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 food should I bring to my lessons?
(Unless your dog has particular dietary restrictions) we recommend that you bring approximately 300gms of raw beef (e.g. beef stir-fry strips) cut into small pieces to be used as food rewards.
In terms of the food size, consider the following in terms of your dog's size and appetite, and your own dexterity:
- if the pieces are large, you may find your dog's tummy fills up quickly
- if the pieces are small you may have difficulty holding them or separating one from another.
If you would prefer not to bring raw meat, please bring a food that your dog loves. Considerations for the type of food:
- Dry food or commercial treats that crumble or are hard to hold are likely to be dropped onto the ground, and this can be distracting for your dog.
- If the food is chewy and takes time to eat, this can interrupt the flow of the lesson.
- Dried liver is an ideal occasional treat, but is too rich to be used for a 45-minute training session.
- PUPPIES: If using a commercial treat, please check the packaging to see if the product is recommended for puppies.
- Any food new to a dog can cause a tummy upset without a gradual introduction. If your dog hasn’t eaten raw meat before or you intend to feed a commercial treat that he hasn’t eaten before, introduce it to him in advance of the lesson. Otherwise, we suggest that you bring a treat that your dog has eaten before without gastric upset.
Please bring your dog hungry and keen to take the food rewards we are going to offer him/her.
If you have any questions, please contact your instructor in advance of your first lesson.
What equipment should I bring to my lessons?
- Your dog wearing a flat collar or harness with an identification tag and lead.
- A few of your dog’s toys.
A bum bag or a treat pouch are great for carrying food rewards. It's important that you can quickly access the food to reward your dog.
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.