Friday, September 9, 2011

Progressive Reinforcement Training: Where has this been all my life?!

Emily Larhlam... In short, I think she's a genius.  She's a positive-reinforcement, clicker trainer, and she coined the term, progressive-reinforcement.  I'm soaking it all up like a dried up sponge.  She has a border collie named Splash, a terrier mix named Tug, and a chihuahua with a hock defect named Kiko.  Her main YouTube channel is called Kikopup.  I would highly encourage anyone training a dog for anything to check it out.  Honestly, there is a free how-to video for just about everything.  You can go to her personal website, Dogmantics, too.

I love the resources I've found in books by Leslie McDevitt, Patricia McConnell, Ali Brown, etc. and I read them frequently via my Kindle.  However, nothing quite compares to this lady's work.

I've made astounding progress in the last month with Dolce using the principles from these four gurus.  I owe it all to the top four above, and I'm so grateful to my friends on live journal who introduced me to them.  While I'm not entirely against Cesar Millan, I can completely see the possibilities and benefits to positive-only training.  This will be my mission, should I pursue dog training in any capacity, from now on.

Please, this logo is free on Ms. Larlham's website.
If you train and want to join the bandwagon,
add this image to your website or blog.

So what have Dolce and I achieved, specifically?  Well, we were passed by a husky the other day, who has set Dolce off on numerous previous occasions, within 8 feet without a negative reaction.  Dolce gave me about 10 auto-looks in a row, and that was it, the dog had passed.  Any outbursts Dolce does have are much easier to redirect.  He calms down after a reactive episode so much sooner.  I feel it's all down hill from here.  I'm eager to get back out into the world, socialize like crazy to finish things up, and get into classes so we can compete ASAP.  I just know he's so talented, he'll take to dog sports like a lab to water.  I only hope I can keep up with him. :P

Sorry I haven't posted much recently.  I hope to be better from now on.