Hi from me and Horus

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Horace's Mum
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Hi from me and Horus

Post by Horace's Mum » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:48 pm

Hi guys, thought I would take pity on Em and update my intro :D I'm Rosie, and Horus is my collie x lurcher who happens to be deaf. I rescued him at 3 years old, he is now 5 years old, and almost becoming a respectable young man!! He had a lot of issues which we are gradually working through, he was starved and abused until he was 5 weeks old, then rescued, then rehomed for a year to a home who didn't understand him at all, had no communication, and were totally inconsistent with how they dealt wit him, including hitting and spray collars and the like. Then he was taken back to the rescue for 18months for "biting and hyperactivity" where no-one wanted him because of his deafness.

I got him because I was looking for a deaf dog, I didn't find out about his issues until a month after I took him home, and by then I couldn't have taken him back, so I had to learn!! Although I have always been fairly positive with training my pony (Horus is my first dog) and knew how I wanted to train Horus, he has taught me far more than I could ever imagine in a very short time. It's not been easy, there have been times when I didn't know how to continue, but it is just about becoming worth it all now.

We do a lot of work together, obedience, agility and lots and lots of clicker work (using his click sign, a light or our new toy, a vibrating collar). He now knows about 50 specific signs, and probably another 100 or so gestures for day-to-day living and agility. He is far to bright for his own good, but is learning how to chill out and be a lurcher now, instead of being a hyper collie that he was before.

Every day we continue to learn something new, he is forever evolving and I love seeing what other little bits of character will pop out at any time - I think this is down to the positive training allowing him to be who he is, not being afraid to be himself!!

I'm not always around here, but I apologise for all the long replies I give, I am totally useless at being concise!!

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Noobs
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Re: Hi from me and Horus

Post by Noobs » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:36 pm

Yay, thanks for the intro, Rosie! (Okay I must have missed it somewhere but didn't know your name was Rosie!)

Would you explain the vibrating collar? How can it be different from the shock collar? Not asking in a confrontational way, of course. I know you would never do anything aversive to Horus.

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Horace's Mum
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Re: Hi from me and Horus

Post by Horace's Mum » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:02 pm

It has no way of giving a shock, it simply vibrates like your mobile phone. They are in fact sold as training aids, one of those supposedly humane alternatives to the shock collar, like the shaketrainer that cropped up earlier. I only bought it a few months ago simply because I had taken the clicker work as far as I could with a light, and I needed something that would allow me to click when he wasn't looking at me in order to progress. I ummed and ahhed for ages, resisted for ages, because given his history I wasn't sure exactly what had been tried with him and if he did react badly it could be very messy. But then I decided to go for it and introduce it very slowly.

Initially I just sat with it in my hand and fed treats at the same time as vibrating it, then did the same resting on his shoulder. Gradually I worked up to putting it directly onto his neck, then clipping it on. He was perfectly happy, so then I primed it as you would a clicker, and within minutes he was doing work we couldn't have dreamt of with the light. He loves it. It also gives him a very clear signal that we are about to work on something new, because I start things with the collar, then substitute his click sign, then add in the sign for the trick when the behaviour is proofed. It also allows me to do distance work which I couldn't before.

Bizarrely it is sold as a strong training aid, but I have tried it on a number of deaf dogs, including 2 who would vanish at the slightest thing and not give you a second chance, and not one has been bothered by it. So I think, with the exception of incredibly sensitive dogs, that it has more to do with its association than with the vibration itself. Or possibly the sound of the vibration right by their ear, not sure how that would be for a hearing dog. Same as the clicker really, some dogs just can't tolerate the sound of it.

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Re: Hi from me and Horus

Post by Fundog » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:03 am

Whoa-- that is COOL! What an idea! :shock: Unfortunately, I'm 99% certain my Dottie has experienced the shock collar in her young life, being a "started" gun dog. And she still startles easily, but that is a neat idea I will be sure to keep in my mental "filing cabinet," for future reference. That could even lend itself to a more positive method of training a gun dog, instead of using the shock collar, as the majority of bird hunters are wont to do. :(
If an opportunity comes to you in life, say yes first, even if you don't know how to do it.

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Re: Hi from me and Horus

Post by Noobs » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:02 pm

I love the idea of using that collar for positive association with a deaf dog and for distance work! Well done!

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