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ART - guidelines on training + welfare

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by leashedForLife, May 31, 2010.

  1. mum2three

    mum2three PetForums Junior

    Jan 5, 2010
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    I get confused by these tv dog behaviourists. A lot of what is said about dog behaviour seems to make sense. For example them sensing our emotions and reacting to negatives by becoming aggresive or fearful etc, also owners needing to be a pack leader. It certainly seems that spoilt dogs with poor boundies and rules have more problems. However pinning a dog down who is acting aggressive and "making a mouth with your hand" just doesn't sit well with me. Watching it makes me feel very uncomfortable.
    Of course we have another who is totally non physical punishment and uses sound overrsion. Should we be taking anything from these two famous "dog experts" or should I just be switching off.
    BTW, a local gundog trainer told me that I should train my GSP calmly, not too much verbal, reward with a simple pet rather than an excited "good boy" and a quick check with the lead if he's showing too much interest in something unwanted. This is because of their boisterous nature and mine is very boisterous. This of course doesn't fit with our second "tv" expert who wants lots of happy voice and stern voice.
    Sorry if this was not the point of your post:)
  2. leashedForLife

    Nov 1, 2009
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    hey, 2-3! :--)
    dogs are emotional creatures, definitely - and if U come home in a foul frame of mind, ready to snap the head off anyone who looks at U cockeyed, the dog will know it before U get to the door - the slamming and sharp footsteps + abrupt, self-absorbed manner are so obvious; the kids might innocently shout, Hi!, and come running, but the more perceptive dog might go under the bed. :p

    and yes - reacting to negatives, as in aversives or harsh handling, by becoming aggro, snapping defensively, or fearful and trying to hide, flee or shut-down, are all very predictable.

    domestic-dogs are not wolves, and have not been for a long time; even wild wolves don;t form the sort of packs once claimed,
    with rigid hierarchies and constant battles for supremacy -
    they are really no more than extended families, with mom, dad, a couple older-children not yet ready to leave (and form packs/families of their own) and the current young-pups. the parents are the leaders NOT because they are red in tooth + claw - but because they are the ones who are old-enuf to know what they are doing, who provide for the puppies, and teach the teenagers.

    so if we REALLY want to run our household, including the dog(s), as a wolf-family, being good parents is what it comes down to... teaching, protecting, providing, and yes: rules - what can the dog DO, for praise + rewards?
    teaching the dog (and the children) what we *want* saves untold amounts of time + hassle constantly "correcting"
    IOW punishing un-wanted behavior; life becomes a whole lot simpler if we manage + monitor so that the dogs / kids **cannot** do what we don;t want, and are goof-proofed into doing what we Do Want.
    it saves all that frustration + angry lecturing, and they - the dogs or kids - practically teach themselves.

    U can have good boundaries + consistent rules without pinning, poking, collar-jerks, intimidation - who wants to spend their lives
    in a state of armed-truce, watching for a rebellion among the peasants? :nonod: was THAT why U wanted a dog? of course not;
    U want a 4-footed companion to go walkabout, hang-out with, jog while U bike or play fetch - or maybe Ur hearts set on a dog-sport...
    but U didn;t want to become a prison-guard, harassing the surly inmates into behaving themselves, and wasting precious hours DENYING them activities. in that scenario, U are as much a prisoner as the inmates - and nobody is having much fun. :eek:

    i would say that management is the key to preventing a lot of unwanted (but perfectly natural) dog-behavior; if U are leaving for a shopping trip and going out for lunch, don;t leave the teething puppy loose in the house for 4-hours, come home, and blow-up - safely confine the pup to a puppy-proofed area, or a crate-trained pup to their crate, WITH busywork... and come home to an intact house, and a relaxed puppy.
    there are things dogs DO - teethe, chew (lifelong), bark, chase, play with many objects; they use urine + stool to mark their space; they instinctively defend food or treasured-objects or puppies...
    they are predictable, normal behaviors, not attempts to de-throne the reigning Monarch.
    if we prevent what we don;t want, and teach / reward what we DO want, dogs IMO + IME can learn anything they are physically capable of performing --- and that we have the patience to teach.
    i do not know who this might be?
    if its *victoria stilwell*, then she teaches more than shout *Oi!* at the dog when s/he misbehaves; ;) she expects owners
    to train, IOW teach the dog what is wanted - not simply interrupt any + everything.
    if thats all U are getting from *victoria* AKA *Its Me or the Dog*, i think turning it off is a good choice - maybe learning in smaller pieces, and more specific lessons, would be better;
    *kikopup and the dog giggler* are both very reputable trainers, with loads of helpful short videos on U-Tube; anything by karen pryor or KPCT, *karen pryor clicker-training*, is also very safe.
    yes, many pet-owners + even trainers TALK too much; having a conversation with Ur dog is fine, but not when U are trying
    to train; in initial teaching, cues are really extraneous, since the pup / dog has no idea what they mean, anyhow; save them
    to label the actions once they have the behavior well-practiced, THEN stick a label AKA cue on it.
    of course, a relaxed, cheerful manner helps enormously... ;)

    standing ramrod-straight, giving the puppy a hard-eye, and shouting, Sargeant, COME... is liable to send any intelligent puppy scrambling in the opposite direction; all Ur body-language is shouting, go away! - why should the puppy *want* to approach U?
    if U want them to come close, look welcoming + don;t compete with the impossible; asking a 3-MO pup to leave-off greeting a friendly adult-dog, to come see YOU?! :lol: ya gotta be kidding :p
    control the environment, teach in small steps, and raise the level of difficulty as the pup / dog learns, adding distractions only as they have mastered that level.

    U can praise a puppy warmly + fulsomely without sounding like a squealing teenager competing to be noticed by her idol; drop the pitch, sound warm + happy, slow FIRM strokes when touching the dog, warm soft eyes... and *smile*. :) dogs know what smiles
    mean - they learn that very early, indeed.
    tone, pitch + speed of delivery all are good ways to communicate -
    U want the dog to move! - and fast!... , use rapid, short, repeated, high-pitched cues... come, come, come, come...
    for a puppy, while backing-up smiling + clapping invitingly.
    U want calm STATIONARY behavior? slow it down, drop the pitch, One Cue:
    Sta-a-ay... with a quiet face, soft eyes on eyes gaze, and step back.

    being aware of Ur own body-language is important, as things U do out of habit can become part of the cue for the dog;
    so consciously try to avoid adding stuff to the cue, like bending Ur head down to look at Pups butt when U want a sit, :lol:
    when Pup is 6-MO and knows SIT inside + out, and U are talking to a neighbor + casually throw SIT into the conversation
    and DON;t bend Ur neck to look at Pups butt, guess what?
    Pup won;t SIT... cuz a key element of the cue [for them] is missing.

    all dogs + puppies learn body-language the way human-kids learn to speak - they just see it, and pick it up.
    U can use this to advantage by using hand-signals to bridge the dogs comprehension of verbal cues - SIT with a lure becomes SIT with a curved hand, palm-up, bending from the elbow; after awhile, a verbal-SIT alone will work; the dog learns the hand-cue + the verbal gets connected to it.

    avoiding punishing (in the behavioral sense of reducing an unwanted behavior) in favor of teaching something U want,
    makes learning faster + more enjoyable - after all, if training is a misery, neither U nor the dog will want to train. ;)
    punishing UNwanted behavior by making a desirable thing go away puppy jumps-up and bites my wrist; i say Ouch! and leave the room promptly, give the miscreant 30-secs,
    and come back all smiles to play...
    is clear communication without any rough-stuff.

    such negative punishment - negative = take-away in the maths sense; punish = reduce the behavior -
    is useful in all sorts of settings; the puppy LIES-Down and puts a foot on the soft-toy? step 1 to ripping it to shreds?
    take it away every time; a few seconds later, return it... Puppy learns to fling, mouth, pounce on, roll, + so on -
    but NOT shred soft-toys, because if U try to rip-em up, they go away. ;)
    easy-peasy, no yelling, smacking, lectures... the dog does the right-thing, painlessly + easily. of course, that does NOT mean
    that a 6-MO pup can be left free in the house for several hours, alone - then not only the soft-toys, but the sofa-cushions and curtains may need repair, by the time U get back. :p

    happy training,
    --- terry
  3. mum2three

    mum2three PetForums Junior

    Jan 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Wow, thank you for taking the time on such a detailed response.
    I've taken a lot from V.S. and watching "it's me or the dog". Infact most of the obedience work I've done, sit, stay, down, etc came from that. Watching "wisperer" is a more recent thing and this combined with reading people rubbishing V.S. methods has got me confused. I'm trying to get as much info about how to get a rounded happy dog as I can. Just want to be sure I'm listening to the "right" people.
  4. leashedForLife

    Nov 1, 2009
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    i just found this...
    Kendal Shepherd - BEYOND CESAR MILLAN

    the author is a board-certified behavior-specialist + vet (UK) - shes also the author of the canine commandments,
    but the COMMANDS are directed at the human reader vis-a-vis their behavior toward dogs - not at the dogs. ;)

    --- terry
  5. mum2three

    mum2three PetForums Junior

    Jan 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Hi, yes just read that artical from another thread, which I've also just replied to you.

    I've taken a note of "the canine commandments" have to have a read of that.
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