Training the Companion Dog
I'm hoping to get some money as a gift this Christmas to purchase Ian Dunbar's video series "Training the Companion Dog."
I have not seen his videos yet or read his book(s), though I'm aware that he's the expert guru that much of the dog world offers up as the positive trainer to contrast Cesar Millan.
I've watched the first season dvds of The Dog Whisperer (so I could see what all the controversy is about), so now I'd like the comparison with Ian Dunbar's videos.
It is important, in my opinion, to be aware of all sorts of different training philosophies, especially as I gear up and plan for leading my first obedience class. Cesar's way is the way that I was originally taught dog training (remember, I grew up in the sticks which is notoriously a generation behind in technology and all things others consider contemporary/modern). I've used mostly a positive method with my girls, though I've never formally studied Dunbar's techniques.
Having used both strategies, I definitely see the benefits of the positive method. For example, the first dog I trained was a lab/shepherd cross. She's a wonderful dog, but she does not respond to commands positively. In fact, I can remember once when I was young that poor Faith actually lost control of her bladder indoors as she was obeying a come command to have a bath. Obviously, she was obeying the command, but it caused such mental anxiety for her she peed! This was over ten years ago, of course, but that experience has stayed with me. I know that such training would have destroyed my sensitive cavvies, not just made them afraid of me. (FYI: I no longer use "come" when I am planning an activity I know my girls arent particularly fond of!)
Not to be completely one-sided, I do think that Cesar's way has some positive elements. I think he is right that a great number of people forget that dogs have dog-needs and that they arent simply a personal accessory. People often DO need to walk their dogs more, and they need to know that setting boundaries for behavior is important for their dogs. So I dont mean to bash Cesar completely, but to rather select ideas and concepts that I feel are the most useful.
ACK--I've gotten off topic. Refocusing: Anyone seen the Dunbar videos?