new, need training help

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by clownfish, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. clownfish

    clownfish New Member

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    Im new to the board.. been lurking for a while and there's good information.
    I adopted an 8 year old dog and she is really well behaved in certain areas but some things not so much.

    Things she's good at: not being dominant, calm, submissive, somewhat timid, no aggression at all with food, people, and even other dogs. Only sometimes she growls or barks if there are dogs across the street when going on walks.
    She also knows basic commands such as sit, down, knows her boundary for a door way. Starting to get "lie down", and im sure she knows "stay" but she NEVER listens.

    I tested her hearing to make sure everything is good and she can hear and reacs to the TINIEST sound when it comes to her squeak toy.

    her prey drive is insanely high and once she's fixated on something (her toy for example, a dog across the street, some kind of noise) i can kiss getting her attention goodbye and recall is a joke. Even when i give her a big correction using the leash and keep walking at a fast pace just looing forward, she is just so captivated, I have to do it harder and harder 3-4 times before she gives up. .. for about 5 seconds. Lol
    I use "tss" as a form of correction or letting her know that I do not want her to do it, and she completely understand. She however, does not obey at times. sometimes without distractions, she does listen though.

    She has really smart. If she doesnt want to do something, what she will do is walk away from me. I started NILIF and resource control a few days ago and it is working a lot better so maybe im being too hard on her but yesterday i tried to get her to eat her food (she needs to eat so she can take her meds) but she refuses to eat. She knows exactly what i want because it has worked before but she was just being stubborn. I make sure to give her lots of affection when she does eat and follow up with a treat, but no go. She will eat the hot dogs (with pills inside) no problem so i know its nothing medical, she just doesnt want the normal everyday food.
    I also am using resource control by using a ball because she goes absolutely insane over the ball. if she sees a ball, NOTHING can snap her out of it. She focuses on the ball and the ball alone. If she doesnt do what i ask, i dont throw it but she just doesnt do it at all, so eventually what happens is she gets tired of it and goes and lies down. Basically, she is being stubborn and won't give in and would rather not have the treat or the ball.

    Low motivator: I tried all kinds of treats but food is not a motivator for her at all, and if she's distracted you can have a delicious steamed chicken in front of her and she won't eat it. She only eats it when she is not distracted.

    Medium-high motivator: she loves affection. She whines when she is alone (which is actually getting much better after NILIF) but she loves it. Before i tried NILIF, she would jump up and down, and literally ram her head into my groin and legs and ive gotten bruises from her ecollar ramming into my shin because of it. I didnt know that petting her to make her calm is giving in but after NILIF, i stopped and she is much better. Not 100% but much better.

    Too -high : ball or fetch. She is so fixated on the ball and fetch and i cant even get her attention to get her to do a simple thing in order for her to get her reward.

    She follows me everywhere i go (except for when she goes and lies down after being stubbornly disobedient), and does not listen to "stay". i can at most walk away about 10 feet or about 5 seconds before she gets up and comes back to me.


    Any help on where to start and any description of what is going on between me and my dog will be greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Welcome to Chazhound!


    I think I'm not really clear on what your questions are.

    But my first suggestion: The "Do Not Try This At Home" suggestion during certain dog training shows on National Geographic is there for a reason.... please stop trying to use those methods, it sounds like they're hurting your relationship more than helping.
     
  3. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    NILIF is really good. e collar is not good. Look for a dog training class that uses clicker.

    Some dogs will eat until they burst, they'll eat anything. Most dogs will eat what is put in front of them. Some dogs will only eat when they are hungry, even something they usually consider yummy. What do you feed? If it is a corn based diet, consider getting a quality dog food. As for treats, many dogs will work and train for affection, like yours.

    I doubt she is being stubborn or defiant. She just needs positive training.
     
  4. clownfish

    clownfish New Member

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    lizzybeth, what exactly in my post did you find that was the "do not try at home" techniques?

    Btw, when i said ecollar, i was referring to her elizabethian collar from surgery. (the huge plastic white cone). When she comes in and rams her head to be petted, the cone destroys my shins. I dont use an electric collar if that's what you were referring to.

    I actually just wanted some input based on what i posted cause i like to hear different people and different strategies and techniques. God knows that dog training is something everyone does differently and what works for one person, may not work for someone else.
    Ive had people tell me try this, try that and have seen certain things work wonders for their dog, but not mine.
    I think time and pack restructuring from the NILIF is what I need. So i am going to be patient. She already is starting to know that I control all the resources, including food, cold water, the fan which she loves, her bed, playtime, everything. She has stopped jumping and ramming my legs and actually responds to "sit", "down", "lie down" (which for me, means i want her to lay completely on her side so she can get a belly rub which she loves). still have to work on "stay", which I think is the most important, especially as it transitions into recall as well.


    Anyone have any good tips or strategies on how to teach "stay" for a dog that is very easily distracted, strong prey drive?

    EDIT:
    Anyone know of good ways to have the dog stop pulling on the leash when walking and constantly getting ahead of me and "leading me"? I do firmly believe that when she walks in front, its not necessarily a bad thing but it is when she pulls and has no sense of what I am doing. I tried a technique i saw on a video where you walk about 20 feet and when she starts pulling, she tug and change directions showing that you are leading. Hasn't worked all that well. The techniques I saw for "heel" involve treats and with my dog, no matter how bad she wants the treats, she never comes and follows me. She just sits there and goes down and waits patiently so having her follow my left hand and heel as i walk has not worked. Obviously, "heel" would take care of the pulling on leash situation.
     
  5. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    What breed is she?

    You can control and limit her chasing and obsessing on things...but it's part of her personality, and you will probably never have a dog who is going to choose to come to you if there is a rabbit bolting across the yard in front of her.

    For walking...I've found with very energetic, unfocused dogs, changing direction doesn't so much of anything. Instead of that, whenever the leash gets tight, simply stop walking.
    You'll have to talk about an hour for a 10-15 minute walk, but after once or twice, she should catch on. Once you stop, she'll probably pull for a few seconds, maybe even a minute, but once the leash relaxes (she'll probably look at you like "why did you stop??"), start walking again. She might bolt forward, but as soon the leash tightens, stop again, even after only a step or two.
    This might also increase her focus, if she looks at you once you stop, she'll learn looking at you earns rewards (like continuing to walk).

    NILIF is great, especially for a headstrong dog, however, that alone isn't going to help the problem of her lack of focus.

    Search for threads here on teaching a "focus" command. Do it without any distractions. Clicker training is definitely your friend in this scenario. The Book Click to Calm is about getting dogs to be calm around other dogs, but many techniques could be carried over to other distractions. Once her "focus" command is solid, start by introducing distractions from a large distant. Once she can ignore them 100% of them time from far away, move closer. As soon as she loses focus, move further away.

    As for not eating, unless you think it's a medical problem causing her to not eat, or she has a medical problem where eating regularly is necessary...give her the pills in the tiniest amount of hot dog (or just put them in her mouth and hold it closed) and then wait. It's likely, that after a day or two, she'll start eating. She may be nervous to eat in front of you, or something. Put the bowl of food down, leave her have it for a half hour, then take it away. Try again later. Don't give her any treats, table scraps, etc to fill her up.
     
  6. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Bark Blog: More on Millan: Guest Blog by Jolanta Benal

    What kinds of methods are you using to teach her to lie down or stay? What have you tried? If she's walking away from you, it sounds like she's not interested in what you have to offer. Or she's shutting down. Forget the idea that she's stubborn, disobedient, "head strong," and all the other anthropormorphisms. You're trying to train her in impossible conditions. She's not in the habit of learning so she is not into it. She needs to have her mind changed. Training has to be fun, a game. Use methods which make it fun and where she can have an easy time of it. I recommend highly, that you read Culture Clash, by Jean Donaldson. It will show you how dogs think and learn and practical advice on training. You will learn how dogs really are and not what humans have long projected onto dogs.


    If she's too focused on other things, that means she's more motivated by those things than by what you have to offer or historically she's experienced. If training hasn't been a joy, she isn't going to apt to "listen." If there's a limited history of being reinforced for those behaviors you are wanting, there's no way to expect her to repeat behaviors she hasn't had ample training with. She's undertrained, not that she is being stubborn. She is a dog and that's how dogs are. Simple as that. They do what works for them, not so much for us. It's a survival thing...an evolutionary advantage...to do what works for yourself. So, forget the idea that she "should" be doing things to please you.

    You need to set up an environment where those triggers are not present and teach her the skills in a way where she is guaranteed to be successful so she can be reinforced for each correct response. A reinforcer is something she LOVES a lot. Praise is marginal as a reinforcer so find something that is over the top wonderful....(tiny, pea sized treats...hot dog, white cheese, chicken meat or whatever else she loves more than life itself)

    Every behavior has parts to it. It's not just one big behavior. Break behaviors down as far as you can into many parts. For example: Stay involves duration. (how long does she have to stay) It also involves distance. (how far is she from you) And distractions. (how distracting is the environment) All these things make staying more or less difficult. You need to set her up so it's easy for her at first and GRADUALLY build on all those things. Those three D's (duration, distance and distractions) should be worked on separately. When one part is being worked on, the other criteria is to be relaxed.

    Practice NOT where there's another dog across the street having a wee of a good time, not where there are squirrels racing around the yard or a cat climbing up a tree. But begin training in the most boring room of your house where nothing else is going on. Dogs aren't stubborn. That's anthropomorphizing. They're too often, simply not set up for success.

    Sit/stay:

    Duration: stand in front of her to start out. Have her sit and stay for one second. Furnish treat. Let her get up, turn around, sit/stay again. Two seconds, reinforce. Do not walk away from her. Stay right there. After she gets onto this, you can turn your body to the side, very your position relative to hers so standing in front, facing her doesn't become part of the cue. In other words, you want her to sit/stay, no matter where you are later on. So, build duration but don't start on distance yet.

    Then when she's up to staying for 10 seconds say....start working on distance, but relax your expectations of duration for now. So, you're going to step back one step and immediately return...no hesitation. Reinforce. Step back two steps and come right back to her like you're on a bungy cord....no duration. Three steps and so on.

    Then add a distraction. Ie: Drop a ball or toy or have a family member walk across the room. Relax those other things to the easiest denominator. Stand fairly close while you ask her to stay. And don't ask her to stay for more than a few seconds. Make the distraction something you think she can succeed with....mild. Reinforce. Have a party. Then gradually raise the pressure on her. This all sounds like it would take a very long time. But it doesn't. It goes fast once she's onto the game.

    That's just one thing to teach. Nevermind about dominance, calmness, submissiveness. (why would anyone want a submissive dog???) Forget "tsssss" and alpha...leader of the pack and all the other pack crap Cesar Milan touts. Dogs aren't even pack animals. He is NO dog expert, can't read body language worth a dang, and has set dog training back decades. If you want to learn about how to train a dog on TV, watch Victoria Stilwell on her show, It's Me Or The Dog. She's wonderful. The Dog Whisperer is nothing to emulate. Run, don't walk from that Hollywood Schmooze.

    Here's a link to some good training articles...most of them are: ClickerSolutions Training Articles Contents
     
  7. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Saying a dog knows a command but doesn't listen is kind of an oxymoron. If they don't listen, it means they don't know the command.

    Don't ever let give your dog a command and let her not follow through. Don't force her into doing it, but don't let her do anything else. Example, if you ask her to stay, and start backing away, and at 10 feet she gets up, step towards her, put your hand out, and say "ehh" or something like that.

    Ask her to stay, go to 9 feet away for four seconds, and then go back and reward her. Do this throughout the day, until she's 100% reliable. THEN go to 10 feet, and if she gets up, go back to 9 feet again. If she gets it at 10 feet (these are, obviously approximations...you should notice at what point she starts to get uncomfortable with staying), keep doing it, and then move to 11 feet. When she's solid, add a distraction. If she can't stay with a distraction, it means she isn't ready for that.

    If you ask her to sit, and she doesn't listen, don't keep saying it, don't yank on her leash, don't push down her bottom, just stand there, ignoring her, and not letting her move away to find something more interesting. Eventually, she's going to want your attention and permission to move, so she will sit. Reward her when she does. After time, she'll realize not listening is a waste of her time.
     
  8. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    If you ask her to stay and she doesn't, it means you're asking too much too soon. If you follow the method I described, there will be nearly zero chance of her breaking the stay. You won't have to replace her to feel like you need to say, "eh-eh." You want to avoid having a dog make a mistake in the first place by setting them up to succeed...not to fail. Asking for more than one second of duration or one step back for distance when she hasn't succeeded at less, is asking for failure. Increase by tiny increments, only when she is successful at a previous level...only when she's had ample reinforcement at easier steps in the process.
     
  9. clownfish

    clownfish New Member

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    Thank you, this helps a lot. Because she is a big dog, about 80lbs, tugging on the leash she does not even notice unless I do it really hard. But "hard" is relative, she's huge. A simple flick of the wrist for a 20lbs dog is not goign to cut it. I will try the stop and go method.

    She's part GSD, siberian husky and what they call NAID.


    As for the post about Cesar Millan, I appreciate the input. I wouldnt have asked otherwise but I am a believe in Millan and his work. There will always be supporters and non-supporters for anything for whatever number of reasons but his method and psychology not only make sense to me but are in line with what i have learned throughout the years studying psychology and human behavior and body language. I know he is not a dog "trainer" but a behaviorist but I think that many times, training errors and trials stem from behavior and respect issues.
    I also have to disagree with the dog not beings pack animals. I think what you are saying is that dogs are not pack animals in the wild "pack for survival" sense like wolves, but they are still descendants of wolves and have many things that are hardwires into them. And all animals including human beings, may not be a traditional "pack animal" but have things that are hardwired as a result of evolution. Things like "fight or flight" and adrenal stress response, which cesar is extremely good at explaining and dealing with, as well as "alpha roles". The idea of alpha is misunderstood by many. Many people confuse as being ONE top dog that rules everything, like it is a clear cut dog that demands and makes other dogs do certain things. While this may be true in true, bona-fide pack animals, the idea of "alpha" is clearly present among all animals, especially humans. Ive studied human body language for a long time and many human behaviorists and psychologists have written books on what human beings do to "out alpha" one another to take a leadership position. I lived in a fraternity and when you have 70 males "fighting" for few females, you can see that although human beings have different civilized social constraints to follow, many things are mirrored from the animal instincts within us. males spread their legs wide when sitting to take up more space, deepen their voices among other males, block out other males when talking to females by turning their back and widening their stance, etc. and don't make eye contact or give attention to those that are deemed as "lower rank pack members". In human terms, it is labeled as "value". celebrities and "hot girls" do the "no touch, no eye contact, no attention" that directly correlates with millan's concept of higher ranks/values and who is "allowed" to demand attention. Rather than seeing it as the alpha has the authority to force attention, it can also be seen as the higher valued individual has the option to pick and choose what he wants to do, where he wants to do it, what he wants other to do, all because it is evolutionary beneficial for the survival of the group.

    There is a reason why alphas exist. They can be the strongest, or the biggest, or the most intelligent, or all of the above. Certain individuals that people (or animals in general) feel comfortable being led by because they have what is required to doing so, are put in that position. and because of their ability, they have more value than others that do not. Same with dogs. Even with humans, "alpha" isnt necessarily a position, it is a state that you earn and you keep. I saw an immediate transformation in my dog the minute I let go of sympathetic energy resulting from her minor surgery, and after starting resource control, she knows exactly where she stands in this household. When i walk, i walk like this is my house not hers. I walk through her and not around her because this is my place. Little things like that are big things in the animal kingdom. Not everyone however, has this in their personality. It comes easy to me and studying it as given me a meta analytic POV that allows me to tweak my mistakes sometimes, but oftentimes i watch the dog whisperer and see many people who are not capable of being "alpha". it is just not their type of personality. individuals with weak voices, extremely unconfident body language (slouching, walking narrow, standing with feet together, weak and mellow eye contact) etc. People like cesar have the certain x factor that allows them to come in, take control and lead. Not just among dogs, but working in the business world you often see born and raised alpha males and they are completely different than the rest. Millans techniques teach those who lack this trait for whatever reason, to emulate and learn that kind of behavior. It is not a win-all situation and only goes so far for actually TRAINING a dog though.


    It is very possible for a dog to know the command but not to be obedient. A command that has proven true time and time again to the point where you know that if you say sit, she understand the meaning, is a command that the dog understands. So when the dog understands what you want, but makes the decision not to listen, that is being disobedient. (for example, she knows sit. I know she knows it. and she does it all the time. But once in a while, without any distractions, she will hear it, look up at me, stare me in the eyes and then just walk away). that is disobedience, and something I am seeking to learn how to correct. In my personal experience, at least with my own dog, when she reacts that way, her behavior is indicating that there is a lack of respect for me and that no amount of "treats" will correct this problem. (she isn't motivated by food remember?) And if she somehow does want a treat badly enough in this scenario, the lack of respect will still win when she doesnt want the treat or the positive reinforcement. Basically, she has become the picker and chooser and that does not fly. I'm reading all sorts of materials and asking around to find all kinds of methods that vary, to see which one ends up working for me.

    What are people's experiences with training on the leash to have more control of the dog so she doesn't have the option to walk away from training (compared to just a confined training area with no distractions)?

    Basically, id love to hear all sorts of training methods, techniques, concepts ranging from millan's primitive ideals to Ian dunbar's positive reinforcement (almost humanistic) form of training. I dont believe in BLINDLY following one person. I'd love to hear names of famous dog trainers.

    The ones ive seen are on youtube. One guy named "The amazing dog training man" and i think a lot of his stuff is great. He's a 100% positive reinforcement guy. Another is K91training in NY and they post youtube vids of police training, heel training, obedience training, training with a timber wolf, etc. and also use high energy positive reinforcement.

    Thanks for the welcome!

     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  10. clownfish

    clownfish New Member

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    I will definitely give that method a try. Im very patient and I can outwait my dog anyway :) I'll go slow and in small increments. thanks!
     
  11. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    If she NEVER listens, then how can you be sure she knows it?

    Get her to look at you in a distraction free environment and reward with high value treats/toys. Gradually add duration ~ asking her to maintain attention for longer periods of time, then add some distractions. Start with distractions that you can control. Friends, friends' dogs, toys. Things where you can get her further away from them in order to keep her sub-threshold where she can still learn, things that you can put away entirely if it turns out to be premature.

    This doesn't sound to me like she's stubborn. It sounds like she doesn't know how to win and she gives up.

    Teach her a marker - a clicker or a unique sound that lets her know a reward is coming. Then put the ball on a table or shelf nearby. Wait for a behavior you want, mark it and then go grab the ball and throw it for her. Help her figure out that she gets what she wants by giving you what you want.
     
  12. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Cesar Milan is NOT a behaviorist. He calls himself things like that and so does National Geographic. It's a lot of nerve. But no...he has no credentials whatsoever. He has no education in behavior or training. He uses what behaviorists call, flooding, intimidation and force to subdue and supress behavior. He puts dogs into what's called, learned helplessness, where they give up and stop behaving period. They shut down and don't learn. And down the road, they usually regress. Or just when they seem supressed enough, they go along with it for a while, then explode and bite someone. Some do that and some just live their lives as toned down versions....shells of what dogs are suppose to be.

    What I've seen him do with dogs is appalling. He hangs them up by their collar, drags them across hardwood floors when they're frightened of slipping on the floors. He stomps his feet toward them, leaning over...all very threatening to a dog. I feel sorry for dogs where people have been emulating him. Many of my clients call on me to fix what they've caused in their dogs when copying Cesar Milan and his alpha roll and other forceful nonsense. I guess if it weren't for him, I wouldn't have much business at all.

    There are so many trainers and behaviorists who accomplish great things with dogs and who use gentle methods based on the science of behavior. What he's good at is being a showman. One or two things he says that I can agree with is that dogs generally don't get enough exercise. But what he does with dogs is exhausts them. He runs them ragged...miles and miles and counts on exhaustion to assist in subduing dogs. He seldom rewards dogs. It's all about punishment. This has nothing to do with human - dog relationships and the domestication process, which btw, I've been studying for a decade, along with behavior.

    He describes behavior and emotions in dogs while pointing out some kind of body language that they're doing. And he's WRONG! All the time. A dog is cowering and he says he's content and calm. A dog has his tail down and held tightly against his legs and his ears back and that dog is labeled "calm-submissive." Yeah, he's submissive all right. A horrible thing to do to a dog and a dangerous thing to do. Some dogs won't tolerate what I've seen him do. I would have liked to see him force my Doberman down on his back and hold him by the throat.

    Clipping a Golden Retriever's nails on one episode: he got bitten 3 times on that one show. The dog was afraid and he used his typical force on this dog to show him who's boss. Ridiculous. I worked with a dog who was 50 times worse than that Golden. She was vicious at the mere sight of clippers. In 5 days, she was happy to have her nails clipped and then later, Dremelled. There was no drama, no force. All reward based.

    Veterinary behaviorists, ethologists and large organizations such as American veterinary society of animal behavior and more all speak out against Milan and his backward treatment of dogs. You can do your own research. But you'd be hard pressed to find any behaviorists with advanced degrees in animal behavior condoning his methods. Supressing behavior is not changing the underlying cause of the behavior. And that is all he does...shuts dogs down with his intimidation...puts them on the defensive.

    Alpha rolls are dangerous and have nothing to do with dogs or wolves. Wolves do NOT alpha roll another wolf. More recent science indicates that dogs are not true pack animals, but primarily scavangers, occassional hunters. Scavanging animals of all kinds don't partake in pack behavior. Cesar Milan bases his nonsense on myths about how wolves behave that have long been debunked. (read David Mech's research...thought by many to be the top wolf expert.) It has been shown for years now that wolves don't even have a tightly structured pack and only during certain seasons are they even in a pack. The alpha pair are nothing more than the breeding pair and they don't boss around the other wolves anymore than a parent bosses around his kids and it's only the kids the alpha pair direct. Often a younger, weaker wolf will be the one to lead in a hunt when hunting large game. It is not always the alpha who incidently is not always the strongest or biggest at all. And dogs do not behave very much like wolves. They're very different, being neotenic versions of wolves. They are not thought to be directly descended from wolves, but descended from a common ancestor. They're quite far removed from wolves, believe it or not.

    Yes, they're social animals, but that is not to be confused with pack animals with a rigid hierarchy. Dogs don't have a linear hierarchy. To be a leader, like a parent, controlling resources is how we do it, yes.

    If she never "listens," then she is under trained...under motivated. Dogs do not share our value system or morals. They are amoral. So, they don't "know" they're suppose to do something and then think it all through logically, that they don't want to do it even though I "know" how to do it so I'm not going to do it. That's the complex thinking of a human. Either the dog has a history of ample reinfocement for complying with something...enough that he is more likely to repeat it in the future (law) or he does not. There isn't likely, according to research, all this abstract thinking involved which would constitute stubborness. Again, that is anthropomorphizing...projecting human cognitive abilities onto dogs. If he's motivated by something else in the environment and you haven't set him up to work within the constraints of behavioral law, where it pertains to dogs especially, he will likely fail at "listening."

    Listen to Corgi Power's advice. It's good. And her posts aren't so long.:rofl1:
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  13. clownfish

    clownfish New Member

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    Thanks for the response, its really fascinating to read it all. My first rule for ANYTHING is to be open minded. (this stems from a separate issue dealing with the egos in medicine) And to start off, I'd like to say that of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion and at the end of the day, the discussion ends manytimes with the "lets agree to disagree" which I am fine with. Not saying I am going to disagree with you but just throwing that out there so no personal offense is taken.


    it's funny how people view and perceive the same event or "thing" quite differently. I haven't seen all of the descriptions and actions that you mentioned of Millan on tv, but I've seen a good amount of his shows and have some of his DVDs. I view many of which are deemed "cruel" or "mean" as not. I think this is analogous to the issue of parenting. Many parents in today's world would absolutely flip out if some DVD came out on how to discipline your child with a rod or spanking. But I grew up from a family where it was physical punishment, not "grounding". Anything can be done right or wrong. One example, I had done something terrible and my dad told me to bring the stick and said to turn around. As my dad was spanking me, he had tears in his eyes and after all said and done, read me a Bible verse and said it was because he loved me and for a bad action, correction is needed. The point of the story is that, although i personally wouldn't discipline my child in that way ("oldfashioned and what not), I view it as a integral part of my upbringing and a very effective method of correction and discipline which was all done in love and caused no physical or emotional trauma at all. In fact, looking back in hindsight, being the child that I was, had i been "grounded" or something like that, I probably wont be the same person that I am and strayed somewhere.

    I cant correspond to the examples that you listed with Millan, but for example, Millan uses his open hand and pokes the side of the dog to get its attention, coupled with a "tss" which is his unique sound he ties with correction. To me, that little action is not harmful to the dog, does absolutely nothing to hurt the dog physically or mentally and merely gets their attention and focus. To others, ive heard outrage that he's "hitting the dog", "abusing the dog", etc. I could not disagree more. I dont think the amount of force hurts the dog even at all. It merely grabs their attention. His work with fearful dogs in my opinion are amazing. i dont see any instance where he takes a fearful dog and makes them submissive into not being fearful (like forcing them to not be fearful). Examples:, one of the best episodes was a dog in the pound that was so fearful it was bolting and the shelter worker could not even walk it. She was emotionally a wreck. Cesar handled the matter by using psychology and helping the dog associate one step at a time that when the door opens, it does not equal fear/run. He started by just gently walking into the kennel with the dog, closing the door, walking slowly to the very end corner of the kennel away from the dog, squated with no eye contact. The dog was not using his nose or sniffing because it was in a state of fear. After a long time, cesar brings out treats and she still was not interested. He walked out. He repeated the same thing with her and after patience, the dog approached him and took the treat from his hand and as soon as she did, he got up and walked out slowly without looking back. The dog looked to him and he said, that was her "wanting more" so that next time, his arrival is tied with treats and good reinforcement and trust. He does it again and repeats this tedious process and within 3 hours, the fearful dog was able to walk on a leash without bolting, and as quoted by the shelter workers, "never seen her so relaxed" and she was laying fully relaxed on her side as cesar rubbed her belly. Never in this situation, he used "tss" or his "attention poke" or anything lke that.


    obviously that's one example but I have yet to see him be cruel or aggressive to fearful dogs. the only time i've seen him look down on a dog is with an aggressive dog that is challenging him, in which case he does not back down, and only in certain situations.


    However to sum up, I want to add that like i said before, I'm not a blind Millan follower. I am sure he has many flaws, just like anyone else in the world. I dont care if one has a phd in dog ANYTHING and lives with 50 dogs, there are always mistakes, flaws and things to be open minded about. I give credit where it is due. Millan, being someone who like you said, has no credentials or degree in behavior studies, is someone who has figured out a lot of what many people with Ph.d and pencil and pad researchers could not figure out. To me, credentials and associations are many times just completely bull and a consolidation of power. He certainly loves his animals and means well. There is a 30 minutes section on how he takes care of his english bulldog and cleans the dog up every week and he does this by using relaxing music as well as eucalyptus oils to calm the dog down and associate the time with relaxation while the dog is getting groomed. also FWIW i dont believe in the alpha roll either.


    Okay a break from the millan stuff.
    I actually took your message about taking it slow and I practiced stay with her. I guess i shouldn't have said "never" cause she does know "stay" but she does not obey. trust me, I'm a very perspective person with lots of patience, and I know when the dog knows the command. I did what you said, and I took her outside with minimal distractions, pieces of hot dogs and chicken skins and had her sit and go down. I said stay but I read here that I should work on focus and eye contact as well, so what I did was I used 2 fingers to point to my eyes (like the "I'm watching you" gesture) and then said "stay" followed by showing her an open hand gesturing "stop/stay". I took 1 step. I took another. And another. obviously not right away, i waited patiently and she had her eyes on me the whole time. I walked away about 10 feet and about 10-15 seconds had elapsed and she was still staying. I wanted to break the command before she fails (as you said dont set her up to fail) and squatted down, said in a high energetic voice "come here" and patted my knees and she ran back to me happily and was rewarded.
    I did this about 4-5 times. I knew she knew what it meant because i had done it earlier and the previous owner said she knew it.. either that or she is a supe fast learner. I saved the best for last and was a big piece of skin of a fresh organic steam chicken. Walked almost behind the wall where she couldn't see me to see how far she would hold out. And then before i hold it too long, I called her, greeted her with high energy, gave her the treat and lots of affection which she loved. when she did break, i walked to her real fast and when I made that movement with eye contact, she immediately went back to her place. Then started over with "sit" - good dog, "down" - dog dog, "stay", etc. I also use "tss" as a form of correction but this is the same as "eh eh" or "no" or "hey hey" or snapping the fingers. The way i see it, there are markers for good and bad, and the "tst" is a marker for bad. I used to use "n" and "o" but the sound from no isnt as sharp and attention grabbing "s" and "t"s.

    would you say duration is more important than distance? Which one should come first? I know well trained dogs can stay or "place" for hours and I'd love to someday get to that point. Def not hours, but good with distractions for minutes will do.

    btw, i forgot to mention, i adopted her 2 weeks ago so that is why i am asking certain questions. she was bleeding in 4 different places from being attacked by another dog, had 2inch wide gash in her foot, torn up ears, matted hair everywhere, etc. and needed surgery. (thats why she has the ecollar). I couldn't help but feel so sympathic towards her and her injuries but to me, that emotion affected her and her sense of what it is to be a part of my family. Everything is going great now though and with the help of others, i am trying new things and it is working fairly well at a good speed. :)
     
  14. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Sounds like a good start. :)

    A few things to think about though:
    I would start indoors where you have much more control over the environment - outside you risk critters, wind, sounds and smells from the neighborhood all which can create situations she's not ready for. For the dog, a sit stay in the living room is not the same as a sit stay in the yard which is still a different behavior from a sit stay in the yard while the wind blows. It's best to start off in the easiest setting possible and then up the criteria slowly, always going through the foundation steps again until she's performed the same before in enough situations that she can generalize it - she realizes that a stay is a stay no matter what else is going on.

    Another thing is that 10 feet is awfully far for early stages of stay training. It provides too much of an opportunity to break and too much of a reason to not stay.

    Also, early on you're better off going back to her to release her from the stay rather than calling her to you. Dogs tend to anticipate things and you don't want her to start anticipate being called to you because that just leads to her breaking the stay more often.

    Well you really can't build distance if you don't have duration. ;) If the dog can only stay for a couple of seconds, then by the time you walk six inches away the time is up and the dog will break. Both are important, but work duration first.
     
  15. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Milan is a not behaviorist. He is nothing but a showman, with no training or schooling in dog behavior, training, or anything to do with animals.

    Not only are his methods considered cruel...they are downright dangerous. If you continually use some of his methods, such as alpha rolling, your dog will very possibly, even likely, become fearfully aggressive towards you.

    Any dog trainer or behaviorist who has gone to school and has actual training in these areas will advise you not to use Milan's methods.
     
  16. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    The difference here is that you can't communicate to a dog as clearly as you can communicate to a child. Punishment works on children - humans - because you have an advanced language and can explain exactly why the child is being punished, what he can do to avoid the punishment next time, and that you still love him even though you are physically hurting him. With dogs, you can't explain this. When you punish a dog (and I don't mean to imply that you're hitting the dog... punishment is ANYTHING a dog does not like), you must do it in the exact moment that he's doing the wrong behavior... if your timing is the least bit off, he won't understand what he's being punished for, because you can't explain it to him. With a dog, you also can't explain that you still love him even if you're punishing him; the dog may come to think that you're dangerous, unpredictible, scary, etc. So while punishment with dogs certainly can work - I use it with my dog - you can't compare it with punishing a human child.

    It's interesting that you pick out one of the very few times Cesar has ever used treats on the show. :)

    It sounds like she's been through a ton of trauma and stress in the past 14 days.... that's not very long at all to settle into her new home and bond with you. At this time in your relationship, I'd suggest you focus on exercises which help her build positive associations with you and her new life. Rather than trying to figure out how to punish her, think about how you can prevent her from doing the wrong things. Then when she is healed and more settled, you can focus more on training.
     
  17. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Sorry, double post.
     
  18. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    To equate training human children to dogs just verifies that you have much to learn about how dogs think and learn. Dogs do not communicate the way humans communicate with each other. They don't understand the various brands of punishment people dole out to dogs. Milan puts dogs on the defensive and when any animal is in that position, he either shuts down or becomes aggressive. There is no learning taking place when blood pressure, respiration and heart rate increases, when stress hormones hit the roof, which happens when a dog is put into fight or flight. Punishment has no place in dog training, other than removing a good thing or preventing a dog from gaining something he wants. You may not be recognizing the dogs' body language I've seen and many, many behaviorists, trainers and experienced dog owners see and talk about. You may not be recognizing what Milan is doing that is so detrimental to dogs. But that doesn't mean it's not happening.

    I reiterate to you with all sincerity, the recommendation that you get hold of the book, Culture Clash. It's very educational. You're making a lot of statements that have nothing to do with dogs. Cesar Milan bases his treatment of dogs on concepts that have nothing to do with dogs. (or wolves for that matter, not that dogs are wolves anyhow. They're very distant cousins) This is not meant to be offensive, but I am a straight shooter.

    Good, it sounds like she had a few repititions to be reinforced for. Let's forget the part about whether or not she "knows." That's moot. Dogs are not obedient to cues. They're obedient to the laws of learning. Cues do not drive behavior. Consequences do.

    I would not be in too big a hurry to build it up all in one session. I probably didn't explain very well. And don't call her to come from a stay....(forgot that too in my description) Always go to your dog and reinforce, then release. The other thing I forgot was a release word. "Okay" "free" "release"....whatever you choose. And get it in there BEFORE she risks breaking the stay. Only ask her for a little bit, then reinforce, then release. (in that order) Keep sessions short and fun. No Punishment. There can be TERRIBLE side effects to most punishment with dogs in the way they operate and with their relationship to humans. That's the last I'll say.

    You might be interested in reading this and clicking on the links and there's a menu over to the side. One thing is about the social organization of dogs. The author is highly respected in the dog world....a good read.

    I totally agree with Lizzybeth on working on the relationship over training. That's the most effective tool you can have....a good, trusting bond. (punishment erodes trust that dogs have for people. They are animals, remember.) Good luck.:)
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  19. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    Okay, I didn't read everything. The method you are using, putting her on a long line and not letting her pull is good, but I think there's more to it. You want to head out with her, then suddenly change directions. Left, right, about face, whatever works for you. You are changing directions before she has a chance to start pulling you. If she is Hell bent on pulling, you'll just have to pull her when you change directions, but get her going in your direction. When she starts following, the lead will automatically go slack. The idea is to get her to pay attention to you. At some point you should find that that long line is staying loose, even as you change directions. This is the moment you are looking for. This moment could take 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or a week of double 45 minute sessions (depending on the dog, how long the dog has gotten away with pulling, and how attentive you are). Don't do the "be a tree" until you reach this point.

    I would normally spend at least 25 minutes with the dog doing this, even if she gets it in ten minutes. However, since your dog is in trauma you need to gauge her comfort. If she starts showing signs of stress (licking the air, intense pacing) then it's time to ask for something she knows and praise and treat her, ending on a good note. Always end on a positive note.

    BTW, the shelter dog could have been brought down using clicker and treats. There are many tools in the tool box.
     

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