Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Valdivia, Chile
Re: Can I ruin a dog?
I've worked with those kind of handlers and in 90% of the cases is disheartening, not because the can't learn, but because the CAN and stop trying at the third class and leave the classes for the husband/wife/son etc.
Remember that training is supposed to be a dance, you can put all your brain on the task, but for doing the movements properly you need to develop "muscular memory" like any dancer and you get that not only understanding the exercise, but repeating, repeating and repeating it. It can take a good month before you see it start coming naturally.
Also divide training in small steps you can manage, it is not only valid for the dog, but also for handlers. By example, if you are working with food reward in that moment (and you are in a safe environment) drop the leash, leave both of your hands free to properly reward the dog. If you are working leash corrections use your voice to reward and only give treats after releasing the dog, when you no longer need the perfect tension (or lack of it) in the leash. To learn how to manage a leash attached to a large dog and a bag full of slimy treats that insist on keep glued to each other and to fall to the floor without loosing one or two fingers thanks to the said large dog is too much at first for somebody with only two hands. Toy reward is even more difficult, I'd leave that for later.
Malleable pups survive being trained from zero by dumb owners, your 2 years already trained good dog will be perfectly OK.
Diabla Boroluz, my Daemon; IPO-A1, RH-T A
Akela de Poputchik, my Direwolf; IPO-2, Kkl1
Calais vom Adler Stein; IPO-A1, Kkl1