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  #11  
Old 09-28-2010, 05:04 PM
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Starting to get "lie down", and im sure she knows "stay" but she NEVER listens.
If she NEVER listens, then how can you be sure she knows it?

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her prey drive is insanely high and once she's fixated on something (her toy for example, a dog across the street, some kind of noise) i can kiss getting her attention goodbye and recall is a joke. Even when i give her a big correction using the leash and keep walking at a fast pace just looing forward, she is just so captivated, I have to do it harder and harder 3-4 times before she gives up. .. for about 5 seconds. Lol
Get her to look at you in a distraction free environment and reward with high value treats/toys. Gradually add duration ~ asking her to maintain attention for longer periods of time, then add some distractions. Start with distractions that you can control. Friends, friends' dogs, toys. Things where you can get her further away from them in order to keep her sub-threshold where she can still learn, things that you can put away entirely if it turns out to be premature.

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I also am using resource control by using a ball because she goes absolutely insane over the ball. if she sees a ball, NOTHING can snap her out of it. She focuses on the ball and the ball alone. If she doesnt do what i ask, i dont throw it but she just doesnt do it at all, so eventually what happens is she gets tired of it and goes and lies down. Basically, she is being stubborn and won't give in and would rather not have the treat or the ball.
This doesn't sound to me like she's stubborn. It sounds like she doesn't know how to win and she gives up.

Teach her a marker - a clicker or a unique sound that lets her know a reward is coming. Then put the ball on a table or shelf nearby. Wait for a behavior you want, mark it and then go grab the ball and throw it for her. Help her figure out that she gets what she wants by giving you what you want.
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  #12  
Old 09-28-2010, 06:19 PM
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Cesar Milan is NOT a behaviorist. He calls himself things like that and so does National Geographic. It's a lot of nerve. But no...he has no credentials whatsoever. He has no education in behavior or training. He uses what behaviorists call, flooding, intimidation and force to subdue and supress behavior. He puts dogs into what's called, learned helplessness, where they give up and stop behaving period. They shut down and don't learn. And down the road, they usually regress. Or just when they seem supressed enough, they go along with it for a while, then explode and bite someone. Some do that and some just live their lives as toned down versions....shells of what dogs are suppose to be.

What I've seen him do with dogs is appalling. He hangs them up by their collar, drags them across hardwood floors when they're frightened of slipping on the floors. He stomps his feet toward them, leaning over...all very threatening to a dog. I feel sorry for dogs where people have been emulating him. Many of my clients call on me to fix what they've caused in their dogs when copying Cesar Milan and his alpha roll and other forceful nonsense. I guess if it weren't for him, I wouldn't have much business at all.

There are so many trainers and behaviorists who accomplish great things with dogs and who use gentle methods based on the science of behavior. What he's good at is being a showman. One or two things he says that I can agree with is that dogs generally don't get enough exercise. But what he does with dogs is exhausts them. He runs them ragged...miles and miles and counts on exhaustion to assist in subduing dogs. He seldom rewards dogs. It's all about punishment. This has nothing to do with human - dog relationships and the domestication process, which btw, I've been studying for a decade, along with behavior.

He describes behavior and emotions in dogs while pointing out some kind of body language that they're doing. And he's WRONG! All the time. A dog is cowering and he says he's content and calm. A dog has his tail down and held tightly against his legs and his ears back and that dog is labeled "calm-submissive." Yeah, he's submissive all right. A horrible thing to do to a dog and a dangerous thing to do. Some dogs won't tolerate what I've seen him do. I would have liked to see him force my Doberman down on his back and hold him by the throat.

Clipping a Golden Retriever's nails on one episode: he got bitten 3 times on that one show. The dog was afraid and he used his typical force on this dog to show him who's boss. Ridiculous. I worked with a dog who was 50 times worse than that Golden. She was vicious at the mere sight of clippers. In 5 days, she was happy to have her nails clipped and then later, Dremelled. There was no drama, no force. All reward based.

Veterinary behaviorists, ethologists and large organizations such as American veterinary society of animal behavior and more all speak out against Milan and his backward treatment of dogs. You can do your own research. But you'd be hard pressed to find any behaviorists with advanced degrees in animal behavior condoning his methods. Supressing behavior is not changing the underlying cause of the behavior. And that is all he does...shuts dogs down with his intimidation...puts them on the defensive.

Alpha rolls are dangerous and have nothing to do with dogs or wolves. Wolves do NOT alpha roll another wolf. More recent science indicates that dogs are not true pack animals, but primarily scavangers, occassional hunters. Scavanging animals of all kinds don't partake in pack behavior. Cesar Milan bases his nonsense on myths about how wolves behave that have long been debunked. (read David Mech's research...thought by many to be the top wolf expert.) It has been shown for years now that wolves don't even have a tightly structured pack and only during certain seasons are they even in a pack. The alpha pair are nothing more than the breeding pair and they don't boss around the other wolves anymore than a parent bosses around his kids and it's only the kids the alpha pair direct. Often a younger, weaker wolf will be the one to lead in a hunt when hunting large game. It is not always the alpha who incidently is not always the strongest or biggest at all. And dogs do not behave very much like wolves. They're very different, being neotenic versions of wolves. They are not thought to be directly descended from wolves, but descended from a common ancestor. They're quite far removed from wolves, believe it or not.

Yes, they're social animals, but that is not to be confused with pack animals with a rigid hierarchy. Dogs don't have a linear hierarchy. To be a leader, like a parent, controlling resources is how we do it, yes.

If she never "listens," then she is under trained...under motivated. Dogs do not share our value system or morals. They are amoral. So, they don't "know" they're suppose to do something and then think it all through logically, that they don't want to do it even though I "know" how to do it so I'm not going to do it. That's the complex thinking of a human. Either the dog has a history of ample reinfocement for complying with something...enough that he is more likely to repeat it in the future (law) or he does not. There isn't likely, according to research, all this abstract thinking involved which would constitute stubborness. Again, that is anthropomorphizing...projecting human cognitive abilities onto dogs. If he's motivated by something else in the environment and you haven't set him up to work within the constraints of behavioral law, where it pertains to dogs especially, he will likely fail at "listening."

Listen to Corgi Power's advice. It's good. And her posts aren't so long.
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  #13  
Old 09-28-2010, 08:03 PM
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Thanks for the response, its really fascinating to read it all. My first rule for ANYTHING is to be open minded. (this stems from a separate issue dealing with the egos in medicine) And to start off, I'd like to say that of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion and at the end of the day, the discussion ends manytimes with the "lets agree to disagree" which I am fine with. Not saying I am going to disagree with you but just throwing that out there so no personal offense is taken.


it's funny how people view and perceive the same event or "thing" quite differently. I haven't seen all of the descriptions and actions that you mentioned of Millan on tv, but I've seen a good amount of his shows and have some of his DVDs. I view many of which are deemed "cruel" or "mean" as not. I think this is analogous to the issue of parenting. Many parents in today's world would absolutely flip out if some DVD came out on how to discipline your child with a rod or spanking. But I grew up from a family where it was physical punishment, not "grounding". Anything can be done right or wrong. One example, I had done something terrible and my dad told me to bring the stick and said to turn around. As my dad was spanking me, he had tears in his eyes and after all said and done, read me a Bible verse and said it was because he loved me and for a bad action, correction is needed. The point of the story is that, although i personally wouldn't discipline my child in that way ("oldfashioned and what not), I view it as a integral part of my upbringing and a very effective method of correction and discipline which was all done in love and caused no physical or emotional trauma at all. In fact, looking back in hindsight, being the child that I was, had i been "grounded" or something like that, I probably wont be the same person that I am and strayed somewhere.

I cant correspond to the examples that you listed with Millan, but for example, Millan uses his open hand and pokes the side of the dog to get its attention, coupled with a "tss" which is his unique sound he ties with correction. To me, that little action is not harmful to the dog, does absolutely nothing to hurt the dog physically or mentally and merely gets their attention and focus. To others, ive heard outrage that he's "hitting the dog", "abusing the dog", etc. I could not disagree more. I dont think the amount of force hurts the dog even at all. It merely grabs their attention. His work with fearful dogs in my opinion are amazing. i dont see any instance where he takes a fearful dog and makes them submissive into not being fearful (like forcing them to not be fearful). Examples:, one of the best episodes was a dog in the pound that was so fearful it was bolting and the shelter worker could not even walk it. She was emotionally a wreck. Cesar handled the matter by using psychology and helping the dog associate one step at a time that when the door opens, it does not equal fear/run. He started by just gently walking into the kennel with the dog, closing the door, walking slowly to the very end corner of the kennel away from the dog, squated with no eye contact. The dog was not using his nose or sniffing because it was in a state of fear. After a long time, cesar brings out treats and she still was not interested. He walked out. He repeated the same thing with her and after patience, the dog approached him and took the treat from his hand and as soon as she did, he got up and walked out slowly without looking back. The dog looked to him and he said, that was her "wanting more" so that next time, his arrival is tied with treats and good reinforcement and trust. He does it again and repeats this tedious process and within 3 hours, the fearful dog was able to walk on a leash without bolting, and as quoted by the shelter workers, "never seen her so relaxed" and she was laying fully relaxed on her side as cesar rubbed her belly. Never in this situation, he used "tss" or his "attention poke" or anything lke that.


obviously that's one example but I have yet to see him be cruel or aggressive to fearful dogs. the only time i've seen him look down on a dog is with an aggressive dog that is challenging him, in which case he does not back down, and only in certain situations.


However to sum up, I want to add that like i said before, I'm not a blind Millan follower. I am sure he has many flaws, just like anyone else in the world. I dont care if one has a phd in dog ANYTHING and lives with 50 dogs, there are always mistakes, flaws and things to be open minded about. I give credit where it is due. Millan, being someone who like you said, has no credentials or degree in behavior studies, is someone who has figured out a lot of what many people with Ph.d and pencil and pad researchers could not figure out. To me, credentials and associations are many times just completely bull and a consolidation of power. He certainly loves his animals and means well. There is a 30 minutes section on how he takes care of his english bulldog and cleans the dog up every week and he does this by using relaxing music as well as eucalyptus oils to calm the dog down and associate the time with relaxation while the dog is getting groomed. also FWIW i dont believe in the alpha roll either.


Okay a break from the millan stuff.
I actually took your message about taking it slow and I practiced stay with her. I guess i shouldn't have said "never" cause she does know "stay" but she does not obey. trust me, I'm a very perspective person with lots of patience, and I know when the dog knows the command. I did what you said, and I took her outside with minimal distractions, pieces of hot dogs and chicken skins and had her sit and go down. I said stay but I read here that I should work on focus and eye contact as well, so what I did was I used 2 fingers to point to my eyes (like the "I'm watching you" gesture) and then said "stay" followed by showing her an open hand gesturing "stop/stay". I took 1 step. I took another. And another. obviously not right away, i waited patiently and she had her eyes on me the whole time. I walked away about 10 feet and about 10-15 seconds had elapsed and she was still staying. I wanted to break the command before she fails (as you said dont set her up to fail) and squatted down, said in a high energetic voice "come here" and patted my knees and she ran back to me happily and was rewarded.
I did this about 4-5 times. I knew she knew what it meant because i had done it earlier and the previous owner said she knew it.. either that or she is a supe fast learner. I saved the best for last and was a big piece of skin of a fresh organic steam chicken. Walked almost behind the wall where she couldn't see me to see how far she would hold out. And then before i hold it too long, I called her, greeted her with high energy, gave her the treat and lots of affection which she loved. when she did break, i walked to her real fast and when I made that movement with eye contact, she immediately went back to her place. Then started over with "sit" - good dog, "down" - dog dog, "stay", etc. I also use "tss" as a form of correction but this is the same as "eh eh" or "no" or "hey hey" or snapping the fingers. The way i see it, there are markers for good and bad, and the "tst" is a marker for bad. I used to use "n" and "o" but the sound from no isnt as sharp and attention grabbing "s" and "t"s.

would you say duration is more important than distance? Which one should come first? I know well trained dogs can stay or "place" for hours and I'd love to someday get to that point. Def not hours, but good with distractions for minutes will do.

btw, i forgot to mention, i adopted her 2 weeks ago so that is why i am asking certain questions. she was bleeding in 4 different places from being attacked by another dog, had 2inch wide gash in her foot, torn up ears, matted hair everywhere, etc. and needed surgery. (thats why she has the ecollar). I couldn't help but feel so sympathic towards her and her injuries but to me, that emotion affected her and her sense of what it is to be a part of my family. Everything is going great now though and with the help of others, i am trying new things and it is working fairly well at a good speed.
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2010, 08:28 PM
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I did what you said, and I took her outside with minimal distractions, pieces of hot dogs and chicken skins and had her sit and go down. I said stay but I read here that I should work on focus and eye contact as well, so what I did was I used 2 fingers to point to my eyes (like the "I'm watching you" gesture) and then said "stay" followed by showing her an open hand gesturing "stop/stay". I took 1 step. I took another. And another. obviously not right away, i waited patiently and she had her eyes on me the whole time. I walked away about 10 feet and about 10-15 seconds had elapsed and she was still staying. I wanted to break the command before she fails (as you said dont set her up to fail) and squatted down, said in a high energetic voice "come here" and patted my knees and she ran back to me happily and was rewarded.
Sounds like a good start.

A few things to think about though:
I would start indoors where you have much more control over the environment - outside you risk critters, wind, sounds and smells from the neighborhood all which can create situations she's not ready for. For the dog, a sit stay in the living room is not the same as a sit stay in the yard which is still a different behavior from a sit stay in the yard while the wind blows. It's best to start off in the easiest setting possible and then up the criteria slowly, always going through the foundation steps again until she's performed the same before in enough situations that she can generalize it - she realizes that a stay is a stay no matter what else is going on.

Another thing is that 10 feet is awfully far for early stages of stay training. It provides too much of an opportunity to break and too much of a reason to not stay.

Also, early on you're better off going back to her to release her from the stay rather than calling her to you. Dogs tend to anticipate things and you don't want her to start anticipate being called to you because that just leads to her breaking the stay more often.

Quote:
would you say duration is more important than distance? Which one should come first? I know well trained dogs can stay or "place" for hours and I'd love to someday get to that point. Def not hours, but good with distractions for minutes will do.
Well you really can't build distance if you don't have duration. If the dog can only stay for a couple of seconds, then by the time you walk six inches away the time is up and the dog will break. Both are important, but work duration first.
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  #15  
Old 09-28-2010, 08:39 PM
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Milan is a not behaviorist. He is nothing but a showman, with no training or schooling in dog behavior, training, or anything to do with animals.

Not only are his methods considered cruel...they are downright dangerous. If you continually use some of his methods, such as alpha rolling, your dog will very possibly, even likely, become fearfully aggressive towards you.

Any dog trainer or behaviorist who has gone to school and has actual training in these areas will advise you not to use Milan's methods.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:35 PM
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One example, I had done something terrible and my dad told me to bring the stick and said to turn around. As my dad was spanking me, he had tears in his eyes and after all said and done, read me a Bible verse and said it was because he loved me and for a bad action, correction is needed. The point of the story is that, although i personally wouldn't discipline my child in that way ("oldfashioned and what not), I view it as a integral part of my upbringing and a very effective method of correction and discipline which was all done in love and caused no physical or emotional trauma at all.
The difference here is that you can't communicate to a dog as clearly as you can communicate to a child. Punishment works on children - humans - because you have an advanced language and can explain exactly why the child is being punished, what he can do to avoid the punishment next time, and that you still love him even though you are physically hurting him. With dogs, you can't explain this. When you punish a dog (and I don't mean to imply that you're hitting the dog... punishment is ANYTHING a dog does not like), you must do it in the exact moment that he's doing the wrong behavior... if your timing is the least bit off, he won't understand what he's being punished for, because you can't explain it to him. With a dog, you also can't explain that you still love him even if you're punishing him; the dog may come to think that you're dangerous, unpredictible, scary, etc. So while punishment with dogs certainly can work - I use it with my dog - you can't compare it with punishing a human child.

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Originally Posted by clownfish View Post
Examples:, one of the best episodes was a dog in the pound that was so fearful it was bolting and the shelter worker could not even walk it. She was emotionally a wreck. Cesar handled the matter by using psychology and helping the dog associate one step at a time that when the door opens, it does not equal fear/run. He started by just gently walking into the kennel with the dog, closing the door, walking slowly to the very end corner of the kennel away from the dog, squated with no eye contact. The dog was not using his nose or sniffing because it was in a state of fear. After a long time, cesar brings out treats and she still was not interested. He walked out. He repeated the same thing with her and after patience, the dog approached him and took the treat from his hand and as soon as she did, he got up and walked out slowly without looking back. The dog looked to him and he said, that was her "wanting more" so that next time, his arrival is tied with treats and good reinforcement and trust. He does it again and repeats this tedious process and within 3 hours, the fearful dog was able to walk on a leash without bolting, and as quoted by the shelter workers, "never seen her so relaxed" and she was laying fully relaxed on her side as cesar rubbed her belly. Never in this situation, he used "tss" or his "attention poke" or anything lke that.
It's interesting that you pick out one of the very few times Cesar has ever used treats on the show.

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Originally Posted by clownfish View Post
btw, i forgot to mention, i adopted her 2 weeks ago so that is why i am asking certain questions. she was bleeding in 4 different places from being attacked by another dog, had 2inch wide gash in her foot, torn up ears, matted hair everywhere, etc. and needed surgery. (thats why she has the ecollar). I couldn't help but feel so sympathic towards her and her injuries but to me, that emotion affected her and her sense of what it is to be a part of my family. Everything is going great now though and with the help of others, i am trying new things and it is working fairly well at a good speed.
It sounds like she's been through a ton of trauma and stress in the past 14 days.... that's not very long at all to settle into her new home and bond with you. At this time in your relationship, I'd suggest you focus on exercises which help her build positive associations with you and her new life. Rather than trying to figure out how to punish her, think about how you can prevent her from doing the wrong things. Then when she is healed and more settled, you can focus more on training.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:45 PM
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Sorry, double post.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:24 PM
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To equate training human children to dogs just verifies that you have much to learn about how dogs think and learn. Dogs do not communicate the way humans communicate with each other. They don't understand the various brands of punishment people dole out to dogs. Milan puts dogs on the defensive and when any animal is in that position, he either shuts down or becomes aggressive. There is no learning taking place when blood pressure, respiration and heart rate increases, when stress hormones hit the roof, which happens when a dog is put into fight or flight. Punishment has no place in dog training, other than removing a good thing or preventing a dog from gaining something he wants. You may not be recognizing the dogs' body language I've seen and many, many behaviorists, trainers and experienced dog owners see and talk about. You may not be recognizing what Milan is doing that is so detrimental to dogs. But that doesn't mean it's not happening.

I reiterate to you with all sincerity, the recommendation that you get hold of the book, Culture Clash. It's very educational. You're making a lot of statements that have nothing to do with dogs. Cesar Milan bases his treatment of dogs on concepts that have nothing to do with dogs. (or wolves for that matter, not that dogs are wolves anyhow. They're very distant cousins) This is not meant to be offensive, but I am a straight shooter.

Good, it sounds like she had a few repititions to be reinforced for. Let's forget the part about whether or not she "knows." That's moot. Dogs are not obedient to cues. They're obedient to the laws of learning. Cues do not drive behavior. Consequences do.

I would not be in too big a hurry to build it up all in one session. I probably didn't explain very well. And don't call her to come from a stay....(forgot that too in my description) Always go to your dog and reinforce, then release. The other thing I forgot was a release word. "Okay" "free" "release"....whatever you choose. And get it in there BEFORE she risks breaking the stay. Only ask her for a little bit, then reinforce, then release. (in that order) Keep sessions short and fun. No Punishment. There can be TERRIBLE side effects to most punishment with dogs in the way they operate and with their relationship to humans. That's the last I'll say.

You might be interested in reading this and clicking on the links and there's a menu over to the side. One thing is about the social organization of dogs. The author is highly respected in the dog world....a good read.

I totally agree with Lizzybeth on working on the relationship over training. That's the most effective tool you can have....a good, trusting bond. (punishment erodes trust that dogs have for people. They are animals, remember.) Good luck.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:17 PM
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Okay, I didn't read everything. The method you are using, putting her on a long line and not letting her pull is good, but I think there's more to it. You want to head out with her, then suddenly change directions. Left, right, about face, whatever works for you. You are changing directions before she has a chance to start pulling you. If she is Hell bent on pulling, you'll just have to pull her when you change directions, but get her going in your direction. When she starts following, the lead will automatically go slack. The idea is to get her to pay attention to you. At some point you should find that that long line is staying loose, even as you change directions. This is the moment you are looking for. This moment could take 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or a week of double 45 minute sessions (depending on the dog, how long the dog has gotten away with pulling, and how attentive you are). Don't do the "be a tree" until you reach this point.

I would normally spend at least 25 minutes with the dog doing this, even if she gets it in ten minutes. However, since your dog is in trauma you need to gauge her comfort. If she starts showing signs of stress (licking the air, intense pacing) then it's time to ask for something she knows and praise and treat her, ending on a good note. Always end on a positive note.

BTW, the shelter dog could have been brought down using clicker and treats. There are many tools in the tool box.
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