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A fun training question

General issues of training/education
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Owned-By-Hendrix
Training Dog
Posts: 938
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:40 am
Tell us about yourself: Dutch Shepherd Owner.

A fun training question

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:42 am

So, I was going back and forth with a trainer about this question. Let me set up a hypothetical training situation and see how everyone would respond. There are no wrong answers. Just a way to start talking about training methodologies.

Say you have a 3 year old Dutch. Sound to slight nerves with fast recovery. Stable in her environments. However, she has a fixation on other dogs. Can be dominant in meetings with other dogs, however, she can also ignore them (as in watch in a relaxed manner but not react). Typical things will tip her towards her dominant streak - raised tail, stare downs, dog barking or growling at her - and a dislike of puppies. But overall not a dog that charges other dogs unless she deems the other dog a threat. Cannot be worked around other dogs because of this fixation.

Say she has a good basis on obedience except for this dog issue. This is where owner cannot get control very well. Dog will turn down food and toys because she is so obsessed with staring at the other dog. If engaged with the handler/toy/food, she will immediately stop to stare at the dog once she finds one. Backing away does nothing. Walking closer does nothing. Dog continues to stare with alert to interested posture, depending on signals the other dog is giving, and continue to move forward or backward with the handler, but orients herself to stare at the dog.. She will also continue to stare throughout a prong correction and ecollar correction. If the correction is strong enough she will break gaze but will immediately return to stare at the dog. You can put her into a sit, a down, a heel, but she's still staring at the dog. The one thing she will NOT do under any circumstance is look to the handler. Not even after a correction and a command. The staring continues until way after the dog has disappeared.

For the purposes of this exercise, let's say all encountered dogs are neutral to the dog, and she stares with interest, moves along, sniffs, but eyes are always on the dog. How would you go about training this dog to not stare at other dogs? Again, no wrong answers. More of an interesting application of training techniques.
Kay
(Pepper's Look-A-Like)
(Tyson's Soul Twin)

TimL_168
Training Dog
Posts: 567
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: Hi,
Short and sweet here- I'm a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. I'm looking for a more energetic dog that had the same intelligence and trainability. I'm interested in advice, opinions, and a place to share experiences.
Location: central MD

Re: A fun training question

Post by TimL_168 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:18 pm

I have damn near this exact issue with Endeavor. I've tried everything you posted.
· I get mild positive results if I engage her very dynamically, for example starting into some sprints. She'll still stop and stare after.
·The flirt pole with the deer hide tug was a very good distraction. I should go check her out with that today out tomorrow to see if she's over it.
·Try a new reward toy. En has had very low interest in toys...until I got her a Kong frisbee. Then she got a blue Chuk-it(squeaky). She will do anything for that ball.
· Keep an open mind; tweaking one small aspect of any approach could be the key
Here's the BEST way I've find around that specific issue:
NOSEWORK!!!!!!
Once I built the drive to search, Endeavor can ignore just about anything around her. I put her on a search for her hide tug inside my house a few months back. My mother stopped by, knocked a few times and made her way in. En usually barks and hits the door at a knock. She turned her ears to focus, but didn't break the search at all.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor

centrop67
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Tell us about yourself: Human companion to Radar and Leela
Location: Cutler Bay, FL, USA

Re: A fun training question

Post by centrop67 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:28 pm

We may have different meanings of the word fun.

This is downright frustrating - yes, it describes Radar exactly. Unfortunately, he also has a tendency to go over threshold in these same instances.

This is a great question, and I am really interested in seeing some of the responses.

Tim may be on to something with the nose work, but if I understand the question, it's more about attaining and maintaining focus on the handler at these times. I too have tried food, toys, and tugs, but in the end there seems to be a focus-disconnect that just eludes me.
Michael
The pack -> Radar (DS), Leela (Mal?), and Karen (Human) - Cutler Bay, FL USA
RIP: Tequila and Snickers
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

TimL_168
Training Dog
Posts: 567
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: Hi,
Short and sweet here- I'm a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. I'm looking for a more energetic dog that had the same intelligence and trainability. I'm interested in advice, opinions, and a place to share experiences.
Location: central MD

Re: A fun training question

Post by TimL_168 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:55 pm

Yes Michael, I agree- the search is pre-emptive. I've never bought her INTO a distracting environment to start a search. I've only introduced distractions after the start. And yeah...I guess the search strays from the goal of engagement. But, if you get your dog revved up enough to begin a search, it could be a useful tool.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor

Dutchringgirl
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Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
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Re: A fun training question

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:55 pm

i went through this with sadie too. I took her to the town green every day. No food or toy would be enough interest. No ecollar for her because it would shut her down. Prong only. It took day after day for a very long time. I worked at home a lot with "Look" that is the biggest help. Just look for longer and longer. Then at town, same thing. Worked on " look". She had to look at me through no matter what.

Distraction is good, but when working Ring, we taught them to ignore everything. I could walk Thalie through a crowd of you name it. and she would stay at my heel no matter what.

We had a hamster in a ball and put them in the down/stay and have the hamster roll around. the dog can not break the look.

I did that with sadie too. Short periods at a time.

Then back to town. Over and over. It does take a long time, and a ton of patience. the handler must be able to be very consistent and do this a gazillion times.

the heel and about face is an important tool as well. The dog is at the heel and if the dog does not keep the gasze on the handler, the handler about faces the dog


For me, teaching to ignore is more important than teaching to distract, but they do go hand in hand.
( I am not done but saving this vecause my battery is going to die)
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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TimL_168
Training Dog
Posts: 567
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: Hi,
Short and sweet here- I'm a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. I'm looking for a more energetic dog that had the same intelligence and trainability. I'm interested in advice, opinions, and a place to share experiences.
Location: central MD

Re: A fun training question

Post by TimL_168 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:06 pm

Dutchringgirl wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:55 pm

For me, teaching to ignore is more important than teaching to distract, but they do go hand in hand.
( I am not done but saving this vecause my battery is going to die)
I agree. I want my dog to be aware of the environment. the training is to make sure the dog will always put you above any distraction.
Another big thing I didn't think to mention is changing venues in training. I had an intuition that dogs don't typically generalize well, and that became clear to my during this summer's nosework course. It's easy to teach the focus at home in your kitchen with a fistful of ham. slowly work that outside and down the street. As Lisa said, slowly- possibly over a long period of time.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor

Dutchringgirl
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Posts: 4867
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:05 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
Contact:

Re: A fun training question

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:44 pm

I agree Tim, you do want the dog to be aware of the environment. that's how they know to protect you, they can see, or sense danger and then either act or wait for your cue.

In your kitchen, they are safe, it is their domain. Its a good place to create some foundation to work and let then know what you want, then take it else where to push the limits.

This is where a training field is handy and why a trainer with a facility is the place to be. our field was large so on one end, there was a decoy working a dog, and the other we would do OB. So the dog is in a controlled environment with all sorts of crazy stuff going on and the handler really must be on the ball to work with the dog.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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Owned-By-Hendrix
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Tell us about yourself: Dutch Shepherd Owner.

Re: A fun training question

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:06 pm

Lots of good info in here! I will talk about what the trainer and I's thoughts were on this before digging into the posts.

So, we first decided to dissect the problem into is the dog reactive or not? Reactivity doesn't have to be going ballistic. At it's bare core, it is basically a reaction to something in the environment that causes the dog to worry, right? The dog in this situation is moving and sniffing. It wouldn't necessarily look like reactivity. But the fact the dog will not let the other dog leave her sight is a clue that the other's dog presence is a worrying factor for the dog.

Next, let's dive into the history of the dog because that can tell us a lot. Let's say this dog has grown up in doggie daycare and dog parks before going through obedience. It's first memories are that dogs are way more fun than humans. So now we know that the reactivity isn't necessarily bad - in this case we've discovered that for her, the other dog is the highest reward possible. Taking the dog out of her sight suddenly becomes a negative factor but the very presence of the other dog is a reward. She's probably only listening to commands because her reward is right there (talk about instant reward).

On the other hand, let's say the dog may have had unstructured but mostly good interactions with dogs while young, but not a whole lot. The fact that dogs she views as challenging her are met with equal aggression isn't necessarily a clue that it's reactivity. This is where it gets more interesting and I would want to run a few more tests to get an idea of what's going through her head - is it dogs that resemble a dog she had a bad interaction with while young that makes her more likely to focus with alertness? Or a certain behavior cue she's learned means trouble is about to come around? Or is it indeed reactivity?

Finally, let's see what training the dog has done. Has she worked on focusing in various environments? If not she hasn't generalized the behavior yet. Is her handler engaging and fun? If not, there's a huge problem right there. If the handler is, is the handler engaging and fun in the dog's eyes? Not every dog thinks squeals and noise is fun. I've handled some that loves grunts and pets more than vocalizations. Is she motivated to do the work or has she been trained via compulsion? A compulsion background means the dog is just doing the behavior to avoid the correction and isn't engaged - which means her head isn't really processing what the handler is trying to do on the level we want for training.

I'll dig into one of the techniques I like to use to regain focus because Tim hit it on the head with this nosework example in the next post.
Kay
(Pepper's Look-A-Like)
(Tyson's Soul Twin)

Dutchringgirl
Global Moderator
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Posts: 4867
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:05 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
Contact:

Re: A fun training question

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:38 pm

we never squealed and made noise, it was always tug and lower voices and play, so the human WAS fun and the play was the reward.

this is where many humans baby talk and talk to the dog like a child.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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Owned-By-Hendrix
Training Dog
Posts: 938
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:40 am
Tell us about yourself: Dutch Shepherd Owner.

Re: A fun training question

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:52 pm

TimL_168 wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:18 pm
Once I built the drive to search, Endeavor can ignore just about anything around her.
This is a perfect example of how drive building is a great tool. Usually we want the dog to associate the drive building games with the handler - "oh, every time Mom/Dad uses that word/does that thing, we have super fun!" and that drive becomes focus for whatever training game you are doing. In some sport circles I see people building drive for an object - a tug or a ball - so the handler isn't the focus but the object is. "oh, every time Mom/Dad grabs that toy, we have super fun!" I also see it being used for nervy dogs as a way to "build confidence". Basically, as long as the dog knows the handler has it's toy, it will do anything to get it. That being said, there is no wrong way to build drive it just comes down to training preference, dog preference, and handler style.

Keep in mind here, that the most common thing in sport is reward with a toy and I've seen a trend that with a silent handler, the dog sort of defaults for being built towards the toy naturally.

I've used this technique with dogs who consider other dogs a higher priority/reward. Basically the idea is I take the highest reward I can find with the dog (understanding I will not be able to beat out another dog as a reward... yet). I build up that reward using short duration games, extremely high energy from the handler (like bouncing off the walls energy), using all the vocalizations and movements the dog loves, and make the rules simple. Usually it's just a game of tug and out. Various duration lengths. I slowly begin introducing obedience; ask for a sit once a game, twice a game, three times, etc. I want the dog to see that even doing obedience is fun with me. Then I use that same game, always starting at zero, in different locations starting with the lowest distraction to the highest. The trick comes when you start doing this around the highest reward, other dogs, which is why I refuse to do it until I have a long history of successful games and fun before I try with a dog at a distance and then slowly get closer until my dog is so focused on me they don't even notice the other dog. Basically, I use the repetition to build a framework so the dog knows playing is more fun, which gives me a better footing when I try to tackle the higher reward.

I will come back and add to this - I just need to post to save it!
Kay
(Pepper's Look-A-Like)
(Tyson's Soul Twin)

TimL_168
Training Dog
Posts: 567
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: Hi,
Short and sweet here- I'm a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. I'm looking for a more energetic dog that had the same intelligence and trainability. I'm interested in advice, opinions, and a place to share experiences.
Location: central MD

Re: A fun training question

Post by TimL_168 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:03 pm

Dutchringgirl wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:38 pm
we never squealed and made noise, it was always tug and lower voices and play, so the human WAS fun and the play was the reward.

this is where many humans baby talk and talk to the dog like a child.
I've seen a bunch of videos, some from Lackland where the trainers are making all cute squeaky sounds. I could never get in to that. I've tried it. It didn't seen to make a difference.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor

Owned-By-Hendrix
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Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:40 am
Tell us about yourself: Dutch Shepherd Owner.

Re: A fun training question

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:16 pm

TimL_168 wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:03 pm
Dutchringgirl wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:38 pm
we never squealed and made noise, it was always tug and lower voices and play, so the human WAS fun and the play was the reward.

this is where many humans baby talk and talk to the dog like a child.
I've seen a bunch of videos, some from Lackland where the trainers are making all cute squeaky sounds. I could never get in to that. I've tried it. It didn't seen to make a difference.
High pitched noises activate prey drive. It's why squeaky toys are fun. If a dog has high prey drive it's a way to make the game more fun.

Michael Ellis makes the shhhhhhhh shwwwwwwooooooo noises was he moves the tug.

Mike Ritland makes grunts and lower pitched noises.

The Collared School recommends noise that your dog likes.

If you watch the Dutch play tug they make grunts and varied noise from low to high pitched.

All this stimulates prey drive and makes tug more engaging and fun for the dog. Some dogs don't like the high pitched noise and want the lower grunts and growls of play, some want high pitched squeaks, some just want "good boy/girl!" encouragement, some want none. If you have a dog that isn't particularly energetic for a tug reward, layering vocal on top can help increase excitement. If your dog is just tug crazy, then vocals aren't really needed.

H loves the fight of tug so I make lower pitched noises and he goes crazy. Trust me, it's awkward as all get out playing that in a park but it's that little extra that keeps him motivated longer. Delta likes softer, high pitched praise. Jack didn't like noise because the second he saw a tug he was crazy, so it's usually me yelling "AUS! NO, AUS!"

With anything, layering requires first finding what the dog likes OR simply incorporating it into training as part of drive building. Then you build what the noise means (associate it with the tug and fun) and build the game.
Kay
(Pepper's Look-A-Like)
(Tyson's Soul Twin)

Dutchringgirl
Global Moderator
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Posts: 4867
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:05 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
Contact:

Re: A fun training question

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:46 pm

TimL_168 wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:03 pm
Dutchringgirl wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:38 pm
we never squealed and made noise, it was always tug and lower voices and play, so the human WAS fun and the play was the reward.

this is where many humans baby talk and talk to the dog like a child.
I've seen a bunch of videos, some from Lackland where the trainers are making all cute squeaky sounds. I could never get in to that. I've tried it. It didn't seen to make a difference.
oh gawd ! I cant stand that
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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TimL_168
Training Dog
Posts: 567
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: Hi,
Short and sweet here- I'm a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. I'm looking for a more energetic dog that had the same intelligence and trainability. I'm interested in advice, opinions, and a place to share experiences.
Location: central MD

Re: A fun training question

Post by TimL_168 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:19 pm

Owned-By-Hendrix wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:16 pm
TimL_168 wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:03 pm
Dutchringgirl wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:38 pm
we never squealed and made noise, it was always tug and lower voices and play, so the human WAS fun and the play was the reward.

this is where many humans baby talk and talk to the dog like a child.
I've seen a bunch of videos, some from Lackland where the trainers are making all cute squeaky sounds. I could never get in to that. I've tried it. It didn't seen to make a difference.


The Collared School recommends noise that your dog likes.

If you watch the Dutch play tug they make grunts and varied noise from low to high pitched.

All this stimulates prey drive and makes tug more engaging and fun for the dog.
I tend to grunt and growl with the tug in response to the dog. It doesn't make much difference with Aurora. It does seem to get En a little more uppity.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor

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