(Ideologies from Pat Taylor)
*Listen to the dog. They are communicating but are you listening?
*Remember, the potential of the dog is ALWAYS limited by the ability of the handler.
*It's never the dog’s problem. It's the handler.
*It’s always the handler’s fault, never the dogs.
*There is no such thing as a stupid or stubborn dog; only the handler that does the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
*Modification of technique per the need of the dog is the key to success.
*Train the dog to believe it has no other option other than the option that is given. “Mindset”
*All training is pressure/release training whether you think it is or not.
*It’s not the pressure, but the release of pressure, that trains the dog.
*Make what you want easy and what you don’t want hard.
*If a dog does “this” and “that” happens, “that” being something unwanted and uncomfortable to the dog, then the dog learns quickly to stop doing “this” so “that” won’t happen.
*Training is NOT a matter of training an exercise; it’s a matter of training a mindset. If a dog has the “mindset” that it does NOT have the option to refuse or NOT obey a command; the dog will always “try” to do what you have commanded.
*It doesn’t matter whether a dog is wrong or right in its response to a command as long as it is trying to obey that command. What matters is whether or not YOU can communicate to the dog what the appropriate response is to any command so the dog knows when it is right.
*A recall is not trained by training the dog to come. It is trained by the dog KNOWING it has NO other option but to come. “Mindset”.
*Marking behavior allows the trainer to let the dog think on its own and figure out the problem; then solve the problem without micromanagement from the handler of the dog’s every move.
*Sometimes a person is not ready to understand the answer given. When the time is right then the answer given will not just be heard but understood.
*Time spent training is not the answer to a well-trained dog; it’s the quality of understanding in the time spent.
*Intensity in the handler during training builds intensity in the dog while working.
*Intensity in the handler equates to intensity in the dog.
*Intensity does NOT translate into cheerleading a dog to keep them working.
*Cheerleading equals disruption of concentration and focus in the dog, thus, degrading quality of understanding in the dog.
*Volume of voice and speed of actions does not equal intensity.
*Intensity in the handler is “felt” by the dog thus builds intensity in the dog.
*Intensity in training, when done correctly, will result quickly in mental exhaustion in both dog and handler. Thus, all training exercises should be short in duration so as to garner the best results and understanding in the dog.
*Intensity in work is built over an extended period of time with physical and mental conditioning of the dog allowing it to handle the extended period of intensity without falling into pressure.
*Focus on each step (literally) the dog is taking as though YOU are the dog. If you want the dog to push on the flank of ONE sheep then focus all your attention on the flank of that sheep. The sheep’s REACTION to pressure will determine whether or not the dog is correct; not your perception of where you think the dog should be physically positioned to achieve the job at hand.
*“See” where the pressure needs to be applied to achieve any given task. Then apply pressure on that exact spot YOURSELF (focus on that point, which will achieve your desired result) then ask the dog to do likewise.
*ALL training is a matter of MAKING or LETTING the dog work. If you MAKE a dog work then you will always have to make it for life. If you LET a dog work then you will never have to make it.
*A dog’s drive to please is not necessarily a good thing. A dog’s need to please is strictly a survival mechanism. If your training causes the dog to react with survival instinct then the ability to change behavior to accommodate learning is compromised.
*Engaging survival instinct in the dog results in the dog running through a myriad of behaviors the dog thinks will please you in an attempt to gain release of pressure. It results in the inability of the dog to methodically think through a specific command and come to the correct response/behavior the FIRST time. In essence, it results in a panicked behavior from the dog.
*Do not confuse drive to please with prey drive or play drive or a willingness to learn.
*For every correction there is praise! Every correction MUST have a reinforcement of praise for the immediate reaction by the dog so the dog does not take the correct personally. In is inconsequential if the immediate reaction by the dog is positive or negative to your goal in training. The reason for this is that it makes the correction impersonal and the dog does not take in personally and become cowed.
*The owner making the correction personal, brings on a personal response from the dog to any given correction. (Personal can be defined as an emotional response by either party.)
*Marking behavior is not a motivational tool. It’s a communication tool.
*The art of Training is actually the art of Communicating. Treat it as such. Be a better communicator to become a better trainer.
*Don’t fight gravity. Take the behavior the dog is giving and modify it to what you want.
*The talent in the training lies not in the telling but in the listening.
*To err, is human, to forgive, canine. (From Vortex by Cherry Adair, Author)