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Topic Title: a real Don Sullivan review! My thoughts on other TV trainers too
Created On Tue December 09, 2008 3:46 PM
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julia
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Tue December 09, 2008 3:46 PM
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I was following some of the threads on here recently (although I must admit I did not read everything) and thought I would add my two cents to the topic.

A few weeks ago I purchased the Don Sullivan package I saw on TV. Not to actually train my dog, but rather to see what it is all about. I was kind of hyped up about it and very curious. Personally I train using more traditional methods (koehler) , but that is not what I am here to discuss. I just want to give you all my thoughts on the DS "system".


Personally I thought the "system" was a huge rip off! The only part of it that is worth any money is the DVDs. The command collar (for lack of a better term) is a piece of shit! Not only that, but could easily break, proving to be dangerous to the untrained dog and dog owner. I can see someone using this collar and easily losing control of their dog as the dog breaks free from the collar!

The freedom training lines are worthless. DS seems to think that you can only have success using these lines. He is a good sales man and tries to pitch you these collars and lines. I will tell you differently. Save yourself the money, go to the hardware store and buy some rope. Cut them in three different lengths and you will have your "freedom" lines. You are probably better off buying them at the hardware store and picking a better quality. DS lines are made from hollow braided rope-if your dog chews through these again you can have a dangerous situation.

The DVDs are definitely worth money. But definitely not $59+tax. I would say maybe $20-30 for the DVDs alone.

The information on the DVDs was great. He shows how to execute commands and addresses many of the "what ifs" that a person with an untrained dog may have. I do agree with him on a lot of things he had to say. He did shed some light on other topics including dog parks, and how to train a dog to retrieve. What I don't agree with him on is the premises of his training methods. He talked briefly on his beliefs about dogs and he made it sound as if he believed that all dogs by their very nature are "bad". I do not believe this. On the other hand I do not subscribe to the line of thinking that "all dogs want to please. We just need to show them how". I personally believe that dogs are opportunistic and left untrained can become problematic. I do not think that all dogs are bad like DS believes. My mother used to say to me "an idle mind is the devils playground". I think dogs need to be mentally stimulated and kept active or else they can fall in to the pit of "bad behaviour". Some dogs are bad, others are good by their nature.

I also did not line how his product is very deceiving! When I saw the commercials I thought I was going to be buying a dog training system not just a collar and lines with DVDs. I thought he actually had a method! I thought he was going to be like David Dikeman. I loved the David Dikeman videos and audiotapes. I miss that guy!!

What I found deceiving about the Don sullivan system is that while he pitched his collar and leashes non-stop...he rarely used them himself! In most of his DVD he was using a choke or pinch collar! He was even using E-collar in some parts. Very deceiving and disappointing.

Oh and the "tricks" section of his DVD was stupid! I can get my dog to do those things. I when I think tricks I think dancing, back vaults, etc. No climbing up on things and picking up items! I was hoping to see some fancy tricks.

Overall the DVDs are okay if you are just looking to teach a dog some basic commands. The rope and collar on the other hand are complete garbage! If they sold the DVDs alone I would say they are worth paying for ($20-30 max). One would be better off buying the DVDs separately and then heading to the hardware store for some rope and a prong collar. Personally even though I subscribe to more traditional dog training methods, I don't really like the prong because of spring like feel to it making it hard for corrective turns. I rather use a choke collar or martingale. But that is just my preference. I also like e-collar work, but understand this may not be an affordable option to everyone.

As for other TV trainers..well I have various opinions on them. There are thousands of people who swear by Cesar Milan and it makes me sick! There is even one local Milan fan who comes to my local dog park and "whispers" to the dogs by going "shh" to every dog he sees as "aggressive" when they are being...dogs! This guys swears by Cesar and thinks he is the be all and end all! I like some of what Cesar says, but I have never seen him actually train a dog! He is more of a dog behaviourist (if you can even call him that?)

Brad Pattison is better IMO. While I don't like everything he says, I do see that he actually trains dogs. I think his methods draw mainly from Koehler. I was on a few yahoo lists where his name came up (posts from years ago before he was on TV) where this had come up. I think he is OK, and his show is entertaining. On the other hand, like Cesar, he is not the be all and end all of dog training. There are people that follow his methods and are not willing to hear anything else. I do not like that, I think at the very least people should be open minded and willing to learn even though they do not agree.

Like I said, I believe in more traditional methods. That said I do have an Ian Dunbar book that I am reading right now.

 
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Shiplesp
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Tue December 09, 2008 4:17 PM
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If you're open to new ideas, I enthusiastically recommend "Zoomility" by Grey Stafford. Grey is a zoo trainer and has written a book explaining how pet owners can translate zoo training methods to training their pet animals. It's funny and interesting, and a wonderful introduction to reward based training. Zoo (and wildlife park) training is necessarily positive, since there most wild species can't effectively be trained with punishment without risking their lives or your own (Bob Bailey made an amusing comment once ... to the effect of try "correcting" a grizzly bear and you'll soon see your head bouncing several yards away). Anyway, it's amazing to see the complex, and sometimes painful and invasive, behaviors they train using reinforcement only.

And even if it's not your cup of tea, it's a fun read.

Susan

P.S. This is my last post on a DS thread.
 
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mteacup
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Tue December 09, 2008 4:37 PM
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Quote

Originally posted by: Shiplesp
If you're open to new ideas, I enthusiastically recommend "Zoomility" by Grey Stafford. Grey is a zoo trainer and has written a book explaining how pet owners can translate zoo training methods to training their pet animals. It's funny and interesting, and a wonderful introduction to reward based training. Zoo (and wildlife park) training is necessarily positive, since there most wild species can't effectively be trained with punishment without risking their lives or your own (Bob Bailey made an amusing comment once ... to the effect of try "correcting" a grizzly bear and you'll soon see your head bouncing several yards away). Anyway, it's amazing to see the complex, and sometimes painful and invasive, behaviors they train using reinforcement only.

And even if it's not your cup of tea, it's a fun read.

Susan

P.S. This is my last post on a DS thread.



I love the last line of your post! Thank you Susan!

-------------------------
Mary
 
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RottieWoman
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Tue December 09, 2008 4:51 PM
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julia

HI!

echoing Susan :-) ..........check out anything by: Karen Pryor, Bob and Marian Bailey, Sophia Yin, Jean Donaldson, Suzanne Clothier, Pamela Dennison, Susan Garret, Kay Laurence, Ken Ramirez, Victoria Stillwell <also a tv-trainer alternative>, Terri Ryan, Paul Owens, Ted Turner, <late> Patty Ruzzo, Dr. Patricia McConnell, Dr. Karen London.............

-------------------------
Rottie Mommy in WI - USA
 
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sweetlemon
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Mon June 22, 2009 8:26 AM
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I am looking for a large collar and the dvds for don sullivan dog training. Need asap and will pay.
 
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RottieWoman
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Mon June 22, 2009 8:37 AM
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I can't speak for every single person on here, but my experience has been that most of us don't train using a punishment-based system which is what that Sullivan system seems to be. I disagree with that and won't use it. I have other trainers - whose materials I could recommend, including FREE info. - whom I suggest - see my post from Dec. 9, 2008 in this thread.
Remember, there are NO true "quick fixes" , no matter WHAT anyone tells you or how quickly you acquire training materials. There is only true and ongoing work with the dog for the whole life of the dog, as well as suppression of behavior - which is simply likely plugging a leak- if you don't change the actual structure that underlies the leak, eventually another leak will come and the whole thing will be in question.

-------------------------
Rottie Mommy in WI - USA
 
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poodlerock
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Thu November 05, 2009 1:37 PM
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I purchased the DS training system and loved it...HOWEVER my collar broke. When I called the company they simply have a 30 day warranty. WHAT? I asked for a manager and suddenly they could send me a replacment collar for free. If this 2nd one breaks, I'm going to a prong collar. I like the video's.
 
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RottieWoman
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Thu November 05, 2009 4:20 PM
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if interested, see above and previous posts <of which there are MANY; look for keywords like "Don Sullivan, Millan, etc> on D.S and similar punishment-based trainers as well as posts comparing someone like Sullivan to someone like Victoria Stillwell or Dr.Dunbar.
I don't know if you would love it so much if you were actually experiencing what the dog experiences when this and other similar-themed controls are used.

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Rottie Mommy in WI - USA
 
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Corinthian
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Thu November 05, 2009 4:55 PM
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Quote

Originally posted by: julia

Brad Pattison is better IMO. While I don't like everything he says, I do see that he actually trains dogs. I think his methods draw mainly from Koehler. I was on a few yahoo lists where his name came up (posts from years ago before he was on TV) where this had come up. I think he is OK, and his show is entertaining. On the other hand, like Cesar, he is not the be all and end all of dog training. There are people that follow his methods and are not willing to hear anything else. I do not like that, I think at the very least people should be open minded and willing to learn even though they do not agree.

Like I said, I believe in more traditional methods. That said I do have an Ian Dunbar book that I am reading right now.

Brad Pattison is one of the worst things to happen to dogs and Canada. Besides the fact that he suffers from a personality disorder that makes him incredibly arrogant, rude and obnoxious he also doesn't know what he's talking about. He props up his ideas by making up lies about the 'dangers' of treat training and shows a severe misunderstanding of operant conditioning.

This video which was removed because he's afraid to let people see his work
http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/brad-pattison-gets-annoyed/14534450
showed him hitting a dog in the face for no reason and then following it up with to hard leash jerks.

The study of Animal behavior is SCIENCE, so belief doesn't really count for much.
 
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RottieWoman
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Fri November 06, 2009 7:51 AM
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hi. corinthian, do agree with you!

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Rottie Mommy in WI - USA
 
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Corinthian
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Sat November 07, 2009 11:19 AM
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http://rutube.ru/tracks/1541461.html?v=f5da001315ee259e8c28ca49dff6394e
 
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mteacup
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Sat November 07, 2009 12:45 PM
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he is a complete ass and an embarrassment to the human race.

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Mary
 
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cmamissouri
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Sat February 06, 2010 7:22 PM
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what a douche...to add to the DS idea...he states at the begining of the dvd that most of the videos were made before he created the command collar...which i agree...he should have updated the videos to be more equally flowing. These systems arent necessarily "punishment" training...youre using the learning systems dogs do in nature. I do think the collar is great. I used choke collars and prong collars before but felt that they are a little too much and when i used the metal prongers...my dog would just welp and drop. The command collar doesnt dig in like the rest. i do agree that the lines are shit. i understand that they are light weight and blah blah blah but i did like them while we were playing in the snow...they didnt drag and tangly...they just glided over it. I also didnt like the shipping. i paid for priority mail and it took me 2 weeks to get it...when i did...i couldnt believe they charged so much...it weighed like a pound. anywho...dvds are good and kinda reminded me of leerburgs stuff minus the dog treats and boringness......the collar is good...lines not so much...i do recommend it to those wanting to easily understand how to train dogs.
 
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