The following is a quote from a recent thread about dog training. "The key to this issue was just not giving him the option of disobeying." What does that mean?

To begin with it might be useful to define disobedience as it relates to a young pup.  Keep in mind the definition as it relates to a child act of failing or refusing to behave as taught. Which means - the "act" of disobedience cannot exist unless the expected response has been taught, understood and consistently "expressed" the "young retriever".  

Teaching requires promoting an understanding of the correct action and eventually having the "student" able to demonstrate the proper behavior as a conditioned response.  A reliable, conditioned response is the result of precise, consistent practice at doing the right thing for quite some time. Practice is not a two/three day or even a week (or two) process. After establishing a set of condition responses, a steady diet of maintenance is required. The most neglected areas of strengthening skills are maintenance (practice) and distraction proofing. Distractions tend to have a negative impact on memory.

The real question is....”Where does the use of corrections fit into the process?" If one were to surmise that a correction is simply saying "No….not that!", then a pup would most certainly require a very good understanding of the alternative(s)......the right behavior and action. 

From the pup's perspective, "In an exciting, rewarding approach teach (show me), be fair, practice often and help me learn to deal with distractions.” Ideally, a trainer must strive to
"do what the dog needs" without driving the process with corrections and/or pressure.         

To repeat, a training approach was "Not giving him the option of disobeying." The question remains, "How would a trainer go about actually giving a dog the option to disobey?"  It is rather obvious this would be accomplished by NOT teaching/practicing the desired behavior and then assuming the pup will perform a skill "out of the blue" because of a correction. 

If training sessions focused on being fair, consistent and rewarding via exciting teaching "options", there would be fewer (if any) corrections because an "educated" retriever would
Know and Do what is expected.
There are other aspects to this analysis. For example, what are the "differences" between  direct vs indirect pressure AND correction vs punishment? I have not been conflicted with
the interpretations in Hillmann's program.            
                 "I'm beginning to learn that 95% OB is not enough.........and 85% is much
                       worse.........but 75% is pretty good."          KwickLabs  Sept., 2006

                           A well trained retriever is a work of art. You are the sculptor.

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