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  #51  
Old 08-24-2012, 12:13 PM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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I don't know, it's sort of funny watching my 4 play leap frog with my couch.
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  #52  
Old 08-24-2012, 12:34 PM
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Adrianne, this was not ever meant be personal. I thought I made that clear but maybe not, and if so I apologize. That said, when it becomes personal, it no longer holds much interest for me.

I would not and do not look at your dogs and think that I could do better. But yes, I do watch people slug young dogs in the chest for downing on the long sit, and know I could do better. So could anyone, including the dog's current handler. I feel no remorse saying that.
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  #53  
Old 08-24-2012, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
I think this is an excellent blog post on the subject: http://susangarrettdogagility.com/20...-dog-training/
She has so many good blog posts. I've learned so much from them, the articles on her site, and her books.

A big wake up call for me was one of the simplest exercises in the CU book. The one where Leslie talks about just going on a nice, relaxed walk with your dog(s) with no expectations or anything and just do breathing awareness exercises as you amble along. That one deceptively simple exercise smacked me upside the head with information about my relationships with each of my girls that I didn't expect.

While Scout and I were in perfect sync during our walk and it was extremely relaxing, when I took Lily out after her it was not relaxing at all. She was jittery and confused, doing all kinds of displacement sniffing, and was generally very jumpy. I tend to think of Lily as my easy dog and while I have used a prong for aversives extensively in the past with her, at the time of first doing this exercise we hadn't used one in about a year and I'd stopped working on formal IPO style OB with her (more on that later)... basically she'd just been allowed to be a dog since she doesn't pull or anything when I run her usually. In any case it was really obvious that something was broken between us and to be honest it really floored me.

The problems we'd been having in working on OB were mutual frustration, zero zest/drive in her work, and a real disconnect in her focus. To be succint, it wasn't fun anymore so I stopped doing it.

After what I learned from that simple CU exercise, I started doing private lessons in addition to working at home obviously to learn how to better use the clicker for marker reward training and we went back to square one of foundational work. Hands down best decision I've ever made. She's so enthusiastic that she bounces in the air going from a down to a sit, lol. And even nicer I am getting a thousand fold better results even when I'm sans clicker and treats. Its been really challenging trying to get her to learn the game and offer behaviors because of her past training, but well worth it. She'll never offer as crazy as Scout does because of it, but thats okay!

To be honest, I feel a lot of pressure from the culture of the sports I'm most interested in to be p.c. and accepting about the use of aversives. But when I'm actually out with the dogs working or watching others work, I always think hmm that could be better set up so you wouldn't get to that point or hmm that was counterproductive.

Even with my clicker trainer who is heavily influenced by the same big name trainers I look to, I observed some things in group that I would have done differently... namely some dogs being set up to go over threshold. Her own dog scared the crap out of Scout with his hard staring (he was recently attacked by a big GSD, hence his being on edge), but luckily Scout has enough good reinforcement history and trust in me that she is very well equipped to work through things. There were a few times where I used my judgement and just walked away to the other end of the property over the six week course because Scout was near to being over threshold and shutting down so we took a breather and did some massage to take the pressure off.

I dunno, ask 10 different trainers and you'll get 10 different answers.

I do know that when I get a puppy eventually its going to be raised using my own form based off all the games from puppy CU and that Susan Garrett uses. If it works that good for my adult dogs with baggage I imagine it will be pure pleasure to raise a puppy with a good program like that.

Shutting up now, lol.
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  #54  
Old 08-24-2012, 12:48 PM
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AdrianneIsabel AdrianneIsabel is offline
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Eh, I know there is always going to be a level of personal interest when one person thinks the other is making a bad choice, in a general sense or not.

Hummers kill the environment is, whether intended or not, insulting to hummer owners. That said, I don't take any personal hurt that makes me want to limit my circle of friends in any way.

Anyone can think I could have done better with Arnold before he killed another dog or even after he killed a dog and my training took an aversive turn to make him think twice before acting on impulse.

The truth is we all do what we feel is best and in the end there will always be outsiders who are sure they know better. Eventually after a while most of us just realize that it's that thought process that helps us learn and makes each and every one of us better dog handlers/owners/trainers. Taking with a grain of salt every recommendation, trying it out and seeing where it goes from there. Some work, some don't, some are in fact too unfair to try. In the end, for me, it just matters to me that dogs are doing what makes them happy.

I know my dogs are happy and that makes it all worthwhile. The rest is just shrug worthy.
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Phelan du Loups du Soleil 6/15/13-

Arnold CGC TDI FD 6/29/04 - 07/05/13
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  #55  
Old 08-24-2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
Eh, I know there is always going to be a level of personal interest when one person thinks the other is making a bad choice

I know my dogs are happy and that makes it all worthwhile. The rest is just shrug worthy.
Who said you were making a "bad" choice??? I know I didn't. I've seen compulsion applied enough times and in enough ways to know that it doesn't ruin dogs (it can, of course, but so can a lot of things). I just don't believe it's necessary or required. Many things we do to and for our dogs are unnecessary, but compulsion happens to have a lot of potential for fall out. That would be why I generally avoid it.

In the end, it certainly is shrug-worthy, I suppose. I certainly do not doubt that your dogs are happy.
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  #56  
Old 08-24-2012, 01:37 PM
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I actually wasn't taking your post as personally attacking or anything of the sort, there is no worry.

I will say, what I am referring to though is that the alternative is to ask, do you think I am making the good choice in training my dogs the way I do.

I truly don't want the answer to that question though, meaning, it does not concern me unless I am facing an issue. Even so, issue or not, I'm always open to suggestions for alternatives though. I do put a lot more faith in hands on work though anymore than internet advice, like I said it's just too easy to train every dog in theory.



On the topic of variety of dogs (not having anything to do with compulsion) and their training needs. Adding spunk to obedience my trainer suggested the first day to rough house with your dogs, toughen them up by lightly roughing them up side to side and bouncing with them. She however has a wonderful, high drive - field line, golden (whom I drool over every monday).

I laughed, Denis laughed, but we gave it a shot. Sloan nailed Denis in the arm and Backup nipped me and then proceeded to get so worked up, slamming himself side to side while spinning and barking, that three other dogs in the class began lunging frantically at us.

That kind of behavior works wonders for some dogs, like Arnold whom I practice this with regularly before demos, but the fuzznuts don't need to interact that way, it's not healthy for my skin unless I have stuffed their mouths with skin protecting toys.

Point is though, we tried it, alternatively after widening her eyes and recoiling with a wtf look our trainer helped us find alternate ways to build that pep, for Backup we're finding trick training flowing into obedience is helping a lot, Sloan is still a work in progress finding the perfect match.
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Sloan von Krigbaum CGC BH CD NA NJ PD MJ-N RATI RATN 3/7/10 -
Shamoo NJ-N RATI RATN 3/1/98 -
Phelan du Loups du Soleil 6/15/13-

Arnold CGC TDI FD 6/29/04 - 07/05/13
Backup CGC HIC CD SRD SJ-N RATI 12/29/09 - 07/05/13

You were amazing, we did amazing things.


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  #57  
Old 08-24-2012, 01:50 PM
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Oh god I had to laugh at your story Adrianne. I am pretty casual with my training and activities compared to you guys, but one night at an agility class (we just puttered around for fun for awhile) we had a substitute trainer who decided she was going to build Squash's drive with a little roughhousing before a run. I kind of chuckled and said "go for it" and he ended up pogo-sticking, roaring, and nose-punching her in the face several times before she could even react and decided maybe this was neither necessary nor a good idea for this dog. For one terrible, terrible moment I actually thought he might have bitten her in the face (he hadn't).

Maisy, on the other hand, for the short time we participated with her before realizing it wasn't her thing at all, saw agility as something to be endured because for some reason her people liked her to do it. So she benefitted greatly from a little "pepping up" before a run.

It still makes me laugh from time to time. Build his drive. Pretty much existing in the world is all Squash needs to build his drive. Roughhousing is a good way to build bruises on your body.
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  #58  
Old 08-24-2012, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
I will say, what I am referring to though is that the alternative is to ask, do you think I am making the good choice in training my dogs the way I do.
I'm assuming that you work hard to motivate your dogs, utilize a variety of methods before physical punishment, and that any force you do use is applied carefully and thoughtfully. Yes, I do think those are good choices in training dogs. Not necessarily the choices I would make, but that doesn't mean they can't be good choices.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:37 PM
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That is a great story Adrianne, made me laugh!

Scout used to bite me on the rear when she'd bring back toys and drop them... Darn me for using mean vocal corrections lol.
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  #60  
Old 08-25-2012, 09:39 AM
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I love talking theory, so loving this thread
In theory the possibilities really are endless, people like SG, Denise Fenzi, et al are so inspirational! In practice, with my own dogs, with my baggage, with their baggage, I fall *way* short! But I’m going to keep trying

Ecollars bug me, they really do. Not because of people like AdrianneIsabel who use them thoughtfully and purposefully on drivey dogs who are engaged in an activity that the dog finds hugely reinforcing, but because of the SMS types who put them on every single dog who walks in the door. And the truth is, 99.9% of the people who slap an ecollar on their dog’s neck are the latter, not the former.

And that’s the rub. People see someone like Michael Ellis working a dog wearing an ecollar and equate that with their local trainer who uses an ecollar to teach LLW to anything that weighs more than 20 pounds.

A highly driven dog, doing something he loves more than anything in the world, with an impeccable clicker-y foundation, with a handler who the dog trusts implicitly, getting a few nudges from an ecollar is 110% NOT the same thing as a pet dog trying to go for a walk not allowed to feel “safe” unless he stays in an invisible zone of proximity to the owner.
Sometimes its just easier to say screw ecollars and avoid them like the plague.

Gal on the dane forum has an 8 week old pup and is already asking if she should be looking in to e-collars. Stuff like that makes me cringe. And worse when you get posts in reply that “my ecollar was a life saver, I love it”. Its hard to reply to stuff like that without sounding like a rabid PP psycho

As to the OP, honestly, I have no idea what he is doing or trying to accomplish. I skipped most of it, scrolled to the end, and never saw the dog do an actual retrieve - did I miss it?
I taught my first ever formal retrieve with a clicker. Lots of people were very condescending and did the figurative pat on the head “oh, that’s nice dear” while adding that I’d eventually have to introduce force to make sure the dog knows he *has* to retrieve every time.

Well, a few weeks ago I threw the dumbbell, it bounced weird and landed under a table behind a box filled with recyclables. Curious to see what would happen, I sent my dog. He ran to the box, thinking it was in there, shoved his nose around, couldn’t find it, shoved the box aside, knocked the table, dumping a display of zukes bags all over himself, saw the dumbbell wedged between the table leg and the wall, nosed it out, grabbed it, and came running back. Sloppy front through - maybe I need force there? :P
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