Thursday, December 11, 2008

Some Thoughts on Training Dogs

It's a rainy nasty week here so i'm cleaning. Cleaning at home and cleaning at work. Today it's going through tons of old emails. I found this one very good and thought i'd share.

Here are some words from Thomas Capstick, written near the beginning of the last century and based on the ways of 'that little Scotch boy, Alex Millar' :

"Probably between four and eight months old, they will begin to round up poultry, sheep or cattle without instruction or encouragement. The instinct is there naturally, it cannot be helped, and without this true born quality we can never make them into good Sheep Dogs. Training is necessary to enable him to take them where we want them."

"You have to ensure first of all that there is a perfect understanding between the dog and yourself, and that means that you have to gain his affection and friendship. He must learn to trust you so that in all his relations with you there is perfect understanding."

"It would never do, for instance, to praise the dog for doing something one day, and to scold him for the same thing the next. There must be an undeviating standard of right and wrong. Each trainer has his own code of signals, by whistle, the shouted word, and also the gesture made by arm and stick. The dog has to be perfectly familiar with these and learn to act on them immediately."

"A dog can never be an absolute first-rater if it isn't genuinely attached to its master, and thus, eager to do the best in its power to please him, and similarly a sheep dog man will not get the best out of either the dog or himself if he is not very fond of his dog"

"Some people are always ready to blame the youngster; it never occurs to them the fault lies on their doorstep. Remember sympathy plays a great part; all dogs have different temperaments; all masters are not blameless. If we would only study things from a dog's point of view we should certainly make more headway."

"Experience is ever a wise teacher, and when you have a new dog try you understand his temperament, read his expressions, try to fathom which is the best system to adopt to give the best results, and when you feel satisfied that you understand him, apply the methods that you consider best in this particular case. If you have to chastise a dog do it at the right moment, be perfectly fair; this is the only way he can be taught the difference between right and wrong, but the punishment must be given at the right time or he will be bewildered."

"Endless patience is necessary. You cannot force matters, and you must never lose your temper. Sooner or later you will be rewarded for all the time spent, but if you are too hasty at the beginning, and do not show the right temperament yourself, you will never make a successful trainer."

Starting the pup on sheep: Basic obedience done first. Then, "I never like to see sheep unduly chased by a dog; this is unnecessary and can easily be avoided. It is so much better for them when you can make the dog walk steadily, and, what is more important, it shows a better class of training without frightening the sheep."


BCxFour said...

This is so true:

"Some people are always ready to blame the youngster; it never occurs to them the fault lies on their doorstep."

Bravo, Bravo, Bravo! Thank you for posting this. It is a keeper.


Robin French said...

I really liked the whole passage. I try really hard to see things with the dog's eyes when i train, to understand what the dog is feeling.

Darci said...

Great post! I really liked it and "all" its messages.Very useful. Now I just have to find some place to firmly affix it so that it is always readily avalible to read and remind. Like maybe my forehead!

Anonymous said...

It's Bubba!