Will a too harsh correction tday kill his interest? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Will a too harsh correction tday kill his interest?

Stosh's excitement and energy level keeps getting higher and higher over the last two weeks and today it went over the top! The trainer has a pen with 4-5 sheep in it with me and Stosh and her on the outside of the pen. Stosh is offleash so he can get the feel of moving the sheep around and I can get the feel of keeping him out and running a go-bye and away and getting reliable 'down's. Last week he just went for it and stuck his head inside the pen, barked at them, etc., but we got things back under control.

Today he ignored every command, he basically ran around the pen, me running around trying to block him and the trainer running after me! Stosh was having a blast at this new game! He was so fast that I couldn't get in front of him to block him and get him out from the sheep, he wouldn't down or obey any commands. The trainer had a cattle paddle [a hollow plastic paddle with a little rattle in it] and threw it down in front of him to get him out- then she grabbed his collar and yelled at him to down. Which he did but it was obvious he got his feelings hurt. She made up with him, we took a break, she petted him a lot and praised him.

When we went back to the pen, Stosh wasn't sure he should do anything- he kept looking at the trainer. I tried to get him to circle the pen, he didn't want to, so she took him around on a lead but he kept his eye on her and not the sheep- he was obviously concerned that he was going to get in trouble again. She moved far away and I was able to get him going and believe me, when I said down, he did instantly. Now we're concerned that the correction was too harsh and he won't want to do it any more. I hope his desire wasn't killed. Can it happen in one instant like that ??
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 05:47 PM
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well sometimes a good correction when herding is needed, it's not pretty to see a dog just zone out and decide to really get "on" sheep.

At one point, I wanted to try out a new instructor, took my female aussie. I told her Jynx was afraid of keys, and I mean she shuts right down if you chuck keys at her, but she'd been on sheep a few times before with a seasoned handler and he felt she really had what it takes to get into herding..

Well whats the trainer do, gets out her keys,,had the dog outside the pen and chucked the keys at her 4-5 times just for going near the fence( I was NOT happy. When we took her in the pen, she had already shut down big time, wouldn't even LOOK at the sheep. Needless to say, I was VERY unhappy with this instructor who'd been doing this for years..

I thought I'd have to deprogram since she'd turned into a marshmellow The following weekend I went to an Instinct test, told the instructor what had happened, we let her in with the sheep, and tho she was tentative at first, she got back into it pretty fast so it didn't leave a 'lasting' impression..

So, with that, keep going and see how he recovers,,it may take a couple more tries or who knows he could be fine next time you go,,kinda stinks tho when one thing can really make them shut down

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 05:51 PM
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He will probably be fine. One of the pieces of equipment that we would use while herding was a plastic leaf rake. It was big enough for the dog to see clearly and useful for blocking the dog.

Stosh was most likely in a high state of frustration at being unable to get to the sheep. He will hopefully come back to the stock with his desire intact but with the ability to listen.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 06:06 PM
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I don't think the correction was too harsh for Stosh. He was "out of control" well I guess there is not a need for quotes for that-you did not have control of him! He needed to have the point made to him that what he did/was doing was very wrong. He was stopped( with the paddle) and corrected (to a down command) He wasn't given a choice for this. I think this was the measure/extent that was needed to be taken to halt and correct the problem/this heightened level of craziness.
When he went back out he had to remember how to listen while around these mega stimuli. He did not want to get it wrong.He was being very very careful to get it right.
Keep paddles and rakes positive when elsewhere. These are tools needed to be obeyed, not feared. There is a difference.

Ah, he'll be just fine
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! The trainer was so mad at herself when she saw his reaction, but like you've all said- he needed to get under control and has needed it for two weeks now. It really took the wind out of his sails- so far the sails have been set his direction. You could almost hear him say 'these women have finally figured out my game' and once it was over he knew it was over. Then he didn't want to 'play' anymore. Hopefully he'll want to work instead of play next week
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 08:08 PM
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It is hard to find the balance between out of control and obedient. Some dogs will recover more quickly from correction than others and it is possible to kill the drive in a very sensitive dog, but I think since Stosh was willing to work again he'll be okay.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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He did go back to work but he knew it was really work instead of play. The trainer was thinking outloud that he may have hit a plateau and that's why he resorted to playing. Next week we'll work with what he brings to us
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakodaCD OA View Post

Well whats the trainer do, gets out her keys,,had the dog outside the pen and chucked the keys at her 4-5 times just for going near the fence( I was NOT happy. When we took her in the pen, she had already shut down big time, wouldn't even LOOK at the sheep. Needless to say, I was VERY unhappy with this instructor who'd been doing this for years..
That's really weird. I was talking to someone yesterday about taking Annie to do herding and they told me about an instructor who kept throwing keys at her dog too. Owner wasn't happy, dog shut down and they didn't go back. She switched to someone else and said the dog is doing great.

Is throwing keys a common practice in herding or what?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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The dog has to learn to get out from the sheep and I guess throwing keys is as good a way as any other. My trainer uses the plastic cattle paddle because I use it to direct Stosh as well as keeping him off the sheep.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 03:07 PM
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One harsh correction will not necessarily kill Stosh from wanting to do herding. Doing the same harsh correction over and over for different infractions and that can start to kill drive. If a dog needs a correction it is okay as long as the dog understands why and feels like it is fair. Stosh will rebound by paying attention now and not going past this boundary set by your trainer. If anything with you guys doting a little on him after the correction it might encourage him to be a drama queen next time after the correction occurs just keep working him in the correct way and he gets the idea of what he needs to do.
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