I noticed many wonderful things being said here about The Dog Whisperer. I think this is wonderful, the kind of training that Mr Millan does has been around for years. But this is the first time that the media is giving this kind of very special dog training the attention that it needs. In fact Mr. Millan was even on the hit show South Park! He fixed up Cartman!!!! Can you believe that.
I wanted to point out something very special about Mr. Millan, he is a trainer that does not bribe dogs with food treats. This alone makes him diffrent from most of the dog trainers who say they are "dog whisperers". When you refuse to use food or other gimimmcs to control your dog, then you suddenly find yourself having to really communicate and speak the canine lingo.
This is a hot topic in the world of dog trainers because most trainers use food to lure dogs. However, as the years roll by, hundreds of dog owners all around the world are starting to notice the real problems that have resulted from raising a generation of dogs with bribes of food. The simple truth is that there are training methods out there that are easy to use... and they really WORK!
I work with a rare group of trainers that work to help people develop NO FOOD - NO FORCE dog training methods that help people understand the magic that can be found in even the most problimatic dogs. We point out the problems with food lure training and help people move towards a more natural and understanding way to really TALK with their dogs & puppies.
I would encourage all dog owners to search the web for trainers that do not use food or force, this is not easy, in fact, it is darn hard - but they are out there. When you find one you may suddenly start to see dogs in a whole new way. Your views will change as will your dogs outlooks.
Dogs are our friends. They are family. And when you bribe an friend to establish bonds... you leave yourself open to a host of little problems that can become big.
I hope this letter helps some of you find a great teacher for your dog.
Thank you for reading....
Puppywishes Because A Puppies Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste
I used food to train my girl, but she is food driven, and it is only stupid pet tricks. But for the Canadian Kennel Club obidiance/agility you can't bring food into the ring, so not useing food isn't all than new of an idea really. dogs learn pretty quick that he ring means no food, so they just don't work that hard. Any police training I have ever seen has never used food either they use other forms of reward, usually praise and a favorite toy, making searching and seeking a great game for the dogs and not work.
But I doubt that this training would work with every dog, and think you have to train your dog the way that works best for you and your dog, humainly of course. If that means you take treats with you then every where then you do that, some animals respond well to clickers others don't. I really don't think it is gimmicks as you say, every dog is different, and I can say with all certenty that he could not get either of mine do anything the way he trains. Just for the record my male is not food driven, he willwork for praise only, so that is what I do with him, he also refuses to do stupid pet tricks.
***Edited By: ruffian on 5/5/2006 7:57:52 AM*** Reason: added
I think your dog is super cool for "NOT" doing any stupid pet tricks. And I think you are cool for not making him do them.
You are right, food treats are not allowed in the obedience ring and there is a good history behind this rule. Obedience rings are there to show how great dogs can be with humans. They key here is "great with humans" and not "great with food treats". When you train a dog with food, over time, the dog starts to work for the reward and not the owner.
This is how we think of things. Your dog is not an employee that you should pay. You are not the boss, so to speak, you are a member of the family (or pack). As such, your dog should not work FOR you, rather, it should work with you. I feel, and the group of trainers that I work with also feel, that when food is used as a lure, (or bribe, or payment) some dogs do not develop beyond the stage where they must be paid for their loyalty.
In my life I have great friends, and when they ask me to do things for them I do so out of the kindness of my heart. Not my need to be rewarded. The simple truth is that their are trainers who can tap into "the kindness of a dogs heart."
I do not know if I agree with the "whatever works" way of thinking. Imagine if that same way of thinking was used to help educate our children. Whatever works? All of a sudden those two words cause red flags to pop up.
All in all, many dogs have been trained with treats. This much is true. But there is a deeper way to tap into your dogs heart and soul. And I would love for more people to discover that.
Thanks for your input. It was most kind and respectful.
Puppywishes Because A Puppy's Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste
I am very sorry but you can not train all dogs the same, what works for some does not work for others. Ruffian happens to like food, that is about all she likes though. She is a Shiba and they are a very independant breed, you are lucky to get them to do anything at all really. Your way of training will probably work for any velcro dog or push button breed, the types of dog that live only for you. But Shibas and most northern spitz breeds do not have this attitude, which is why you dont see alot of them in the obidiance and agility ring. It is not because they can't for the most part they just won't. Tonkas father had his CD title, one of the few in canada awarded to a Shiba, and his breeder is a well accomplished trainer haveing trained many of her own dogs and others for the ring. She bred shelties and had titles on almost all of them, she titled he collie, a dalmaiton and an irish setter. But in 18 years of breeding shibas had only one compeate and finish his CD. Some dogs just don't do obediance well.
I have never said that there is anything wrong with your training method, I don't think it is right to say that people who use treats to train are bribing their dog or useing other "gimmicks". Because the bottom line is this he most important training is the come command that can save your dogs life and if that means you use a treat to get your dog to learn it then do it. No your dog should not get a treat everytime it comes it has to come for praise as well, that is why anyone that trains with treats also uses big praise so the dog doesn't get put off if he doesn't get a treat.
I can tell you that we have used our "no food" method of training with almost every breed of dog known by the A.K.C. and we have been training for over 20 years. I can tell you that our system of training works best with strong minded dogs who need clear leadership.
Also, the simple fact that some trainers do not use food bribes does not mean that their methods are limited. There are hundreds of wonderful training styles that do not use food or force. So, I am not saying that people should use only one style. Rather, I am saying that people do not need to bribe their dogs to have FUN!
I agree that each dog is different in ways of training. Just like children (I have 3 of them), they learn differently and each one of them at a different pace as well. Some learn better with hands-on and others by praise. The same goes for dogs/puppies and their training. My IG's always wanted to please and would do "stupid pet traicks" for praise. My lab mix did best with treats. I have also research the Shiba Inu for quite some time, although I don't own one, they are more independent and require a different method of training (IMO). By the way, Ruffian could you post a pic of your Shiba? I love them, they are one of the most beautiful breeds out there.
I had a Shiba live with me for about two years. It was a rescue dog. Adorable little thing, it looked like a fox. I did not find it hard to train at all. I also have a client who has three of them and we don't have problems. However, I do own an Afghan Hound, and have worked with some Saluki, and they can be hard.
Also, I do not think my school is better than any other school, not at all. But we do feel that treat training can lead to a number of problems. We use a great many training methods for a wide range of dogs. But we have rules. We do not shock, hit or yank at dogs. Just the same, we do not lure, bribe, or reward dogs with food. As the result we move towards methods that cause the owner to really understand their dogs - because when you don't have treats or a correction collar to help you, you are left with no other choice then to really communicate with your pooch.
This is NOT to say we are better, I never said that, rather, we have a special way to deal with dogs that the public is fast growing to love.
Puppywishes - I will try your advice when looking for a training class. I will be taking my little one to classes soon and she in quite small so the treats upset her tummy. Does this method include puppy classes or is this for trainers that are hired to train dogs in a specific area?
Let me be clear as I do not want you going in the wrong direction. You do not want to avoid a trainer simply because they use treats. There are good trainers around who use food rewards. However, you should ask the trainer if they are aware of the problems that can develop as the result of "food lure training". If they say that there are NO negative results. Keep looking for a trainer.
All training methods will lead to good and bad outcomes. If you train with a shock-collar, for example, you may teach your dog to come when called but you will also change other aspects of your dog as well. In other words, when you teach one thing, you change a great deal about your dog.
When you train your dog with treats, for example, you make it very easy for anyone to simply "lure' your dog out of the yard and follow food. Treat training can also lead to a dog that will not drop food when you ask. If you reward the dog for eating one moment, you may not be able to correct it for eating (ie, stealing food) in other areas of life. These are just some of the draw backs that food training can lead do.
A good dog trainer should know how to train a dog with or without food. This way they will know the diffrent end results. And trust me when I say, a treats trained dog does not act like a dog trained with love and love alone.
In the end, a treat trained dog may not be a problem for you. You may enjoy the company of a treat trained dog. If you read some of the other letters here you will see that some people have no problem with their treat trained dogs. However, as a smart dog owner you should know that you have a choice. Not all trainers will have you bribe your dog with treats. Nor will they have you hurt your puppy with force.
You and your puppy are developing a relashionship. Take the word "relashionship" to heart. Because the way that you establish any real relashionship cannot be based on food bribes and force.
Best of luck as you search.
There is a great training book called The Puppy Prophecy avalable to be downloaded. If you Google or Yahoo the title you should be able to find a copy on-line. It is a great book that will help you understand how to train your puppy without food or force.
A lot of people have problems finding enough schools in one area to pick from at the best of times eh? And when you rule out the ones that use negative punishment, it doesn't always leave you with much.
I'm all for using toys, if your dog is toy driven.. We;d be flunking agility class if I just never used treats though.. and in day to day life I ask for things with nothing but praise as a reward. I don't know anyone who trains their dog regularily, and doesn't have a monster that doesn't listen who's has a problem with using treats. I don't usually lure with them though, as someone said up above, it's a reward for doing it right.
Excuse me if I am out of line, but you come off to me in quite the wrong tone.
like my "treat trained" dog is lesser than any others out there..
When you train your dog with treats, for example, you make it very easy for anyone to simply "lure' your dog out of the yard and follow food. Treat training can also lead to a dog that will not drop food when you ask. If you reward the dog for eating one moment, you may not be able to correct it for eating (ie, stealing food) in other areas of life. These are just some of the draw backs that food training can lead do
I dont think there is a dog out there who wouldnt accept a treat from someone who was trying to lure them out of the yard.....Mine would.
Furthermore, my dogs learned the command "leave it" and wont TOUCH a piece of food on the floor or a treat I have in my hand UNTIL I give them the command to take it.....They dont *steal* food.
And what is the whole force thing you keep speaking of!??!?!
Having had afghans and pyrs, my dogs have always had zero food motivation. Right now I can hit them in the head with treats and tehy could care less (unless its unguarded on my plate)
Treat training is not wrong, its just a tool. Like any tool it can easily become a crutch and many people use it as a crutch. However, there is no problem with it being used initially, espically with novice dog people who don't know how to communicate with their dogs and don't have many options on how to acheive communication.
Its not that big of a deal really. I'd prefer to see pet owners use food bribes and take some type of control of their dogs then attempt to train them unsucessfully because they lack the help needed.
If we are going to balance evils, I'm cool with the one that helps someone get some type of communication going. They can grow from there.
I hate to be bold, but I will be. If you have trained your dog with food, the NO, your dog is not as great as it could be.
Imagine a world where most men used drugs to get get their wifes. Not good. Or how about a world where most fathers used money to keep their kids close? Again, not good.
The fact of the matter is that the use of bribes in a training program can lead to a whole world of trouble because food trained dogs never really learn to move past their basic greed.
Is is a terrible shame that modern dog owners have taken the easy road. And not the real road. More dogs are put to death today as the result of behaviour problems then ever before. The rise in food treat training methods has not enhanced dogs at all. Rather, it has simply made it more easy for ANYONE to control a dog.
The great truth is that there is something better than control. There is understanding, real comminication and love.
LETS NOT FORGET.
The Queen of treat training is a woman who thinks DOGS DO NOT CARE ABOUT PEOPLE. She writes in her book, "I am still waiting to meet a dog that wants to please."
This is a great shame.
Drop the treats and move towards other methods that will really keep your dog in your life.
Or... perhaps it is OK to establish love and respect with a food bribe.
In the end, I am thrilled that my dogs walk with me because they know me, and not just because they want a treat.
There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with using food to train a dog. I've done it for years, and have always had good results.
And food is NOT bribery. It is a form of reinforcement. I've said it before on this forum, and will say it again. Bribery involves persuading a PERSON who has some sort of legal authority or who is otherwise in a position of power to do something illegal in exchange for monetary or other (e.g., political) gain.
Giving a dog food in exchange for a desired behavior is not bribery. It is more like giving it a paycheck (unless, I suppose, you were training the dog to do something illegal - but then again, the dog is not a person and could never be charged with the crime of bribery). The difference is that for people, the reinforcer is money, and for the dog, the reinforcer is food.
Humans are reinforced all of the time. I know I wouldn't consider my employer to be bribing me by paying me. Would you? If you do, what would your employer think of this? I know that if I was the employer, I would be offended.
It is the same thing in training the dog to do what you want. You "pay" it for the appropriate behavior. Instead of dollars, the currency is food.
And it works..........
And as far as dogs being "motivated" by food. Of course they are. It is a biological need, not something caused by food training. In fact, the only reason humans are motivated by money is because it gives them access to food, water, clean air, good relationships, etc. It is a secondary drive.
And, the best way to train a biological organism (we all are), is to tap into its biology. Food is an effective reinforcer because the animal craves it. You may as well make the food contingent on a particular behavior in the process. It is simple, easy, effective, and if you use a few operant conditioning strategies, very persistent.
To conclude, I don't care if you don't want to use a method other than food to train a dog. But do not call it bribery. It is not bribery. If you think it is, well, you are mistaken.
***Edited By: k9trainer on 5/29/2006 10:25:26 PM*** Reason: add
I guess I've always taken the position that you use the treats as a reinforcement WHILE training the dog. Then you start alternating whether you treat or just praise the dog. Eventually, they should respond to commands just for praise.
I always start training with treats. By 6-9 months I expect my dogs to respond to commands with no treat - just praise and petting. Most of my dogs are not toy driven enough to think that would be much of a reward. They would rather have their ears scratched.
But my dogs are food driven enough that they think pieces of their dog food makes for great treats... I have one that will do ANYTHING for a treat but ignores toys (to pass his Puppy Kindergarten class he had to "Give" a toy back to the trainer - unfortunately he doesn't even pick toys up so we used a piece of hot dog that he gave back...).
And I think different things work for different people and different breeds. I believe that an older dog should know to respond when no reward is offered - but with younger dogs bribery is always a plus.
That's like saying kids will clean their room if they don't have an allowance to lord over them... :)
Anyone who understands the point of useing Lures, knows that its not about Bribery. Its about marking behaviors that you want, to instill habits.. Some dogs are food motivated, some are touch sensitive, toy sensitive and some thrive on the human voice, this is how we choose the reward method for each dog. Even we go to work to get paid or patted on the back, or would you work for free?m There has to be some pay off. Mr Milan is a trainer that uses force, he is basically into breaking the dog, this is considered old school. There are much better ways nowadays to train a dog. And they are based on the dogs natural learning abilities. I agree with some of his views on owner/dog relationships/interaction, but not his methods. His methods are not behaviorally based at all.
***Edited By: sue on 5/29/2006 11:55:51 PM*** Reason: ;'IL;/
lets get scienitific. Sciense has shown us that animals without verbal language use three basic learning techniques. operant and classical conditioning and mimicing. dogs use operant and classical conditioning almost exclusivley. they do mimic but this seems to take a long time for them to catch on. and as alway there exceptions to the rule. Operant conditioning is a stimulus that creates an emotional reaction. much like when you see a puppy. you cannot help but feel warmth you almost do not have a choice. Operant conditioning is a certain action or behavior recieves a consequence or reward. another contradiction to your training is dogs are amorale meaning they really do not know bad from good. right from wrong. They do not understand bribery. my dogs understand here is an example: http://eportal.guhsd.net/dct990/Videos/Ex 5 20 06.wmv
copy the whole link and paste it!
the dogs name is EX that is me with the sleeve on. Ex is being taught to look at his handler. when ex finally looks long enough he gets his toy (the sleeve). if you continue to watch the next bite you notice Ex still does not get it. but finally in the third bite it is clear to him what he must do to recieve his reward. food is no different. it's not a bribe. it's a paycheck. and afterwhile Ex will not get paid for looking only 10 seconds he will promote to 30. after awhile Ex will not get paid for looking everytime. but every third time. then eventually he will just do it all the time. That is not bribery that is fair. i ask, you do, you recieve. now there are problems with dangling the treat in the dogs face...still not bribery the dog has been conditioned to think if i can not see it. i am not going to get it. they think were asking them to work for free. back to classical conditioning. that dog Ex has been trained those collars he is wearning mean he is going to play. just like a dog who knows his leash means there going for a walk. they cna't help but get excited. using food and calling it a bribe is quote of many "green" trainers. I said that my self when i was just a baby trainer. I also thought techniques like Ceasars were the bomb. But I have found that my dogs are much more animated. more happy to be with me and more willing to work sans the force. There are trainers like Dr. Patricia McConnell who has PHD in animal behavior and learning (Ceasar has absolutley Zero CreditialS) she has been doing the dame thing for over 20 years (rehabing dogs) using a more desenstization approach. She is more recongized by her collegues than Ceasar is. And defintly is accomplishing the samething without force. Just to be blunt... I think your full of it...In Fact I know you are. I have been there done that. See you in belgium for the worlds!!!
***Edited By: gunny on 5/30/2006 12:38:13 AM*** Reason: d