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Cesar Milan / Gwen Bailey et al?? where to start?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by dohaspecial, Jun 28, 2009.


  1. dohaspecial

    dohaspecial PetForums Junior

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    I have just purchased Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey to help aid Deefer's development as well as a clicker training kit to try that approach.

    The more i read on this site the more i see that there are some contrasting opinions on the merits and de-merits of various trainers and training approaches.

    For those of us just starting out would people like to summarise their opinions on the various training regimes/personalities out there in the market? For instance there is quite a lot of negativity surrounding Cesar Milan's methods on this forum but not knowing anything about his methods its not clear why there is this feeling?
     
  2. Nicky09

    Nicky09 PetForums VIP

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    I can see how the CM posts are going to go he's a God/he's the devil incarnate.

    Cesar uses what some people feel are outdated cruel methods flooding a terrified dog until he stop being scared, alpha rolling, lead corrections that kind of thing. However he does have great results with dogs that otherwise would be put down due to aggression.
    Gwen Baileys methods are very good as are Victoria Stilwells.
     
  3. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    Cesar Millan pros:

    Has some good ideas (although none of them are "his", much as he likes to market himself as some sort of revolutionary) about exercise and the need for structure and for the dog to have leadership.

    Undoubtedly has success with "red zone", last-chance dogs.

    Supplies many dog trainers with a lot of custom when people try his methods at home and find they don't work.



    Cons:

    Uses cruel methods based on the outdated and debunked "dominance theory".

    Attributes EVERYTHING to dominance.

    Doesn't tailor the method to the dog; "one size fits all".

    Tends to attract crushes by people who then go on to slavishly follow/recommend his methods for all dogs/problems.
     
  4. penfold

    penfold PetForums Newbie

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    I have tried the clicker training with my beagle pup as i was told by people that training a beagle is hard work as they are so stubborn but it has worked brilliantly he now sits, lyes down and for fun he can roll over but still has a few probs with the stay command but im really proud of him.:)
     
  5. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Hi. I am a cesar fan and the reason I like his methods is because "the proof is in the pudding". He has successfully rehabilitated hundreds and hundreds of dogs, using his methods.

    Some people think his methods are a bit un-orthadox because, he does at times use physical techniques like alpha rolls and bite imitations. In my opinion, it is only what a dominant dog would do to another dog, so I personally do not have a problem with it. He also uses a technique called "flooding", I agree that at times it may seem that the dog is frightened and there are other methods such as de-sensitzation techniques that could be used. However, what may take weeks to achieve, he can achieve in a short space of time. I have yet to see a dog on his show, where it has not worked. But this is a big grey area, which is always debated.

    As you have a young pup, you will probably find (as long as you are the boss in the dogs eyes and have his respect) that you will not have to resort to cesar's techniques. You can use books such as Gwen Bailey's and will prob be quite successful.

    The thing I like about Cesar is, he is quite open and clear. His mantra of "I train people and rehabilitate dogs" makes sense to me. In my opinion because people do not know how to manage and communicate with their dogs, then they get problems. This is one of the areas which dog training does not teach you. I have nothing against training classes, they do what they say "train", what "training" does not deal with is behavioural problems.

    That's my opinion from a cesar point of view
    x
     
  6. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    But humans aren't dogs, and dogs know that.

    It doesn't "seem" as if the dog is scared. On many occasions, the dogs are so scared they completely shut down. What Cesar misinterprets as "calm submission".

    Of course you won't see a dog on his show where it hasn't worked... lol!

    And yes, flooding CAN work but it's a horrible way of treating an animal when kinder methods would probably work just as well.

    I don't see that there's a huge chasm of difference between "training" and solving behavioural problems. Whether you are conditioning a dog to sit when it hears the cue, or conditioning it to remain calm when it sees a bicycle go by, the mechanism of learning is the same.
     
  7. kenla210

    kenla210 PetForums Senior

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    I bought the Gwen Bailey book and found it very effective to a point, in addition I would recommend good training classes (ones which use positive reinforcement). The problem was that it is difficult to learn it all from a book so some stuff (behaviours/tricks) was still quite iffy & erratic.

    I have also just introduced a clicker to Daisy (who is 11 months old) and within 3 days there is a transormation on her lead pulling and down, the two areas she always struggled with - looking forward to introducing other tricks etc with it as we go forward as it has been SO quick and easy. So would highly recommend this - it is easy for the kids to get involved too.

    I agree that Caesar's methods seem to work with red zone dogs but personally when I tried it once or twice with Daisy it had no effect and I felt mean - so didn't do it again.

    IMO I just don't think there is any need for most dogs. Although I do agree that all dogs need to know who is in charge, and what the boundaries are, there is no need for trying to scare them in to submission.

    Let's face it, an overly timid and fearful dog can be just as dangerous as an overly dominant one...
     
  8. Oblada

    Oblada Guest

    You are not going to to good impartial advice on trainers by asking on a forum lol
    everyone has its pet hates and loves...
    We all interpret things differently and there is really no real right or wrong.
    A basic example; from the same clip from Cesar's show some will see fear and cruelty, some will see trust and effective methods causing no harm whatsoever and leading to a more relaxed animal. Some seem to think that he is attributing everything to dominance, others will hear him explain that very few dogs are actually dominant, most are only fearful and lacking the structure and boundaries they need.
    There is NO point arguing over it, we just see things differently (especially as at the end of the day its only a TV show...or for other trainers its only a book and there are millions of ways to interpret words...)

    I think its up to each of us to look around, keep an open mind and see what suits us best, depending on our personality and the dog's, and trying to do the best we can with what we have ;)

    xx
     
  9. kenla210

    kenla210 PetForums Senior

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    Great post :D
    Agree 100%
     
  10. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    My thoughts, in a nutshell are...

    CM.... watch his body language and confidence around dogs, not the physical stuff, just his demeanour. And learn from his mantras 'calm and assertive', 'excercise, discipline, affection'. I think you can do a lot worse than take these basic princliples on board - if you look at people who appear to have a natural way with dogs, you'll find that it is usually down to their calm interaction, whether they are aware of it or not.

    Gwen Bailey... dunno really, I've never had a puppy to speak of, so her methods are not that familiar to me.

    If you are interested in clicker training, (which I'm a huge fan of) look up books and training info by Karen Pryor Karen Pryor Clickertraining| dog training and cat training info, books, videos, events and kikopup YouTube - kikopup's Channel

    Keep an open mind.... I always find that different methods work for different dogs. This way you are free to explore many different avenues and work in ways that suit you and your dog best
     
  11. dohaspecial

    dohaspecial PetForums Junior

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    Isnt that the point of a forum, to find out the opinions of others? I never expected impartial advice and I think everyone who has replies had openly said they have a bias. The point was that on this forum there are regular critiscisms of certain trainers and methodologies so as someone who was new to training I wanted to know peoples opinions. I have got a lot of great advice so far from this forum and respect the views of most people on here.

    i'll still ignore you all and make up my own mind having said that!!! :001_tt2:
     
  12. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    I don't really do Cesar Milan (don't have a television for a starter, although I'm thinking I might have to get one just to watch the Ashes), and I've got the Gwen Bailey book, which I don't think much of either I'm afraid.

    I used clicker training (and will use it again) with my two girls as pups, its useful to get them to learn the basics.

    If you're anything like me, you will find that its more down to you learning how to be a dog handler/owner, rather than teaching your dog something. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to train heelwork, and seeing another person who is a more competent handler than you, take your dog, and get them to do it perfectly within five strides, just with the way they ask the dog to do something. It just proves all along that it isn't actually the dog that needs to do the learning :rolleyes:

    I've recommended John Weller's book before to people, 'A Simple Approach to Gundog Training', which includes basic training (recalls, stays, heelwork) as well as other gundog related work, and although you might not want to do this with your dog, its actually good fun to train. What it doesn't include are things like toilet training, but to be honest, if you understand the fundamentals of training, that shouldn't be rocket science, it just takes patience.

    I try and remember when I'm training something that the dog has to understand exactly what you're asking of it; its my responsibility to make sure I've got the skills to put this across. If the dog does understand what I'm asking of it, then I have to be consistent in how I train it, and not accept anything less from the dog ie, I want a consistent response. If I want a recall, the dog has to come back to me, not sniff grass, have a pee, wander past another dog to say hello, and meander back to me.

    I go by positive training, where by I practise something and reinforce it with praise and rewards, but there is the occasional situation where a dog is doing something, despite training, and I will get after them. All that means is that with my body language and voice I will really mean it, and I don't wait for the dog to come back to me, I go to it. There have been countless times I've seen people stood, rooted to the ground, repeating a recall command, or whistling, and their dog has no intention of going back to them. Yesterday, during excercise/training, Tau stuck two fingers up at me when I recalled because a pheasant had got up. I didn't repeat the command, I set straight off towards her with an 'oi you b****y thing get here' (as gruff as I can be), and funnily enough she remembered what a recall was. She got popped back on lead (really important not to tell her off at that point as although she'd mucked about, she did eventually come back), sat up, and we practised recalls again several times, giving her the opportunity to get it right, and get praise and reward.

    One piece of advice (from several experienced people) I try and remember when training as well, is to try and look at it from the dogs perspective. Have I given them a clear command, do they understand it? If they're struggling then I might not have done enough training on it, and will help them out. I've watched people before asking something of their dog, and I've found it hard to know what they are actually asking, so how the dog is expected to know I haven't a foggiest. Hand signals are a good one, I always try and slow myself down, and make them really clear, its so easy to go too fast.

    Apols for the long ramble, but hopefully it gives an idea of how I approach training with my dogs. I don't count myself as experienced, I still think I'm at the beginners level to be honest, and have a lot to learn, and apparently I've started off with the easiest of the gundogs in training Labradors :D:D:D
     
  13. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Very well put :wink5:
     
  14. dohaspecial

    dohaspecial PetForums Junior

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    hmmn very interesting. my uncle had a lab that he trained for working with him when he went shooting and he was certainly the best trained most obedient dog i have ever met, he was also still full of personality when int eh home as a pet too. so i have a lot of time for the gundog methods and think personally i will start with clicker training as it does seem extremely straightforward and look into some gundog skills whilst getting going.
     
  15. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    The thing to focus on with a young pup is getting the recall, and using that to get the heelwork in place. The other thing to concentrate on with a pup (which I didn't with Tau as I wasn't doing gundog training by then) is the stop whistle, which a lot of pet owners might not know about, or consider useful, but if you can get a dog to stop and get its attention on you, then you can follow with which ever command you like. I'll be taking Tau out a bit later to practise her directions using a fence line, sitting her up facing me (her back to the fence), throwing a retrieve out left and right of her, and sending them for whichever one I want to. What I do every time she's sat facing me is blow the stop whistle, and then choose which retrieve to send her for. I also practise the stop at heel, so when she's on or off lead as I stop I blow the whistle, and she knows to sit at heel. Its going over basic stuff with her again, but its worthwhile doing easy things for her to achieve success at, they love getting it right, and its even more rewarding when there's retrieves involved for her. And it gives me chance to just tidy up where I need to, she sometimes sits with her bottom out to the side, so as she sits I'll get her to sit in tighter to my leg by actually positioning her as she puts her bum down, and then praise her.

    I do actually (if you can't tell :blushing: ) love training with the girls, although Indie's pretty much retired through injury, they both love it, and its so nice to be able to interact with your dogs in that way.
     
  16. Dundee

    Dundee Banned

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    As there is already a CM debate on another thread, I won't go there, but if you really want to know how dogs minds work and how to get the most out of your training and relationship with your dog, then Jean Donaldson's The Culture Clash is a must. For training, then anything by Ian Dunbar and Karen Pryor. Gwen Bailey's The Perfect Puppy is a great start. You won't find any one book that you agree with everything, but these really are the best. I would echo what has already been said though, you will really benefit from classes as this is where you will be 'shown' what to do and also corrected as we don't always realise what we are doing is giving mixed signals.
     
  17. cassie01

    cassie01 PetForums VIP

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    the power of possitive dog training by pat miller is also an excellent book. it explains in everyday language how the dogs mind works and how some methods are better for your dog then others. it also gives you training ideas/games and a bit of behaviour advice.
     
  18. fun4fido

    fun4fido PetForums Senior

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    Hi,

    Clicker training would be my suggestion too. It's kind and is also a fun way to communicate with and train any dog. Dogs learn best through play and games, so it's great if you can make each training session more like a game, which is what clicker training allows you to do.

    Whenever you see movies with dogs (and other animals) supposedly acting, and doing clever things, well these dogs and animals have been clicker trained.

    I'm a dog trainer and even though one of my services is obedience training, in my head I'm just teaching dogs tricks, and they love it. Walking to heel is a trick, down stay at distance is a trick, if you can approach training in this way it makes it very enjoyable and great team work.

    Clicker training is science based learning; it applies the principles of Operant Conditioning, which creates a confident 'thinking dog', anyone can do it, and it builds a wonderful relationship between handler and dog.

    A few useful links:

    About clicker training

    Dog training in 5 steps

    How dogs learn

    Books:

    The Power of Positive Dog Training - Pat Miller

    Dog-friendly Dog Training - Andrea Arden

    All the best

    Angela
     
  19. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    I'm absolutely LOVING the "Rules of love" video in the "About clicker training" link!! :D
     
  20. fun4fido

    fun4fido PetForums Senior

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    It's a keeper :D One of my favs.
     
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