What do you think of "When Pigs Fly" by Jane Killion...? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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What do you think of "When Pigs Fly" by Jane Killion...?

Hey guys, for my first post I wanted to ask you all what you think of the book "When Pigs Fly" by Jane Killion. I know this book was made for not biddable breeds, and a German Shepherd is a really biddable dog.

There was something in the book that talked about Attention Training, and to teach a dog to check in all the time everywhere, by what I understand the dog learns to have a default check in (no commands), and get to the point that new triggers = look at owner, go to new place = look at owner. Did anyone try this? I would like to do this with him, but I am worried with the fact that in the book it says there is no down time with the dog. That means if he is with me I can't be distracted ...not one second. What if I want to go to the park with friends, and bring my dog with me?

I don't really want him to look at me all the time, but I am tired that I train him tons of tricks, in tons of distractions, places and ect... but if just one tiny trigger (that I might not even noticed) comes in the picture he gets really distant, and it looks like he shuts down on me.

I know to train something like this I have to start little by little like first at home for two days, then outside in yard, and ect.. ect.. little at the time, building up slowly in high distraction areas. I allready train him 7 times a day how to create a scheldue to train this with all the other stuff I am training him to do?

What do you guys think about Attention Training? Anyone ever tried, or do you think it is useless?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 04:18 PM
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I think I bought this book a long time ago but never got around to reading it. I think it's still around here somewhere....

Anyway, attention training is useful for any breed, regardless of biddability. I'm also a huge fan of default behaviors in general, and default attention in particular. It's so important because in order to teach your dog ANYTHING you first have to get his attention! I train a "watch" command to get their attention when I ask for it, but I also want them to automatically offer up attention routinely, without having to always ask for it.

It's true that your dog is always learning, even if you're not actively engaged with them, so I get the point about "no down time". If you don't feel like you can give your dog your full attention because you're with your friends (especially if your dog has "issues" that you're working on and you're in a place where you might encounter triggers), it's sometimes better to just leave the dog at home.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 09:57 PM
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one thing that several people have remarked about Singe is that, naturally, he checks in with me quite often. Even if we are just taking a leisurely walk, he makes contact and checks in with me. Sometimes it's just a look, others he will actually approach me. I've found that it makes keeping his attention for training a LOT easier. It is definitely something I would consider teaching the next time I start a dog.
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