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#208788 - 01/27/12 01:35 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: cassadee7]
cassadee7 Offline
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I just spent about 10 minutes doing a bit of heeling in the living room with her. I put a tug under my armpit like I have heard about others doing. I moved fast, talked to her and every couple minutes released her to tug. I got AWESOME focus, very happy excited dog! She did leap up a couple times and try to grab the tug but I raised my arm and blocked her and kept going! I bet if I do this a few times a day, her focus will greatly improve, as well as her enthusiasm for heeling!
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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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#208790 - 01/27/12 01:46 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: cassadee7]
Liesje Offline
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Sounds like a plan! With Pan I hold the tug in my left hand on the left side of his head, then I don't have to worry about him trying to grab it from my armpit, and I know he's understanding the focus and not depending on the toy as a lure.
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#208793 - 01/27/12 01:53 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: Liesje]
cassadee7 Offline
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Oh interesting, so he has to sort of ignore the tug and give you focus. I see. I will experiment with different positions for the tug. She understands when I hold a treat in my hand behind her head that she has to ignore it and look at me to get it.
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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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#208816 - 01/27/12 03:12 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: cassadee7]
Liesje Offline
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Yeah, I want him to offer focus on his own, otherwise it's really hard to fade the lure, and really if the dog is working in drive and has a good attitude they should be able to heel with some intensity and give focus without the lure. Also I don't want him ever rearing up into my armpit since that is faulty heeling. You can certainly keep it in your armpit, a lot of people do, I just don't like it.
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#208883 - 01/27/12 07:58 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: Liesje]
Kayos Offline

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Registered: 02/18/10
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Loc: McAlester, OK
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I like to hear positive things about the club up there. I had a fb post from Dee N about her lab getting drivey and grabbing her. When Havoc did that to me it was assumed it was "aggressive GSD must muzzle him" I commented to that effect and she said club has come along way in recognizing drive vs aggression. And that is WONDERFUL!!! So I have high hopes for the club and your instructor. When you are taught to train with high compulsion it is hard to change.

Lies makes some excellent points and I sure cannot top that so won't try. Just to caution about fading too quickly, can lead to shut down so be gradual and condition her to no food no toys for longer stretches. You still have your eyes and your smile tho to communicate with her.


Edited by Kayos (01/27/12 07:59 PM)
Edit Reason: I hate auto correct.
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PTE,AC,URO3,AG2,UCD Xtra!Xtra! v. TeMar CDX,GN,RE,CGC,TC,HIC, Bh "Havoc" 6/4/07
PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DN,HT,TKN,TC,CGCA 4/4/12

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#208980 - 01/28/12 10:07 AM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: Kayos]
DancingCavy Offline



Registered: 02/11/10
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Honestly, as long as someone's not abusing their dog, I don't care how they choose to train. I'm simply saying that you never have to use corrections if you don't want to. It's certainly possible to train a dog without them.
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#209012 - 01/28/12 03:40 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: DancingCavy]
laevsk Offline
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Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 344
Loc: Alaska
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I was halfway afraid to come back to this thread - I posted the other night very late, was tired and I KNOW better than to post when I'm not fully "there" (if you understand what I mean .. *L*). I don't like upsetting people, but I do tend to be blunt when it comes to doing what I think is right for our dogs. And I didn't read all the other posts because I was tired, so I was just responding to a few bits and pieces.

When I post about training, I'm doing it from the standpoint of someone who trains "independent" breeds as well as herding/working type breeds. And because of that, my training may have a different taste than those who have primarily trained more compliant breeds. Owning/training Chows has given me a completely different view of training WITH the dog. All dogs do better if you train WITH them and not just throw your training at them with the expectation that they will respond. But with some breeds - and I consider the GSD one of these breeds - you can get away with throwing the training AT them. GSDs, overall, are bred to work with their humans. They prefer to keep their owners happy, and are thrilled if you spend time with them (unless you've made that time unhappy, and then they turn off). GSDs are not difficult dogs to train (I'm generalizing on the breed as a whole, of course).

But having Chows come into my life taught me a HUGE amount about dogs, about me, about training techniques, etc. Yes, you can force a Chow to submit to your training, but you'll never get happy compliance that way. And given an opportunity, they will stop working for you. This means that as soon as they move away from you, they're done. I think, as a trainer, one of the best things that ever happened to me was that Kylee came into my life (my first Chow). There I was, coasting along on the natural trainability of my GSD and my Aussie, and this stubborn little Chow pup gets shoved into my life. I didn't intend on keeping her - was just doctoring her eyes until we found her a good home. And 16 1/2 years later, she died in my arms. During those years, she taught me patience and kindness and imagination and how to properly READ my dog as a trainer. She taught me that just because we CAN use corrections doesn't mean we SHOULD, and that the long-term results are much better if your dog fully enjoys the training.

And then I got a second Chow to see if the first one was just a fluke, and then a third one (Khana). Each has been different in many ways, but they hold onto one steadfast Chow rule: they are independent-minded dogs and they don't live to please their humans. It's like they're polar opposites of herding/sporting/working breeds. And what I found is that once I learned how to train them successfully, that same training worked on the other breeds too.

Each dog is an individual, of course, and you have to adapt your training to fit the dog. But most dogs fall into certain categories, and some types of training cover more categories than other types. Positive reinforcement training (and I think that everyone on this thread DOES use +R) is an overall great way to train pretty much ANY dog. But, just like any other method, +R has to be done correctly in order to work correctly, and that's where people fall apart on this. Their timing is off, or they reward the wrong behavior, or they fail to reward when they should, etc. Then when the training doesn't work, it's blamed on either the dog or the method.

Honestly, though - the vast majority of training failures are caused by the weakest link, and that's US! Myself included. I've made some horrendous mistakes over the years, and thought it was the dog deliberately blowing me off. I was so wrong. Dogs don't really blow us off like we tend to think. They react to the training, to the situation, to the emotions they're feeling from us, to the stress, to the surroundings, etc. They may get distracted (we should have trained under more distractions!) or overwhelmed (we should have gradually increased the criteria so that they could adapt without getting overwhelmed!) or nervous (as the more "evolved" species, we should know how to control our emotions so as not to upset our canine partner!) or confused (a confused dog is a dog that isn't as well-trained as we assumed).

When I post things like this I'm not trying to discourage people. I just hope that someone out there can skip all the mistakes I made over the years (or at least SOME of them). I really regret some of the things I've done in the name of training, and I know that those same training techniques are still used by a lot of competition people. And my methods were mild compared to many out there! I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in making your dog as perfect as you can, and to allow things to happen that are really not fair to your dog. And what people are willing to do to get a high score in obedience or other performance venues is sometimes downright abusive.

To me, a nicely trained dog that was trained using minimal corrections is much more impressive than a dog that snaps to attention every time its owner moves but was trained with more corrections. I think the journey to obedience is more important than the end result. So all of my posts are done with that in mind. Dogs CAN be nicely and consistently trained without much in the way of corrections, if a person chooses to follow that path.

Back to the original idea: depressed dogs are made, not born, so if a dog acts depressed then it's an external pressure causing it. If a collar correction makes your dog act depressed or shuts him/her down, then it's going to work against you both in training and in your relationship. Many class instructors who recommend collar pops as the way to correct lagging have really poor "dog reading skills", and will end up blaming the handler and/or dog when the problem escalates instead of getting better.

Shawn - using the tug is a great idea, especially if you're allowed to use it in class. I want to caution you, though, on the use of the visible reward. It follows the same rules as the visible treat. If you use a visible reward, the reward itself becomes part of the cue and then the dog stops working when the reward is no longer visible. This isn't the dog "blowing you off" - it's because the cue has changed. You need to start putting the tug onto a shelf or table and then running to it WHEN your dog is focusing nicely on you. Ideally you will go into the training area before you bring your dog in, and set out 3 or 4 tug toys in various (fairly hidden) places, then bring your dog in and as soon as you get a step or two at attention, say YESSS!!!, clap your hands, and run to one of the tugs, praising the entire way. Grab the tug, play with her a bit, then put the tug back and do it all again - but this time, run to a DIFFERENT hidden toy, so that she never knows where the toys will be.

One important thing to remember: anytime you decide to reward, or decide to take her out of the ring to jackpot with treats (you mentioned you were doing that a few times during class) - it needs to be done right as the dog is doing something WELL. By that I mean that you mark a behavior right at the time the dog is performing the way you want, and then run to the toy/treat/jackpot, even if that means running out of the ring to your treats. It does little good to reward/jackpot at mediocre moments, because the dog is going to relate it to whatever it was doing at the time you either marked the behavior (YESS!!) or gave the treats (if you don't use a marker word). You really do need to mark the proper behavior if you're going to run to the reward, because by the time you get to the reward it will be well-past the actual behavior you're rewarding. So the "YESSS!!" tells the dogs "you were PERFECT right then!" and the reward follows quickly behind that to back up the marker word.

If you fail to mark a behavior, they're going to associate the reward with whatever they just did, which was run out of the ring. Some people will tell you that you shouldn't run the dog out of the ring to your treat container, but I've done it for years with my competition dogs and I've NEVER had a dog leave the ring in search of treats. And that's because I always marked a behavior before running the dog out of the ring. The behavior I marked was the behavior that was reinforced.

I hope that all makes sense. Reward marking is such an amazing way of training, and builds not only high enthusiasm but a high level of consistency in your dog IF you do it right. I love seeing Khana work, because she'll do things like a retrieve (NOT a natural behavior for her!) and do it with a little pounce of enthusiasm. I LIKE that, even though it may not be perfect in competition. But it shows me that she enjoys what she's doing even though it's not something she would have chosen to do on her own. I shaped that retrieve from the time she was a puppy and it was all done via +R with a few verbal "eht! Pick it up!" kinds of corrections. NO physical corrections, NO ear or toe pinch, etc. And yet this Chow willingly retrieves for me, and brings me clothes, shoes, keys, dog dishes, etc.

Anyhow - I do apologize to anyone I may have irritated with my earlier post (or with this post, for that matter). I'm devoted to training dogs with the least amount of discomfort for the dogs, while still understanding that some behaviors - life/death behaviors, especially - may be best taught using a high level of correction. I hope that my posts help people find a way past the typical corrective-type training that still permeates the dog world, and also helps people build a better relationship than they ever thought possible.

Melanie and the girls in Alaska
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Melanie & the girls in Alaska
Khana-Service Dog Extraordinaire (Chow)
Tazer-Monster Puppy, All Grown Up (GSD)
-And always in my heart:
Trick & Dawson (GSDs)-Kylee & Dora (Chows)-Lady (Aussie)
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#209032 - 01/28/12 07:02 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: laevsk]
cassadee7 Offline
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Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1699
Loc: Southern WA
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Those are great points, Melanie. I really enjoy learning from others' experiences (and mistakes).

Do people actually pinch their dogs as corrections? I saw a lady bop her boxer on the head with a dumbbell once and I was just appalled. I am kind of a softy myself. I would never do anything like that to Saber. For that matter I never realized that people cared about getting high scores until recently. I was thinking "hey it would be fun to try for a CD" but I never even thought about it mattering what scores we get as long as we qualify. After thinking about it, sure, I would be proud of a good score, but more because it is a symbol of the relationship I have with my dog and the work we both put into it. I will compete, but I never saw it, and still don't see it, as a competition against any other dogs or handlers. It's always been a competition with ourselves, for me and my dog to get the best score we can and do better each time. For fun. So I probably don't take it all as seriously as a lot of folks do. What I do take seriously is our relationship, and our trust in each other, and her safety. She needs a good recall for her safety. I like precision because it shows that she and I can work together. But scores are more of a side thing to me. I just really love my dog and want to enjoy things together.

I have to keep that in mind when I am in class because there is a whole different mindset when you're focused on "I want this action to look like this" than when you're focused on the relationship with the dog.
_________________________
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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#209034 - 01/28/12 07:04 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: laevsk]
GrandJan Offline
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Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1972
Loc: NE PA
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Originally Posted By: laevsk
I'm devoted to training dogs with the least amount of discomfort for the dogs, while still understanding that some behaviors - life/death behaviors, especially - may be best taught using a high level of correction. I hope that my posts help people find a way past the typical corrective-type training that still permeates the dog world, and also helps people build a better relationship than they ever thought possible.

Melanie, thank you for your very thoughtful post. I think what I bolded in your sentence is what has been causing all the discomfort in this thread.

As I mentioned previously, I think the word "correction" automatically brings to mind neck jerking, fear-causing, compulsive training. IMO, it has moved so, so far past that. I realize that I am speaking for "layman" training, as I really have no experience how competition trainers work. "Corrections", as they are used by most of us, are swiftly and firmly given, and then the dog is lavishly rewarded (either by treats, toys, praise, etc.) when it complies, and we move on. Fear and pain and cowering have no part in it.

You mentioned in your post that you believe everyone here practices +R training, and I absolutely agree! I want nothing more than to work together - joyously - with my dogs to ensure they are the very-best-behaved dogs I can make them. But they are also goofily defiant and test my mettle all the time (sigh!). They truly work best when they know they can't put one over on me, and that does take some very firm handling!

I think if we can broaden the words "positive training" and narrow the words "correction training", we'll all find a happy medium! crossedfingers smile
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#209037 - 01/28/12 07:07 PM Re: Are collar correction depressing for the dog? [Re: laevsk]
DancingCavy Offline



Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 4066
Loc: Syracuse, NY
Likes: 113
Melanie, I honestly couldn't have said it any better. You've definitely hit the nail on the head. smile

My own dog is somewhere between a handler-focused type and an independent little s***. She has some desire to hang off my every word and work with me but I also know she'd like to go off and do her own thing too. I've also found it much easier to work with my dog rather than try and force compliance. I started off with a prong collar and corrections to proof after initially training the behavior. I got decent results but it wasn't the relationship I wanted. I'm so glad I found the clicker and a whole new way of thinking. Risa wouldn't be half the dog she is today had we traveled a different road. laugh
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~Jamie~
Veteran MF-GrCH Dancing Cavy's Pain in the Butte W-FDM/MF MF-M Vet InS/E R-FE/N PCD BN RAE RL1 (AoE) RNX TKP CA CGC WCX3 Risa
Wylde Kitsunegari of Aesir CGC WCM Kyu
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