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Thread: Helps Sid's Business - Small favour to ask?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balinkay View Post
    I'm game. Didn't get a pm last time.
    Apologies Balinkay, I never seem to be able to access the "sent" inbox and I probably did 2 or 3 at a time, thought I'd sent you one, then didn't want to repeat the process as then I'd feel like a harassy spammy type.

    Link you now!
    Your hobbies are rollerblading and you're also a bit of a rat-hound? Steel Wool
    Sid knows he's crazy and he likes it. Balinkay

  2. #32
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    Cheers mate - done now. Impressive how positive your reviews are! Love your emblem and name too.
    Etiamsi omnes, ego non

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balinkay View Post
    Cheers mate - done now. Impressive how positive your reviews are! Love your emblem and name too.
    Thank you! Some of my clients rock and without wishing to blow-my-own-trumpet, the love for the work makes me good at the work and I think that comes across well.

    The emblem's a cracker - I brain-stormed a few ideas and my friend who's into graphic design took my concept and made it a million times better than I could ever have hoped.

    Day at a time.
    Your hobbies are rollerblading and you're also a bit of a rat-hound? Steel Wool
    Sid knows he's crazy and he likes it. Balinkay

  4. #34
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    Aye!

    Out of curiosity, how are guide dogs trained and could you get into that business? Bound to be good money and for a good cause too.
    Etiamsi omnes, ego non

  5. #35
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    Mar 2003
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    Send pm Sid and I'll do it

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balinkay View Post
    Out of curiosity, how are guide dogs trained and could you get into that business? Bound to be good money and for a good cause too.
    That will depend from trainer to trainer - often some use of punitive methods will be involved, which I don't agree with, as science has shown the negative psychological and behavioural effects it can have on a dog, but Labradors are so mentally robust people think it's "worth it" so to speak.

    My methods revolve around "reward the good, ignore the bad where possible".

    Let's take a dog that jumps up - at class to sweeten newcomers (especially puppy owners) I'll approach a dog that is on a lead (and thus slightly restricted) and I'll act all silly - the dog will generally want to jump up because I'm exciting/fun and the moment it does so, I turn away and stop talking. I repeat this process (this happens within 30 seconds or so) 3 or 4 times and usually by attempt number 5 the dog has sussed "jumping up makes this guy go away when I want attention, I'll try something else" so they'll usually stand there wagging their tail or they'll "offer a behaviour" which is usually a sit, a down or a paw - I don't overly care what it is - I want to reward an absence of jumping - so if the jumping is absent (let's say the dog sits down) I reward with a tidbit and a lot of praise, or perhaps a toy depending on the dog (Terriers like to shake and kill, Labradors are infatuated with food - and so on).

    About 1 in 20 dogs that are trained to become Guide Dogs "make it" because you're reliant on a trainer having impeccable timing, repressing some behaviours using punishment (which I don't agree with morally or scientifically) and good genetics. It holds little desire for me. I'm much more focused on improving the lives of dogs with behavioural problems and educating owners with techniques for slow, controlled rehabilitation and a happy dog, meaning less dogs ending up in shelters, than I am in repressing a dog's desire to live life to the full.

    On punitive methodology, I'll give an extreme (and slightly silly) example using a human baby. Baby is crying - it needs breast-fed or burped or cuddled. We humans tend to approach things from a viewpoint of "I want the crying to stop". Putting a chloroform rag over the baby's face will certainly do that and it "works" but did we satisfy the needs of the baby and/or do it good in the long-term? Not really - but people see the quick result and are impressed, thus they go with that.

    I'll give a basic doggy example - there's "my" way (the way most trainers/behaviourists are headed, especially the younger crowd who aren't set in their ways) versus the punitive way, which you might have seen with someone like Cesar Millan.

    A dog that pulls on the lead. The modern way is to talk to the dog, be engaging and to occasionally deposit a tid-bit for X amount of steps walked when the dog is in-and-around the area we call "heel" - we are incentivising good behaviour and making the dog happy and, key-point, trusting of us which builds a good relationship and reduces the chances of behavioural issues later on. Should the dog pull out in front, I'll stand rock-steady, pretending I'm a pillar - the lack of forward progress for the dog is very boring and they want to move forward for more exercise/smells, so they'll eventually look around and get lured back into position, or choose to do so themselves, which I'll reward.

    Cesar's way is "you're the alpha wolf of the pack" (even though stray dogs don't form packs and haven't been Wolves for over 19,000 years...) and if the dog walks past your knee it's "trying to be the leader" so you kick it in the ribs so it knows "who the boss is". Now, hand-on-heart, I must say this - this method often does get quick results. But the consequence is an unhappier dog, a dog that is less trustful and this can lead to aggressive responses down the line.

    A lot of punitive trainers will shout at a dog/close its' mouth when it growls. Growling to me is great - it's the step before an air-snap, which is the step before a bite. If a dog growls at me in a sticky situation (I've worked with what some trainers call "red" dogs before) I know that the dog is best not f*cked with in this situation, so I back away slowly and figure out how to make the situation more pleasant for the dog (dogs that are worried about hands may bite when you put a collar on, but this habit can be broken over weeks with some de-sensitisation to hands using positive reinforcement) with the intent of returning to it ASAP. A lot of old-fashioned trainers will tell a dog off for growling, or "correct" them (an upward yank with a choke chain on a sensitive part of the throat) so the dog makes the connection that growling = pain. What this now means is that if a dog is afraid in the future (let's say a dog has an issue with men in hats, which is a common one) it may not growl at all and when the distance threshold is crossed by the guy who thinks "the dog isn't growling, it must be friendly" the dog "skips" the growl and perhaps even the air-snap as it feels very uncomfortable, leading to a serious bite, which means the dog might be subject to being euthanised - and it was all incredibly avoidable if old-fashioned trainers had a smaller ego and would keep up-to-date with science.

    To compare to football - there's a trainer in my area who gets a lot more business than me because he's "been doing it for 35 years" which sounds impressive on paper to Joe Bloggs. However, we as football fans know that Roy Hodgson managing for 45 years doesn't make him a great manager, just a manager who has been around a long time. I'd like to hope that most sound-of-mind folk would rather have a Klopp than a Hodgson - I'm not saying I'm "the Jurgen Klopp of dog-training" or anything for the record - but I am saying I'm up-to-date and am capable of keeping my ego in check and if new science points to a better way I try to keep pace accordingly, rather than remaining set in my ways.

    Sorry if that got a little soap-boxy, I just like to explain things a lot and I'm passionate about it.

    Peace and love.
    Your hobbies are rollerblading and you're also a bit of a rat-hound? Steel Wool
    Sid knows he's crazy and he likes it. Balinkay

  7. #37
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    Cheers mate - was really interesting.

    Couldn't help but laugh at:

    let's say a dog has an issue with men in hats, which is a common one
    Etiamsi omnes, ego non

  8. #38
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    Drop me a pm Sid I'll be glad to help. My dad was a professional dog trainer and owned the dog club on the estate I grew up on x
    ........and then one day you find, ten years have got behind you no-one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Insidious View Post
    Sorry if that got a little soap-boxy, I just like to explain things a lot and I'm passionate about it.
    I enjoyed it.

    PM me if you like.

  10. #40
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    All done Sid. Extra good luck getting your business up and running x
    ........and then one day you find, ten years have got behind you no-one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

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