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Old 02-11-2013, 03:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Too soft?

Hello!

Some people think I'm too soft for my 15 week old GSD puppy. I don't really physically correct him at all, all I'm doing is redirecting with toys or just calling him out if he's doing some bad stuff, like chasing cats or jumping on furniture. He can bite me, I just try to give him something else to bite, etc. etc.

I've been told that I have to stop the bad behavior once and for all, so that he's never going to do that again. Otherwise he never learns to respect me. But I've become very cautious about this, because I almost ruined one of my dogs with too harsh corrections. He started to be afraid of me and lost his confidence, and I'm not going to make that mistake ever again.

So I'm being too soft? How soft is too soft? This is my first working line GSD, so is there something about that I need to take into account?
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think you are doing the right thing. Especially if you are going to do IPO with your dog.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jarkko View Post
Hello!

Some people think I'm too soft for my 15 week old GSD puppy. I don't really physically correct him at all, all I'm doing is redirecting with toys or just calling him out if he's doing some bad stuff, like chasing cats or jumping on furniture. He can bite me, I just try to give him something else to bite, etc. etc.

I've been told that I have to stop the bad behavior once and for all, so that he's never going to do that again. Otherwise he never learns to respect me. But I've become very cautious about this, because I almost ruined one of my dogs with too harsh corrections. He started to be afraid of me and lost his confidence, and I'm not going to make that mistake ever again.

So I'm being too soft? How soft is too soft? This is my first working line GSD, so is there something about that I need to take into account?

Jarkko,

you are not too soft. One thing I suggest you do, which is also a foundation for SchH, is crate games. It is a fun game, especially for puppies and it will your dog self-control, focus on you and motivation. It will give YOU the tools you need in the future and it will help you with every day situations WITHOUT having to correct your dog.

Before you think that these games are useless, I learned them from one of the best obedience trainers the US has to offer. She is very very successful in SchH.

Do these games with your dog. Especially now that he's a puppy. You will LOVE the result and should see a change within the first couple of sessions.

Instead of a sit, use the down-stay. Lure the dog into a down and then feed, feed, feed, feed.




If you are consistent with these games, you can translate all of that into your every day life. For instance, the dogs learn to stay in a place. You can teach the dog easily to go into a spot that is designated for him and if that is just his crate in the living room. They will LOVE their crate once you've done crate games.

Secondly, they will get better at the door. The same concept of putting your handle on the crate-clatch can be translated to opening the front door. As soon as my hand goes on the front door MaDeuce will immediately lay down and wait until I release her which you can see here but I will take another video later to actually show how she's really doing it.


You have to be consistent though. I haven't been consistent throughout the time and it resulted in dogs jumping over each other bolting out the door. I know they wouldn't run, but I just got sick and tired of them trying to get out the door before I could even open it. Especially with MaDeuce being the breed she is, stuff like this is SO important because it helps build the bond between you and the dog.

Another side effect is, the dog already learns a long downstay in the crate.

This one here, is THE MOST awesome side effect of crate games.

You can do everything you have to do in and around your car without having any issues with your dog bolting out the car. A lot of people have issues with that and have to fight with their dogs. Think of how professional it'll look when you drive up somewhere and you open the door, your dog pops into a downstay and you can leash it, without having to fight with the dog to keep him in the car.


Again, Crate Games will help you a lot with your training and foundation for SchH and give your dog self-control in every situation. Just do them consistently!

Last edited by Mrs.K; 02-11-2013 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Great videos. Thanks for linking them!
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The first three are not mine but it explains the games very well.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mrs.K View Post
One thing I suggest you do, which is also a foundation for SchH, is crate games. It is a fun game, especially for puppies and it will your dog self-control, focus on you and motivation. It will give YOU the tools you need in the future and it will help you with every day situations WITHOUT having to correct your dog.
Thanks for the idea! I actually use crate for him, I give him food there etc. But after seeing these videos, I'm going to try out some of these games, they look really fun.

Can you give me some practical examples on how to use crates for "correction"? Is it like when the dog jumps over the furniture, you say "Crate!" and the dog stops whatever it is doing and goes to crate? Or how do you translate this game into everyday situation?

Those parking place videos are awesome!
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jarkko View Post
Thanks for the idea! I actually use crate for him, I give him food there etc. But after seeing these videos, I'm going to try out some of these games, they look really fun.

Can you give me some practical examples on how to use crates for "correction"? Is it like when the dog jumps over the furniture, you say "Crate!" and the dog stops whatever it is doing and goes to crate? Or how do you translate this game into everyday situation?

Those parking place videos are awesome!

It is a process. You have a puppy that will go over furniture, have zoomies in the house, run around, be a landshark, and will go through all the growing stages. Enjoy the puppy while it is a puppy. Do not expect your puppy to be a well behaved, matured dog, it'll just not happen, especially not with a higher driven working line puppy. They have energy.
However, once they mature, they will calm down and settle in the house.

Crate Games will give you a foundation to train a well-behaved pet but it won't happen quickly but you will see a difference in your dog. However, to get that well-behave dog you have to be consistent in doing it and request the behavior every time. Also, do not use the crate as correction. Do not look at it as correction. The crate is supposed to be a save-haven, a fun spot.
If your pup has zoomies, honestly... I always let my pup live it out. If she had zoomies, I let her go over the furniture and run of that steem. Generally zoomies are done within a minute or two (if that is what you are talking about).

Another thing you can do is to reward calmness. You can sit down at your computer or chair, with a book. Whenever your puppy lies at your feet, reward it. Give the pup a treat. At first it may get up and want some more, than you just have to wait it out. Wait until the pup lays down again and reward the calmness.

Here is a good video on how to do it.


Quote:
Can you give me some practical examples on how to use crates for "correction"? Is it like when the dog jumps over the furniture, you say "Crate!" and the dog stops whatever it is doing and goes to crate? Or how do you translate this game into everyday situation?
Let me get some quick videos and show you how I translate it into every day life.

Last edited by Mrs.K; 02-11-2013 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Here is the first video of how the Crate Games translate into basic house manners.

The dogs already know from the Crate Games that when the hand is on the clatch, they have to drop into a down, so the jump over to having the hand on the door handle and the dog dropping, so you can walk out the door, isn't a far cry.

You just have to give the dog to figure it out themselves. If they don't, all you do is teach them down, which they also know from the Crate Games already and all you have to do is to give it a verbal cue. And then say "Platz" everytime the hand goors on the door knob. If you do it consistently, they will associate the down, with the hand on the door knob and drop as soon as the hand goes on there. Notice that I don't say a word and just wait until she drops?

The reward is to get out of the door. Especially if they are amped up to get out. Waiting builds frustration. If they get up, the door closes (same concept as in Crate Games) and they start deciding for themselves that it is more beneficial to stay until you say "okay".
One thing you can see is that she is looking at me the whole entire time. She focuses on me. You will also noticed that in public. The entire demeanor of the dog towards you changes completely.
Yesterday for example I went on a walk with my friend. It was supereasy to get one dog out of the crate after another. Then stand there, have the dogs in a sit or down, waiting for my friend to come. Dogs passing by and you put yours into a down and they watch you instead of watching the dogs... etc.

It's basic psychology. If they don't do it, they don't get to go out the door. Period.
The same goes for the food bin (next video to come).
Again, same concept. Hand goes onto the food bin clatch, dogs have to drop. If they don't, they won't get food.

Last edited by Mrs.K; 02-11-2013 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.K View Post
Here is the first video of how the Crate Games translate into basic house manners.
Awesome! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If youve ever witnessed a dog run over then you wouldnt play crate games in a parking lot. Things go wrong fast with cars and dogs. Im sure nobody would demonstrate how well behaved their child was by having the kid stand next to traffic= the same theory applies, why risk it for nothing.
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