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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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C-o-r-r-e-c-t-i-o-n!

I feel like this question has been asked a bit on here lately. "What is a correction?" "How hard of a correction should I give?" "What type of correction do I give?" "What type of correction collar do I use?"

Now, I'm certainly all for giving corrections. I train with a fairly balanced approach based on each dog and depending on what I am doing. I've got such a litany of collars and contraptions it borders on ridiculous (as many dog people do).

I'm probably guilty of giving "correction" adivise on here in the past, but I've gotten a bit gun shy about it. Should you really even considering issuing a correction if you need to ask these questions? Certainly no one is all knowing and sometimes I wonder what the best approach is to a particular task. But sometimes it seems excessive. And makes me a little nervous to read.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 08:04 AM
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Interesting thread. I don't have an answer, but that makes me curious now.

I pretty much started Ozzy off with entirely R+, redirecting, minimal to zero correction until he got a bit older. Started with soft corrections until I got to know what his limits were, basically. I know his limits now (he's a VERY soft dog), and if I use too hard of a correction, he'll cower in fear and act like I'm beating him. I can tell he still wants to please, but is afraid to mess up, due to too hard of a correction given. As soon as I go too far (which is rarely now), training stops and we do something fun.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 09:27 AM
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Before having started online researches, the only way I know about training a dog is the balanced way - +Reinforcement for teaching new tricks, and correction only when necessary (which is basically giving reprimanding commands and hitting if necessary).

In the past, I've owned a medium size dog and she was really well behaved. If she misbehaved, a reprimanding command was mostly enough, and hitting was almost never needed and if it was ever needed, just a slap or two on the back leg without much force was enough.

But with my current puppy, things are very different. Hitting is play pawning for him, he simply doesn't seem to feel pain at all. I could yell, hit, act really intimidating and he would just get excited with all the party or just defy me. This made me review the training method I've always known, and lead me to start researching online, seeking for less confrontational methods (escalating my force or intimidation is not an option for me).

Right now, my "philosophy" of training is still about balance - +Reinforcement for teaching new tricks, set him up for success as much as I can and correction only when necessary. But hitting and being too physical confrontational is not an option anymore, and I'm more about being firm and calm when it comes to correction. I would still grab the back of his neck and lift his flat collar (suffocating him for a sec) and say "NO" with a reprimanding tone, but it is all done calmly and only when necessary (if he doesn't listen to my "NO" when I really need him to stop, and I can't time him out or redirect him). This way he does listen.

But I'm still trying to figure out more appropriate and safer ways for corrections, and if possible, hopefully find some positive method that can counter certain situations.
I guess that people don't feel secure enough to talk about their correction methods online, since people can become judgmental about it, and there's also the danger of someone inexperienced implementing the same method wrongly and ending up hurting their dogs. I wouldn't want to teach someone that is really inexperienced and not good with communicating with dogs to use aversive methods, since with these people the dangers of wrong implementation is greater (they might probably get bitten and make the situation worse, or physically or psychologically damage their dogs).

About the right intensity of correction methods, it really depends on the confidence of a dog - some dogs are just too soft that a neutral "NO" is enough and any more than that could scare them badly, while some requires stronger ways that won't even make a difference for them.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 09:58 AM
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I hate giving corrections, and rarely do. But sometimes Balto will not sit when I ask him. At almost 5 years old, he definitely knows sit, but I know it's not comfortable for him. A quick tug on the leash, in this case.

I would never hit a dog as a correction, unless he is attacking another dog. Which I have done.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 10:45 AM
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I think everything depends on the dog. I don't need anything other than a verbal correction 95% of the time. The other 5% I might need an e-collar remotely.

I think it is absolutely unfair to the dog to even think about correcting until you are sure the dog knows what is being asked and is just blowing you off. Anyone that gives a correction when the dog doesn't understand what is being asked needs to reconsider their training methods.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 05:10 PM
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When I hear the term correction - and USE the term correction - I am talking about ANY action from my end that either stops or prevents an unwanted behavior from occurring.

If a dog jumps on me for attention and I cross my arms, turn around, and pretend the dog is invisible, I am correcting the dog's behavior. I am teaching the dog that this bad behavior (jumping) will get her no attention at all. Once she offers me a proper behavior, such as sitting, I will praise and reward her for that.

If a dog is about to get into something - say, I have a dog that I am catching as she sneaks into the bathroom to drink from the toilet bowl - and I give her an "AH!" and she stops and looks at me, that's also a correction.

I don't think that a correction has to necessarily be a physical thing.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2011, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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OK, for the sake of this thread and what I've been seeing, let's limit it to physical, negative correction.

J, mom to:
- Elsa - "Da Pookins"
- Medo - "The Beast From The East"
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