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by apple on 11 May 2020 - 22:05

Temperament is definitely a factor and so is reading your dog to know what motivates the dog and how much compulsion he can handle. I am a big believer of positive foundation training, but it has to be done correctly and I have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of training is very faulty. The other issue is what is your motivation. Would you just like to see improvement or do you plan to compete because that makes a big difference in your expectations. I would still consider going back to food. The food should be high value. I like to use cooked(rare) boneless chicken thighs cut in very small pieces with a nail apron so that you don’t have to fumble with the food and can provide continuous einforcement with accurate timing. Again, you need to teach the dog to push up into your hand for the food and keep the food presentation in an awkward way behind the outseam of your pants. It is always about a skill set. Also, I like to teach a dog to come to a static heel while he is in front of you using a service/flip finish and do a lot of boring but accurate work on correct body and head positioning and then progress to one or two steps and a lot of pivoting. I don’t think people appreciate the time and repetitions it takes to get an accurate behavior. Knowing how to use the prong correctly where you are getting the behavior correct without shutting down the dog is also a major factor.  These are approaches that can be described but don’t translate well compared to a skilled handler showing you and tuning up your deficits.

by Koach on 12 May 2020 - 06:05

Whether it's walking leisurely at your side, heeling for sport, practising having ears, mouth, eyes vet examined, brushing or having it's nails done a pup has to be shaped from the earliest age possible. I very ralely feed a pup out of a bowl. It's fed from my hands and it gets the food in response to some form of shaping or training. Another advantage is it makes for a very attached to owner animal.

This is the type of response one gets from this time and effort. Video of Gamine at 5 months having her nails done.

When doing nails the Dremel (in this case) has to be moved constantly around so that there is no heat build up and there is no need to apply much pressure against toe nail. Only remove the excess nail where there is no blood vessel.

Find a video of someone training their dog not to pull when walking up to the start of a tracking trial. That training would work well for fixing your pulling problem.



by Nans gsd on 12 May 2020 - 12:05

Thank you Koach will look for video.

by Nans gsd on 12 May 2020 - 19:05

@ apple: NO apple not planning on competing this guy due to pending arthritic changes; don't feel at this point in his life it would be good for him, however, want to maintain what you would probably consider basic to intermediate obedience. Advanced to me would be off lead and NO, no off lead work. Just maintain current training.

BUT must add that I have been taught to train like you are always going to compete, reach for excellence and set your dog up for success at all times. That is just the way I have been taught. so that is why I am reaching out for new techniques. Thank you Nan

by hexe on 13 May 2020 - 02:05

Nans, if you're on Facebook, there is a group specifically for owners of dogs who fight having nail trims or grinding. It is strictly from a no-force point of view, and they espouse a long-term process of desensitizing the dog to process, but even if you're not 100% on board with that school of training, the group still offers a lot of very useful information and videos. It's a private group which has recently become a read-only learning resource, but the information is still there. 

The group is called Nail Maintenance for Dogs.   

It's also worth investing in good quality diamond grinding bit made for using on dog's nails.  The best one on the market, the one used most often by pro groomers because it lasts forever, is one of the Diamagroove bits, but they are pricey (USD $150.00). These will take the nails down more quickly without heating up the way sanding drums or solid bits are prone to do.   

Slightly less costly at USD $100.00 is the DiamondG Groomers Friend for the threaded headed Dremel tools,  which I haven't tried, but it looks like it would probably better than the next level down bits, but not as well at the Diamagroove. If I needed to upgrade, I'd spring for the extra $50.00 and get the top of the line bit. 

Less expensive, and not providing as good performance, are the Groomer's Best Friend bits  or the GBF Diamond Nail Rotary Tool, each @ under $35.00. I've got both of these, and they work fine for my purposes. These bits will heat up if you've got to run them for a long period of time, but my dog doesn't fight me on having her nails done so speed isn't as important for me.

Hope this is of some help.

by Nans gsd on 13 May 2020 - 10:05

Thank you for the info Hexe; will look into bits. Mine definitely heats up but I am careful to keep moving it. Appreciate info.

by GSCat on 17 May 2020 - 02:05

My dog hates motors of any kind, so we just use clippers, which she hates, but will put up with if she's not wound up (as in she adores her baths).

For training, I've found that a tired, or at least having run around/played in the back yard first makes it easier to train a high-drive dog.

I keep training sessions very short and do them multiple times in a day, and start with something the dog already knows and does well the first time.

For teaching the heel, I start with sitting at my side. When the dog has mastered this, we progress to not rushing out/forging through any door, to include potty breaks. When the dog consistently stops and sits next to me while I open any door, and does not proceed until told to do so, then we are ready to start learning to heel.

I always start with my left foot, so later I can teach staying if I start with my right foot. When heeling, every time the dog forges ahead, I stop, give the phooey and leash correction, then call the dog back to the sitting position at my side. After the dog is correctly positioned and rewarded, then the heel command alternated with the praise word repeatedly while the dog is in the correct position as we go. As soon as the dog starts to forge ahead, repeat the stop/phooey/leash correction, etc. It can take a very long time to just go a block (and I'm sure it looks stupid ha ha). However, a few days of this the dog usually gets sick of it and does pretty well. This really works best if the dog is not full of pent-up energy.

I use the same command that allows a waiting dog to go through a door without me (as in going into the yard to pee/poo) to release the dog from the heel and walk on a loose leash. I also teach all commands using voice and hand signals simultaneously so I can use either, depending on the situation, and to encourage the dog to pay attention.

Another technique is walking the dog in tight circles, counterclockwise and/or clockwise when he/she forges ahead. Each dog is different, so one direction may work better than the other, or mixing it up may work best.

Doing an about face and walking/heeling in the opposite direction can be helpful for some dogs.

The dog I have now does very well with a prong collar (first dog I've had to use one on). Regular and choke collars were useless, she cut herself escaping from a head halter, she's lightning quick to sever a harness, and a trainer that worked with her said an e-collar didn't faze her/had no effect (she ignored it, no matter the setting), so it wasn't effective for her.

Good luck :-)

by Nans gsd on 17 May 2020 - 11:05

GSCat: thank you for info, nails are hard for me as this guys are black only. Will struggle through though.

As far as heeling x's; have also used e-collar to no avail. Didn't phase this guys heeling at all. Just kept doing his thing his way. Turd. But do have some new ideas for training to try. Thank you again, Nan


PS Hates halty or gentle leader was no help to me at all.


by Sunsilver on 18 May 2020 - 10:05

Once tried a halti on a dog I was having trouble controlling. She destroyed it in 60 seconds, which was SO not a good thing, as she was dog-aggressive...  :o

Like I said upstream, gotta find what works for YOU and YOUR DOG!

Best of luck!


by GK1 on 18 May 2020 - 12:05

Well behaved does not necessarily equate to well trained, as in precision obedience. Training a dog in drive for precise, competition type moves with treats, toys in hand involves a different frame of mind from a dog obeying and behaving while relaxed and paying attention to the handler - with no toys or treats. Of course obedience from out of drive will not be as flashy and precise, but effective and reliable nonetheless for everyday situations if trained correctly from the start. Depending on the proximities, I’ll let my dogs pull forward as hard as they want against a wide flat collar for building strength, or for sprinting the bicycle. I can then switch to the choke/prong and put them in a walking heel, relaxed and out of drive. If I have a ball with me, we can practice control and tighter moves. My dogs know the difference.

I like Koach’s last post, namely the first paragraph.


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