Hard dog *requires* firm hand: +R training? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 159 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Hard dog *requires* firm hand: +R training?

I saw this on the leerburg site and it raised some questions for me:
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He is not a dangerously sharp dog to be around, but he is an extremely hard dog in temperament. By that I mean he requires firm correction and tolerates it if it is justified. He does not tolerate any unfair corrections or any pressure from people that he is not strongly bonded to.
This isn't really the first time I've heard of a GSD "requiring a firm hand" and I really wonder the truth in that statement. Why would a well balanced dog require positive punishment training techniques? Is this an outdated perception- or is there something about the GSD that makes +R training (and the application of negative punishment when required) not doable?

I know that there are people out there using +R training on SchH GSDs with success, which is why I question comments like "requires a firm hand." Can anyone shed light on this? Why would someone make such a claim?

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post #2 of 159 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:11 PM
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I don't know if I agree with that statement b/c I don't know the context and am not always a Leerburg/Frawley fan but I do agree that a good GSD does require an owner that is not a pansy and is able to make it very clear to the dog what is acceptable behavior and what is not. It's not just about training the dog, but living with the dog. For example I live with three male dogs, two are intact. In the wild they might just fight it out to decide who gets what but in my house *I* decide who gets what and when. The more you are clear and consistent with your dog, I think the less the dog really needs as far as continued training and corrections. But if you let your dog get away with crap like going into a barking spitting frenzy when passing another dog on the street then yeah, eventually if you want to reverse that you're going to need a pretty firm hand.
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post #3 of 159 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Eeekk... I guess I should have known that this will likely turn into a training method debate. Not saying that you have done that Lies, but I am saying that I don't know how to respond to what you wrote without mentioning that +R training is not the same as being a "pansy owner" or "inconsistent" in response to behaviors. Ultimately- with +R training being a relatively new thing, that's why I wonder if the perception of "requiring a firm hand" is outdated.

For example, I'd say that this statement...

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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
But if you let your dog get away with crap like going into a barking spitting frenzy when passing another dog on the street then yeah, eventually if you want to reverse that you're going to need a pretty firm hand.
...is not entirely true. Inflicting positive punishment is certainly one way to handle that, but hardly the only way.

Dang. I see where this is going. I really do hope that we don't get into a training technique argument. I really am simply curious about that often used phrase in describing a GSD.

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post #4 of 159 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildo View Post
I saw this on the leerburg site and it raised some questions for me:


This isn't really the first time I've heard of a GSD "requiring a firm hand" and I really wonder the truth in that statement. Why would a well balanced dog require positive punishment training techniques? Is this an outdated perception- or is there something about the GSD that makes +R training (and the application of negative punishment when required) not doable?

I know that there are people out there using +R training on SchH GSDs with success, which is why I question comments like "requires a firm hand." Can anyone shed light on this? Why would someone make such a claim?
The statement you quoted refers to a HARD dog requiring a firm correction and in the context quoted I take it to me that the particular dog being discussed does not react to lesser corrections (because he is hardened to them). It was not a generalized statement.
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post #5 of 159 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:35 PM
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In my experience, some dogs are the "make me do it" type and some are the
"anything you want master" type.

I had a rottie/dobe that was the 'make me' type. He was bullheaded!
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post #6 of 159 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponyfarm View Post
In my experience, some dogs are the "make me do it" type and some are the
"anything you want master" type.

I had a rottie/dobe that was the 'make me' type. He was bullheaded!
Ditto.

Zeus was exactly that, oh my gosh was he bullheaded. Odin was the complete opposite, very obedient- he loved to please.

Koda is very much like Zeus.


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post #7 of 159 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechieDog View Post
The statement you quoted refers to a HARD dog requiring a firm correction and in the context quoted I take it to me that the particular dog being discussed does not react to lesser corrections (because he is hardened to them). It was not a generalized statement.
Help me to understand this. If the dog has been hardened to the correction- then he was once not hardened to the correction. Wouldn't the fact that the he was once not responding to the correction (thus the need for the harder "firm" correction) indicate that a different method may be required? If the dog doesn't respond to a light correction- then I don't get the point of a harder correction. To me, the unresponsiveness indicates that the understanding of the correction is not there. If the dog does not understand the correction- then why does making the correction more intense "clarify" understanding? I'm not sure it does...

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post #8 of 159 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildo View Post
Help me to understand this. If the dog has been hardened to the correction- then he was once not hardened to the correction. Wouldn't the fact that the he was once not responding to the correction (thus the need for the harder "firm" correction) indicate that a different method may be required? If the dog doesn't respond to a light correction- then I don't get the point of a harder correction. To me, the unresponsiveness indicates that the understanding of the correction is not there. If the dog does not understand the correction- then why does making the correction more intense "clarify" understanding? I'm not sure it does...
The dog may understand the correction but just choose to ignore it. Hence the need for a harder correction (or another technique).
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post #9 of 159 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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If he chooses to ignore it, then he doesn't understand the correction. Does not a correction communicate: "What you are doing is wrong; I want you to stop what you are doing right now." If the dog does not respond to that, then he does not understand that.

I'm on a quest to find out if a high drive, working line GSD could be raised with +R reinforcement. I am 90% confident at this point that not only could such a dog be raised that way, it would likely be among the most the best of the best in the performance category. But statements about genetic "hardness requiring a firm hand" kinda scare me a bit. Could such a statement indicate a lack of biddability? Or is it simply bad training?

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post #10 of 159 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 12:59 PM
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Think of it as having children, the others do what they are told and there's always one that doesn't and requires a spank or two in the butt.


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