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  #31  
Old 04-06-2011, 05:01 PM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
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I think you should ditch the classes. They use outdated training methods that are not fun for a dog... In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they set you back from all your work at home.
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I think u need some angry school.
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That's what we do here. We're emotionally invested in each other and each other's dogs, the joys and the sorrows.
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  #32  
Old 04-06-2011, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Danefied View Post
Just to give you a different perspective, this is what a reactive dog class can look like. The dogs outside the fence are learning to relax around another dog who is being active (running, playing, bouncing), and the black dog is learning to focus on me even though there are other dogs around and even when I stop doing anything interesting. Its a default "what's next mom?" type attitude, and its not that hard to build.

YouTube - Focus and control class
I have never been to a reactive dog class or anything like that... Thanks for the link, that was super cool
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  #33  
Old 04-06-2011, 05:08 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Originally Posted by Doberluv View Post
Most of the point of training (for me anyhow) is to have fun, my dog and me. If it's stressful at all, there's no point. Compulsive, forceful, punishing type training is NOT fun for a dog and most certainly shouldn't be for humans.
^^^^THIS.

I think of it this way.... Dogs only have so many years here on earth. Your dog, being middle-aged, only has a few good years left. Why should you make him do something that makes him so miserable? I'm not saying you should spoil your dog or give him everything he ever asks for.... But why put him in this situation if you don't really need to?
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  #34  
Old 04-06-2011, 07:05 PM
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You are correct about everything on his background. He only got the shakes one time at the trainer's, and stuck to my leg. The last time we went, he didnt get the shakes at all, he doesn't drool at all either..or shed. His tail is not always tucked either, sometimes its wagging slowly while there. Sometimes its just stiff. And his head is not down much, for the most part he just has wandering eyes. In the beginning, he pulls towards the door a lot to leave. He did get too focused on other dogs near him a few times, got engaged in a couple staring contests and I had to snap him out of it. The first class the trainer just talked for 75% of the time telling us procedures and what we will be doing. During that time, all the dogs/owners were lined up against a wall next to each other (about 5 ft away). But what we found funny during this time was that he wanted to lay down. He didnt want to sit. While he was laying down he was very calm..even when directly looking at the dog next to him. A few times the germ.shep. pup to the other side of us got to close and my dog tried snapping at him.(because the other owner didnt keep his dog close enough to him). He doesnt look away from us, if we say his name, he will look directly at us while there. Otherwise he;s just looking around..or at the door. I dont think its a matter of how many dogs are in the room, b/c one time we went there was only one other dog there at first and he was exactly the same as when the room has 10 dogs. And the first lesson he had, they brought 1 dog out, one at a time and he wasnt aggresive at all. The first class he did they taught us some basic commands then he brought out his rottweiler who is very nice and trained well, and my dog did not bark once or anything. He made them pass by eachother a few times on leash walking and then had them sit next to each other, my dog turned his back..and the trainer said that was good b/c dogs either fight or flight and that means he is not really an aggresive dog. Then he had the rotti lay down on top of a big long table and had my dog walk over the top of her, there was a little suttle growling by my dog but I think he did it. Then they brought out a big german shep. very nice and trained and he did well with walking by it and not doing anything. But then he brought out a dog and he said she is still a work in progress and she used to be aggresive. Well this little germ.shep. caused a riot. Was ok at first, but then while walking her, the big nice shepherd, and my dog all like in a circle, the little one started going nuts and then caused the other 2 to go nuts as well. We just walked our dog away from it. He said he wanted to see what we would do, and he said we did the right thing. I thought that was really not neccesary. I agree with you, I dont think he trains the best way. Will it work? I really dont know. It makes more sense to me that a dog would respond a lot better to motivating them with positive reinforcement. I have a question for you, what if my dog does get engaged in barking at another dog while at the park..what do I do? Im going to try and prevent it from happening while still working with him but some dogs are off leash and get too close for him.
This whole thing tells me your dog sounds pretty miserable at that class. His tail is wagging slowly often is an appeasment gesture, a nervousness, not a happy full body wag. He's looking at and pulling toward the door. "Mom! help! Get me the hell outta here!"

If your dog barks at another dog while at the park, I wouldn't do anything. Just keep relaxed and keep on walking. Do try and keep him at a sufficient distance from other dogs if you must walk where dogs are. When you read the book (s) or whatever, you can try those methods. If other dogs are off leash and run up to him, freaking him out, stay away from that park. Is there someplace you can walk where that won't happen?

He got these dogs all close together in a circle....wanted to see what would happen??? Your dog should not be used as a Guinea pig in an experiment to see what you would do. These kinds of experiences will escalate your dogs problems many times over. I'm sorry, but I'll say it again. That trainer sounds inexperienced. I hope you dump that class and start working with your dog on your own for now, doing things for fun to exercise his mind and body. We can help give you ideas. And see if his walks can be done in a place where there's little stress of other dogs around. That's what I would do with an older dog who doesn't have that many years left...make his life happy, fun, non-stressful and not take things too seriously. Just have fun.
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  #35  
Old 04-06-2011, 10:26 PM
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Thank you all for such informative answers, its really helpful. I just bought a clicker. Just a couple questions, when using the clicker, I can only teach him one thing with it right? I dont want to confuse him with various types of commads with the clicker. Sorry if im missing something, im still learning all of this. But I think Im going to use it to get him to look at me or watch me. Then gradually increase distractions. But my other problem that I didnt mention, is that he pulls on the leash when we walk. Its not terrible, but the bad trainers Im going to now say he should be able to walk on the leash with me holding it on two fingers gently. The leash is always very tight when we walk and he pulls ahead, not enough to make me walk any faster or budge me though. I saw the youtube link on here someone posted about using the clicker and positive reward when the dog looks at her face, then she slowly introduces walking backwards while doing it, then sideways, then walking normal while doing that. The only thing with that is, wouldn't I constantly have to give him treats, on every walk? That would be a lot of treats for every few steps. Im just trying to outline exactly what our method of training is going to be. Thanks all, I appreciate it a lot.
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  #36  
Old 04-06-2011, 10:41 PM
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Just a couple questions, when using the clicker, I can only teach him one thing with it right? I dont want to confuse him with various types of commads with the clicker.
No, you can teach more than one behavior at a time. Click to Calm discusses in detail how to use the clicker and what behaviors you can use it for, I hope you will read it.

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Originally Posted by acer925 View Post
But my other problem that I didnt mention, is that he pulls on the leash when we walk. Its not terrible, but the bad trainers Im going to now say he should be able to walk on the leash with me holding it on two fingers gently.
That's right. The leash should not be a steering or breaking device; it's ONLY a safety device, for in case your dog dashes toward something dangerous. The idea of loose leash walking is that your dog walks at your side and matches your pace, and that he uses his brain to keep pace with you instead of any training equipment.

There are many threads on this forum about how to teach a dog to walk nicely on a leash. I'm pretty sure it's also in Click to Calm.
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  #37  
Old 04-07-2011, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Doberluv View Post
Yes, exactly. I refered to the book, Click To Calm, by Emma Parsons to make sure I wasn't missing any important tips. I used many of her ideas. My dog didn't completely stop being reactive. He improved and settled down some. He wasn't cowering around other dogs. On the contrary, he was lunging at the end of the leash, snarling and embarrassing the heck out of me. LOL.

I agree with Lizzybeth that if your dog is highly stressed and fearful in training class, I'd put that off. You'd do better to work out the training on your own, with some training tips etc. There's no learning if your dog is highly anxious and stressed and it's not even physically good for a dog to be in that state chronically.
The part where you said on the contrary your doing was lunging and snarling at the end of the leash, was that before or after clicker training. I assume after, but it reads a little confusing. thanks
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  #38  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:56 AM
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Sorry about the confusion...no, he was very reactive when on a leash walk, lunging, barking etc. After working with him, he improved, but not completely.
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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  #39  
Old 04-07-2011, 12:49 PM
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Sorry about the confusion...no, he was very reactive when on a leash walk, lunging, barking etc. After working with him, he improved, but not completely.
nice, how long have you been working with him?
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  #40  
Old 04-07-2011, 01:37 PM
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Well, that's the thing. I live in north Idaho in an extremely low-populated, wilderness area. There weren't too many dogs around to practice with. We'd mostly do off leash hikes in the mountain forest trails where no one was but the bears and moose. lol. I do visit Seattle quite frequently, like about 4 or more times a year for a few weeks. That's when I had the chance to work him. My daughter lives almost on the water where there's a walking path where lots of people walk their dogs. This was basically the only chance I had to work with him a little. So, it wasn't really very much or very consistent. But he did get better. He really wasn't aggressive because even at home, if a dog came into our pasture, he'd run down there to see, but never attacked any dog. He was fine in classes. It was something about that leash and something about not being in "working mode" that seemed to get him riled up. I used the techniques like in the book, Click to Calm and he got much better, but never completely reliable that way.
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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