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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-14-2014 03:30 PM
Bridget Recently, I observed a class in which old school methods were used. After training with positive methods for years, it was downright difficult to watch. We don't inflict pain to train our dogs. We high-tailed it out of there.

I am pretty open-minded about most collars, whatever works best for you and your dog, as long as they are used as tools, just to get the dog trained, not as a lifestyle.
04-04-2014 08:21 PM
Kaimeju
Quote:
Originally Posted by vulnox View Post
It was mentioned that classes should be good because it should also give the dog a chance to be around other dogs and trainers. That was another concern of this class. There was a hard rule that dogs should never interact. So most of the dogs were losing their minds because they had twelve new friends in the room and they couldn't meet any of them. I get that we are there for training, but in the past training group I took him to they encouraged taking five minutes at the end of the class for the dogs to play and meet each other.
This is actually normal and very smart. Once you get out of puppy classes, it's not wise to allow random meet and greets in class. I would be very uncomfortable going to a class where the dogs were allowed to interact with each other, because a.) I don't trust other owners to control their dogs and b.) my dog is reactive. When you are a trainer you have to put safety first, and it's way easier to make a blanket rule like this than to try to predict every possible outcome of any dog in the class interacting with any other dog. Plus, as a trainer you don't know if the person saying "oh he's friendly" actually knows what they are talking about. They could be reading the dog's body language completely wrong.

You were right to pull out of the class, I think. Getting a dog to sit is not hard, in fact it is dead easy, so the fact that your dog normally sits but was starting to lie down instead is a pretty clear indication that he was becoming shut down, frustrated, and not in the "thinking and learning zone" anymore. If you were happier with the other style of training, I see no reason to change at this point. As Merciel said, you can do just about anything with non-aversive training if you take the time to learn those skills.

I do use a prong collar on my soft dog and she does not shut down. She trusts me and works hard for me with a smile on her face. I do not think you are being over-protective. I would not be happy with the results you saw in that class either. It's probably true that if you push through it, you would see the dog's drive come back up, but I don't see the point if you can get the same results with less stress to the dog and less stress on you. Why make life more difficult than it has to be?
04-04-2014 07:09 PM
Huck My husband and I started taking our GSD to basic obedience since he was 15 weeks old. He graduated last week and he is now about 5 months old. And he is going to start advanced obedience training in a few weeks. Our first class (similar to yours, no dogs only orientation), made it clear that we had to use some kind of corrective collar. Prong, choke, martingale, etc. We chose to use the prong collar. He instructed us to only use the collar if your dog did not promptly listen to the commands. Our dog already knew sit and down. So when we gave the command to sit, he would sit, so therefore we would not give a correction. When we did use the collar to correct, it was more of a quick pull with the collar. And not "holding" the collar up to hold the dog off of the ground. We are very pleased with the results of our training classes. Huck wasn't too happy the first class. But he had never been corrected like that and he wanted to play with all of the other dogs, but not broken. I know a lot of training classes do not have other dogs in the class but he had learned his training with distractions. And other dogs are his weakness But he, nor did the other dogs seemed broken down like you describe. It's the best thing we have done for him. But what you described I would say you did the right thing of removing him. I would keep doing some research with other trainers, corrective collars, etc and see what you are comfortable with. Good luck!!


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03-14-2014 09:11 PM
David Winners A problem I see in many classes is that they are held in a circular formation with little room for the dogs to move around and release some frustration through movement. This movement also encourages interaction with the handler. Regimented command-response-reward/correction-repeat type training is frustrating for the dog. I much prefer a freeform play type atmosphere for the learning environment.

If the OP was frustrated and worried about the training, that was going right down the leash to the dog. You have to believe in the training before it will work, and if you don't feel comfortable with the training, neither will your dog. It's good that you pulled out of the class as I think it was probably going to be negative for you, which would make it negative for the dog. If the pair of you is continually under stress in class, not much learning is going to happen anyways.

Escape training works especially well when layered over known commands. It is important that the dog understands how to turn the pressure off. The best way, IMO, to teach the dog this is not in a new environment that is full of distractions, such as the first time you attend a new class. I won't apply escape training to a dog until I know the dog understands the commands and is engaged with the handler, unless we are teaching commands with an e-collar in a distraction free environment, but that is another thread.

I suggest you find a trainer that you are comfortable with that trains in a manner you are comfortable with. This will definitely take a lot of pressure off the dog.
03-14-2014 07:53 PM
Chip18
Quote:
Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Yelling is not necessary and counter-productive at least with a soft dog. All you need to do is change your tone, to provide a negative marker.
Yep saw that with my first male Boxer mix. "SIT" made him almost want to cry..."sit" worked much better..he was a great dog!
03-14-2014 06:52 PM
selzer
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomer11 View Post
If your dog is soft enough that just popping it's collar and not even choking it that it shuts down then you should be able to just yell at the dog to get it to listen.

If you're yelling at the dog and it's still pulling you like a freight train then maybe it does need to understand that a correction is coming if it does not listen when told?
Yelling is not necessary and counter-productive at least with a soft dog. All you need to do is change your tone, to provide a negative marker.
03-14-2014 06:48 PM
boomer11 If your dog is soft enough that just popping it's collar and not even choking it that it shuts down then you should be able to just yell at the dog to get it to listen.

If you're yelling at the dog and it's still pulling you like a freight train then maybe it does need to understand that a correction is coming if it does not listen when told?
03-14-2014 06:36 PM
selzer
Quote:
Originally Posted by vulnox View Post
It was mentioned that classes should be good because it should also give the dog a chance to be around other dogs and trainers. That was another concern of this class. There was a hard rule that dogs should never interact. So most of the dogs were losing their minds because they had twelve new friends in the room and they couldn't meet any of them. I get that we are there for training, but in the past training group I took him to they encouraged taking five minutes at the end of the class for the dogs to play and meet each other.
Puppies interacting for a few minutes is fine, but these dogs are a little bigger now. Some of these people probably want to show their dogs probably in Obedience or Rally. Those people do not want their dogs to see another dog and go nutty wanting to get to them to interact. Sorry.

What I said about other dogs and owners, is other dogs and owners working together in the same proximity that you are working with your dog. Your dog should learn that he can work around other dogs and people, and learn to ignore them. You do not want him barking and lunging and trying to get to or away from the other dogs. Regular intervals where you see other dogs but do not interact is excellent socialization.

In training classes from here on out, you should probably expect the proper etiquette to be, not allowing the dogs to meet and greet.
03-14-2014 06:20 PM
Gwenhwyfair Ok ... Thanks for the explanation. Appreciate it!

I'm not under a time constraint, our Aussie is totally a pet though my trainer thinks she'd be great at some formal OB, she's hubby's dog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
Because it's easier and faster to use the prong and when done right the end result is the same. I have to train dogs on a limited time frame. I can't spend forever on each one. You can easily give pressure in any given direction and the dog is less likely to resist it. It ends up being gentler than what might otherwise have to happen.

I hate the word correction because correction doesn't differentiate between three quadrants of operant conditioning.

Plus sometimes gentle guidance gets called a correction and it's not. Many times the negative reinforcement is a cue. What most people call a correction is negative reinforcement.
03-14-2014 06:19 PM
vulnox It was mentioned that classes should be good because it should also give the dog a chance to be around other dogs and trainers. That was another concern of this class. There was a hard rule that dogs should never interact. So most of the dogs were losing their minds because they had twelve new friends in the room and they couldn't meet any of them. I get that we are there for training, but in the past training group I took him to they encouraged taking five minutes at the end of the class for the dogs to play and meet each other.
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