German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, We are not returning to our trainer. He is a nice guy, and has done nothing wrong, but he just is not working for Genali and I.

He does positive reinforcement only and while I believe that is great for some dogs, it is not great for Genali. In the past month, she has regressed to becoming an incorrigible brat. Trainer has told me to become a human "pez dispenser" with the treats, and now Genali will NOT do anything unless she is positive that she is going to get a treat. Her recall is GONE, she will not sit for me, and the landsharking has escalated to the point of pain. He wanted me to redirect her when she bit by getting a toy and playing with the toy with her so she would bite the toy and not me. So, now the brat bites me when she wants to play. I talked to the trainer and he said to stick with what we are doing, but I cannot have her acting like this around my grandchild.

Trainer also told me that I was never to say "NO" to Genali but was always to redirect behavior with a toy. That is not working at all. Genali is a great dog, intelligent with a high will-to-please, but she needs strong boundaries. Without those boundaries, she is miserable to be around.

Trainer also told me that I was not to play tug, fetch, or hide and seek with her. Those are her favorite games! He wants me to play a game where I throw a treat and have her run after it, then I am to throw another treat before she gets back to me. SO, now, she runs around expecting me to throw treats so she can chase them. We've been working on focus, but her focus is SPOT ON. She is too demanding, and that needs to come under control. Trainer says to always provide treats, but being so treat heavy with her is causing problems. I will NOT allow Genali to order treats at will.

I wanted to do IPO to be able to spend more time with my dog and for her and I to enjoy each other more. But we are both frustrated because we can't play the games that we love. I can't enjoy my dog because her behavior is going backwards so fast.

I don't know if we are completely done with IPO, perhaps I can find a more balanced training method with another trainer. Right now, I am going to go play fetch with my girl, and then we are going to the woods to play hide and seek.

IF any of you know of any trainers near Iredell County NC that may work for us, please let me know! :smile2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,796 Posts
Please PM me the name of that trainer and I'll look at some of my contacts to see who might be a good fit.

fyi....be prepared to drive to the trainer you like. I drive 3 hours each way for my trainers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CometDog

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
I feel you with positive reinforcement. With Angel my very soft golden she only works with positive reinforcement if you are too hard she will shut down, if she knows you are getting frustrated she will shut down. With Luna she isnt soft, she works with both positive and heavy hand, "leave it" is a perfect example. Angel 1 medium tap on the nose with a stern leave it and she will not even look at it, with Luna I did 3 medium to hard taps and she thought it was play time, Angel look at her then me and walked to her crate like nope I'm not being apart of this mess. I know german shepherds are famous for being a harder breed but Luna gets me so mad sometimes that I tell my wife I feel like screaming sometimes. I will say this though when she is in training mode she is in the zone and she means business but when she is in the screw you mode she will make you think about how comfortable a pair of solid black german shepherd sock would feel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,455 Posts
OP, go back to what works and what you both enjoy. Good trainers are flexible in the methods they use. The "soft approach" worked well with my Whippets but I didn't use treats after they understood the commands. One of them was a super sly and elusive one and once in a while I rewarded his recall with a treat to keep his "memory fresh". They also never tried me out to climb the social ladder.
Then came my GSDs .....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,843 Posts
Am I reading that right, that was an IPO trainer?? No, just ...no.

Doesn't even sound like a remotely breed savvy trainer. Positive only for a German Protection breed pup? Again..no, just no. Operant condition with no correction tools like prong or E collar? SURE! But positive only, no negative outcomes type happy gumball treat dispenser stuff? Nope.

Sorry you had a set back, but DON'T chalk it up to that being IPO training. It wasn't. It nearly can't be without tug?

A good club is definitely worth traveling to. I drive 1.5 hours each way which is not horrible, but I would even drive farther. That is how valuable the training has been. I had a brat. Believe me, I know what you mean. I had a PO trainer come in for my extremely fearful pit mix. I did let her "meet" Valor. She said he would benefit from PO, and that she knew of several IPO clubs that were going the direction of PO and zero correction tools or methods. Just PO. Yeah...you don't. You just don't.

Again, sorry..I know how excited you were to start going this direction. Keep looking, when you find the right place things will click quickly. In the meantime go back to step 1 with Genali and do what you were doing in the first place to get her where she was.

Sorry so many edits. My fingers are fat and swollen from taking the dog for a walk in this heat lol He is fine, I need a drink.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Wow! Thank you all for the support.

This trainer is a really nice guy, so I hate to "leave" him, but I gotta do right by my girl. He does have GSDs, so his methods must work on some of them, lol. But Genali is just hardcore. We will continue to treat, but the "pez dispenser" idea has got to go.

JAX, I sent you that PM. I really appreciate your offer!

Genali and I had a good day. We went to the park for a game of tug, and played in the woods until we got hot. Lotsa fun! She is a little confused right now because there are consequences.....she put her teeth on my arm only to get a firm "NO" followed by a firm nose tap. Lol, she backed up and cocked her head at me like "WHOA MOM! I am the princess remember?". I feel bad that she is confused, but we will work it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,843 Posts
That is good, glad you feel better! Watch that nose tap, maybe someone here can give you a better correction. If you do get into IPO later on, especially.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
That is good, glad you feel better! Watch that nose tap, maybe someone here can give you a better correction. If you do get into IPO later on, especially.
It is a two finger nose tap not a whole hand LOL. When I say hard I am not talking a mashing it is more of a flick. However because i want to get i to IPO i will lay off that. This IPO stuff has been difficult for me. Jumping is a prime example as is biting. I am not squashing them because i do not want to harm her IPO instincts. Biting isnt as bad as it use to be I am chalking it up to puppy, her jumping tho is absolutely without a doubt the MOST annoying thing about her. Normally I would snack her and say no jump, Athena got the hang of it fast but I do not do that with Luna. OP glad to hear, your doing it right by your pup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,796 Posts
I'm just going to step in here. I actually know this trainer and he is very experienced. He has trained with the same prople i have but for decades longer. In my 5 minutes in IPO, I have learned that we don't always see the value in a training method until we have gained the experienced and our brains can process the information to understand where the next step is going. Positive training at one stage does not mean positive only training forever. This person has very balanced methods.

I'm also seeing the most adamant responses from the least experienced people. To that, I'll just say there are a lot of little steps to build a strong foundation so don't be so quick to jump.

I do not tell my dogs No. I issue a correction and leave it at that. I don't correct my puppies for biting. I trade them so they understand what they can bite and what they can't. I would NEVER bop a potential IPO dog in the nose for biting. Thats a good way for your dog to never bite and become overly sensitive to the stick hit as the helpers arm comes down at their face. As far as not playing tug, the trainer may be trying to develop the dogs bite. If there is a shallow grip then there is work thst can quickly become undone by just playing tug.

. I know exactly where this trainer is going with the food game. He's building the send out. It's worth 10 points.

Things aren't always so clear cut.

Having said all that....sometimes you just don't jive with a method. That's fine. But many of the higher level trainers are using 99 % positive training methods. They are all very similar. All of them learning from each other.

I will still look at the others trainers for the OP. This post was more for those jumping on a wagon that they have very limited knowledge of. The more you train, the more you will understand how very much you need to learn.

OP - I will send you a list next week. I have a training seminar I'm organizing this weekend
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,254 Posts
So, I do not know who the trainer is....but if like Jax says he is knowledgeable/balanced etc. (and I have no reason not to believe that), why can't you go back to the trainer and say "hey, this doesn't seem to be working and I am having these problems. What else can we do or where do we go from here." Or even "why shouldn't we play tug or why can't I correct." I know I have done that a ton and my trainer has always worked with me on finding a method that works (especially when he isn't there lol).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
415 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: Genalis_mom

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,689 Posts
The way @ Genalis_mom describes the trainer's methodology sounds an awful lot like a pet store training program.Maybe I'm misunderstanding?If the method and long term goals and results aren't clicking with you and your dog,have a discussion with your trainer first.If it's just not working out it's time to look elsewhere.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CometDog

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
I think building foundations positively is huge. I wish that would’ve been the case for my girl. I think it builds more confidence because the dog is learning and the learning is fun. I think what we have to remember sometimes is that sport dogs aren’t always nice “pet” dogs in their puppyhood. There’s times where we nurture the drive more than we do obedient house behaviour. I’m not saying you can’t have a sport dog with pet manners, but they aren’t as much of a priority at times (or so I’ve learned).

Most of the great trainers I respect do everything pretty much crazy positive from puppyhood and onwards. In fact, one of the most highly regarded obedience trainers in Canada doesn’t even introduce corrections or saying “no” until the dog has done exactly what he wants perfectly over 1000’s of times. And generally that isn’t until the dog is over the age of one. It takes a lot of patience, but I think that’s a good thing. Removing yourself emotionally and learning to be upbeat and positive while training is so important.

Plus, “no” needs to have a meaning, so when you use it, it should have an impact. That might be what your training is trying to work towards. Lots of pet owners use commands repetitively to the point where the command loses its meaning.

It might help to sit down with your trainer, if you really do like him, and ask him to explain where he’s coming from for his training methodologies. And it might be important to discuss whether or not you’re working on developing a sport dog or an obedient pet dog. They aren’t mutually exclusive, but a pushy dog in sport can be desirable. A pushy pet dog is an annoyance.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
415 Posts
It is a two finger nose tap not a whole hand LOL. When I say hard I am not talking a mashing it is more of a flick. However because i want to get i to IPO i will lay off that. This IPO stuff has been difficult for me. Jumping is a prime example as is biting. I am not squashing them because i do not want to harm her IPO instincts. Biting isnt as bad as it use to be I am chalking it up to puppy, her jumping tho is absolutely without a doubt the MOST annoying thing about her. Normally I would snack her and say no jump, Athena got the hang of it fast but I do not do that with Luna. OP glad to hear, your doing it right by your pup.
I’m not gonna try and speak for @CometDog here

But I also don’t like the concept of nose taps as corrections. The amount of force used/pain caused etc isn’t the issue in my mind. The problem as I see it for future protection work is developing inhibitions around the dogs nose being touched. I.e. Getting hit in the nose means “stop” or “chill out”, that’s really not a mental connection you want made.

In fact I intentionally do the opposite and rub my dogs nose/muzzle during tug play. Started with my hand as puppies and working up to pushing/grinding with the ulna when they get older so they learn to completely ignore it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jax08

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
@Jax08

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help. I am so grateful that I am nearly in tears. What you are saying does make sense.

I *think* I may have MY attitude worked out now. maybe. I'll have another session with my trainer and see what he says. I do hope it works out, I do like the guy. Thank you so much, Jax08.

As for the nose....I did not hit my dog. It was a one finger across the nose. I had tried the toy distraction and she would NOT respond, choosing instead to continue to chew on my arm. It was quite painful, she drew blood. A one finger tap across the nose, not hard enough to hurt, just enough pressure to gain her attention. I will reserve such an action for extreme cases, but I do have a 3 year old in the house, so IPO or not, I just can't tolerate such biting.



I'm just going to step in here. I actually know this trainer and he is very experienced. He has trained with the same prople i have but for decades longer. In my 5 minutes in IPO, I have learned that we don't always see the value in a training method until we have gained the experienced and our brains can process the information to understand where the next step is going. Positive training at one stage does not mean positive only training forever. This person has very balanced methods.

I'm also seeing the most adamant responses from the least experienced people. To that, I'll just say there are a lot of little steps to build a strong foundation so don't be so quick to jump.

I do not tell my dogs No. I issue a correction and leave it at that. I don't correct my puppies for biting. I trade them so they understand what they can bite and what they can't. I would NEVER bop a potential IPO dog in the nose for biting. Thats a good way for your dog to never bite and become overly sensitive to the stick hit as the helpers arm comes down at their face. As far as not playing tug, the trainer may be trying to develop the dogs bite. If there is a shallow grip then there is work thst can quickly become undone by just playing tug.

. I know exactly where this trainer is going with the food game. He's building the send out. It's worth 10 points.

Things aren't always so clear cut.

Having said all that....sometimes you just don't jive with a method. That's fine. But many of the higher level trainers are using 99 % positive training methods. They are all very similar. All of them learning from each other.

I will still look at the others trainers for the OP. This post was more for those jumping on a wagon that they have very limited knowledge of. The more you train, the more you will understand how very much you need to learn.

OP - I will send you a list next week. I have a training seminar I'm organizing this weekend
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,796 Posts
Talk to him. :) If you still can't jive with methods, there are 8 other clubs in your state :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,904 Posts
It may help, when you sit down with the trainer, to ask that he explain the reasoning behind the foundation is laying. For example " why am I throwing these treats like this? What is the end goal to doing this?" It will give him opportunity to explain that it sets the foundation for the send away and he can explain the steps you will go through.

Sometimes a trainer doesn't think to explain the reasoning or the end result they are looking for. They have been doing it a long time and to them it's "common sense" they may forget a total newbie has no idea what the end product is going to be.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top