by Grayson Schaffer | on April 15th, 2009 | in DVDs, Media, Syllabus
Even though it came out in 2004, The How of Bow Wow! is still the DVD to beat for careful explanation of early obedience training. Sherri Lippman and Virginia Broitman spend the full 84 minutes on the little stuff—like eye contact and resisting temptations—that you’re likely to rush by in order to get to the fun stuff, like retrieving. They use clickers and treats shape early behaviors that will become habits is you instill them early. Whether you’re training a hunting dog, a service dog, or a stay-at-home pal, these skills apply. Take them seriously, or regret it later. $35
by Grayson Schaffer | on April 2nd, 2009 | in Books, Syllabus
This one’s a must-read for anyone interested in training dogs. Pamela J. Reid’s 1996 Excel-erated Learning ($16; James & Kenneth Publishers) explains what’s going on inside that dog’s head, whether you use a clicker, e-collar, or rolled up newspaper as your primary training tool. Reid brings you up to date on some of the behavior research that’s been done over the years and then applies it (for the most part) in plain English to practical training methodologies. No, it’s not a training manual, but it will help you read other training manuals and quickly discern the good ones—all based on operant conditioning, whether they advise positive or negative reinforcement—from the outright junk.