Introducing Dr. Inara!

This forum is all about training and behavior. Everything from potty training to working titles!

Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 23rd, 2012, 8:19 am

Inara earned her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. (all with honors) yesterday through the APDT's C.L.A.S.S. (Canine Life And Social Skills) program. I was pretty psyched as I didn't think we'd be able to get the Ph.D. level, but holy cripes she rocked it. This girl makes me so proud, especially when I think how far she's come - a dog that used to not be able to be in the same vicinity, let alone same building, as other dogs without freaking out, and now she's kicking butt in Rally and earning actual titles.

I have some video clips of our B.A. and Ph.D. - we forgot to record her M.A. unfortunately.

B.A.: http://youtu.be/rEkZajml4s8
Ph.D.: http://youtu.be/kgQKW3aluyM

So Inara now has higher diplomas than I do, LOL.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby TinaMartin » January 23rd, 2012, 1:05 pm

Congrats!
Not only am I a member of the Michelle says my dog is fat club I'm the president!
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Postby Malli » January 23rd, 2012, 3:09 pm

thats really awesome!
I'm so impressed that she has come so far, with positive reinforcement as the cherry on top :)
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby amalie79 » January 23rd, 2012, 3:24 pm

Congrats!!

We were practicing asking for a sit in different positions the other day and River laid down next to me, too!!

Inara's such a pretty and smart girl. :)
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

--Amalie
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 23rd, 2012, 8:44 pm

Thanks all! I'm a total ass and keep calling her "doctor." lol
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby Ino » January 23rd, 2012, 9:41 pm

Way to go Liz and Inara!!! That is so awesome!!!!! :confetti: :clap:
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Postby Jenn » January 23rd, 2012, 10:56 pm

Congrats!!
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 24th, 2012, 11:04 am

The Wiener wants to play doctor with her.
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Postby Malli » January 26th, 2012, 7:58 pm

so, as an overview, how did you achieve this?
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » February 1st, 2012, 10:03 am

Sorry I missed your question, Malli!

The turnaround came when I switched to the positive reinforcement training and learned how to use the clicker. There are a few things that I think really made the difference and continue to do so:
1. Inara's "Sucks To Be You Sequesterings" (STBYS): When we were in class, if she started acting up and barking at everybody, I would cheerfully tell her "sucks to be you!" and drag her into the bathroom. As soon as she settled down (took a few minutes the first time, and eventually shortened to a few seconds) I'd bring her back into the class. The first time we tried it we spent a LOT of time in the bathroom, but after that her improvement was pretty fast. It was an exciting day when we could move to a seat away from the bathroom! LOL

This worked for her because she isn't "aggressive" - she is (most likely) hyper-motivated to interact with the other dogs but has no clue how to do so politely. So taking her away to someplace where she couldn't see the other dogs was a great punishment for her. My trainer and I tried BAT work a couple times (where the other dog moves away from her as soon as she gives a calming signal) but that REALLY pissed her off. As soon as the dog would move FURTHER away she'd lose her crap again.

Now, knowing that she is more hyper-motivated than aggressive doesn't give me a false sense of security. Though she desperately wants to interact with the other dogs, she will tip over very quickly into snarkiness.

2. Look At That (LAT) game: Before I started clicker training, I tried hard to keep Inara from even LOOKING at other dogs because she would freak out. Well, with LAT, she actually gets rewarded for looking at them. It kind of causes a major paradigm shift for the dogs because they learn that it's okay to check out what's interesting them and/or what's making them nervous. This works because I click or say "yes" as SOON as she glances, before she can get fixated. She then orients back to me for a treat. Glance at the dog, click/yes, back at me. It seems counter-productive to treat them for NOT looking at you, but it turns into a game with her trying to fake me out by tilting her head towards the dog but keeping her eyes on me.

3. Basic counter-conditioning: When we're in a situation that I know is going to be overly arousing for her (dogs entering the building, barking dogs, etc) I toss treats on the ground and tell her to "find it!" This teaches her that when Sudden Environmental Changes (SEC) occur, Very Good Things happen. It also diverts her attention before she gets a chance to get worked up. I use this a lot before our Rally league each week as there are dogs moving all around, snarking at each other, etc.

I would honestly say those three things have been what did the most good for her. And learning how to maintain my own composure when she does have the opportunity to act like an ass. I'm not always successful at that but I'm far better than I used to be! LOL It also helps to work on these things around people who you can trust to keep their dogs away and who you know won't judge you if your dog DOES act up.

I hope that helped!
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
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