a difference of opinion

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Postby Malli » November 7th, 2011, 12:15 am

my "significant other"/"husband"/"partner" disagree a lot about how to "raise" the puppy.


there are a few points :

*housebreaking
*freedom in the house (which kind of applies to housebreaking)
*leash walking

I think today after our 3rd accident, he has the point.
-we need a dog that goes promptly when given the opportunity (not that goes after walking around, because he won't always be able to walk around
-we need to be consistent in our tecnique with him, and reward him for a good size pee and prompt poop


I have been trying to work on loose leash walking without a training collar
-I have been stopping to offer bathrooms occaisionally with "go pee" and then aiming for a dog that walks in an informal type heel - we walk when we're walking, we don't sniff and zig zag everywhere; Wes prefers to correct if he he is close to hitting the end of the leash and told me that I was treating him like a slave or a prisoner.

I am discussing this here as a sounding board. I understand that the puppy can learn different behaviors for each of us (aside from the housebreaking where we both need to be the same). I just want to make sure I'm not being horrible :neutral:

edit : I just realized this is in the off topic section! move as seen fit. ooops!
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Postby Tubular Toby » November 7th, 2011, 2:18 am

Toby and I have two different types of walking. If we are walking, our default walk is for him to be by my side and focused. Not off smelling everything, zig zagging, etc. This is my standard, go to walk. But he also knows that when I say, 'go play', he is free to zig zag and sniff all he wants but still within the confines of his leash. If I had a puppy, I would probably start with a more strict heel type of walk and once they get that down, teach them a command that says, okay, you are free to explore.

I wouldn't necessarily use any corrections when teaching this type of walk. Typically if Toby gets distracted or is too far ahead of me, I just turn and walk the other way. I guess in a way there is a correction, but it's up to the dog. If they pay attention, they don't walk and hit the end of their leash as I'm moving away. For a puppy, it may be more appropriate to simply stop. Once the dog comes back to you and refocuses on you, the walk can continue.

My absolute top choice for teaching a loose leash walk, however, would involve clicker training. Even in the scenario I just described, if you stop walking and the pup redirects/looks back at you (or even in your general direction to start), a click and treat will help shape their behavior to focus more on you. This type of training can be very helpful in distracting environments eventually if you work on it enough. You can also click/treat frequently for your pup walking next to you the way you want it to.

Sorry if this is not coherent. I've been working on a carving for too long now and my brain is boggled. Haha
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Postby Malli » November 7th, 2011, 2:04 pm

oh, he has been clicker trained, and initially, we started with all positive for the walk, however, there are times where he will not take the food(and he is on a restricted allergy trial diet, so our options are somewhat limited), the distraction is too high, and he will not listen. unfortunately I couldn't completely lower the distraction because as soon as you step out of my house we were/are "in" that distraction.
I am less concerned about how we teach the walk, and more concerned about if my goal and strategy here is, for lack of a better word, "too strict".

I'm inclined to be rigid now and more flexible later
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Postby mnp13 » November 7th, 2011, 5:40 pm

how old is the puppy?
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Postby TheRedQueen » November 7th, 2011, 8:04 pm

In all honestly, training goes much better with consistency...it's one of the hardest things about having to share dogs. :)

So if you can agree on some middle ground, it might be best
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Postby Malli » November 8th, 2011, 3:39 am

puppy is 8 months old.
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Postby mnp13 » November 8th, 2011, 12:36 pm

Well, with the exception of self corrections, I doubt that he knows any behaviors well enough to actually correct for them. You can't tell him to do something that he doesn't understand then punish him for not doing it...
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Postby Malli » November 8th, 2011, 2:05 pm

so I let him pull on the leash?
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Postby amalie79 » November 8th, 2011, 4:50 pm

Malli wrote:so I let him pull on the leash?


For a heel, I've been using 300 pecks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DayHrhoSJZc

Starting in the house-- dog doesn't even have a chance to pull. Then once it's moved out to distractions, we don't move one step until pup has made eye contact with me; and even then, we might only get one step, because once we start moving, pup wants to surge ahead. So when the leash goes tight, I stop or turn the other way, and again, no forward motion until I get eye contact. They don't have to maintain it (unless that's what I'm asking for in a ring situation, for example), but they can't pull, or we go nowhere. This has meant very, very short walks in the beginning, and a lot of mental stimulation to tire them out (learning other new tricks, hide and seek, etc). My old dog was on a choke chain when I taught him to heel. I'll admit that I'm sure my timing wasn't impeccable-- and, yes, I did know how a choke chain works, I wasn't just dragging him; I popped and released-- but regardless, the end result was a dog who was overcorrected and BEYOND anxious on walks. I was correcting that poor dog for failing to do something he didn't even know he was supposed to be doing. I don't use correction collars or leash pops at all any more; just the clicker or marker. It's what I trust my timing with.

See the Premack Principle for "go sniff."

When teaching my dogs to pee PROMPTLY, I keep them on leash until they pee. The minute they start to squat, I say go pee, then I throw a party, give a treat and let off the leash. I have a backyard, so it works for me. Mine want to obsess over squirrels instead of pee. They learn pretty quickly that free time doesn't happen until potty time has happened.
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Postby amalie79 » November 8th, 2011, 4:50 pm

cripes. double-post. :oops: :oops:
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Postby mnp13 » November 8th, 2011, 5:10 pm

Malli wrote:so I let him pull on the leash?


Well, no. You either use R+ and treat when he's in the right place and ignore when he's in the wrong or you can use R- by standing still when he pulls (removal of what he wants - to walk forward) or you can let him self correct by turning around and walking the other way (I don't know what that is, it's P+ but self-induced.)

But saying "walk nice" and then punishing him for not walking nice when he doesn't know what walk nice means isn't fair to him.
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Postby TheRedQueen » November 8th, 2011, 5:15 pm

Different ideas for R+ loose leash walking:

http://ahimsadogtraining.com/blog/leash-walking/
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Postby Malli » November 9th, 2011, 3:52 am

mnp13 wrote:
Malli wrote:so I let him pull on the leash?


Well, no. You either use R+ and treat when he's in the right place and ignore when he's in the wrong or you can use R- by standing still when he pulls (removal of what he wants - to walk forward) or you can let him self correct by turning around and walking the other way (I don't know what that is, it's P+ but self-induced.)

But saying "walk nice" and then punishing him for not walking nice when he doesn't know what walk nice means isn't fair to him.



have been doing all of the above... Couple weeks now.

thanks for the link erin

thanks Amalie - unfortunately, the reward he is able to have isn't always enough for him.
as for the house training, I have no yard. at all. my house takes up most of the square footage on the lot. :neutral:

I'll continue to perservere guys!
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby TheRedQueen » November 9th, 2011, 9:54 am

Malli wrote:Thanks Amalie - unfortunately, the reward he is able to have isn't always enough for him.
as for the house training, I have no yard. at all. my house takes up most of the square footage on the lot. :neutral:

I'll continue to perservere guys!


No...Amalie means start *in* the house...very low to no distractions! 8)
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Postby amalie79 » November 9th, 2011, 10:23 am

TheRedQueen wrote:
Malli wrote:Thanks Amalie - unfortunately, the reward he is able to have isn't always enough for him.
as for the house training, I have no yard. at all. my house takes up most of the square footage on the lot. :neutral:

I'll continue to perservere guys!


No...Amalie means start *in* the house...very low to no distractions! 8)


Yes-- starting in the house for leash training... but for the prompt peeing, free time in teh yard and the unfettered ability to obsess over the squirrels is our reward. :)

Bummer about the yard. :( I would be seriously up sh*t creek without ours.
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Postby Tubular Toby » November 9th, 2011, 10:30 am

Malli wrote:thanks Amalie - unfortunately, the reward he is able to have isn't always enough for him.


Is this in regards to teaching the heel?

If he absolutely won't take any treats that you have, let the moving itself be the reward. Like Amalie said, if he surges ahead, stop. Don't move until he offers eye contact (reorients to you!). You can do this with a verbal marker and moving when he offers eye contact again so you don't have to use a clicker, since clicker=treat and he won't accept treats.

As said, I certainly wouldn't be correcting him when it's apparent he doesn't know the behavior to begin with.

initially, we started with all positive for the walk, however, there are times where he will not take the food(and he is on a restricted allergy trial diet, so our options are somewhat limited), the distraction is too high, and he will not listen.

Since he won't take food, the Premack principle is a great alternative. Positive training is not centered just around treats. So even if he is too distracted to eat, you can still train positively without treats.
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Postby amalie79 » November 9th, 2011, 11:13 am

Yeah, I did just the "make like a tree" approach and the "about face" approach for a long time with seemingly no success. First I had to recognize that I wasn't consistent. Occasionally, the dog was able to pull and get somewhere, and that's the triple cherry jackpot that makes the pulling worth the gamble. :|

I also found that once I combined it with 300 pecks, it gave them an alternative action-- it's like before that, they knew pulling sometimes got them somewhere, but had no frame of reference for OTHER things that resulted in forward motion.

We also taught a "line-up" (left-side return to heel) with food luring in the house and faded to a hand command, and a "finish" (a right-side return to heel position), so now when River starts to surge ahead, I can stop moving, and before she hots the end of the leash, ask her to line up and she returns and we continue walking. If she's REALLY being ridiculous, she has to sit and give eye-contact before we keep going. I know those sound like things that are far off in the distance, but make 'em rock solid in the house and keep walks to a minimum until you can do it with some attention from him. My dogs are allowed to go to the end of the leash when we're on grass, because I want them to feel free to potty. But as soon as we're on concrete, we go to heel mode. Maybe make that distinction until you can take the walks...??

Trust me, I feel your pain. Before we got River, I was used to walking Simon, who, in his old age, had become a absolute joy to walk (as long as we didn't encounter other people)-- he had a beautiful, perfect heel. I had no idea what I was in for with River or Robin... and now this damn puppy. Heaven help me, I'm NEVER getting another puppy. :\
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Postby Malli » November 9th, 2011, 2:34 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:
Malli wrote:Thanks Amalie - unfortunately, the reward he is able to have isn't always enough for him.
as for the house training, I have no yard. at all. my house takes up most of the square footage on the lot. :neutral:

I'll continue to perservere guys!


No...Amalie means start *in* the house...very low to no distractions! 8)



I understand :) In, I would say, even low to medium distraction he is pretty decent. This is sort of what I was getting at.
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby TheRedQueen » November 9th, 2011, 5:22 pm

I've had a LOT of success with "choose to heel"...well, a variation of it, since I don't have do perfect circles.

I'll describe it better later tonight...I have to go take some dogs home now.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

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Postby ArtGypsy » November 12th, 2011, 11:54 am

:hug3: We All Know I'm not gonna be much for dog training advice, but I DO want to tell you to go easy on yourself....There's a Lot of Emotional Factors involved here, over and above the "mechanics' of dog training. we all know how just the Dynamics/Complication of Disparate Viewpoints can be difficult in general, but when those two people are in a relationship, wow....
PLUS, this is an 8 month old puppy....(as if THAT doesn't add stress to the house! :hug3:

I know you will get through this..............Remember to give yourself credit...I've been on the board for almost 3 years now, and I know you have great insight and knowledge.

This too, shall pass.....(Now go get some Ice Cream!!) :dance:
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Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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