David was the pioneer of dog training using positive reinforcement in Australia. He was also the first person that we know of who started training and socialising dogs from eight weeks of age during their critical socialisation period.
David’s formal introduction to dog training began back in 1967 when he joined an obedience club with his Miniature Schnauzer, Fred. During the next eight years he trialled Fred to C.D.X. standard, became an obedience instructor and full panel judge and was President of the club for two years. However David was increasingly disillusioned with the conventional way of training using correction chains and force and he set out to research another, more gentle and effective, way. Rather by chance, he came across a reference to a man who trained rats, B. F. Skinner, and so his introduction to modern psychology began. David began to put Skinner’s principles of operant conditioning into practice with straying dogs in his neighbourhood! He was amazed at how quickly the dogs learnt their lessons and even more surprised that they seemed to remember what they had learnt when he saw them weeks later.
David also began to study wolf behaviour so that he could better understand how dogs tick. Wolves are the ancestors of our domestic dogs and their behaviour and social order can help us understand much about their descendants, the domestic dog.
David put his new found knowledge into practice at the obedience club but eventually founded a new organization, The Kintala Club, with encouragement from a few members who wanted to use his new method. This was back in 1976. His private business The Gentle Modern School of Dog Training (called the M.I.D.I. method at that time) became the gateway to entry to the new Kintala Club.
David’s aim in life was for every dog to be trained in a gentle, positive way.
David died in 1998.
Positive reinforcement training for dogs utilises food treats and/or praise and/or toy play to reward a dog for doing something you want him to do. The reward (or the possibility of the reward) makes it more likely that your dog will repeat the behaviour. (If you would like more information please select the "Training Method" option under About Us.)
What should I bring to my lessons?
At least 300gm small pieces of meat - about the size of your finger nail. We prefer you to bring raw gravy beef or stir fry strips which your dog can swallow quickly and which does not crumble and drop on the ground. If you feel your dog cannot eat beef, please discuss this when you make your appointment.
A lead. Your dog can wear either a fixed collar or a body harness.
Please bring your dog keen to take the food rewards we are going to offer him/her.
Please wear flat shoes and preferably slacks or shorts. Thongs can distract some dogs and skirts can interfere with your dog's vision
What’s the best way to get to the Leopold location?
It is best if you come from the Geelong Portarlington Rd (C123), rather than the Bellarine Highway (B110). Number 45 Bawtree Road is actually marked on the Melway map 469 B1.