German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 80 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Bad night at dog training

A young beefy girl had a GSD about a year old. The dog was pretty nicely put together. Definitely not an American show dog but more on working dog lines. Still an American dog however.

Anyway the dog is reactive to other dogs. He growled and barked at another close by dog and the girl severely yanked the dog down by the prong collar and literally smothered the dog. He was crying and squealing terribly. She held him down for about a minute all the while the dog was just screaming. This happened at least half a dozen times during the evening class. Once right in front of my dog and me. My dog did not like this at all. Interesting. She barked hard like she was telling the handler to stop hurting my friend. I simply redirected her and offered some calming pets and reward as she looked up to me.

I'm very surprised the trainer didn't do something. They generally don't permit any abusive tactics. I've seen all the trainers there work with reactive dogs and they surely handle this better. I don't think I've ever heard even a Yelp out of dogs they worked directly.

I just don't understand why GSD owners seem to think that extreme punishment with the prong is necessary with these dogs. Rottys, Dobes, Mals and other big dogs all seem to get this harsh treatment out of course. It's like they have Koehler and Cesar methods imbedded in their brains. It just isn't necessary.

In this case the dog is already exhibiting shyness toward the handler. Obviously she has done this before. All this does is teach the dog to fear the handler. All the pain came directly from the handler not the event. The dog forgot the event the instant he felt the first pinch of the prong. From there on the dog was focused on the handler hurting him. This young girl needs some one on one instruction. I would have taken her aside after class and had a serious discussion with her.

This dog needs to just be around the other dogs for awhile. At some distance. They could easily have been directed to keep their distance and just permitted to walk around especially during the down times. They could even be excused from various training events we do. It's hard to do close quarters work with a dog aggressive dog, but not impossible.

The classroom is open the hour before our class so I usually come early and do some practice and some of our more complicated events. I'd recommend this team come early and get comfortable. She has come late to the last couple of classes.

This dog is not a super high drive hard nerves dog like my Aussie. It could be a sweet gentle dog with a better approach to the problem.

I just had to write about this as I felt sorry for the dog. I hope the handler gets some training help. She obviously has done some training but needs redirection.

Byron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
975 Posts
I'd have found this upsetting as well and agree that it's an excellent idea to speak to the instructor directly. Before the next class would be best, I think. S/he would (should?) benefit from knowing how the incident impacted other students and their dogs. At best, you may find that the instructor has already taken steps to address the issue; at worst, you may gain add'l information to help in your decision to stay or go.

Regarding your comment on harsh methods (can't call it training) used with certain breeds. Some of it, I believe, is simple ignorance of better/more productive approaches or misunderstanding/misapplication of the Koehler method. In recent years, I've come to suspect that many of the people using these methods are actually afraid of the dogs that they purport to "handle;" even if it's their own dog. I've seen it (in formal training sessions as well as day to day incidents) and it doesn't just happen with GSDs, as you note, but also with numerous large breed/mixes which (I suspect) were selected largely based on uninformed ASSumptions about how hard/dangerous the breed is. :(

Lots of compensation going on that's not, as you saw, gender-specific.

Aly
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
There is nothing wrong with correcting a GSD with a prong collar for reactivity or dog aggression, if the correction is applied properly. However, this method is completely wrong, useless and counterproductive:

"Anyway the dog is reactive to other dogs. He growled and barked at another close by dog and the girl severely yanked the dog down by the prong collar and literally smothered the dog. He was crying and squealing terribly. She held him down for about a minute all the while the dog was just screaming. "

Alpha rolls have gone the way of the Dodo bird. Holding a dog down is just poor handling, an obviously ineffective technique and a good way to get bit in the face. This is a good example of exactly what not to do. If the trainers did not step in and stop the idiotic stuff the handler did, well you need to find better trainers. I would have stepped in, taken the leash and walked away with the dog. I then would have walked the dog right by the dog he barked at. As a trainer I often take the leash and show the handler how to handle their dog. Demonstrating the correct way to handle dogs is big part of dog training. Explaining things only go so far, IMO. When I take someone dog and show them how easy it is to handle dog aggression or reactivity, it goes a long way to making a point.

If that happened a half dozen times during your class, obviously this technique wasn't working. Again, after the first time the trainer should have stepped in and made a point to the class. The point would be, this is exactly what you do not do. If the trainer is afraid to take this dog's leash and demonstrate how to handle the dog, find a new trainer.

One dimensional trainers that can only work with clickers and treats are about as useful as trainers that only only know how to yank and crank a dog. The style may work with easy dogs, but more challenging dogs need a more balanced approach. As a trainer, if your afraid of dogs or getting bit by dogs, you need a new profession. You need to be able to step in and correct the handler and the dog simultaneously. Both need a stern correction for their poor behavior. If one of the K-9 handlers in my unit did this, I would give them a harsher correction than I would give the dog.

There is nothing wrong with making a dog aggressive dog yelp from a correction, that is kinda the point. To stop the behavior immediately, instantly and ensure it doesn't happen again.

I agree with your point that this handler needs one on one help and to be taught how to properly handle, train and own a dog. After a correction, praise and reward bus the offered at a higher level than the correction.

I'm not sure I understand this:

I just don't understand why GSD owners seem to think that extreme punishment with the prong is necessary with these dogs. Rottys, Dobes, Mals and other big dogs all seem to get this harsh treatment out of course.

I own a GSD that is tougher and harder than most Rotty's, Dobes and Malinois I have seen. I do not see why one would think the dog's breed determines what type of correction it gets or can handle. Corrections are based on the individual dog's temperament, hardness and behavior. While my GSD, Boomer is a fairly hard dog he rarely needs needs corrections. When he does, it is effective and over quickly. My Malinois / Dutch Shepherd handles corrections entirely differently. He is a somewhat handler sensitive dog, highly reactive to prong corrections and very hard when in drive. Two dogs that need to be handled and worked differently. A prong works perfectly with the GSD; and will get you a dog working his way up the leash with the Mal X Dutch Shepherd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,497 Posts
Im glad and I can see it is important that slamdunc clarified the need for harsher correction with a prong collar depending on the dog and action of the dog. My dog is dog reactive and a use the prong for a correction and now mostly light reminder to behave. Correction has to be fast, clear and be strong as the dogs action. I did take the "Extreme correction" in this thread to mean where the dog got the message and the correction continues on for a minute is what I considered "extreme correction". poor dog not have the instructor give guidance to the handler - not sure what that was about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,279 Posts
Last time I gave an extreme correction was to a dog-aggressive dog lunging at another as it walked past.

The dog yelped. One of the bystanders thought I was being cruel, but our trainer corrected her. This dog already had a couple of bites to its credit, so the correction was necessary!

No over the top yelling, screaming or alpha rolling, just a good, hard correction and a sharp "NO!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,852 Posts
Just like Jenny720, it was hard to read. Last year when we were in class for dog aggression, there were hard corrections but nothing like that. Our trainer would not have tolerated it.

The hardest thing, for myself, about handling an aggressive event that required a hard correction was mastering a neutral attitude then leaving it behind so that we could carry on as normal. Really mastering it so that the correction became impersonal and not an emotionally charged event that I was having to deal with.

I wonder if that girl even knows how she looked during the episode. I bet she would be pretty upset had it been recorded and played back so she could actually see what it was doing to her pup. Upset in a way that she just didn't realize the overall negative impact.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Im glad and I can see it is important that slamdunc clarified the need for harsher correction with a prong collar depending on the dog and action of the dog. My dog is dog reactive and a use the prong for a correction and now mostly light reminder to behave. Correction has to be fast, clear and be strong as the dogs action. I did take the "Extreme correction" in this thread to mean where the dog got the message and the correction continues on for a minute is what I considered "extreme correction". poor dog not have the instructor give guidance to the handler - not sure what that was about.
Agree with the above. At the very least the trainer should have stepped in and told the handler what they were doing wrong. The training class I go to is about training dogs and their handlers. Forget what my girl has learnt, i have learnt a lot more
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,657 Posts
Well that story kinda sucks for the dog and the owner although pretty sure she does not know it yet. I walked a dog like for a client's on my job (I'm PCA) and he was a well trained (former) E -Collar dog. The training stuck ... but something was just off with him?? He never had the sparkle in his eyes that may Struddell did (white Boxer) I just use her because a very happy easy going dog was readily apparent! Rocky my GSD had that "aloof' thing going on ... But my point is with the Westie, ... much as I tried, I just could not him to show joy/zest ...just being a dog?? It was like he was waiting for a shoe to drop on him??? He was a great dog but that was kinda sad ... I just got the "impression" that he got hammered hard during E-Collar Training?? I'm not down on E-Collars but I don't feel it was used properly on that dog. :(
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,657 Posts
@Chip18,
Now you may see why I am so against the E collar method proposed by certain former members.
LOL ... no not really??

I merely relayed my observations of the dog's behaviour .. something just seemed off??? He was a rescue and the owners told me later he was E-Collar Trained. They actually had no idea how well the dog was trained! But I Saw it, we walked off leash after a week or two and we when got charged by a loose dog ... sigh yet again and in another city ... but still ... close to home! I told Val to "Stay!" I had no idea if he would comply, but he froze like a stone! I got the loose dog secured ... the gate looked latched but it was not and we were on our way. Val ... never moved I said OK and we were off ... no big deal. :)

But no ... I have no idea who, or how that dog was E-Collar Trained??? I just know ... something was not right?? I would suspect a balance more towards "Corrections" then "Training???" The dog was afraid to make a mistake, but I don't know???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,497 Posts
Im glad and I can see it is important that slamdunc clarified the need for harsher correction with a prong collar depending on the dog and action of the dog. My dog is dog reactive and a use the prong for a correction and now mostly light reminder to behave. Correction has to be fast, clear and be strong as the dogs action. I did take the "Extreme correction" in this thread to mean where the dog got the message and the correction continues on for a minute is what I considered "extreme correction". poor dog not have the instructor give guidance to the handler - not sure what that was about.
Agree with the above. At the very least the trainer should have stepped in and told the handler what they were doing wrong. The training class I go to is about training dogs and their handlers. Forget what my girl has learnt, i have learnt a lot more
Yes always learning. Max made me step it up a bit learned a lot together. If I was having trouble my instructor would always come over and tell me what I needed to do.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
@Chip18, exactly!

But no ... I have no idea who, or how that dog was E-Collar Trained??? I just know ... something was not right?? I would suspect a balance more towards "Corrections" then "Training???" The dog was afraid to make a mistake, but I don't know???

What you described is what compulsion based training does. It is how a dog trained with compulsion and with out proper praise and reward reacts. I'm hoping that you can start to see the effects of compulsion based or improperly used Kohler methods affect dogs as you get more experience with dogs. Compulsion breeds avoidance and a very unhappy dog. Sometimes avoidance is acceptable, but one must know when this is appropriate for the dog at hand.

To not be vague, the E collar training you see is the result of the methods that people like Lou Castle advocate. It is not a method of training that I do not like, use or agree with. Recently, you recommended Lou's method's on this forum. With out fully understanding the ramifications or end results of the training. I am pointing this out so you can see what happens when some one incorrectly trains a dog with an E collar. Teaching a dog to sit with an E collar as some recommend is simply wrong, as some do on their website.

Many people with limited experience will use those methods and not understand what is wrong with their dog down the road.

I am very happy to see that you are recognizing the difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,432 Posts
I used to work with a guy who specializes in breaking bad habits in retrievers basically, any kind of hunting dog. And I saw him once use a high enough setting on an e-collar that the dog yelped and did essentially a backward somersault .... the dog NEVER did that again. EVER!

Wrong training, or was that a success? My friend thought it was good...i've always wondered.....it's certainly not how I would approach the same problem.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,657 Posts
@Chip18, exactly!

But no ... I have no idea who, or how that dog was E-Collar Trained??? I just know ... something was not right?? I would suspect a balance more towards "Corrections" then "Training???" The dog was afraid to make a mistake, but I don't know???

What you described is what compulsion based training does. It is how a dog trained with compulsion and with out proper praise and reward reacts. I'm hoping that you can start to see the effects of compulsion based or improperly used Kohler methods affect dogs as you get more experience with dogs. Compulsion breeds avoidance and a very unhappy dog. Sometimes avoidance is acceptable, but one must know when this is appropriate for the dog at hand.

To not be vague, the E collar training you see is the result of the methods that people like Lou Castle advocate. It is not a method of training that I do not like, use or agree with. Recently, you recommended Lou's method's on this forum. With out fully understanding the ramifications or end results of the training. I am pointing this out so you can see what happens when some one incorrectly trains a dog with an E collar. Teaching a dog to sit with an E collar as some recommend is simply wrong, as some do on their website.

Many people with limited experience will use those methods and not understand what is wrong with their dog down the road.

I am very happy to see that you are recognizing the difference.
Well ... nothing is cast in stone and "Corrections" are subject to "interpretation??" That said "KMODT" ... 100% pure ... I agree with the "concepts" but I have seen it done "online" and it did strike me as ... a bit much???

Tyler Muto's conversational leash work ... strikes me, as a much more reasonable approach?? It's just a variation on KMODT, as I view it, without the harsh change of direction. I see no reason why Long line/Short line/String line can't be done ... conversationally?? I'll just add Down and Stay and a couple more weeks and see what I get??? CMODT perhaps, don't know???

But..."few here" actually ask how I "train"dogs ... people just make "assumptions" based on the ... endless "GSD's Gone Wrong" threads I get in involved?? And when I make an effort to explain what I've done/do! I get told well you didn't, you couldn't or it can't be that simple?? It goes ... down hill from there, it gets old.

As "for a member who is no longer here to defend himself and his methods???" It's not for me to decide what people do ... I trusted him and took him at his word. And while you say it's "compulsive" ... that is not what I here ... paws on the ground as it were.

But I suppose "this" is a complement?? So I'll simply say "Thank You" I'm still learning and what I saw with Val (the Westie) was pretty easy to see and no ... I did not like "waiting for the hammer to drop behaviour" it was kinda sad and his "current" owners had no clue, he was a nice dog. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,279 Posts
It's easy to see. A dog that is trained with mostly positive training, and given gentle corrections only when necessary should be happy in its work. It shows in the body language. Some of these dogs will be wagging their tails as they do an obedience routine. I love to see that!

A dog that has constantly been corrected, either with a shock collar or 'yank and crank' will be shut down, almost slinking along, for fear of doing something wrong, and getting zapped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,490 Posts
The middle ground is what I strive for, a dog with good precision and reliability in obedience and a good attitude....

I once used Lou Castles technique basically as it is written out and it worked wonderfully...it did create some suppressed behavior but it was needed, the dog was a livestock killer and although I generally agree with everything Slamdunc says that's one time where I felt that method was warranted and appropriate. The dog gradually decreased his inhibited behavior as he figured out that everything was indeed still allowed except for staring, stalking or killing. For the average dog, average situation, I would never want to use an e collar so much, or create an inhibited dog.

I feel like so much ring obedience can be taught with mostly if not all motivational methods that I have much less tolerance for corrections, especially heavy handed ones, in that venue.

The most correction my personal dog has ever gotten for competition obedience is "leave it" or being reset in a stay he broke.

Dock diving is another thing...he is super charged and so are the other dogs which makes them feed off each other and I think I can see how bite sports need a different level to create reliability because once they get so amped up its a whole different animal. All I have to do is get him onto the dog without him acting a fool...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,234 Posts
Can the issues seen in dogs like the one chip mentioned be a reflection of the methods used or perhaps the wrong method/tools for that particular dog? Ive known dogs who exhibit the same behavoir chip describes with no ecollar training, a neighbors schnauzer does this and has had no training of any kind.

I chose to use an ecollar correcting for disregarding known commands. I've looked into methods Lou, Larry Krohn and others use and have a basic understanding of how it works, but have not seen dogs trained with them that I know of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,595 Posts
The middle ground is what I strive for, a dog with good precision and reliability in obedience and a good attitude....

I once used Lou Castles technique basically as it is written out and it worked wonderfully...it did create some suppressed behavior but it was needed, the dog was a livestock killer and although I generally agree with everything Slamdunc says that's one time where I felt that method was warranted and appropriate. The dog gradually decreased his inhibited behavior as he figured out that everything was indeed still allowed except for staring, stalking or killing. For the average dog, average situation, I would never want to use an e collar so much, or create an inhibited dog.
What I see CG, is you're giving a good example of making Slam's point. Whether or not you followed Sgt. Banned's description of a method or a different technique, inhibition was no big deal. Him being happy was not as important as the avoidance that was needed. He got over it and like you pointed out, you wouldn't want to use it so much that he'd shut down all the time.
 
1 - 20 of 80 Posts
Top