Becoming unresponsive after correction - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Becoming unresponsive after correction

Hello All. Hugo is 15 months old now and I have a kind of awkward problem. I train him for ScH and so far I have been training him with minimal correction but haven't done collar (pinch) correction much. Now when he doesn't pay attention to me or gets distracted, my trainer suggested I give him a yank on his collar and then once he looks at me I look all happy and reward him. This seems to kind of backfire though. Since I started this, he has started getting more distant. As in once I collar correct, he starts to look away more and shrink from me or starts to sit/down farther away from me and overall does not participate in the training. He has this look like he's being taken to the slaughter house. Now he is distracted by passersby who walk too close or if someone is running past us or noises and this was supposed to correct that situation however I feel like I've gone back a few steps instead of forward. Any suggestions on how I can correct him w/o alienating him?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 07:38 PM
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First I would advise no more collar corrections if your getting this response. What does he like? Ball, Frisby, food, etc....When he is drifting on to squirrel land or wherever instead of paying attention call his name and show him something he desires. Once you have his attention give him the command you are working on, and then the reward with lots of praise. I often have to hold a ball or stick to keep my pup focused because she's still young and her attention span is still short. When she refocuses and follows through with the command she gets the ball or stick
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Zoey's Mom! I can usually do this in my backyard or when I take him to a baseball field but I train him in a strip mall as well where there are people and I can work on his distractions. Any suggestions on how I can keep his attention there? I have tried pulling out the tug (he loves it) but in the face of distraction, he just lets it go and focuses on the distraction instead. I started using the collar correction for this but like I said it doesn't seem to do the trick.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 08:29 PM
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Maybe it's too early for that much distraction then. 15 months is a baby still can you blame him. People are walking by, cars are parking, honking, driving all sounding so different. Kids are screaming, crying, and people are chatting all around him. I couldn't even concentrate in that environment,lol I would add in distractions slowly, find his threshold for them, stay there awhile, and slowly work up to more. Zoe is great at home, and in the field when a few people are milling around, but the second someone is within 10 feet of us she is way more interested in them than me which is normal- she knows me so how interesting can I be all the time
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Hugo-licious View Post
Hello All. Hugo is 15 months old now and I have a kind of awkward problem. I train him for ScH and so far I have been training him with minimal correction but haven't done collar (pinch) correction much. Now when he doesn't pay attention to me or gets distracted, my trainer suggested I give him a yank on his collar and then once he looks at me I look all happy and reward him. This seems to kind of backfire though. Since I started this, he has started getting more distant. As in once I collar correct, he starts to look away more and shrink from me or starts to sit/down farther away from me and overall does not participate in the training. He has this look like he's being taken to the slaughter house. Now he is distracted by passersby who walk too close or if someone is running past us or noises and this was supposed to correct that situation however I feel like I've gone back a few steps instead of forward. Any suggestions on how I can correct him w/o alienating him?
Hugo,

Are you aware that many dog behaviorists consider looking away to be a "calming signal" in dog languge. Could be that your dog is trying it on you to see if he/she can stop the corrections and doesn't really know what you are asking him. Think about whether he really knows what you want him to do when you gave the correction.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 08:55 PM
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Hugo,

Are you aware that many dog behaviorists consider looking away to be a "calming signal" in dog languge. Could be that your dog is trying it on you to see if he/she can stop the corrections and doesn't really know what you are asking him. Think about whether he really knows what you want him to do when you gave the correction.
What codmaster said. This sounds like your dog going into avoidance.

Your correction may be too much for your dog. You need to evaluate the level and type of your correction. One of my dogs needs a good hard pop, another need only a very light pop or verbal negative to get him to be compliant to me. It's important when you give a correction to follow right back up with a positive to keep the dog motivated.

When my dog doesn't pay attention I don't correct I take off to the side or in an unexpected direction waving their toy around...like I was going to give this to you...BUT YOU MISSED IT...Woohooo...a couple misses with the tug then right into Fuss! 3or 4 good steps and reward. He'll watch you better. This is Cade @ 10 months. You can see in the beginning where he's not paying attention and I take off. He's pretty distractable at this age so I have to put a lot of movement into his training to keep him engaged.


Just a thought...It is also possible that the distracted behavior you are seeing is also avoidance. He may be stressed and try to quit, adding corrections on top of that could only make him more stressed. I would seriously consider going the other way and increasing the motivation for the exercises and only using non-reward as a negative.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm now that you mention it, and the more I think about it, once the corrections come into the picture, he starts to look away and sit away from me a lot more than when we started out....more like being away will stop this. I did try today w/o the corrections and just motivation and he was still doing it but wondering if those are remnants of the previous cases where I was giving him corrections and now he is unsure of things. I will try again now when I get him out to keep it correction free and see how it goes.
Watching the video from JKlatsky also brings up another point. WHen we play tug and I let the tug go (to let him win) he runs off with it and then comes to me after a bit however your dog seems to come to you immediately. Any way I can instill that? I have never taken toys away from him or teased him w/o letting him never win or ended play when he came back to me but he seems to have this need for possession...has been like this even as a child. I do make him out sometimes and then other times I let him win but on those occasions having him come back to me to keep the game interactive is tedious. I generally have to have another toy to lure him with and get him focussed on that so he will come back but with just one toy it doesn't seem to do the same trick. Any suggestions?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 06:14 PM
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This video is amazing! I have a reactive dog who is VERY distracted by the least thing. I don't have anything she is motivated by and have a hard time getting her to play. She's doing intermediate obedience over again and I NEED motivation and a way to get her to play. I think bonding with her like this might help her tremendously.

I noticed you were using lures/treats, what is it that YOUR dogs likes? I've tried everything, most she likes is grilled chicken.

My dog was also put on a prong collar for training. My goal is to get her off of it. She is doing very well, and it's only used when she KNOWS how to do something, not when she is LEARNING something new. She was using a halti but it wasn't doing much good with her reactivity to other dogs. The prong is helping alot, also with a prong, quick release after correction is very important.



I did take her outside around her triggers yesterday before the rain hit and she did wonderful compared to how she acted without it. And that was only with minimal corrections when we go past the yappy dog fence, which we do stay at a distance from.

We do still have to keep her on a leash going out front or she'd be rushing the fence and paying absolutely no attention to me at this point.

Don't mean to hijack this thread but hope it's ok to ask you about the treats here.

Kim

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 07:37 PM
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Your dog is DEFINITELY throwing out calming signals after being over corrected. There are a ton of these signals our dogs toss out all the time and we 'stupid' humans are clueless whats going on.

Best DVD to get to help show us so we KNOW and recognize what's going on is http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FCalming-Signals-What-Your-Tells%2Fdp%2FB000PGTF32%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Ddvd%26qid%3D1283902615%26sr%3D8-1-catcorr&tag=5336432754-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325





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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 07:53 PM
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To speak very very plainly: you do not have a relationship with Hugo. The bond is just not there. In my opinion, that's what you need to work on first, even more so than things like focus or heeling. When you watch the video JKlatsky just posted you can see how strong the bond is between Cade and her. You can tell Cade is ecstatic to be out there playing/training with her, that he thinks training with her is about as much fun as it gets. That's the place you need to get to with Hugo first before you even think about using any kind of correction.
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