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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was just sitting outside with my neighbors and we were talking about the dogs and how we get them exercised.

My neighbors are the kind of people that think it's enough for a shepherd to chase the ball for hours and that is how they get them exhausted. I believe that it takes more to have a happy German Shepherd.

So one of the girls was like "You know, I'm sorry" she was looking at me "but chasing a ball is better than any clicker."

Clearly, we have different believes and I just sticked it and didn't say anything because I know it's not going to change anything.

I told them that Zenzy was barking so much at the dog club (while I was training Yukon) that she was a little wobbly afterwards and she was like "Well, get a anti-bark collar, then." and I was like "Are you serious? I can't do that!" and she was like "Why? It's non of their business..."

She seems to have no clue what it'd be like to put one of those collars around her neck and go to the club. She'd do that one time and be banned from the premises for a lifetime! Plus I am happy, we've actually made some process. The last time she was tied up at the fence she literally hung and nearly killed herself and if I ever want to pass the German BH (companion dog) she needs to learn to be tied up and not freak out when I walk away from her, it's part of the test!

You know, we all have Shepherds but it's amazing how opinions on how to train, exercise and feed them can differ. I was told by one of the girls that Dog Chow is one of the best foods on the markets.

I've tried to tell them that it's not the best food but she was like "Yes, it is. They've had so many recalls that they had to do something about it and it is one of the best foods out there. I feed it all the time."

I've given up to try to bring them to the club, they are not interested and clearly they have no idea what it is like to have a die-hard working line Shepherd that WANTS to work and where it is NOT enough to just chase after a ball.

****, I know how creative my dogs become when they don't get worked at least every second day.

You want to compare two hours of ballchasing to four hours of concentrated training?

If she thinks that having them chase the ball is better than clicker training... that shows me how much she knows about the clicker... absolutely nothing!
She rather trains the dog with the e-collar (she doesn't need it) walks her with the prong (which in my book she doesn't need either!) and yells at the dog when it's way too late and the dog wouldn't even remember, sticks the nose in the pee and I tried telling her that it is the wrong way. I tried telling her that her dog doesn't even remember when she's yelling at her. But oh well... I guess I do my thing, they do their thing... I've tried but 7.5 km is too far for them to go to the club and maybe it's better that way.

I love them, but when it comes up to the dogs our opinions go opposite ways.

Do you have friends like that? Friends that you love but that you stopped talking to about the dogs because it doesn't make any difference because they won't listen anyway?



 

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I was just sitting outside with my neighbors and we were talking about the dogs and how we get them exercised.

My neighbors are the kind of people that think it's enough for a shepherd to chase the ball for hours and that is how they get them exhausted. I believe that it takes more to have a happy German Shepherd.

So one of the girls was like "You know, I'm sorry" she was looking at me "but chasing a ball is better than any clicker."
I'm unclear as to why it's one or the other. The ball and the clicker both serve a purpose. The ball is to exhaust them (and my dog is ball OBSESSED!!! Seriously, he lives and dies by the ball) and the clicker is to train them so they have manners and I can live with them...lol. They both are used for different means. It shouldn't be one or the other.

All dogs are different. My dog has other experiences (we swim, jog, hike, train) but he's perfectly content to chase a ball until his legs fall off. He's been like that since he was 9 weeks old. My other dogs had other needs. That doesn't mean it's all I do with him but that's all HE wants to do.:D Not all German Shepherds have the desire to work non stop. Some are more mellow and laid back. Some act like they are on crack if they don't have a job. It's about the dog's individual temperament, IMO. Now, when I play ball with him, I play two-ball but I also interject a sit, stay, down as I'm throwing it for him. There are times I throw the ball and have him in a down-stay. I don't allow him to get the ball until I give the release command. So I guess I'm training while throwing the ball. But given that I have a ball-obsessed dog, it's his passion. I just try to keep it to a managable level. If I walk around the dog park with a ball in my hand, he stares a hole in hand until I throw it. He ignores other people, dogs, whatever. But this obsession made training him a piece of cake.:wub:

But I do understand the gist of what you're saying. I have relatives who think Kibble and Bits is a good dog food. I have friends who think it's a good idea to get two puppies at a time so they can play with each other. I have relatives who think a certain breed is what they want even though that breed has characteristics that aren't condusive to that person's life style.

It's tough listening to people who aren't as familiar with certain aspects of raising/feeding/training dogs and haven't done the research.
 

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What ticked me off was the tone in her voice when she said that thing about the clicker. She was clearly making fun of me and it ticked me off. I put a lot of work into my dogs. I didn't get them as puppies, they weren't socialized, they didn't know ANYTHING and one of them was abused and she is making fun of me?

One of them isn't all that dog friendly anymore and I have to live with that. So they look at my like I don't know anything about dogs.

Zenzy isn't an easy dog either and I bet you they could NOT handle her. So standing there, giving me that smile and look when I come around the corner isn't helping me. She's definitely not an easy dog and I am pretty darn sure that there are plenty of people on here that know how hard it can be to train a four year old, completely raw, dog aggressive dog that is dominant and wants to control YOU at all times.

I am so frustrated at times because sometimes I have the feeling that I don't get any further with Zenzy and than they stand there and give me
"The" look.

Maybe I am just reading something into it that isn't there but I heard the tone in her voice and right now that's the last thing I need.
What I need from my friends is support and not any dumb comments with a tone that shows me how much the thinks about my work.

Even Yukon was easier to rehabilitate from his abuse than training Zenzy and she never got abused. Maybe she is too much for me to handle. Maybe I have to admit that she is simply too much for me. Or maybe it is too much stress for her to be in here with the puppy. The atmosphere isn't always good and I know one day, once Indra got stronger and can actually challenge her for real it's going to be a fight over life and death. Zenzy doesn't joke around. She HATES Indra. So far I have everything under control, but for how long?

How long can I control the situation without losing control? And that is what they were referring too. They know that Zenzy is dog aggressive and they were referring to the fact that I go and train them but it doesn't change her aggression and that their dogs are not dog aggressive and that all they do is just having them chase a ball...
 

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I don't think it was a personal attack on your training methods, but they just believe that they are right. My parents think that it's awful that my dogs are crated when I'm away from home and not running loose in the yard (they live on 100 acres in the country, I live on .2 acres in the suburbs...). They think I'm nuts to feed good kibble while they've fed Kibbles and Bits for years with "no problems" (even though their dog is on thyroid meds, and anti anxiety meds). Their dog lives outside, unless it's super cold out (they live way up north), and then he can home in the garage, but never the house. And my dogs are the ones that they feel bad for, ha. I've even sent them information from dogfoodanalysis about the food they were feeding v. the one I feed and they got really mad and didn't talk to me for a few days. Seriously, some people are stubborn.

A lot of people down here are always telling me that I'm "overtraining" and that they don't like to train their dogs too much because it "ruins" them. They act like I'm killing my dog's spirit by having a decent recall. Yeah, well, my dogs act like happy buffoons and can still have manners. I haven't "ruined" them by not allowing them to run around the neighborhood whenever they feel like it.

The funny thing is that those same people will see us in Petsmart, and they always remark at how nicely behaved the dog is - "Wow, that dog is smart! Look at how well behaved he (they never think Minnie is a she) is! You're so lucky to have such a calm dog." Never mind my explanation that we just played a good 20 minutes of fetch and have spent hours and hours of training to get her to behave like that! :rolleyes2:
 

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My BF's mom is like this. We CAN NOT talk about dogs. She thinks that we made a big mistake making Nellie and Ace "like humans". She says dogs are meant to be outside in a dog house. Not inside sleeping in my bed. Guess she will never catch on.
 

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My neighbors are the kind of people that think it's enough for a shepherd to chase the ball for hours and that is how they get them exhausted. I believe that it takes more to have a happy German Shepherd.

So one of the girls was like "You know, I'm sorry" she was looking at me "but chasing a ball is better than any clicker."
Hey kid...what if you ask the dog to sit, he sits, and you click and throw the ball? (Sigh)

Mrs.K, you are to be commended for making the journey through life with your dogs. Successfully dealing with a dog that is dog aggressive is never easy, I believe. It made me a better trainer, but I sure wouldn't wish the experience on anyone. Hunther is my second "real" GSD; if he'd been my first, I'd probably have had to return him to the breeder. Britta (my first) was a lot more laid back, and training her was still hard.

An aside - did anyone really know what they were getting into, with one of these high-drive monsters? I now know I only thought I did. :D

I have given up on explaining how and why I train the way I do, unless somebody asks me a specific question.
 

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I just tried to train with a clicker and Onyx hates it! He does much better with treats and his favorite pull toy. So I got rid of that clicker.
 

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They obviously don't know much about clicker training, because chasing a ball can be part of clicker training! If the ball is a reward the dog enjoys, you can use it as the reward when you click. It doesn't always have to be click-and-treat.

I've never heard of a dog who *hated* the clicker before. My Golden was scared of it, but once I muffled the sound some and did a little classical conditioning she learned that it was something good and not scaru.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
They obviously don't know much about clicker training, because chasing a ball can be part of clicker training! If the ball is a reward the dog enjoys, you can use it as the reward when you click. It doesn't always have to be click-and-treat.

I've never heard of a dog who *hated* the clicker before. My Golden was scared of it, but once I muffled the sound some and did a little classical conditioning she learned that it was something good and not scaru.
I know. I use the ball as a reward for Zenzy. ;)
 

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The different opinions on training methods out there are a huge pain... I definitely agree. I've vowed to never 100% ascribe to any one single training method - ever.

I love to watch dog training TV shows and research training, etc. etc. but it's a nightmare. I love Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer) and his philosophies are sound, but a lot of the stuff that he does are things that most dog owners should never attempt on their own. I've watched Victoria Stillwell (It's Me Or The Dog) and I like the idea of positive reinforcement, but don't like the idea that you should never use things like a leash jerk as a punishment and that clicker training is the way to go with every single dog. I started taking an obedience class at PetSmart (dropped out - it was a joke) and the "trainer" said to pet and/or massage your dog if they get anxious in class; I thought petting = affection/reward while massage = inducing relaxation? *scratches head*

And I feel those of you who get into disagreements on general doggy lifestyle. My family had to move in with my mother as a temporary living situation until we make our cross-country move, and she doesn't allow dogs in the house - never has, and my dogs growing up had always been outdoor dogs. So our poor Tazer is crated in the basement at night and tied up at the edge of the yard during the day. I make sure to give him lots of loving and spend time with him when I feed him twice a day, I take him for walks, we do some obedience work, and if the weather is nice, we let him loose to play fetch. However, my mom keeps dropping hints that she "feels sorry for the dog" and I'm waiting for her to say that we should get rid of him, and her sister/my aunt comes over and takes food and water out to him and baby talks him because she also "feels sorry for him." Yeah, the situation sucks, but 1) it's only temporary 2) how come they feel sorry for Tazer but it never fazed them when we had our other dogs tied up outside for life? and 3) it's not like I don't take care of him or spend time with him. Once we get moved and things settle down, we'll have our house dog again. I don't want to give up a family member just because life won't be perfect for a couple months, sheesh.

People just need to accept that there are different things that work for different people and different dogs, and that we all have to be open-minded about the whole thing. Sure, a ball might work better than a clicker for their dogs but it is wrong for them to say that a ball is better than a clicker, period. It's also wrong to think the other way around, too. Different strokes and all that.

*sigh*
 

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I enjoyed using the clicker for teaching things...never used it to teach not to bark I taught them to bark and then never really taught them not to bark. We also used the ball and food. When I have been with people who laughed about using the clicker~I think they have just been worried that other people would laugh at them for using it~ I have also used a prong and an e-collar too~My favourite has been the ball though it just makes training fun
 
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