ClickerSolutions Training Articles

Using Advanced Techniques

This article was originally posted on the Click-L mailing list. It is reprinted here with the author's permission.

My concern about using advanced stuff (including NRMs, KGSs, ratios, etc.) is that trainers become enamored with them, and come to believe that they are a necessary part of training. The next step is that they teach all of this stuff to novices, and then novices become overwhelmed at all of the various signals, when to use them, and how to use them. Trainers with many years of experience tend to forget what it was like to be learning mechanical skills, methodology, and what does a dog do, and how do we change what a dog does.

I think most trainers will buy that the advanced stuff is NOT necessary. They may believe that using all of these various signals helps them be more effective trainers. That is OK. They have every right to believe this. If they want to TEST whether this really helps them (and, if you are a pro, you should consider spending a few years ascertaining this), train some dogs with and some dogs without these various signals.

This test and evaluate is just the sort of thing that we did for many years while searching for the most efficient ways of getting behavior (we earned our livings producing the best behavior quickest and at the lowest cost. We found that the simplest way was usually the best.

For those wedded to using advanced stuff, that's OK. If it works for them, and they like what they are doing, that is what counts. A trainer should enjoy what they are doing. I do bridle a bit when I hear a trainer say that this is THE way to train, and they teach novices that such stuff is absolutely necessary.

Bob Bailey
copyright 2002 Robert Bailey


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