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  1. #1
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    Default Dog training.

    For those with questions on dog training, here is the place.

    Talking about dog training, look at this performance, sorry it is a little long, by a 7 year old in the obedience part of schutzhund.
    Shurtzhund is a specialty dog training discipline not many get very good at, because it is very difficult.
    It is not quite flawless, the dog crowds the handler a little too much and contributes to the crooked sits, but their partnership and skills are amazing in so many ways:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTZmIFdgU2M

    That dumbell seems almost as heavy as the little girl.



  2. #2
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    Jun. 21, 2003
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    That is just....WOW!
    "Marty, Quarter Horse Extraordinaire, Most Pleasant Packer, Companion To The End. May his suffering be little, his passing be easy and may we find each other again, drawn by love and kindred spirit."



  3. #3
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    I've a question that's not so much training, but behavior-related.

    We adopted Simon, our Aussie cattledog cross, when he was one; he's now six. He was born in rescue, adopted out, then returned after three months. We think he was returned because he's just a very reticent dog.

    So, with what we knew of him when we adopted him, I wish we'd thought to ask about his birth order or if he was the "runt", the bottom rung on the litter ladder.

    He's well-behaved, if a tad stubborn. (He'd really rather not have to come to you to get his treat; could you please bring it to him in bed? LOL). Housebroken when we got him, learns quickly. Walks nicely on the leash. (I'm not one who is insistent that a dog heel for every step of the walk, as long as they do not yank and pull and they pay attention to where I am going).

    He is quite spooky - I've seen him shy at the sound of his own urine striking a pile of leaves! And he does not "give" himself to you readily. He "loves" us, wags and dances when we return after being out, and comes to be loved on. Very snuggly and loving in bed. But rarely will he make eye contact. He has not an aggressive bone in his body - not even fear aggression. He totally panicked at the vet during a routine blood draw and never even growled - just squealed and squirmed.

    He does have a "brother", same age, adopted three months after Simon, who loves everyone and is bothered by nothing. The two are VERY bonded.

    I guess, after this long intro, what I am trying to ask is this: what sort of training, modification, if any, benefits a dog like this? I just feel like it can't be a lot of fun for him to be constantly on guard and wary of the unfamiliar. We love him to pieces and aren't looking to change his personality - we knew he was a shy guy when we adopted him.

    But I just have this nagging feeling that there is something I could do (besides quitting my job and staying home all the time) to make him feel a little more SECURE.

    Am I making too much over it? He has no OCD-type behaviors at all. . .



  4. #4
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    Jun. 21, 2003
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    I guess first thing I need to ask is what is your reaction to him when he spooks? Do you jump? Do you soothe him? Do you tell him to suck it up & put his big boy pants on?
    "Marty, Quarter Horse Extraordinaire, Most Pleasant Packer, Companion To The End. May his suffering be little, his passing be easy and may we find each other again, drawn by love and kindred spirit."



  5. #5
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    Jul. 29, 2006
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    Bluey- you gave me advice on choosing a new dog a few years ago and she is AWESOME. We chose the dopey lab mix and she is great and is doing really well with our baby.

    There is one thing though- she has started to bark more in the yard. She is an indoor dog- but we let her out in the yard. She used to come to the door and bark once when she wanted in and it was great. Then one bark turned into two or three and now she is barking a lot. If I let her out at 6am and run to the bathroom she will bark- which nobody has complained about, but is not good neighborly behavior. Any tips on dealing with this? I'd like to let her hang out outside since she seems to like it, but I can't stand around waiting for her to decided to come in.

    ETA- to keep her from barking since it starts as soon as she decides she wants to come in. She has an indoor area (screen porch) and water outside and we don't leave her for long periods, but it would be nice if she didn't go on a barking tirade every time she wanted to come in.

    Also, any tips for keeping her from getting excited when strangers come over? She is really well trained since we got her from a prison training program, so she knows down stay etc, which we make her do, but when she gets a chance to approach the new person she is just a wiggling mess.

    Thanks!



  6. #6
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    I make a point of NOT reacting to Simon's spooks and anxious behavior - same with my husband. We don't deliberately put him in stressful situations, though, and probably do make some extra effort to shield him from stuff we think might scare him.

    We sort of thought when we got Lance (the brother dog) that possibly Simon might take a cue or two from Lance. I mean, Simon is trying hard to get away from that lawn-n-leaf bag on the curb (he's seen hundreds of them at this point in life but is still convinced the boogeyman lives in them) that Lance is nanchalantly peeing on.

    Is that too much to expect from a dog - that they'd pick up on behavior "modeled" by another dog?

    Oddly, Simon is "alpha" of the two of them, I think by virtue of having lived here longer. It's very subtle, though. You have to know them to pick up on that.



  7. #7
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    Mar. 5, 2007
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    East Bay, CA
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    Default wow!

    Pretty amazing .. I had to chuckle though when the dog sat in front of her.. he was almost as tall as she!
    I know a very tiny bit about obedience training and wonder if the height difference contributes to the crowding? It seemed like he was really trying to look at her and ended up crowding her.
    Either way, an amazing show. Thanks for sharing.



  8. #8
    Bluey is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    We see many wallflower and overreactive dogs come to our basic classes that after a few classes come out of their shells, the world starts to make more sense to them once they know thru what is taught on the classes to listen better and work with their people in all kinds of environment, called "proofing".

    I think that those kinds of dogs especially are the ones I would train easy but consistently and keep training thru all their lives, because they thrive with that routine that keeps reinforcing that they can expect life to be predictable and that they can handle it.

    Obedience is good, agility is a blast for those dogs, once they gain confidence on the obstacles.

    Unless a dog is registered or you know the parents, you can't be very sure of what all is in the cross of dog you have.
    Some times, there can be more differences in temperament between two dogs of the same breed than between breeds.
    As a breed, some aussies tend to be a little spooky, but ACDs rarely are, other than some trauma caused by the enviromnent.
    Both of those breeds are known for tending to be more on the aggressive side, so if your dog is that mix, you are lucky there to have a sensible, if a little vaccilant dog.



  9. #9
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    Jun. 21, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Martini View Post
    Bluey- you gave me advice on choosing a new dog a few years ago and she is AWESOME. We chose the dopey lab mix and she is great and is doing really well with our baby.

    There is one thing though- she has started to bark more in the yard. She is an indoor dog- but we let her out in the yard. She used to come to the door and bark once when she wanted in and it was great. Then one bark turned into two or three and now she is barking a lot. If I let her out at 6am and run to the bathroom she will bark- which nobody has complained about, but is not good neighborly behavior. Any tips on dealing with this? I'd like to let her hang out outside since she seems to like it, but I can't stand around waiting for her to decided to come in.

    ETA- to keep her from barking since it starts as soon as she decides she wants to come in. She has an indoor area (screen porch) and water outside and we don't leave her for long periods, but it would be nice if she didn't go on a barking tirade every time she wanted to come in.

    Also, any tips for keeping her from getting excited when strangers come over? She is really well trained since we got her from a prison training program, so she knows down stay etc, which we make her do, but when she gets a chance to approach the new person she is just a wiggling mess.

    Thanks!

    She trained you to let her in when she barked. Give her a different que to let you know she wants in. Hang a bell on the door? Teach her to scratch at the door?
    "Marty, Quarter Horse Extraordinaire, Most Pleasant Packer, Companion To The End. May his suffering be little, his passing be easy and may we find each other again, drawn by love and kindred spirit."



  10. #10
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    Nov. 29, 2006
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    "He's well-behaved, if a tad stubborn." I think you just described ACD's They are smart and obedient, but they do get "ideas" about how things should be

    He is quite spooky - I've seen him shy at the sound of his own urine striking a pile of leaves! And he does not "give" himself to you readily. I think the spookiness is an Aussie trait. Most of the ACD's I've known are gutsy gutsy gutsy. But the not "giving himself" is, I think I combination of the two. Most of the Aussie's I've known are not particularly dedicated to any person. They like everyone, sure, but not in a super obvious way.

    I wouldn't stress too much. Sounds like he has a super life, and a good doggie friend, as well as a great family. He may continue to come out of his shell as he grows up. Also, some one on one time might help this guy- sometimes dogs bond more strongly with their dog friends, so some training/playing time with just you might make him be more attentive to you.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.I.F. View Post
    She trained you to let her in when she barked. Give her a different que to let you know she wants in. Hang a bell on the door? Teach her to scratch at the door?
    I understand, and I was good with her barking once and waiting patiently which she did for like 6 months. I don't want her scratching at a door. Where did I go wrong that made her go from barking once to a barking tirade? It was really nice to know when she wanted to come in - so I could surf COTH or what not and she would let me know when she was done having zoomies in the yard or whatever and I could let her in. It worked great with DH- who had on occasion left our old dog out at night when he went to bed last- this one would bark, so you could not forget her. I thought it was exceedingly polite for her to bark once to ask to please come in. It's no longer polite though and I have no idea how to change it.



  12. #12
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    "She used to come to the door and bark once when she wanted in and it was great. Then one bark turned into two or three and now she is barking a lot. "
    My Libby does the same thing. My solution is to do what I would do if someone knocked on the door and I couldn't answer immediately: yell to let her know I'll be there in a minute. So, when she barks I just say "OK Libby, Hang on!". She usually will just quit (at least if I get to her soon, more than 5 mins, and I get a reminder!) In the beginning I did have to step out, tell her to "HUSH" and then wait inside for a moment.
    This is a somewhat clumsy method/explanation. I am lucky with this dog that she has had a lot of training, and therefore "infers" things very quickly and easily...



  13. #13
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    Mara wrote:
    I guess, after this long intro, what I am trying to ask is this: what sort of training, modification, if any, benefits a dog like this?

    have you done any clicker training with him? If not try it. The clicker adds a tremendous sense of power to most dogs.

    In addition, I think I'd play "touch the goblin" with him. If he looks and moves toward it click and treat. Ignore the other behaviors for right now. When he no longer spooks at the bags, then move on to other spooky things/places.



  14. #14
    Bluey is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    On dogs that bark to be let in, could you maybe install a dog door to a safe room, where she could come and go on her own?
    That is the lazy way, but works great for most dogs and owners.

    You could first go out with the dog and come in with the dog, so she is not out there alone until she decides to start barking to come in.
    Or you can her out alone, but spend some time retraining your dog not to bark by standing there while it barks and when it quits barking for a second, open the door and praise the dog.
    Don't reinforce that barking will get you to open the door by doing just that.

    Dogs jump on people because they get excited about meeting them and have not learned self control and boundaries yet.
    Of course a lab or golden would, that is who they are, full contact dogs that love people.

    I have friends with goldens, that have won many top obedience and agility titles, that still have to be sure they have control of their dogs before visitors come in.
    It is very hard for those dogs to supress their glee at meeting people.
    You can see the poor dogs wiggling all over wanting to come over to say hi!.
    Friends with other breeds of dogs, a warning look or word keeps their dogs back.

    Dog owners want their dogs to like people, just without bowling them over.

    If you train your dog very well to mind what you ask of it, it should translate to also listen to you when someone comes over.
    You can teach them "place" when visitors come, you can teach them to sit to greet visitors, once you have them working for you where there is less distractions.
    Before you get them trained that well, preventing is best, put the dog up, or on a leash you can keep it under control.

    With those over the top excitable dogs when people come around, it is harder than with dogs of breeds that are more reserved, so take your time and understand it is hard for your dog to contain it's exhuberance even when well trained.
    Sorry, I have not been training for a while now, had other come up and seem to be a little fuzzy about all you can do.



  15. #15
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    Jul. 3, 2010
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    Any ideas on this scenario. I'm still very upset and angry at my SIL over it and plenty of other things. My SIL has ten cats and six dogs one of them is a 8 week old puppy that she just got and one dog is with puppy. She also runs an illegal doggie day care so she frequently has 12 dogs at her home. One of her Seba Enus that she herself bred attacked her latest puppy and my SIL decided that the Sheba was getting agressive and took it right to the vet and euthanized it. I swear every time she puts a dog to sleep I'm shocked at how fast she puts it to sleep, but, but that is just ancillary information. I believe she had many options to try before she put her dog to sleep since she tried nothing.....any thoughts or is this what a committed breeder/owner would do as she claims she is.



  16. #16
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    My mom was is actually the youngest person to have ever trained a Schutzhund III dog. She was 15 (not sure if anyone has bested that yet?). She saved up and bought her first Shepard at a very young age and just became crazy about the training. She did it for close to 25 years and trained many dogs to their III titles. And I spent alot of years when I was young at the "dog club" lol (until our obsession with horses left no room for her dog training).

    It's a pretty cool sport though and takes a very specific type of dog.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by threedogpack View Post
    Mara wrote:
    I guess, after this long intro, what I am trying to ask is this: what sort of training, modification, if any, benefits a dog like this?

    have you done any clicker training with him? If not try it. The clicker adds a tremendous sense of power to most dogs.

    In addition, I think I'd play "touch the goblin" with him. If he looks and moves toward it click and treat. Ignore the other behaviors for right now. When he no longer spooks at the bags, then move on to other spooky things/places.

    I really haven't thought too much about that, but it does sound like there's some real potential there! (Of course, he'd have to get used to the sound of the clicker and learn to not be scared of THAT!)



  18. #18
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    If the clicker noise is too loud, you have lots of options Try clicking a ball point pen, putting the clicker in your pocket or wearing a glove so it's muffled, or (my preference) use a "tongue click" that way you don't have to fumble with a clicker!



  19. #19
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    if the clicker is too loud, put some adhesive cloth tape on the metal tongue. That will muffle it.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mara View Post
    I make a point of NOT reacting to Simon's spooks and anxious behavior - same with my husband.
    I make a point of not reacting to my husbands spooks and anxious behavior as well. He's really coming out of his shell!



    I'm not a huge proponent of clicker training but it really is a great tool for anxious dogs. Whomever suggested "touch the goblin" is right on- any sort of confidence building game. "Find the treat" (or toy) also works really well as a confidence builder. Once you have basic clicker programming in, games like this, which require some steeled nerves and independent decision making, can bring a shy dog out of their shell relatively quickly. It's a lot of fun to see a skittish pup get that "LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!" smile on their faces, happy wagging tails and proud of themselves.

    As far as him being afraid of the clicker- I've worked with a couple of serious nervous nellies and they all got over it pretty quickly, but clicker training doesn't necessarily require a clicker. You can use a click pen, a small beep from something electronic, even a consistent sound YOU make (the downfall there being you have to be able to do it reliably every time- try to stick to an artificial aid if this is your first time). Deaf dogs can be "clicker trained" with a visual marker. The training principles remain the same regardless of the marker used.
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