Thursday, March 12, 2009

Deep Discussion

So last night Sarah and I had a really good discussion about Nature vs. Nurture when it comes to having a well trained dog.

This came about after I told Sarah that Pixel was a genius and rocked at class last night. Seriously though- she was very good for a 7 month old puppy. Wow.

Anyway, we were talking about how in more cases than not it is the training- not the dog- that makes a great dog. Dogs are like little sponges and their performance is a direct product of your training. Yes, Pixel is a great dog- but it is my training that has made her that much better. She came to me with the drive, enthusiasm and excitement for learning and I've molded that into the little beast I have today. I think that some dogs are easier than others- herding breeds are going to be a bit easier than your hounds for example. All dogs will have their individual strengths and weaknesses and it is training that will find the balance. Training is not easy- and as the training gets better your expectations get higher as well. Courses are harder- and gone are the days of 6 "on side" weave poles after a table in a starters course... :o) As a trainer you have to continue to grow with the changing methods.

Not all people are great trainers- and to be honest I don't think you have to be a great trainer- you just have to be a consistent one to get results. That's all. I don't consider myself a great trainer- but I am a good trainer. I have dogs that have issues and holes- due to my lack of understanding. Now, I know. And you can bet that this puppy won't have the same gaps in her training that my other dogs had. I would hope that with each dog I get I am a good enough trainer to continue to get better. Because even with a great dog- you can easily screw it up if you aren't a good trainer.

There are exceptions to the rule though- and I actually do see this alot in competition- sometimes it is just a darn good dog. When a person has ONE good dog out of 7 or 8 then you can assume that it is probably just that- one good dog and one mediocre trainer...

I could be wrong of course, that is just my observation...

1 comment:

onecollie said...

did you say herding dogs are easier to train??? LOL!!
With Kort, I think I'll go with the fact that "nature" is beating "nuture" !!!