Training to tolerate manhandling...

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katej215
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Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by katej215 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:52 am

I've been to a couple of competitive obedience workshops with my dog over the last few months including one on Saturday. One thing that keeps coming up (and indeed is the view of my regular trainer) is that I should be desensitizing my dog toward being manhandled..So for example to create drive when teaching a send away, it's common to hold a dog by the collar whilst revving it up to move away from you to the send away box, or another example is gently pushing the dog onto your leg with your hand to build contact in heel work. Thing is, my little dog is a very sensitive soul, who is a really hands off kind of dog. I totally respect the way she is, and all of our training is based on having fun, not stressing her out doing stuff she dosen't like... :? Plus she's a terrier..she isn't going to put up with the [email protected] a collie might :lol: I find myself just nodding and smiling when I'm being told this stuff, but would love to have to balls to actually say what I was thinking.. :(

All of these trainers train using positive motivational techniques (I wouldn't be there otherwise!), plus one or two could be described as at the top of their game in the UK at the moment & really are amazingly talented, HOWEVER there seems to be an underlying sense of imposing our will on dogs whether they like it or not which doesn't sit well with me at all...I'd love to be able to communicate this back in a way that dosen't sound like i think i know more than they do!!!

I'd love to know what other people think and what you'd say in this situation :)

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Nettle
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by Nettle » Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:40 pm

I wouldn't be there :lol:

Seriously - good for you for thinking this through. You have a terrier, a way different type from a collie. The way with terriers is to keep them quiet and calm, not to razz them up - they get over-razzed in no time at all, and take blue ages to calm down again.

If you are doing competitive obedience for a bit of fun and to give your dog something to entertain her, then it is not worth ruining her for the sake of the 'game' once a week. If yur traner has experience of terriers in the real world - not just at class - then she will understand this. If she doesn't then she has a chance to learn something. Terriers should not be razzed up EVER.


How to put this across? Tough one - honestly, people who only train one type of dog are often clueless about what makes up another. Can you find a reward 8) for your trainer understanding? You have a delightful dog and mutual respect between you. If it were me, I'd be doing the toddler trick - every time you are 'told' to do something you know is wrong for your dog, say calmly that this type of handling is wrong for your dog so you won't be doing it, but you can see how the collies are enjoying it. Every time. Just keep calmly repeating the mantra, the way toddlers do.

Others may have better ideas. When someone wanted me to manhandle my lurcher, I walked out :roll: after several refusals, but I was a lot younger then.
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bendog
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by bendog » Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:47 pm

Nettle wrote: Terriers should not be razzed up EVER.


How to put this across? Tough one - honestly, people who only train one type of dog are often clueless about what makes up another.
Nettle THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this. I sometimes feel like my terriers are too calm, and would like them to run around and get excited a bit more, but deep down I know I'm right to be keeping things chilled out and relaxed.
I sometimes feel like the fun police in our house because my OH tends to try to get them razzed up and it sets my nerves on edge because it just feels too close to things boiling over! The boys love to play tug (with me, not each other) and this is fine, and they get excited and growly, but I'm always careful to stop before they get too wound up, and I work in plenty of drop, sit, leave etc to keep them listening.


Kate, we pretty much don't do agility much anymore because felt we were being pushed into doing long courses that were too much for Pops and she was losing motivation half way round. I would prefer to have done 5-6 obstacles maximum in a row and have her do them fast and accurately, then reward her, rather than do 16 lack lustre ones and have to reward that.

So I know where you are coming from but not sure how to help! Would the club be happy for you to continue to train your own way? Small dogs often prefer to be slightly further away in heel position anyway so they can see your face and hands not just your knee! Bigger dogs don't have that problem because they can still see owners face from a tight heel.

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Nettle
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by Nettle » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:09 am

Your dogs will enjoy doing agility at home in the garden, without the pressure. If anyone likes watching agility, then it's a time to go without your dogs - take it as research :wink: watch the behaviour, interaction, body language etc. (watch how every now and then a razzed-up collie breaks loose, heads over to another collie and a fight ensues).

OH and I were reminiscing only last night about when we had two terriers, and one minute the little darlings would be running with each other, and the next would morph into a screaming spitting snarling mop of teeth and nails. The aftergrudge would last for days.
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katej215
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by katej215 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:06 am

Nettle wrote:If you are doing competitive obedience for a bit of fun and to give your dog something to entertain her, then it is not worth ruining her for the sake of the 'game' once a week.
Exactly Nettle...it is just fun and despite her amazing drive to train, this is built entirely on having ALOT of fun ALL of the time, so I think if this was reduced in any way, I wouldn't be surprised if her drive disappeared overnight. I wonder whether obedience trainers would get this if I tried to explain...there just aren't many terriers in the sport at all for them to be understood I would guess (you see the occasional staffie, border or jrt type). My trainer said she's never seen a fox terrier at an open obedience show in her entire life :lol:
bendog wrote:Nettle THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this. I sometimes feel like my terriers are too calm,
Yup, like Amy, I see Hats as a calm girl...when we're out & she meets other dogs she ranges from polite to submissive...never razzy or rude. However when we are inside somewhere and another dog comes in, she goes nuts (its sounds like hysteria not aggression) but nevertheless I've always had this deep sense of the potential for things to go badly wrong..There are some quite inexperienced handlers at my heelwork to music class, who sometimes lose their dog's focus and the dog come bouncing over to say hi, I think they probably think I'm over reacting by sweeping Hattie up and moving quickly away.
bendog wrote:Kate, we pretty much don't do agility much anymore because felt we were being pushed into doing long courses that were too much for Pops and she was losing motivation half way round.
That's such a shame...and really rings true for me...the amount of times I've seen obedience trainers pushing the same question the dog isn't understanding without making it easier makes me wince! (the trainer on saturday referred to it as pushing through the pain barrier.. :( ) Building drive and confidence gradually seems to to me the way I'd choose train any dog, not just a terrier.
Nettle wrote:OH and I were reminiscing only last night about when we had two terriers, and one minute the little darlings would be running with each other, and the next would morph into a screaming spitting snarling mop of teeth and nails. The aftergrudge would last for days.
Note to self....DO NOT be tempted to get that smooth fox terrier boy you have been dreaming of... :D

JudyN
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by JudyN » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:26 am

I really regret the times I've put Jasper into a situation he couldn't cope with because I've been doing what the 'experts' say. At training classes, we really should have just stayed for, say, half an hour and then left before he became overwhelmed. And if he did decide to have a little lie-down while everyone else's dog was doing sit, down, stand, down, sit, stand.... I should have insisted that he was quite justified in thinking it was a waste of time so he might as well have a break.

The worst was when OH and I walked him round & round an indoor riding school on two leads when he was like a bucking bronco, at the insistence of a really well respected (even by positive owners) lurcher trainer who saw him as pushy and said we'd babied him. It took about two weeks for him to recover from that :(

So stand your ground, do what is right for you & Hattie, and stuff what anyone else thinks.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Nettle
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by Nettle » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:40 am

So stand your ground, do what is right for you & your dog, and stuff what anyone else thinks.


THIS should be the mantra for us all! :D Thanks JudyN
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WufWuf
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by WufWuf » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:48 am

Nettle wrote:The way with terriers is to keep them quiet and calm, not to razz them up - they get over-razzed in no time at all, and take blue ages to calm down again.
bendog wrote:deep down I know I'm right to be keeping things chilled out and relaxed.
I hate seeing people razz their dogs up, you the "where's the catsssss" kind of thing in particular :roll: . A guy who does work in the house (who Honey is fond of) was trying to do this with her the other day and I had to say to him "you really don't want to do that, it will NOT be cute if you set her off" and then distract BOTH of them (or do "look at the fairies" as we call it in our house :lol: )

Something that always made me feel quesy was hearing the "exercises" some of the agility folk did with their dogs (when I was at the rescue), they are from a well known agility trainer. One lady in particuler was doing them with her terriby reactive JRT and here was I trying everything I could to take Honey DOWN a few notches in her excitement levels :roll:.
She very kindly coppied some of the notes from her class from me and I spent the next few weeks trying to come up with excuses as to why I hadn't tried them yet :oops:.
Nettle wrote:OH and I were reminiscing only last night about when we had two terriers, and one minute the little darlings would be running with each other, and the next would morph into a screaming spitting snarling mop of teeth and nails. The aftergrudge would last for days.
See I really want another terrier but I KNOW that I don't have the energy to deal with that much crazy :mrgreen:
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bendog
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by bendog » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:45 pm

i feel I should qualify that "too calm" is in relation to other terriers I meet, a lot of other dog owners would probably still find them WAY too demanding to cope with, and it still requires a heck of a lot of management and effort sometimes to keep things calm!

jacksdad
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by jacksdad » Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:33 pm

katej215 wrote:One thing that keeps coming up (and indeed is the view of my regular trainer) is that I should be desensitizing my dog toward being manhandled..So for example to create drive when teaching a send away, it's common to hold a dog by the collar whilst revving it up to move away from you to the send away box,
why can't they just teach the dog to go to the send away box? why do we need to "build drive" whatever the heck that is (trying to make a point, I know what most people think they are saying when using "drive" that way) and "rev" the dog up?
katej215 wrote:or another example is gently pushing the dog onto your leg with your hand to build contact in heel work.
again, why can't you just train this. why force it?

you are right to ask questions.

just because someone is "top of the game" doesn't make their methods sound or the only way to achieve the end goal. people can win in spite of rather than because of their methods. keep that in mind.

Conceptually your dog absolutely can learn to do the things required to compete. The methods the trainer is using/teaching are just one way. The literal steps are not critical, the principles of learning and how to get behavior, then reinforce it are far, far more important. know them, then you are not limited to one person's "steps/way" of achieving a goal.

I have no doubt you could train your terrier to do what is required without revving up or by physically forcing a heel etc.

back to the real world, just because you could train the skills needed to compete using other steps still doesn't address is this the right environment for your dog over all. that is a whole other question.

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Nettle
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by Nettle » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:07 am

Further thoughts on this "drive" thing:

How lucky the collie people are :roll: their dogs' drive is to work by herding. They think they are creating "chase" drive, but a collie's drive is to herd. Which means run out and bring back. So when collie people razz up their dogs, they increase the speed of the outrun, increase the herding bite (watch a few of these before they 'get it' and see the change in the collie's eyes) and increase the desire to stay close.

Terrier drive is to KILL. Terriers, whatever we do with them as pets, are bred to kill big toothy animals, often in the dark down holes. They need insane courage, and are quite capable of razzing themselves up, never mind getting razzed up by us. And once razzed, as the veteran terrier owners among you will already know, they don't de-razz quickly. Generally speaking they actually NEED a kill if they are to calm down within a reasonable timescale. For them, the act of killing releases feelgood hormones.

None of that focus and power is desirable or necessary for competitive obedience unless we plan to win by killing the other dogs :mrgreen:
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jacksdad
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by jacksdad » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:01 pm

there are a lot of problems with the whole "drive" theory, but like dominance the dog world has embraced it and very unscientifically have randomly expanded on it. just like the "dominance problem" people just randomly tag "drive" onto whatever their dog is doing to try and describe and explain at the same time. which in it's self has problems, never mind the underlying drive theory.

maybe one of these days we can have a chat about "drive theory", motivation, and reinforcement. how they are related or not, how to use them correctly etc.

katej215
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by katej215 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:44 am

jacksdad wrote:just because someone is "top of the game" doesn't make their methods sound or the only way to achieve the end goal. people can win in spite of rather than because of their methods. keep that in mind.
Thanks jacksdad...really insightful comment
jacksdad wrote:back to the real world, just because you could train the skills needed to compete using other steps still doesn't address is this the right environment for your dog over all. that is a whole other question.
In my case I think it is, as we both really enjoy ourselves. I would never act on an instruction that i didn't think was right for my dog...I think my initial question was more based on 'what do I say', as opposed to nodding and smiling, whilst inside thinking..arrghh not in a million years! Thinking one thing and saying nothing just isn't me!! I think everyone has given me much food for thought though, so hopefully next time I'm in this situation I will have the strength to say something constructive... :)
Nettle wrote:How lucky the collie people are their dogs' drive is to work by herding. They think they are creating "chase" drive, but a collie's drive is to herd. Which means run out and bring back. So when collie people razz up their dogs, they increase the speed of the outrun, increase the herding bite (watch a few of these before they 'get it' and see the change in the collie's eyes) and increase the desire to stay close.

Terrier drive is to KILL. Terriers, whatever we do with them as pets, are bred to kill big toothy animals, often in the dark down holes. They need insane courage, and are quite capable of razzing themselves up, never mind getting razzed up by us. And once razzed, as the veteran terrier owners among you will already know, they don't de-razz quickly. Generally speaking they actually NEED a kill if they are to calm down within a reasonable timescale. For them, the act of killing releases feelgood hormones.
Nettle thank you for setting this out so clearly...its one of things you sort of know, but then when someone spells it out, a light bulb comes on!!
jacksdad wrote:maybe one of these days we can have a chat about "drive theory", motivation, and reinforcement. how they are related or not, how to use them
correctly etc.
Yes please! In my head I still don't see anything wrong with it...(Nettle bangs head against wall :lol: ). Of course I understand clearly now why I should not be razzing my terrier up...but in my head 'drive' means a desire to do something..whether this is genetic hardwiring, such as hunting, or something we manafacture, ie: desire to work /train...it dosen't necessarily mean being wound up...just willing keenness ...So when i say to Hattie, 'shall we do some training?' and she goes somersaulting round the room..or if I ask for a move and she gives it to me busting with enthusiasm..that's drive in my head..which is a good thing right?.... :D Maybe I should start a new thread... :D

mansbestfriend
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by mansbestfriend » Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:39 am

Hi. Not necessarily a good thing. Sounds like your dog might benefit from appropriate calming, rather than encouraging excitement. How much do you know about thresholds?

My KelpieXStaffie has needed training and management for years, to keep stress and excitement levels lower. She'll easily overwork/play/run herself to a standstill and it's not healthy. Keeping her everyday/base levels of mental stress low is also very important so that spikes now come and go in minutes, instead of building and building and building to chronic high levels. :)
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katej215
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Re: Training to tolerate manhandling...

Post by katej215 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:01 pm

mansbestfriend wrote:My KelpieXStaffie has needed training and management for years, to keep stress and excitement levels lower. She'll easily overwork/play/run herself to a standstill and it's not healthy
This isn't Hattie at all...I describe her as super chilled for a terrier.

The only time I have seen her over her threshold is regarding her noise phobia or if approached by a big bouncy dog (tho I work minimize these situations as much as possible)...her 'can't cope' response is to shut down, not fire up. Obviously I'm no expert , but feel in my gut that her training is a stress release not a stress builder :?

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