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Hmmm....was flipping through Oct's DogFancy in the Natural Dog section and read a piece on this and looked it up online. (did a search here and came up with nothing).

Seems the premise of the training is to give in to your dog's "natural prey drive" to relieve stress and to get him to do what you want???(vague explanation) but sounds rather backwards from everything else I've read or been taught.

Part of the training is called "pushing"...where the dog has to put force of their body into yours to get what they want....i.e: treats. What??

Maybe I'm having an ADD moment....but something seems weird about this whole thing. Anyone ever heard of or tried it?

Thoughts?

I don't get it.

Here's the website...maybe someone can explain how this can work?
http://www.naturaldogblog.com/blog/
 

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If you can make up different names for basic training using play and food as a reward, add in some strange 'trademark' things so you look really smart, you can make a video too.

My first impression from watching a bit on youtube. Lots of play based training where the dog 'naturally' learns what to do to get the toy. Not the worst thing out there.
 

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I read some of it and it sounded goofy as heck.

Also, What is so 'natural' about this guy bribing his dog with a bag of treats? Does his dog still listen when the treats are GONE???

This is just one of the pearls of wisdom this guy mentioned on that page:
Note: NEVER move TOWARD your dog. Always move AWAY FROM your dog. This is part of becoming more prey-like in your dog’s eyes.
I am not so sure that I want my dogs to consider me 'prey-like'.
 

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I read some of it and it sounded goofy as heck.

Also, What is so 'natural' about this guy bribing his dog with a bag of treats? Does his dog still listen when the treats are GONE???

This is just one of the pearls of wisdom this guy mentioned on that page:


I am not so sure that I want my dogs to consider me 'prey-like'.
Well, I can see my experience here does indeed help me as I am sure I don't want to be considered prey-like.
 

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I read some of it and it sounded goofy as heck.

Also, What is so 'natural' about this guy bribing his dog with a bag of treats? Does his dog still listen when the treats are GONE???

This is just one of the pearls of wisdom this guy mentioned on that page:


I am not so sure that I want my dogs to consider me 'prey-like'.
I agree. o_O
 

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That's what I was thinking!! LOL!

Glad I wasn't just missing something that could be THE Dog Training Method of the World! HA! Just a different spin on the "get your dog to come to you for goodies" thing.

I figured DogFancy put it in that section because it has "natural" in the title.
 

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I looked into this and Kevin Behan a couple of years ago and wasn't really sold. It's like he thinks he's come up with some grand unifying theory for dog training that explains everything and works with every dog. He says we need to harness the underlying energy or prey drive within the dog and that it's the key to everything dog.

I think most of us use our dogs' natural instincts to train them. We would have pretty unbearable dogs if we didn't learn how to read them and work with them based on what we see in them. We use that with a foundation of repetition and reward and all combined it gets us the behaviors we want when it counts.

So it's not really anything new. Just packaged with a few glib and mysterious explanations to make it sound like the next best thing. Oooooh. Energy. Got it.

Some interesting if very fluffy answers here from his site that discuss NDT in relation to learning theory and pack behavior. See what you think.

http://naturaldogtraining.com/category/frequently-asked-questions/
 

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Kevin Behan or his protege Charles Lee Kelley? I've never read any of Behans stuff but Kelley has some very unusual ideas. Not something I'd be tempted to pursue though
 

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Hello, hope you don't mind my intrusion, but I do welcome opportunities to clarify what I'm trying to say with Natural Dog Training. I'm not a writer by trade so what might strike a reader as fluff or a regurgitation of what has already been said, is my attempt to articulate a very particular view of behavior and learning. I also expect skepticism. So the gist of what I'm saying is that emotion is the main player in the animal mind (rather than thoughts or instincts), and that it works according to a predator (projection of energy) relative to prey (absorption of energy) protocol. These are the two main emotional values so that the animal mind is already highly organized and accords the individual a way of seeing the world before the action of instinct or higher cognition is involved in any given experience. These higher processes are layered on top of the emotional foundation. Normally, if I understand the counterargument correctly, emotion gains value through higher cognitive function, but I'm making the opposite argument. Hope this makes sense, thanks.
 

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Hello, hope you don't mind my intrusion, but I do welcome opportunities to clarify what I'm trying to say with Natural Dog Training.
I would pay money to see you work with a dog that is NOT motivated by food.

Being that dependent on treats for training may give you the 'illusion' of a trained dog but when a squirrel runs by (or other real world distraction) all bets are off.

It is one thing to bribe a dog to get it to do things - It is another thing to earn a dogs respect so it does what you ask...
 

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I would pay money to see you work with a dog that is NOT motivated by food.

Being that dependent on treats for training may give you the 'illusion' of a trained dog but when a squirrel runs by (or other real world distraction) all bets are off.

It is one thing to bribe a dog to get it to do things - It is another thing to earn a dogs respect so it does what you ask...
I also would like to see a dog on point with the flush of a very large cackling pheasant, 2 shots and a downed bird with a steady non-moving dog until sent for a retrieve.

Or a protection dog after attaining a hard bite outing for a biscuit.
 

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I would like to assure you that the point of NDT is to channel the prey instinct of squirrels/deer etc. into attraction to the handler. That was the inspiration to the approach. I developed this method from police training wherein the dogs were off/lead crashing through the woods in the dead of night to find lost folks or criminals, with deer bounding all about, especially in Connecticut. They were totally channeled to their work and weren't in any conflict about loose dogs or prey animals. This also proved consonant with how my Dad taught me field training, though that end of the business fell off when the family dog market became an industry unto itself. We would hide the bird and then contrive for the dog to be in the right position. The dog learned he needed the gun to get the bird rather than having any success in any other way. My father was famous for getting the hard headed dogs able to work in tight and it didn't occur to me at the time that we weren't using obedience, control and respect as the primary motivation, but rather the dog's innate urge for the prey. I would also like to add that I was dragged kicking and screaming into the use of food during the eighties as it went against what I started out believing. In my model, the act of ingestion is simultaneously an act of emotional grounding, so for example when we go to a social event, as soon as we have something to drink or eat, one begins to relax. I don't know about you but the first ten minutes of a cocktail party aren't my idea of a good time. But once the libations begin to flow and food is served, the "juices" start flowing and I start to enjoy myself. So I use food to prime the emotional pump so to speak, to help the dog do something difficult or help allay a fear. Another example I like to give is that no matter how much someone might admire, love and respect their boss, they expect to be paid what they're worth, something has to be in it for them, and here again I use food as a short term bridge until the big picture comes firmly into view for the dog. The big picture group motivation is far more powerful than food to be sure.
 

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I would pay money to see you work with a dog that is NOT motivated by food.

Being that dependent on treats for training may give you the 'illusion' of a trained dog but when a squirrel runs by (or other real world distraction) all bets are off.

It is one thing to bribe a dog to get it to do things - It is another thing to earn a dogs respect so it does what you ask...
This is not about how Behan trains (I don't really KNOW how Behan trains) but as a "cookie pusher" I can say that my dogs will call off a rabbit or squirrel without me having to wave treats at them. It's called creating a habit.
 

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It is one thing to bribe a dog to get it to do things - It is another thing to earn a dogs respect so it does what you ask...
Very interesting. . .first of all, treat training isn't bribery, unless you consider your paycheck to be a bribe as well (I suppose everyone has different definitions!). But also, how would one go about earning a dog's respect? That seems to be a very human feeling involving admiration and trust, and I'm not sure how a dog would develop feelings of admiration, although trust is fairly basic.
 

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I also would like to see a dog on point with the flush of a very large cackling pheasant, 2 shots and a downed bird with a steady non-moving dog until sent for a retrieve.

Or a protection dog after attaining a hard bite outing for a biscuit.
Silly Dinosaur. It's not about dog biscuits, it's about what is reinforcing for the dog. For instance, that protection dog? The best reinforcement for a clean out would be another bite. Every decoy I've ever met (even the bad ones) knows that. Alice is very food motivated for obedience, rally and freestyle. But if you offered her food while she was working stock, she'd think you were nuts. The reward for doing the right thing on stock is . . . getting to work the stock. When people say things like I'd like to see a dog do . . . (name behavior) . . . for a dog biscuit, that pretty much tells me that person's thinking about reinforcers is really limited. To Doberguy - how (exactly) do you earn the dog's respect? Not saying this is true in your case, but many times when I hear this it means the dog respects the fact that if he doesn't do it right, all He11 is going to break loose.
 

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Well I'm gonna assume you or your father have not competed or produced and finished some bird dog FCs or maybe some Sch titles.

I know the FCs I personally trained/handled to their titles had no attraction to me as they were wide running dogs off horseback looking for birds, then the handling of such birds when the dog is maybe 4 or 500 yards from the handler. We can make that even easier when a dog is running full speed and a pheasant pops up wildly and the dog is only a couple football fields from you but must stop to flush and stand until handler gets to dog and sends him on in the direction of course not direction of flushed bird. That's easier, but handling an "in tight" bird dog is kindergarten stuff.

Actually the correct term is "plant the bird/birds" not "hide the bird"

I've never heard the Behan name when campaigning GSPs but maybe he was possibly training English pointers. Of course those dog make GSPs look like puppies as they are maybe a half mile away on point etc. It would be interesting to see how your training would work with those types of dogs.

While I remain a skeptic I also would pay money to see how those dogs would be trained.
 

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This is not about how Behan trains (I don't really KNOW how Behan trains) but as a "cookie pusher" I can say that my dogs will call off a rabbit or squirrel without me having to wave treats at them. It's called creating a habit.
Same here. I have yet to come across a situation I can't call my dogs off of, even my insanely prey driven aussie/beagle Charlotte. My two dogs now have a better recall than any dogs I've had in the past, and they're the only dogs I trained by "bribing."
 

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And as far as "natural dog training," a big part of training that great recall was running from them as they approached so they would get to chase me. This is using their natural desire to chase prey to solidify our training.
 

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Silly Dinosaur. It's not about dog biscuits, it's about what is reinforcing for the dog. For instance, that protection dog?
Well, I have never debated the fact that yes indeed I can be a silly dinosaur at times.

My main training expertise came from field trial bird dogs where you spend the 1st 2 years of their lives getting them out from underneath you as you are trying to build a huge running dog and it does irk me when I hear things mentioned about bird dog work that does not make sense.

Always remember after bird dogs I became just a blacksmith dog trainer with no claims to fame.

I surely do not dismiss cookies as I am using them vigorously with the wild child that has now taken over our home.

With biting dogs, I built a few alligators. The getting them to bite was always much easier than the outing of such bites.
 

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But also, how would one go about earning a dog's respect? That seems to be a very human feeling involving admiration and trust, and I'm not sure how a dog would develop feelings of admiration, although trust is fairly basic.
Admiration from dogs....LOL!! I'm sure my dog admires me greatly and is not just being polite. Or maybe she stares at me because she wants my new purple sweater? :)

I would like to assure you that the point of NDT is to channel the prey instinct of squirrels/deer etc. into attraction to the handler.
Thanks for chiming in Kevin. I agree with the concept of channeling prey (or any other) instincts, but struggle with how it's different from what we're already doing. I 100% subscribe to the notion that dogs are opportunists and I use that (call it prey drive, call it survival instinct, simple hunger, whatever) to get the behaviors I want. Lather, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat and it becomes habit I can hopefully count on when it's needed. Simple stuff. In my scenario, attraction to the handler is secondary in a lot of situations. Not saying it doesn't help a great deal, but I have no illusions that my dog wants to please me - she just wants what she wants. And it's why my scary nephew can tell my dog to sit and she'll do it even though she has zero "attraction" for him.

So, again, how is NDT different than training methods brought to us by folks like Patricia McConnell, Nicole Wilde, or Ian Dunbar?
 
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