Category Archives: Rants

Confessions of a Cross-Over Trainer – Part Two

Continuing on with Part Two… (click here to read Part One)

What we saw in the following two years was a severe escalation of Odin’s behaviour.  We returned to R.H. for further instruction during that time and also kept in email contact.  R.H. was less than enthusiastic about us persisting in contacting him. He eventually told us that his insurance didn’t cover aggressive dogs and that we should buy William Koehler’s “The Koehler Method of Dog Training” and to follow it step-by-step, and to buy Cesar Milan’s DVD on aggressive dogs. In case you don’t know who Koehler is, he was a trainer in the middle part of last century advocating ‘training methods’ such as holding a dog’s head underwater, taping a dogs mouth shut, throwing a heavy length of chain to hit the dog, hanging a dog from a choke chain until it stops struggling, and hitting a dog across the face with a wooden stick. Continue reading Confessions of a Cross-Over Trainer – Part Two

Confessions of a Cross-Over Trainer – Part One

The term “cross-over trainer” commonly refers to a trainer who decides to train using primarily positive reinforcement with a dash of negative punishment but who previously trained primarily with negative reinforcement/positive punishment (for definitions, do a search for “quadrants of operant conditioning”).  Of course, the world is not black and white and certainly defining training methods is no exception. There are all sorts of people falling anywhere across this spectrum. So, in this, I also include “balanced” training, which could be anything from a clicker in one hand and a shock remote in the other, to a cheap tidbit for a sit and a haphazard jerk on the leash for anything the owner deems inappropriate.  I think this can apply to not only professional trainers, but the average dog owner as well.   Correction-based training is very accessible to the general public, what with TV personalities and the like, so many of us subscribe to some version of corrective training when we first dip our toes into training our dogs. It may seem very sensible to say “good job!” as well as “that sucked!” to our canine students, but the end-results are not always what you may expect.

But I digress.

Continue reading Confessions of a Cross-Over Trainer – Part One