• Michael D’Abruzzo

    February 12, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Rob,

    I was also taught with the single pop, but after years of training mostly aggressive and fearful dogs this is what I learned.

    pitfalls of single harder pop:

    1. More likely to make a dog cry, panic, have bad experience, bite handler, etc..

    2. Does not look good to jerk dog in front of clients or out in public.

    3. Bad for a dog with confidence problems

    4. more likely to injure dog

    5. Will seem more aggressive to dog and make us seem less calm and in control to the dog

    6. list goes on and on…

    Benifits of onion chops:

    1. reverse of everything above basically. One thing to remember is this method was developed after mostly working with aggression rehab cases and very sensitive dogs. There are major pitfalls to “jerking” dogs – especially if you have certain personality types.

    For instance the wolf hybrid that we worked with was ‘jerked” by a trainer before us with a pinch collar and the owner, trainer, no one.. could even get a leash on her for a long time without her showing aggression after that. But, she did great with the onion chops.

    The onion chops works on the concept of being “annoying” not scary or painfull. the dog learns to go into position quicker everytime because it just doesnt go away if they dont. It’s not that you can’t escalate the strength of correction, but once it reaches a level where it is a “jerk” or otherwise doesnt seem calm to the dog, yourself, or a bystander it is time to move to phase 3. Therefore, it is best to only practice the phase 2 stuff in a low distraction environement and it should be easy for the dog if you made sure your dog understands those commands first for a treat alone with no body language.

    Phase 3 training allows you to use training collars that are more motivational but uses less physical force and allows you stay calm and not seem like you are being aggressive in the dogs eyes. The trick is to be patient and dont skip steps and you should be fine.

    it is important to know that the “foundation style” isnt a 3 week obedience course for the dog, but usually takes a couple months minimum to start working around heavy distractions, etc..

    It is good to check out the “jack” videos on this subject. He is a chow/dalmation mix. Both of these breeds (and himself) would not do well with jerks from a pinch collar…Just like working with the wolf hybrid.

    It good rule of thumb when working with a dog to stay respectful is to use techniques that work with the most sensitive dogs. Just becaise some dogs may be able to take a harder jerk – doesnty mean they wouldnt have a better experience by teaching them patiently.

    If a dog isnt going into position with onion chops alone it is good to troubleshoot why. Is the dog confused? Are the distractions too high? Do we not have the proper relationship?

    That’s what makes the style different – is that there are standards to ensure that the dog is not treated in a disrespectful or unfair way. Me and the trainers I work with have seen horrible things happen when certain trainers revert to rough corrections.

    If you are having trouble with the onion chops in particular training situation be sure to keep the conversation going so we can troubleshoot. I can ensure you that every dog can be trained this way. patience pays off. There are still missing holes in the self help section that I’m adding to so whats not on the backend I’ll answer here.