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Ok.... am wondering, does anyone have opinions on which DVD is better for teaching obedience? I am just curious what people thought about the Balabanov and Flinks DVD methods for obedience? How do they compare?

Truth is, I would like to utilize my dog's drive to make the obedience fun and motivational as much as possible. But:
1. I am not into competition/super-precision, but do want a good response.
2. Evrerything I do with this dog is about *calming* his drives rather than nudging them out any higher. It's always about rewarding any calm behavior, any steps he takes towards self control. Since puppyhood, he has earned eye contact, praise, petting-- for any behaviors showing he can relax indoors. This is often opposite of how many devoted dogsport enthusiasts raise their pups (even though they also teach excellent control and do teach focus & calm). My dog is workingline, and yes I do use toy rewards sometimes (or food), and his drives make the toy-reward obedience fun for us.... but the last thing I ever want to create is the "Gonna PLAY? Gonna WORK? Are, we, huh, huh, huh???" drivey-can't-truly-settle-in-the-house-without-anticipating-a-game kinda dog. Are these DVDs suitable for active companion dogs who need to be able to chill indoors? I got lucky, my breeder had two very calm pups in a litter of spitfire dynamos... and I got Grimm, the calm, medium energy male pup. I would like to improve his responses to obedience and using a toy reward makes us both so happy.. but are these DVDs going to create a more restless, always-anticipating-a-game kind of dog indoors?

Which DVD method do you prefer and why? Thanks!
 

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Oh how I wish I get Grimm and Ruby together- they would have a blast. Their personalities sound very similar.

I only have the Flinks DVD. In using it I've noticed- and you'll see on the DVD, that they get "in the zone" when they see the toy or object not when they are just hanging out with you. So when you put that toy away and "work time" or training is over, they will understand it's time to shift gears. Ruby does this already (and we just started working with this DVD). I pull out the 2 handle tug and she turns on waiting to play. I put it away and she's her regular energy level.

Also- there is a technique that Bernhard uses that they show you to calm the dog. It's called "Into my arms". You have the dog come into your arms while you speak to it in a calming voice "that's a good dog, that's nice.." Ed Frawley explains it nicely in the video. It shows you how to pet them CALMLY rather then pat them and get them excited. (Into my arms is a work in progress for Ruby - she's a little rambunctious) This exercise is fantastic for bonding. So you could use this calming technique any time!
 

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IMO, of the two the Balabanov DVDs are far superior to the Leerburg Flinks' ones in every way, from production (filming, editing, etc...) to the info presented. They are much more comprehensive, well organized and easy to follow. And they also cover the basics of dog training theory using classical and operant conditioning, and then show how to implement the theory in practice.

Both are geared toward maximizing a dog's drive and channeling that properly into competitive obedience. But the theories used can work for companion obedience as well. When using drive to train a dog motivationally, whether for companion or competition what you're doing is teaching the dog how to cap, channel and focus his drive into the correct behavior, keeping focus on the handler and remaining responsive to commands even when in a state of high drive or excitement. The only difference between companion and competition is what constitutes the correct behavior and how nit-picky you get about precision.

In terms of making a dog crazy in the house, that really has little to do with what methods are used for obedience sessions. A dog's ability to settle into the house is a factor of it's nerve/temperament, maturity level, and overall clarity and consistency in the management of it's lifestyle. Dogs a very situational. A dog can be gonzo in training and a couch potato at home if that is what he is taught. If a dog is allowed or encouraged to be crazy in the house, it will be, regardless of if it's crazy in training or not.

The thing with dogs who have drive is that the drive is a part of them. They can't just make it go away if it's inconvenient for the owner. They must have an outlet for that drive. If they don't have it, it's going to leak out all over the place whether you want it to or not. Give them an outlet and show them that there is a time and place where crazy behavior is appropriate, and it's much easier for them to settle down when it's not appropriate.

So in that sense, crazy motivational training for toys where the dog is able to get his ya-yas out can help create a calmer dog in the house because he's burned off some of that drive and energy.
 

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Originally Posted By: RubySlippers
Also- there is a technique that Bernhard uses that they show you to calm the dog. It's called "Into my arms". You have the dog come into your arms while you speak to it in a calming voice "that's a good dog, that's nice.." Ed Frawley explains it nicely in the video. It shows you how to pet them CALMLY rather then pat them and get them excited. (Into my arms is a work in progress for Ruby - she's a little rambunctious) This exercise is fantastic for bonding. So you could use this calming technique any time!
This is one of the gems in the Flinks DVD, and one of the few things that is in that DVD that isn't covered in greater/better detail in the Balabanov DVDs. I actually don't remember it being covered at all in the Balabanov DVDs (been a while since I watched them).

The difference between exciting praise/petting and calming praise/petting is a very important thing for handlers to learn. And mastering the techniques and being able to incorporate them into training and every day life is a big step in being able to influence a dog's behavior in different situations.
 

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I have not seen any of the videos so I cannot comment on them but...

Quote:In terms of making a dog crazy in the house, that really has little to do with what methods are used for obedience sessions. A dog's ability to settle into the house is a factor of it's nerve/temperament, maturity level, and overall clarity and consistency in the management of it's lifestyle. Dogs a very situational. A dog can be gonzo in training and a couch potato at home if that is what he is taught. If a dog is allowed or encouraged to be crazy in the house, it will be, regardless of if it's crazy in training or not.

The thing with dogs who have drive is that the drive is a part of them. They can't just make it go away if it's inconvenient for the owner. They must have an outlet for that drive. If they don't have it, it's going to leak out all over the place whether you want it to or not. Give them an outlet and show them that there is a time and place where crazy behavior is appropriate, and it's much easier for them to settle down when it's not appropriate.

So in that sense, crazy motivational training for toys where the dog is able to get his ya-yas out can help create a calmer dog in the house because he's burned off some of that drive and energy.
...very well said. Though my experience is VERY limited (actually laughable to call it experience
) I can tell you this is 110% truth with Flash. At nearly 11 months old he does very well in the house for his age and level of drive. He is perfectly content to bum around the house all day but the moment I ask him if he wants to go play he turns into a little maniac that bounces off the walls and MUST have his toy. Since he has not been worked in protection (only twice up to this point) I was not sure how this would affect him in schutzhund. But the second time he was worked, after many months of not being worked, he was a little nut barking his head off and had no problem being on the puppy sleeve. I was told by a highly respected trainer that he'll "have no problem with the protection".

One thing I have personally done that I think has helped with this (since we do live in a neighborhood and do not have an area at our house we can designate as a training area) is to not play with his "special" toys at home. Never. He never so much as sees those toys while at home. We only play with those toys at parks and training fields. He has toys for around the house and his level of drive towards them is nowhere near his level of drive towards his "special" toys. I think this has really helped him understand that the house is a calm place.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can't use any excited praise for Grimm-- not ever. He does not react well to that at all. He feeds off of it and his own energy level escalates wildly. I praise him with "Feeeeeiiiiiiiiinnnn...." (Fine in German), in a cheerful but drawn-out, sliding, sooooothing tone. I use sound to stroke him gently, soothingly, if that makes any sense. LOTS of German people who work with dogs do this. The dogs just melt-- it's a sound that truly gets a positive reaction without the dog feeding on wild energy.


But, I am interested in the into-my-arms idea, too!
 

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If you get the Balabanov ones you can look at Ivan. Obedience? What's that?
 

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Originally Posted By: Chris Wild
Originally Posted By: RubySlippers
Also- there is a technique that Bernhard uses that they show you to calm the dog. It's called "Into my arms". You have the dog come into your arms while you speak to it in a calming voice "that's a good dog, that's nice.." Ed Frawley explains it nicely in the video. It shows you how to pet them CALMLY rather then pat them and get them excited. (Into my arms is a work in progress for Ruby - she's a little rambunctious) This exercise is fantastic for bonding. So you could use this calming technique any time!
This is one of the gems in the Flinks DVD, and one of the few things that is in that DVD that isn't covered in greater/better detail in the Balabanov DVDs. I actually don't remember it being covered at all in the Balabanov DVDs (been a while since I watched them).

The difference between exciting praise/petting and calming praise/petting is a very important thing for handlers to learn. And mastering the techniques and being able to incorporate them into training and every day life is a big step in being able to influence a dog's behavior in different situations.


That's not in the Balabanov DVDs.

I really like those DVDs, but I learned that Max won't play tug with me. As soon as I give some real resistance, he lets the tug go. Ironically enough, I can use more of his techniques on my 35-lb mixed breed, but she's already trained ...
 

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This is all important info. I want to encourage focus, build the bond-- but not bring out or heighten the drive that is already there. He LOVES to play/work with me. He has tons of enthusiasm. What I do with Grimm is geared towards 'pet' dog ownership rather than sport, so, I am trying to learn which DVD would be better for my situation with wanting a focused, obedient, but calm housedog.
 

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"I am trying to learn which DVD would be better for my situation with wanting a focused, obedient, but calm housedog."

My suggestion to you would be to stay away from both of these DVD's. These are both geared for the high drive, sport type dog. If you are looking for the easy going type dog you've described then I would go with a local AKC style obedience trainer. Their methods are more static. It will help lower the drive where as these 2 methods will show you how to gain control while keeping the drive high. You have stated this isn't what you want. So neither of these DVD's are going to give you want you are looking for.
 
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