Koehler v Dunbar, Pryor,Donaldson and McConnell

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Koehler v Dunbar, Pryor,Donaldson and McConnell

This is a discussion on Koehler v Dunbar, Pryor,Donaldson and McConnell within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I'm curious to hear thoughts about these trainers. I've read a little of Koehler's website, and got scared off by the 75 minute training sessions. ...

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Old 11-12-2017, 09:59 PM
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Koehler v Dunbar, Pryor,Donaldson and McConnell

I'm curious to hear thoughts about these trainers. I've read a little of Koehler's website, and got scared off by the 75 minute training sessions. Not to mention he sounds kinda harsh.

Dunbar, McConnell, Pryor and Donaldson make more sense to me. But what has your experiences been with these differing methods?
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:34 PM
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Arrow WW-2 era aversive training, vs motivational? // Reward-based is more efficient.



Koehler is IMO both outdated & punitive; the original Koehler was an ex-WW-2 dog handler who needed a civvy job when the war ended, & brought the Make-'em-Or-Break-'em style of wartime "training" to civilians, popularizing quasi-military classes that marched as a square, everybody heeling their dogs in unison, left turns as a group, simultaneous halts, about-face, etc. [Choke-chains were required.]
He went on to be the most-well-known trainer of the 1960s & early-70s, hired by Disney to train animal actors -
but no one mentions that the Armed Forces, which taught him how to train, had a 60% failure rate for their WW-2 donated dogs, trying to force green dogs thru training to serve on the front lines in 6 to 8-weeks, like meat thru a sausage-grinder.

Pet-dog owners don't have SPARE dogs - they have one dog, or a few, & generally only one is in need of basic training at a time; they don't have a kennel full, to waste more than half as "training failures".

Even in the '60s & early-70s, there were reward-trainers who were highly successful - they just didn't get the headlines that Disney's pet did.
To name just one, Frank Inn.


Remember Benji? Meet the movie dog and his trainer. See his tricks ... ▶ 7:57
Jun 13, 2017 -
Uploaded by Eileen Prose
Benji delighted audiences is many films. The first dog to play Benji was a shelter dog named Higgins ...



The Trainer Who Created Four-Legged Stars : NPR
http://www.npr.org/2012/07/27/155949...r-legged-stars
Jun 28, 2012 -
Hollywood animal trainer Frank Inn with Higgins, a shelter dog known ... roles in the 1960s TV series Petticoat Junction and the 1974 film Benji.


He also trained the many 'Arnolds' for Green Acres - one of whom is buried beside him, in Forest Lawn Cemetery.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Ziffel

Frank Inn was well-known among trainers, just as Dunbar or Pryor are today, but not a household-name among pet-owners.
- terry


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Old 11-12-2017, 11:07 PM
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I LOVED the Benji movies when I was a little girl. Thanks for posting this video.

Koehler sounds like a nightmare. Dunbar, McConnell, Pryor and Donaldson all have many fans on this forum.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:19 AM
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In the decades since Koehler came up with his method of dog training, we've learned a lot about how dogs think and understand us.

Nowadays, we understand that the key to dog training is to clearly communicate what it is that we want them to do, and to reward and reinforce the behaviors that we like. The point is to have a partnership with the dog, not a dominant relationship. So yeah, the positive training methods not only work better, they're psychologically and emotionally better for the dogs.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:30 PM
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Arrow a few of the advantages of Pos-R



we know:
- learning is faster via rewards.
- reward-trained learning is retained longer.
- far-fewer potential side-FX or unintended outcomes, with +R.
- if there *is* any fallout via +R, it's minor & easily fixed; it's user-friendly.


Every one of those statements can be supported with data.
Quantifying success [or failure] is critical; if U don't record Time & Trials to Criterion, U're working in the dark.

- terry

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Old 11-14-2017, 05:45 PM
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Fastest I have ever seen a dog learn was via environmental consequences, I don't know if humans have been able to tap into that part of a dog's brain and develop a benign training protocol based on that.
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