Ipo woes - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Ipo woes

Well, We are not returning to our trainer. He is a nice guy, and has done nothing wrong, but he just is not working for Genali and I.

He does positive reinforcement only and while I believe that is great for some dogs, it is not great for Genali. In the past month, she has regressed to becoming an incorrigible brat. Trainer has told me to become a human "pez dispenser" with the treats, and now Genali will NOT do anything unless she is positive that she is going to get a treat. Her recall is GONE, she will not sit for me, and the landsharking has escalated to the point of pain. He wanted me to redirect her when she bit by getting a toy and playing with the toy with her so she would bite the toy and not me. So, now the brat bites me when she wants to play. I talked to the trainer and he said to stick with what we are doing, but I cannot have her acting like this around my grandchild.

Trainer also told me that I was never to say "NO" to Genali but was always to redirect behavior with a toy. That is not working at all. Genali is a great dog, intelligent with a high will-to-please, but she needs strong boundaries. Without those boundaries, she is miserable to be around.

Trainer also told me that I was not to play tug, fetch, or hide and seek with her. Those are her favorite games! He wants me to play a game where I throw a treat and have her run after it, then I am to throw another treat before she gets back to me. SO, now, she runs around expecting me to throw treats so she can chase them. We've been working on focus, but her focus is SPOT ON. She is too demanding, and that needs to come under control. Trainer says to always provide treats, but being so treat heavy with her is causing problems. I will NOT allow Genali to order treats at will.

I wanted to do IPO to be able to spend more time with my dog and for her and I to enjoy each other more. But we are both frustrated because we can't play the games that we love. I can't enjoy my dog because her behavior is going backwards so fast.

I don't know if we are completely done with IPO, perhaps I can find a more balanced training method with another trainer. Right now, I am going to go play fetch with my girl, and then we are going to the woods to play hide and seek.

IF any of you know of any trainers near Iredell County NC that may work for us, please let me know!

It was worth it!
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 10:35 AM
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Please PM me the name of that trainer and I'll look at some of my contacts to see who might be a good fit.

fyi....be prepared to drive to the trainer you like. I drive 3 hours each way for my trainers.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 10:51 AM
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Search for a club, and most of the puppy stuff you can do yourself. Once you start helper work you'll need a trainer, and it's nice to have a group to help you get started tracking.

An IPO trainer that says no tug??? hmm...
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 11:06 AM
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I count 9 USCA clubs in NC.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 11:11 AM
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I feel you with positive reinforcement. With Angel my very soft golden she only works with positive reinforcement if you are too hard she will shut down, if she knows you are getting frustrated she will shut down. With Luna she isnt soft, she works with both positive and heavy hand, "leave it" is a perfect example. Angel 1 medium tap on the nose with a stern leave it and she will not even look at it, with Luna I did 3 medium to hard taps and she thought it was play time, Angel look at her then me and walked to her crate like nope I'm not being apart of this mess. I know german shepherds are famous for being a harder breed but Luna gets me so mad sometimes that I tell my wife I feel like screaming sometimes. I will say this though when she is in training mode she is in the zone and she means business but when she is in the screw you mode she will make you think about how comfortable a pair of solid black german shepherd sock would feel.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 11:37 AM
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Ditch that "trainer".There is a huge difference between rewarding and bribing.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 12:03 PM
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OP, go back to what works and what you both enjoy. Good trainers are flexible in the methods they use. The "soft approach" worked well with my Whippets but I didn't use treats after they understood the commands. One of them was a super sly and elusive one and once in a while I rewarded his recall with a treat to keep his "memory fresh". They also never tried me out to climb the social ladder.
Then came my GSDs .....
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 01:35 PM
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Am I reading that right, that was an IPO trainer?? No, just ...no.

Doesn't even sound like a remotely breed savvy trainer. Positive only for a German Protection breed pup? Again..no, just no. Operant condition with no correction tools like prong or E collar? SURE! But positive only, no negative outcomes type happy gumball treat dispenser stuff? Nope.

Sorry you had a set back, but DON'T chalk it up to that being IPO training. It wasn't. It nearly can't be without tug?

A good club is definitely worth traveling to. I drive 1.5 hours each way which is not horrible, but I would even drive farther. That is how valuable the training has been. I had a brat. Believe me, I know what you mean. I had a PO trainer come in for my extremely fearful pit mix. I did let her "meet" Valor. She said he would benefit from PO, and that she knew of several IPO clubs that were going the direction of PO and zero correction tools or methods. Just PO. Yeah...you don't. You just don't.

Again, sorry..I know how excited you were to start going this direction. Keep looking, when you find the right place things will click quickly. In the meantime go back to step 1 with Genali and do what you were doing in the first place to get her where she was.

Sorry so many edits. My fingers are fat and swollen from taking the dog for a walk in this heat lol He is fine, I need a drink.
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Last edited by CometDog; 06-20-2018 at 01:38 PM.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! Thank you all for the support.

This trainer is a really nice guy, so I hate to "leave" him, but I gotta do right by my girl. He does have GSDs, so his methods must work on some of them, lol. But Genali is just hardcore. We will continue to treat, but the "pez dispenser" idea has got to go.

JAX, I sent you that PM. I really appreciate your offer!

Genali and I had a good day. We went to the park for a game of tug, and played in the woods until we got hot. Lotsa fun! She is a little confused right now because there are consequences.....she put her teeth on my arm only to get a firm "NO" followed by a firm nose tap. Lol, she backed up and cocked her head at me like "WHOA MOM! I am the princess remember?". I feel bad that she is confused, but we will work it out.

It was worth it!
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 03:14 PM
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That is good, glad you feel better! Watch that nose tap, maybe someone here can give you a better correction. If you do get into IPO later on, especially.

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