Working in Drive - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 02:52 PM
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mycobrarcr,
I am in no way being critical of your training. I'm just pointing out the different philosophies people have in training. You said this dog is from van Leeuwen lines, which are dryer meaning they don't have crazy drive for a toy, but have strong, forward aggression as adults. I know that **** van Leeuwen would never use a toy and wouldn't even start training a dog until he was somewhat mature. This is what works for him. I'm more in line with starting pups early because I think you can teach them how to learn at a very early age which has advantages, as long as they are taught correctly. It is similar to research that shows children can learn a new language much easier than an adult.
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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 03:49 PM
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mycobrarcr,
I am in no way being critical of your training. I'm just pointing out the different philosophies people have in training. You said this dog is from van Leeuwen lines, which are dryer meaning they don't have crazy drive for a toy, but have strong, forward aggression as adults. I know that **** van Leeuwen would never use a toy and wouldn't even start training a dog until he was somewhat mature. This is what works for him. I'm more in line with starting pups early because I think you can teach them how to learn at a very early age which has advantages, as long as they are taught correctly. It is similar to research that shows children can learn a new language much easier than an adult.

I agree. I know van Leeuwens don't start their dogs until a year plus. One of the reasons I got Winston is to see what I could do with him raising dogs the way I do, and to challenge myself a bit. He's been doing really well and is a little sponge. I've been doing mostly OB and tracking with him. Touched on some protection foundation, but not much of that yet. Waiting a couple/few more months before we get into that. Interestingly enough I got a second Dutchie out of the same lines. Kind of a long story, but he's 18mo and has nothing on him. Zero training. It's interesting to see how Cy and Winston learn. Winston at 5mo picks up things much faster than Cy at 18mo. I've only had Cy a week, so we are still very much in the bonding phase, but still. Cy's BRN#35006 if you want to look him up.

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post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 04:00 PM
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That is interesting and sort of supports early training. I do think a it can be wise to go slowly with a dog with strong aggression like the lines you have because the aggression is there but they need the maturity to know what to do with it.
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post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Since you have conditioned him to expect to be rewarded by fetching a ball, a ball on a string would probably be better than using a tug. You would kind of be throwing the ball by teasing him with the ball on the string as in the video, yet he wouldn't get to bite (fetch) it until he displays the correct behavior. Only reward correct behavior. At first, you might just see if he will bite the ball without any obedience. Since the dog is from working lines, he should be able and is old enough to start raising the expectations with prong, but first I would get him very interested in the ball on a string. I would also stop throwing anything for him to fetch. You said all toys are put away when you start a training session. I would do the opposite and not let him have access to any toys except when training him on the ball on a string. If he starts to get bored and mouthy and destructive, pull out the ball on a string. Then try to be more structured with a prong and leash. If he knows how to bark on command, teach him to bark for the ball on the string to get the game started. For example, show him the ball, tell him to bark and if he barks, immediately make prey with the ball like in the video. Each dog is different. With some higher drive dogs, more misses build more drive. With dogs that don't have high prey drive, too many misses will lead to coming down in drive because he is not being reinforced enough. I would also do this in new, unfamiliar places. Dogs with good prey drive will not be affected by a new environment and dogs whose prey drive is not as high as you thought, will not play the game. Keep the sessions short and you can always end on teasing the dog up with misses and not letting him win the ball.
Any recommendations for a good ball on a string? All the ones I’ve seen on Amazon don’t seem like they would hold up to a tenacious shepherd.
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post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 05:15 PM
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@mycobraracr Great focus and heeling! Why do you lift him by the collar or tail? What is the purpose?
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post #16 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 05:33 PM
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@mycobraracr Great focus and heeling! Why do you lift him by the collar or tail? What is the purpose?

I lift him by the collar to get him to drop the ball. Basically making him think he's loosing it and to build his drive for it.

I lift him by the tail and skin, to get him used to be manipulated. He's in a higher state of drive and he's play with "Dad", so he's comfortable. So by me touching him all over, picking him up, it helps get him used to it for when a decoy does it later on. Everything is conditioning him for something later. Better for him to see it when playing with me than get freaked out when a decoy does it to him. Normally I'd pick him all the way up, but he's teething and don't want to risk ripping out a tooth.

Edit: I was trying to find a video of me doing with Kimber when she was younger. Couldn't find video, but here is a picture of me doing it with her.
Kimber Skin by Jeremy Friedman, on Flickr

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Last edited by mycobraracr; 10-21-2019 at 05:37 PM.
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post #17 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 06:30 PM
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Oh cool! That makes a lot of sense. I like watching you work with them. Thank you for the videos.
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post #18 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 08:24 PM
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Any recommendations for a good ball on a string? All the ones Iíve seen on Amazon donít seem like they would hold up to a tenacious shepherd.

Foam Ball with Leather Handle

Roni Ball with Leather Strap Handle


These are my dog's favorites. Will last well unless you let the dog take it and chew on it. But if you use it as a reward and then it comes back to you it will last. I believe I've heard that the foam ball is preferred for puppies because if you whack them with it by accident it wont hurt and turn them off to it. The roni type balls are really heavy and hard and would hurt if you bonk the dog with it.

I tie a knot in the leather handle or else I can't hang on to it.
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post #19 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 07:44 AM
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I like the Gappay ball on a string in the larger size so that the ball won't get stuck in the dog's throat. You can Google them and find plenty of places that sell them.
https://www.hallmarkk9.com/gappaybal...ing-large.aspx
These are made of fairly hard rubber, but not to hard. They last forever and little nubs that help the dog keep his grip when he strikes the ball.
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Last edited by Chip Blasiole; 10-22-2019 at 07:57 AM.
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post #20 of 55 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 08:08 AM
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OP, just a thought, but you said this has only been an issue for like a week? That's not really a long term problem

What if you just let him goof off for a few days and see if he doesn't get bored and look to you to re-engage. If he is asking you to engage vs you pursuing him trying to get him to engage the dynamic might be might better?

Have you done nothing but the most basic like---he glances at you, you mark and start food chase? You're not asking anything of him basically free shaping engagement?
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