babyreba wrote:Like MIchelle, I've used corrections in my training over the years, always subscribed to "balanced" training methods. But when I did actually meet Button and realized that he wasn't right, I knew that he could not be handled like I would handle a well-adjusted dog. He was too fragile. I dove headfirst into learning to handle him using only positive methods and now I am really glad I did. I learned a ton. There was a time, before I had ever had to live with a truly fearful dog, that I would never correct a fearful response, I never would have thought twice about teaching the obdience commands then correcting for choosing not to respond to them, which is what most balanced training is based on.
furever_pit wrote: But then again I have not kept or dealt long term with a truly fearful dog - if they don't have the materials to work the program, they don't stay.
babyreba wrote:yeah, that's how i'd always handled dogs before. and i subscribed to a "least force necessary to get the job done" rule. but handling a dog that needed more than just confidence building but a complete rethinking of everything i was accustomed to doing was a game changer. i know that the theory behind a lot of training is that, even when it gets uncomfortable or difficult, you work through the problem and the dog comes out better off in the end. the message for the dog is that, no matter what's going on in the environment, the dog should learn to make the decision that results in the least amount of stress/correction ... and a lot of dogs do, and they end up being OK because their constitution/temperament is strong enough to handle that kind of stress and pressure and conflict ... but i've definitely seen enough dogs that were either handled so very badly or just had such poor temperaments now that i can see how, exactly, bad handling or bad decision making on the part of an owner has exacerbated a problem so badly that the dog has become dangerous.
while i do see "results" with some adept handlers and fearful dogs using corrections, a lot of what i see is suppression of behavior, at least in the presence of the corrective device, and not actual resolution of the problem. and part of the underlying, deep-down problem that people with dogs that are truly temperamentally troubled, I think, is that they don't realize that the dogs will never be truly "normal" like well-adjusted, easy dogs. But that's what people want/expect. some dogs with milder problems may actually improve significantly, but a lot of dogs don't or won't be "fixed." they are what they are, and living with them is a combination of behavior modification, counter-conditioning, perception modification and management. people who aren't willing to live with all of that seem to accept, maybe even prefer, suppression of behavior. because they want absence of the bad things in their dog's temperament, even if they don't realize that a lot of times, underneath the "calm, submissive" exterior, there's still a terrified, on-edge, frustrated animal just beneath the veneer ... and when that dog is poorly managed (as in the situation Michelle described) or things change, the dog may actually do something "he's never done before." and that may be true (the he's never done that before part), but the reality is, anyone who's really in tune with what that dog's had going on and knows anything about how a dog acts and responds to things should have been able to predict that this could very well have happened, sooner or later.
Integrating corrections into this kind of behavioral rehab is just beyond most handler's abilities.
that woman michelle was dealing with probably had NO IDEA that her actions prior to letting that dog off its leash led to exactly what happened in the scenario described.
DemoDick wrote:Michelle is being too kind. Connor won't let you reach into his crate and take his dinner away. He growls and I don't doubt he would bite. As soon as I saw this behavior I recognized the potential need to get food away from him so I just called him out. Problem solved.
I know a lot of people would insist on pestering the crap out of the dog to "train" him to tolerate people messing with his food no matter what because dogs should tolerate anything and everything, etc., but I think that's pretty silly. If you try and mess with *my* dinner I will take exception so I understand where he's coming from. No need to provoke him and get bit proving a non-point, just leave him alone and let him eat.
I wasn't criticizing what you did with your dog.
babyreba wrote:oh, i totally didn't take it that way at all. i was just saying what i said in case it seemed like i was one of those people who liked to do things just to prove something ... i've known a lot of people who say asinine things like, "i can take ANYTHING away from ANY of my dogs ANY time i want because they must KNOW that i am GOD and i own EVERYTHING and god forbid my dog act like a dog and take umbrance with my badassery!" i hate that so incredibly much.
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