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I attempted to use the "Bonker" technique on my dog tonight. As described by Gary Wilkes and promoted by others...

My dog was being a jerk and nosing the AC vent. He ignored my "leave it" command so out came the trusty bonker. I tossed it at him. It bounced off his head and he turned and looked at me like huh? Then went back to making out with the AC vent for a few moments, afterwards he picked up the bonker and brought it to me trying to play.

Is that how it is supposed to work?
 

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Lol! I think that is about what my guy would do if I tossed a rolled up towel at him. "Oh you want to play!" I threw a pillow at him once when he was bugging his sister and he was unfazed. Just like oh cool, and then I had to take it away because he thought it was a toy...
 

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A long time ago I'd probably make a comment along the lines of "You throw like a girl" I'm a lot more enlightened now, so I'll just point out the contradiction of toss vs bonk. If you're tossin, it ain't bonkin.
I suppose some one like Nolan Ryan could toss a rolled up towel hard enough to make it work.

It's a technique that might work with soft, skittish, nervous dogs. A GSD with a good temperament would just use it as a toy and think it was a game.

Not a technique that I would use or rely on. We train narcotics detection dogs by throwing a rolled up towel to them, hitting directly above their head as a reward. We hit the source of the odor pretty hard and throw the towel really fast to reward. The idea is to simulate the towel exploding from the aid as the dog locks up and puts it's nose to source. Occasionally, a dog gets "bonked" and they find it to be a fun part of the game. That is the only time I would throw a rolled up towel at a dog. As a reward, not a punishment or to startle.
 

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This goes back to William Koehler's much maligned book on training guard dogs, only he used a choke chain, because the noise would startle the dog. And I suppose if you tossed a choke chain hard enough, you COULD make it hurt, but that wasn't the idea. It was supposed to be a distraction, not a punishment.
 

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Bonkers... there is no magic there. Also, I don't want my dogs skittish of thrown objects, for reasons Jim described when giving rewards.

There is more effective training and the video demos of the bonker being used make me a bit sick. Poor timing, dog doesn't "get" it, and the trainer himself comes across as both arrogant to the people in the seminar and untrustworthy to the dog.

I'd like to see him try to "bonk" a certain one of my dogs to stop a behavior... that would be fun.

There are better ways to train a dog than with a bonker, and personally I don't like much of what I've seen of Gary Wilkes' training.
 

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I attempted to use the "Bonker" technique on my dog tonight. As described by Gary Wilkes and promoted by others...

My dog was being a jerk and nosing the AC vent. He ignored my "leave it" command so out came the trusty bonker. I tossed it at him. It bounced off his head and he turned and looked at me like huh? Then went back to making out with the AC vent for a few moments, afterwards he picked up the bonker and brought it to me trying to play.

Is that how it is supposed to work?
Pm sent ;)
 

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You know those shake cans that some people think are a great tool for disciplining your dog? :rolleyes2:

Well, I had one of those for temperament testing Star as a pup, when I went to pick her up from the breeder. She wanted to play with it... :laugh2:

I knew right then I was picking the right pup!

What really sealed the deal was afterwards when she climbed into my lap, and curled up... :puppy:
 

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I'm so glad I found this thread. I came here looking for answers after someone posted a Gary Wilkes video on a GSD Facebook page I'm part of.

The chat errupted in curses about how much of an idiot the guy is and how wrong his stuff is, and when I asked what to look for (because the dog didn't really seem too bothered) I got told to stop hijacking someone else's thread. I'm not an advocate of positive punishment, just a new dog owner looking to educate myself beyond a knee-jerk emotional response of "it makes me sad when I hurt my dog" - that reason makes little sense to me as I was raised with corporal punishment.

I decided to leave the group - I didn't like the tendency toward emotional decision making without critical discussion.

Rant over.

I'm glad I came here where it seems cooler heads are pointing out the flaws without resorting to name calling - I myself have found that whenever I (in moments I am not proud of) have had to get physical with Chuck (for instance when he's hanging off my leg) he just thinks I'm joining in with the game.

Am I correct in thinking that this is one of the major flaws of positive punishment in the hands of an amateur?

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

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LMAO!! When I hear positive punishment my mind goes to fifty shades of Grey. Not dog training.
Per the bonker technique. All of my dogs would think it was a game. Which they would associate with the unwanted behavior. Oh I stick my face in the vent I get a cool new chew toy.
 
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