|Barked: Thu Nov 21, '13 6:18am PST |
|I largely focus on positive reinforcement, as I've had dogs that weren't able to handle corrections without panicking, or becoming extremely fearful.
That said, Charlie, my Beagle, is rather lazy and often referred to as my 'grumpy old man' even though he's only six. He knows around 40 commands total, but he's not big on playing anymore(unless it's puzzle toys), and doesn't play with other dogs for more than short bursts of energy either. Charlie was seriously considered for Therapy work and for other classes, such as Nosework, however, life got in the way of that with a new baby in the house. He's extremely eager to please, extremely smart, more biddable than the stereotype, and is truly my heartbeat at my feet.
Ria is my Border Collie/Lab mix who is extremely high energy, could play all day, and always has extra energy to burn. She sometimes goes to work with my husband, plays with friends dogs, and goes for long games of fetch with my husband to help wear out that long lasting energy that she has. She LIVES for her frisbee/ball, LOVES fetch, and is extremely smart, although she lacks patience or impulse control, so we're using combination training to help work with that. Patience and doing what she's told gets her the toy, but if she's too amped up, not checking my cues and revving to go go go(she sometimes barks if she's getting impatient), then all the fun ends, or the toy disappears. She's catching on pretty quick.
Maya was my old Rottweiler, who I had to let go in 2011, but she was a fear aggressive dog who LARGELY needed positive reinforcement to help her get past her fear of strangers. Her reaction to strangers was to lunge, bark, snap, growl and to threaten them until they would leave her space. Using positive reinforcement and counter conditioning methods, I managed to work her up to a point where strangers could enter our home as long as I invited them and let her know it was okay. She eventually even grew comfortable enough to go up to them and ask for pets, and would be heavily rewarded for her trust and calm behavior.
I largely prefer positive reinforcement, counter conditioning, etc. However, I've used time outs, and have used methods such as suddenly turning in the opposite direction on a walk to get the dog to pay attention and stop pulling.
Some people say I'm too strict(there are rules in my house that MUST be followed - such as no begging or being in someone's face while eating, etc), but I feel that I do a fairly good job in keeping my dogs in check, and keeping them happy as well. They're spoiled.
I'm going to be looking into training classes with both of my dogs next year. I'm hoping to find Nosework classes for Charlie, and hopefully something like Flyball or Agility for Ria(she would be amazing at just about anything).
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