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The power of positive training...!

817 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Cliff
I have been working with a trainer on Chisum's reactivity. He's made some progress, though we've still got a long way to go. :p

This last Saturday, I had to work so I was unable to attend the session. I sent Chisum off with my mother (who has been coming with me anyway) and my father.

Now, my dad has always been very "old school" in his training methods. He's not really a dog person - he likes dogs, but his affection can be fleeting. He doesn't really subscribe to the "alpha" school of thought, but has always believed in positive punishment as the best way to teach.

He's also never really warmed up to Chisum on the whole. Chisum is a force of nature - he's young and incredibly headstrong - that coupled with his reactivity doesn't always make him the easiest dog to be around. My dad's favorite nickname for Chisum in the time we've had him has been "Devil Dog". :rolleyes:

I was honestly a little concerned about how he'd fare at the training session with Chisum. Obviously no positive punishment would be allowed, but I figured he'd struggle. I asked my mother when they got home how he had done and she said that he'd done great - and had even had fun! She said he talked to Chisum a bit more than they liked, but that was it.

The best part is, ever since that past Saturday my dad has been incredibly kind and impressed with Chisum. He doesn't yell when he gets mouthy anymore, he just sits very still and then praises when Chisum sits nicely. He calls to him when he enters the room, and he makes constant comments on how bright my little dog is and how he's such a good dog to have.

I am just astounded. I'm sure my dad has a long way to go, too, but this is impressive. :) If only everyone could see the light!
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That's great news!

Force free is definitely the way to go. Unfortunately there are still many people out there who do things badly... I even have an acquaintance whose uncle gets dogs, expecting them to be perfect off the bat, then when they act like a the untrained dog they are instead of getting training, he either dumps them somewhere or shoots them.
That's amazing! It's so great to see the lightbulb come on for people! I'm still working on my mother-in-law who smooshes the dogs down into a sit.
Your dad sounds like how I used to be about 20 years ago.

It is very good to see your dad is open minded and willing to try different approaches.
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