• Michael D’Abruzzo

    February 7, 2016 at 12:34 am

     I was concerned that I would only suppress his aggression if I use the collar the way I was taught for the obedience.

    This should not be a problem if the right steps and concepts are taught first. That is why the dog and handler must be good at phase 1 and phase 2 obedience first. Phase 2 obedience in particular helps teach a dog that obedience is predictable rules.  Dogs actually never get corrected for being “aggressive”. They get corrected for being “disobedient”. So if a dog should be “heeling” or laying down on a “place” he breaks that command, then the dog gets corrected for breaking the command, NOT for being aggressive. If the dog is taught the right way he understands this.  Therefore if a dog breaks obedience to play with a ball, do protection, or even greet someone he knows well.. the obedience will not discourage these behaviors when the dog is “free” from command or commanded the time is appropriate.

    Sloppy training and “quick fixes” where someone just corrects a dog without warning for barking, lunging, or any behavior in general is what will cause possible side effects such as hesitancy and conflict when needed to perform.

    My female protection dog that I spoke about above seems to have been trained different from the links you have provided here and the dog trainer I purchased her from seemed to be following the dog training methods from http://www.ccprotectiondogs.com/training/.

    I checked out the link, and i don’t know if i would say that the dogs are necessarily trained different there.  It would be more acurrate to say that they are only using some of the training methods available, but not everything we do here.  I am only making an assessment on the little that i read.

    I read that they dont use ecollars, but there reasons for not using them are not problems with these methods if used the right way In fact it gives abilities that just will not humanely be possible without them.

    They also state that they only train dogs in “defense”, even puppies.  There are videos and instruction on how to train the dogs in defense here and it is needed to have a real dog.  But, it is impossible to teach a puppy concepts such as targeting and many beneficial techniques such as counters on the bite while playing basically a rough “game” if we only train the dogs in defense.  Also, you cant expect a dog to do well in full contact protection until close to two years of age anyway, so it is a lot of wasted time that can be used to work on control on bites and confidence until the dog is ready to be turned on for real.

    We train a lot of dogs that do not seem to enjoy the prey side of things mostly in defense if that is the only thing the dog will do, but it will limit what you can do with the dog.  So therefore, it is kind of like using rewards vs punishment in obedience training. We use rewards and punishment. they are both apples and oranges that serve different purposes, and you are limited if you leave one side out.

    Protection is like that too. Prey and defense are apples and oranges and when used together the right way you can get the best of both worlds which is a dog that enjoys and is confident about the work, but also understands the concept that the threat is real.

    The other reason I’m also considering using the e-collar is even though she does obey my commands she breaks them too as there is no aversive consequences except for a “no” and put back into the command or a jerk on the leash. It’s like “do I have to do the command?”. Do you have suggestions that may help me to improve her obedience when she is off leash?

    Yes, do not use the ecollar with any protection training at this point. I would suggest starting with a simple “come” when called with the ecollar for starters.  The best way for me to guide you is to make sure your dog understands the exercise technically and perfectly just with positive reinforcement first in phase 1.  Then i can easily guide you through the phase 2 concepts. Then, we do phase 3 which is the ecollar. Finaly, phase 4 which will be in practice around any distraction you can think of.

    Thsi will be easy if we are methodical.  In your profile start a training journal for her.  Watch the phase 1 cookie video, because this actually covers important details about the timing of praise and premack priciple which will make a big difference when we apply discipline.  Write details how your dog does in the training journal so we have something to refer to for troubleshooting.