Open and Utility References? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Open and Utility References?

So I am looking to start training my dog in these two classes and am looking for any good references, i.e. books/videos, etc. that would be a good aid for doing this myself.

I am reasonably familiar with them but it has been a long time for me to train a dog in them and I am doing this myself for the most part.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 04:18 PM
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I bought a DVD and I'm surprised at how much of the training is by compulsion.

So, I'm taking a class at my dog club and the trainer is talking about the ear pinch. I did not know that this is still part of the training.

She said it's optional, but also included that it will save a lot of time.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 07:46 PM
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Ear Pinch

Here's my experience with the ear pinch.

My first GSD was trained with the Koehler method. That's just about all we knew at that time & ear pinch was part of it. Utility is stressful for the dog - more than open - because the dog needs to really pay attention & think - especially with scent articles. For the scent articles, I ended up with a dog that would cower, do the death march to the articles, pick up the correct one, do the death march back and hold it without looking at me. Not good. Was it a fast way to teach a retrieve? Have somebody pinch your ear until you put something in your mouth & tell me.

My next dogs - I did not ear pinch. We were just learning about positive reinforcement & clicker training. My old Koehler instructor insisted that I was "ruining" my dog. BUT - I had a VERY happy dog in open and utility. Was she as 100% reliable? Probably not. Once, we had glove #3 and she ran out & grabbed glove #1 from the next ring. OOPS!!

Teaching a retrieve took a lot more time. It helps to be really good with the clicker so you can mark the exact perfect time. You start with them touch the dumbbell on the ground. Then, putting their mouth around it. Then starting to pick it up, etc. I kept my sessions short & happy. I always ended up on a high note - even if we had to digress a little.

Utility is stressful for the handler and the dog. It really helps if your dog is working from a place of confidence rather than from a place of fear.

To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPuppy View Post
I bought a DVD and I'm surprised at how much of the training is by compulsion.

So, I'm taking a class at my dog club and the trainer is talking about the ear pinch. I did not know that this is still part of the training.

She said it's optional, but also included that it will save a lot of time.
Good trainers will pick the method and approach suitable to each individual dog.

BTW, even with Koehler, any corrections are only supposed to be used once the dog understands the command and simply chooses not to do it, usually due to a distraction.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 07:58 PM
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My two faves are Janice Gunn's Step by step DVDs and Terri Arnold's "Steppin' Up to Success" series.

PAM Guardyan's Gavin, VCD2, CDX, RE, AX, AXJ, AXP, AJP, TD
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 12:20 PM
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I love Terri Arnold! I was lucky enough to go to one of her seminars. It was great and I learned a lot.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
Good trainers will pick the method and approach suitable to each individual dog.

BTW, even with Koehler, any corrections are only supposed to be used once the dog understands the command and simply chooses not to do it, usually due to a distraction.
That's where I get crosswise with Koehler. I think a "distraction" is just another learning experience. Maybe that's why it takes me so long to train a dog!

To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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That's where I get crosswise with Koehler. I think a "distraction" is just another learning experience. Maybe that's why it takes me so long to train a dog!
Agreed - the dog has to "learn" to obey regardless of the environment and/or people or other animals.

For example, a line of dogs in a down stay - how many would stay if we let a cat run down the line? (a VERY fast cat for it's own sake!)

Do you think that the dogs SHOULD stay?

I do! But I have had a lot of obedience people and even a number of trainers tell me "that is unfair to the dog"!

A BIG distraction but one they should ignore!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
Agreed - the dog has to "learn" to obey regardless of the environment and/or people or other animals.
Doesn't it really depend on the dog? I'm thinking about seeing eye dogs & other assistance dogs that encounter distractions everyday and it's imperative that they resist them. Lots of dogs wash out of the program because they just aren't wired to do that.

In my early years, I saw so many people, including myself, trying to fit a round peg into a square hole - i.e., taking a dog that just wasn't wired to do obedience at higher levels and through compulsion, making them perform. Trying to make a laid back German Shepherd into a Border Collie.

I don't hang with people who do obedience through compulsion - but I would hope that the years have taught all of us that some dogs just don't "have it" and need to find something else. Nowadays there are so many other things we can do. Back then, it was Novice, Open and Utility.

To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.
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