|04-25-2014 05:43 PM|
My theory is that you need to throw obedience in during play. That way, obedience is fun, it’s a game, it’s not boring. So its playing (building drive), draw the dog into a position, say the command, praise, release, give the toy. My boy was first trained in obedience without any thought of IPO, and it was before I truly learned how to train in the “happy way.” So there has been some retraining, and luckily my boy is extremely resilient. I should’ve worked on the focus first, but I didn’t know I was going to be competing (I thought I was just training a pet), so now I’m re-doing it.
The thing about IPO is that there is a very delicate balance between foundational obedience work and the bite work. If you do too much obedience before introducing the helper, the dog is going to be thinking more rather than just reacting on instinct. You can even sometimes see this when a dog has had too much obedience that they start to look for the handler instead of focusing completely on the decoy during certain exercises. At the same time, if you don’t do enough obedience, your dog will go into extremely high drive and be very hard to handle because all it wants is one thing, and absolutely NOTHING in this world is as great as getting that bite in on the helper.
In general, pets are lower drive (if you’re considering other breeds) but it really doesn’t matter. You can build drive in a dog, maybe not to the levels that a Malanois or a higher drive GSD has, but you can still use some sort of drive other than food to train other breeds. But, if you’re discussing competition, sometimes it’s not fair to even talk about other breeds because there really are only a few breeds out there that “dominate” the obedience trials. You kind of do need to have something with higher drive to fully utilize these methods and to win these events. Also remember, that although it looks better, and I’m sure the judge subconsciously gives more points to “happy” dogs. In the AKC ring, they really don’t care about the demeanor of the dog…in fact, apathy is kind of rewarded because any type of drive leaking is supposed to be penalized.
I've noticed you introduce toys and play later, once the dog is a bit more solid after using treats because a young dog gets distracted very easily by a toy and it doesn't really "learn." It's almost like you can see the command go in one ear, and out the other. Once the dog is older, and you want nice, quick, flashy, accurate, you have a toy. The dog does what its supposed to, release and reward. Dog doesn't do it, mark, withhold reward, try again.
|04-25-2014 04:10 PM|
I think I understand now what you mean about the drive, and how that would make a difference. Would most of the pets fall under medium or much lower drive than the ones bred for competing?
|04-25-2014 03:30 PM|
I have so little experience with anything, so excuse me if I am wrong. From the few videos I have watched and competition books I read, isn't the first thing taught engagement and focus? Like leash work(which I am guessing would move on to offleash)... keep an eye on me as I move, etc. Isnt it like a game? Throwing the ball or tug would follow from watching us and following our commands? And play comes only when they have enough impulse control to sit and down instantly, etc? I might be wrong and have the entirely wrong idea?
|04-25-2014 03:23 PM|
I was at training yesterday and thinking back I have a better picture of why “pet training” doesn’t really like to up the drive and be “happy” so to say…
I’m working obedience with my dog because at this point he needs to learn that he only gets to bite when I say he does. He’s got a couple AKC titles, so his heeling is great, he knows everything that I could ask of him, and with the helper out on the field with us…he’s doing things super fast, super accurate, but with almost no attention to me (something to work on). He listens, he’s flashy, but he looks like he could break at any second. It’s clear that he wants to do something else, and he will get to do it, but he has to do some other things before he gets to do what he wants.
It kind of looks like he’s not that obedient, he’s just going through “motions” and it’s clear he wants to do something else. A dog that isn’t in drive, that’s just doing what’s asked, in some ways, looks more obedient. One that isn’t thinking about doing anything but following the owner in a heel, sitting when told, staying when told, ect.
The obedience we were showing, in high drive, could look dangerous to the general public. The dog is clearly excited, and excited means unpredictable in most people’s eyes.
|04-25-2014 03:09 PM|
Nice! Yes, maybe I do need to get involved in IPO. But my life is so busy I dont think I will compete with the dog, just try to keep him busy till his personality stabilises.
|04-25-2014 03:05 PM|
Do try to watch the dvd. You can even rent them from
Bowwowflix.com. Its a nice set of games that you can expand from your house to other venues for engagement walks. Parks. Parking lots, etc.
Sent from Petguide.com Free App
|04-25-2014 01:14 PM|
|04-25-2014 12:03 PM|
Maybe you need to get involved in IPO.
My group basic OB class heavily emphasized happy, focused dogs, but it was taught by an IPO trainer, even though the class was for all breeds basic OB he brought that style of training (mostly modeled on Michael Ellis's methods)
It was funny too because the trainer who was a big muscular guy with a deep voice would demonstrate with a dog the 'happy dance'. He'd be all happy and bouncy using a higher pitched voice and we all would snicker a little.
It was SO MUCH FUN! For just about everyone too.
Such a shame that it's not easily found in other venues, IMHO, beginners are missing out on something that is really positive and beneficial for the dogs and owners that translates well to what ever you want to do with your dog.
|04-25-2014 08:40 AM|
Thanks LeoRose. I think my dog is medium drive medium energy. Although Im not sure about the drive, he is very into ball, tug, anything that moves, totally focussed while play, during which I do obedience as well. I dont like the old school training either. I would rather have him be enthusiastic about obeying me.
I skipped the Get Focused in favor of BAT. But I do want to do Get Focused as well. Unfortunately none of the focus classes are being offered for the next round of classes ( or so it seemed)
Have you watched the Control Unleashed game demos DVDs?
|04-25-2014 01:09 AM|
I'm taking the FDSA class "Get Focused" (taught by Deb Jones) at the bonze level. I'm working with two very different dogs.
Ilka, my mutt, is a fairly high drive, high energy dog, but is also very reactive. She's actually retired from competition obedience and rally because of her reactivity, but she still needs to be kept busy.
Leo, my GSD, is a rescued "BYB special", and she has a much lower drive and energy level. She also has the attention span of a gnat. Well, actually, the gnat's might be better. She had zero interest in doing anything with me. I have worked on building up her drive, and the "Get Focused" class is helping even more.
I try hard to not resort to "old school" techniques, because I have found that both of them can shut down on me if I'm too harsh. And I always feel bad afterwards, because it was usually my fault.
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