don't see ANY correlation between collar / harness, and ability to communicate clearly. Unless, of course, if you're using it as a communication tool.

I tend to let the rewards, or absence of rewards, do the heavy lifting.
That's because you are a smart trainer. ;) Trying to use a collar/harness as a communication tool is literally the MOST inefficient way to communicate with a dog, lol.
Ken Steepe, in the video: "I would repeat 'sit', and then SHOW them how to sit (slightly aggressive hand motion pulling up on leash and collar)". Communication I suppose, but not the kind of conversation I have with my dogs.

Suggesting the use of force, albeit relatively low-level force, is part of the .1% I'm not in agreement with.
Agreed. Especially when there are several non-physical methods that are far more effective.
His dog is way over threshold. And as a teaching / learning moment, it's highly unlikely she'll absorb ANY of it, including Ken's proposed correction.

IMO what he needs to do is physically back away from the stimulus. From the look of things - far, FAR away from the stimulus. To begin with, get between his dog and the distraction to break her line of sight and her hyper-focus, and encourage her to follow. Whatever it takes ... food lure, presentation of a toy, walking backwards, kissy noises, whatever. Then at a much further point away, establish attention and try the cue again. Distance is your friend. THAT'S where learning has a chance to occur.

The dog is giving him soooo much information, and apparently Zak's not heeding even one little bit of it.
Agree 100% with you, can't really think of anything I'd add to what you said.
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