View Full Version : Re: What do you tell yourself?

A Poor Shepherd Boy And His Dog At His Masters Feet
May 19th 08, 07:18 PM

I'm not gonna attack you today, my pray drive is worn a little thin
from breaking a dog of chasing
kats last night. Just so's you'll understand, we started off HUNTIN
kats and PRAISED the dog for
finding WON. THEN I flushed the kat into the line of vision of the dog
and briefly, variably alternately, NON PHYSICALLY distracted and
INSTANTLY PRAISED him for five to fifteen seconds. We repeated the
procedure with two different kats. Four kats would have been PERFECT
but all we could find was 2.

He MAY choose to chase kats again in the future but he PROBABLY WON'T,
and if he does, we'll just repeat the lesson and reinforce the idea
that huntin kats is ONLY a TEAM EFFORT, kinda like herding sheep or
doin ATTACK or SAR training.

On May 18, 11:36 pm, "Cj" > wrote:
> "T. Thompson" > wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> > I'm one of the silent lurkers how pick up great
> > advice from the regulars.

What thompson is sayin is, he's a dog abusin coward like the rest of
the MENTAL CASES postin here.

> > Through various training classes, books, website, and you I've picked up a
> > few major rules:
> > 1. Accept that your dog is a dog (not a human).
> > 2. Consitency is key.
> > 3. Work with what they know.
> > 4. Catch them the moment they disobey, or doesn't count.


> > But tell me, what do you tell yourself when you are visiting someone whose
> > behaviour regarding their dog doesn't seem to follow these basic idea?

I tell them "GOOD BOY~!". The "dog trainers" are DEAD WRONG, as I'll
show YOU, cj, in the following text.


> > T. Stewart
> > P.S. My dog, Bacchus (English Pointer), is growing up great, but it is
> > very to work on agility training with abirddog when some pigeons have
> > gotten into the barn!
> Hunting dog rule #1: it is impossible to teach abirddog anything when it
> is in the presence of abird.Cj




Newsgroups: rec.pets.dogs.behavior
From: "LeeCharlesKelley" >
Date: Sat, 04 Sep 2004 14:49:09 -0400

Subject: Re: Has anyone read . .

> My point, in either case, was to dispute your contention
> that prey drive was the sole factor being used in that
> training [referring to detection work].

And my point was that working dogs of *any* type who are
trained with food rewards are less reliable than when they're
trained via the prey drive.

I mentioned detection dogs specifically because this phenomonon
has been reported most often in food-trained bomb and drug
detection dogs, who often indicate a false positive, just to get
a treat.

In search-and-rescue operations the failure of the methodology
isn't as immediately apparent, although we know now, after the
fact, how the dogs in the Elizabeth Smart and Chandra Levy cases
failed to bring relief to the families.

I think that the Smart and Levy families should probably sue
the trainers of the dogs in those cases, just as the parents
at that high school in Arizona whose kids were accused of (and
if I recall correctly, some were suspended for) hiding drugs
in their lockers when o.c. trained drug-detection dogs mistakenly
indicated the presence of drugs when no illicit substances were
ever found, and no trace evidence of any kind was uncovered to
support the idea that the dogs weren't mistaken, that the drugs
*had* been there but had been removed prior to the search.

The dogs were wrong.

Not due to any fault of their own, due to bad training.

And it seems to me that we have different definitions of what
prey drive really is, which I explained in detail (probably
too much detail), or you wouldn't have posted the following:
"I prefer a high prey drive dog for a wilderness area search
dog, though there are many fine labs out there doing the job
without a lick of prey drive."

You've actually met Labs who don't have a lick of prey drive?

That's simply amazing to me.

And they're committed to doing long wilderness searches with
absolutely no prey drive involved? Stunning.

I personally have never known a Lab who didn't simply *live*
to play fetch. Or is playing fetch not a form of prey drive
behavior in your world? It certainly doesn't seem to be a
requisite part of the kind of search-and-rescue training you're
familiar with, and it should be one of the foundations of
it (IMCS&IO).

You obviously have more hands-on experience with the subject
than I do, but yeesh! I think you should find someone who
really knows what they're doing and learn from them, rather
from someone whose rigid belief in behavior*ism* gets in the
way of seeing the actual, proven ineffectiveness of operant

But they go on blindly ignorant of the fact that kids are
being wrongly accused of abusing drugs, that families are
left wondering whether their loved ones are dead or alive,
and that innocent young girls can be kidnaped and raped
repeatedly, when all of these things could have been easily
prevented through proper dog training techniques!

You may not agree that that's the case, but if it is,
wouldn't it make you furious?

It certainly does me.

That's the way I see it, IMCS&IO.


Newsgroups: rec.pets.dogs.behavior
From: "LeeCharlesKelley" >
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 12:39:29 -0400
Subject: Re: Has anyone read . .

computype wrote:

>"I teach my students to use play in training, most of the
> time the dog doesn't even realize he's training and learning,
> he's just having fun."

I've said on several occaisions on the AOL board that your
methodology and mine are a lot alike in many ways.

> That would entirely depend on the dog. Not all dogs are the
> same. I have one dog that chasing would be a most excellent
> reward, one dog who could careless about chasing something
> unless it's actual live prey. Tossing a toy for him to get
> is not the least bit motivating."

Certrainly. I was describing the optimum learning situation.
Since, as I said, the sit isn't all that easy or important,
when I find a dog who isn't interested in chasing a toy or
treat, I won't reward him in that way.

If I think it's important for him to have that kind of energy
in learning another command, I'll coax the desire to chase,
or use some other aspect of his prey drive, out of him so I
can use it in the training process.

Learning is much easier and much more rewarding for the dog
when the prey drive is active. And using it is much more
effective than ignoring it or thinking that since the dog
doesn't show any predatory emotions on his own, without
coaxing on your part, there's no point in trying to get it
stimulated in some way.

My own dog showed no interest in fetch and tug-of-war in the
beginning. I coaxed his predatory emotions out of him, put
them under my control, and as a result, his emotional problems
disappeared (he had panic attacks), and his obedience skills
improved tremendously.

It's the same with almost all the dogs I've trained. Using
prey drive in training increases performance levels.

You also have to remember, that some breeds and some dogs will
supply predatory emotions to the process no matter who does the
training or what kind of method they use. That's why 40% of all
dogs can be trained using any system. It's the other 60% that
need to be coached into expressing their prey drive while learning.


From: "LeeCharlesKelley" >
Date: Sun, 05 Sep 2004 11:19:48 -0400
Subject: Re: Has anyone read . .

Reply to Lynn's reply:

>> That's the foundation for it, the rest is training.

> You actually have that reversed. All the discrimination and
> alert work is the foundation. Adding the search comes later
> and is training. It's like training anything else: you train
> the behavior and then add time and distance and proofing. The
> search training is just adding time, distance, and proofing.

Again, maybe that's the way *you* learned it. But the foundation
is, and always should be, the prey drive. Certainly time and
distance and proofing come later, but you should always start
with stimulating the prey drive, not with food rewards clicking,
which is an unnatural way for to dog to learn.

It's much easier for a dog to learn scent discrimination, or
anything, when the prey drive is at your disposal as a trainer.

Dogs are capable of learning things almost immediately, and in
some cases, instantly, when the prey drive is highly energized.

I think the problem most people have with this idea is that
stimulating the prey drive makes the dog harder to control,
hence what you've heard about not training dogs to mouth any
object that has a scent, as if a dog can't discriminate between
his kong and a suitcase at the airport (as one simplistic, but
telling example).

But wouldn't it be a more streamlined approach if you could
"program" a dog's brain to learn something immediately, without
any trial and error?

Trial and error means that all the information is still there -
- all the trials and all the errors. Those neural pathways,
those "mistakes" the dog has made before finding the specific
behavior that gets the reward, may actually get in the way of
real learning.

>> I recently worked with a bloodhound who, according to his
>> owner, wouldn't play fetch.

> Heh. I'm a former Bloodhound handler and I've never known
> one that had any interest at all in playing fetch.

This is part of my point.

> Tug toys made great training rewards, so I'm having a hard
> time imagining why any BH handler would bother with teaching
> a BH to fetch.

I think I explained that quite clearly in my original post.

And I'm not talking about rewards and reinforcers. I'm talking
about stimulating the dog's prey drive in a way that's under the
owner's control.

> Building drives is only successful to a point. You can channel
> and focus a dog but you can't make them into more dog than they
> have the genetic temperament to be. They might perform
> beautifully in the short term, but will never have the stamina
> and intensity to carry themselves through extreme adversity.

Sure they will, if you understand what drives are and how to put
them under your control. You don't seem to know what they are or
how to do that. What *really* doesn't give a dog the stamina and
intensity is food training.

> I guess I don't see asking the dog if a scent is present at an
> indicated place as the same thing as asking the dog to actively
> search.

I don't know why.

> you've stated a number of conclusions about those areas that
> are counter to both my experience and beliefs. Key is your
> (& Behan's) reliance on both prey drive and emotionalism to
> explain all canine responses. I've been hospitalized for 2
> weeks with a ruptured appendix for 2 weeks from the time this
> thread 1st began, but I do recall responding initially to the
> query about Behan's book with the critique that I found it
> overly simplistic. I still do.

Sorry to hear about your appendix. I wish you a speedy recovery.

As for Behan's book, I think the ideas in it are to some extent
so new and so counter to most people's way of doing and thinking
about things that it's hard to grasp what he's saying. I didn't
find it simplistic at all. I found it ridiculous, frustrating,
and a little boring when I first read it. But when I began
testing his theories by actually using his methods, it all made
sense (and as Jerry Howe likes to say, "It makes sense to the

Certainly it's not all prey drive, there is a great deal of
operant condtioning involved, and Kevin says as much. But
the prey drive is the key.

> There really are different profiles for what you want in
> different fields, and one of the reasons I've bothered to
> respond in this thread was to address statements you've
> made that seem to lump them all together.

I'm not denying that there are different requirements for
different types of working dogs. The thing that *does*
"lump them all together" is the prey drive, which is the
motivating force to most, if not all, canine behavior.


From: "LeeCharlesKelley" >
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 17:51:46 -0400

Subject: Re: Has anyone read . .

"Food rewards are only one of a multitude of possibilities
for using operant conditioning to modify behavior. Focussing
on use of food as if it were a talisman of operant conditioning
shows a significant lack of understanding of what it is and how
it works."

Yes, I was being simplistic because to go into all the flaws
inherent in operant conditioning would take several pages.
Operant conditioning has some valid points, but it works far
better on rats in a maze, for another simplistic example,
than on human beings who want to quit smoking or dogs who
obsess over squirrels, etc.

But your statement speaks volumes about how operant conditioning
is used by far too many dog trainers -- they tend to see food as
a cure-all for everything.

"I should think that prey drive is a survival instinct. What
is your basis for describing it as if it were a separate drive."

The prey drive, at least as it manifests in canines, is not a
basic survival instinct (or first biological imperative). The
first biological imperative is the survival of the individual.

This mainly involves fight or flight responses and impulses.
The second biological imperative is the survival of the genetic
code. This involves all aspects of reproduction.

Survival instincts exist on the lowest emotional level. A
drive of any kind requires sustained emotional commitment.

Dogs and wolves are capable of surviving without ever having to
hunt and kill another animal. Dogs, obviously, have no need to
hunt in order to survive. Wolves don't either, if they happen
to live near an available food source, such as a garbage dump.
(Interestingly enough, when wolves settle near a dump, and don't
need to hunt, there is no observable dominance hierarchy; proving
once again that sociability in canines is depenent on predation,
not on rank and status within a theoretical hiearchy.)

As for why I think Natural Dog Training techniques are amazing
and work better than anything else, I can only say that when I
first started using them I saw a huge difference in the energy,
happiness, and willingness to obey for obedience's sake in all
the dogs I worked with. And I had a whole lot of clients come
to me, who'd been told by recognized experts that their dog was
untrainable or should be put on drugs or even put to sleep.

And I was always able to get a good working attitude and
obedience from these dogs. I don't know how your mind
operates, but if I'm just starting out, experimenting with
certain techniques, and I consistently get better results
using them, just as an experiment, than experts who have
far more experience and "knowledge" about dogs than I do,
I'd start to wonder if there weren't something wrong with
the experts and the training techniques they foist on dogs.

I'm sure that you and other trainers who read this are using

techniques similar to those developed by Kevin Behan. He studied
years ago with an old German schutzhund master, so it's not as
if these ideas haven't been around for a while. It's just that
Kevin is the first one to set them forth in a clearly defined
training program for training pet dogs and solving behavioral
problems. Plus, his ideas have trickled into a lot of books
and training repertoires (usually unattributed) since his book
was first published in 1992.

And as for the "proof" you want, that's simple. Get a copy of
"Natural Dog Training", apply the techniques, and see if they
don't work better than what you're doing now.

And you're right, in a way, about operant conditioning being a
part of the process. That's because predatory emotions are the
most rewarding emotions for a dog. When a dog sees you as the
provider of those emotions, he'll work for you the way the

search-and-rescue dogs at ground zero worked for their handlers.

They were trained through their prey drive and the only problem
the handlers had with these brave doggies was getting them to
rest. They would have kept searcing through the rubble until
they found a body or dropped dead themselves. That kind of
focus and commitment only comes through the utilizing the prey
drive in training.



From: "LeeCharlesKelley" >
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 21:08:52 -0400

Subject: Re: Your Training Modality is Driving Your Dogs Crazy


> You keep thinking that there's some "new"
> method out there that will VOILA!, magically
> transform you into a great trainer, and
> overnight, too.
> It just doesn't work that way.

Actually, that's exactly how it worked with me. Within the first
day of using these techniques I went from becoming a run-of-the-
mill trainer to being pretty damn good, if I do say so, and all
by testing the techniques, just to see if they worked.

I've said from the beginning that if I can get the kind of results
I do when I'm not really a dog trainer at heart, but a writer,
then someone who's really a dog trainer at heart would become a
far better trainer than I am instantly using these methods.

Somewhere along the line, however, I discovered a dirty little
secret about the mentality of most dog trainers: they only
*became* trainers because they liked the feeling of power and
control it gave them. If that's the case with you, then you
definitely wouldn't like natural dog training because it
ultimately teaches a dog how to control his own behavior.

In fact in some ways, it forces you to give control over to
the dog because it works by fostering trust in a dog's natural
instincts instead of fighting against them all the time. When
you put yourself in alignment with the dog's instincts, the
dog will naturally obey you under any and all circumstances
because that's the most fundamental part of his nature.

I came across the following quote recently, and though I have
no idea who Edward Hoagland is, I think what he says here speaks
volumes:"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try
to train him to be semi-human.

The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming
partly a dog." - Edward Hoagland


>> This "praise the dog when he misbehaves"
>> thing keeps coming up, and nobody has been
>> able to explain it to me.


> That's because no one can.

Actually, Jerry Howe explains it pretty well. And as for the
incident I related where I praised my dog when he found a juicy
chicken breast and my praise caused him to drop it, and
subsequently got him to stop scavenging altogether, the
answer is pretty clear.

He didn't pick it up because he was hungry, he was just looking
for something to do that would satisfy an inner emotional need
relating to his instincts. When I praised him suddenly and very
enthusiastically, he dropped the chicken breast because the praise
provided him with more emotional satisfaction than the chicken
breast did at that paricular moment.

You could look at this as being an example of pure operant

conditioning, if you like (though it's not), but it would still
mean that you would have to give up your ideas of what praise
is and how and why it works.


> every single method out there is based
> on CC and/or OC. That's a fact.

No, it's not a fact. The only reason it seems
so to you is because it's basic premise is
tautological (and also because, IMO, you have
a tiny mind).

And dogs do not learn things by association or
repetition or trial and error, but through their

Even Pavlov said so: "Positive emotions arising
in connection with the perfection of a skill,
irrespective of its pragmatic significance at a
given moment, serve as the reinforcement."

So, we're back to the anterior cingulate
cortex, which is where emotional memories
are stored.


From: "LeeCharlesKelley" >
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004 17:57:03 -0400
Subject: Re: Counter Cruising must stop


> How in the world does the dog learn *not*
> to do something by getting praised for
> doing it? IMHO, it's a silly idea.

No doubt. I was more than a little perplexed
myself, the first time I tried it (with the
chicken breast), but by then I'd already come
to the conclusion that almost everything we
think we know about dogs is wrong.

Praise is one of things.

So if it's silly, and if praise really works
for the reasons you *think* it does, why did
it work with the chicken breast example?
(Hint: I already explained it in a way that
gibes, on some level, with operant conditioning.)


From: "LeeCharlesKelley" >
Date: Sat, 04 Sep 2004 02:55:43 -0400
Subject: Re: Has anyone read . .

>> I'm saying the social structure exists because it serves
>> the needs of the hunt, though it's always there.

> Yes, but I believe you err when you attribute all behaviors
> that stem from that cooperative structure to prey drive.
> You've referred to "pack instinct". Would it not be equally
> appropriate to recognize pack drive as a motivating force?

I see instincts as being distinctively different from drives.
An instinct refers to the governing factor for a group of
behaviors suited for a general purpose. For instance, the
reproductive instinct controls behaviors which serve to insure
the survival of a species' DNA.

This includes not only mating, but acting aggressive toward
anyone who might harm the young, etc. Anything that insures
the survival of the DNA.

There is some crossover with the survival instinct, of course,
but you have behaviors where a wolf will work tirelessly to kill
a prey animal, eat it, then come back to the den and regurgitate
his meal so that the young pack members may have a meal.

So in a sense, it's a higher level of behavior than pure
survival instinct, because to some extent it puts the
survival of the DNA ahead of the survival of the individual.

A drive, on the other hand, may be part of an instinct, but
is something that compels an organism to act to achieve a
specific goal, and involves a deep emotional committment that
is sustainable over a period of time.

So, while an organism's sex *instinct* is clearly involved in
the intense search for a female in heat, it's the sex *drive*
that creates that intense emotional committment.

Another way to look at it is that a drive not only compels the
animal to act, but also inhibits him from being able to stop
his behavior for almost any reason, hence my example in a
previous post (and numerous follow-ups) of a dog who crawls
through a barbed-wire fence to get to a female in heat, even
though it may cause him severe injury. He just won't stop
until he finds her and is able to ply his wiles on her, or
until he drops from exhaustion.

The prey drive operates in the same fashion. Once it's engaged,
I seriously doubt (and Coppinger agrees with me) that any wolf
will put the brakes on to pick up snacks along the way.

Of course, dogs aren't wolves, so a dog's committment to his
prey drive is generally less pronounced or intense, though
I've had experiences with dogs who can't be distracted from a

squirrel or a pigeon, no matter what kind of tasty treat you
might try to proffer.

I once put a juicy piece of chicken breast right onto my dog's
tongue (he had his mouth slightly open) while he was stalking
a squirrel, and he calmly spit it out, never taking his eyes
off the squirrel the whole time. And he hadn't had eaten since
the night before.

At any rate, that's how I see drives -- as compelling forces
that can't be stopped by barbed-wire fences or tasty treats,
etc. So, to me there is no pack "drive", because social
behaviors are both generalized and don't involve a strong,
compelling, unwavering emotional committment such as the
examples given.

Add to this the fact (as I see it) that the only reason some
canines form packs in the first place is to enable them to
hunt as a cooperative social unit, and you can see why I think
that the prey drive is the motivating force, in one form or
another, behind all social behaviors. If canines didn't need
to hunt together, they wouldn't form social units.


> Example: when we train wilderness SAR dogs we base that
> training on their natural inclination to bring together
> handler and victim, not on prey hunting behaviors.

I think the natural inclination is to find the "prey", which
is based in part, on a learned behavior (because the prey-
making behavior is always rewarded), and that once that goal
is ccomplished, the behavior of bringing the handler and victim
together is also mostly a learned behavior, not an instinctual

> The whole manner they search and work is very
> different from prey behaviors

I think that may be because there's a general misunderstanding,
or lack of specificity in the dog world about what constitutes
prey behavior.

I've looked around and found that most trainers who work with
the prey drive distinguish "hunting drive", which is the search
part of the prey drive, from "prey drive", which they see as
being only the chase and bite aspect.

The prey drive, according to Coppinger, and I agree with him,
is composed of 5 distinct behaviors: the search, the stalk,
the chase, the grab-bite, and the kill-bite.

So when you say that what you've observed in search-and-rescue
or tracking dogs doesn't register for you as prey drive, you
may just be looking at it from that perspective. I think that
what they're doing when looking for victims is a manifestation
of one specific aspect of the prey drive--the search.

I'm assuming (and I could be wrong because I'm not really up
on the new way of doing things) that when the dog alerts the
handler to a vicim's location, he's rewarded with a ball or
a tug toy.

This is the traditional way of doing things, whether the job
is to find an accident victim, a lost hiker, an escaped convict,
llicit drugs, a bomb, spent shell casings, or a dead body.

So he's doing what he does (alerting the handler) not out of an
instinctive need to bring the handler and victim (or drugs, etc.)
together. He's doing it, at least in part, out of an instinctive
need to complete the hunt, by biting the ball (grab-bite) or
tugging on the tug toy (kill-bite). The rest of it is just training.

> While I disagree with quite a lot of Ian [Dunbar]'s conclusions,
> you may be making an unwarranted assumption. I know that a large
> part of his recent work with non-canine species was based on
> neural pathways and have reason to believe that his U.C. work
> didn't disregard canine brain structure & function, based on
> things I've heard him say about canine sensory responses &
> reaction times.

That may be so. I believe the study we were discussing was done
quite a number of years ago at UCB, and I even mentioned that if
it had been done more recently, with some of the current data on
neuroanatomy (among other things) available to him, that his
approach to the subject matter may have been different.

The things you've heard him say about canine sensory responses
and reaction times are probably more recent and weren't part of
that study.

I have a great deal of respect for Dunbar, and agree with him on
a number of points. Despite my disagreements with his approach
to training, I consider him a tireless ambassador for non-
confrontational, non-aggressive techniques, which I applaud.

My negative comments about him were in response to a specific
point under debate, regarding the question of whether canines
are mentally capable of forming an awareness of their rank in
a supposed social hierarchy. It sort of spiraled out of control
a bit from there.


From: "LeeCharlesKelley" >
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 10:37:35 -0400
Subject: Re: Has anyone read . .

I don't normally respond to posts on these kind of sites,
but since BSParker is the only one here who's had first-hand
experience with my effectiveness as a dog trainer, I thought
I would drop in for a moment and say hello.

I'd also like to point out that I hardly expect everyone to
love and enjoy my novels. That's a matter of personal preference.

For those of you (including Parker) who want to read sample
chapters you can go to my website: http://www.leecharleskelley
.com, or the Harper Collins website, or for that matter just
look up my novels on Amazon.com. Sample chapters are available
at all those places. If you like what you read, you'll probably
like the books.

Also, I hardly think my booklet "No Bad Dogs, Just Bad Trainers"
is the most definitive text on drives ever written. It's mostly
just a precis of the information contained in "Natural Dog
Training", by Kevin Behan.

And even if it were a seminal, groundbreaking work, I would
hardly expect most of the posters on this site to agree with
the ideas in it or my novels, since I've basically shown the
scientific flaws in both the alpha theory (which is completely
false) and operant conditioning (which has limitations because
it doesn't take a dog's prey drive into account).

I have nothing much to say about the Koehler Method (or the
idea of teaching a dog "cause and effect"), except that when
you don't give a dog a solid foundation for learning by first
activating the prey drive before teaching him anything, you
give him a negative learning experience rather than a positive

"Max Von Stephanitz said, "Before you teach a dog to obey, teach
it how to play.") It's up to the individual owner or trainer to
decide which of these is better for the dog in the long run -- a
negative learning experience or a positive one.

However, ideas are just ideas, and talk is just talk (or in
the case of many on this site, blather). It's taking action
that counts.

I've tested Kevin Behan's techniques and have found that they
work far better than anything else. And I've come to realize
just how scientifically valid they are, because sociability
and learning in canines is totally dependent on the prey drive.

You see,what's misperceived as strata in a social echelon is
really just variations in the prey drive, which are a biological
necessity for the chase-and-ambush style of hunting. Forming a

dominance hierarchy serves no such biologic function.

Meanwhile, the central thesis of operant conditioning, that
the survival instincts are paramount to modifying behavior,
fails to take into account the fact that food rewards have
no effectiveness when strong drives and emotions are in play,
or the reality that when the prey drive is engaged, survival
instincts become secondary, not primary.

But again, these are just words, reflecting ideas. It's only
when you apply the techniques and see their effectiveness first-
hand, as Parker has done, that you'll see the proof of what I'm

It's sad that my most vociferous critics haven't applied or

experimented with Natural Dog Training techniques and yet
still denigrate them. Some who criticize me here have actually
contacted me privately for help with behavioral problems.

In one instance, a poster's belief system made her unable to
solve a fairly simple behavioral problem. I suggested that
rather than doing some of the things she was doing on a daily
basis to reinforce her status and authority as the "alpha
member" of the group, she do the exact polar opposite, just
as an experiment, just to see what would happen.

Her beliefs in the outmoded and silly alpha theory prevented
her from taking action that could have easily solved the problem
she was having with her dog.

It's fortunate that some of my readers haven't been so hidebound
in their beliefs and have actually tried some of the methods
described in my novels (as a sidelight to the main action), and
have had amazing results.

Be good to your doggies. Try to see things from their point
of view. Apply a little bit of you own commonsense and logic
(if you have any) when looking at their behaviors, rather than
relying on antiquated ideas from so-called experts or

misinterpreting what you see through your own belief systems,
as the alpha theorists and behavioral scientists have done.

Experiment with new techniques and new ideas, just to see if
they're effective. Then we can have a sound, rational discussion.

Nice to hear from you, BSP.


Newsgroups: rec.pets.dogs.behavior
From: "LeeCharlesKelley" >
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 19:01:17 -0400
Subject: Re: Has anyone read . .

>> Kelley: First of all, the dog is not being rewarded
>> or reinforced by the smell. >>

> CompuType: He absolutely is!

Kelley's response: Okay. How is he being rewarded by the smell?

Explain it.

>> Kelley: He's being motivated by it.>>

> CompuType: That too.

>> Kelley: However, it's obvious that the pursuit of the
>> female is self-reinforcing, especially in a dog who
>> continues producing the behavior even though he's never
>> been able to achieve his goal.>>

> CompuType: The dog is being self rewarded/reinforced

Kelley's response: Didn't you say that the pursuit of the
female is being rewarded by the smell? If so, then it's
NOT a self-rewarding behavior since the reward comes from
an outside source, correct?

Or do you think it can be both? If so, explain the underlying

mechanism for how you think this works.

I can see how the female pheromone is the stimulus which
INITIATES the behavior, but I don't know why you would
think the pheromone also REWARDS the behavior.

How exactly do you think it does that?

And since we're talking about a dog who's in a high-drive
emotional state, albeit, compelled by his sex drive, not
his prey drive, if a behavior can be simultanteously
initiated by an outside source and yet be self-rewarding
at the same time, why do you question the reality that a
dog in a high-drive state can also learn a new behavior
instantly and wnever forget the lesson?

Kelley: <<when you build a dog's prey drive to a high enough
level, he can learn a command just once--I'm not kidding--and
the lesson never has to be repeated. And this can be accomplished
wihout any external reward--no treats, no praise, no ball throw,

Computype: >So according to you, your students come to a class
and learn everything they need to teach a dog in one class in
one repetition. Uh huh.>

Kelley's response: I never said that and you know it. I'm only
saying that it CAN be done, and HAS been done. I've done it on
numerous occasions, and it always works.

Have you ever even TRIED it?

Would you even know how?

You talk about "using prey drive" in training as if we're
talking about the same thing, though it's clear to me that
you only have the barest inkling of what I'm talking about.

And you also say that some dogs "don't have a strong prey
drive" so you don't use prey techniques with them, as if
the limitation were in the dog and not in your technique.

Where I come from that's just plain laziness. If the prey
drive holds the optimal learning experience for a dog and
you don't make any effort to find a way to draw that out
of him to achieve that heightened level of learning, you're
not really doing your job properly, are you?

In the example I cited about teaching my dog the "over"
command, that was the first time I had ever been able to
build his prey drive to any degree of usefulness.

And it took a lot of work to draw it out of him that day.
But once I got him there, the results were spectacular.

In fact, until that time I was probably as skeptical as you
are that what I'm talking about could be done, and then, when
I actually saw it happen, it boggled my mind. Sometimes I
STILL can't believe it works, but it does.

You know, you ought to try it sometime. It's kinda fun.


Newsgroups: rec.pets.dogs.behavior
From: "LeeCharlesKelley" >
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 02:47:19 -0400
Subject: Re: Has anyone read . .

Ray Coppinger has studied wolves in the wild, where their
behavior is markedly different from that of wolves kept
in sanctuaries. The whole alpha mess started with pecking
orders in chickens, and ethologists have now found that
pecking orders don't actually exist in all chicken groups
(Masson and McCarthy).

Kevin Behan's father was a fairly famous trainer, who used
a very punitive technique, to which Kevin developed an aversion.

So he began looking for something new, which is when he studied
with the schutzhund master he mentions in his book. Kevin
diverged from the traditional thinking, the ScH trainers taught
on drives, and came to realize that it's really all one drive:
prey drive.

There is no pack drive, or play drive, or ball drive, or food
drive. There are basically only two drives: the sex drive,
which has very little to do with training, and the prey drive,
which has everything to do with it. Sadly, there is a huge
misunderstanding in thedog world about what a drive is and isn't.

> I've read the book, and feel that much of the training I've
> done could not be accomplished with his methods.>

What you feel about it is irrelevant. I thought Kevin was full
of crap when I first read "Natural Dog Training". I had much
the same feeling, perhaps, as you do. The difference is I didn't
rely on what I "felt" about it, I tested the exercises to see if
they worked.

And as for my successes with dogs, you can read about a couple
of early experiences on my website. And I work exclusively with
pet dogs and have no interest in earning titles.

> Uhm, the flaw in your thinking is that prey drive is NOT used
> in teaching cadaver or rubble work. Pack and play drive are,
> as both Diane and I know from experience.>

Really? They don't use kongs, with certain scents contained
insided, and play lots of fetch, then hide the kongs and teach
the dogs to find them?

That's prey drive.

For canines, play, on any level, is a natural form of learning
how to make prey. As far as "pack drive" is concerned, there
is no pack without the need to hunt large prey. The wolves at
the garbage dump are one example.

Another is the fact that coyotes, jackals, and dingoes form
packs, but only when they need to hunt large prey. Then
there's the fact that lions are the only social cats in nature.

What else is unusual about lions? That's right, they hunt
in a manner similar to that used by wolves. In other words,
the pack instinct (and it's an instinct, not a drive), and
the prey drive are inextricably linked together. Predation =


And as for the prey drive being part of the survival instinct
(which is something I believe Diane suggested in another post),
that just isn't the case. These are two separate levels of

Does prey drive have an effect on survival? Yeah, no kidding.
But it's not specifically a survival behavior.

Sorry for the tone of my post. It's late, I've got a cold,
and I'm feeling grumpy.



From: "LeeCharlesKelley" >
Date: Sat, 04 Sep 2004 16:00:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Has anyone read . .

Howdy Jerry,

I wish you were more coherent about this stuff, the
way you are (mostly*) when you talk about training.

So when you refer to "Jive" as the SAR dog who wouldn't work,
you're actually referring to "Java", as in "Java Jive"? I
guess that clears that part up for me.

As for Lynn's supposed "lies", it seems to me, on my cursory
review of the material you sent me, to be nothing more than
the general disingenuousness of most dog trainers who backtrack
whenever the methodologies they purport to believe in don't work
"as advertised".

So she's not really lying, she's just relying too much on crappy
information she's getting from dog training experts who don't
understand dogs. Same old ****.

And you might want to think twice about calling everyone a
lying, dog-abusing, murdering coward. People tend to get
defensive when they're attacked, even if you're right.

Thanks for your reply.

your pal,


PS: I thought you'd like to know that your jingling keys
distraction has worked wonders with a 4 mo. old Westie I'm
working with. Gracie no longer barks when her owner, Joan,
makes up the sofa bed (there are no dogs "allowed" in the
building, so the barking is an important issue).

And the pup no longer tries to run out the door whenever Joan
leaves her apartment. In fact, as soon as she sees Joan getting
ready to leave Gracie goes into a calm, focused down! But I'm
still waiting to see if there are any negative side-effects to
startling the puppy, which I don't ordinarily like to do. (I
only tried it because Joan is on disability and is unable to
perform the kind of training tasks I'd normally have given her,
and because I wanted to test your method's effectiveness.

So far so good.)

*I think you're mistaken in your ideas about allelomimetic
behavior. I think in most instances the behaviors you've
seen are caused by what I'd call emotional coherence, or
emotional consonance (a term I coined for a scene in my
second novel), meaning that the dog will sometimes naturally
and instinctively align himself emotionally to whatever the
owner or the other dog is doing/feeling at the time, which
is quite a different thing from intentionally imitating the
behavior, though it does seem to produce the same results.

Emotional consonance (or coherence, which I go into in my
third book, coming out in December) is, I think, a natural
function of the group cooperation aspect of the prey drive.
Allelomimetic behavior, as far as I can tell, serves no such
biological function.

And dogs don't have "thoughts" about what they want to do,
Jerry, they merely have impulses. So you're not interrupting
the dog from thinking about a behavior, you're interrupting
his impulse, or hopefully, the flow of his emotions, and
thereby eliminating, or extinguishing, the resulting chain: