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I figured I'd get the ball rolling on this Articles idea, here is something that I feel is important for all trainers to take into consideration, and what I feel this board should be about.

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I firmly believe, with everything in life, that theres more than one way to achieve the same results, or to be cliche, \"more than one way to skin a cat\". The mistake I often see people making is choosing a method purely for the reason that \"this is what someone else told me to do\", which eliminates any thought as to \"why am I doing it this way?\" or \"what is this conveying to the dog and why does this convey it better than another method?\". Many people are happy doing what they're told, especially when it works for them, but this is what seperates a \"trainer\" from a \"good trainer\". A good trainer tries to understand WHY he is doing what he is doing. The other extreme of this issue is with \"professional\" trainers, especially trainers who have long term experiences, often they become set in their ways and become very matter of fact in telling people \"this is the way it should be done, there is no other good way of doing this, my way is the best\". These folks are so commited to sticking with their training ideas that they shun anyone elses way of training. It creates a very narrow minded perspective on training, and since no two dogs are alike, it often results in dogs getting dismissed as being \"junk\" when in actuality, it's simply a dog that doesn't respond to that particular trainers cookie cutter methods. Are these folks good trainers? Possibly. Do their training methods work? I'm sure they work for them. But are they right? Is there perhaps a better way to train a dog? Well that's what this discussion forum is all about, discussing alternative training methods, but only you can decide what the best training method is for your dog, because nobody else knows your dog! If you don't explore different training methods you have no basis for comparison, so how do you know the training method you're using is the best training method when you have no idea what other methods are out there?

For every command you teach, there's 10 other people out there who have altered the way they train it in some way, even something as simple as training the dog to \"Come\" and sit in front of you! All the folks who have trained this have achieved similar results, but everyone has their own way to train it.

There's a few pretty far out training philosophies out there, you are bound to stumble upon these on the internet sooner or later, I'm not mentioning any names here. Many people will be quick to tell you \"don't listen to that, it's bullshit, that guys a nut!\". Maybe that's true, but even a nut has to be right once in a while, so if you don't take the time to read what the nut is all about, then it's very possible that somewhere buried deep under all the bullshit, there might be some good ideas, good training methods or useful information that you ordinarily wouldn't have come accross had you not explored their training philosophy. Once you have explored the philosophies you are free to draw your own conclusions as to their effectiveness and validity. If you decide it's bullshit, then at least you'll be able to tell people why you think it's bullshit, other than telling them \"well this guy on a message board said it was\".

If you know your dog well enough, and you've studied and UNDERSTOOD THE HOWS AND WHYS behind each persons philosophies and ideas, then I see absolutely no problem in applying different methods and ideas to your training as long as you're not a complete moron :lol:

Happy training!
 
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