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The Nerd Herder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think there is no second chance to make a first impression. I see a lot of issues that would never come to fruition if proper foundation training was in place.

I do a lot of the same training with 8 week old puppies as 8 year old rescues. Load the marker, engagement, luring, fetch, impulse control, exposure and a load of adventure training.

I don't really care about the history of the dog. The answers are mostly the same regardless of the problems. Relationship, engagement, trust, obedience. Those are the pillars that my training stands upon.

Reps matter. Consistency matters. Not just for the honeymoon phase but for the life of the dog. If they know what to expect, they know how to behave. Fulfillment of natural desires matters. A frustrated dog doesn't learn, doesn't trust, isn't comfortable.

The accomplishments of my dogs have little to do with my skill at training a particular task. Virtually every trainer on this forum is better at precise task training than I am. I'm just a sloppy military guy.

It takes consistency and repetition to achieve compliance under distraction and that starts the very second you meet a dog. I never feel sorry for a dog or worried about how it's going to go. I just go to work and have fun. Yes, every dog is different. Training is adjusted depending on what the dog offers, but the changes are small and the approach is the same.

If you have a puppy or dog that is new to you, strap in and put in the work. Get those reps in and be consistent every second of every day.
 

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Fraserglens Ellie of Carmspack 16/12/2021
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‘Fulfillment of natural desires’, part of my routine with Ellie is an after dinner training session of OB, little tug, little flirt pole.. not crazy long or anything, but something about that flirt pole, it just makes her much more settled, it’s like giving someone on edge a drink for lack of a better comparable, shell settle in for the evening much quicker than if we miss that session.. I assume the flirt pole fills some kind of ‘natural desire’.
 

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The Nerd Herder
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I am boringly consistent with my dogs :ROFLMAO:
Being excitingly consistent takes a lot of work. I manage it occasionally. Usually it's just because we change venues.
 
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Because of where we walk (woods, ravine, creek, off leash) there are fresh smells constantly and they get just as excited for the 4th hike of the day as the first. There are degrees of boring I guess.

Heading to the cottage for 7 days next week and we'll shake it up and be boringly consistent up there:whistle:
 

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The Nerd Herder
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
With changing locations a consistent routine is a good thing.
I think the most important thing is consistent handling. The location, situation, activity and surroundings can all change without issue as long as the handling is consistent. If the dog understands your communication and intent, it takes pressure off them to make decisions.

Things like having different equipment for different activities can build a pattern that the dog understands. A good example is me leaving the camper. First thing in the morning, I'm going to the bath house for a shower. Valor doesn't even get out of bed. I can come and go several times and he doesn't respond to my leaving. If I open the closet where his gear is, he's going out for a break and he's right there by the door. If I turn on the dog music, he knows he's staying so he jumps up on the couch and lays down.

I think recognizing and utilizing these patterns leads to having a dog that always knows what is expected and also knows what to expect.
 

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If you go out to train your dog, have a plan, goals and desired outcome. You could go to the same field at the same time every day for the life of your dog, and this should be the most exciting part of the day. Obedience should be high energy and fun. 10 minutes tops for an adult dog, just a couple of minutes for a puppy. If you are happy and upbeat, put a bounce in your step, loosen up your shoulders you will see a huge difference in your dog. I've had dogs that would bark and whine in the as we drove towards the field. They were going to do obedience and super excited about it. Obedience should be anything but boring for you or your dog. If you think you are boring, then you probably are. Watch how your dog is responding. If your dog is lagging pick up the pace, if your dog is low drive then pick up the excitement. If you are using a ball on a rope, tease the dog and make it miss. If you up your energy level the dog will up their energy level. A dog should be tired after 10 minutes of high energy obedience. I rarely do an obedience routine. I will work on something and break it down into it's fundamental components, like a recall with a sit in front. Teach the sit, teach the recall, then put it together for example. Break your exercises into components and back chain them. IMHO, obedience should be one of the most fun things your dog can do.

Walks are awesome for dogs to be dogs, new locations, new sights, smells and sounds are great.
 

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Fraserglens Ellie of Carmspack 16/12/2021
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If you go out to train your dog, have a plan, goals and desired outcome. You could go to the same field at the same time every day for the life of your dog, and this should be the most exciting part of the day. Obedience should be high energy and fun. 10 minutes tops for an adult dog, just a couple of minutes for a puppy. If you are happy and upbeat, put a bounce in your step, loosen up your shoulders you will see a huge difference in your dog. I've had dogs that would bark and whine in the as we drove towards the field. They were going to do obedience and super excited about it. Obedience should be anything but boring for you or your dog. If you think you are boring, then you probably are. Watch how your dog is responding. If your dog is lagging pick up the pace, if your dog is low drive then pick up the excitement. If you are using a ball on a rope, tease the dog and make it miss. If you up your energy level the dog will up their energy level. A dog should be tired after 10 minutes of high energy obedience. I rarely do an obedience routine. I will work on something and break it down into it's fundamental components, like a recall with a sit in front. Teach the sit, teach the recall, then put it together for example. Break your exercises into components and back chain them. IMHO, obedience should be one of the most fun things your dog can do.

Walks are awesome for dogs to be dogs, new locations, new sights, smells and sounds are great.
Yes to all this. I try to start every OB by tossing treats one way when they look up toss another the other way, then get them to “touch” my fist in the air it seems to get them all excited and engaged, rather than go right into the stuff I wanna work on.
 

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I’m working on having that bounce in my step every time. Also working on knowing when to stop the session, and when to go to planB when the plan A is just not going well. It’s harder than it sounds.

I have a training Journal now, it makes things easier for me to analyze the completed session and restructure or refocus.
 
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