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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-07-2013, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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In denial

Not sure if this is the right place, but I'm feeling a bit in denial.
I've always been positive, positive, positive, didn't think corrections did anything except create a short cut for those who didnt want to put the effort into doing things the right way.
I was the one with a pocket full of treats, ready to redirect my dog, do spurts of obedience or capture a promising behavior.

Over the past year I began being more understanding of corrections. I learned of the right way and the wrong way, read up a lot on timing, precision, the mechanics behind it all. Though I still hadn't attempted issuing them, it was mostly out of curiosity.

And then, this past month, I learned what corrections could really do. And I'm in denial of it all.

After a quick obedience session with a prong, my dog listens to me 100%, he looks at me with his bright eyes and is awaiting my next orders, I am completely in the drivers seat. I had imagined that he would be sulking, avoiding me, slow to respond.. 3 years of treats and positive training couldn't get me what I got in one session of using a prong. but I can't get over it. It is almost like my dog LIKES being corrected. Like that was all he needed, to be corrected.

I understand it is probably the black and white-ness of it all, the additional structure it provides. But Its not something I'm able to justify to myself (if that makes sense).

Now, my dog is not, or was not, out of control or anything. He has mild dog reactivity, bad recall, and is slow to respond.. I only have to ask once but you can see him sigh and roll his eyes as he complies, even though he is getting a treat. Good dog though.

After using the prong, though.. He recalled so fast, I thought he was going to knock me over. His down is faster than I can say the command and even when we are not training, he is glued to me, but he is also very visibly comfortable and happy.

I guess I need help processing it all. Trying to incorporate this training and such.. I don't know if I'd feel good about myself, issuing a correction in public.

Can someone break this down for me, or help me come to terms with this new world of corrections ?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-07-2013, 11:39 PM
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I found when I asked for more from my dog, I got more from my dog...and the respect came along with it.
Structure is necessary and usually structured environments contain some rules.

I was told this past weekend that when we give corrections, we should also give praise in the same measurement or more. Praise is so important, and if we are just correcting, but not praising, thats when conflict comes into the picture. Black and white is what dogs want, not grey!

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Last edited by onyx'girl; 10-07-2013 at 11:42 PM.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-07-2013, 11:44 PM
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First, I have to say, I applaud your ability to self-reflect and be so incredibly honest with yourself. Not many people can do that, including myself at times...so bravo.

Secondly, I think you already said it....it's the black and white of it all....the clarity....the dog is thinking, "OH!!! I completely understand what you are asking of me...this is awesome, and we can move forward faster!!!" Haha, I am completely humanizing the dog....but I am just trying to tell you, you already know why it is so much easier.

Dogs aren't humans, they don't understand a human conversation, or reasoning...they only know what they understand...if that makes sense....a correction for doing something you don't want is how you communicate that you don't want that behavior....a dog, I think....wants and thrives on that communication...if they are only being treated for what's good, they have no idea what you don't want, yes you can "block" the bad behavior...but you just aren't letting it happen....you aren't showing the dog that it isn't allowed. How can the dog learn something isn't allowed if he/she is never shown that.

I honestly don't think I would have the reliable "down" that I have with my dog if I hadn't used compulsion/corrections to let him know that when he was supposed to be in a down, he HAD to stay down....and honestly, it literally saved his life today (I posted about it earlier)....now your dog completely understands what you want from him and what you don't want from him....that's super exciting, for both of you!!

Edit: Oh, and of course it's all about balance. My TD always says, "think of training like a bank account....every time you make a correction you make a withdrawal....you have to re-stock that bank account with praise/reward/play etc...if you don't re-stock, pretty soon you're in over-draft." lol I know it's silly, but it's so true....praise immediately releases the dog from the pressure of the correction...and it's equally important....balance!! :-)

Last edited by DaniFani; 10-07-2013 at 11:46 PM.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 07:53 AM
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If the dog enjoys work and has a good relationship with you, often he wants to be told/shown/corrected what to do. They want to please us and be right. With some dogs it's easy enough to capture or shape this with all "positive" methods but with most dogs they need some, uh, guidance and boundaries along the way
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 08:17 AM
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I think each dog needs a program geared towards their individual needs. We either short change the dog or ourselves if we refuse to change and adapt

I agree that a good balance between positive and negative is extremely important.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
I found when I asked for more from my dog, I got more from my dog...and the respect came along with it.
Structure is necessary and usually structured environments contain some rules.

I was told this past weekend that when we give corrections, we should also give praise in the same measurement or more. Praise is so important, and if we are just correcting, but not praising, thats when conflict comes into the picture. Black and white is what dogs want, not grey!
I work under the premise of any pressure I put on the dog with a correction, I take all back off with praise/reward when the desired behavior is gotten.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 09:39 AM
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This was my exact experience with my Smitty dog. The only 'correction' I would use was a firm 'No'.

He totally gave me the talk to the paw attitude. When he'd finally slowly comply I'd do the 'yeah great dog' happy party and he'd just look away.

I felt very frustrated with myself and disappointed in him that he didn't seem to care whether he was pleasing me or not. I stopped even trying with him, stopped taking him places and our world shut down. Not much of a bond either.

With Ilda and Autumn they are far more into pleasing me. I'm happy, they are happy, virtuous cycle. Autumn is so soft that just a firm 'no' is a serious correction for her.

I'm not sure what it is that makes some dogs like yours and Smitty act that way. Maybe it's low pack drive?

All I know is like you I had to go through an adjustment about using corrections with a prong. However (and it does seem counter-intuitive) using corrections *fairly* with Smitty has opened up the world for Smitty and our bond has never been better. We really are buddies now.

(btw on the use of corrections my trainer said for every correction you need to come up with ten positives, so I look at it as one correction then positive X 10)

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Originally Posted by angryrainbow View Post
<snipped>
Now, my dog is not, or was not, out of control or anything. He has mild dog reactivity, bad recall, and is slow to respond.. I only have to ask once but you can see him sigh and roll his eyes as he complies, even though he is getting a treat. Good dog though.

After using the prong, though.. He recalled so fast, I thought he was going to knock me over. His down is faster than I can say the command and even when we are not training, he is glued to me, but he is also very visibly comfortable and happy.
<snipped>?
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 10:45 AM
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I work under the premise of any pressure I put on the dog with a correction, I take all back off with praise/reward when the desired behavior is gotten.
Definitely. I also think that corrections can help set a dog up for success. I've never bought into the idea that if you simply don't reward what you don't want, a dog will figure out what you DO want. For example if a dog is slow to sit in motion 2 of 3 times, reward the 1 good time...um, no. To me if a dog is "wrong" 2/3 of the time he doesn't KNOW what you are asking, so he's not just going to figure it out. Get the result you want and by "get" that can be any combination of free shaping, luring, using whatever prop or gimmick you like, AND +P and -R.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 11:05 AM
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Our entire society is going downhill because of lack of corrections.


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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 11:50 AM
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While I don't have a problem with PP traing, whatever floats your boat and works for that particular dog, I am also a person who trains with corrections. I am fair, always praise/reward for good behavior and believe that corrections at some point IS necessary.

When I enrolled Masi in a PP class, the TRAINER, brought her PP dog out, it was an absolute idiot. The class was unstructured, alot of aggressive dogs, (mine wasn't), and even the trainer admitted, there were to many pushy dogs/puppies in this class.

I yanked Masi out of it, after 2 classes because of non productive, negative experiences, took my aussie, who is a marshmellow and thrived on PP training..

I put Masi into a koehler based class, Praise only, and she LOVED it, she "wanted" to go in the building, she 'wanted' to work, and it made a big difference in her attitude, much more enthusiasm..

So whatever works is the way I train..

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