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Discussion Starter #1
Dog Training in general …. the “big picture” or the “details” ? Is one more important than the other ?

that’s the basic question, and i’m throwing it out to see how many lurkers we have on the WDF. Whenever i post, i assume there are lots of members lurking and well aware they probably won’t step in and post. Especially since “occasionally” some of our threads get rather heated and you want to avoid the drama //lol//

I think this is a fair question to ask anyone, even if they are just starting out, and hopefully it will get some opinions on your philosophy of dog training and help indicate how many lurkers we DO have on the WDF :)

Of course i know both are important, so please don’t state the obvious; just curious if there are people who think one is more important than the other. Often in our threads people who have differing views will take one side and use that to strengthen their argument, or use it to “sum up the thread”, etc

It is probably obvious i feel details are more important than the big picture and that is one of the reasons my posts are always on the long side and I rarely post short responses :)

so, to get the ball rolling, you can start with my position and take it from there either way you want

MODS : please keep this thread ON TOPIC, DOG TRAINING RELATED and FLAME FREE !!

Lurkers and new posters : here is a chance to give us your thoughts since there is not going to be a consensus and there are no “right” or “wrong” answers.
* But … If you feel it’s not worth discussing, just shoot a one liner to at least let us know you’re there since it wouldn’t be the first time i posted a dumb thread :)

TIA
 

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For me, the big picture is more important. Based on the big picture is how I train the details. I believe you can easily lose sight of the big picture by always training in small pieces and don't really consciously think about or know how to put it all together to get to a more advanced level. I see a lot of trainers drown in details because they fail to see the big picture. - Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Greg

can you give some examples you've seen where the training has drowned or fallen apart when the details were over focused on ?

what you say makes sense, but what i have a hard time with is that i would think most all trainers have the big picture of what they want to train, say a Bark and Hold, for example. but then have to put any number of steps together to get there, and that's where i see the importance of the details

- does that make sense ?
 

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I can see where some people would get lost in the details of the small things and never fully complete the big picture. Much like a jigsaw puzzle it is a good idea to have a plan, implement it and stick with it, then you have a finished product. Personally...to train in a big picture mindset I believe that too many small things are overlooked and people ask too much of the dog assuming that the dog knows what we want to accomplish. When the dog fails to do the little things that ensure success in the big picture some handlers get frustrated which is never a good thing. Just my take on it.

How many times have you heard someone suggest backing up the training or going back to the basics when there is a training problem? What they really mean is details training IMO.
 

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Greg

can you give some examples you've seen where the training has drowned or fallen apart when the details were over focused on ?

Don't want to make it overcomplicated but what I mean is that a lot of excellent young dogs look great with all the bells and whistles on and are trained in very small steps when they are young but then are never heard from or seen again when the dog is older and should be out there being campaigned. A lot of people don't have a big picture in mind of what they want their dog to look like without helps, training devices, or having a reward on them. Many trainers fail to train their dogs for a trial or realistic picture.

what you say makes sense, but what i have a hard time with is that i would think most all trainers have the big picture of what they want to train, say a Bark and Hold, for example. but then have to put any number of steps together to get there, and that's where i see the importance of the details

You have to have a big picture in mind of what your dog should be thinking and communicating in protection. If you have that, then both guarding and biting are easy to train as you're working with their inherint animal instincts. If you have to train in very small steps with the bark & hold then you are working on technical things and not really the fighting part. They need to know how to respond appropriately with their fighting instincts based on what they're being shown. Your sole job as a handler is to eductate them with which way to fight based on what the decoy is presenting. A bark & hold is only a reflection of the mentality based on the education they've received in fighting and their genetic makeup. - Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Greg

you're not exactly a new member :) ...Tx for weighing in anyway

about the second part : agree 100% and have heard you saying this before.

your first part seems more like a lack of follow thru and not having a long term plan in place when the dog is started out

hope the lurkers and new members give inputs too

Matt
are you saying the "details" are the "****ups" ?

i will give one example of how i compare details and the big picture for a more simple set of behaviours :
the down and stand

most know the big picture of what it looks like :)
but without details, it can look sloppy, cooked, slow in response or the dog will creep when downing or rising up, etc etc

same goes for heeling/fus

and especially with timing; either if markers are used or if physical compulsion is used (big picture is usually easy)

i meant this for training in general as well as long term training goals
 

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Discussion Starter #9
could it also be that some people get a dog and have a big picture in mind but when they start training they get frustrated if the dog does not learn as fast as they want and they start changing the "big picture" too frequently ?

i could see this happening

i want to keep genetics out of this as much as possible, but i know that is impossible to do :)
 

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"The big picture" to me is the goal your reaching for.
Well mannered pet, titles only, high level competition, etc.

"The details" are how you get there.
Training methods, tools and understanding what the particular dog needs to giterdone!

Find the balance between the two!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
agree Bob

why i posted that post right in front of yours :)

the Q was whether one is more important

or maybe how "big" should the "big picture" be ?

or....the big picture for a training session or the big picture for the end goal or the dog ?

i see that as not being the same

hope some lurkers and new members weigh in. i really want to see if they are out there and have opinions
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey Lee

i'll consider you ole MOFO a lurker if you keep Coco Locos and food out of it

unless you have a new recipe you'd like to share at the end of your post :)

i'm still drooling from your super bowl menu
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Michael

i'm sure you have had enough time with that new pup of yours to have a few opinions about the big picture versus details

how is the big picture and details coming along with it ?

care to share your thoughts ?
 

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I think both the big picture and details when training are equally important. I try to keep aware of the big picture because it can affect what details I choose to zoom in on, when. Without that awareness of the big picture I think it can be too easy to get stuck on details. At the same time, however, details are needed to take steps toward the big picture. I think one of the biggest barriers to training is a dog not understanding what is being asked. For me, detail work helps there. Big picture is putting together all of the little pieces into the finished behavior/s as I want them.
 

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I think both the big picture and details when training are equally important. I try to keep aware of the big picture because it can affect what details I choose to zoom in on, when. Without that awareness of the big picture I think it can be too easy to get stuck on details. At the same time, however, details are needed to take steps toward the big picture. I think one of the biggest barriers to training is a dog not understanding what is being asked. For me, detail work helps there. Big picture is putting together all of the little pieces into the finished behavior/s as I want them.
Couldn't have said it better myself. That's a good balance. So there's really not an either/or...it's both.
 

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Hey Lee

i'll consider you ole MOFO a lurker if you keep Coco Locos and food out of it

unless you have a new recipe you'd like to share at the end of your post :)

i'm still drooling from your super bowl menu
You know most of my posts/threads are nonsense. That's what occasionally makes the fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
re; "I think both the big picture and details when training are equally important. I try to keep aware of the big picture because it can affect what details I choose to zoom in on, when. Without that awareness of the big picture I think it can be too easy to get stuck on details. At the same time, however, details are needed to take steps toward the big picture. I think one of the biggest barriers to training is a dog not understanding what is being asked. For me, detail work helps there. Big picture is putting together all of the little pieces into the finished behavior/s as I want them."

i agree 150%. for me that is a statement of your overall training philosophy and i like it the way you said it.

the reason i feel details are more important is because that is when i feel the jigsaw is being put together and actual trainings taking place. where the rubber meets the road so to speak.

i feel all but the most clueless people have a big picture, but imo no training takes place until you focus on details. and i'm glad that it's rare we get a new member here that falls into the clueless category :)
- of course it's totally dependent on the dog in front of you and what you want to do.
- how perfect of a sit you want, whether you care or not if the dog creeps when it downs, whether you want a head up heel or not, how much aggression in a B/H, etc etc.
- that will determine the level of detail to apply

whether it's shits and giggles vs titles, or whether you have a time constraint on getting the dog certified, or re-certified, i think it applies to almost any situation

but to continue with the jigsaw puzzle analogy.
- some want to put the straight edges together first, and some may want to focus on parts that are similar colors, etc etc....many roads available

- but until you start fitting them together all u got is the picture on the box and a pile of puzzle pieces, or a "potential" PPD, to use one that is dog related :)

that's how i see it as it pertains to training NEW BEHAVIORS or refreshing what the dog has already learned
 

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but to continue with the jigsaw puzzle analogy.
- some want to put the straight edges together first, and some may want to focus on parts that are similar colors, etc etc....many roads available
And this is why forums are such a valuable training tool. It is refreshing to learn a new, and maybe better, way to train certain exercises. For me, the recent post and video made by a member on how she trains the flip finish was very cool. I couldn't wait to give it a go and although I was all left footed in the beginning, I got a rythym and had a blast.
 
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