A Unique Approach
Naked Dog Training is a unique approach to your dog learning to have impeccable manners and complete off-leash control, all without the need for a leash or collar. It’s also the way in which your dog learns, and their enjoyment of the process.
Dogs, like people, learn best when their minds are open to learning. In order for minds to be open we need a pleasure-based approach to teaching. Motivational obedience is fairly commonplace today. A step up from just motivational obedience is “maker training.” Marker training is said to increase learning by as much as 85 percent. The challenge with motivational obedience, including marker training, is that it’s said to require 10,000 repetitions to begin to become reliable. That’s a lot of work if you’re just trying to gain off-leash control!
The alternative to increase reliability is to incorporate some form of consequences for disobedience. No one likes the idea of consequences. We don’t like it when a police officer issues a ticket for speeding. Even when we know we were in the wrong. We certainly don’t like to use them with our pets. Without consequences, most societies would have some level of lawlessness. The same in families. It’s defiance of rules and boundaries. With our pets, it ranges from being unreliable off-leash to destructive behaviors within the home.
The conclusion is either positive based training without reliability or adding consequences to the program for reliability. At least that’s the way it appears.
There is a time and place in training where the use of negative consequences (corrections) may be needed. We are not against them, where needed. We are just opposed to them if there is another option that is more compassionate while providing the same results.
There is also a price to be paid with this approach when raising a puppy or young dog. Carrot and Stick Training creates a dichotomy, or a dualistic way of thinking. Obey and be rewarded, disobey and be corrected creates a “should I or shouldn’t I” mentality. Resourceful parents would never intentionally raise their children to hate homework. Yet when we give our dogs a choice of obeying we are actually creating the opposite way we want our dogs to think. There are always two choices.
Fortunately there is another way!
We create behaviors through a three unique approaches: Amplified Markers, Subtle Leash Pressure and Molding Stimulation.
Marker training is known to increase learning by as much as eighty-five percent. It is a process of identifying exact moments (moment marking) when dogs do a correct behavior and identifying it with a specific word or “marker”. The “marker” in itself is just a word so it has little to no meaning in and of itself. We “charge” the marker with a reward immediately after using the marker.
These days traditional marker training has been watered down and distorted. So much so that in most places marker training has a fraction of it’s true benefits. We’ve taken our own approach. We’ve taken the original concept and amplified the markers, thereby actually increasing the benefits of marker training. Amplified markers are used while using luring and free-forming to teach new behaviors.
Subtle Leash Pressure:
We teach dogs how to be aware of extremely subtle changes in leash pressure. We then use that subtle leash pressure to also create new behaviors.
Molding stimulation in Phase I is another unique process used to link commands with behaviors. Another way we accelerate learning. Molding stimulation is created with flat collars, pinch collars or remote collars depending on the dog, exercise and stage of training.
The use of Molding Stimulation™ then serves as a foundation for our second phase of training, Molding Behavior™.
Imagine your dog always responding to your first command, every time regardless of the situation. To do so without a treat in hand, or a correction. That’s Phase 2. That’s Molding Behavior™.
Rather than creating an either or mentality (either obey and be rewarded or disobey and be corrected) we maintain behaviors through a process we call “Molding Behavior™”. The process is a combination of using “Molding Stimulation™” while using Amplified Markers™ to continue to link tremendous pleasure to each exercise or command.
Imagine, obeying just becomes the most natural way of your dog “being”.
While we don’t want to create a “should I or shouldn’t I” mentality, as a dog matures there will come a time when he or she decides to step out of habit and pursue something very attractive and alluring, regardless of your wishes. The very dualistic thinking we try to avoid. It’s natural and does happen.
In order to finish a dog for complete reliability off-leash, without a collar, for long-term reliability there needs to be a consequence for disobeying. Through the use of what we call “contrasting” we can quickly show a dog the alternative to obeying, a correction. As correct behaviors are already thoroughly enjoyable, and second nature, it is very easy for dogs to quickly decide to “just obey.”
The question is what form of correction. For us the criteria is very simple, it needs to be truly compassionate while having the ability to change behavior. We use the same remote collar that we used for Molding Stimulation™, but change to continuous or momentary stimulation in order to change behaviors. This is the same exact stimulation used at chiropractors and physical therapists in order to relax muscles. Our approach is to use a level the dog can barley feel, and teach him or her how to turn it off by obeying. As the dogs we train already have a positive expereicne of remote collars as a result of molding stimulation™, the lesson is easily learned.
We like to think of our approach as “compassion inspired resourcefulness’. The dogs we work with simply see it as enjoyable! As “Naked Dogs are Happy Dogs™,” we hope you join us in helping your dog become one.