What Kind Of "work" For The Dog

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by Ina, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. reveuse Well-Known Member

    The other week Ro decided to grab my phone that I had dropped. Now his "job" is to find it for me (provided its not on my dining room table OR the bar where its just too high for him). (y)

  2. helps Well-Known Member

    LOL. Just what I was thinking....
  3. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Glad CM and his whole "dominance theory, etc" was finally poo-poo'd, and yes, CM does use shock collars, ugh - I was trying to bite my tongue. I also believe dogs need jobs, but not necessarily carrying back packs around. I agree that tires them out faster, but it does nothing as far as mentally exhausting them, or making them feel more confident.

    I do Nosework classes with mine, have been for about 9 months. If you're not sure what they are, google Canine Nosework - it's a fairly new sport and it's soooo much fun! Honestly, a 20 practice session at home wears them out, and all they're doing is using their nose, searching for an odor (birch, anise, or clove). My girl will be taking her ORT (Odor Recognition Test) in a couple months, and hopefully entered in Nosework Trials soon after.

    I also have been teaching them service-type "tricks/jobs", such as picking things up off the floor for me (just to give them something to do). Any dog can do it, and they feel so proud of themselves. Honestly, I've been at home sick the past few days (so they haven't been walked), and I found myself several times asking one of the dogs to hand me something I had dropped on the floor - they were right there to do it, looking quite pleased with themselves (and I rewarded them big time!). We've also been working on learing to bring in the newspaper (cuz I think that's so cute), and one morning it was raining (and I didn't want to go out) - so I sent the dogs -- and they did it!! :p I was so proud of them, and they looked so proud of themselves!! Again, paycheck for job well-done!!

    You can get really creative around the house and teach useful-type 'tricks' - it will be fun for the dog, it will look cute, and you might even get some benefit from it.

    Thinking about a Cavoodle, anything above would apply. In our Nosework classes, there's been everything from a Chihuahua to a Newfie - any dog with a working nose can do Nosework. It's great for building confidence, and they work alone - which means my fear-aggressive dog can do it, also. As far as learning to pick things up and hand them to you - granted, your pup won't be picking up a phone book, but could certainly learn to pick up light objects: pens, paper, remotes, socks, forks, you name it - any number of things, the sky's the limit. One of my dogs now is constantly watching me to see if maybe I want him to do something, he LOVES his jobs. Oh, he is my cupboard and drawer closer extraordinaire (I leave the kitchen ones open on purpose and ask him to "close, please") - that's his job, "close" the cupboards and drawers if I leave them open. ;) Drawers might be too high, but your pup could certainly learn to close cupboards - it's cute, and just one more thing he learned, and it's my boy's little job.
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  4. Ina Well-Known Member

    Hi Jackimutts,

    Smokey is sort of dominant over me. When he rolls his puppy eyes I melt away ;)

    We now started play sessions where I hide a small toy under my leg, under my t-shirt, behind my back - when I say "find it" he is all business. Heaps of fun! I'll check out the nosework, thanks !

    Nice to have a little helper around the house :) He could help me lot's with picking up the kids toys, underwear etc !

    Step 1 to get him to close drawers is established - the touch command works great already. He has come from touching my hand to touching a post-it note. I'll try later to stick it to a door to get him to close it. I'm just not sure if I should slow down a bit. He picks up so much in each training session, it's frightening.
    The kids brought the skateboard. I clicked when he put his nose on it 3 times in a row. After that I just waited without clicking. Immediately he put his paw on - click. After 5 clicks I waited and he put both front paws on - click. Then I thought I'd better stop and carry on in a new session before I have to race after a skateboarding dog. :cool: He is going so fast, it's scary :-) Definitely a thinking dog !
    Dodge likes this.
  5. fickla Experienced Member

    i don't know exactly where I stand on that viewpoint but I wouldn't write it off that some dogs do feel more important by wearing a back pack. Some dogs may hate it, some view it as excitement as they know it means going for a walk or hike, but I also think that some might feel a pride and a sense of rsponsability if it's possible for dogs to feel that.

    With service dogs many instantly transform when the cape is on vs when it's off. Of course it could just be them realizing that different behaviors are going to be reinforced and punished when it's on.
    Even if you take away the whole cape issue I think the service dogs know when they are really needed and have a job to do. There is often a huge difference in the way the dogs do their task for actual disabled people vs just their trainers. And then there's the sense of relief and relaxation many of the diabetic dogs LOOK like they're feeling when they watch their owners take their medications. I don't think it's just the dog associating the medication with the decrease in symptoms and thus anxiety for the dog, I think it's the dog learning he can relax because he did his job.

    Sorry, my thoughts kinda spiraled away from what you were saying. But anyway, I do think it's possible for some dogs to view carrying a backpack as a very important task. Of course none of my dogs have ever worn one and while i train and compete in a variety of activities with my dogs I don't think either one of them thinks they have a job besides possibly guarding the house from any scary noises and ridding our yard of rabbits :)
    Dodge likes this.
  6. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Hi Fickla - nice to see you back. I also mentioned backpacks, and I do agree with you in that putting them or vests on dogs definitely can change their state of mind - it's just that sometimes that's all that's done. CM was mentioned, just strap on the backpacks, presto the dog has a job, add some water bottles, take the dog on a really long walk, and you've done your job. You have an exhausted dog, but not always one who's mentally satisfied, or even challenged in any way. Often, you have a dog who gets physically in phenomenal shape - and still has no mental challenges. Some 'jobs' around the house, even simple ones, can really help to give the dog some confidence, and feelings of importance.

    Backpacks and vests absolutely do change the way they do their tasks - look at seeing eye dogs, police K9s, etc. They are always "dressed" - it's not only for the public to identify the dog, but for the dog to change their behavior -- the vest goes on, I go to work, I act a certain way.

    My dogs are involved in Nosework. They recommend a special collar - a 2" martingale, to be used only when the dog is doing nosework (class, practice, trials, etc), and not to be worn at any other time. Mine get very excited when I put that collar on, and then get very serious - it's all business when that collar is on. They recommend the 2" wide ones to give the dog a very different feeling on their neck, as opposed to their regular collars. Nosework is their "job" when that collar is on - and they take it seriously. Same idea as a vest, backpack, tracking harness, etc.

    Ina - your little Smokey sounds like a little Einstein. I'd just throw as much as that little sponge can soak up. He seems like a dog who just loves to learn - he sounds like he's having so much fun! There's probably nothing he can't learn, limited only by his size. He just sounds great! May I ask you a question tho? I don't want to start anything, you've mentioned CM, you seem to be a fan (I'm definitely NOT), to each his own - but may I ask why you say your dog is dominant over you?? I always wonder what people really mean when they say that....
  7. Ina Well-Known Member

    Oh, I meant that his eyes are melting me. How could anyone punish or not love a dog with eyes like that :)

    .. and I am not a fan - it's just that it's on TV right now once a week and I'm watching the show. Anything "dog" is of interest to me right now.

    But what people are referring to is probably that they think the dog believes he is the boss/packleader. If you have small children I can understand that people are worried. If the kid for example tries to take away a bone from the dog, the dog would snap at the child.

    PS. He is now learning to shake his head "no-no" - his cue is watching me and when I shake my head he does the same. This is just too cute :D
  8. jackienmutts Honored Member

    WHEW!! Thanks for clearing that up. :p 'Nuf said....
  9. mewzard Experienced Member

    Not sure if you get it in Austrailia but see if you can catch "it's me or the dog" With Victoria Stillwell...thats an excellent doggie show!

    As for jobs.....Oka is a GSD cross...She has a mild herding streak, where she will check were everyone is before recalling, and will run around DP and I if we go out and she is offlead. She doesn't like the kids walking ahead of us as she can't 'protect' them...Or myself for that matter, if DP has her lead and i walk ahead she makes a racket like you wouldn't believe.:rolleyes:
    She has an excellent nose and loves 'find it' games, and is pretty good at it - with treats - i've not tried it with anything else.
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  10. jackienmutts Honored Member

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Victoria Stillwell/It's Me or the Dog - great advice!!!! :)
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  11. lizzyrd Experienced Member

    Hi Sara, I was just wondering what episode that you saw this in. Thanks!
  12. sara Moderator

    I'm not sure which season/episode, but the dog was a German Shorthair Pointer named (oddly enough) Sarah. The family had 2 other GSP's Sarah was a rescue dog. I nearly threw up.
  13. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    just jumping in, haven't read ALL the replies, but, i wanted to THANK SARA, for saying THIS:
    //"p.s. I dont believe in Cesars methods, I do not believe in the Pack Theory, and I do not believe in correcting my dogs physically. imo, he methods are outdated and unnecessarily cruel. Sorry, but I had to say it"//

    I myself, as a person who is owned by a dog-aggressive dog, totally resent DW's hypnotizing all ppl to believe, if your dog has issues, it reflect your own inner issues/or, is cuz of something you are doing "wrong". grrrrrrrr.

    All my other dogs were fine, but, yeah, Buddy is aggressive, cuz suddenly----after a lifetime of "normal" dogs---------- i have changed *my* personality is why my dog is messed up??? HOw fortunate were my other previous dogs, to have somehow escaped *my* issues....duh.

    HOw amazing, when a person owns four dogs,
    and only ONE of the four dogs,
    is dog-aggressive.
    what---the other three dogs are "too simple minded" or what, to notice their human "has issues"............????

    makes no sense, and is doing a disservice to those of us who ARE working with dog-aggressive dogs!!!
    abby_someone and Dodge like this.
  14. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    i've also seen DW holding a dog, a GSD, up by a leash on a choke collar, with all 4 feet off the ground, to "teach him" who is boss....that poor poor creature....

    really, stop for one minute, and re read that, and PICTURE a GSD being held in choke collar, with all four feet off the ground....i was horrified, calling out to the tv, "let him down!! let himdown !! before that dog suffers asphyxia!!"

    for dog-aggressive dogs, DW recommends kicking the dog's hips in a surprise way, with your foot. He "calls" the kick--- a "touch"........... from your foot, behind you, onto the dog's hips.

    Less DW, and more Victoria Stillwell, i say!!
    http://positively.com/ <----HER website, probably tells what channel her show, "It's Me or The Dog" is on in your area.

    ONe nice thing is, since VS show started up, (she leaves 'lessons' for the owners, etc, and never tries to give impression all dog issues can be cured instantly if only dog realizes you are 'boss')
    NOW the past year or so, DW now also has incorporated having the ppl work on issues with dogs, too, {like, for more than one afternoon.....} GO VICTORIA!!!
    Dodge likes this.
  15. mewzard Experienced Member

    Also Victoria goes back and DW never does.
    I watch DW before getting Oka think that he was brilliant. Then I started researching dogs and cottoned on quick that his meathods are less than desirable.
    I have seen episodes and felt sick, the Inuit almost strangled on the lead as DW did the 'touch' and basically kicked the dogs testicles which he (quite rightly) reacted too. The shepherd shocked-collared for trying to play with the house cat.

    I won't watch it now
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  16. Dodge Well-Known Member

    :ninja::ninja::ninja:ok,even in the danger of peeps disliking me VERY much,I m am a nice person,so please anybody that likes CM (:sick::sick::censored:)dont take offence,just check things out:love:
    I ve watched him before I had a dog and used to think "OMG,how incredible is he with dogs!" . . . . . . same with Victoria actually:love:
    Once I had my boy . . . . no way at any point did I think yanking his collar to get a better result ever entered my mind (may be rubbishly put into english,sorry)
    If any CM fans just google "anti CM" (which I did,as loads of peeps on a different forum thought {{and still think}} he s sooo wonderfull and sexy{{throwing up here:sick:}} ) he never went back like Victoria does,because not a whole lot of dogs actually survived,they had to be put down,they got worse rather then better with his methods:ninja::ninja:


    I love Victorias approach :love:

    That idiot CM had a dog in his "pack" and it ended up in animal hospital with severe strangulation,not knowing whether or not it would survive . . . . he had HIS STAFF CALL THE OWNER (god I could throw up on that £$%*!!!!)

    Ok,rant over,so sorry,I m all for the possitive training,even if it may take far longer then the fast fix "NOOOOOW!!!!" METHODS :oops::oops::oops:
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  17. running_dog Honored Member

    Actually the yank on the collar boss the dog around training is at best really limiting and counter productive. Here's a few of examples from my inept "training" of Zac, poor mutt!

    I "taught" Zac to heel by yanking him back and telling him "No." Now I'm having to retrain because there are things I want him to learn but he can't because he doesn't think for himself.

    I yanked Zac away from another dog to stop him sniffing. He started growling at ALL other dogs a few seconds after he met them on the lead. Allowing him to say hello to other dogs (thankfully there's lots of lovely understanding dog owners where I live) and calling (not tugging) him away before he started growling cured the second problem and reduced the first. Very counter intuitive, I'm sure that if I'd gone on telling him off he'd just have got worse. A similar problem caused in a similar way has just developed in a friend's dog.

    I ALWAYS enforced a command once given. For 2 years I tried to teach Zac to "down" at a distance, sometimes he did, sometimes he didn't, sometimes one end went down, sometimes the other, he'd go down eventually but it certainly wasn't what I was looking for. Then I read something on here and tried giving the "down" command once, no response, no follow up, no reward, try again after a few minutes. He was really shocked the first time, he sat in the path gazing after me looking totally bemused, the second time he went down instantaneously. Yeah! progress! lots of treats! lets have a ball game!

    I'm not 100% positive in training but the better I understand the positives the less I fall back on the negatives.
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  18. Dodge Well-Known Member

    (y)you ve come to the GOOD SIDE of teaching a dog and I can only say thank you on your dogs behalf :love::love::love:
    I would love to find a "quick fix" for my boy to learn the recall "NOW!!!" but its the gentle rewarding way that will do it in the long run :love:
    (sorry,I dont want to sound like a more on,I m only a very new member on here,but I just lurve lurve loooove it,when I hear that somebody thought and thought to themselfs to teach the possitive way(VS (y)) good on YOU!!!! :love:
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  19. running_dog Honored Member

    Umm recall? What's that? Must be the super advanced class...:D
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  20. Ina Well-Known Member

    The problem here in Australia is that the only "dog show" on TV at the moment is "The Dog Whisperer". Unless someone is really dedicated and does proper research on the topic they might adopt CM's ways.
    Personally I think that CM should be banned from being a public figure and Animal Anti Cruelty should step in.
    A couple of weeks ago I have sent an email to Ian Dunbar, asking him if he can't visit Melbourne and hold one of his seminars on this side of the world. I love to listen to Ian - he is funny and makes everyone understand how the dog thinks. Surprisingly I actually DID get an answer from him. He'll be visiting Melbourne early in 2012 - YEAY.
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