Need tips

Share your favorite training tips, ideas and methods with other Positively members!

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Post by Owdb1tch » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:08 am

I think that one of the most underrated points to come out of all this is that different breeds/types have different mental capacities and reaction times. The hairtrigger response of (say) a border collie is never going to be replicated by (say) a mastiff.
Find the cause, find the cure.

A dog is never 'bad' or 'naughty'. It is simply behaving like a dog.

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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:07 am

Post by Carrie » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:50 am ... ti-harness

Here is another great kind of harness. Check out the picture on the Lab. It attaches to the front and there's a vertical connection to the collar.

Such wonderful posts and advice. Here's another tip that I've had good success with: It's helpful is to try and avoid high distraction areas to walk in until he can learn to walk in a quieter place.

Also find a fenced area without a lot of commotion; people, dogs and such and take off the collar leash. Have in a fanny pack some tiny, yummy treats. (make sure your dog is hungry....before the next meal) Start walking, running if necessary, making some fun noises (no cue). If your dog comes alongside you, even in the near vicinity, give a treat and keep on walking briskly, like you're on a mission and having fun. Make lots of turns. Don't speak to him or give any verbal cues. If he lags or goes somewhere matter. Just keep going. He'll come back near you in due course for another treat. Reward him when he does. If he doesn't try enticing him with a show of having more fun that he's having....maybe squeeking a toy or taking a few little hops up and down....something unusual to him that looks fun.

Then raise the criteria once he starts hanging closer to you. Now he needs to be not only in your near vicinity, but along side you, not way ahead, not way behind, but fairly close. (like you'd like him to be when you're walking with a leash) Reinforce every couple of steps that he takes nicely. Don't try for a tight heel yet though. Make sure your rate of delivery of the treats is very frequent until he is doing this reliably. Then later move to a varied reinforcement schedule.

You can also use a fun toy to play with him... like a rope toy or squeeky toy. Vary your reward so he doesn't get too expectant....keeps his interest high. Make it all like a game. When you make a turn and he's coming along, swoop down your arm in front of his nose and lead with your hand for him to target. Be really silly..."woo hooo....let's go!" This gets him engaged and coming with you every time you change direction. Make plenty of turns.

Use a no pull harness at those times where you're forced to be in a lot of distractions or in a non-fenced area. But practice every day in a quiet, fenced area.

Don't do it until he becomes bored. You can switch around to a few other skills inbetween or play fetch inbetween. Don't let him sour on too much repitition. Leave him wanting more of this game when you stop.

After this off lead exercise that you do for several sessions (whatever it takes for him to be good at it) do this off lead practice, then switch right afterward to putting on his collar a leash and do the same thing you did when he was off lead....frequent treats, every few steps that are correct, frequent turns BEFORE he gets out to the end of the leash, stop often and ask for a sit. Don't forget to reinforce. (gradually, you'll fade the cue, "sit" and he'll start doing it automatically when you stop)

If he does pull and there's tension in the lead, stop sometimes until he moves toward you and gives you slack and turn and go the other way sometimes....mix it up or he'll start anticipating stopping at a certain point and it will become part of the routine. (walk out to here, stop...walk out to here, stop) and so on. Try to turn before there's tension created in the lead.

Have fun, make it a big rush. It will all come together if you're patient and consistant.
Training with my mind, not my hands.

Pooh Bear
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:00 pm

Post by Pooh Bear » Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:32 pm

:oops: Thank you for all your kind comments. I am proud of how far my boy has come, and I think he deserves far more credit than I do. He's had to do most of the hard work. I find it incredibly humbling that he can still have such absolute adoration for humans, after all he has been through. If only our species was so forgiving.

I was also incredibly lucky to find an amazing trainer/behaviourist. I can't take much credit for that either, because I was so naive when I went looking for one, I didn't have a clue how badly wrong I could've got it. But without her guidance my dog would probably be dead by now. I didn't have a clue what I was doing with him, and when things started to get really difficult I just wouldn't have coped on my own.

I know I am probably preaching to the converted here, but if you are struggling with serious behavioural problems GET HELP. Really, it's not something you want to tackle alone.

Oh, and well I remember, I should malign the quick wittedness of *all* Saints. I have seen videos of some that would put most dogs to shame (alright, maybe not collies!). But still, it's good to get people thinking about their dog's limitations sometimes too. I work on the assumption that
dogs want to please us, if they aren't there is usually a good reason for it.

I must admit I am a bit disappointed that the OP hasn't come back. Not just because I put so much into that post, and I normally keep our troubles private :oops: but also because she is missing out on so much help and support here. :(

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