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> Dog Training Tips, Tricks And Methods, Gooooood dogs require gooooood training
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Swanny 
Posted: 08-May-2005, 10:24 AM
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Since training information seems to slip into other threads fairly frequently, I thought I'd start a new thread on dog training. It was prompted by the following post.

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I guess it depends on the dog, but I have a hard time with trainers being mean to a dog to train it. I know people who do that, but I have a really hard time with that form of training. Maybe it depends on the breed.


I think we would have to define the term "mean" to take this much further. Almost all of us would agree that beating a dog is mean, but how about shouting at the dog? How about a dominance roll? How about isolating the dog in his crate for five minutes? Thirty minutes? Longer?

I would never strike a dog or try to induce pain as part of training (I might in self-defense though). Hurting an animal doesn't do much to correct its behavior. They don't necessary relate punishment to the crime that prompted it, so striking the beast only instills fear and erodes trust. On the other hand when my St. Bernard/fence jumper mix intentionally defies me (dominance behavior on his part) I don't hesitate to roll him onto his back and pin him to the floor (dominance behavior on MY part). That's how canines assert their dominance, and my own experience as well as that of several pro trainers I know and trust shows it is effective.

I personally feel that prong collars are cruel, but don't mind using slip collars(so called "choke collars") in the least. Slip collars don't choke the dog, just squeeze the neck muscles a bit to get the dog's attention. Like tapping your buddy on his shoulder to catch his eye. The difference is that a prong collar creates pain and is a punishment device, while the slip collar is a signalling device. I'll bet after reading that you can guess my opinion of electric shock collars, eh?

Every dog is an individual and successful trainers modify their techniques, especially correction techniques, to suit the individual's temperament. Some very sensitive dogs will cower and show extreme submissiveness to nothing more than a harsh word, while others require a serious display of dominance on your part (i.e. the "dominance roll"). It's worth noting that some trainers are very much averse to dominance rolls.

Recognizing that all dogs are individuals, some breeds have a reputation for requiring firmer control than do others, even when the breeds were developed to do similar tasks. For example, Chesepeake Bay Retrievers tend to be "hard headed" compared to Labrador Retrievers, which are generally more focused on their human handlers and much more sensitive. German Shepherd Dogs generally are more senstive than Doberman Pinschers.

Dogs of breeds noted for the potential of being dangerously aggressive toward humans seem to require more firm methods than other breeds. Or perhaps we just can't take the risk of tolerating behavior in them that we might consider okay in other breeds. For example, a St. Bernard or Pit Bull that shows any inclination to dominate humans during play needs to be firmly taught the error of his ways at a very early age, compared to the Lab or Beagle.

The very best trainers I know, folks like Janece Colvin (APDTA Conference Chair) or September Morn (APDTA trainer in Bellingham, Washington) are expert with and use a variety of methods so that they can chose the methods that work best with a particular individual animal. The one thing that seems most consistent, and has certainly worked best for me, is focus on positive rewards to reinforce the behavior we want the dogs to exhibit (like a food treat or praise for "sit" or "stay"). The only hard and fast rule I know about training is that the dog will always do that which is best for the dog. For example, if running away is more fun than coming when called, the dog will always run away.

Swanny


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Swanny 
Posted: 30-Jul-2005, 05:59 PM
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Swanny is just as trainable as are his dogs - honest.

Recently published scientific studies have confirmed that pet dogs do not relate to human companions of members of a pack, and therefore do not attempt to exert social dominance over their humans. That being the case the dominance roll is no longer being advocated as a training method.

In fact, some very smart animal behaviorists feel that the practice can encourage fear aggression in dogs, in other words "make them mean".

So, those trainers who were averse to dominance rolls were apparently very correct in their anecdotal observations.

I won't use the technique any longer, and hope you won't either.

Swanny
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Emmet 
Posted: 31-Jul-2005, 05:45 AM
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That certainly hasn't been my experience with my Cockers; the big one has certainly appeared to attempt to exert dominance over me, I exerted it over him, and he certainly doesn't appear to be mean, afraid, or unhappy in any way.
For example, my wife would go to bed early; Max would go too. I'd come in to go to bed, and Max would snarl, growl, and snap at me. He'd get pinned, spanked, and put out of the bedroom (one of the only times I've ever spanked him; it breaks my heart to do it, but he must NOT show aggression to humans; it's an ABSOLUTE no-go!). Max is still very loving, likes to play with me, sleep in my lap at the computer or couch, lets me groom or bathe him...but when I go to sit down, he moves; when I walk into the bedroom, he's already up and moving out of my space. Once I've sat down, he comes and gets in my lap; once I'm in bed, he cuddles up next to me to sleep. It certainly looks like dominance-submission pack behavior to me.


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Dreamer1 
Posted: 31-Jul-2005, 08:38 AM
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Emmet,
I think your method was completely acceptable. He got the message in short order, nothing to be misinterpretted, yet nothing too harsh as his subsequent behavior shows. I agree that we should always consider our pets' personalities/sensitivities when deciding on the appropriate discipline for each action, but things like the dominance roll shouldn't arbitrarily be thrown out of the mix. Each breed, and each dog within a breed , is unique. We, the owner(s), are really the best ones who can honestly judge which disciplinary actions are right for our pet, in any situation. (This is assuming that the owner is a caring, loving individual, as we all are! laugh.gif )

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lschillinger 
Posted: 30-Dec-2008, 05:10 PM
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Can anyone help with seperation anxiety?

I have a three year old Toy Fox Terrier. She is a rescue from an abusive breeder who surrendered her to the vet when her leg was broke. Long story, but the poor dog had to have a steel plate eventually put in her front leg, it was finally removed last year. My sister was a vet tech at the time so she decided to bring the dog home. The little dog just wants to be around people as much as possible. She is calm and very well behaved. When my sister had her she would kennel her while she made short trips out and about (she took her to work with her everyday). If she was kenneled for a long period of time she became anxious and began barking and clawing. My sister thought the best option was giving the dog a sedative. As her thought goes, its better for her to be drugged than upset. Well I now have the dog and I do not agree with that.

She is more outgoing now that I have her and definitely better behaved than when my sister had her. She is no longer running from people and shaking the corners, she is friendly and greets everyone. However, her anxiety seems to have heightened when she is kenneled. She has a cage that may be slightly to spacious for her but it is not overly huge. In the cage I leave her with chew toys, a treat, and a blanket. I also cover her cage with a blanket. My neighbors started complaining that she was barking non stop all day....I never realized she was doing this as I'm at work and she is quiet when I leave and when I return home. We decided to let her "roam" around the house in hopes that her barking would stop. She has stopped barking (as far as we know) however she is now pottying in the house. We can let her out then leave for five minutes and come back and she has gone. thankfually its usually not pee! She seems to like her cage...she used to run to it in the morning when she knows its time to go to work and occasionally she will lay in it just to relax.

Any ideas???

Thanks!!!


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Swanny 
Posted: 01-Jan-2009, 11:02 AM
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You can solve the house training issue by confining your dog to the crate when you aren't there to supervise her. Be sure to let her out to 'go' as soon as you return. Is is truly rare for dogs to soil their dens unless they are confined for a truly unreasonable amount of time.

Dogs like to be busy creatures, and terriers usually seem to be especially busy. Covering the crate with the blanket isolates her from the stimulation of the environment, and it is quite possible the barking in a sterotypic behavior performed to relieve what you and I would call boredom. That she is quiet when left to roam around the home leads me to suspect that boredom is the root of the excessive barking behavior.

Have you tried leaving her in the crate, but leaving the crate uncovered and perhaps leaving a television or radio playing in the room? In addition, be sure she gets lots of human interaction while you at home. A good hard run or game of fetch or other physical activity before leaving for work will probably help as well. A tired dog is usually a well behaved dog, but it takes a LOT of exercise to prepare even a small dog to truly rest quietly.

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delainesunshine1978 
Posted: 20-Jan-2009, 11:14 PM
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QUOTE (Emmet @ 31-Jul-2005, 05:45 AM)
That certainly hasn't been my experience with my Cockers; the big one has certainly appeared to attempt to exert dominance over me, I exerted it over him, and he certainly doesn't appear to be mean, afraid, or unhappy in any way.
For example, my wife would go to bed early; Max would go too. I'd come in to go to bed, and Max would snarl, growl, and snap at me. He'd get pinned, spanked, and put out of the bedroom (one of the only times I've ever spanked him; it breaks my heart to do it, but he must NOT show aggression to humans; it's an ABSOLUTE no-go!). Max is still very loving, likes to play with me, sleep in my lap at the computer or couch, lets me groom or bathe him...but when I go to sit down, he moves; when I walk into the bedroom, he's already up and moving out of my space. Once I've sat down, he comes and gets in my lap; once I'm in bed, he cuddles up next to me to sleep. It certainly looks like dominance-submission pack behavior to me.

Hello!
We adopted a lab/samoyed mix last November! My job was to make sure he was looked after while his true owner was at work. I also had to train him! I did so much research, watched many dog programs, and a few days ago was on a dog forum...I have learned soooo much about how dogs work!
I can tell you that hitting a dog isnt the best way (I am not judging you and I know you didnt hit him hard) ! People do not have to use fear or force on small matters like the one you described. It is hard to know what to do with dogs and I understand why you did what you did.
Try the NILF.... Nothing In Life Free..... what I mean is when he is ready to eat make him do something first. I make my dog either sit, or speak or lie down or spin and sometimes I add a few at one time. Till he has done something he wont eat! When we leave the house he has to sit and stay, we walk out the door first and he has to wait or we go back and start over till he gets that WE are first! This may sound mean however I am not mean to our dog, I am firm! He does better and is happier this way.
Many people LOVE having the dogs in the bed with them. However if he is doing that to you, he should sleep on the floor every single night! You and your wife both have to stick together on these issues. I swear dogs and kids are the same smile.gif You must have a united front and stick to it! Then he will not try to dominate you.
Of course as you put the spanking seemed to have worked, if he ever does it again just try NILF because it works and then you wont feel so bad, I see you love your dog and I wanted to be helpful for you smile.gif


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