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ART: Difficult, Aggro-dogs 'Need' Strong Training. [Really?]

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by leashedForLife, Apr 6, 2011.


  1. leashedForLife

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    pos-R B-Mod... for a dog who bites when handled, guards objects & food, attacks other dogs, bites strangers,
    & is terrified of storms. [other than that, she's fine...]. Oh, yeah - and separation-anxiety, forgot that. :eek:

    part 1: Difficult, Aggressive Dogs Need “Strong” Training. Really? « Boulder Dog in the shelter
    part 2: Part 2: Difficult, Aggressive Dogs Need “Strong” Training. Really? « Boulder Dog still in the shelter
    part 3: Positive Does NOT Mean Permissive « Boulder Dog going home

    frequently, people insist dogs in general, or 'some' dogs, or 'some' breeds, NEED tough handling, or punishment,
    or correction - this arises as a repeated theme; IMO it is entirely a false premise.

    her behavior & emotional responses [biting, fear, reactivity, self-defense when handled, etc] were changed
    with NO choke, prong, or shock collar, & without threats, intimidation or confrontation. It's not just a happy-ending,
    it is good, effective, humane rehab / B-mod & teaching / training, IMO.
    enjoy,
    - terry
     
  2. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    In the "Positive Does NOT Mean Permissive" part 3 section, this stood out to me.

    Exactly!
     
  3. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    I found that when discussing Roxy (GSD) & her isssues with other dog owners how many would respond by saying that GSD's needed a 'stronger hand' & I recommended trainers/behaviourist who could deal with a 'dog like that' :confused:

    Luckily I avoided those trainers :D & have found a fantastic behaviourist. Roxy needs consistent training (& lots of it!) but some of the methods I heard these trainers use (prong collars :eek: & alpha rolling) would have made her anxiety issues far worse .... & probably cause me to smack them one!

    Alot of the symtoms listed in these links are very similar to those displayed by Roxy so are really useful to me.
     
  4. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    That "strong hand" seems founded on fallacy to me.

    The proposition generally goes, that some breeds or dogs are hard to train and need "firm leadership", based on experience with that breed in traditional training techniques.

    Now, if a breed or dog is known not to respond well and be difficult with those techniques, surely that's an argument to use a different approach, not be yet more intense with the same trying to overcome "stubbornness".

    One such type of dog, I have acquaintance with, is a Briard. Now she doesn't like bicycles, but one day we met and I had some small hot dog pieces in my pouch, not just dry. After asking Owner, I gave her one. The next day, we met again, and his dog approached me, despite the bicycle and me without any hot dog pieces.

    This is a dog that is "difficult to train and stubborn"! We actually had a behaviour modification going on after 1 trial. Of course this is unfortunately lost on the owner, to use the food motivation the dog shows, as it doesn't fit with his mental model of how training a dog "should be". If the dog stepped out of line in some way, he has no problem yelling at it.
     
    #4 RobD-BCactive, Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  5. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    Having met Roxy only once, I can tell she needs a strong hand!:confused:

    How ridiculous. My understanding of german shepherds, and one reason I could never have one because of my son, is that they are very easily unnerved, which in turns causes aggression. The idea that this breed needs a strong hand has probably contributed to the number of aggressive german shepherds, if you know what I mean. You keep doing what you are doing, she will be fine one day.
     
  6. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Thanks, was just saying in another thread how ell she did tonight with a clicker training session. She is starting to focus a bit more & wait her turn rather than steal the limelight as she usually does.

    After reading so many horror stories on here of behaviourists or trainers I have been so lucky as the lady we see has been fantastic. As well as helping Roxy she has given me confidence in my ability (which took a big hit a while ago as I felt I was failing Roxy) which can only help both of us.
     
  7. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    The thing is, the more time someone invested in a poor method, the more psychologically painful it is to risk having that shown.

    Someone who spent years berating their dog, using positive-punishment to stamp out rough edges, would find it disastrous to see the dog learn quickly new commands by another method, showing it was actually intelligent and easily trainable. So heels get dug in with those "tough dogs".

    Not rational, but human nature.
     
  8. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    The guarding breeds are some of the most nervy dogs around. They are bred to be wary. They, more so than other breeds IMO, need a steady and compassionate hand, definitely not a strong, firm hand!
     
  9. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    I had this exact conversation with someone a while back. No matter what I told him, about research and latest methods and how other animals have always been trained, he insisted that his type of dog had to be shown who the pack leader was! You will never change the minds of people with their heels dug in who think they have a special sort of dog who needs different sort of training.
     
  10. leashedForLife

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    reminds me of the convo i had some time back, with the forum-member who was so sure her Chihuahua
    could not possibly learn the desired behavior the same way that other dogs did - after all, she was a Chi!
    :lol: and Chis are, as we all know, special.
     
  11. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    /Chi/ -> /Briard/ and exactly the same. When I joked, that we could have his dog doing tricks in no time because of the learning potential shown, he laughed and said "oh she's too old to learn new things".

    Quite honestly, when I see a dog with a problem to learn something, it's usually down to the owners. I know with our dog, that his training improvments have basically all been down to practice, but us finding and sorting the mistakes we make.

    Why intelligent humans seem to find it so hard to be self-critical, be open minded and learn, I do not understand.
     
  12. leashedForLife

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    People-aggressive Dog? Positive Training to the Rescue « Boulder Dog

    this is the behavior that will get dogs dead fastest, IME - dangerous to everyone, the owner even if they are not
    a target of bites, as they are legally liable; the family, friends, relatives & neighbors; innocent passerby...
    see how it is addressed, reduced & altered by changing the dog's emotional response to humans -
    not by punishing aggro, causing pain or threats, but simply by making her think 'ppl are Nice to have around...'
    for the first time in a long, long while - possibly for the first time in her life since puphood.
     
  13. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    Thanks LFL, I'm really enjoying these series. I wish every owner was as diligent as John Visconti! Even with the best behaviourist working with this dog, I doubt much head way would be made if the John was not consistent with his R+ techniques every single day, on every walk, at every meal time, every time someone walks past the house etc. It would most certainly have been dead, IMO.
     
  14. leashedForLife

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    i would not be the least-bit surprised, given the number of her triggers & the severity of her reactions.

    i was personally amazed he managed to avoid! having the elderly man get bitten, as the fella was so intent
    on approaching & petting Pepper, ye gods - and it is sad that he did not learn good dog-manners, anyway, since he went on
    to get nailed by another leashed-dog in precisely the same fashion: sticking his hand out, and reaching to pet the dog,
    no matter what the dog's opinion about that might be, no matter what the owner or handler might say. :nonod:

    people can scare or anger a dog, even with the very best intentions - feeding a dog Baker's chocolate can kill the dog,
    even tho the dog dearly loves it & begs for each piece as it is offered. They did not mean to kill the dog,
    but sadly the dog is just as dead --- and that U 'only want to pet the dog, my, what a pretty dog!...' :ihih:
    will not impress a scared dog who wants to bolt, but has nowhere to go & no way to escape.

    the old fella was darned lucky, IMO - too bad he did not take his lessons to heart.
     
  15. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Sounds similar to my experience a few weeks ago - an elderly man who 'knew GSDs' intnet on comin over to see Roxy. I told him several times not to but he knew best :rolleyes:

    In retrospect I should have turned & walked in the other direction but I didn't,; Roxy was sitting but as he approached she lunged at him & starting barking. He backed off then & muttered something about her being out of control - I was so annoyed with him as it just made her stressed, we had had such a good day with her seeing new people up until then.

    I was also annoyed with myself for allowing this to happen.

    We've roped in a neighbour who has agreed to meet us on walks so will get him to throw some treats on the floor when we meet him although am not sure Roxy will notice them as she's not that food orientated when out.

    Although she is fine with people coming to the house she is very wary of people outside but then she does get quite anxious about alot of things whne away from home so maybe this is something we will have to work on for a while.
     
    #16 Cleo38, Apr 11, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  16. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    Absolutely, that old man was very lucky! And just shows that those people who 'love dogs' and enjoys meeting them are sometimes a dog's worst enemy!
     
  17. leashedForLife

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    try adding calmatives to her routine -- Rescue-Remedy liquid AM & PM on an empty-tum, add a 3rd-dose before a walk;
    DAP pump-spray on her collar 10 to 15-mins before departing for the walk, then spray the leash a hands-length
    from the clip just before clipping it on; a habituated 'relax-cue' using pump-spray botanical lavender-water;
    a figure-8 Ace-wrap body-wrap...

    see post #22 in the sticky 'Dog Body-Language' for full explanations & links. :)
     
  18. billie jo

    billie jo PetForums Member

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    Prong collars are more widely used in the guarding industry than I would ever like to see. My own boy, Sammy was trained with them when he was with the Begium Police. By the time they had finished with him - he had become a machine! Everyone was terrified of him - then he and I found each other. If anyone came near either of my dogs with a prong collar - they would be wearing them where the sun doesn't shine! Happy to report that whilst, 'the Samster' is a damn good security dog - he is also the soppiest animal with me and my partner and enjoys chilling out at home - he knows what its like to be a dog these days and not a machine!

    Ps He's at this moment in work with me, hogging the electric fire whilst I'm sitting here shivering! That dog! Maybe he does need a firm hand ........ lol
     
  19. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    No surprises about people not listening or complying with requests, it's far easier to change dog behaviour than people behaviours!

    I just found there's no substitute to being willing to come over with the Sgt-Major tendency and act decisively, and risking some personal unpopularity and criticism.

    It's no good having people notice 6 months later, that the "harmless" activity that was permitted, has left the dog with a problem.
     
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