Q: Looking for recommendation for dog training video...saw the Woodehouse on the shelf but wondered if anything more modern or effective was available?
A: What are your goals for using a dog training video tape? Are you chosing to use the video tape as a supplement to dog training classes? If you are choosing video tape instead of dog training classes what is your past dog training experience? I have an increasingly large collection of dog training video tapes and some of them are quite excellent. Their "excellentness" however is going to be related to your goals and baseline experience. Dog training is a physical skill. People who get the best use out of video tapes are people who have already mastered the basic skills and are now looking for new ways to put those skills to use. Other important factors for evaluating the usefulness of a video tape for you include the age of your dog, whether you are looking only for basic manners or perhaps the ability to achieve an obedience title, whether you are interested in learning about the theory behind the procedure and similiar considerations. In general the person who is looking to have a well mannered dog will get the best value for their dollar by working with a trainer. This is especially true in two situations (1) the person has never trained their own dog (growing up with a family dog taught mainly by someone else doesn't count) or (2) the person who has successfully trained a dog or two in the past but is struggling with their current dog. One very significant disadvantage with a video tape is its inability to adjust information and technique to the dog and owner. No technique is right for all dogs, nor all people. Using the wrong technique can be a serious problem if the person using it is unable to distinguish between whether they are simply not applying the technique properly, or if it is actually an inappropriate technique in that situation. Video tape as an exclusive source of information also suffers from a distinct lack of reality feedback - the situation in which the users perception of their acheivements is put to the test of educated observation.