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  #41  
Old 09-29-2006, 12:02 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Doberluv, it sounds like your dogs are extremely well conditioned for your house/yard/area where they are used to the distractions around them. What happens if you had to take your dog into a completely foreign environment, one where you couldn't spend time desensitizing them to the new distractions and surroundings?
Dan, these dogs are not only use to my own immediate environment of my property. There are 400 miles of groomed trails at my disposal here. I can hike every day and never use the same place twice in a short time if I want to. I practice on the golf course when people aren't golfing. I practice in front of the little corner store while I go inside for a few things and he waits in a down/stay outside. People may come and go through the doors and he stays on the mat in front of the non-moving door.

And I visit in the Seattle area about 3-4 times a year, taking my Doberman and sometimes my Chi's with me. We walk along a beach (Alki) walk where many, many dogs and people walk. I use a long line and practice him right there on the walk and on the grassy areas alongside. There are dogs and people in abundance walking right past him....4 feet away as he does a down stay. I practice hiding behind a tree in the grassy areas for about 2-3 minutes. We go to Pike Place Market and I keep him on a short leash there. But he is use to crowds or non crowds and lots of different distractions. I practice him when its dark at night when I visit in Seattle so he doesn't freak out about things. Night time is definitely a different thing to dogs.

So, I use a long line sometimes and a short leash when appropriate and lots of off leash practice, where the dog does have a choice. I make sure I've proofed as best I can before trying a command off leash but rather, until that point, use other means (not the cue) to elicit the behavior I want.

My dogs are not perfect, to be sure. They're animals, not robots. There is always a chance for a goof. In fact, in some things they're down right sloppy. I'm not in the least bit interested in showing or competing. But for fun, I do like to get nice, clean heels, sits, fronts etc. I am going to work on that emergency recall thing that Dr2Little posted. I never thought of that.
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  #42  
Old 09-29-2006, 12:08 PM
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Was at a class with a friend with this past week who wanted me to come sit in with her. The trainer was demoing with her own dog, very PP, dog did great. We went outside, dog did fine untill the leash came off, and then he wandered off, sniffing the ground...totally oblivious to the owner calling his name. And this was a "trained" dog. The trainers own dog for heaven sake. If he's not able to perform reliably off leash and even a spec of grass gets more attention than his owner...what hope does the rest of the class have?
This is not a well trained dog. Punishment in response to this behavior would not make a well trained dog out of him. Going back to the beginning and going through the process would train him. Somewhere along the way, this trainer skipped something. It is not the fault of positive training methods. It is the fault of the trainer not using them. This dog was not proofed through any sequence. Somewhere, something went wrong. This was not even a case of a high prey motivator type thing. This is a simple recall. That is a horrible example to try to prove a point that positive methods don't work. They work for me just fine. My Doberman has an incredible recall and a solid long down/stay. His heel is precise, his fronts are good...could be a little quicker. So, I'll use the clicker. LOL.
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  #43  
Old 09-29-2006, 12:27 PM
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Silverpaws, may I make a recommendation to you? I highly recommend the book, Culture Clash as well as Don't Shoot the Dog, The Power of Positive Training. (and others) These will answer many of your questions and explain how force (ie: placing the dog in the sit position) vs. getting him to figure it out on his own makes a dog a more thinking dog, makes him smarter and better able to learn things in the future. It actually develops more usable brain cells. This has been studied and experimented on. I've read about it somewhere besides in books, but don't ask me to find those things again. LOL. It's even known to be true in humans. The more we exercise our brains, the more brain cells we develop and the more neurons are are grown. Setting a dog up to choose and choose right is better for his brain than pushing his rear into a sit, pulling him with a leash in the direction we want or popping a choke collar to punish him for something.

When we can elicit their participation by discovering what motivates them (it may be something different than treats, it may be the very motivator that is competing with you) ...but in a different way of aquisition....we get a dog who is not forced into a behavior, but who trains himself almost. We get a more reliable response in the future because the training goes deep.

There are a lot of venues where positive methods are used in dog training. So to say that it doesn't work is just plain...... unknowing, I guess.

I've taught my dogs all kinds of things without the use of any force, very little physical manipulation of their body parts, very little punishment, although with some house hold things, I must admit I have used a harsh voice from time to time, (after all, I'm a primate) from obedience to agility, to a few tricks, to good house manners.
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  #44  
Old 09-29-2006, 12:27 PM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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In what other (if there are other) situations would you feel it necessary to use a leash correction, a pop of the choke collar and stern voice in order to get the dog more reliable?
In short, if the dog knows a command, but chooses not to do so in favor of being distracted. I may use placement, or I may use a quick leash pop, it really depends on the dog and the situation. This is just telling the dog his choice was wrong. Nothing more. My job then is to help him succeed so he can see what the right choice is, and learn from knowing what actions bring about what responses from me.

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This is not a well trained dog. Punishment in response to this behavior would not make a well trained dog out of him.
Ah, but this was a 'well trained dog' he has several obedience titles. Most of which were done off leash in the upper levels. He simply chose to sniff the grass instead of respond to his owner in that situation. He was always allowed to choose. So he did.

Punishment? No. Not what I'm talking about. However I would have simply hooked the leash back on him, backed up a few steps to get him to complete the recall and if he still didn't do so THEN I would have given a gentle leash pop. I won't be ignored.

I would not have drug him back into the house and worked on it later. What matters is how we react IN the situation, THAT is what tells the dog if you are a pushover or if you truly mean what you say.

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That is a horrible example to try to prove a point that positive methods don't work.
Not saying they don't work. They work WONDERFULLY for teaching commands. Use them plenty. They are not however, the end all be all of training.
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  #45  
Old 09-29-2006, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Doberluv View Post
That is a horrible example to try to prove a point that positive methods don't work. They work for me just fine. My Doberman has an incredible recall and a solid long down/stay. His heel is precise, his fronts are good...could be a little quicker. So, I'll use the clicker. LOL.
ahh, and my dog(s) trained with prong collars, no collars, e-collars trained under no distractions, gunfire, loose chickens, other dogs, cars, motorcycles on skid pads doing burnouts all have excellent recalls with finishes, precise heeling, solid attention, 15 minute downs easily under heavy distraction, can be sent out or called off an aggressor, can scale walls and jumps, have excellent quickness, springs in their steps, thoughtfulness in their eyes. I take them out and people instantly flock to them and wonder "how" and "where" do you find dogs like that. So what's your point?? I'll continue to challange myself and my dogs using all types of learning, still claim aversives don't train anything, get off the american pet dog training website and read something different for a change. LOL
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  #46  
Old 09-29-2006, 12:34 PM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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Silverpaws, may I make a recommendation to you? I highly recommend the book, Culture Clash as well as Don't Shoot the Dog, The Power of Positive Training.
I've read them. Some very valid points are made in each, but I don't agree with everything they say either. I'm not close minded about other ways of training, I enjoy reading about different methods. Doesn't mean I'm going to be an instant convert.

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These will answer many of your questions and explain how force (ie: placing the dog in the sit position) vs. getting him to figure it out on his own makes a dog a more thinking dog, makes him smarter and better able to learn things in the future.
If you truly believe that placing a dog into a sit position is FORCE, then...wow, I just don't even know what to say to that. Do not see what the problem is with proper placement. Helps the dog learn faster and does not prevent him from being able to learn more in the future.
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  #47  
Old 09-29-2006, 12:40 PM
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DanL DanL is offline
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Originally Posted by whatszmatter View Post
ahh, and my dog(s) trained with prong collars, no collars, e-collars trained under no distractions, gunfire, loose chickens, other dogs, cars, motorcycles on skid pads doing burnouts all have excellent recalls with finishes, precise heeling, solid attention, 15 minute downs easily under heavy distraction, can be sent out or called off an aggressor, can scale walls and jumps, have excellent quickness, springs in their steps, thoughtfulness in their eyes. I take them out and people instantly flock to them and wonder "how" and "where" do you find dogs like that. So what's your point?? I'll continue to challange myself and my dogs using all types of learning, still claim aversives don't train anything, get off the american pet dog training website and read something different for a change. LOL

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  #48  
Old 09-29-2006, 12:44 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Titles or not, the dog at that point did not have a reliable recall. So more training is needed. When you talk about the dog "choosing to ignore" you, blowing you off or whatever, this tells me that you're projecting human ways of thinking onto dogs....or anthropomorphizing them. Why would a dog choose to disobey a command? Because there is a competing motivator present which is better than what has been conditioned into him during his reinforcement history. He needs more practice. Just like when a piano student (I'll use that as an example since I'm a pianist) makes a mistake. He may have gotten the note or the measure perfectly before, won contests, but here on this day, he messes up. He may have something else on his mind which is distracting him. He may have a finger nail which has grown too long or something which is hurting. Something very interesting may be happening in the same room.....so he screws up. He can be slapped by the piano teacher or verbally scolded. Yes, it may make him pay better attention and it may also shut him down, make him want to stop playing. Or, the piano teacher can say, "lets start over and this time, lets remove these other things which are distracting you." In other words, with the dog, get him back to a place where the distractions aren't too much for him right now. Go through it again and practice. Everything takes practice. Maybe that dog was trained and won titles. Maybe the trainer got overly confident and stopped working with him enough. All training will regress if it is not practiced. If a dog messes up, I don't consider him as being stubborn, trying to get back at me, blowing me off or any other human thought process. He is simply undertrained in that particular distraction.

I could not go from having my dog do a nice, reliable down/stay in my yard or one other place and expect him to perform so well in other places. I could not expect my dog to come when called by only practicing him at home or a handful of other places with only a few types of distractions. I started easy and worked up in both distractions, duration, distance, all seperately worked on. Coming when called must be paired with something which is always worth it to the dog, better than whatever he is doing at the time. Sure, there are those times when you just can't measure up....like in those high prey situations we talked about. We strive to over come that, but sometimes fail. Sniffing the grass certainly doesn't rate very high in my book of motivator competitors. So, I would say that that dog needs more practice or a refresher course.
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  #49  
Old 09-29-2006, 12:55 PM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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When you talk about the dog "choosing to ignore" you, blowing you off or whatever, this tells me that you're projecting human ways of thinking onto dogs....or anthropomorphizing them.
When I say he chooses to ignore, I mean that he's choosing to give his attention to the competing distraction, in turn that means he's also choosing to not obey. Can't have one without the other. Don't need to project human emotions on the dog to explain it.


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If a dog messes up, I don't consider him as being stubborn, trying to get back at me, blowing me off or any other human thought process.
Again, neither do I. I simply see it as a dog who is not aware that his must obey regardless of the distraction. Now, if we're talking about a dog in the begining stages of training, then of course I wouldn't correct. Not fair to the dog to do so.

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Because there is a competing motivator present which is better than what has been conditioned into him during his reinforcement history.
Bingo. Click - Treat.
Even with the best positive training, and loads of practice, this will happen some day, the dog will find something else more interesting then you.
It's my job as a trainer to tell the dog that he must obey EVEN if there is a competing distraction he'd rather give his attention to. His life could depend on it some day.
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  #50  
Old 09-29-2006, 01:01 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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It's my job as a trainer to tell the dog that he must obey EVEN if there is a competing distraction he'd rather give his attention to. His life could depend on it some day.
Yes, I agree. It's how we get them to obey which is different. But this is getting old. LOL. I don't want to cause any bad feelings or anything so I'll leave it alone now.
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