W. Dale Hubbard, Ph.D.
Dr. Hubbard obtained his degrees in psychology and counseling where his focus was in behavioral psychology and learning theory. His formal education of Classical and Operant Conditioning provided him with an in-depth understanding of how all animals learn. He replicated many of the experimental studies by B.F. Skinner, which examines the association made between behavior and consequences. Furthermore, his studies by Ivan Pavlov provided gave him an understanding of how animals learn behaviors through associations. These studies gave him the basis of how to train animals that will maintain behavior over long periods and how to extinguish unwanted behaviors.
He always had a love for animals. Growing up on a farm, he had the opportunity to train many different farm animals to include, horses, birds, and hunting dogs. Many of his animals performed some amazing behaviors that you see in animals on TV shows. During his professional career, he taught psychology classes in secondary schools where students taught animals using positive reinforcement and then demonstrated their results in the classroom.
After retiring from a thirty year clinical career in psychology in 2004, he started his quest for promoting the most effective means of training upland bird dogs. He has taken workshops and seminars, as well as one on one training with nationally known dog trainers such as Gary Wilkes (Clicker Training) George Hickox and Cindy Hann. His disappointment of the use of negative treatment encouraged him to pursue effective positive and humane treatment. Through his personal studies, he discovered that many of the traditional harsh methods of training was based on faulty studies conducted in the 1940s and formed the basis of training by most of bird dog trainers that persist through today.
Using his formal education, personal studies along with practical experience, he developed very effective techniques using positive reinforcement. Furthermore, he has resolved many unwanted learned behaviors in bird dogs. He has trained many upland bird dogs over the years using positive reinforcement as the primary method of teaching. With the use of Clicker Training, he has shown that you can begin training as early as eight weeks old.
Currently, Dr. Hubbard conducts seminars for various groups on positive gun dog training. His English Setter (Lucy Sky Cloud) attends the seminars with him and demonstrates the extreme effectiveness of positive reinforcement.