Control Unleashed - thoughts

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by corgipower, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    I just read most of this book and skimmed the rest.

    My initial thoughts are that it is an excellent book - well written, lots of good examples and training plans and an effective approach. It let me down a bit though because much of it seems to be geared towards structured class exercises with controlled distractions and some is geared towards agility training and none of it really explains ways to apply the training in public settings without having done a CU class. Exercises that have dogs moving around each other in a variety of controlled ways won't really help when you need to walk the dog through town.

    IMO, this is a great book for trainers and serious enthusiasts and anyone who is or will be taking a CU class. But would I recommend it for the average JQP dog owner? Not as a first choice. I would recommend Click to Calm over CU to the average dog owner. CU might be a bit overwhelming.

    For anyone else that has read this book, what did you think of it? Would you recommend it? Have you used all or part of the training described in the book and if so, how'd it go?
     
  2. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Yes, very much reccommended. I have read it and used most portions of the book.

    Just get creative. You can play LAT (look at that) anywhere and with anything. I do this the most with my fearful dog.

    Mat work helps as well. Especially with indoor behaviors, but I have pulled out our mat at a show too.

    I probably wouldn't reccommend it to someone who didn't have a good understanding of clicker training. Its very much about using shaping to get the right responses and WATCH your dog to know if you are pushing too far.
     
  3. AgilityKrazii

    AgilityKrazii Addicted to Agility

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    I agree with everything you said.

    I really enjoyed the book and was able to stop my Lab from being so over aroused when other dogs did agility or simply played around him with the look at that game.

    I wanted to try the dog in your face game as well even tho he doesnt have agression issues but like you said the book only talked about how to do it in a controlled setting and I dont have much access to other dogs that I could play that game with.

    I do reccomend the book but for people who have a good amount of clicker training experence otherwise I think it would become a bit confusing to some.
     
  4. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    This exactly. It's always kind of suprised me that about 90% of the time CU is suggested as the first chioce for reactive dog issues on this forum, rather than C2C. CU is better for people who want to go on to do agility, flyball, or other such sports, but for JQP, I usually recommend C2C first.
     
  5. Boemy

    Boemy New Member

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    Thanks for the review, that's very helpful! :)
     
  6. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    CU is overwhelming to me, I've tried a few of times to get through it and fell asleep every time.

    As someone with an over reactive dog, I feel pretty desperate for answers. I had hopes that book would show me the way. The hope I had, diminished soon after picking up this book.

    I won't ever give up on Peyton, so I have to keep going, keep trying anything and everything. I'm trying to find someone locally that teaches CU in a class setting. Maybe that's my answer but what I can say is that the book didn't do it for me.

    Peyton learned LAT quickly and it helped her in some fearful situations, but LAT was useless when she saw another dog. There is just no reward greater to her than playtime and even if the dog is a mile away she still cannot be refocused. I guess I could start at 2 miles but I think this is beginning to border on the ridiculous.

    I "think" Leslie uses the term hypervigilante in her book and I would describe Peyton as hypervigilante to the power of 10. Maybe I should use the book to bop Peyton on the top of the head because nothing I've tried "in" the book has worked so far. :)

    Honestly, I can't recommend this book unless you are a well qualified dog trainer to begin with and have an inordinate amount of time to digest it all and complete the program start to finish.

    There are no quick fixes in this book at least that I have found, and in order for it to have any success, you have to read your dog very precisely and work right at the edge of threshold. But like Corgi said, in the real world you can't always control all the conditions and I can see myself getting frustrated and inpatient when things don't go "by the book".

    It's well written I agree, but I also think it's beyond the average dog owners ability to grasp and implement.
     
  7. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Just reading your post a few things pop up. Your attitude will have a lot to do with how your dog reacts. I have known some great owners who have well trained dogs who compete in flyball and agility who can't teach a good heel. You know why? They think its boring. Their attitude to heeling gets in their way of teaching it to their dog. Dogs are sooo intune with is.

    You say its 'bordering on the ridiculous' but if thats what it would take then its not ridiculous to your dog. I have got from your posts you have a set idea of how things 'aught' to be. You need to stop and see how your dog responds not how you think they should respond.

    There are no quick fixes anywhere.

    You have said in previous posts you use the clicker in a fundamentally wrong way. (lol you break one of the cardinal premises of the whole process) You don't always reward a click. That alone could be why this doesnt' work for you.


    I do agree from skimming this book its not for JQPublic.
     
  8. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    CU is very overwhelming to me. But i am trying! and so far so good.

    Luckily I am very very good at picking up on any little thing about Ruckus's body language!
     
  9. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    Sit, down, heel, stay, stand, roll over, sit pretty, look, leave it, drop it, catch it, get it, touch it, ring the bell, get your leash, focus, sit when I stop, LAT and more and ALL clicker trained. You’re right Dekka, I have no clue. You saw one video where I didn’t use the clicker correctly, and you jump all over that like everything I have ever done is wrong. Gimme a break...

    And yeah, 2 miles is ridiculous. Peyton get’s anxious IN THE CAR about two miles before we even get to the DP and read this next part very carefully “even if I take an alternate route”.

    Evidently, Peyton has GPS DR, she knows she "might" be going to get to play with dogs even if I’m on another road she has never been on before but I’m in the “general” vicinity. She’s already over threshold long before she even gets close to the DP.

    There are no dogs in sight from the car and we are miles away, try fixing one that with LAT. There is no "This" to Look At! BTW, Peyton learned the LAT game in under 2 minutes. Peyton is an extremely quick to learn and smart Aussie. She get's it.

    Peyton and Jax ride all around town with me, but let me get in the "vicinity" of the DP and I hear her in the back seat going off, getting ready to play even though the words Dog Park has never been mentioned and we may not be even going there.

    What’s even more interesting is that she does not react if I drive south, north or east. Let me drive west “towards” the DP and she’s fine up until about the 2 mile marker, then the DR begins regardless of what road I’m on.

    Yeah, her DR is pretty severe and I think perhaps unusually so and no amount of clicking is going to refocus her. Not even a raw steak will snap her DR focus and yes I’ve tried that one too. She cares but for one thing when she’s in this mental state and that’s playtime.

    I can’t even make "progress" on her DR much less fix it totally, and this book hasn’t helped me with either so far. I'm just thankful it's not aggression so I've learned to deal with it, but we can't do any dog activities or even take a rally class until this is under control.

    Her DR is holding her back and I cannot seem to find a solution. It's even started to effect Jax so I tend to take only one dog at a time, which adds guilty to my already confused and frustrated situation. Obviously, I want to fix this for all of us, but I can't seem to find the answer.

    DR is a no joke, real problem in our household and combined, that's nearly 100 lbs of herding dog out of control if I let it get that way.

    I've sent several emails directly to Leslie requesting a referral to a trainer in my area, I have attempted to contact trainers who claim to teach this in Dallas. I have contacted every trainer I know to find a trainer that teaches CU. Yeah, I'm trying my butt off but so far, I've found nothing nor anyone to help me help her. I will keep trying.

    So, I have not given up on CU and never ever Peyton, but I need more than a book to fix this problem and if CU does not work, I'll continue to look for other solutions. I have to give CU a fair chance and work the entire program and I can't do that without some very professional real time/face to face help.

    I can say the book didn't help me but I can't say right now is that the CU methods won't work "if" I get a class that can guide me based on the level of DR Peyton possesses.

    I don't expect quick fixes or I would have had one by now, but what I do expect is at least "some" progress and hopefully find a path to success and I think those are reasonable expectations, albeit perhaps rather lofty goals.
     
  10. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    I attended a fund raiser for a vet clinic. I took a different highway. Came in from a different route all together. Had no idea that i was on the other side of SHawnee park. Victor knew however. He was running in place with excitement. THis was when he was about a year old. So i think they can smell the changes in land, a large body of water near by, something. He moans still when we are within a mile.

    I wish i could meet Peyton. My dogs worked with Butch..Mary especially. Butch ws DA when he came. He had been on a chain for 5 years of his life and other dogs were a big worry to him. Made me smile one day when we were walking around the block and passed Butch who was out on his tie out. MAry took her stiff legs down the little hill to the yard walked up to Butch and kissed his head and then took the short cut to the driveway where we met her when we turned the corner. I think my dogs had good impact on Butch and that helped him with future dogs.

    Maybe you could met up with a dog not a whole park of dogs. Play dates to start. IT has taken time. Butch is slowly but surely warming up to other dogs. WHen Logan and I walked we would be sometimes have as many as 5 leashes going which was a big deal considering how Butch started.

    ONE thing i had to point out to Logan was his reaction. I was behind him and he had Butch on the leash and a dog showed up in a yard. THe dog was not approaching nor giving off any more signals than a curious look. Yet Logan tightened up on his leash, immediantly marched Butch across the street. Logan was anxious. HE had good reason because if Butch would have started a fight the other dog would have lost and because of Butch's size Logan would have been helpless to stop it. I understood his reasons but it was the wrong time. HE was not teaching Butch to read the signals. THIs dog meant no harm and Logan should have easily walked right on by. THen it would have been no big deal at all to Butch either. Getting LOgan to see this I believe helped.

    I dont' think there are any easy answers nor are there one answer to fit all dogs. YOu can only try your best and weigh all the options until you find one that that does fit. SOmetimes it just takes time too. I credit your dedication. Most people would just accept it and the dog would never have a chance of changing. Logan has done great with Butch. I miss that they have moved but am lucky enough to get a visit and trail walk once in a while.
     
  11. Baxter'smybaby

    Baxter'smybaby swimming upstream

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    I have both books--and really, I think it depends upon how much time one has to a) read b) work on training exercises and c) how much help you need from someone else to complete the exercises.

    I found Click to Calm an easy read, and easier to implement some of the exercises (although my life's circumstances make REALLY working on some things difficult due to consistency of my available time to set up situations--reactive dog stuff). I found CU a great read--but overwhelming since I am not an agility person, etc. I don't have the time that I would like to have to really work some issues.
    I think if I was recommending one over the other to the average dog owner, it would be Click to Calm.
     
  12. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I liked Click to Calm a lot and used some of those exercises with Lyric. He improved. But unfortunately, we didn't have enough opportunity to practice amply with enough dogs, because of where I live.

    I wonder why those exercises in CU, that are primarily done in a controlled, class-like setting couldn't be implimented or transferred gradually to a more casual environment, where you can't contol everything. Isn't that the point of going through these exercises/methods...so that eventually, your dog becomes less reactive or non-reactive in a variety of environments or settings? Or is she just explaining things in relation to a class setting where everything is controlled? Then you're suppose to take it on the road, right?

    It's funny. Lyric, my Dobe was dog reactive on a casual, on leash walk where he would see all kinds of dogs he may or may not be familiar with, but not in class settings. He was just fine when he was in that "working mode." He just went about his business in obedience or agility classes. There was one exception and that was when we first walked into class on just one occassion. He was young and we had just entered the out door horse arena where class was done and he yanked me so hard, I fell right down prone, in the dirt. I was so pisst at him. LOL!
     
  13. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    For the most part, she is explaining things in relation to a class setting.

    Also, there are a number of exercises using a "box" made of ring gates with or without distractions on the outside of the box. The dog is introduced to the box in such a way that it is a safety zone for him and then ring gates are slowly taken away as he gets better at not reacting. There are exercises of dogs moving near and around each other in very controlled ways. Exercises of parallel racing which involves two dogs and ring gates, exercises teaching the reactive dog to tolerate a dog coming head on - again using a second and very controlled dog and using ring gates.

    There are exercises like relaxation, teaching the dog to relax and turn off on a mat, building an on-off switch, whiplash turns, look at that and several others that certainly could be done without a classroom and that even should be done initially at home. It's more of a question of how much benefit of the entire CU program is being lost by not being able to do the "box work" and have the controlled distractions. Leslie states that the exercises build on each other, so when you end up skipping some of the earliest steps, it's not clear on what to expect with the later ones.

    Did that make any sense?
     
  14. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    How about a discussion for C2C? If that works for Peyton I'll gladly take the CU book and bop myself on the head with it and post on youtube that happening.

    My clicker is well loader but Peyton has convenient hearing I guess. Her over-reativeness could have been the reason she ended up in the dog pound in the first place. Perhaps the previous owner just couldn't deal with her excitement level. The only thing I haven't tried is Valium to Calm.

    I can deal with it, but it's not healthy for any of us and also endangers herself and has cause fights. All of us here know all the reasons our dogs shouldn't act this way but finding the right way to re-train them is the real question.
     
  15. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    You MUST have a good understanding of the goals of CU in order to implement them. If your dog is THAT worked up you are doing it all wrong. If two miles is the necessary distance then that is what you work with.

    THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES WITH REACTIVE DOGS.


    There just aren't. My dog is almost 4, she is still reactive although she is less reactive than she was two years ago, or even one year ago. You must work constantly and YOU must be contantly hypervigilant to the dogs surroundings and her mood/behavior. If your dog is that recative why in the world would you take her to the dog park??????
     
  16. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Feel free to start a C2C thread. :D
     
  17. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    Well Peyton is hypervilgant by Leslies definition when she walks out of the front door for even a walk. Head scanning everything and everywhere, bouncy bouncy, pull pull until she heels. She heels very well once she hears the command until she finds another dog and she is ALWAYS scanning.

    I take her to the DP to burn off energy and socialization and the fact she loves it so much. She would actually rather play ball than chase dogs and so I focus on that with her and Jax at the DP. Originally, I thought flooding her with other dogs would be the answer, it appears now it had the opposite effect.

    One would think, that a tennis ball would refocus her when we are not at the DP. For some strange reason it only works at the DP and for as long as I throw it. If I take a break then she's off to chase and play with dogs.

    Peyton has one speed at the DP, "fast as her legs will take her". She will run until her legs give out from under her. I have to take her home before she hurts herself. She just loves it!

    I also thought getting Jax as a 24/7 play buddy would curtail her enthusiasm. Jax had only been here 5 or 6 weeks now and they play all day, but if I take them to the DP, Peyton is STILL ready to run until she drops. Peyton's name should be Play-ton.
     
  18. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    Victor was like that. He is 5 and a half now and much calmer but not compared to other dogs. Just compared to how he use to be. Peyton is still really young. i think 5-7 is just ideal and after that things slow down gradually and time speeds up.
     
  19. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    I doubt Peyton will slow down at 5 or 7 since she's an Aussie.
     
  20. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Just a thought.. you could be overstimulating her. The fitter and more stimulated she gets the more she will need. Perhaps she needs more control? I have me quite a few over the top hyper JRTs.. they often are owned by people who keep the dog stimulated and very fit. There is a fine balance between over stimulated and under stimulated.
     

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