The Story of Dog Trainers and 6 Blind Men

Posted: February 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

There is an old Buddhist tale of six blind men, who upon touching different parts of an elephant make their judgment about what the elephant is like.

The first blind man who touched the elephant’s broad and sturdy side
concluded that the elephant is like a wall.

The second blind man who touched the elephant’s tusks
concluded that the elephant is like a spear.

The third blind man who touched the elephant’s trunk
concluded that the elephant is like a snake.

The fourth blind man who touched the elephant’s knee
concluded that the elephant is like a tree.

The fifth blind man who touched the elephant’s ear
concluded that the elephant is like a fan.

The sixth blind man who touched the elephant’s tail
concludes that the elephant is like a rope.

This story was re-told in a poem as well, which concludes with the following words.

And so these men of Hindustan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right
And all were in the wrong.

As is the case in antiquity so it the case in dog training.

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Everyone has their own take on human-dog equation and dog training.

Phrases like positive training, clicker method, yank and crank, pack structure, motivation based training, rewards based training , natural dog training, drive, and so on; are often used to describe one person’s opinion as to the correct approach.

Furthermore, people’s opinions are clouded by their experience. For example, many trainers specialize or have only engaged in one specific aspect of training.

  • Some train poppies up to 8-12 months of age
  • Some specialize in police dog training
  • Some handle only aggressive or only fearful dogs
  • Some train for agility, and so on…

If you have an aggressive dog and you happen to contact a trainer specializing in poppies, the responsible thing for that trainer would be to refer you out to someone who specializes (or at least has worked with) aggressive cases. Alas, this it not always the case. 

The only criteria anyone should use for a method, technique or a system is this.

Does it work for this dog and this owner in this situation and is it sustainable.

That’s it and that’s all.

Posted via web from Dogan Dogs Video Blogs

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