Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Branching out

I'm definitely going to expand my horizons in obedience training this year. I haven't participated in formal obedience training for 20 years and so much has changed. Crystal on The Reactive Champion has great discussions on Ian Dunbar's seminar and her references to shaping in obedience training got me interested in trying new training methods. I entered both Cheddar and Benny in shaping classes taught by Diane Craig at Arrowhead Dog Training Academy. After 1 session, I can see where Benny the Brittany "gets" it alot easier than Cheddar the Anatolian. Anatolians are SO independent. For thousands of years, they used their own judgement in protecting livestock with minimal instruction from the shepherds. WAIT! As soon as I typed that, I realized that shaping is perfect for Cheddar as she is used to figuring things out on her own and shaping allows her to do that! Oh cool. I would say that the light went on quicker for Benny though. Wondering what people think about this.....People often assume that the more compliant, easier to train dogs are more intelligent. Does ease of training and compliance equal intelligence? Also, I'm working on incorporating training into daily life and not just one or two ten minute sessions separate from everything else. All for now...Anne