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by Centurian on 09 January 2018 - 17:01

That is a little bit of the difference. 30 + years ago that is the mindset that many trainers had . Such as using the Kohler method to train. i.e a lot of compulsion . I think you have read that I differentiate having Dominion over a dog as opposed to being totally Domineering. I did not write dominance because in both aspects there is dominance , which you should be , we are the higher ranking in pack . The difference is the way the dominance is expressed. Years ago we literally and figuratively , Made the dog do something most often physically .

So through the years I learned that I wouldn't have to make the dog do something if I through different means lead the dog to decide for itself to do what I wanted. . There is never a pitting of the wills in that , is there? Will I enforce myself , and with some dogs with a leash if i have to , dam right I will. But like the e collar , I use different ways and tools at the last options. For example a dog pulling .. yes I can crank the hell out of the dog , but rather than that , I don't say a word to the dog , don't do a thing to the dog. When I walk , I simply stop , so the dog has to stop, or I turn direction. That is to say that even though the dog is on the leash , I am not using the leash in the conventional sense other than limiting the dog's freedom . The dog will decide to stop when I stop , to turn when I turn and to boot to not pull. That doesn't even have to be accomplished with a so called 'correction' for the dog will decide to change it's behavior itself if it wants to reach it's goal ! As I wrote I place responsibility into the dog , I get into the dog's head .
Down the dog does not down because I said so , tis to me is a battle of the wills .. and with that .. often at some point the challenge resurfaces .. The dog has learned to down , when you have the upper hand. When it thinks that you don't have the upper hand , then what do you think the dog will do ? Just like a teenager... what do you think the behavior will be ? As i wrote , dogs are not to different than people. Can you see , in the teaching if I can put into the dog's motivation to stay , to want to always hold a position , then the dog will surely do so , and more so , because it wants to. So even a pup , many any times I begin advancing the sit by going out of sight. This is so easy . As a pup I will put roast beef to the dog's nose no collar no leash and lightly toss a ball 2 feet away . Again reinforcement , not reward , continuous reinforcement. A little more advancing I use the Ok after the dog has learned more th sit while I throw a ball to release it and then allow the dog to get the ball. Why , it lols to me for direction and the message to the dog is you do when I allow you to and don't fret I understand what you need and now you may get what you need. So in this the dog also learns patience. This aside from calmness do I teach pups . patience , be patient and food bowl goes down. Self control. I am a little more exact in the teaching as I wrote the gist fast so that you get more of an idea what I do with my pups and where I am headed with them .

Are dogs perfect and do they make mistakes even as adults , yes But we should always keep this in mind for safety too . So I am not advocating never utilizing a leash , But I say that I don't need a leash to always teach .And I want people to realize there is a way to use a leash and to not use a leash !! Same as e collar . it's a tool and a time and place as well as the correct usage. I would like someday to write about the real really bad flaws and mistakes that even well versed experienced people make with the e collar. Especially IMOp what is taught with it could so easily be taught without it ! I don't always need a leash to enforce myself either . sometimes just a look from me is enough ..
BTW last year I sent a video of my 10 week pup no collar or leash on my porch , doing sit , down , stand change of positions in place to my friend in Europe !! Hmmmmm ,

by Jessejones on 09 January 2018 - 19:01

Good conversational thread. We often forget the basics because we concentrate on other aspects. Such important info for new dog people wanting to learn.
What works for me...
The first thing I teach my 8 wk old pup when I bring him home from breeder, on the same day still, is to look at me, directly into my eyes. Looking in my eyes, not my hands, is the basis for everything that follows.
It’s easy to do. I make sure the pup has gone outside to potty, and then bring him in, sit on the floor with him with very small pieces of good food like ham or cheese, something that smells great for the pup. I sit on the floor with the pup close, and let him sniff but don’t give it to him. I don’t lure him, I sit still and just watch pups eyes. In a few seconds, the pup will normally already start offering different behaviors to earn the food. Most will do this without any prior training...most will come,pretty quickly, to the idea of looking directly into my eyes, In that split second, I mark it with a happy YES and give the food reward. This yes marker will be remembered right away. Dogs are amazing in that they remember, even at 8 weeks, exactly what there were doing when they got that first reward. (BTW, humans often don’t. We often don’t see the behavior that the dog is offering, that it is exactly where he got his reward last time. Dogs are very accurate in recreating a behavior, so accurate that it is uncanny )
This first marker takes all of less than 30 seconds usually. The yes marker is then already placed for life. With this yes marker, I can shape pretty much every other behavior to come. I do use food rewards almost exclusively for first 5-6 months, then slowly phase out to toys, praise, redirection to next task, etc...
I rarely use leash on very young pups. Either crate him, or work with him. When do use leash, I try very hard never to have the pup feel a pull on his collar. Always loose, and use a lot of vocal lures, redirections, and food lures to get him in place, not via leash pull. Never let him run to end of leash to feel pull either. It is the pups natural nature to follow us anyway. I never want it to feel the pull on collar until much later, when I do specific leash training when a bit older, but I don’t yank and crank even then.... I’d rather use a pinch collar, mid neck, not very tight, before yank and crank, with just tiny finger vibrations on the leash to guide. Dont want to desensitize the pups neck by inappropriate tactile force of the collar, where he gets used to pulling and it becomes meaningless later.
BTW, to OP, I agree that Michael Ellis videos are fantastic and recommend them highly.

by Centurian on 09 January 2018 - 23:01

Jesee Yes that is the notion . But Think about this ... To repeat everything that is done with a dog should have an US/WE component. So you are describing what you do .. great but let me help tweak this for you by aiding you to pairing yourself with what you call rewards . This is another reason why I say and prefer a reinforcer , because my goal is to make myself the reinforcer [ or the enforcer ] . this is accomplished Jesse by not just mentally but physically creating an interaction and engagement with you and the dog. When you give a piece of food to the dog , yes the dog is rewarded .. and only the dog. The reward itself becomes the primary meaning and goal of the dog. I want the primary goal to be human and dopg working for the same goal and / outcome together . A pack of wild dogs or wolves have this mindfulness and pack synergy, both workig for the same end , togetherness and to survive. The act of getting the food, once gotten by the dog takes you out of the picture. The food is the reinforcer , becomes most important to the dog rather than you in your partnership with the dog , This is a slight subtlety . But how many times you see on a training field the dog working unto itself and not and with the handler. Just because a dog is 40 years away does not mean have to mean the dog is working unto itself. At 4o years away there should be in an abstract way a connection , I call a mindfulness within the dog , and that entails the dog ready and willing to take direction . IMOp , this is established by through interaction and engagement with the dog. as you reinforce the dog's behavior.

by Jessejones on 10 January 2018 - 01:01

Important point Centurian. Reinforcer/Enforcer. One doesn’t only want the command to only equal food in the dogs mind. In other words, give a “Sitz” command and dog interprets that in his brain as an image of ‘food’ ...instead of the actual picture in his brain of ‘the doing of sitting’.
I use reinforcers on small pups, food, to start the training by marking the behavior with a ‘yes’ when he looks into my eyes the first time. Young pups just react best to food. Once he knows ‘yes’ means something good will happen, I usually don’t try to teach commands for a good while, many days.... but i do reinforce each movement that I like, and anything the dog does that I like, all the time, all day long...without real commands yet, only using the ‘yes’ at the second of him doing it. The ‘yes’ guides him to do keep doing what is good for him, reinforce it, and will further his goal (and mine). Anything like sitting next to me, walking next to me, looking at me, sitting down for anything, following me, laying down...any behavior that I like, gets reinforced. Putting words to those behaviors comes later. I find this works for me with the dogs Ive trained because the pup works with me in a thinking way. It’s his decision as to what to do. Of course I guide if necessary.
When they are very young, a few weeks only, engaging in a ‘we’ mode is hard I find. I try for that later. A puppy is not yet my partner, so to speak, and we don’t yet have the same goals.
Personally, I am always glad when the pup reaches 5-6 months, as the first months can be a real practice in patience, hard on the knees, spine, ankles and fingers and any parts the pup gets into it teeth, and lack of sleep in the first weeks. They are cute but can be testing. And for those new dog owners, it can be overwhelming to raise a pup as one thinks it will never get better and maybe sob in frustration. To those folks, it does get better, just hang in there.
I’m entering the stage of working more us/we with my dog now at 6 mo. So the dynamic is changing and its never boring. He’s doing surprisingly well with commands even at 40 yds with certain distractions. But, as with all...1 step at a time. Tomorrow may be different and/or bring new insights. Never boring. Appreciate your comments Cen and anyone’s with many years experience.

by jkuja913 on 10 January 2018 - 02:01

Thanks for all the great responses! I've been crazy busy the past couple days and haven't had a chance to catch up on the thread but I'm looking forward to reading everything!

by Centurian on 10 January 2018 - 13:01

Jesse Finally , finally someone has the understanding of the many facets that I have to write about. Finally someone comprehends what I write with all the opposition and haggling. YES ... I don't know how many posts that I have written but many many people cannot understand the notion when I write things such as you have written  :  "I don't have to command the dog ". They look at this , I don't know , that perhaps you don't want to project authority when in fact as you clearly understand , once a behavior is not only established but becomes an integral part of the dog's central nervous system such that the behavior that you want becomes the basis for what the dog is , then the dog will offer , or gladly undertake that behavior . That is to say the REQUEST [ not asking but a requirement ] with anticipation to fill a need and willingness , the dog executes .


  The other phenomena that I often have to teach people in their verbal communication is : how to talk to a dog . That is to say,  many people in giving a so called command do not realize that in their voice there lies an element of a threat in that spoken word to the dog ! I believe , like me , you can simply in a normal , calm tone and pitch , even a whisper , will get your dog to perform . Many people cannot fathom this . Many people, not all , I sense, when they read my posts think there is a lot of BS in what I try to share.

     BTW , as I have written .. working with dogs is not that different at all than interacting with people. In reality most people know what they need to know,  but somehow in the dog world , there is an air that there is secret knowledge that has to be learned to understand and teach dogs. What a bunch of BS. That is because we often use different words in describing canine behavior as opposed to people behavior. But Behavior is Behavior. So with people , then it is in the 4 ,5 , 6 , month canine. People change from 6 years old to teenage years , so this is not so hard to understand dogs to . SDame issues   to deal with.  On that note we should be able to get a handle as to h ow to navigate through the growing years and changing issues of a dog too !I I enjoyed reading your feedback and posts  Jesse : - ) !!


by Hundmutter on 13 January 2018 - 06:01

Jim K: on the topic of breaking training down into steps, you might also find this video helpful / interesting:
"How to teach any dog a competition style heel"
Larry Krohn / Pakmasters DT

I found it by accident (while looking for something else) - it's only about 8 minutes but is with an older puppy, one that's had no prior training in IPO style heelwork, and shows 4 basic starter steps.


(Apologies for not being able to provide as a link - used to be able to do that but something changed (?) and it won't work for me now !)

Hundmutter  most of the time you can take the last number letter combo before the = and put them in the box where you enbed.  It is at the bottom of the page 

Western Rider

Fantom76 (admin)

by Fantom76 on 13 January 2018 - 08:01

I added the link for the URL in the above post by Hundmutter and sent her a PM on how to do it.

by Centurian on 13 January 2018 - 15:01

I don't like that video .....
Not the most efficient and proficient way to teach the dog to heel. Yes the touch pad as part of the way to teach a dog to turn is sometimes for some dogs , what I have used . However it is a small part of the teaching. . Also the barrier car or wall , is better to be used for a longer time in the aspect of teaching. To add , in addition to turning on the pad , the dog has to also learn to transition and make the turn without the pad and this is not part of the 4 steps. BTW , there are more steps to very very good training the heel. This is good for the handler with some experience but this 4 step bit can be a disaster for new people. Nice demo , but far from great for someone to copy.


by Hundmutter on 13 January 2018 - 16:01

I was not 'selling' the video as anything special but I thought the OP might find it interesting. BTW I got the impression the trainer was just setting out that you need to break it down into steps (for those who don't have that message yet !) rather than selling four as the only number of steps; and that one tool is that 'touch pad', there are alternatives. I expect he normally takes more time and repeats each step, he just wanted to show them being done.

I thought he was majoring on that 3rd step, where he ensures the dog continues behind him, before turning - something he finds a lot of people fail to see any need for.  But if it works best for him, and people he teaches, all well and good.  I'll have to remember to try it if I am ever in the position of training heelwork again in the future - no dog to practise with now (Sheila doesn't count ! LOL).  Can't really see me using a touchpad though, or at least not one of that height.  Maybe a little rubber round theatrical-style 'mark' mat - or an 'X'...


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