Chris Ricci

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    Alana McGee

    Hi Chris!

    Excited to have you and Daisy with us!

    I am going to go through these posts one by one so I can comment on each, so just keep that in mind. Trying to keep some order here. Before I can though, please check the settings on your videos. We can’t actually see them at present due to settings as they are marked private! Let us know once you switch that, and we’ll take a look.

    So, in the first comments to your first video, you said something which as a trainer sends up a red flag. I had briefly touched on this before when chatting with you, but we feel we should reiterate a few points:

    Please understand there are many ways to effectively work with training with your pup, but we here at TDC are Reward based trainers using operant conditioning and classical conditioning. We do not use any punishment or corrections as a means to achieve desired behaviors. Forcing a dog to do something (especially against their own desires) is not going to make that behavior very reliable in the long run.

    Classical conditioning sounds ‘scary’ but it shouldn’t involve any kind of physical correction. That doesn’t mean you can’t say ‘NO’ to stop Daisy nipping at heels, but you should provide her with other distractions if that is happening and build confidence in behaviors you DO want instead of physically or mentally punishing those you dislike. Boundaries and rules are fine and encouraged, but you shouldn’t be physically punishing Daisy for making choices. You should be helping her to see which choices are fun and exciting and acceptable! Often time dogs do not draw the same associations clients think they do from corrections of scenarios and clients can be doing more lasting harm than intended. Many dogs are much more sensitive than folks realize and physical corrections can lead to shutting a dog down which will make their trust in you, and more complicated behaviors later, much more difficult to achieve.

    You have the amazing opportunity of working with a puppy: A bundle of predetermined genetics and a blank slate. We would encourage you seek out and explore other modalities of training that do not use physical corrections such as employed by Cesar Milan. There are many well respected ones. When searching for basic obedience puppy trainers, try to find someone who does not use positive punishment (adding of a stimuli) for corrections or aversive techniques. We want to build happy, loving, trusting dogs, not scared, confused and emotionally repressed animals.

    Because Daisy has some heeler in her, you will notice that a) she may end up being very sensitive to pressure, physical in terms of presence/ body posture in a situation as well as emotional state. This can be much more pronounced in herding breeds b) will not respond well to physical corrections. You want to be very careful about this because you do not want to create (or the opportunity for these to manifest!) aggressive tendencies where she feels she needs to protect her space or other resources. It is much easier to prevent these behaviors in the first place than working on behavior modification later.

    Crate training is great, and depending on your situation, when unsupervised, crates are a great tool for management. Just remember the crate should be a happy place for you dog.

    If Daisy is cold, and shaking in the evening or am (and it is not a stress/ fear related shaking), then yes, we would recommend some kind of protective/warmth layer. She is still a puppy, so more susceptible to temperature swings as she doesn’t have the body mass/ fat to retain heat effectively. If she is swimming in mountain lakes etc, (cold water), I would likely put something on her after this as she may chill quickly.

    Is Daisy an inside or outside dog (meaning sleeps outside)? If she is an outside pup, make sure she has lots of blankets and warm things for those cold Mountain nights! Based on your comments of potty training, my guess is inside, but wanted to check.

    Let us know when you have changed the privacy settings on the vids and we will take a look.




    you did not identify what i said that was a red flag to you. we do not use punishments. i did mention that my kids don’t correct her which would mean to properly distract or ignore or show disapproval with body language.

    your rants about ceasar milan are unfounded and misplaced, especially after admitting that you have not read his puppy book. to imply that ceasar milan “creates aggressive tendencies,” or that his puppies require “behavior modification later” is crazy. everyone does their thing a little differently. i’m sure there are a couple of great techniques in his puppy book that you yourself could use.

    traci has never corrected a dog at all in puppy class. i have no idea what “positive punishment (adding of stimuli)” means. click and treat is all we do.

    daisy gets in her crate to sleep and sometimes eat, but i wouldn’t call it a happy place.

    we figured she is unable to live outdoors because she is cold. we wish she was an outdoor dog, but i don’t think we know how to make one of those.

    thank you,

    Alana McGee

    First off I want to say sorry if we had a miscommunication. The red flag I was referring to was in fact Cesar Milan. As a CPDT-KA and being in the dog training industry for many years I am familiar with and aware of his techniques and practices. Because of my background I, and we at TDC, do not subscribe to his training practices. Some people do use his techniques, while many do not. As you said all trainers do ?their thing a little differently?, which is a true statement and we chose not to employ Cesar?s techniques. I will not go on regarding Cesar as the purpose of this class and forum is to train and discuss truffle training and so I would like to have the videos and forum topics stay on that topic. We use operant and classical conditioning techniques in this class and our teaching and so our feedback will be centered around those techniques.

    I am going to remove my 1:35 p.m. post and your 4:09 p.m. response as I said earlier I believe we had a miscommunication and would like to bring the forum topic back to truffles.

    Alana McGee
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