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DanRaff

Ndtf Vs Delta Dog Training Course?

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DanRaff   

Hi guys,

I am a training psychologist interested in working with dogs for animal-assisted therapy. I am looking into a few dog training courses and found ones with NDTF and Delta. Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences about which course is better/ more comprehensive for this area? NDTF seems to be more promising based on the course descriptions (plus it seems cheaper and shorter??) but I know Delta is a charity tuned to helping people with trained dogs. Delta is also "companion animals" not just dog training - what else do they cover?

Help me!

Cheers :)

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Lollipup   

Delta course is Cert IV in Companion Animal Services but tailored toward pet training and mainly dogs. They are more biased toward one style of training from what I understand and have heard from many. I haven't done their course though. I did the NDTF course which covers all four quadrants and then lets you choose what you want to use so more balanced IMO.

I have also heard you can do the Cert IV in Companion Animal Services through another provider and it is also geared more toward dog training but is not as "positive only" as Delta is. Its run by Craig Murray in Brisbane but I don't know much about it. I do know someone who did it and also then did the NDTF course though, and he had good things to say about the Companion Animals course.

ETA: I think Delta does certifications for assistance type dogs so this may be more what your after?

Edited by Lollipup

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Guest Panzer Attack!   
Guest Panzer Attack!

Hi there,

I know someone who has done both (practices as a Delta-only trainer now), and have met a couple people who regret doing NDTF. There are trainers on this forum with very good reputations who have done NDTF too :)

I'm currently in the first year of the Delta course and thus far it is not dog specific in the slightest. One of our teachers trains animals for movies and does zoo work. Feel free to PM me if you want to ask anything! So far I love it.

Edit: I weighed up the two courses for over a year before deciding and did a lot of research, asked involved people a lot of questions. I advise you do research too! People are naturally going to be biased if they've done a particular course (myself included)!

Edited by Panzer Attack!

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DanRaff   

Thanks so much guys, that is helpful so far. I have a long journey ahead - and thanks Panzer Attack, I will def PM you when I can think of some good questions to ask!

Much appreciated :)

Dan

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Weasels   

There have been a few threads on this, if you do a search on "delta" or "ndtf" you should find a lot of info & opinions :)

Here's a recent thread - http://www.dolforums.com.au/topic/234178-delta-dog-training-course-ndtf-course/

Edit - I've been thinking about doing this diploma course when I'm no longer working full time - http://www.casinstitute.com/dipabt.html - but it's entirely distance. (which suits me since I'm more interested in the theory aspects than ever working as a trainer, so horses for courses :))

Edited by Weasels

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fuzzy82   

I did the NDTF course, and I found it biased with regards to training methods. They do go in detail about all the quadrants, but they all seem to prefer the traditional, balanced type of training where you punish the bad behaviour and reward the good behaviour. No mention at all about how you would train using reward based methods, and when I answered some questions on my assessments saying I would use a clicker for certain things I was told I was using the clicker too much, and on an assessment where we were free to choose any obedience behaviour and training method, and to simply write step by step how we would train it, I chose to capture the "down", and the assessor asked "why" I had chosen to capture it. When I asked if I wasn't free to use whatever method I wanted I was told that "ok you can use capturing, but it's unconventional".

I found the assessors inefficient. They would always say the expected time for assessments to be returned was 4 weeks, but it always took at least 8 weeks, and on one occasion 6 months. They were also nit-picky. For the obedience assessment mentioned above I chose duration of 1 minute as one of my criteria, and explained in detail how I would train for duration. The assessor's comment was that I should have done 2 minutes, as if it mattered when I had already explained in detail how I would train duration.

Another thing was my assistance dog practical assessment. I sent a video of the dog doing the behaviour off leash, but in a low distraction environment. The off leash part was required for the assessment. I also sent another video of me proofing the skill around distractions, but the dog was on leash for it because we were in public. The assessment came back not satisfactory because the dog wasn't off leash AND in a high distraction environment, even though the two videos combined showed that he was able to do it both off leash and around distractions. When I argued they wouldn't budge at all, and I had to re-do the video. I spoke to another student who did the same assistance dog skill, and her video of the dog doing it without any distractions got approved.

As for block training (the practical part of the course), I did that here in Qld, and it was ALL about compulsion training, the trainer who instructed us clearly had an issue with reward based methods. The dogs were on check chains the whole time we worked with them, except when we did a half day workshop on luring with a guest instructor. I've heard the block training down in Vic is better.

All in all the course was alright, I did learn a lot about learning theory and the science behind dog training, but there were a lot of annoyances too.

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DanRaff   

Thanks heaps Weasles - I joined the forum today so I should and will fish through the other threads :)

The diploma looks really interesting too, I'll also keep an eye on that, as animal (including human hehe) behaviour is the field of work I am studying to get into. Where is the diploma based - i.e. is it an accepted accreditation in Australia?

I'd like to do some practical 'hands-on' animal/dog training experience though, and the ten months distance with NDTF is what I find appealing, rather than the 2 1/2 years with Delta, as I mostly want to learn how to train dogs to use in animal-assisted therapy. Plus, I just want to learn how to train dogs in its own right ;) But I have some time to do a comprehensive look into the two, before I make any decisions.

Thanks for all your help :)

Dan

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DanRaff   

Hey Fuzzy82, that was really insightful, thank you. I should look into those aspects more with NDTF. When did you graduate, and did it take you only 10 months?

Dan

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Weasels   

The diploma is based in Canada. I have 2 friends who've done it and are working as trainers here :) They just provide their qualifications and the link to the course on their websites so anyone can see what they have studied. Since training is unregulated I'm not sure there is any body to accept the accreditation :shrug: But yeah the absence of hands-on (although Ithink you make vids with your own dogs) is a drawback.

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Lollipup   

I did the NDTF course, and I found it biased with regards to training methods. They do go in detail about all the quadrants, but they all seem to prefer the traditional, balanced type of training where you punish the bad behaviour and reward the good behaviour. No mention at all about how you would train using reward based methods, and when I answered some questions on my assessments saying I would use a clicker for certain things I was told I was using the clicker too much, and on an assessment where we were free to choose any obedience behaviour and training method, and to simply write step by step how we would train it, I chose to capture the "down", and the assessor asked "why" I had chosen to capture it. When I asked if I wasn't free to use whatever method I wanted I was told that "ok you can use capturing, but it's unconventional".

I found the assessors inefficient. They would always say the expected time for assessments to be returned was 4 weeks, but it always took at least 8 weeks, and on one occasion 6 months. They were also nit-picky. For the obedience assessment mentioned above I chose duration of 1 minute as one of my criteria, and explained in detail how I would train for duration. The assessor's comment was that I should have done 2 minutes, as if it mattered when I had already explained in detail how I would train duration.

Another thing was my assistance dog practical assessment. I sent a video of the dog doing the behaviour off leash, but in a low distraction environment. The off leash part was required for the assessment. I also sent another video of me proofing the skill around distractions, but the dog was on leash for it because we were in public. The assessment came back not satisfactory because the dog wasn't off leash AND in a high distraction environment, even though the two videos combined showed that he was able to do it both off leash and around distractions. When I argued they wouldn't budge at all, and I had to re-do the video. I spoke to another student who did the same assistance dog skill, and her video of the dog doing it without any distractions got approved.

As for block training (the practical part of the course), I did that here in Qld, and it was ALL about compulsion training, the trainer who instructed us clearly had an issue with reward based methods. The dogs were on check chains the whole time we worked with them, except when we did a half day workshop on luring with a guest instructor. I've heard the block training down in Vic is better.

All in all the course was alright, I did learn a lot about learning theory and the science behind dog training, but there were a lot of annoyances too.

I think I am that other Qld student and if you are who I think you are (from FB?) I agree your video should have been approved and it was more thorough than mine. I agree with a lot of what you have said actually, and I also found the assessors incredibly inconsistent. I also found you had to answer the questions their way, straight from the text and if you put it in your own way or used your own opinion they wouldn't approve it. I had one sent back 3 times because I had put it in my own words even though the answer was the same. I eventually copied the answer from the text and it passed.

While I learned a lot from the course, I think some parts were somewhat biased. I haven't done Delta but I think it sounds like it is biased in a different way. Between the two of them, I really wish we had better options in Australia for dog training qualifications. I think the CASI course in Canada looks very thorough and I'd love to do it. You can do it online too so maybe the OP could look into that. A friend of mine is doing their shelter course and its very thorough.

To be honest I find it sad that instructors from either course are biased in some way and also sad that there has to be a 'them and us' mentality in dog training. Some NDTF instructors claim to be balanced trainers but spend a lot of their time bashing the 'other side.' I don't think this is balanced. I'm still glad I did the course as I learned a lot and it got me into the industry but I think I would have also been glad to do the Delta course if I had gone that way, but I wouldn't like to fall to an extreme on either side.

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DanRaff   

The diploma is based in Canada. I have 2 friends who've done it and are working as trainers here :) They just provide their qualifications and the link to the course on their websites so anyone can see what they have studied. Since training is unregulated I'm not sure there is any body to accept the accreditation :shrug: But yeah the absence of hands-on (although Ithink you make vids with your own dogs) is a drawback.

Ahh cool - good to know! They have heaps of other courses on there too. If you decide to do it let me know, would love to hear more about it first hand.

:)

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Lollipup   

snap Weasels, same course I am referring to :) I would love to do it but agree you would need to be getting hands on experience somewhere as well. It looks so much more comprehensive than our options in Oz though!

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Weasels   

I'll certainly report back if I do it :) I thought it might be a good thing to keep me occupied between jobs next year :laugh: I wasn't particularly excited about Delta or NDTF from what I'd read either :( CASI is skewed +R but they don't seem as zealous about it as Delta are.

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fuzzy82   

Hey Fuzzy82, that was really insightful, thank you. I should look into those aspects more with NDTF. When did you graduate, and did it take you only 10 months?

Dan

I handed in my last assessments in January this year, by the end of May they had all approved (my deadline was officially the end of April, but they hadn't finished with my assessments by then) and I received my certificate in June this year.

I received my first written material + DVD's in April last year, so not sure how you want to count when I finished? If you count finished as in finished doing all my assessments it took 9 months, finished as in getting all the assessments back it took 13 months, and finished as in having received my certificate, it took 14 months.

I did the NDTF course, and I found it biased with regards to training methods. They do go in detail about all the quadrants, but they all seem to prefer the traditional, balanced type of training where you punish the bad behaviour and reward the good behaviour. No mention at all about how you would train using reward based methods, and when I answered some questions on my assessments saying I would use a clicker for certain things I was told I was using the clicker too much, and on an assessment where we were free to choose any obedience behaviour and training method, and to simply write step by step how we would train it, I chose to capture the "down", and the assessor asked "why" I had chosen to capture it. When I asked if I wasn't free to use whatever method I wanted I was told that "ok you can use capturing, but it's unconventional".

I found the assessors inefficient. They would always say the expected time for assessments to be returned was 4 weeks, but it always took at least 8 weeks, and on one occasion 6 months. They were also nit-picky. For the obedience assessment mentioned above I chose duration of 1 minute as one of my criteria, and explained in detail how I would train for duration. The assessor's comment was that I should have done 2 minutes, as if it mattered when I had already explained in detail how I would train duration.

Another thing was my assistance dog practical assessment. I sent a video of the dog doing the behaviour off leash, but in a low distraction environment. The off leash part was required for the assessment. I also sent another video of me proofing the skill around distractions, but the dog was on leash for it because we were in public. The assessment came back not satisfactory because the dog wasn't off leash AND in a high distraction environment, even though the two videos combined showed that he was able to do it both off leash and around distractions. When I argued they wouldn't budge at all, and I had to re-do the video. I spoke to another student who did the same assistance dog skill, and her video of the dog doing it without any distractions got approved.

As for block training (the practical part of the course), I did that here in Qld, and it was ALL about compulsion training, the trainer who instructed us clearly had an issue with reward based methods. The dogs were on check chains the whole time we worked with them, except when we did a half day workshop on luring with a guest instructor. I've heard the block training down in Vic is better.

All in all the course was alright, I did learn a lot about learning theory and the science behind dog training, but there were a lot of annoyances too.

I think I am that other Qld student and if you are who I think you are (from FB?) I agree your video should have been approved and it was more thorough than mine. I agree with a lot of what you have said actually, and I also found the assessors incredibly inconsistent. I also found you had to answer the questions their way, straight from the text and if you put it in your own way or used your own opinion they wouldn't approve it. I had one sent back 3 times because I had put it in my own words even though the answer was the same. I eventually copied the answer from the text and it passed.

While I learned a lot from the course, I think some parts were somewhat biased. I haven't done Delta but I think it sounds like it is biased in a different way. Between the two of them, I really wish we had better options in Australia for dog training qualifications. I think the CASI course in Canada looks very thorough and I'd love to do it. You can do it online too so maybe the OP could look into that. A friend of mine is doing their shelter course and its very thorough.

To be honest I find it sad that instructors from either course are biased in some way and also sad that there has to be a 'them and us' mentality in dog training. Some NDTF instructors claim to be balanced trainers but spend a lot of their time bashing the 'other side.' I don't think this is balanced. I'm still glad I did the course as I learned a lot and it got me into the industry but I think I would have also been glad to do the Delta course if I had gone that way, but I wouldn't like to fall to an extreme on either side.

Yeah, that would be me from FB :)

I hope my post wasn't too negative, I did enjoy all the learning theory and watching the DVD's (apart from the really boring ones) and I'm glad I did the course because it was a way to get into the industry.

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Lollipup   

Hey Fuzzy82, that was really insightful, thank you. I should look into those aspects more with NDTF. When did you graduate, and did it take you only 10 months?

Dan

I handed in my last assessments in January this year, by the end of May they had all approved (my deadline was officially the end of April, but they hadn't finished with my assessments by then) and I received my certificate in June this year.

I received my first written material + DVD's in April last year, so not sure how you want to count when I finished? If you count finished as in finished doing all my assessments it took 9 months, finished as in getting all the assessments back it took 13 months, and finished as in having received my certificate, it took 14 months.

I did the NDTF course, and I found it biased with regards to training methods. They do go in detail about all the quadrants, but they all seem to prefer the traditional, balanced type of training where you punish the bad behaviour and reward the good behaviour. No mention at all about how you would train using reward based methods, and when I answered some questions on my assessments saying I would use a clicker for certain things I was told I was using the clicker too much, and on an assessment where we were free to choose any obedience behaviour and training method, and to simply write step by step how we would train it, I chose to capture the "down", and the assessor asked "why" I had chosen to capture it. When I asked if I wasn't free to use whatever method I wanted I was told that "ok you can use capturing, but it's unconventional".

I found the assessors inefficient. They would always say the expected time for assessments to be returned was 4 weeks, but it always took at least 8 weeks, and on one occasion 6 months. They were also nit-picky. For the obedience assessment mentioned above I chose duration of 1 minute as one of my criteria, and explained in detail how I would train for duration. The assessor's comment was that I should have done 2 minutes, as if it mattered when I had already explained in detail how I would train duration.

Another thing was my assistance dog practical assessment. I sent a video of the dog doing the behaviour off leash, but in a low distraction environment. The off leash part was required for the assessment. I also sent another video of me proofing the skill around distractions, but the dog was on leash for it because we were in public. The assessment came back not satisfactory because the dog wasn't off leash AND in a high distraction environment, even though the two videos combined showed that he was able to do it both off leash and around distractions. When I argued they wouldn't budge at all, and I had to re-do the video. I spoke to another student who did the same assistance dog skill, and her video of the dog doing it without any distractions got approved.

As for block training (the practical part of the course), I did that here in Qld, and it was ALL about compulsion training, the trainer who instructed us clearly had an issue with reward based methods. The dogs were on check chains the whole time we worked with them, except when we did a half day workshop on luring with a guest instructor. I've heard the block training down in Vic is better.

All in all the course was alright, I did learn a lot about learning theory and the science behind dog training, but there were a lot of annoyances too.

I think I am that other Qld student and if you are who I think you are (from FB?) I agree your video should have been approved and it was more thorough than mine. I agree with a lot of what you have said actually, and I also found the assessors incredibly inconsistent. I also found you had to answer the questions their way, straight from the text and if you put it in your own way or used your own opinion they wouldn't approve it. I had one sent back 3 times because I had put it in my own words even though the answer was the same. I eventually copied the answer from the text and it passed.

While I learned a lot from the course, I think some parts were somewhat biased. I haven't done Delta but I think it sounds like it is biased in a different way. Between the two of them, I really wish we had better options in Australia for dog training qualifications. I think the CASI course in Canada looks very thorough and I'd love to do it. You can do it online too so maybe the OP could look into that. A friend of mine is doing their shelter course and its very thorough.

To be honest I find it sad that instructors from either course are biased in some way and also sad that there has to be a 'them and us' mentality in dog training. Some NDTF instructors claim to be balanced trainers but spend a lot of their time bashing the 'other side.' I don't think this is balanced. I'm still glad I did the course as I learned a lot and it got me into the industry but I think I would have also been glad to do the Delta course if I had gone that way, but I wouldn't like to fall to an extreme on either side.

Yeah, that would be me from FB :)

I hope my post wasn't too negative, I did enjoy all the learning theory and watching the DVD's (apart from the really boring ones) and I'm glad I did the course because it was a way to get into the industry.

No I thought it was a really honest review and I know where you are coming from :)

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m-sass   

The problem with Delta IMHO is that they are method pushers ignoring the latest tooling or even the check chain for that matter making claims to be able train any dog successfully in their methods which are false claims. No dogs requiring extreme reliability are trained without compulsion, police dogs, guide dogs for the blind, gun dogs, etc etc, the Ecollar took gun dogs to incredible levels of reliabilty and work ethics........Delta don't have the sensibility to learn how to use one, but they sure take a stance against them.......where are the Delta trained gun dogs, police dogs, etc. Reward based methods are good to train dogs to do things and also work well with high drive dogs in repetitive routines, but they are not so good at stopping a poor behaviour, balanced training takes all quadrants if addressing all problems in all dogs is the desired acheivement.

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The problem with Delta IMHO is that they are method pushers ignoring the latest tooling or even the check chain for that matter making claims to be able train any dog successfully in their methods which are false claims. No dogs requiring extreme reliability are trained without compulsion, police dogs, guide dogs for the blind, gun dogs, etc etc, the Ecollar took gun dogs to incredible levels of reliabilty and work ethics........Delta don't have the sensibility to learn how to use one, but they sure take a stance against them.......where are the Delta trained gun dogs, police dogs, etc. Reward based methods are good to train dogs to do things and also work well with high drive dogs in repetitive routines, but they are not so good at stopping a poor behaviour, balanced training takes all quadrants if addressing all problems in all dogs is the desired acheivement.

I'm not a spokesperson in any way, but Delta have always made it very clear that they offer a course to teach people how to be pet dog trainers and run a business servicing that area.

They never purport to be able to train service dogs, or serious sporting dogs or law enforcement dogs.

Unfortunately many many people choose to enter both the Cert IV and the NDTF Cert III having had no experience with dogs whatsoever. So, ethically, Delta recommends that if you have little experience in applying punishers or little experience with aggression in dogs you should refer the dog on - both for the dog's sake and for the legal implications that we all face these days. It would be irresponsible in the extreme (and potentially very dangerous) to teach trainers how to use punishers through a textbook, or a week long intensive. It takes a genuine feel to know how much force to apply and when - for a good result.

They may not practically teach all four quadrants but they definitely cover it - I did the assignment.

Of course they are method pushers - as are all dog trainers! :laugh: Everyone pushes the method they feel most comfortable with and gains results for the dogs (and handlers) they teach.

They teach a method that is safe, humane, acceptable to many dog owners, and fits the majority of pet dogs living a suburban lifestyle. They have never promised to fix all dogs and all problems. :)

Edited by Staff'n'Toller

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Kavik   

I did the NDTF course before it was certified Cert III. I enjoyed the course and am glad that it showed us how to use all tools and the method behind them so I could then decide whether I was comfortable using them. When I did the course the practicals were geared towards hands on placing dogs into position and no use of food or toys, emphasis on pet training and a lot of the instructors and participants were security guards (not sure if that is the case now). I thought it was a good starting point.

Since then I have definitely expanded my horizon learning heaps about clicker traiing and markers and drive work, effective use of toys and food, arousal levels, engagement/relationship building - the latest probably being the biggest breakthrough for me - have learned so much since last year when I did SG's Recallers and now Contact Success! Certainly have learned there is so much that needs to be taken into consideration for training for competition, that I had no inkling of after doing NDTF.

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megan_   

The problem with Delta IMHO is that they are method pushers ignoring the latest tooling or even the check chain for that matter making claims to be able train any dog successfully in their methods which are false claims. No dogs requiring extreme reliability are trained without compulsion, police dogs, guide dogs for the blind, gun dogs, etc etc, the Ecollar took gun dogs to incredible levels of reliabilty and work ethics........Delta don't have the sensibility to learn how to use one, but they sure take a stance against them.......where are the Delta trained gun dogs, police dogs, etc. Reward based methods are good to train dogs to do things and also work well with high drive dogs in repetitive routines, but they are not so good at stopping a poor behaviour, balanced training takes all quadrants if addressing all problems in all dogs is the desired acheivement.

I'm not a spokesperson in any way, but Delta have always made it very clear that they offer a course to teach people how to be pet dog trainers and run a business servicing that area.

They never purport to be able to train service dogs, or serious sporting dogs or law enforcement dogs.

Unfortunately many many people choose to enter both the Cert IV and the NDTF Cert III having had no experience with dogs whatsoever. So, ethically, Delta recommends that if you have little experience in applying punishers or little experience with aggression in dogs you should refer the dog on - both for the dog's sake and for the legal implications that we all face these days. It would be irresponsible in the extreme (and potentially very dangerous) to teach trainers how to use punishers through a textbook, or a week long intensive. It takes a genuine feel to know how much force to apply and when - for a good result.

They may not practically teach all four quadrants but they definitely cover it - I did the assignment.

Of course they are method pushers - as are all dog trainers! :laugh: Everyone pushes the method they feel most comfortable with and gains results for the dogs (and handlers) they teach.

They teach a method that is safe, humane, acceptable to many dog owners, and fits the majority of pet dogs living a suburban lifestyle. They have never promised to fix all dogs and all problems. :)

Great post tollersowned. I don't necessarily have a problem with people using compulsion where appropriate, however I doubt any training course can teach people how to use it and train others to use it effectively given the time taken to do the course.

If someone wants to rehabilitate genuinely aggressive dogs, they're going to require a lot more than the Delta or NDFT course.

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