The Kintala Club was founded in 1976 by a pioneer in positive reinforcement training
The Gentle Modern Method of Dog Training™ was developed by well known dog trainer and author, the late David Weston. David's formal introduction to dog training began back in 1967 when he joined an obedience club with his Miniature Schnauzer, Fred. During the next eight years he trialled Fred to C.D.X. standard, became an obedience instructor and full panel judge and was President of the club for two years. However David was increasingly disillusioned with the conventional way of training using correction chains and force and he set out to research another, more gentle and effective way.
Rather by chance, he came across a reference to an American behavioural scientist, Professor Burrhus Skinner, who conducted experiments with a variety of animals and showed how animals learn, why they remember or forget, what motivates them and how a behaviour is sustained.
David began to put Skinner's principles of operant conditioning into practice with stray dogs in his neighbourhood. He was amazed at how quickly the dogs learnt their lessons and even more surprised they seemed to remember what they had learnt when he saw them weeks later.
David also began to study wolf behaviour so that he could better understand how dogs tick. He put his new found knowledge into practice at the obedience club but eventually founded The Kintala Club in 1976 with encouragement from others who wanted to use his new method.
The Kintala Club is a unique and friendly organisation founded on two very important principles, which David felt were critically important:
- training dogs using positive reinforcement, and
- socialising dogs from eight weeks of age onwards at a special puppy training class. In this way, the process of socialisation was started during the critical period which research has shown to occur mainly between three and twelve weeks of age.
When David's book Dog Training: The Gentle Modern Method was published in 1990, the method became more widely available with more than 100,000 people purchasing the book.
Kintala is an Aboriginal word for "happy dog" and when you see all the dogs meeting off lead and playing together before training each Saturday, you know that it is bearing out its name. It seems to be just as enjoyable for the handlers who socialise with as much gusto as the dogs.
Kintala Club founder David Weston