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snowleopard
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

A couple of months ago I went for a job working as a behaviourist for a well known dog rescue organisation. The interview went really bad as I lost my nerve as its been many years since I had an interview so I messed it up big time. After the interview I had to do a practical test which I was looking forward to. I thought with all the emotional problems I have helped dogs with I would be fine, but I was shocked when I knew what I had to do.

I was asked to train a really friendly dog to put his head on the seat of a chair using a clicker. I was supposed to shape his behaviour, click when he got near the chair then click when he looked at the chair and so on until he put his chin on the seat. I have used a clicker once and they are not my favourite training method. I should have known as the person observing me is a keen clicker trainer, a bit too much I felt at one of his talks.

Any way I walked the dog up to the chair then placed a piece of food on the seat and the dog put his head on the seat to eat the food, I then kept feeding him while he was there. I by passed the clicker completely, the whole purpose of the test, but I canít help working in the most logical way rather than for just the sake of it. I then had to do it with the clicker. I had a set amount of time to do this with a break in the middle.

After the short break I had to say to the two behaviourists observing me that I was not going to do this anymore as the poor dog was starting to get stressed out so I stopped the test. Both of them never even noticed the dog was getting anxious.

I think they failed to take into account that although the dog was very friendly and happy he is living in a kennel environment in which is a stressful one so the dogs can easily become stressed at the slightest thing. This type of training took too long for any rescue dog but they do this with all their dogs so they can examine them. As well as me not really knowing how to use a clicker correctly would not have helped the poor dog.

With all the emotional upsets rescue dogs may suffer from which I felt confident in being able to help them with it came down to me being able to train a dog to put his chin on a seat using a clicker. Does anyone do this in the real world? I know some captive animals are trained with a clicker so they can be examined and its fine that they want to train dogs so they can do the same but when training a leopard so you can look at its paws you dont get it to puts its chin on a seat.

As you may guess I never got the job.

What surprised me, and upset me in many ways was that they failed to see dogs as emotional beings and rather as things you train.

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Jacquietwig
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:15 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I think you are right Chris, a lot of trainers just get hooked on training and seem to lose sight of the fact that it is an animal in front of them with feelings and emotions just like us.

I like the clicker and have used it with great success but... it's not for every dog some get bored with it and some get stressed; with the ones it works for it's really good but again I have seen inexperienced trainers just click, click, click for everything and anything, completely losing sight of what the clicker was originally intended for. Evil or Very Mad

Maybe it's best you didn't get that job as it sounds like they don't have a clue and you would have found it far too stressful. Wink Smile

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judy g
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Totally agree with Jacquie, Chris - and with your observations.

You know what I think? You would be perfect to start and run your own rescue organisation....I know, not practical at all, but that way you would be able to help dogs in the way that you are so well versed in - with kindness, experience, compassion and proper observance! xx

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snowleopard
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Jacquietwig wrote:
I think you are right Chris, a lot of trainers just get hooked on training and seem to lose sight of the fact that it is an animal in front of them with feelings and emotions just like us.

I like the clicker and have used it with great success but... it's not for every dog some get bored with it and some get stressed; with the ones it works for it's really good but again I have seen inexperienced trainers just click, click, click for everything and anything, completely losing sight of what the clicker was originally intended for. Evil or Very Mad

Maybe it's best you didn't get that job as it sounds like they don't have a clue and you would have found it far too stressful. Wink Smile


The positive thing from it Jacquie was that it did make me realise that I need to learn how to use a clicker correctly. The one time I used a clicker was with an aggressive dog that bit the family and it worked so well. I need to learn how to use a clicker in different situations and what ones it works well in and in others which it doesn't. I may not use it all the time but at least if I did use one I would be doing it correctly.

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snowleopard
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

judy g wrote:
Totally agree with Jacquie, Chris - and with your observations.

You know what I think? You would be perfect to start and run your own rescue organisation....I know, not practical at all, but that way you would be able to help dogs in the way that you are so well versed in - with kindness, experience, compassion and proper observance! xx


Thanks Judy for saying that. When I helped beardie rescue that's were my heart was. I loved the dogs and the people I worked with and met.

xxx

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tb
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:55 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Good for you Chris for standing by what you know works for you and the dogs you are dealing with. It's a sad state if these "trainers" can't open their minds to anything other clicker training that is their preferred method when you had shown them another way that worked without stressing the dog. They should appreciate you not maligne you for observing the dog was becoming stressed once they insisted that you repeat the exercise with a clicker. It doesn't suit everyone or every dog.

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Mac & Tali
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well done mate Cool ... be proud of yourself for putting the dogs needs first. How many people would have carried on trying to impress the interviewer at the expense of the dogs welfare? I suggest it would take a person with empathy, skill and great strength of character to stop the test ... that'll be you then mate.

The key feature of clicker training is to "condition" the animal first.. i.e go through a period of rewarding the animal immediately after clicking ... no training at this stage, just, click-treat ... click-treat ... click-treat. Without this first phase the clicker is just noise, with no meaning so, unless the dog that you were asked to train had already been conditioned to the positive association of a click equals a treat, the result would have been one very confused and stressed dog .. for what it's worth, i think you absolutely did the right thing ... good on yer.

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Joybells
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well said Mark.
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snowleopard
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks Mark thatís so nice of you to say, it means a great deal to me.

It makes so much sense what you say. I was given no time to let the dog make any association with the clicker we just had to go for it, and the poor dog had no idea what I was doing and neither did I. Sad

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Heidiwuff
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Chris, I wholeheartedly agree with Jacquie and also Judy. Not giving you the job is their loss (and unfortunately that of the dogs too). You stick to your methods if that's what works for you and the dogs.

Mary

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snowleopard
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you Mary,

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Last edited by snowleopard on Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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hillshepherd
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Chris. This is a simple case of small minded people thinking that their way is the right and only way to do things.You should try working for an Aberdonian Farmer lol.if there is a hard longwinded way of doing a job they will find it and don't you dare suggest a simpler method lol.Every sensible person knows the easiest way to get any animal to do something is to show it food but you cant be an expert unless you can find the most difficult way to make you sound cleverer than the average person with common sense.Dont waste your life on these people carry on doing what you do in your own way if it aint broken why fix it.

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snowleopard
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks Hillshepherd for your support and great advice much appreciated.

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Derwendolly
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

[quote="hillshepherd"]Chris. ..... if there is a hard longwinded way of doing a job they will find it and don't you dare suggest a simpler method lol.[/quote
]
When did you meet my husband?????????????? You certainly seem to know him very well! And he is Welsh. Laughing Laughing

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judy g
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Laughing

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