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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-01-2014 10:46 PM
doggiedad enroll in a puppy, then private lessons ( to many distractions
in a group class). once the pup starts to learn group classes.
socialize, socialzie, socialize. expose your pup to the world.
train, train, train and be consistent. i train in sessions. each
session last 5 to 10 minutes in the begining. as the pup learns
and ages i add a little more time to each session.
02-01-2014 10:36 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by martincho View Post
Can you summarize the difference between the two approaches? Ian Dunbar has an online version of the Sirius program. I am considering all options at this point.
I took Sirius Puppy 1 & 2 with Dena and Halo, and Puppy 1 with Keefer. Puppy 1 was almost entirely off leash, and was for puppies up to 16 weeks old at the start of class, if I remember correctly. It was lure/reward based, with a heavy focus on socialization, bite inhibition, and handling desensitization, along with training simple obedience behaviors. There were several play breaks each week in class, but it was not a free for all. Everyone was instructed to direct the bolder puppies away from the more timid ones, so they didn't overwhelm them. And we also used the play breaks as part of the training by going up to them and touching the collar for a treat, or asking for a sit, and then releasing them to go play again. We also did recalls out of play. Puppy 2 was more advanced, and for dogs that had completed Puppy 1, so there was a broader range of ages. It was also mostly off leash, but we did spend more time training leash skills. We taught sit, down, and stand with verbal cues and hand signals, we did mat work, we worked on heeling on and off leash, recalls from a stay, and other things. No training collars, no corrections, lots of treats. Halo graduated from Puppy 2 a few days before she turned 6 months old, I actually posted about her graduation night here: http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ong-sorry.html

Lisa trains the M.E. way - motivationally at first, with a focus on engagement, and adding aversives later on. She uses prong collars and with some dogs she uses e-collars too. I liked both approaches, and felt like Sirius was a great puppy foundation.

Quote:
Oh, I am not. Other than annoying --but perfectly normal-- puppy behavior (nipping, jumping, being a pain in the behind) I have no issues with any of my dogs.
My "you" wasn't directed at YOU, it was a general you - sorry if that wasn't clear. I really can't add anything more, David pretty much covered it in his excellent post!
02-01-2014 06:51 PM
David Winners I commend the process you are going through! I never thought you were a violent jerk. I simply use extremes as they are easier for me to understand.

I will go into training Fama further, and why I made the choices I did. But the chow hall is open right now

More later
02-01-2014 06:47 PM
David Winners Just a quick correction to my above post.

Quote:
Something important to note: punishment is part of operant conditioning as well. Compulsion based training is based on operant conditioning. Handler gives command with stim (+P), dog complies to avoid stim and it goes away (-P). Rewards based training uses treats / toys (+R) and withholding rewards (-R). There are 4 quadrants.
SHOULD READ:

Something important to note: punishment is part of operant conditioning as well. Compulsion based training is based on operant conditioning. Handler gives command with stim (+P), dog complies to avoid stim and it goes away (-R). Rewards based training uses treats / toys (+R) and withholding rewards (-P). There are 4 quadrants.
02-01-2014 06:23 PM
martincho
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
Something you don't see Cesar do
Well, to be fair, he isn't a trainer. I've never seen him that way, at least not through his show. He's done very well by showing clueless pet owners how to regain control.

Quote:
I personally took a very aggressive working dog and clicked our way to compliance. She is now safe around people, off leash, in drive. I'm not going to say there were no corrections involved, but most were verbal. Only 3 physical corrections were harsh at all.
Can you expand on the process? Why and when did the three harsh physical corrections come in? Do you wish you had done anything differently?


Quote:
You are not a dog, and your dog knows that.
Agreed. There's no way we can communicate with them at the same level.


Quote:
Hot stove scenario. You turn the burner on full blast and allow the kit to burn himself, or you place a pan of water on the stove and heat it until it is uncomfortable and then show the kid what hot means.
I certainly hope no parent goes for option #1.


Quote:
I'm not trying to blow apart your post, but there are different ways to approach training. I used to think like you do. I got results training with compulsion.
No worries. I'm here to learn.

The very reason I am asking questions is because I want to update my knowledge from fifteen years ago. Back then I learned under a progression of trainers. The first was a Petco level trainer (not picking on Petco) who was lovely but got way over her head once my two GSD's turned six months old. I was clueless at the time and even I could tell we were done with her. The second trainer was a violent ass. Fired him within two sessions. And then I got lucky and found a Schutzhund competitor who trained me and helped with my dogs. Most of that work was done with e-collars.

It didn't take much research to see there are a number of new approaches that seem to develop better relationships with your dog. That's why I am here. I want to update my understanding of dog training and apply better techniques. I've already gone through Michael Ellis's Leerburg DVD's. I want to look at one or two more trainers and then decide which path to adopt.

I'm hoping I didn't come off looking like a violent jerk 'cause that's not at all how I train my dogs, even fifteen years ago. I just spent half an hour on the floor getting licked to death by three GSD's while my kids and I played with them. That's the most important part of our relationship, the training should just make it better and give us the ability to communicate at a different level.
02-01-2014 05:46 PM
David Winners
Quote:
Originally Posted by martincho View Post
My statement was more of an expression of doubt about the effectiveness of these feel-good methods in the case of truly difficult dogs. Anybody can teach a good student. The true tests come at the extremes. One might even argue that the true test is in avoiding the extremes.

I guess I am also saying that credibility would be boosted significantly if the feel-good trainers demonstrated their methods with challenging dogs.
I have found that rewards based training is particularly effective with challenging dogs. They are much harder to work against, using punitive training, because their resistance is so much higher. Other than protecting myself in an actual attack or proofing trained behavior, I try to avoid corrections on challenging dogs because they are counterproductive to the relationship. The last thing I want is a strong willed dog believing that he can't trust me. I want him to know that getting what he wants is through positive interaction with me.

My point, which is quite to the opposite of yours, is that the harder the dog, the less productive it is to try and make him do something. I don't want that fight. It is way easier to get reliable results, especially off leash, with a dog that trusts you.


Quote:
I am not saying that the operant conditioning methods don't work. I am saying that the guru's seem to go out of their way to only show easy student cases. I've been to the dog pound and seen dogs that launch an attack if you so much as look at them. I'd like to see one of these guys take such a dog and click them into behaving like a trustworthy and reliable pet and trust that same dog around their own kids. I have a feeling most of these trainers would be calling on the methods (or help) of someone like Cesar Millan very quickly.
Something important to note: punishment is part of operant conditioning as well. Compulsion based training is based on operant conditioning. Handler gives command with stim (+P), dog complies to avoid stim and it goes away (-P). Rewards based training uses treats / toys (+R) and withholding rewards (-R). There are 4 quadrants.

I agree that before I allow inexperienced people to walk a dog, the dog should be proofed on leash manners. I do use +P to proof behaviors. There is a big difference in showing the dog there are consequences for disobeying a command through communication using verbal correction, light stim or leash pressure and hitting the dog with a level 7 prong correction. Lots of gray area there.

Something you don't see Cesar do is handle a KNPV trained Dutchie that will come up the leash if you are unfair. That dog knows he can hurt you, and isn't afraid of you at all. I understand that you aren't dealing with this. I only bring up this extreme because handling truly dangerous dogs has shown me the pitfalls of trying to dominate an animal to achieve compliance.

I personally took a very aggressive working dog and clicked our way to compliance. She is now safe around people, off leash, in drive. I'm not going to say there were no corrections involved, but most were verbal. Only 3 physical corrections were harsh at all. We even had a "Come to Jesus" because she attacked me coming out of her kennel, but that didn't mean that I had to physically dominate her in training. She learned how to get what she wanted through positive interaction with me, and eventually other people. She would have remained the aggressive jerk she had become had I did what every other trainer had done; try to correct away the behavior you don't want.

Quote:
If you watch dogs in a pack correct and "train" an unruly dog you know there's nothing nice or politically correct about it. It's pure animal communication. And they understand that very well. "Behave this way and I rip your head off" is what my older female tells Rocky when he gets out of control. And he stops. And he has been bothering her less and less. Within two weeks they were sleeping in the same pen. She didn't bring him food to reinforce good behavior. Or take away a toy to punish it. No, she growled, showed teeth and charged him as a last resort. I've seen this a million times. And it works. Of course, she is not trying to teach him how to open a refrigerator door. Different skills require different training methods.
I hear this a lot. I guess I understand where you are coming from. When she gives him a growl and shows teeth, he understands the warning because he is a dog. He has been learning this language from the time he was born. He knows that if he responds properly, she will back down. When he keeps pushing it and she has a outburst because he ignored the signals, it may be loud and showy, but there is rarely pain involved. But you are missing an important point. You are not a dog, and your dog knows that.

Look at it this way. Dogs are relatively dumb compared to humans. They have us beat in a lot of physical ways, but we have the brains. Why would I take the training advice of someone with the understanding and experience of a toddler? I am going to use my big brain and outthink my dog. Dogs use the tools they have, big teeth - little brain, to get the job done. Aren't I smarter than that?

Sure, we can learn a lot about dogs from observing their interaction, like how they react to certain stimulus. A dog that gets corrected all the time by a pack of dogs will shrink away in fear, constantly avoiding harsh punishment by avoiding doing anything new. I don't want my dog to do that. It will also steal things and run away to get what it wants. I don't want that either.

Quote:
Based on this my conclusion tends to be that there's a room for both approaches. There are things a dog is going to understand far quicker and far more effectively if you use language and methods he is wired by DNA to understand.
Dogs are wired to understand classical and operant conditioning, all 4 quadrants. Pavlov didn't teach his dogs to salivate.

Quote:
You can tell a kid not to touch the hot stove a million times. They touch it once and it never happens again. Two key points there: First. They still touch the darn thing. They eventually do. No matter how many times you told them not to. Two. One harsh self correction and the whole thing is over. Dogs are no different.
Hot stove scenario. You turn the burner on full blast and allow the kit to burn himself, or you place a pan of water on the stove and heat it until it is uncomfortable and then show the kid what hot means. I agree. Dogs are no different, but trainers are.

Quote:
Now, if you are teaching what I might term "unnatural behaviors" then, yes, you need operant conditioning. You are not going to teach an Orca to jump through a hoop by forcefully hoisting her out of the water and through the ring. That much is obvious.
I'm not trying to blow apart your post, but there are different ways to approach training. I used to think like you do. I got results training with compulsion. I have since learned that there are other effective ways to interact with the dog, and that they lead to more reliable learning, better understanding and communication, and a better relationship with the dog. I use punishment in training when it is necessary, but I use my brain first to assess what the consequences will be.
02-01-2014 03:54 PM
martincho
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
I took Sirius Puppy classes <snip> I worked with a private trainer, Lisa Maze, who is Michael Ellis's
Can you summarize the difference between the two approaches? Ian Dunbar has an online version of the Sirius program. I am considering all options at this point.

Quote:
many of those "rip your head off" dogs wouldn't ever have gotten that way in the first place if they hadn't had clueless owners, poor leadership, and no or ineffective training
Yes. Absolutely. Regardless of how one might feel about Cesar Millan's work and style all you have to do is watch a few of his shows to reveal a common thread, in your words: clueless owners, poor leadership and no or ineffective training. It's almost an inside joke at home. My kids have gotten to the point where they can call it every time we come across a DW episode.

Quote:
it depends on whether you're attempting to undo what what you or someone else screwed up from the get-go, or you're starting fresh with a blank slate and building a good foundation.
Oh, I am not. Other than annoying --but perfectly normal-- puppy behavior (nipping, jumping, being a pain in the behind) I have no issues with any of my dogs. My statement was more of an expression of doubt about the effectiveness of these feel-good methods in the case of truly difficult dogs. Anybody can teach a good student. The true tests come at the extremes. One might even argue that the true test is in avoiding the extremes.

I guess I am also saying that credibility would be boosted significantly if the feel-good trainers demonstrated their methods with challenging dogs.

Another aspect I seldom see is the dynamic once you start adding dogs to the mix. Scenario: You are walking two or three GSD's by yourself. On leash, of course. Something comes across --a dog, a cat, a rattlesnake, whatever. One of the GSD's goes off. The others trigger off this and go off as well. How do you deal with it? You are not going to get anywhere clicking away or shoving food in their mouths. On the other hand, between prong collars and e-collars and all of the training that went with them I know I can control the situation very quickly.

That's the kind of thing I don't see in these methods. I don't see real-life extreme cases. I want my seven year old kid to be able to walk two GSD's and have full control. This has nothing to do with training for competitions. This is just real life. I wish the Ian Dunbar's of the world would devote more time to such scenarios.

I am not saying that the operant conditioning methods don't work. I am saying that the guru's seem to go out of their way to only show easy student cases. I've been to the dog pound and seen dogs that launch an attack if you so much as look at them. I'd like to see one of these guys take such a dog and click them into behaving like a trustworthy and reliable pet and trust that same dog around their own kids. I have a feeling most of these trainers would be calling on the methods (or help) of someone like Cesar Millan very quickly.

If you watch dogs in a pack correct and "train" an unruly dog you know there's nothing nice or politically correct about it. It's pure animal communication. And they understand that very well. "Behave this way and I rip your head off" is what my older female tells Rocky when he gets out of control. And he stops. And he has been bothering her less and less. Within two weeks they were sleeping in the same pen. She didn't bring him food to reinforce good behavior. Or take away a toy to punish it. No, she growled, showed teeth and charged him as a last resort. I've seen this a million times. And it works. Of course, she is not trying to teach him how to open a refrigerator door. Different skills require different training methods.

Based on this my conclusion tends to be that there's a room for both approaches. There are things a dog is going to understand far quicker and far more effectively if you use language and methods he is wired by DNA to understand.

You can tell a kid not to touch the hot stove a million times. They touch it once and it never happens again. Two key points there: First. They still touch the darn thing. They eventually do. No matter how many times you told them not to. Two. One harsh self correction and the whole thing is over. Dogs are no different.

Now, if you are teaching what I might term "unnatural behaviors" then, yes, you need operant conditioning. You are not going to teach an Orca to jump through a hoop by forcefully hoisting her out of the water and through the ring. That much is obvious.
02-01-2014 02:23 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by martincho View Post
One theme that seems to repeat in my mind when I watch what I'll characterize as the Ian Dunbar school of thought is that not one of these training evangelists show you videos that start with a dog that would rip your head off if you look at it the wrong way. Every single video I've seen shows dogs that are your typical easy-to-train pet dog. Even when they show you correcting "aggressive behavior" I find that the dogs rarely exhibit what I would consider true aggressive behavior. Most issues seem to come from bad or weak leadership.
I agree with most of what the other commenters have said, so I won't rehash all that (I took Sirius Puppy classes with Dena, Keefer, and Halo, which were founded by Ian Dunbar, and I worked with a private trainer, Lisa Maze, who is Michael Ellis's business partner in the Loup du Soleil kennel, so I've used a variety of training methods with my dogs), I just wanted to comment on this part of your post. My take on it is how many of those "rip your head off" dogs wouldn't ever have gotten that way in the first place if they hadn't had clueless owners, poor leadership, and no or ineffective training? As you said, most of them are probably not truly aggressive, and I'd tend to agree with you about that. So I guess it depends on whether you're attempting to undo what what you or someone else screwed up from the get-go, or you're starting fresh with a blank slate and building a good foundation.

I am VERY pro-active about preventing problem behavior from the very beginning. I use NILIF, I impose structure and discipline, I control their access to what they value and make them work for it, even if that just means a sit and "watch".That doesn't mean my dogs are perfect, but the more motivational I can be from a young age, the more I can show my dogs that getting what THEY want means doing what *I* want, the more I can teach them to make good choices, to teach them to control their impulses, and to reinforce attention and other default behaviors, the less corrections I need to use down the road. I will make my dogs do things if I need to, but I also want them to WANT to.
02-01-2014 01:37 PM
dpc134 Great post. I recently started a thread around different training methods for certain situations. There are so many methods out there.
I also agree with the others that said it depends on the level of training, the dog, and the handler on what methods work best.
In order to expand my knowledge in other training methods and after alot of advice from the board members here and some research on my own, I decided to order the Ivan Balabanov DVD set. I should be recieving them this week. I will let everybody know what I think of them after I watch the DVDs.
02-01-2014 12:35 PM
SuperG "It's far more acceptable to say you can have a conversation with your dog and use loving gentle praise for everything."


Isn't that the answer to everything this day and age .......LOLOL

SuperG
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