different training styles

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Postby rockermom » March 14th, 2006, 11:12 am

Originally I was in a trianing class that used Chokes or Martingale with chain or rope like choke collar No prongs though. No treats at all. The only time we used treat was to teach down. We did beginner and most of Novice. Recently I Started new training class that does not allow prong, choke etc. Uses Flat collars or haltis or gentle leader chest harness. Im not fan of halti for me. I have been using flat collar. First class Rocky was angel. But not heeling without training collar. 2nd he acted like he was starving. Last night I fed him dinner before class. He acted real hungry like a vacume with his nose at the floor constantly sucking stuff up should have named him HOOVER. I was dragging and luring the whole class. He was taking treats like a mad man making noises and stuff. (Original classes we attended did not use treats at all only leash corrections) At the end of class I asked trainer to look at my GL chest harness which I purchased for long walks had no intention to use as training device. Aked if I was fitting it correctly. She put it on him as he jumped all over her trying to get her treats. He was being so rude. Got it on and I walked the room. After 1 hr class with flat collar now No nose on floor and if he did as soon as I gave a little pull he stopped. She said I can use it in class if I want. I did say to her that I have been told it is a tool he is not learning. But if he is not looking at me in class and I am just pulling him away from floor on a flat collar what good is that. Wont he learn that behaving in class is more fun and that mom has better treats than the floor? He looks at me while heeling when this harness is on. People have said once I take it off the behaviors will come back. Im not so sure of that. These behaviors are in class only. His nose turs red his eyes turn red and he just wants food he seems overwhelmed with the whole thing. Trying to jump and get into trainers treat bags. Its embarassing since the first class they were so impressed with him. Should I try the harness in class or should I stick to flat collar and luring him. THanks in advance for your opinions.
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Postby Maryellen » March 14th, 2006, 11:31 am

you can use the harness first, and as class progresses every week try to train him off the harness onto the collar.. training takes time, so if the harness is working for you now, i would leave it on and train with that if you are getting his results that you want for now.. but remember, when you train him at home use the harness as well.. this way the training for him will be consistant, and then if you decide to take the next class after this, (you should anyway) then you and Sue can work on weaning him off the harness and on the regular collar..

hmm, maybe the treats are not high value enough.. try liverwurst, cheese, or go to burger king on the way there and get 2 plain burgers no buns.. use hamburger for training treats.. maybe that will get his attention too..
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Postby rockermom » March 14th, 2006, 11:38 am

funny you should say that I had friggin hamburger. cut up leftover hamburger from dinner. I have to ask Sue what she has in her bag. He is nuts for it. But it does not seem to matter. I had hamburger in front of his face and he was stopping to pick up all the treats on the floor. Hot dogs whatever. Licked the darn floor clean. He was also bright red in the nose and eyes. It was a full moon ya know.
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Postby Romanwild » March 14th, 2006, 11:49 am

It sounds like you need to work on his attention without the use of training tools at home without dsistractions. That's as a basis to work on your other issues.

You use the training harness because you strength isn't enough to handle him when he pulls, right? If it is right then maybe just continue to use it. :| I haven't seen a dog yet that doesn't slip now and then back to old habits. In your case it might be better safe then sorry.

As for the differences in training styles...you have to find what works for you and your dog.

Lately I have been working on 2 things with my dogs. Not pulling and not reacting to other dogs while on a walk. I have been using a prong all along but I started giving firmer corrections. It's working and I am very happy and the dogs understand what I want from them. I knew I was getting through when I walked them the other morning without the prongs and they didn't pull at all!
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Postby rockermom » March 14th, 2006, 12:29 pm

Actually no not at all. At home he has incredible eye contact does everything right without distraction. He does not pull on walks. I used the harness for long walks so I do not have to pull him by the flat collar or choke collar when taking an enjoyable walk. We dont have sidewalks and often pass dead animals and dangerous speeding cars. So the point of the harness is to keep him closer to me. Most dogs pull a little right? He does not even look at the dogs in the yards when we pass he just walks by. He usually will walk past dogs that are out being walked unless the other dog appears to be comming to get a sniff. Rocky is acting up in class only and it seems to be only to get to the treats.
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Postby rockermom » March 14th, 2006, 12:32 pm

But how is a prong different as a tool then a choke collar or a martingale or a harness? I understand prong is safer on the neck. But is it not still a tool to controll the dog?
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Postby Romanwild » March 14th, 2006, 12:35 pm

Doesn't sound like a big problem. He's foods driven, use it to your advantage. Maybe work at a faster pace for him to keep his attention. Deliver more commands in a shorter period of time.

Since he pays attention at home then you need to teach him to do it during class as well. Dogs don't generalize.

Is it possible the floor has the smell of other dogs on it? He might not be looking for treats. Try showing up early for class and walk around the training area a while to get him used to the smells and to calm down a bit.
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Postby Maryellen » March 14th, 2006, 12:41 pm

prongs, chokers, haltis, harnesses, they are all training tools... and all can be weaned off the dog when the time is right. go slow, do what works for you now, and enjoy the classes with rocky.. and yes, like charles said, go earlier to class so rocky gets used to the smells..
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Postby rockermom » March 14th, 2006, 12:43 pm

Thanks and thats exactly what he is doing looking for treats. He is very food driven. Could care less about toys if there is food. Class begins with walking around the room. There is a beginner class just before ours so their are left pieces of treats. This is why I was thinking of using the harness to get his attention. Since After putting it on he was much better about keeping his head up. For house manners we are good.
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Postby dogcrazyjen » March 14th, 2006, 1:44 pm

You could start training him to ignore food smells on the floor at home. I punch some holes in plastic tub lid, and put low value food in it. Then we do attention near it, then heeling around it, and eventually over the tub, which is on the floor. If they start to sniff, I take a high value food, swoop it past thier nose and up to me and saying 'leave it' , and clicking when they look at me. After a couple of passes, they start ignoring the tub.

After a few days, start making the food in the tub a higher value food.

I also use planters cheese ball for a treat, they are very visable and crunchy, and (I am guessing) so damn salty that they can't taste anything else ;-) That seems to override most other treats.

Let us know what works, this is a problem many of us have.
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Postby rockermom » March 14th, 2006, 2:10 pm

Thanks I will start tyring this. Cheez balls sounds cool. Rocky likes cheez doodles guess its the same thing.
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Postby mnp13 » March 14th, 2006, 2:25 pm

Maryellen wrote:prongs, chokers, haltis, harnesses, they are all training tools...


I disagree.

anything that you put on your dog and it behaves 'by magic' without you doing anything is NOT a training tool. It is a control tool.

Prongs don't work unless you use them correctly. If you let your dog drag you around by a prong collar it is basically just a less-comfortable flat collar. If you let your dog drag you around by a choke chain, you have a choking dog. These are tools that require the handler to use them correctly and consistantly so that the dog understands that a behavior is incorrect.

It's not all that different than the 'eat our meals four times a day' diet plans. They work while you only eat their food, but if you don't change your regular eating habits those pounds pack right back on the minute you go back to regular eating.

You have to work to get the dog to understand a training collar. You need to learn to use it, the timing involved, the level of correction your dog needs to be effective, etc.

Put a head collar or harness on a dog and the dog changes its own behavior is not an example of training.
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Postby Maryellen » March 14th, 2006, 2:26 pm

eeek i meant NOT training tools.. crap i shouldnt post when i am at work.....
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Postby mnp13 » March 14th, 2006, 2:30 pm

Maryellen wrote:eeek i meant NOT training tools.. crap i shouldnt post when i am at work.....


lol

I was wondering what the heck you were talking about!
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Postby rockermom » March 14th, 2006, 2:55 pm

So basically they are all tools. Ok so now I need opinion if you think I should not use Chest Harness during training in class. Remember If I dont use it my other choices for this class are continue with flat collar. By the way choke collars have also worked like magic when placed on Rocky. I was using a martingale with a chain type collar at previous classs. When Rocky stopped responding to the corrections the trainer took Rockys leash and turned it so it would loop around his neck up high it was like magic the way he behaved. I was told I now had better COntroll. I was upgraded to a cotton rope like choke with no chain. The second it was put on him placed up nice and high behind the ears. It was like magic. He behaved, he heeled. I was using it to walk him everywhere without pops. Just the placement on his neck was like magic. It was working fine. I did not enjoy this class nor did Rocky. The new class does not allow for this collar. And thats ok. I want him to learn to behave on a regular collar in public.
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Postby mnp13 » March 14th, 2006, 3:14 pm

houlabulla? wrote: I want him to learn to behave on a regular collar in public.


Then you need to train him on a regular nylon collar. If he is not listening to your corrections on the nylon collar, then correct him with something else. One swift crack across the butt with the end of your leash will probably make an impression.

Dogs do not generalize. If your dog walks correctly on that harness thing it does not mean he will walk correctly on a flat collar. It will take a transitional period, and since that type of harness controls rather than trains, that transitional period will be training in the first place.

Correct placement/fit of any training tool is essential for proper use. In a perfict world, it only takes one correction to get your point across to the dog. If you have to correct over and over and over then you are doing something wrong. I would guess your dog already had experienced a proper correction with a choke collar, so putting one where it belongs was enough to remind him that breaking rules come with concequences.

What consequence does he have right now with the harness on? He is restricted from pulling, but he is not being taught that pulling is not acceptable behavior.
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Postby Maryellen » March 14th, 2006, 3:18 pm

yeah, when i read your post i got confused, then when i went back and read mine i was like oh crap what did i write that for???
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Postby rockermom » March 14th, 2006, 3:43 pm

Well I wont be cracking him the leash or anything. But I just took him out for a walk down the street on the flat collar. He heeled perfectly even with distractions of leaves blowing by. I did not have to leash correct. He only pulled ahead of me a few times and when I stoped and leash got tight he sat. I just told him good boy. I did not have my clicker with me or my treats. So I guess this proves he still understands heel. He is just overwelmed with the treats all over the floor.
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Postby mnp13 » March 14th, 2006, 4:43 pm

houlabulla? wrote:So I guess this proves he still understands heel. He is just overwelmed with the treats all over the floor.


No. It proves he understands heel on your sidewalk with leaves blowing. If he ignores you at class because he'd rather eat junk off of the floor then he either doesn't understand the command or he's deliberately choosing to ignore you and you are not reinforcing your command.
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Postby Maryellen » March 14th, 2006, 4:57 pm

cracking rocky on the butt with the leash will not work for him..he is a soft dog.. if carolann cracked him with the leash on his butt she would probably ruin him to be hand/leash shy.. i dont suggest any type of compulsion training for rocky as he is a soft dog.. and , my dogs have done the same thing in training class, especially the first few times in a new class. it will settle down , and rocky will behave and learn.
when his eyes turn red and his inside of ears too that is just him being stressed.. its a new environment and he has to get used to it.
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