Tough love - a meditation on dominance and dogs

Discussion in 'Behavioural science and dog training philosophy' started by JulieT, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. Newbie Lab Owner

    Newbie Lab Owner Registered Users

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    I do all of those and for the most part Dexter is fine, he's so flipping quick though at times and often I can't see what he does. I don't think he always sees or smells anything, just forgets he's attached to the lead :eek:
    I'm sure he has greyhound in him at times :)
     
  2. Newbie Lab Owner

    Newbie Lab Owner Registered Users

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    @Jen, I have walked my son's dog with Dexter before and she did have a positive effect on him with his lead walking.
     
  3. Jen

    Jen Registered Users

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    @Newbie Lab Owner I've always walked my two with a friend who has Rottweilers. Very well behaved rottweillers. I do think it helped my two when they were young especially as they are nervous creatures. They walk very well on lead for the most part but because they are nervous and reactive it's difficult to keep their attention. The first of Sophia Yin's exercise on moving past distractions where the dog sits with its back to the distraction approaching is impossible for us. My dogs do not like to turn their back on an approaching monster !!! They have unfortunately been chased/attacked from behind by two small dogs. Very unfortunate as of course I was attached to the leads when they decided to run !!! :eek:
     
  4. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    @Jen, my own experience with two dogs is this: I don't want them to necessarily do the same thing at the same time, so working on independent movements is very important. They seem to understand very easily that a click is only for them if I have asked them to do something. So, for example, if I have asked Willow to walk to heel while Shadow is free to mooch around, if I click, it's for her, and he doesn't expect anything. They picked that up really quickly. This started from very basic behaviours at home. Whilst one is working, the other is asked to settle on a piece of vet bed next to us. I started off by treating them both for every click, but, over time and as the settled dog became more relaxed about it not being their turn, I faded the treats for that one so they just get one every now and again. This leads to a much more settled "settle", as they're not expecting treats every few seconds.

    Once you have a really strong settle for one dog, you can have the other doing lots of behaviours next to the mat. You want to be really clear with your body language about which dog you're talking to, and avoid asking for any behaviours whilst on the mat. So, to start off with, I'd be standing between the two dogs, with the one on the mat behind me, and directing my cues to the one that's working. Gradually, you can change the layout so the two dogs are next to each other, one on the mat and one off, and you face the one you're giving the cues to. Change it around so the working dog is sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right etc. Then you can try getting rid of the mat and directing different cues to the two dogs. I tend also to use their name before I give the cue, so "Willow, sit; Shadow, floor".

    The whistle, however, is always for both of them if they're both out away from me.
     
  5. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Thanks for the video, @JulieT. I've just found the time to watch it. I found the accounts of what some people will do in the name of "training" really upsetting, and should stand as a lesson to us all. It's so sad that Sophia Yin is no longer with us. I wonder what she could have achieved if she had lived a full life. She was a true hero of domesticated animals around the world, and I hope that her legacy will continue to encourage more people into force-free training methods.
     
  6. Jen

    Jen Registered Users

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    @snowbunny thanks Fiona that's great advice and I could do to work on a settle indoors more. When one moves the other tends to or if I move they both follow.

    I don't actually have a problem training them together but seperately, if that makes sense. I trained retrieve together but seperately from the beginning. One would sit and wait while the other retrieved. They've always been quite good at training like that. One of the things I have a problem with, which I mentioned before, is keeping their attention on lead when I'm walking both. Scout is quite easy but Scott likes to keep an eye on what's coming. Individually it's not so much of a problem I have a free hand and can keep rewarding for looking at me, staying calm etc. When I'm holding two leads in such a way that if they react I know I've got a good hold its not so easy to reward. :confused: I have not been able to find training books or advice that covers this sort of thing.
     
  7. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Hmmm, generally if I'm having issues on lead, it will be Willow that's struggling. If I feel I need two hands on her, I'll loop Shadow's lead around my waist. I don't normally use the clicker with both of them in this context, because it's too cumbersome to coordinate everything, so I use a marker word instead. Then, I find it's better to stop and treat them both in the stop before moving on again, otherwise it can be hard to control. I'll see if I can coerce DH into taking some video.
     
  8. Jen

    Jen Registered Users

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    Thanks Fiona. Obviously it's been even more tricky with gloves. Can't wait until I don't need gloves. That's why I'm really looking into this now. I decided once I've got rid of the gloves I'm going to really work on keeping their attention when something is approaching. Obviously they have improved tremendously from what they were like, they may still look at what's approaching but they don't react, well not very often anyway. Its just this last step I need to crack.
     
  9. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    I feel your pain with the gloves! I generally wear mittens and take my hand out every time I need to give them a treat! It's tedious and clumsy, but the best solution for keeping my hands warm whilst still giving them treats.
     
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