Q&A #96

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Questions raised by the 5/15 5.0 Course session:

1. Schenkel stresses the importance of visuals as opposed to scent signaling. How can we really be sure w/o something like brain scans, chemical tests, etc? People don’t smell anywhere near as well as dogs. So if Dog A sees Dog B’s raised tail, bared fangs, etc, what Dog A is taking in is not just a picture but smells we know nothing about.

2. At about 28:30+ in the vid. you say intra-sex conflict is more prevalent among captive wolves as well as in multidog households. In other words: gals vs gals & guys vs guys. As someone w/0 multi-dog household experience, I wonder about all the possible permutations/combinations in multi-dog household situations. For example, in your experience:

(a) Is female-female conflict more prevalent than male-male conflict? (i’ve heard/read that it is.)

(b) What’s the role of neutering, age of neutering and gender of the neutered dogs?

(c) What about neutered male(s), unneutered female(s) vs unneutered male(s), neutered female(s)

(d) What about one female neutered, other female intact? Ditto for males

(e) Practically speaking, how much does any of this really matter? You still need to get a handle on the same Triangle-based issues, implement individual-dog-based aggression blueprints, work with the dogs together. Sounds like a huge undertaking, especially if there are more than two dogs. Ethically speaking, I wouldn’t touch more than a 2-dog household. Can you suggest useful guidelines, benchmarks, etc?

3: Re: tail talk: what about fwd-leaning dog w/tail straight out vs. notched tail? Have you ever seen a tough aggressive dog with w/tail straight out, standing very still, hair-pin trigger, ready to pounce?

4: You said most dog language books/vids aren’t useful or accurate as Schenkel’s observations. Do you make an exception for Roger Abrantes’s book Dog Language (Wakan Tanka Publishers, 1997)?

Brad Tobin

Hi mike – sorry, I am behind in 5.0 – I promise to catch up on the replays. Here is a letter that i wrote to my daughter, Rory.

Please don’t feel like you have to dissect the whole thing like you do. But I would love to hear your quick thoughts:

I went to a training seminar this weekend in Boise.

1)            The guy does not think shadow will ever be a personal protection dog. He loves shadow’s alert, and it can be even fiercer (good enough to diffuse most everyday situations).
               But, Shadow does not want to bite. He does it because he’s supposed to…. and he’s not terrible at it. However, he would much rather have “mom or dad take care of the situation” and go back to doing something ‘food motivated.’
               When stressed – i.e. in a real situation with someone kicking at him (or worse) – he will run, or at least not really protect anyone. He just does not have it in him.

               I believe this.

               PS – about 30% of the dogs in the seminar (some seemingly ferocious) we are also dismissed as non-protection dogs for the same reason.

2) remind me to show you the power biting videos and explain them

3)            the goal of eliminating biting stress or nipping out of fear, can be equally achieved through play biting. In other words, the dog just needs to be praised in play, and to have fun biting in a controlled situation – then deterred from biting in the wrong situation.                        You get it.

4)            This method does not use much positive punishment at all. rather, they use negative punishment. Example:

               Dog goes to a place, gives sloppy execution – an elbow off the mat. Foundation style would say to teach the escape conditioning with a leash, gradually transition to an e-coller and then apply positive punishment to correct the dog.
               This new method (ne po, or something) says immediately put the dog out. Just take it away for a timeout in the kennel or the car or something……. Negative punishment – taking something way in order to punish.
               5 minutes later, give him the same place command. If its still sloppy, pull him out again. 

    As long as you are sure that he knows the command, it does not take long for them to get it – once or twice. After that you very rarely have to correct the dog.

               Interesting right?

5             Nothing is for free. 
               You know how in foundation, we control the limited resources (food, resting places, toys, etc….)?
               It’s very similar but in this method, not only do you control the resources, you make the dog work for them.
               I think the science behind it is that they are instinctually hard-wired to hunt/work for food, shelter etc,,,,

               Easy example: in foundation you would ignore the dog if it whines or scratches to go out for a pee. When it calms down you cal the shots and decide when to go for a pee – leadership right?
               In this method, you would have the dog sit first as well, and then be released to go out the door – simple – a lot of people do that anyway.

               BUT SAME FOR FOOD – you would only feed during training sessions. or at least make the dog do a command and the release it to eat. Nothing for free!

               Interesting right?

6             This is perhaps the craziest part……….Ready?

               Instead of collar stim for positive punishment, he uses the collar as positive reward! yes, you heard that right, positive reward.
               Remember, he doesn’t’ t use the e-collar for corrections (positive punshment) – instead, he uses negative punishment – removing the dog and coolling them off.
               He conditions the collar on very low levels, as a positive reward (stim, food – stim, food – stim, food). He then uses it as a “gas pedal” for training behaviors.

               apparently, you can use e-collar stim for both, positive punishment and positive reward – depending on the context.
               I think this would be similar to using leash pressure to coax a dog into  a command, and then using the same leash pressure in resistance training – Where the dog needs to actively stay in a command.
                its the same external stimulus, just in a different context.
               I think.

Oh yeah – about shadow. He thinks he has the potential to be one of the best agility, search and rescue and/or scent and detection doges he’s ever seen –  one, because he’s so clear-headed and his obedience is so good – two – because those things are all taught through food-motivation and shadow is highly food-motivated, not prey/play motivated.

Pet Protection: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/franklin-lakes/2017/02/22/franklin-lakes-officer-shoots-foot-after-dog-attack/98241562/

Bart Bellon Working Dog Forums: https://www.workingdogforum.com/threads/nepopo.24330/

Bart Bellon interview: http://johnsoaresk9training.com/interview-with-bart-bellon/#:~:text=Bart%20Bellon%20started%20in%20dogs,dogs%2C%20none%20of%20them%20Malinois.&text=He%20now%20trains%20dogs%20professionally,over%20Europe%20and%20the%20US.

Bart Bellon Playlist:

Allie McCain
Hey Mike! Dominance question: Can you discuss the communicative differences and significance of a dog lifting his leg on the handler vs. a disciplinary bite towards the handler.

Nicole has been a “dirty work apprentice” (I just like saying that) for a while now and is taking her first supervised client! This is a clip from her first Solo session.

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