This NePoPo type of training is usually a combination of an e-collar and clicker training. The name itself comes from these phrases, Negative Positive Positive – you know, the first two letters. With this training type, a handler uses a low-intensity electrical impulse, which is the negative reinforcement. The impulse is negative because it shocks the dog. When the handler delivers the shock, they wait for the dog to respond. After that, the impulse is removed, and the dog gets rewards (what is called positive reinforcement in behavioral psychology).
NePoPo training was the brainchild of one Bart Bellon – he is the one who was involved in developing and patenting it. NePoPo training is popular in the training of protection dogs and K9s. As a ‘shocking’ method of training, it needs dogs to be highly reliable in terms of behavior. The dogs involved in this training are those with high-prey drives as they are tough enough to withstand the shock from the negative stimuli. It is quite beneficial because you don’t need to be around the dog to train it – the e-collar works over long distances. This is probably one reason why many working breeds get involved in NePoPo training because the handler can be in charge while being miles away from the canine.
This read is all about NePoPo training. Reading between the lines will open you up to the life and times of Bart Bellon, the developer and patenting agent of the training method. Also, you will know the ins and out of the NePoPo school. Then, you will get answers to the most frequently asked questions on Bart Bellon’s platform. Let’s see what this method has. Happy reading!
About Bart Bellon And The E-Collar
Bart Bellon identifies himself as a dog trainer of modern times. He says that his dog training style, the NePoPo style, was born of his 4-decade experience (almost his entire life). The NePoPo style encompasses life experiences, education, history, life, practicality, and politics.
For 14 years between 1960 and 1974, Bart Bellon grew up in the East-Central African country of Burundi. There, he experienced one of the best childhoods with intelligent and loving siblings and parents. On the flip side, the government was not stable politically. There were genocide and raging wars, and a few people wanted their particular interests to supersede the people’s interests in Burundi.
When that tumultuous and tense time came, Bart Bellon’s interest in dogs was born. In Burundi, dogs were critical in protecting the motherland. It is so sad that property thieves used to poison dogs by giving them meat that had toxins. When the dogs died, the thieves gained access and stole people’s property. The only pooches that made it out alive during that tense time were the trained ones. The dogs were instructed to eat a particular food type, a unique bowl and person, and a designated, specific hand.
About The NePoPo School
Bart Bellon, the father of this training method, identifies NePoPo as an art – intellectual and logical – which has its basis on science. It is a language that teaches you how dogs communicate, therefore making communication between you too effective and enjoyable.
The NePoPo school teaches two programs: The Silver and the Gold Program. Let us now check out the nitty-gritty details of each one.
The Silver NePoPo Program
First, this is the prerequisite for getting into the Gold Program. Then, the students who are enrolled in this one focus on the theoretical details of the system. The view is that, for a student to become an architect of their program, they need to learn the language. This will help them understand the dog as an individual.
Students get opened up to the vocabulary and terms used by psychologists and behaviorists. These include classical and operant conditioning, negative and positive reinforcement, and negative and positive punishment.
Also, they get to learn the training method in depth – history, motivation, meaning, and its most powerful aspects. In the Silver Program, students will be involved in role-playing games to understand all the training tools and styles that NePoPo training uses.
The Gold NePoPo Program
As already implied, the only students who make it to the Gold Program are those who pass the tests presented to them in the Silver Program. Unlike the theoretical approach that forms part and parcel of the Silver Program, the Gold Program works on practicality. Students start working with their pet dogs and also get a chance to watch other dogs.
In this program, there is an extensive discussion on implementing the NePoPo techniques and dealing with behavioral issues. This helps in creating efficient and straightforward solutions.
What People Ask: NePoPo Dog Training
1. What Exactly Does Bart Bellon Teach Students In Any Of His Seminars?
Well, this is quite obvious – he teaches his NePoPo system. For people to understand the training better, they need to attend one seminar and then the next. Learning the NePoPo system is more like learning music. First, you will hear a hit song and like it because of, well, no reason. When the song hits your ears again, you’ll pick out some beats, maybe an instrument. Finally, you will get the guitar solo and the bass structure, and ultimately, you will love the song to bits. So, for you to understand the NePoPo training in totality, you need to understand pieces of it. NePoPo training lessons are as harmonious as music.
2. I Consider Myself A NePoPo Trainer. My Dog Has Done Tactile Command And Box Training, But It Doesn’t Look Driven. What Could Be The Issue?
The most critical elements in NePoPo training are patience and hope, and you’re probably missing them. The dogs need to feel you building hope in each position and exercise. If you know about jackpot training, you know that it creates a lot of hope. And forget about those long sessions that end with communistic rewards; they will waste your precious training time.
Remember that the dog will learn quicker if you present a bigger reward. But, know that when you start, the dog will not perform spectacularly.
Altogether, remember that the systematic steps presented in dog training. The first is that you need to teach the dog – with a clear head and low drive – what you’re supposed to do. Always expect to be frustrated but keep your head up and don’t lose hope.
3. What Are My Options If My Dog Suddenly Becomes Too Overpowering For Me While Going Through The System?
This system makes many dogs more confident and stable. In the long run, you get a dog that feels so much in control. Others will even become dominant, but this depends on the specific dog breed.
You need to establish and form good relations with your dog and ensure that you feel comfortable around it. If you don’t, you may get demotivated and go slow with the training. At all times, the handler needs to be in control and not the other way round.
Always reduce the numbers of times you use the pinch collar, and if you need the dog to calm down, use the choker. If the choker does the trick, combine it with teaching ‘no’ using classical conditioning.
Whenever we talk about a team, the dog comes second, about 49.99%, while you are at 50.01%. However, you can go for 80% in the program. You should know that NePoPo training is not static; it takes shape depending on how the handler wants. You can add your chili or salt to the system to ensure that the dog comes out the way you want it to.
4. What Exactly Is Negative Reinforcement? Is There Any Example Or Instance You Could Give From Some NePoPo Exercises?
Reinforcement and conditioning are arguably the most popular subjects in psychology. Negative reinforcement is a phenomenon that works to stop an unwanted behavior from going on. For example, an undesirable behavior could be excess barking, especially when the dog gets to the vet. When the dog starts barking and you throw it a treat, you want it to stop, so you’re doing negative reinforcement. You can even yell at it, but that would only increase the level of noise.
Many people interested in animal training think that punishment is negative reinforcement. Unfortunately, that is a wrong perception, and it is very uninformed.
Basically, negative reinforcement is anything done to the dog to prevent it from doing something unwanted and unwarranted. In training, you may be wanting the dog not to attack strangers. So, negative reinforcement could be something like stopping the dog by putting it on a leash.
5. I Am A Zoo Attendant. Is It Possible For Me To Use NePoPo There?
Yes. NePoPo training takes the shape and form you want it to take. However, there are specific things we expect from animals in the zoo – calmness, and composure. A zoo dog should not be aggressive, impassioned, or frustrated – it should be calm because the zoo visitors want things that way. The point is that you should use a NePoPo training technique that makes the animals what they are supposed to bed.
Let’s talk about service dogs. A system that would be appropriate for these types of dogs is avoidance training. This is a reliable type of activity that focuses on the end behavior, which is also the reward. In avoidance training, you will see an increased concentration and little motivation because the focus is calm and slow.
You should avoid rewarding a dog with the same quantity and quality of food every time. This because of the monotony that builds up.
Zoo animals will appreciate the traditional NePoPo training because it shifts focus depending on the animals’ temperament and the goal in mind. Actually, a trainer in a particular zoo deals with rhinos and uses a NePoPo program to help the animals prepare for vet exams. The rhino learned how to kneel, sit, and have one of its legs up.
6. How Old Should A Dog Be Before They Start The NePoPo Training?
Whichever the training plan, dogs need to start within 6 to 8 weeks after birth. But before that, the owner needs to observe, orient, and determine whether or not the dog is ready. The puppy will be socializing, playing, learning to learn, and learning activeness in the program because those are the most important things. So, if you had monkey drills in mind, those may have to wait. They are not suitable because a small puppy’s coordination cannot take up the routines.
Also, handlers should avoid working with reactive training, you know, the system of compulsion building drive. Also, the ideas that some people carry of technique killing drive is wrong – the contrary is actually true. When people are taught technique properly, passion and drive also come along.
7. My Dog Is Quite A Chewer; The Dumbbell And Sleeve Look Chewable. What Happens If The Dog Chews On Them?
Within the NePoPo training, there is a mini-program known as forced fetch. With its foundation, the providers of the training give dogs antibiotics to help them chew. A dog that has gone the force fetch training successfully understands the meaning of a choker and then taps on the muzzle’s bottom and top. A dog will find it very uncomfortable when it tries to chew when a handler is pulling the choker. When the dog understands that language, you can use it to stop them from chewing the dumbbell and the sleeve.
8. Is It Mandatory That I Reward Or Gift My Dog? I Would Love Him To Obey And Cooperate Without Any Incentives Or bribes.
Many old-school, traditional dog trainers tell us that within the negative reinforcement model, you can get the dog to do stuff without having to reward it. And well, that works perfectly, and the dogs will be quite reliable.
If you’re working with positive reinforcement, rewarding the dog is central. Positivity means a happy and picture-perfect attitude. Actually, the last Po in NePoPo guide trainers to correct their dogs without demotivating them or any kind of submission. If that is the kind of situation you want, it is mandatory that you reward the dog. If you want the dog to dance and the dog complies, you should use food or even a toy.
Actually, if you withhold a reward from a well-trained dog, you are likely to make it frustrated and trigger more dopamine release. So, do not eliminate the rewards.
The NePoPo system attempts to leave out rewards in achieving stimulus control. But as already captured, everything within the NePoPo system is based on hope – lots of it.
9. When Should A Handler Use A Toy And Food?
Within the NePoPo system, food is probably the easiest, quickest thing that can be used as a reward. Actually, food is essential for the survival of all species, and thus, a dog that gets some food feels delighted.
On the flip side, toys do not have any survival value. Many pups will not be driven to see a toy as a worthy, adequate reward. So, if you’re taking your dog through the NePoPo training system, you first need to teach it some rules about toys. That way, it will begin to see toys as a high-end reward. The dog should learn to play with them, take, retrieve, and get them back.
10. Bart Usually Suggests That Handlers Use Existential Food. Why So?
As captured in response to the previous question, food is very powerful. This is because it has an attached survival value. If you don’t know, existential food is the nutritional kind of food that the dog gets for proper nutrition.
If you decide to use desserts, the training will not be as practical because the dog will get satisfied. Also, dessert food isn’t the kind that a dog needs to survive, and if you stick to it, the dog will become very picky. You will be moving from liver to cheese, steak, hearts, and then to hot dogs – foods that don’t provide all the necessary nutrients that a dog needs. With existential food, anything that the dog eats is nutritionally beneficial.
Have this in mind: whenever the dog does not obey in terms of training, do not give it any food until it complies. This will teach the canines discipline and seriousness throughout the program.
11. I Think My Dog Is The Laziest In The World. It Does Absolutely Nothing. Whenever I Choose To Wait For It, I Always Help Or Lure The Dog To The Training.
Do not fall for the dog’s disobedience, and do not allow yourself to do its homework. Clients need to know that the uncomfortable silence that sometimes comes from our dogs needs to be embraced. This is a lesson learned in operant conditioning, where spontaneity helps a behavior less or more likely happen because of the consequences.
Many people are not rock-hard trainers; they want to give a command, lead, lure, or even step in. When that happens, the trainers stop operating on the principles of operant conditioning. So, you need to be patient with the dog as it takes more time to process something. Like children, dogs will only go back to the behavior that they learned by themselves more than the ones taught.
Therefore, wait for your dog to get active – you will love it. You will love its creativeness and hyperactivity. When your dog chooses to be reactive, don’t step in. Just let it be and stay fingers crossed.
As you wait, ensure that you give your dog easy tasks. Also, the training which you provide should work best in a closed room which has little distractions. But, don’t step in – the dog should do its homework!
12. I Am A Perfectionist Myself. Is It Okay If I Demand The Same From The Dog? I Really Need It To Have The Best Habits.
Perfection only comes in when the basics are already grasped. That means that before your dog learns to do something new, you should not demand any kind of perfection.
If you want perfection, you need to build towards it. First, start by breaking any exercise into little parts. When you do that, present them with a lot of hope and enthusiasm. When you keep pressing the dog to be perfect, he will be enthusiastic and motivated about it.
Don’t push too hard because sometimes, it is always a matter of luck or even a blessing for your dog to do things correctly. With the NePoPo system, there is no cheerleading – only shaping.
Demand perfection from the dog when you feel that it has learned skills for a reasonable period. If the dog is learning, allow it to make mistakes. Altogether, ensure that the dog has a fun experience learning from you.
13. Is There Any Unique Method I Can Use To Get My Dog Driven?
The NePoPo system does not accommodate any kind of cheerleaders. The dog must be active. Since the dog stays in the training picture alone most of the time, you shouldn’t insert yourself too much.
What is done in the system is manipulating situations to make a dog perform the desired outcome. To be brief, there is no way to build drive within the dogs in the system. That task is only meant for the dog itself. But, you can take this home: drive can come from any of the following things – frustration, desire, and hope.
14. Are There Any Seminars That Bart Gives About The E-Collar?
None. Bart Bellon only employs the tools as it is an integral part of the system. But before you even ask for e-collar seminars, you first need to wrap your head around the NePoPo training. To get some info on the e-collars, you should attend the workshops or seminars because Bart mentions the electronic collar.