Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

Dad and Mom both have a new 'puter! The stuff is getting transferred from the old one, which BTW is literally fried. The power cord decided to send a jolt of super-heated energy straight into the motherboard. Tasty, huh? Long story short, it will be a week before the data is saved, which includes some recent pics I had plans to post. Oh well. In the meantime, there is a decent amount of old videos to put up, so sit back and enjoy!

But first, since it's a Thursday, I'm doing a Thoughtful Thursday. Dad and I have been watching lots of "It's Me or the Dog" with Victoria Stillwell on Animal Planet. This is the counterpoint show to Cesar Millan's "The Dog Whisperer" on National Geographic. Victoria is a trainer, Cesar is a rehabilitator. Victoria is nearly all the way positive training, Cesar is nearly all the way corrective. There is little controversy over Victoria's methods, there is a ton over Cesar's. So, confession time: until about a year ago, Dad was a Cesar-o-phile.

I've seen this guy on TV, and it's easy to see why Dad liked him so much. The guy is charming and engaging, and his methods seem to be downright magical. But then, when Snoufer was getting trained at Petsmart (KGC test, here he comes!), the trainer noted some of the interventions Dad used were Cesar-ish (i.e., "shhht!", or the "alpha" lingo). So, he pulled Dad aside and asked him if he was aware of any of the controversy surrounding Cesar and his methods. Without preaching or lecturing, he advised Dad to check it out and to look into positive training methods similar to what he was being taught at Petsmart. So, Dad did.

The bottom line is, Dad is now a total "positive training" convert. I haven't heard a "shhht!" unless I start to do something really wacky and don't pay attention to anything else. Big Brother says he's never been "alpha rolled" since, and we get lots and lots of treats! Score! Plus, I've watched this Vicky lady with Dad on TV every Sunday, and she seems to be the real deal. No questionable methods, she is presented as fallible, and she has less of a magnetic personality to make me wonder if there isn't an element of "hero worship" in her following. Finally and most importantly, this whole positive training stuff doesn't rely on outdated science and is supported by broad-based and current research. Two weeks ago, she even had some pugs on her show! I kept looking at Dad during the show, as if to say, "See? I'm not THAT bad!" She straigtened them up right, and they and their owners will be better for it, I'm sure.

Plus, she has an English accent. 'Nuff said.

So, I'll never look down at or lecture those who choose less positive methods of training, but I certainly encourage everyone to check out the information for yourself. It's there in spades-- just Google "Cesar Millan controversy" and you'll get more than you ever wanted to know. Just please-- stay away from forums and junk like that. Those places are full of trolls.

And now, the lighter side: some videos from the last Pug Club! Remember Picasso? She's the little black one.

video

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7 comments:

Sandra y Coco said...

Hi! We like "It's Me or the Dog" too. I've never seen Cesar Millian, but I think Victoria does a great job. I always learn things from her program.

Puglette said...

We saw the pug episode of Victoria's show too...lots of poop eaters! We like her too, but sometimes a shhh is all that gets attention. Dad is working with the pups at dinner time and we now have two puggies that can dance together!
Hugs,
Puglette
:o)

chasingsquirrelswithrusty said...

Hi! Mom hasn't seen "It's me or the dog" yet but have heard that it is very good! Mom watches CM every once in awhile, and your're right, the behavior correction on each show seems like magis. Mom's looking up the controversy today.

I hope all is well with the computers soon. Isn't computer trouble the worst?

Love the videos, Pug Club looks like a fun place!

Barklove,
Rusty

chasingsquirrelswithrusty said...

Hi! Mom hasn't seen "It's me or the dog" yet but have heard that it is very good! Mom watches CM every once in awhile, and your're right, the behavior correction on each show seems like magis. Mom's looking up the controversy today.

I hope all is well with the computers soon. Isn't computer trouble the worst?

Love the videos, Pug Club looks like a fun place!

Barklove,
Rusty

Rachel said...

I'm so glad you posted about this. It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately too. I think that when I train the dogs, I seem to jump back and forth between the two methods, and I think it sends unclear signals. I think I need to convert completely to the positive reinforcement. I think the big thing is what kind of correction or enforcement that particular breed responds to. Like, perhaps working dogs respond better to Cesar's methods, but dogs meant to be companion dogs (pugs) respond better to positive reinforcement? I'm not sure, and I'm making that up off the top of my head, but I wonder if there's anything to it.
Oh, and I wanted to see that Pug epsideo SOOOO bad, but Tivo is constantly screwing up the recordings of "It's me of the dog" - oh well, I'm sure it will re-run soon.

The Devil Dog said...

Mom knows an animal trainer who did not like Cesar's methods at all. Mom tends to be rather laid back with our training (or lack of) so she really can't comment. Other than not giving us enough food, I would say mom is pretty well trained.

Roxy

Nevis said...

I've seen both shows and I think they both seem to work. Which one is better? Well, I think they both have aspects that I like and you can take into your own life.

And Puddy...looks like you've got a girlfriend...that little Picasso certainly likes you!