Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by StephyMei1112, Aug 6, 2012.
No no.. that's gypsy vanner poop..
Vanners are descended from papillon outcrosses.
Yup. Half of the year in Florida, in one of the major cities (I can't remember which one).
Kharma makes a wonderful town dog. She's even been known to go to the tavern after writing workshop. She's partial to the black bean salsa and Fat Tire, although she likes Blue Moon fairly well. She's been known to sample if someone's not paying attention and holds their beer a little too low
As far as the "firm hand" thing goes . . .
It's more a matter of personalities and confidence handling your dog. Charley tried to do the "firm hand" thing with the Filas and it backfired miserably. He destroyed Shiva's self confidence and Kharma just basically decided he could go eff himself. It doesn't matter how firm you are, a dog like a CO or a Fila, or a CAO -- or any of the heavy duty guardian types KNOW they can take you. They aren't stupid. They take on 2000+ pound bulls. Trying to keep one in line with sillydamn things like dominance . . . No. That's playing with fire. You might get by with it, might seem to do well, but it's a terrible waste and there's always the chance that one day the dog is going to decide he's tired of being your bitch.
These dogs will turn themselves inside out for us -- out of love and respect and the loyalty and devotion that comes from that.
There's a line in one of my favorite books: "If the power is not in you it makes no differ wherewith you are clad or how armed . . ." It holds true for living with a guardian type; you can't fake it and no amount of trying to convince the dog you're the boss if it isn't in you is going to make up for that.
If you think about it, it's just as true for an intense diminutive dog like Mia as it is for a giant, it's just that the consequences don't seem as dire.
I'll replace real with substantial then - that's what I meant; just used the word real in the context of things while typing in a rush. I admit I am a large dog person - but I respect and appreciate all types of canines and their handlers.
And firm is different from harsh. Firmness is required in any dog I believe. I am firm with Katalin but not harsh/punishment based in her training. Firmness does not dictate "I'm tougher than you so listen!" - but firm in making sure rules are understood and stuck to, boundaries are clear, and indeed that what is desired and undesired is crystal clear. Brain power and quick thinking are absolutely necessary yes, but firmness I believe is just as essential. Sorry if the word firm conjures up nasty thoughts for some people.
Again - I do not believe in a single universal guideline with which to teach your dog other than remaining humane and non abusive. Renee's Kharma perhaps wouldn't respond quite the same way to the way I train Katalin and vice versa; Same with everyone else's dogs on here. I believe in just finding what works for your dog and yourself and going with it. If people think it's unorthodox or they don't agree with it so what? Dog responds to it, is learning, is happy, and isn't being hurt/abused - that's my main objective. Not the appeasing of others opinions.
I will say this only once more: DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR DOG - WHATEVER THAT MAY BE. If it's force free stuff - great, aversion style training - that's fine too - as long as it works and is safe and productive.
Most of the positive reinforcement trainers here are dopes - in the international circuit/outside of my city I'm sure there are wonderful, effective, properly firm positive associated trainers that do wonderfully with their dogs. I'll look into what you mentioned more.
I still believe in being firm - being firm to me means what I've listed above. I never said not to be fair, encouraging, as positive as possible. Nor did I say that I think being dominating, intimidating, abusive, harsh, unfairly demanding, rough, or abusive with your dog would help whatsoever - but I do not tolerate bs either and IMO good leadership includes being firm and consistent.
The Russian gentleman's words - not mine lol. I didn't even explain positive training properly to him and he didn't seem very interested - so I really can't speak for him but he and his dog seemed to be doing very well. Please see my note above about just doing what works for you and your dog and individuals.
This is the part I really don't understand. This is how you explained it? Of course his response is going to be ridiculous.
I didn't know any better - that's the way it is presented locally (for the most part) and a trainer I had worked with previously very much employed that technique. If and when we bump into each other again I'll correct myself and see if his response changes at all.
Firmness is very much an essential part of positive reinforcement. The management at first is much more intense, which is why a lot of people don't want to bother. For many people it means changing a lot of personal habits and the way their household is set up, which can be a big inconvenience. And that's fine, because if they're not going to do it right it won't work anyway, so they might as well use another method they are comfortable doing.
I guess a good way to illustrate the difference is this. For someone who uses aversion, they can leave food on the counter and the trash can uncovered. If their dog gets into it, they can yell at the dog, zap it, leash pop, etc. Whatever consequence the dog finds aversive enough to stop the behavior. The drawback is the dog has now learned that there are delicious things in those places, and if the correction wasn't strong enough they will try it again. And if they are a thinking dog, they'll realize they can get away with it if the human isn't around to be the enforcer.
In positive reinforcement the responsibility is on the human to set the dog up to succeed. That means they need to put all food out of the dogs reach and cover the trash. Or make sure the dog is supervised so it doesn't have access to that stuff (by crating or tethering them to you, whatever works). As the dog masters basic "leave its" and is proofed against more and more tempting distractions, it earns more freedoms with its behavior. Eventually you have a dog that doesn't swipe stuff because they never learned it was okay, and that totally respects that the yummy stuff laying around the house belongs to you and isn't to be touched without your permission. Resource control.
For me, the payoff in the end is so great it's worth the extra micro managing in the beginning. I can throw a raw whole chicken on the floor in front of the dogs and leave the room, and come back to them staring at the chicken longingly 5 minutes later. lol. I haven't met anybody using aversive methods whose dogs have that level of control, or the desire to exhibit that level of control (because it is their choice). It's totally possible they're out there. I just haven't personally met them.
All of that makes alot of good sense.
Most of what I've seen in person of "positive training" has been:
Fido: *looks at person*
"Ok, you don't wanna down, that's ok. Sit - you're sitting! good!"
*person turns back to dog and ignores*
F: *barks again*
*During the silence in between barks...*
"Good job boy!" *gives cookie*
I've probably just seen it executed in improper manners/never had it explained to me correctly - thus the confusion/wrong impression.
How many have you met? I know quite a few wonderful, positive trainers in the Vancouver area, so I don't know where you are looking to find all these 'dopes'.
And in regards to the "use whatever works is great, every dog is different!", I am just going to come out and say that I think that is a tub of baloney and a poor excuse for people who don't really know what they are doing. Yes, every dog is different but really, the same principles apply. Sure you might have to tweak how you manage them or how you show them the desired behaviour, but ultimately it comes down to dog's repeat behaviours they find rewarding, and discontinue behaviours that lack a reward or that they associate with something negative. It seems like people are afraid to say that one way is better than another and choose to be politically correct: "well every dog is different so if something works than go for it!".
The thing is, lots of techniques do work. Hell, if you watch Cesaer Milan you can watch physical domination and the application of fear and pain work in the span of about 10 minutes for a dog who was previously acting in some sort of extreme manner. However, what people lose sight of is the consequences of using a method that undermines your dog's trust in you. I could have used leash corrections on my dog to teach him to heel and you know, they would have worked. The by-products of that though would be a slower heel and less enthusiasm in the ring. A more serious example could be a dog who growls when children pet him over the head. If you correct a dog for growling, you will probably curb the growling. What you haven't changed is the dog's mental state (fear), and so next time a child comes to pet him, he may react with a bite instead because he knows now that to communicate to you that he feels uncomfortable will result in a negative outcome.
Behaviour, animal behaviour, dog training... This is SCIENCE. It's time we started treating it like science and accept that yes, there are better ways to do something. As a community who have the resources to know better, I think we should have higher standards when it comes to proclaiming something is working, and working well. Let's stop accepting "well, if it works it works" - our dogs deserve better than that.
ETA: To give a human example, I had a math teacher who thought that I, as a student who struggled with math, could learn my multiplication tables from her belittling and humiliating me in front of the rest of my third grade class. Ever math block she made an example of me, and you know... I did end up learning my multiplication table. However, I still to this day as a 20 year old get anxious when I have to do math and someone watches, and I have avoided taking any math courses in my upper years. Her method worked, I memorized my multiplication tables... But at what cost? I still to this day believe my aversion to the subject is rooted in having had early, highly negative experiences with it. So while many methods may work in the most rudimentary sense, I think it is doing a disservice to put them all on equal footing.
Eww, yeah that's not really any kind of training. lol. The problem with dog training is any moron can randomly call themselves a trainer and just do whatever looks believable or feels good.
ETA: with stuff like barking that is really fun and self rewarding, I find it's easiest to just totally interrupt it with a giant incompatible distraction. Barking? Call them over and start a quick game of tug. They have to shut up to play. lol. Jumping up all over people? Have them sit instead.
My words still stand, I donâ€™t care who said it, its BS.
My friend breeds CAS, lives with them along with other dogs, and she is a positive trainer. Her dogs go everywhere, to dog shows, to dog events, and they do the actual work theyâ€™re supposed to do - guard livestock.
â€œIt worksâ€ is a really poor litmus test of effective training. Karen Pryor wasnâ€™t being inflamatory when she titled her book â€œDonâ€™t shoot the dog.â€ She was being real. Shooting a dog works too - and it is still to this day one of the sure-fire ways to stop a dog from worrying livestock. Either shooting to kill (100% effective to make the behavior stop), or shooting with a pellet gun to hurt but not kill.
Plenty of stuff â€œworksâ€. Basing your training decisions on what â€œworksâ€ is like basing your diet on what has calories. A twinkie has calories, an apple has calories, doesnâ€™t mean theyâ€™re both equal foods.
This is what I was trying to say in my giant rambling post, thank you
Keep in mind there's a language barrier at work here. In my experience, colloquial expressions like "heavy hand" or whatever don't always translate the way non native speakers intend them to. A really good friend of mine from Romania refers to his ex girlfriend as a "loose canyon". Doesn't really mean what it sounds like, lol.
I wasnâ€™t basing my reply solely on the â€œheavy handâ€ comment, and I clarified that I was responding to whoever might say something like that - which frankly, many people do.
Iâ€™m protective of my training preferences and Iâ€™m protective of my friend. She hears this same type of BS all. the. time. Despite the fact that sheâ€™s out there every single day with her dogs proving it wrong.
It gets old.
Whenever you try to dispel the old myths it seems like someone is always there to say â€œyeah but with *this* kind of dog...â€ and if its a rare breed it turns in to a conversation of â€œuntil youâ€™ve met the breed you donâ€™t know what youâ€™re talking about.â€
I am here saying that Iâ€™ve met the breed, my friend lives with the breed, breeds the breed, and she trains with food, clickers, positive reinforcement, and does NOT resort to force, fear, pain or intimidation to gain compliance.
^That. Of course he's going to respond ridiculously. That is really not what 'positive' training is about.
I am 99.9999% sure the kind of training I do, you could not do with aversives. At least you could not get good results.
The idea that force free training is cookie bribing is ridiculous and silly. It's all about motivating the dog into doing what you want without using unnecessary force. You should see what accomplishments some of the trainers on Chaz have managed with their clicker and treat training.
If I was not firm with Mia, she would have run all over me. She does run all over my family.
Fantastic post Tucker&Me.. Seriously fantastic.
I've had the same experience as Laur. I am firm with my dog, but it doesn't mean I bully her using the threat of physical violence or other (imo) harsh aversives.
Training is about feedback, and training by giving positive feedback for appropriate behavior is more efficient. It's not even about coddling dogs, it's about positive training being easier and faster. If you want a dog to do X, but instead of rewarding the dog for doing X, you punish the dog for doing W, Y and Z, the dog still doesn't know that X is correct!
Most dogs need firmness. My 35lb border collie will walk all over people if they aren't firm with her. Firmness doesn't mean they need to be heavy-handed, they just need to be consistent!
Guardian breed enthusiasts hardly seem to consider dogs like mine to be dogs at all, so it's rather pointless to share my experiences with her in this thread, but I'll do so anyway because I can.
I guess it seems a little harsh, but to me, anyone who *trains* an LGD or any other big, powerful dog using harsh methods and force is not only missing out on just how incredible the bond between them can be, but is acting like an egotistical, delusional idiot.
The whole control freak, "I'm the boss, my dog submits to my wishes -- in whatever degree -- is so . . . ridiculous. It's a contract, of sorts. Yes, my dog does [mostly] what I want, behaves [mostly] in a manner that makes me proud of her, but she does it because she WANTS to, because there's a bond there, and she takes pride in how we work and live together, just like I do. She is civilized out in public because she wants to be with me, not because she's softened (ask Zoom, Smkie or Barb how she reacts to gunshots at night) and that makes her dependable. You don't get that kind of deep down dependability with aversives or heavy handedness.
I love what Colleen and Smkie have both said over and over about dealing with dogs: "don't do anything to your dog you wouldn't do to your child."
I feel like that's a great guideline no matter how big or small, hard or soft the dog.
This. 100%. Dogs are living things and each one is different. It drives me bonkers when someone tries to act like their training technique is the only one that should be used on any dog, or when someone tries to claim that one philosophy is "universal". Some dogs respond best to positive reinforcement. Others respond best to correctional based training. There isn't one way to train every dog.
Except that the principles of learning theory ARE universal.
Saying that X dog doesnâ€™t respond to positive reinforcement is like saying X object doesnâ€™t respond to gravity. A feather and a rock may look very different in how they respond to gravity, but they are both most certainly responding to gravity.