I was thinking, after reflecting on the training that we did with Baron (our 8yo GSD who passed just about a year ago) about ALL of the mistakes that I have made in working with him.
Thought it might be a good topic for discussion here - maybe just to see if I might be in a majority or minority among trainers.
Anyway, among some of the major mistakes I have made were the following.
1. Set my expectations for him too low - regarding his potential performance
2. Tried a number of different instructors all with different approaches (Confusing to both dog and me!)
3. Hope this doesn't upset anyone but I failed to adopt my training approach to my dogs temperament and personality (Very strong!). We tried a Positive Only approach through local Dog Obedience training organization classes and private training and found, only after some time, that this approach did not work with him for his bit of dog aggression with a few dogs. A different approach with a different trainer finally did work very well.
4. Confused a specific training technique we were using with our goal of training too often.
5. Did not have specific training "Goals" and "Plan" on how to get there.
6. Did not make enough use of realistic "Proofing" my guys behavior.
7. Often seemed to train for "Trials" and not "Real Life" even though they should not be separated.
8. ETC. ETC. Many more - but now lets see what others think.
Looking back on the last year (or more!) of dog training, what might you change to improve your results? Anyone?
Amazing how much we as trainers can learn from each dog!
Interesting comment about "force" and esp. with Dumbbell. we had a couple of different trainers involved when we trained Baron with the DB. one was PO approach and one used a small level to get him to "Take it" in the beginning. A third, nationally known trainer in a seminar I attended use a variation of the oft used "Ear Pinch" that worked very well with demo dogs in seminar - shye used an "Ear rub" no pinch or real force - just rubbed ear with finger and thumb till dog opened their mouth, popped DB in and out quick and HUGE praise - worked very well! I wouldn't call it really force - just "irritating the dog to open his mouth to get DB in in the beginning to give him the idea.
I think it is great that "Mutts" can now officially compete - Great Idea, AKC!