What I Learned From Training My Dog…
Over the years I have trained a few of my dogs using different techniques. I started out with the Carrot & Stick method. It worked great. My dog did exactly what he needed to do when and only if I gave him a command. There was only one little disadvantage: he was constantly frightened and only did things when I asked him to. He had a lot of fear to initiate something himself, so he was constantly waiting for a command. Then I went to another training school where the carrot & stick method was strictly forbidden. Here we had to train our dogs using the Attention method.
And that also worked. It took much longer time to train however. But in the end my dog followed my allmost blindly and had a lot of fun already. The anxiety was gone, but the self initiative wasn’t still there. That was because we never trained our dogs to “think” out complex situations for themselves. We did that for them. So they never had incentive to improve their own capabilities. And so they developed what you could call “learned helplessness”. And then this training school stopped and I decided to look for another school.
There they taught me again a new technique, based on Selfreliance. Here I learned in the beginning to develop “angels” patience, give my dog a lot of attention and guide her exercise by exercise, learning her to think out most parts of the exercices herself. In the beginning it looked as if it was taking ages, but sooner than I thought, I saw my dog having lots of fun. She increasingly started taking inititives herself as soon as she understood the core meaning of an exercise . So now I am at the level that I only need to guide her a little bit. We’re both much happier now and are constantly thinking and practicing newer, complexer exercises. I can recommend this approach to everyone. It worked for me.