Natural Dog Training

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by mewzard, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. mewzard Experienced Member

    Soooo, How many of us have heard of this?

    I was google searching for help with Oka offlead as despite spending ages on her recall, we have managed a brilliant garden recall, a reasonable no-distraction public recall and no gain on the dog/wildlife recall. I never expected brilliance over night but we've been going at it for nearly 10 months. :rolleyes:O_o

    I found a site written by Neil Sattin (link is for the page i found). I read this site through and thought "wack jobs!!" being the 'moose'?! really :cautious:. Left it at that for ages.
    But i went back to it about 2 weeks ago, and read, and read, then went to Lee Charles Kelley site, great page on doing Alpha rolls - read it before you think i've gone to the 'dark side'!!:D;) and read more, youtubed it watched videos.

    I figured that in the end doing this "pushing" thing isn't going to physically harm Oka so we'll give it a go.

    This hasn't given her perfect recall overnight (though it might have been nice!!) BUT we have seen a change in her. She is more affectionate, laying next to me (which was happening before) but shes gone from laying her head on my leg for a couple of minutes to falling asleep touching me for 30 minutes.

    She is more attentive to what i say, she walks better i don't have to reposition her so often. She is calmer during exciting moments, and looks to me more for direction in these times.

    We were walking in a forest and a dog suprised us, managed to capture FDs lead, OH lead him away. But Oka, dog obsessed Oka, was called 3 times (not 5 or 10) and she came to me, pushed and continued on our walk, even though she could have run back - and normally would have!!!
    I was walking her back from the vets and there was a dog running with it's owner (distraction level 11) and Oka was on high alert staring at the dog, when she looked for a new focus for her energy i called her to push, which she did, then we tugged and we carried on walking, she went straight into nice walking and completely came down off her "high", though the dog was visible. Normally she would have been straight back to standing at the end of her lead in alert.

    I hoping things will continue to improve, especially when the evenings and mornings get lighter. I can move away from the garden (not the best place to do it).

  2. horsy Well-Known Member

    Glad it seems to be working for you! And well done to Oka for the recall :D Thanks for those links, I haven't read either site before. I'll be reading all night now, some of it looks interesting.
    mewzard likes this.
  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    ?? so when is it you put Oka into an alpha roll?
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    ohhhhh, just now read the link,
    so this "pushing" is done as an exercise, not as punishment, is that right?
  5. mewzard Experienced Member

    AHHHH gosh Tigerlily!! Yikes no! I'm not using any negative techniques. A little sad you'd think that! ......kind of why i put to read the article!

    Pushing is the dog 'giving' you the energy it would naturally expend in completing a hunt and kill. I know dogs aren't wolves but thier basic nature is as a predator. They build up a drive and energy which is satisfied by the kill at the end. For Oka when she sees a dog, she builds up energy in anticipation, it isn't satisfied and remains in her system making her full of drive but frustrated by not completing a natural circuit (going to greet, playing, bonding). This is where she pulls and jumps at me. She is in an "emotional overload" and by Pushing she satisfies the prey/predator mode by fighting against the prey(me) for satisfaction(food) completing the circuit.

    It's not so much a physical exercise as an emotional one. After seeing object of desire, you direct them to yourself to expend the emotional feeling they get toward the object, over time they will come to you first instead of fixating on the object as it's a quicker outlet for their feeling (be that aggression/fear/excitement).

    It seems a little wierd and took me a couple of weeks to get my head round but it seems to be sitting well with Oka. You can read more about the why here; pushing
  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    oh, sorry, it was a question, not a criticism. I know nothing about this. Seemed easier to just ask, than sort through three websites to discover how you are using alpha rolls to improve Oka's recall.

    No need to feel offended by a question. I've never heard of this, alpha roll as a game or exercise, only as a punishment,
    so it seems a natural question to ask, i had no intention to make you sad at all.

    Most of the times, when ppl post threads, they expect questions or comments to follow, no need to be sad.
  7. mewzard Experienced Member

    Fair enough :) I wrote it in a kind of non-serious/joking manner, which probably didn't come across in text. I think i may go back and clarify that so other people don't think that there is a "Right way" to do it to thier dogs.

    The alpha rolls was just an amusing thing i came across, the idea of people saying "i alpha roll the right way" and rolling around on thier backs made me giggle! ---> :ROFLMAO:

    The pushing is the crux of the idea...channeling the dogs emotional energy to you; the same energy they'd channel into the hunt/kill.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  8. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    This is interesting, i hope you keep us all posted on it's impact on your Oka, i will be wanting to hear more on this!! Whoooooooole new idea to *me*!
    mewzard likes this.
  9. mewzard Experienced Member

    Whooole new idea to me too, i'm still trying to totally get my head round it. I will say though that it has made some impact on her general calmness, her ability to refocus on me when there are exciting factors near us.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  10. charmedwolf Moderator

    I tried this with Isis for a bit but she was very nervous about hands pushing on her chest or throat so I had to stop. Now that's she is doing a little better with touching maybe I'll start it back up again.

    I'm on the forum as Obsidian though I don't post I just lurk around and read everything.
    mewzard likes this.
  11. mewzard Experienced Member

    Yeah they do say that for some dogs you have to go reeeaaal slow. For Oka she went from touching the chest to 2 paws off pushing in 3 days. Now 2 weeks later she really charges in for a push.
    My foster dog is not overly keen on pushing against me but is happy for me to massage hi, which is a step in the right direction.
  12. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Just read the how-to and the why-it-works articles. Interesting concepts!! Going to reread later and read some more of his articles to see if I can fully wrap my head around this...hmm...
    Love the alpha roll article too!! Definitely a great read.
    Thanks for sharing!!
  13. Anneke Honored Member

    Well I just read the articles. The pushing sounds a bit like how I have been training Jinx. Only I got it from Susan Garrett. And I don't push against the chest, but ask for a handtouch.
    I have been using it only for the recall, but I like the idea of using it for distracting/redirecting them away from a problem(other dogs)
    Don't think I could get Jinx to push my hand with her chest, as she loves to be massaged on her chest... She will sit down, or lay down to give me better acces to the right spot:D
    But I guess I could continue the handtouch, get her to really push her nose to my hand.(I won't be pushing back then, might hurt her that way)
    When she was a pup I played a lot of tug. Running away from her and as soon as she caught up with me: TUG! I would call out: I'm gonna sssmoke ya!! So now, when I really need her to come, I say I'mmm gooonnnnaaa(she is on her way back, by then) smooooke yaaaa(now she is with me)
    I have been trying to teach Cooper this too, but he is soooo lazy and will not work for anything if he doesn't want to. Nothing I do, no treat on earth wil get him to focus away from another dog:rolleyes: He will never ever come running, always a slow trot. He knows excactly if I'm trying to train, or when there is nothing expected of him. He wil come running for ball, but if I ask him to do something before he gets it... He will go into slowmotion. Sooo frustrating!!
    But I am going to read up on this some other time and see if I can figure out what the concept is and try it out on Cooper.
    I am always interested in different ways of training!
  14. mewzard Experienced Member

    Yes! See i got little moments of brilliance with Oka using Susan Garretts methods, but it never quite kept going. The more i read about NDT the more i thought this is like SG but will align more with Oka's personality - the prey thing is a big part of Oka's make up. I've tried the handtouch - she will do 3 in a row and thats it. there is no way she would come away from a dog to handtouch.....but she loves the physical contact of the pushing.

    Massaging the chest is a great start point, putting a tiny amount of pressure and seeing if Jinx reciprocates, would be the next step. Remember to move away from the dog too.

    Oka is much like Cooper, "whats in it for me?" is her MO. But she just came bolting in from the garden whilst the neighbours dog was running the fence line barking at her - this is in 2 weeks!

    Look at Kevin Behan too, he is the pioneer of the idea. He can be a little hard to understand but there is good information there.

    I will say that you will come across some NDTers using prong collars and collar pops - I obviously, don't advocate that, and i don't think it's needed either, if it's going to work, it'll work without them.
  15. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I'm curious if this would help Zeke's cat obsession. He has gotten to where I can usually call him away from the cat if they are separated by a door, window, etc. But if they are loose together, nooo way. If he could release that energy somewhere other than the cat....hmm...
  16. mewzard Experienced Member

    TX....after you have your dog pushing well, you can use it as an energy redirect, this is done on a longline. Hold the lead and wait for a break in ear turn, head movement anything that shows the dog is looking for a closer alternative to focus that energy on. You call "push" and move backwards which will encourage the dog to chase you... you push.... then if thier focus remains with you can can play or push again, then walk in a different direction (essentually just not straight at the object of desire) ...

    Actually they don't have to be pushing well, i do it with the foster but use the tug.... wait til he looks for some thing else to focus on and get him to tug with me. I found it hard to remember at first that i'm not distracting.... i'm offering alternative satisfaction.

    So far this has been pretty successful for Oka as i'm not trying to get her to ignore the object of attraction, she sees it - but gets the prey satisfaction from me. Eventually the chain will be - see object of attraction, look to me for satisfaction, as i will offer the easiest solution.
  17. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Hmmm....I think I'm going to have to try this with Z. Wonder if I could incorporate the tennis ball with this...not sure that he would really push to get a treat. Not sure if he's going to push at all, timid as he is...I'll have to read those articles again and see if I can figure out how to go about this with him.

  18. mewzard Experienced Member

    I've seen it suggested that tennis balls are not a good idea. It's refered to as 'mousing'... builds up the prey/hunt energy for very little release at the end.... creating more energy/drive for the next time... but not channeling it into any release...unless he can kill the ball at the end?

    You could try a tug toy...will he tug? push-tug is a good game. at first pushing can be as little as you massaging his chest/neck's kind of asking the dog to trust you to deal with his primal energy. My foster will put pressure on my hand but not push against me, if i put pressure against his chest, he will back off....i'm sure he'll get there in the end.

    Also try pushing for breakfast! thats much better, they are hungry, no extra food involved. Oka pushes for meal - it's easy for me too, 2 set times to devote to it not food intake counting. Though dealing with raw mince... :confused:

    Let me know what you try!- i'll try to get some video in the morning of Oka pushing.
  19. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    well, i guess i am going to have to sit down and read through the websites, as Tx is thinking this could help my dog/worth a try for my dog, too!!
  20. charmedwolf Moderator

    Tigerlily and Tx, there is an 8 week course here for it where you can pay a different amount if you can't afford to buy the book like myself at the moment. Right now, all I figure is what's the worst that can go wrong? Can't get much deeper than rock bottom.
    mewzard likes this.

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