• Malin

    October 14, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Hi Mike,
    I think you need to plan a trip to Sweden, you would be surprised… I wish I could translate all the active dog-forums on the net, you all would get a long laugh reading all the “expert’s advice” from these instructors that are against corrections of the dog…
    I will just give you a little story from my first (and do I need to mention it also was the last) consult with one of these experts:
    My first Dobie – came to me when he was app. 1 year old, weak nerves and all stressed out. He had some troubles relaxing (could walk around my sofa table for 40-50 rounds before I stopped him!) and I consulted a trainer nearby. This was before I got my own diploma but I have handled dogs since I was a child, so I wasn’t any rookie.

    Well, she came to our place, studied my dog for a while when he was off leash and her opinion after 30 min: well, he is stressed. (no shit was my first thought, but eager to hear what to do about it!) – she asked me just to ignore him and he wandered his 50 laps around my table, barked for 15 minutes at us to get his attention, then he started to hump her. She told me to still ignore him and I had to sit on my hands so I wouldn’t give in to what I felt of doing at that time…

    After he had humped her for what felt like a lifetime, she asked me to put him on leash, but I could not correct him, just hold him a while.. When I let him off leash again he would start humping her again.

    I had had enough, and put him in another room, and then asked her for some training advice.
    Well, she said: you are going to ignore him at all time, even when he is doing wrong! Only give him attention when he is doing the right things.
    Ok, how would this be possible when you have the dog in-doors?
    Well, her answer was that if he failed, it was my fault – I have to make sure he always do the right things.

    Since it felt like we didn’t really understand each other, I had to use an example:
    What if I’m really hangover, I go to the store, buy me some pizza, go home and then see that I had forgotten the coke. I put my pizza on the table (or anywhere else, I could glue it to the roof – he would still find a way to get it) and when I come home to my lovely meal, I find my dog eating it. How do I ignore that and what do I do to train him not to eat my pizza?
    She asked me to go to another room if that would happen, just to calm down.
    And IF that would happen, that he ate my pizza, it was my own fault, since I putted it where he could reach it and I didn’t help him to succeed..

    Do I need to tell you that I didn’t counsel her anymore, and all the other tips about how to make him stop pulling the leash and to not eat my neighbors little bichon frisé went straight to the garbage can… And I understand where she was coming from, and what her ideas where, but it would have taken such a long time to get some results (maybe not even solve everything) and also it seemed so inefficient, and that is what we have seen with several dogs that have been in training for those instructors that work the “soft” way as they call it. Yes, it works on some dogs, and if I find it possible on a client’s dog, I will also use the “ignore” method, and waiting method – similar to clicker training, but it is far from every dog that will respond to this kind of training.

    What happened with my Dobie? Well, after 3 weeks of handling indoors, outdoors, exercising and some corrections for bad behavior he was a dream to have in our family. This program I didn’t get from my first instructor I must say, but from maybe the 10th instructor I counseled and this was also the instructor I got my first instructor diploma from later on 

    This, my friends, is Sweden.

    Well, enough of this…

    I have now tried a vibrating collar on my little terrier this week, and it seems like its working. I will find some other dogs to use it on also – just to evaluate it. It’s a bit weak though – but maybe I can boost it someway 😀

    i also have ordered a citronella spray, but the thing i am curious about is – is it safe to teach the dog with a collar like that, i mean – do you always have the collar on or do you take it off after a while in training? The goal is to not have to use it on the dog anymore, right?

    I have no good experience on the halti-thing, so there i would really need a “how-to” guide…

    I am now putting all my energy at solving my own dogs behavior – as soon as one of the females are going into heat there is just so much trouble 🙁

    Just the other day, my little terrier decided to challenge my grey mastiff, by trying to take her food! Just crazy, but she has no brain on when she is near her heat… My grey mastiff told the little terrier that it was a bad bad decision, and now i have a terrier walking on 3 legs. i can tell you all, that terriers don’t mind if they have 3 or 4 legs to use, they are just running and jumping as always. 😉

    And that is not enough, because when my grey mastiff got to the little terrier, she got the syndrome of being immortal – so now she is trying to be the boss over my beige mastiff. Bad bad choice..

    So, as you all can imaging, I have some crazy times with my 3 females (well, in this case the proper word would actually be bitches)…

    Oh, and by the way Mike – how many lessons do you count at teaching the dog the exercises and discipline before you put them in distractions? And what do you tell the owners to do at the meantime, i mean – the still need to walk their dog even if it’s in training?

    Have a good day you all 🙂