Today, Friday 30 September 2011, is a critical day in the dog owning world of Victoria, Australia. Today the amnesty on restricted breed dog ownership ends as council officers now embark on the government mission of hunting down the unregistered pit bulls, putting a loop pole around their necks and taking them away for a shot of the permanent sleep medicine.
You could well imagine the outcry, the planned protests, the unplanned protests – and the smiles on the faces of those whose life it is is to not live next door to a dog, especially a dangerous one.
Several years back I put finger to keyboard and came up with a police procedural novel – Code Nine. The story is set in the fictional bayside town of Kingston and follows the first week of new police recruit Peter Wallace as he steps from the police world of his dreams to that of reality. His first day and he cops a murder, an executed member of the Devil’s Eagles outlaw motorcycle gang. And from there, things don’t stop.
Those involved in dog training know of the four quadrants – positive and negative reinforcement; and positive and negative punishment – and there are many different ways of applying the quadrants to have a dog perform the behaviour that you would like. But training methods aside, the dog handler needs a mantra.
I have mine and it is something I express to all handlers who come to one of my classes. I call it Jim’s philosophy of dog training – The F’s and P’s of dog training. I’ve picked them up from various sources, added my own twist and I believe that having something solid to follow provides a basis for good dog training.