After Sundays Episode

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by yvonne, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. yvonne Well-Known Member

    I have decided to take some lessons with a dog trainer who believes he can help Dude's recall without the use of treats or clickers.

    I am going on Sunday and begininng a 6 week course. Even though it will be a few hours drive I am hoping for the best possible results.

    I am posting a link below and would be grateful for any thoughts you may have on this different approach.

  2. CollieMan Experienced Member

    After reading the site, I'm not sure what is 'different' about his approach. He seems to be advocating standard/traditional training practise as far as I can tell, just without clickers/treats.

    Each Sunday I walk with a friend who is an ex army dog trainer and now a security dog trainer. Presuming he trains in a similar way to my friend, I think it's worth exploring at least.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on!
  3. yvonne Well-Known Member

    Hi CM

    Thanks for your reply.

    When a friend spoke to him on the phone she said he uses body posture mainly to communicate with the dogs. She got the impression he was a bit like Cesar Millan.

    I chatted to him the other night and he said he likes to make his sessions as fun as possible and told me one way to get a good recall was to play ball with a friend and make the dog want to join in as much as possible. It is true, Dude has no problems when we are out with someone else, but I cant keep dragging people out in all weathers just so I can make sure my puppy doesnt scarper! Well I could, but I am guessing I wouldnt be too popular :dogrolleyes:

    He thinks Dude has switched off to food which tbh I know that is true. I have had other members here telling me more or less the same thing. I took some fresh chicken to training yesterday just in case he 'played up' but he wasnt in the least bit interested until the class was over.

    You are right, it is worth exploring every possibility in my quest for the perfect recall and though he is only a baby, there is no harm in learning some new methods. I will keep an open mind.
  4. CollieMan Experienced Member

    It does sound a little to me as though, and forgive me for saying this, that you are just not fun enough for your dog yet. I see this quite a lot. Your dog will return when there is someone else there, as he no doubt will to the trainer when you meet. Why? Because they will still be a novelty to him. Dude doesn't get to play and be around them all the time and so he will be eager to interact with them. With you, you're old and boring now (er, not literally!). :)

    You see this at many training classes when the dog performs great for the instructor and the owner says 'he never does that for me at home'. It's for the same reason - the instructor is still a novelty. If that same instructor owned your dog day in and day out and all other things were equal, it would no doubt change and the instructor would experience the same thing with Dude.

    I think it's encouraging that the instructor, in this case, mentions that he likes to make things as fun as possible. I firmly believe that is the key to a perfect recall in a pet dog. When the dog can look at you and know that you can play as eagerly as that other dog in the distance, then you will have your recall. I think it's one of the hardest things in the world - to always be fully enthusiastic and motivated towards your dog - but the rewards do far outweigh the effort that you put in.

    Just my thoughts.... :)
  5. yvonne Well-Known Member

    Oh I totally agree (Makes a mental note to book in for botox and fillers so my dog doesnt consider me old and boring lol!)

    Dude just loves people, but I have to say .. not for very long. He gets bored after about a minute and comes scampering back to me.

    When we go to class the instructors often ask to borrow Dude as the demo dog but he wont work for them. He tries to get fuss, but as soon as they dont give in to him he just pulls to get back to me.

    I made such progress with him in the beginning, but now as his hormones have kicked in, I am feeling much of his drive these days is being ploughed into being a rowdy and obnoxious teenager lol!
  6. snooks Experienced Member

    Just a personal opinion since you asked :dognowink:

    I see a couple of things that would make me want to go watch before I would take my dog and give over $$. First I think you may just have a temporary case of canine adolescence where they temporarily become teenagers. I know I was a brat at 16. :dogbiggrin: My puppy is a bit bratty now but some very slight changes from my clicker trainer has corrected 99% of my problems.

    "With our pet dogs problems occur when the pet perceives itself to be ranked higher than us in our canine/human pack Pawfection teaches owners non physical techniques to regain control and to restore the balance of the pack. The methods utilise voice tone, body language and accurate timing of correction and praise to achieve fast and permanent results."

    This implies to me there is a correction that despite the fact they claim not "to get physical" that there is an aversive method employed. Dogs are what's in it for me animals. In the absence of reward there must be a compelling correction they will work to avoid. This sounds like a delicate verbal dance around use of a collar correction, muzzle, physical intimidation, or other way that you don't "touch" the dog but apply and aversive. I can't believe that just verbal praise is magic when delivered at the right time. I've trained that way and was a traditional trainer. Aversive techniques work but do you want to do that and subscribe to it with your dog? If the aversive is not strong enough to avoid then you set yourself up for failure too. A gentle tug on a leash is as much of an emotional barrier to a dog as a strong pull from recent masters’ theses studies. Even light tugs on dogs produced less offering of behavior and less accurate offering statistically. The only stimuli other than leash tugs were the words ven and punir. (good bad)

    "There is no need for clickers, treats and other such gimmicks, "

    Calling treats and clickers gimmicks are pretty standard traditional trainer verbiage.

    "In the wild that goal would be food. "

    A referral to the captive wolf study now proven as flawed? Dogs are not wolves they are dog and do not live in packs human or otherwise. They are not wild but domesticated for thousands of years bred to live in a family group with humans where dominance is a fluid thing between dogs and can change in minutes or days or weeks. IMHO there is no dog dominance over humans. There IS human inconsistent behavior and human anthropomorphizing and misinterpreting clear dog communication.

    Vet recommended and approved means nothing to me since most vets have no animal behavioral training. I've had some superb vets that didn't know beans about training, which is why ARBI had 5 videos on managing behavior at a vets office currently posted. It's a scary place run by people on a schedule, though nice and concerned, time is money. I've had one dog petrified being restrained and now work with my vet instead of allowing my dog to be taken into a back room.

    I see dominance all over this page and think it feels rather Cesar Milan, who does not physically hurt dogs but works on dominance theory. I believe this can be injurious to some dogs, esp shy/fearful/sensitive ones. Is it cruel? Sometimes to me it is, I have a shy dog who trusts me. I would never break that trust. This type of training can cause other side effects sometimes months down the road that manifest in other seemingly unrelated issues like potty regression or SA. If you are okay with this then that's fine, with my shy girl this is counter-productive training from direct experience.

    A humorous but rather profound video spoof makes the entire CM/dominance theory seem rather misguided and ridiculous. [media][/media]

    He says here that training takes place where the behavior takes place. That is accurate but training needs to take place everywhere so that the dog generalizes. If you train heel in your yard then go to a dog class or park heel needs to be trained more in a different setting with different distracters. So his point here is misleading. All that is necessary is that YOU learn how to teach it and it's important and up to you to teach it everywhere. What I like about group classes that you don't get at home is the socialization and desensitization in a controlled safe way to other dogs and what your dog must see in his life outside your house. I would choose a group class over this home correction based course.

    Do go check it out and see what the "CORRECTIONS" are. Remember there is no gentle version of an aversive. It must be undesirable enough (pain/scary/dominating) for the dog to strongly want to work to avoid it. I don't see anything here and particularly a lack of detail makes me think this is a traditional punishment/reward based training class. Having done that and gotten better results with positive reinforcement I know which I would choose. Everybody is different though, just go in educated before you take your dog. If they won't let you audit a class for free as any qualified trainer will then I wouldn't give them a dime.

    No slam on traditional training-I just don't prefer it with my style and my dogs. Twice the stimuli meaning punishment AND reward means twice the timing you must have dead on to be effective. I like simple better. :dogbiggrin:

    I'll be curious to see what you think/find out. Please do let us know.
  7. yvonne Well-Known Member

    Good Morning!

    Well I went to the classes and we both had the most fantastic time. I didnt get a perfect recall but I was allowed to have a go at practising.

    I have no idea what kind of discipline is used for his home visits, but the outdoor classes were just perfect for us. There was absolutely no rough handling at all. I didnt see any kind of check chains on any of the dogs, and certainly no pinch collars either. There was no scruffing or bullying either. (God help anyone who tries to hurt my doodle!)

    The huge difference in these classes as apposed to others in the UK was it was outside, with lots of noise and distractions. It made all the difference to me as training in a very crowded village hall with lots of other people isnt really my thing. Also at the school I attend dogs are never allowed to socialize and the trainer firmly believes dogs do not need to run free. She says all walks should be done on lead and they should be able to stretch themselves adequately in the garden.

    Dude had a little go at the agility, no jumping as he is too young but he was almost brave enough to go through the tunnel :doglaugh: and he loved the little mini see saw too.

    At the end of the class we were all allowed to let our dogs off to run free and it was such a wonderful sight to see them all playing together.

    The weather was cold and there was a lot of snow and high winds but it was so worth the 2 hour journey just to see Dude having a good time.

    Something changed between Dude and I that day. I began to trust him and trust myself, and at the training class yesterday he did a lovely recall and a long sendaway too. I feel like a better bond has been created.

    The food is reserved for clicker training tricks and he no longer tries to bite my hand in case a treat is there. The cuts scratches and bruises are even beginning to heal :doglaugh:

    I would never have believed a dog would work for me without food but it suits him a lot better. He is now taking an interest in a ball on a rope as he was playing with one with another dog the other day, so that for me is great progress.

    I went to these classes with an open mind and came away as happy as my puppy.
  8. maven New Member

    Awesome -- I'm glad you and he both had a good time. I love to watch the dogs play together. Have you looked at Silvia Trkman's site for agility? She encourages letting them jump while they're young, just not at full height.

    I'd love to see anyone try to tell Bodi he's too young to jump. *chuckle* As a matter of fact, if they could convince him of it I'd probably pay them to do it.
  9. yvonne Well-Known Member

    I think Dude would like agility but isnt he a bit big? Well not at the moment but later, when he is fully grown. It always seems little dogs are better at agility. :dogwub:

    There were some jumps he could have stepped over at the club, so maybe next time I go I will try more things. I know he will jump because he will leap over logs and has even jumped a horse jump at my stables because it happened to be in his way!

    To be honest I felt like the new girl, but everyone was so nice I will be more relaxed next time Im sure.

    I will take a look at the site you linked, thanks :dogsmile:

    Its great when people bother, everyone on here is so nice.

    The Internet .. Wow
  10. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Size doesn't matter. ^^ There are size regulations--a Beagle will not use the same jumps as a Great Dane. Separate classes I believe. I have seen a Dane doing agility, so your doodle is certainly not going to be too big! Granted the Dane was incredibly slow, but they just aren't built for speed. Regardless, it's great for your dog and lots of fun for the both of you. I know many standards who compete quite successfully in agility. BCs really seem to dominate most dog sports as they are extremely fast and very agile, but any dog really is capable of these sports(hypothetically). Of course if you have a 3-legger with arthritis in the remaining three legs, then it's probably not a bright idea, but you know what I mean. :)

    I think agility would be a great thing for you and Dude to get into! I'm with Silvia on the jumping....the key is not to push your pup. As long as you're not expecting him to jump a high jump at top speed. Her idea is to just introduce these things early so they understand the concept, but she doesn't ask for speed or height until their bones are more fully developed. Zeke and I did some jumps when he was younger, but never very high, or for very long, or very fast. Didn't bother him a bit. He's 4 now with no problems at all whatsoever. :)
  11. yvonne Well-Known Member

    Thats settled then, I will allow Dude to do the mini jumps :) I know he wants to .. he is happiest when all four paws are off the ground lol! :doglaugh:
  12. snooks Experienced Member

    I'm glad the training worked out well. One of the things I didn't do right at first, and am still guilty of as are most trainers I see, is fading treats quickly enough to random. That might be just what Dude needed to kickstart him engaging you better. That you got a confidence boost is the best reward of it all.

    I've seen St Bernards and Danes doing agility. As long as they are older than 2-3 yo and not jumping HIGH at a young age the do great. Ask the vet or read through the OFA cautions about large breed young dogs and safe exercise.
  13. yvonne Well-Known Member

    I travelled with Dude to the outdoor training centre yesterday and we had yet another great day. He did 2 classes and was really tired when we finished.

    He tackled a bit more with regard to the agility. I took your advice and let him go over a few of the jumps. HE LOVED IT! He also did the spread with no problems at all. He also managed the full length of the tunnel and went unaided over the see saw. I swear, if he could have shouted yippee he would have done!

    He also managed a 2 minute sit stay (with a few reminders!) and his heel work is coming on beautifully.

    The one thing that was a little sad was when a lab warned him off - and I mean REALLY warned him. There was snarling a lot of teeth and Dude's puppy screams that made my tummy turn. He has never returned to my side so quickly. For the next 10 minutes he was quite shaken and reluctant to play with the other dogs but after that, he carried on as normal. I guess it taught him a valuable lesson because he will keep trying to crush dogs under his giant paws.

    So, I wonder how he will get on in the indoor class this afternoon? We shall see :doglaugh:
  14. snooks Experienced Member

    It's always hard to hear a puppy correction but as long as no one was hurt it does teach valuable lessons. Just imagine if you weren't socializing how hard it would be to learn how to read other dogs. It sounds like he recovered and carried on though. How great that he was doing tunnels and the teeter. These are two things that tend to be scarier than the other obstacles at first. It sounds like he's getting a very confident sense about himself. :dogtongue2:
  15. yvonne Well-Known Member

    Hi Snooks,

    Yes it is hard to witness a correction, especially when you own a puppy, but like you say, no harm was done and a lesson was learned. Luckily I dont panic easily and laughed it off but the other owner was devastated that she saw another side to her dog.

    What made me laugh was how surprized my friend was that a lab attacked a labradoodle. She honestly believed the labrador dog would recognize Dude had labrador blood in him. In all honesty he looks more like baa baa black sheep :dogbiggrin:

    Yes he is getting very confident, youre right. He will wade right in and try anything I throw at him which is great for his training. Last night I had a message from a trainer in one of the classes he attended yesterday and he said he thought he was doing brilliantly, and today he received the same praise from the lady who takes the classes on a Monday afternoon. I was really chuffed cos she never says anything to anyone unless it is to tell them off lol!

    I am so lucky to have such a willing companion and I really do appreciate him :dogsmile:
  16. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Many puppies make it "sound" much more terrible than it actually is--it's frightening to a pup who normally isn't corrected by other dogs, so they let you know it by making a huge whine fest about it. ^^ In my experience with labbydoodles, they are a bit on the overfriendly side. I remember you mentioning that he really loves playing with other dogs---if Dude is the overfriendly type, he's likely to have many more corrections to come from other dogs. My sister-in-law's dog is this type, but she's very thick-headed. She's about 2 years old now, but she's still the in-your-face type. She's been corrected by other dogs many times but it hasn't quite set in yet that she has to calm down, lol.

    LOL!!!! Racism is no issue in canines, lol. A dog is a dog is a dog... Dude does look like a "baa baa black sheep" indeed. ^^ Glad to hear his training seems to be going so well. Sounds like you're enjoying this trainer better than your other. :)
  17. yvonne Well-Known Member

    OH no, I didnt mean dogs were racist I meant he looked more like a sheep than a dog on Sunday so maybe they didnt recognise their own species :doglaugh: He has since had a haircut and is looking quite dapper!

    In England we do sometimes get black lambs born, do you get them in Texas? In fact, do you have sheep at all? I cant remember seeing any when I went to Florida. :dogwacko:

    Yes youre right I am enjoying this training more than the sessions at the other schools I attend. It is outside in the fresh (but cold!) air and all the dogs get a chance to run around together at the end and have fun. Dude loves it and sleeps all the way home. I shall be sad when the course ends but to drive for 4 hours and then work for 2 and it is a lot.
  18. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Oh yes! Livestock in general are all over the place here. A "black sheep" is actually a certain breed---I used to show lambs and I learned there are many different breeds. The ones in the show ring here are Southdowns(solid white), Finewools(white and maybe some grey), Hampshires(white with black face/legs), and Suffolks(the blacks, and sometimes black/blue-grey). We have them all over the place here. :)
  19. snooks Experienced Member

    Dude certainly is the brilliant boy lately isn't he? :doghappy: My experience in class with them does indeed give me much respect for their remarkable intelligence and lovely (somewhat impish in an adorable way) spirit. My poodle was the smartest dog I owned up until this latest Golden puppy. Unf she also comes with a large barker. LOL

    It's great to hear all the Dude praise, it sounds like ur doing a terrific job too.
  20. xena98 Experienced Member

    My girls have all started puppy agility training and have no problems. They compete in either obedience or agility every weekend and train twice a week in agility and the obedience I do when I get around to it LOL. I even did it with my kelpie and was getting into trouble as they say she would have leg problems because of that. Sheba was nearly 15 when she got her wings and she was still trotting alongside my dad and his pushbike at 14 years of age and she had been competing till she was 12 and we had huge jumps than. My kelpie started at 6 months and she got her wings at nearly 15 and she was still running around like an idiot no one could believe that she was 14.5 years old my coolie Xena is 10 and she is still competing in top competition and beats younger dogs consistently no leg problems at all and she had been doing it at 6 months. The key is not doing it full heights and not training jumps like every day. Just little bits keeping it fun and I think they develop the muscles needed for the jumping.
    Danni and the girls

Share This Page

Real Time Analytics