This may sound strange to some...If you break it all down, we are dealing with animal behavior. Who would have a better understanding of that than trainers of Apex preditors? Living in San Diego, we have Sea World here. I took all of our trainers to Sea World and we watched, questioned and learned from them. They are training animals that are not supposed to be trained and they do it very well. We learned a lot from the Sea Lion trainers and the Orca trainers. Obviously it is all positive reinforcement and zero compulsion. But they do have some tricks that we implemented.
Is there a zoo in your area? These folks are animal behavior trainers, not cops working dogs. They have a really good understanding of how to read behavior and modify training based on that behavior. Sometimes, we, as police dog trainers, fail to see the forrest thru the trees.
Never be too smart to think you know it all; look outside the box. And those folks love dogs!
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