Discussion in 'Advanced Dog Training' started by sara, Sep 18, 2012.
That is a good point Dani!!!!
Hi! I've looked through many reviews, but still can't decide how to find an experienced dog trainer. What are the things to pay attention to? Would you advise something?
Sorry, not brave enough to click on your "reviews" - if you're spamming, go elsewhere. If you're serious, tell us more.
I'm going to read all these artikels and posts tomorrow!
Madeleine, if you mean the 'review' articles in doggydog, be careful this may be a spammer! Hold on until we get confirmation they're not spamming us.
I'm with Jackie, we cannot be too careful when a post looks like it may be a spammer. I haven't reported your post so you can, if genuine, tell us more. If not go away, spamming doesn't get you anywhere here!
Also ment them from the page before... Have to read the compleet topic to give a good response.
MaryK thank you for the warning offcourse!!
hm. okay, i'm totally confused, lol.
on the one hand, the first rule of owning a dog is "dogs are not human". there's no point anthropomorphising them because they're dogs - they think differently than humans do. i mean, we ARE talking about people who eat poo. (yes, i consider them "people" because i dunno about anybody else's dog, but my dog is clearly possessed of conscious non-homo sapiens sentience).
but reading this article, it's all about attributing human thoughts and motivations to dogs! "don't do this because it will confuse him" "don't do that because it will make him sad" and so on.
this is how a training session with dandy goes:
me: "okay, so this is what i want you to do"
him: [intent stare... sound of crickets.... does something totally random]
me: [shaking my head] "no, no, not booboo - no booboo - THIS is what i want" [i should add that i find it very difficult to phrase things clearly for him: he's *such* a smart dog and i'm so not a smart dog owner; never trained a dog before]
him: [looks puzzled... does something else that is probably somewhat reminiscent of what i'm getting at]
me: "close... but no, that's not it. THIS is what i want"
him: [light dawns, gives me a disgusted look, does it perfectly and then tells ME how we're going to do it]
example: "heel" - he hates that word. he will only respond to "yumyum" - if i say heel, he looks at me out the corner of his eyes, flicks an ear sideways, and sometimes snorts.
"orbit" - was supposed to be reverse leg weave; he's decided it's to be "turn around".
when i say "no, no, not that" - he knows it isn't right. he doesn't get all depressed or emo about it, he just figures out what he did incorrectly and fixes it.
LOL sounds a bit like training sometimes at my place. Ra Kismet is one very smart cookie, 'gets' most tricks quickly, so long as I give the right cues/instructions. If not,' it's throw in something I think Mom wants'. 'Oh not right, O.K. how about this or this?' 'Still not right! Bah, I'll give her my 'mule' look and go on strike until she gets it right!'
Ra Kismet doesn't get depressed or all emotional about a no, no, not that, as I usually am laughing when I say that. He's the same just figures out what I want or if that doesn't work, gives me the 'mule' look and just sits there, waiting for me to figure out exactly what I want in a way HE understands!
i *wish* i just got a "mule" look and "just sits there" - he is very communicative about his disgust, lol.
if he's just mildy annoyed, he gives me a facial expression - yhgtbkm kinda thing.
next step up, he shakes his head and sneezes.
up from there, he adds a double-foot stomp.
the ultimate, however, is throwing things at me: i thought just for grins'n'giggles, i'd teach him to fetch me a kleenex from the box.
he got the trick instantly but the first few rounds ended with me digging soggy masses of kleenex out from his mouth - i'd forgotten how much he loved eating the stuff as a puppy. so i thought right - we need a major high end treat as a trade-off and i chopped up a couple meatballs from last night's dinner. the moment he knew meatballs were in the offing, he was bringing them like a rock star - but i wasn't paying attention and suddenly i was groping around in the bowl beside me, looked, and crap! no more meatballs!
"sorry, buddy - all gone," i said, showing him the empty bowl.
so he slapped the bowl out of my hand then brought back the kleenex box and threw it at me, lol.
LOL now who is training who??? He sounds quite a character! I haven't attempted the fetch me a kleenex, as both my boys LOVE chewing up Kleenex. Must try though with meatballs (partner will have to let me have some I don't eat meat) and see if that works!
LOL oh dear, HOW COULD YOU run out of treats!!!!!!! No wonder he slapped the bowl and throw the kleenex box at you, really, wonder he hasn't reported you for cruelty!
absolutely, make no mistake, he's training me, lol. he turned 4 on hallowe'en - i got him as a perfectly normal, perfectly adorable little 9wk old puppy who'd been rescued at the age of 2wks. the farmer was going to "do for" him and his sister bec the mother had "rejected" them. since i've gotten a bit obsessed about dogs and done so much studying, i think i know what happened.
she had had an insanely large litter - 11 of them - of which 8 had survived. dandy and his sister were two crows in the next - 3x the size of the other pups, who were all little bitty black-and-white border collies like their (very petite) mum and (very large) dad, so either gramma's got some 'splaining to do or else mum had a very interesting wkend. i think what happened was she was trying to split the litter - create two nesting sites - so she could alternate feedings and when the farmer kept finding the two biggest on the other side of the room, he got the wrong idea.
having gotten this precious little scrap and knowing buggerall about puppies (i'd always had older dogs - palliative foster care for the toronto humane society: they're pretty much turn-key), naturally i promptly proceeded to wreck him by letting him run amok. by the time he was 9mo old, he was a *nightmare* - not aggressive, but so darned hyper that it was the same result: ppl were getting hurt. nobody would come to my house bec he would climb the ladder onto the porch roof and bark at ppl from up there. he was constantly getting out of the house - the first time, i discovered that he'd learned how to bounce the patio door open. after i jammed a 2x4 into the track, he ate six inches off the end and pulled it out and was in the driveway again when i got home. so i bought a child lock - the pin that goes through the metal frame of the patio door - and that held for about two weeks until the day i got home to hear my phone ringing. it was my neighbour: "did you get your dog back yet?"
seems he drove by just in time to see dandy squeeze out from under the house roof onto the porch roof, go down the ladder, and off into the bush. the only possible way he could've done that was to go up the ladder in the bathroom, through the ceiling - i'd just finished framing it so it had no insulation or drywall - across the joists and out through the open eaves.
when i realized it was getting bad - he left red scratches on my toddler's top lip from snatching a hot dog out of her mouth as she was eating it - i thought of getting rid of him but quickly realized that it was a death sentence. nice, i thought: bring in this little innocent being, ruin him, then kill him for it. THAT'S not gonna result in Karma Death Strike. so, heeding all the warnings to avoid dog whisperer like the plague, i went through various trainers and books: one local trainer told me the way to stop him jumping on ppl was to step on his back feet "hard! like you mean it!" and bragged how her dog "just sits and trembles" if she drops the leash until she picks it up again. another local trainer only dealt with well-socialized puppies under six months for obedience and the little dogs (45lbs max) for agility. a "positive only" trainer an hour away gave me a clicker and told me to ignore any bad behaviour and only reward good behaviour - he was 100x worse in a week! when i called her back, absolutely frantic, she said i was "not committed to the method" and bailed on me (no refund, naturally). tamar geller waits until around chapter three to say "my method works great unless you have a really smart dog like a border collie" which explained the previous month of frustration. brad pattison - the so-called "dogfather" - is a PoS i'd like to boot in the head.
finally i gave up and tuned in to Dog Whisperer and then bought the book "be the pack leader". cesar millan was the first trainer that didn't talk about "fixing the dog" and put all the blame squarely where it belonged - on my head. once i realized that, f.ex, dandy's frantic figure-8s that knocked all the furniture, the baby, and even me sideways coincided with my blood pressure topping 160/110 (i can tell bec that's when i get the headache), it became not "why are you doing this to me?" or "why are you being so stupid!??" but "what are you telling me?". cesar's infamous "alpha roll" is not even that. i've seen it done in videos of K9 and military training and it IS horrifying: they literally hoisted the dog into the air and *slammed* it on the ground, even knocking it unconscious sometimes (apparently, judging by the reactions, they get "manly" points if that happens). cesar's roll is the exact same thing i have to do with my daughter (she's got asperger's) when she gets physically hysterical: wrap her up in a full-body hug and hold her firmly but gently until she settles down and calms. i had to do it a lot to dandy at the start and his reaction is the same as hers: fight, resist, get worse, then *siiiigh* "i'm okay now" (or, in his case, he licks my face).
it hasn't been necessary for a good couple years now bec i can say "dandy - settle" and he does - part of that, i think, is because i do deliberately get him hyper and worked up and jumping all over the place by playing rough with him then at random intervals, i pull up straight and say "dandy - settle" and if he calms instantly, he gets a megatreat. hopefully this has taught him that it's fun to roust about but it's even better to stop.
once i had proven to dandy that he could look to me for guidance and direction, we revisited the click/treat thing and that's how we do it now but it's definitely not a "me emperor, you lowly peon" thing; it's really more like Laurel and Hardy.
well, that was definitely a review site but since the vast majority are posted anonymously, it's little better than useless.
if you want to find a good dog trainer, the best way is to look around for the dogs you admire - the ones that behave like the dog of your dreams. ask the owner - "how did you train him?". you'll find a mix of results: some did it by reading books written by famous trainers such as tamar geller ("the loved dog") and cesar millan ("be the pack leader" etc). some (rare!) just kind of muddled along and figured it out themselves. and many will have gone with a professional trainer - ask them for that trainer's contact info.
when you interview a trainer, don't go with them just bec they're a "professional". dog training is a completely unregulated industry - anybody can set themselves up as a trainer. ask many questions - pretend you are interviewing for a preschool (cause really, you are!).
what is the source of their knowledge? (going to school or university is great but don't discount those who picked it up themselves)
how long have they been in business?
ask for at least three references and *go see them* - don't just send a half-arsed email.
ask to see their own dog(s) - if they don't have a dog of their own but show you a memorial wall loaded with ribbons and trophies and pictures of a dog without the trainer in the shot, that's a red flag.
how do you handle it if the dog acts up? (does this agree with your personal philosophy? some owners are okay with punishment of whatever kind, some owners refuse physical punishment, some owners don't want you to make their itty booboo baby sad for any reason)
if the worst happens and a fight breaks out, how will you handle that?
are you insured? (this is SO important because dogs have teeth!)
most importantly, though, is will the training work for YOU and your family? there's no point going to a positive-only click trainer if your husband is a military man used to barking out orders to be obeyed instantly or going to a punishment-type trainer if you're a marshmallow who can't resist sad eyes at the dinner table.
Wow!!!!!! That's been some ride with Dandy! And I thought I had had some pesky pups in my time, they don't even come close to his exploits! Kudos to you for staying with him Yes does sound like his fur Mom was trying to create two nests and, yep, she must have had one wild weekend!
No-one here is a fan of the dog whisperer and that's terrible that they alpha roll a dog and knock it unconscious.Nothing manly about that, just sheer brutality and bullying! Hate to think what I'd do if I saw it happen!!!!!!
I think it was either Amateur or Adrienna and Calvin who used 'puppy hugs' (sorry if I'm crediting the wrong member(s) it's very late brain has already gone to sleep) to calm puppies, which is pretty much what you've done, hug tightly until the puppy calms down.
Click/treat does work though,as you're now discovering and it does work with BC's. A lot of members here have BC's one of whom I've personally met and Evie is a really well trained youngster.
LOL Laurel and Hardy is priceless!
I saw on a site yesterday (was looking for a good Cannine Freestyle Class here that uses only P+ training) that they use the word 'guardian' instead of owner, which I think is so right, as we are guardians of our dogs. I use companion, as my dogs are my companions. I don't own them and vice versa, we're a team!
Any problems (as if you need more with Dandy) just start a thread and we'll all try to help you.
He does sound a gorgeous dog though, just has been a bit of a handful as a youngster! Says she with classic understatement!
you have NO idea what we've been through - i'm not kidding.
absolutely click/treat works - but only once he was under control. when he was off the top, it actually made everything worse. he had to be brought up to basic obedience level (sit, stay, no bolting out the door - that was a HUGE problem!, come when called - i used a metal "train" type whistle, no lunging on the leash, no peeing on the couch, the usual stuff) before i could advance to click and treat.
i am totally a fan of dog whisperer, though - he literally saved dandy's life and my sanity. the "puppy hug" is exactly what i got from dog whisperer.
dandy's on youtube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dandy tricks threenorns&oq=dandy tricks threenorns&gs_l=youtube.3...1108.3074.0.3126.96.36.199.0.0.0.220.1908.9j8j1.18.0...0.0...1ac.1.DH4-0CCXnfo - and it's pretty cool seeing where he was (most of those were filmed within a couple or few days of learning the trick).
Getting back to the NRM discussion... The early article on the Karen Pryor page got me thinking about something that happened on "The Amazing Race" a couple weeks ago. The contestants were supposed to serve a five course meal to diners on the "Titanic". They were given a menu and a seating chart for the the table, as well as selections for the soup and the main course for each diner. All the diners received the same dish for the three other courses. Then they had serving tables laid out with all the dishes, but none of them were labeled and some of them were not even on the menu. So, the contestant had to figure out which dishes to serve to which people, and in which order. When they got it right, the steward would say to the diners, "Bon appetit!". When they got it wrong, the steward would simply say, "That's not what these people ordered." It was said very calmly, but gave no hint of what the right thing was. After several times bringing the wrong thing, the contestants were getting so angry. No feedback was given whatsoever. Just go back and figure it out for yourself. There were tears and angry words spoken to and about partners, but until they finally figured it out on their own, the NRM really didn't help! I wonder now if they would have gotten quite so upset if the diners had simply sat there and not eaten the food, rather than having to hear that guy saying, "That's not what these people ordered" over and over!
were i in that contest, just having ppl sit there and not eat, that'd drive me mental - how long do i wait before determining they actually don't want it? maybe they're trying to psyche me out? etc.
having the guy say "that's not what these ppl ordered", sure, it would get infuriating after a while but at least it's an instant indicator.
I think when talking about dog training it's always good to understand your learning theory terms, and you can put that into context with something like a NRM, and the posts above I think illustrate an important point, the individual decides what's punishing or reinforcing, how much harsh an aversive really is.
The dog decides if he or she finds the NRM (or any aversive) punishing. Every dog is different, and NRMs are used differently by different trainers. Like I find myself mostly using them almost more like an interrupter than information during a training session........
Well, the steward said, "Bon appetit!" (essentially, "click"), when they got it right. "That's not what these people ordered" was the "ah!ah!"
So the question then becomes how do I know whether the NRM is punishing and no longer simply marking. And as trainers, do we let that carry over into non-training times as well. Then I think it does become more of an interrupter. But like the word "no" for a 2 year old, it can be over-used and become meaningless. It's always better to say "walk" instead of "don't run", as there is no confusion in meaning.
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