"The Mirror Method"
How did they do all that?!!!
Curiosity was killing us here, so we decided to see what this Mirror Method of dog training was all about.
These dogs are from Budapest and are owned by a group of first time dog owners who met in dog training class. They forged a strong bond of friendship with each other based on their love of dogs and desire to incorporate their dogs into their social lives. This group of friends now trains, plays, and performs together, proving that the love of dogs can be a great way to meet new friends and have fun with your dogs along the way.
The Hungarian group called Népszigeti Kutyaiskola (People Island's Dog School) call their method 'the Mirror Method' and use clicker training, as well as mirroring, to train the dogs. Mirroring is similar to some of the psychology of human communication. For instance, if you are negotiating a deal with someone who is leaning forward in their seat, you lean forward too. If they cross a leg, you cross your leg, and so on. (Which begs the question: Did one of these dog owners put a floating wooden board in their mouth and paddle the poodle toward shore? The concept is simple but ingenious ... and good for a few chuckles, too!)
The 'Mirror Method' training concept is that dogs instinctively learn by following. The groups online photos and videos show that when they want the dogs to sit, the owners themselves will crouch down & sit, leading their dogs by example. The dog's quiet, confident and respectful behavior reflect the way they are trained. From the English version of their website is this description of their methods:
The Mirror Method's name comes from the idea that dogs
reflect their owners behavior like mirrors and consists of three main parts:
1. Build up required relationship and ranking order in everyday life
2. Teach with clicker using only positive reinforcement and no force
3. Ensure the required lifestyle to our dogs, specially giving them opportunity to work down his intinct-energies.
Additional aspects of their method are:
* Positive reinforcement & clicker training
* Including the dog in all aspects of the owner's life, not just daily walks
* Socialization of dogs with other dogs
* Allowing them to run free in the forest or swim in the lake - in other words, encouraging the freedom to just be a dog
* Respecting the dog's natural instincts to hunt, defend, guard or retrieve by incorporating those instincts in play and training.
~WELL DONE, FOLKS~