Postings by Guest ID 1146504


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Behavior & Training > Learning Left & Right

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Barked: Wed Nov 27, '13 5:03am PST 
I thought gee was left and haw was right?

I agree. Take it back to the beginning and get him to only offer left paw and assign a cue to that. Then likewise for the other paw. Teach them as separate, assigned cues.
» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Nov 27 5:18 am

Behavior & Training > Question for professional dog trainers

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Barked: Wed Nov 27, '13 4:59am PST 
It's my professional opinion that a professional in the field should have BOTH experience AS WELL as education, otherwise, there's not much to separate client from professional. A lack of knowledge is never a good thing and with experience alone, there's only so much you can learn and no way to prevent the same mistakes from being made over and over again without realizing it.

An education and experience complement each other very nicely. It doesn't have to be either/or.

There's a science behind behavior and as a professional in my field, I should have studied it. IMO. A lot of people don't agree with me because they don't want to shell out money or time or effort for an education but this is my opinion nonetheless and the standard I hold myself to, as well as the standard I would hold any behavior professional I hire to.

I've noticed that a lot of professionals who have experience alone without an education will rely on corrections a lot, while many professionals who have BOTH experience as well as education can do very nicely without using corrections. It's not my preference to set dogs up for failure and have to correct them if I can prevent it in the first place by teaching them how they learn errorlessly.

There's actually a blog on this subject, if you're interested. Things that can't be learned just by experience alone. t-my-dog-when-he-knows-what-hes-supposed-to-do/

For a part time trainer, I wouldn't hold them to certifications as these are expensive and not a guarantee of anything, although continuing education is a must, IMO. But for full time trainers, certifications are a must, as well as continuing education.

Again, all IMO.
» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by , Nov 27 4:59 am

Behavior & Training > George has no play drive :(

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Barked: Wed Nov 27, '13 4:50am PST 
You can teach him that play is rewarding. You can do this by conditioning play with a primary reinforcer, like food. Will he work for food?

You can shape play behaviors by treating it as if you're training him to play. So set down a toy and any interest he shows in it, even if he just looks at it, mark (a clicker, say "Good!", or whatever else your marker is) and give a treat. He'll see that looking at it gets him a reward, so he'll one up himself to see what that gets him, and he'll start to get closer to the toy. Mark and reward that, and so on. You can also hide food in and around toys to get him to interact with toys that way. Eventually, play should kick in. Especially when you offer a lot of encouragement when he interacts with toys in any way.

You can try to see if you can engage his prey drive by using tug toys (I have a real fur pocket that I put food in), or a flirt pole. Again, mark and reward him for engaging with the toys.

You can also use food toys. If you can, put his meals in them. That way he plays and exercises his mind and body while getting his meal. It's enrichment for him to forage.

There are also interactive toys that he can play ONLY with with you, like the Nina Ottosson toys. There are cheaper alternatives now as those can be pricey. You can also try making some of your own. For instance, get a muffin tin and put smelly treats in the holes, then cover the holes with a tennis ball. He'll have to remove the tennis ball to get the treats.
» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , Nov 30 9:38 am

Behavior & Training > Favorite Training Methods!?

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Barked: Wed Nov 27, '13 4:43am PST 
I like that you point out that physical exercise is only part of it, mental exercise is necessary to drain mental energy as well, otherwise the dog will still be bored.

I don't think there is a dominant or submissive type of dog. Dominant and submissive aren't personality traits. They're descriptive of access to a valued resource. So while one dog may be dominant during feeding time because they have priority access to the food, another dog may be dominant during playtime as that dog has priority access to the toys. The domestic dog doesn't have a fixed dominance heiarchy so no dog will be dominant in respect to every valued resource.

For methods, I like to set dogs up for success and reinforce them. This is what I try to do as much as possible. I'm a LIMA trainer who follows the humane heiarchy. If this fails, I'll either remove reinforcement for undesired behavior or teach an alternate behavior (differential reinforcement/DR) in it's stead as a more reinforcing behavior choice. Sometimes, I implement management when appropriate.

I really like to implement games when I train. It makes learning fun and is rewarding in and of it's self. It also really engages the owners as well, as I want training to be rewarding for them too.
» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Nov 27 7:06 am

Behavior & Training > Severe separation anxiety

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Barked: Wed Nov 27, '13 4:33am PST 
This is my procedure for separation anxiety, although it sounds like your dog has isolation anxiety as well. The idea for that is the same, condition the dog to being alone, in very tiny baby steps.

The procedure isn't fun, if fact, it's downright boring and repetitious but that's rather the point.

Separation Anxiety

Break down into as many steps as you can the procedure you follow for leaving the house. It can help to write it out.
1. Put on shoes
2. Get coat from closet
3. Grab keys from table
4. Leave the house

Further break this down into as many steps as possible:
1. Turn off tv you were watching
2. Put on shoes
3. Go to closet
4. Take out coat
5. Put on coat
6. Go to table
7. Grab keys
8. Open the door
9. Step through
10. Shut door behind you

1. Introduce one step at a time, very calmly, while dropping very high value rewards.
2. Repeat same step until pet is calm.
3. Now ADD on the next step to your repertoire. Repeat steps 1 through 2 and so on, only adding on the next additional step after success has been achieved with the current step. Eventually, pet should be able to accept all the steps put together.
4. Last step can be built on by first opening and closing the door while remaining inside, then stepping out for a split second and closing the door, then quickly stepping back into the house, and slowly increasing the duration of how long you wait outside the door each time. If pet watches through window, then move away where you can’t be seen or try to block window visibility.
5. Repeat entire procedure often to keep the dog from reverting to anxiety. And practice in new environments, like while on vacation, BEFORE the dog has to be left alone.
6. With the pet’s newfound comfort, he/she should be able to be content with a food distributing toy right before you leave to keep them busy while you’re gone. For dogs, wet, meaty, stinky food usually is held in higher regard than dry food (like canned food). It’s a good idea to save meals for times when you have to go out if pet is content with the value of their regular food, if not, offer wet food instead.
» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by , Nov 27 4:33 am

Behavior & Training > Back off growl - not sure!?

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Barked: Wed Nov 27, '13 4:19am PST 
I don't think it could hurt to further push the idea that husband coming into the room/near you is a good thing. Even if your dog is just vocalizing, it's not a lot of work for him to approach you/near you with a peace offering for a while and then every once in a while. You can keep a little baggie of dried treats near the doorway of rooms where this happens.

It's always easiest to head off a problem than to try to fix it. I agree that it's probably just a greeting vocalization but better safe than sorry, imo.
» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Dec 2 10:28 am

Behavior & Training > What "type" does your dog need to be for schutzhund?

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Barked: Wed Nov 27, '13 4:15am PST 
Mulder is right. This sport is still very harsh in how they train the dogs. It's my belief that most dogs won't have a good time because the training is so aversive. And also, the dogs have to have the confidence to be able to challenge humans and even so far as to take it beyond that, to actual attack work. Most pet dogs who bite do so out of fear and they perceive they have no choice left. But in schutzhund, the dog has to proactively bite. It's asking a lot of a dog.

However, some people, albeit very few, are shifting towards more positive training so the dog, if they're ever going to enjoy this sport, will have a greater chance of doing so. It should become more of an actual sport to them based on play drive and less of a perceived need to actually defend themself, which is very stressful.

Many people in the sport are very macho and will use macho, hardcore training on the dogs. They don't jive with "softer", more positive training. They take a certain pride in making dogs submit to their authority.

I don't know where you're located but you might try contacting one of the following to see if you can get some pointers on how to find a more positive trainer or club.
» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , Nov 27 1:07 pm

Home Prepared Food & Recipes > Salmon Crack Dog Treats - They're so good...they're crack for dogs. :D

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Barked: Wed Nov 27, '13 4:05am PST 
Thanks for the recipe! I keep coming back to this. I'm going to pre-cut it with a pizza cutter before baking it so I have tiny training treats. I love that the recipe is so modifiable. I use wheat free flour and whatever allergin-free meat I have on hand. Usually I use canned sardines since they're lower in sodium usually and it's harder to find canned salmon without added salt or tuna without soy bean oil, which my dogs are ALSO allergic to.

My spoo has a sensitive tummy and this doesn't upset it!!
» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by , Nov 27 4:05 am

Behavior & Training > What "type" does your dog need to be for schutzhund?

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Barked: Wed Nov 6, '13 2:16pm PST 
Yes, that's probably why the chi is having such a good time.
» There has since been 6 posts. Last posting by , Nov 27 1:07 pm

Behavior & Training > What's Going on Here?

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Barked: Wed Nov 6, '13 2:14pm PST 
Barrier frustration being redirected onto a housemate.
» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Nov 6 9:25 pm

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