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Book Recomendation

Canis erectus

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A couple days ago I finished a book called "Good Dog, Bad Dog" by Mathew Margolis. Training books don't rank on my list of exciting reads but I was at the library and happened to notice and recognize the author's name on the bindings of several books. He was a client at the clinic I worked at in Calif. so I decided to check out one of the books and give it a read.

The book was written many years ago and is subsequently rather old school, but it was rather well written and much different than more modern training books. It provides a nice alternative to clicker or treat based training (neither of which I am fond of), and functions on the ideal that your dog performs on the basis of communication and praise rather than a food bribe.

I enjoyed the book and thought I'd share. If anyone is not having much luck with treat or clicker training, then it might be worth checking this book out.

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Guest Anonymous

[quote name='Canis erectus']
I enjoyed the book and thought I'd share. If anyone is not having much luck with treat or clicker training, then it might be worth checking this book out.[/quote]

Just curious, why you arent a fan of positive reinforcment training ? I think the clicker and the treats have been over played as the end all cure all. However the clicker as a behavior marker works on scientific principles that have truly infinite possibilities. It shouldnt be just about treats or the clicker, but positive reinforcement which can be anything your dog covets - tennis balls, leaping for joy, tug o'war, belly rubs, baby talk, etc. Food is easy in the beginning but I think alot of people miss the introduction of a variable reward schedule and alternate reinforcers. Anyhoo.. my unsolicated .02 :wink: I am always interested to hear other people preferences for one method over another and why.

BTW is that author aka Uncle Matty ?

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The focus of the book was still on positive reinforcement, but with the reward being your praise rather than a toy or food. Like I said, the methods were old school but I would suspect that the author (who is also Uncle Matty) was among the first wave of trainers to cast off the dominance based training of the Dark Ages. Another thing I liked was that the book helps the reader to figure out their dog's personality type and help provide a more customized training guidline. Of course, I've not read dozens and dozens of training guides so maybe I'm just easily impressed by the first one I've actually liked.

I don't find anything wrong with clicker and treat based training, but it just doesn't work for every dog. Food has never been a motivating factor for either of my two girls, it'll work for a few commands and then they lose interest. Aside from that I refuse to be a slave to carrying food around in my pocket for any length of time- sorry just not for me. I tried giving clicker training a shot on a friend's recommendation once, but I'm never prepared. I'd often misplace the clicker, or I'd never be able to get the d@mn thing in my hands in time to mark a behavior. The day that I found the clicker chewed up into little blue plastic and metal bits on the floor, I decided to take that as an omen and abandon that avenue of training.

The thing that's worked best for me (and mind you, I'm no kind of dog training savant)? Patience and persistance, the ol' tried and true idea that eventually they'll just get it through enough repitition.

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