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Today's dog trainer can trace the roots of modern training to Training Dogs by Colonel Konrad Most. Written in Germany in 1910, Training Dogs influenced how both dogs and trainers were taught in Europe and the United States for the next 50 years! It contains valuable and historically significant information.
21st century trainers and behaviorists will find it amazing to realized that early in the 20th century Konrad Most was using and applying behavioral training principles with dogs long before B.F. Skinner! Most also created systematic and scientific methods to teach trainers how to train the dog and his "theory of Training" is a classic in the field. While Most's methods may be viewed harsh by modern dog trainers, the theory behind it was revolutionary for it's time and still applied today.
"We are in luck if, in training a dog, we can use his instincts as a basis for what we require. For the more instinctive an action is, the more reliable it will be."-Konrad Most
Here is what today's dog trainers say about Training Dogs:
"Most demonstrated an understanding of operant conditioning concepts such as primary and secondary reinforcement, shaping, fading and chaining 28 years before the publication of B.F. Skinner's The Behavior of Organisms. He differentiated between primary and secondary reinforcers. He used his voice and soft tones as secondary inducements, much the way some trainers use clickers today." Mary R. Burch and Jon S. Bailey, How Dogs Learn, 1999, Howell Book House, A Division of Hungry Minds, Inc.
"Although some of Most's methods seem archaic and harsh in this enlightened age of positive training, some of the theory he set forth was years ahead of its time. Knowing where training came from helps us appreciate where we are today." Sheila Booth, author of Purely Positive and co-author of Schutzhund Obedience Training In Drive.
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