• Michael D'Abruzzo

    March 25, 2016 at 3:21 am

    Hi Sharon I actually think you are doing an incredible job using your instincts with the training.  Here is my break down:

    1. Your timing is perfect. You communicate perfectly the moment Tazer does the wrong behavior.

    2. The level of correction is perfect.  It is minimal.  It is just enough to motivate him to change the behavior and not enough to cause conflict with you.

    3.  Your positive reinforcement is also well timed.  SO many people forget about the importance of toggling the praise on as soon as the dog is doing the correct behavior.  Not only are you praising him, you are getting a hand in to give him love to not only reinforce that “good boy” means the right behavior, but also it equals love.

    4.  You are very calm and composed in the training and Tazer seems very willing to follow your direction rather than be stubborn.  When dogs comply with such little effort, especially when fired up like this, it is a sign of a good relationship.  It is natural for a dog to comply to the most minimal correction if the dog feels it is in the position to follow, and the same dog will be 3 times as stubborn if the dog feels he should be calling the shots.

    I really like the video.

    As far as drive. It looks like Tazer is mostly in prey drive and the vocalizations are due mainly to barrier frustration in anticipation of the engagement.  During the bite for sure he slides into the fight zone a bit.

    I am assuming out in public you are probably seeing a different drive.  Probably more defensive/fight.  More likely that he is worried about the intentions of the passerby , where he “knows the drill”in the training sessions.

    Out and about in public I rarely use a “quiet” command since the dog needs to focus on someone in order to be reactive in the first place.  So, you will get all the barrier frustration vocalizations with some dogs that are facing off in anticipation like in the drill in the video.

    Out in public I focus more on “heel” command when walking about which already implies the dog’s job is to focus on what you are doing, and I use “leave it” to disengage attention to a perceived target if I am not moving about and the dog has some opportunity to scan the people in the area.  When a dog disengages with a target that i know would usually worry the dog i am for sure going to ham the dog up with love or possibly give something tastey if my relationship hasnt evolved to the point where the dog appreciates the love yet.  I would think love would work best for him if he is not just taking it for free all day.

    I woud suggest making a profile for tazer, like you did for ara and keep a journal of all his new stuff if you want to have a record to track.  If you want to solicit feedback for your journal entries, the forums is a great place to get the word out.  I would use the “blog” as your own personal diary for thoughts.  Forums use for anything you want to grab attention for.  You can link directly back to your blogs or journal entries.  Thank you so much for being so involved.  Your experiences will help others. 🙂

    You are a natural with good instincts.  Training will always come easy to you.