Sunday, May 29, 2011
Dog Training, A Look Back continued
Water parks with trained dolphins and whales amazing us with flips and tricks became popular. By the late eighties a new model of training hit the dog world.
The ever brilliant Karen Pryor changed the face of dog training and psychology with her ground breaking book, Don’t Shoot The Dog.
In her early workshops, Karen would talk about pondering the problem of training a whale as she sat poolside. What to do; you can’t put a leash or choke chain on a killer whale, always got a big laugh from the audience. Karen showed her video of a goldfish she trained to swim through a hoop. It was jaw dropping. Was there nothing this woman could not train?
Seminars and workshops for dog trainers were at best sporadic; until veterinarian, Ian Dunbar put us on the fast track by organizing the APDT, Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Networking and sharing info became common place in an industry dominated by lone wolves.
Terry Ryan taught us how to make dog training fun with games.
Through organizations like the APDT the science of behavior and training became available to masses of trainers more quickly. A standardized test for certifying trainers began in 2001.
A plethora of scientific trainers can quote quadrants and name behavior maladies.
This century has delivered to our doors the very best dog trainers ever. I say that earnestly. These guys are spectacular in their knowledge.
With all the wonderful trainers and scientific approach to dog training, why do we have more problem dogs than ever? On PBS we see shows with dogs snapping and snarling, out of control.
There is more legislation against dogs because we’re having problems with them. I don’t think that’s the answer, but I want to acknowledge the problem. What do you think?