In 1972, Michael Domjam and Nancy Wilson tested an interesting hypothesis: When creating a conditioned association between two events, do the types of events matter? To help illustrate this question more clearly, let’s take an example: You go out for dinner at a new restaurant. You eat a large meal consisting of salmon, and don’t … More Counter Conditioning, Causal Relevance, and the Implications for Humane Dog Training
I wish I could be a reward-only trainer. I don’t enjoy correcting dogs or putting any “pressure” on them. I love dogs. That’s why I chose this career. Unfortunately, because I specialize in helping dog owners to achieve success in real world situations, some amount of pressure/correction/punishment is often necessary. The reality is that even … More Cognitive Dissonance
Sisyphus was the King of Ephyra, and he had a reputation for defying the Gods and being a bit of a trickster. One of his best known exploits came at the end of his life when Hades, the God of the Underworld came to claim him, bringing along a pair of handcuffs. Sisyphus, in all … More Negative Reinforcement and the Curse of Sisyphus
We all know it, that voice in our head that plays on repeat phrases like: “Am I good enough?” “Is this unique enough?” “I don’t deserve this.” “I’m not ready.” Although it is easy feel that you are the only person who struggles with this type of negative thinking, the truth is that everyone around … More How to Defeat Self Doubt
“I know he’s just trying to protect me, but I don’t know why” This is a common sentiment among dog owners bringing their dogs into our training center for help. If you have owned multiple dogs, there’s a decent chance that at least one of them has displayed over-protective behavior. The problem behaviors most often … More He Just Wants To Protect Me…
“Scientific education is based in the main of statistical truths and abstract knowledge and therefore imparts an unrealistic, rational picture of the world, in which the individual, as a nearly marginal phenomenon, plays no role. The individual, however, as an irrational data, is the true and authentic carrier of reality.” – C.G. Jung The modern … More The Problem With Averages
This is a re-post from several years ago: When I was roughly 5 years old my mother asked me if I would like to take karate classes. My answer was flat out “No.” About 6 months later I saw the movie “The Karate Kid,” and suddenly I had a change of heart. I took … More Self Discipline
Dog-man-ship – This is as real as it gets: Taken from my friend the Terrierman, View the original post Hounds & The Huntsman from Michael Slowe on Vimeo.
I recently read a post on a dog trainer group I belong to on Facebook. The post contained a written explanation and a video outlining a ”Protocol” for dealing with dogs with anxiety. The post was quite lengthy, but I will try to summarize it here: Teach the dog the basics of Place command. … More Art & Standards | My Response to an Anxiety Protocol
“…Thorough obedience training does more than assure a dog’s response to his master’s command; capacities for learning and emotional stability could be increased and integrated as permanent qualities of character.” -William Koehler, 1962 For many years, I chose to leave the behavior of sit-stay out of my basic obedience programs, and give preference to teaching … More Functional Obedience and the Development of Character.