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#208442 - 01/26/12 11:30 AM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: Ruthie]
cassadee7 Offline
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Registered: 02/22/10
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Saber is a funny one. She seems to be very confident in some situations and then quite stressed in others. She generally likes the ring and is confident there. The instructor said the sniffing was probably from stress; I wonder myself if it is just because we are the last class of the night and the mat is covered in microscopic bits of treats. She doesn't usually seem stressed in the ring to ME but I could be wrong. Does it make a difference how/if to correct depending on her reason for sniffing? Because if it is a stress sniff I'd see how correcting that could make her more stressed but if it is a "yum yum there is food on the ground!" sniff I feel like that needs to be corrected more firmly/strictly. What do you think?

Lots of good thoughts from you all. We are not allowed to have treats in the ring in this class so I keep a bag outside the ring and about 3x during class, after she has done well I take her out and jackpot her. I wonder if bringing a tug into the ring would be good, like Jane mentioned. I know Saber would be more excited. She did seem bored last night. Or as Amy said maybe not. I have tried the "being more exciting" thing, jumping around being happy with a high voice, being more animated, and she mostly tilts her head and looks at me like I lost my mind.

I will definitely work on this all week with positive methods and see how we progess.
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Kira vom Snoozhaus ZZZ CGC!!!

Saber's Blog: http://stuffsaberdoes.blogspot.com/

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#208443 - 01/26/12 11:34 AM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: Ruthie]
JeanKBBMMMAAN Offline
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Your #2 is my making a jerk of myself. That getting the dog into it is perhaps the reason I have never had to use a correction to get a dog to look at me while we are really working on heeling? Plus I reserve corrections for things that matter to me, in terms of safety and behavior, so for me, it's not an option and therefore, I better find another way to get the job done without the correction. I think it is interesting to set that up before a training session in my mind. In this session, I am going to teach ______________ and I am going to do it with/without _____________.*

But acting like an interesting idiot, that is something I will use - and have fun. The dogs love the high-happy voice, silly, having fun person, and don't like the plodding, boring, dull one. Someone somewhere has a quote in their signature, to train a dog you have to be more interesting than dirt, and that is so true!

Of course all of that has to be faded out - from idiocy to corrections - but for teaching it, I have a lot more fun being stupid then being serious.

*ETA - I know sometimes people think that it is not clear to the dog and that you have to be black/white with them. I am not talking being purely positive, I am giving feedback with my voice, body language and eyes that is both positive and negative, but very quickly - a lot less time to stop, or give an ugh noise, or make a face at them than the time it takes to pop a leash. That is feedback too and the dogs know - and you ARE shaping it, but when you use more of the positives, you get into a positive feedback loop so quickly I have found, that the negative feedback isn't needed so much.


Edited by JeanKBBMMMAAN (01/26/12 11:41 AM)
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#208451 - 01/26/12 11:53 AM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: Ruthie]
Kayos Offline

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Good topic!!!!

Amy makes some good points on the energy level. Need energy but not stress to keep the dog engaged with you.

When you think of obedience as dancing with a wonderful partner it is not so boring. I love heeling with Havoc. I love heeling as it is a dance and I get to go dancing with a great partner. If you look on it as boring it will be boring for you and the dog and then you get plodding. And then you get the ass as in opposition reflex that Jean mentioned. Opposition reflex can also be emotional.

But this is a collar correction thread. I think you have to teach your dog what a collar correction is and how to work through it so it is not depressing. Bobbie Anderson teaches her puppies that a collar pop is a great fun game! So they get a pop and it increases drive. When it comes time to use the pop as a 'hey you, we are heeling not fooling around' the young dog does not become depressed but works harder to drive with the handler. If you have not read her Building Blocks book you should take a peak at it or least the section on teaching the collar pop.

I think Saber may have been surprised so acted depressed? I do not usually start using a collar correction for heeling errors until I am certain the dog REALLY understands heel. Havoc got his first heeling corrections well after he was 2 1/2. I actually tied the leash around my waist to keep my hands off of it for a long time.

I might consider using a toy or other tool to help her understand before correcting her and teach her to work through a correction befor expecting her to bounce back. Show and tell. Show her what heel is with food, toys, praise. Help her be right before correcting her for being wrong. When you know she understands what you want add the correction and as soon as she is right again shower her with wonderful things. Keep your emotion in check, you cannot be angry when giving her a correction or it will shut her down. Stay upbeat and mentally engaged with her and as soon as she responds the right way the correction is done, she gets great things and you move on.

Remember when we talked about sniffing in the grass? Same thing here, let her get it out of her system and check out her environment. If she is okay with her environment she will be okay with you and I think less unfocused. She is still very young and I fully believe it takes 2 years to build a reliable heeling dog.

As an aside - again I think I know your trainer, she does use collar corrections, I think, too soon. She did not like that I used more toys with Havoc in her classes. I would step out to the side so as to not disrupt class when I used a toy. So if you opt to use a toy be courteous.

Circle heeling in a group is hard for any dog so be aware that she may not heel well there for a long time. Correcting her for lack of focus would not be very fair there.
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#208457 - 01/26/12 12:04 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: Ruthie]
Liesje Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ruthie


I know others have mentioned using tools to make you more engaging and that is ok to a certain extent, but I feel strongly that it has to start with the HANDLER. If YOU aren't engaging, then it doesn't matter if you have food, ball, tug... You aren't going to have all those tools when you compete, so why not focus on the tool you can always have with you...YOU!


I agree. Keep in mind you have a German Shepherd, a bigger dog with a rectangular shape. I used to do a lot of formal AKC and rally type classes and my number one struggle was having a dog that likes to move fast when focused and intense and a ring that is made for a sheltie. Sometimes when it's my turn in the ring, props and ring gates get knocked around, but if I don't want my dog to act inhibited, I'm certainly not going to have a blast training at home and then come to the class ring and act stoic and reserved. I'm not saying this is what's happening since I can't see, but this was definitely a struggle for me when I dabbled in training in "AKC" venues.

I'll disagree with a few points made above. I don't believe that obedience is boring for dogs. Why do my dogs HOWL at me, tossing their toys and their training gear in my lap or "herding" me towards the cabinet that contains the training gear? I don't think that indicates obedience is boring. They LOVE it! In fact, sometimes I'm working to *not* overload them in drive. But even with some harsh corrections and sometimes a bit of pressure/escape training their overall experience with obedience training is fun, drive, and more fun.

Also I don't always agree that a dog needs a change to sniff around and acclimate. The dog should have a clear understanding of work mode and "free" mode. This is why for me training my release word is just as important as any command. My dog *must* know when we are working (and my commands are non-negotiable) and when they are free to move around, sniff, look around. Ideally I can take my dog out of my van directly into the ring for their turn and have no problems. This is mostly a personal preference though, but I wouldn't want the dog's lack of focus to be excused as a need to acclimate before being able to work. It sounds more like the "depressing" behaviors were stress and avoidance, not a true need to sniff around in the ring to get acclimated.


Edited by Liesje (01/26/12 12:05 PM)
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#208458 - 01/26/12 12:05 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: Kayos]
cassadee7 Offline
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Registered: 02/22/10
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Thanks Kathy. After I saw Bobbie Anderson trial and talked to ehr a bit, I went out and got her book but haven't read much of it yet. I will look for that chapter.

I have been doing the McDevitt thing (I think it was her?) of releasing to sniff on cue in class, before and even in the middle of class once or twice when we are getting bits of lecture and the dogs are just waiting. Not sure if that is a bad idea...
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Shawn
Mom to five kids and
"Saber" NN Jette vom Wildhaus CD BN RA CAX CGC JJ-N HIC
Kira vom Snoozhaus ZZZ CGC!!!

Saber's Blog: http://stuffsaberdoes.blogspot.com/

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#208461 - 01/26/12 12:28 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: cassadee7]
Cassidy's Mom Offline
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Originally Posted By: cassadee7
The instructor said the sniffing was probably from stress; I wonder myself if it is just because we are the last class of the night and the mat is covered in microscopic bits of treats.


I agree, not all sniffing is stress related. Halo was always way more distracted and sniffy in a class than anywhere else, and I'm positive that it's because there's a reasonable expectation of finding food on the floor there and there isn't out on our walks at the lake, which is rife with all manner of interesting distractions. Well, unless we're in an area where the geese have been, and then she is ALL OVER the goose poop,lol!

Look at the dog's demeanor, I think you'll be able to tell the difference. Halo wasn't showing any signs of stress in class, but I could practically see the "oh, look that could be FOOD!!!!" text bubble pop up over her head. Every little speck on the floor had to be investigated to see if it might be edible.

And when she comes out of the crate at flyball she HAS to check out the grass, nose buried deep to breathe in all the interesting odors. Once we get started she's focused and intense, but if we're standing there doing nothing for a minute or two she's using her nose.

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#208464 - 01/26/12 12:30 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: cassadee7]
Ruthie Offline
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Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 991
Loc: Michigan
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Originally Posted By: cassadee7
I have tried the "being more exciting" thing, jumping around being happy with a high voice, being more animated, and she mostly tilts her head and looks at me like I lost my mind.


Sounds like her mama! smile You don't have to act goofy to be engaging, although with some dogs this is a great way to do it. You know how if you look at your dog and say "What do want?" they get all excited? It is because you have created the expectation that something might happen. Think of how you can do that with your body. Do a test... Next time you heel with Saber stiffen your body and act like you are marching to go get your favorite dessert and you are really happy about it. Watch the difference in her.
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#208468 - 01/26/12 12:45 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: Ruthie]
JeanKBBMMMAAN Offline
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popcorndrink

Can't wait to see what happens!

PS - Liesje, I think my dogs like training, and get excited when we do stuff at home, or at stores, or when we are out, but I tend to not like a lot of obedience classes, so that's all on me. Too long, too much repetition, too much waiting around, too serious, I just don't have enough motivation to participate unless it's a really good class. And for a while I was in weekly classes for about 5 years - I think I burned out. But I do the routines home and out and about, just, and enjoy the training parts.


Edited by JeanKBBMMMAAN (01/26/12 12:50 PM)
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#208469 - 01/26/12 12:47 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: Ruthie]
Liesje Offline
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Yep, puff out your chest and march when you heel! If you are worried about her, you are probably slightly hunched and dropping your left shoulder. This causes stress b/c of your body and "pushes" the dog into a lagging position. In SchH our trainer tells us to march forward whether our dog is there or not. Don't inhibit your pace either. Most GSDs need a nice pace to look their best. My "normal" pace is faster than a lot of AKC peoples' "fast" pace.
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#208472 - 01/26/12 12:52 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: Liesje]
JeanKBBMMMAAN Offline
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The one class I did love, the trainer made us move faster than our normal pace for the regular heel. She said they have 4 legs people, and you are boring them with your 2! And that really got the interest up in all the dogs. It was fun to watch them perk up!
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