Dogs are funny people...

Discussion in 'Members Zone' started by Juke99, May 29, 2010.

  1. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    A good "sit-stay" will prevent a ton of dog problems. It should be an iron clad command.

    I've been raising the difficulty level with my pooch....distance (give the command from further and further away)....distractions (I'll cue her and then run past her clapping and waving a bone in her face)..duration (I want her to hold the position for three minutes)

    Today, I cued her, from about 25 feet away, to sit-stay on the deck...I went back in the house, came back with a cooking pot...which I threw way up in the air so that it CLANGED down about 10 feet away from her.

    I did this a few more times...threw the pot higher, clapped my hands when it hit the deck...etc...

    She didn't even flinch.

    Good dog. Jackpot reward.

    A few minutes later she trotted past me carrying a bird that looked like it has been dead for a while... as if to say..

    "Hey buddy, this is what I think of your sit-stay" or perhaps she wanted to practice "sit-stay" with the bird just to show me that she's a better trainer than me. "You wanna see a 'sit-stay'?? Watch this!"
  2. hipfake08

    hipfake08 Well-Known Member

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    Does your significant other do the same thing with you. Sit / stay in one position for 3 minutes.
  3. casmith07

    casmith07 Attorney-at-Zone

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    Dogs are INCREDIBLY smart. I would not put it past your dog that this was the reason why at all.

    My favorite was trying to tell my dog to come in the house (a command he fully understands) when he was being a butt-hole in the back yard. While he certainly knows what "walk" means, "treat" means, and can distinguish each member of the family by name and even know the difference between his rope, ball, or hoof...

    ...he would look at me as if English was completely foreign, do that sideways head nod, and then run around the yard barking and being a jerk some more! :banghead:

    Gotta love 'em though :eek::
  4. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    Yes, Or shorter...depending on how long it takes me to be done. ;)
  5. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    Yep, I train 'em. Classes are quite the hoot.

    the 3 D's of dog training...Distraction Duration Distance. You had two of the three working against ya.
  6. Vtwin

    Vtwin Power and Performance

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    I saw the distance affect at work yesterday with male GSD. He's very smart and very alpha. He was much more work to train then the female but as a rule does very well. Our regular walks take us through the woods and at one point we get to within a couple hundred feet of the dirt road we live on. There is also a rail line turned recreation path running along the road. This situation has always been a training opportunity as they, mostly he, can't resist chasing a car or a snowmobile or whatever might be passing by. Over time we have come to an understanding and he knows he is not supposed to cross the stone wall without my ok. He is even at a point where he has gained my trust and can run ahead over the hill out of my sight because he waits by the wall for me to catch up.

    Yesterday just as I reached the top of the hill I could hear a car coming (very little traffic on the road). I saw Ranger right at the wall in his "ready to go" stance looking in the direction of the car. I told him stay and mind his own business and he relaxed his posture a bit, gave me a very quick glance over his shoulder and took off! I know it was because I was far enough away from him that he thought he could get away with it.

    He ran down the rec trail chasing the car then took a serpentine route back to us through the field as if to prolong his return to his obviously ticked of handler.

    He was put in a down stay for a few minutes then a heel for the mile walk back to the house. It's interesting that if I put him in a heel without the car chasing situation having happened I would have had to work a bit to keep him there. Since he had been disciplined for ignoring me and chasing the car I think he felt obligated to obey me because he never left my side after being told to heel once.

    The female GSD, who I never have to worry about, made it a point to come sit right at my feet while Ranger was chasing the car as if to say "look at me. I'm a good girl".
  7. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    Good stuff.

    If you don't mind, I'll give ya a couple of perspectives.

    I think it's great that you've got him trained as well as you do....very few people do.

    When he holds that "stay" by the wall, out of your site, when you arrive, jackpot reward him with something of high value....could be food..could be the release...a ball...but something that he really sees as high value. You don't have to do it each time, in fact, variably rewarding the dog will cause him to perform his behaviors even better. It's like someone playing a slot machine in Vegas. Constant rewards lose value. Ya put a dollar in a vending machine, get your soda and move on. Not excitement there. BUT when you win on a slot machine, even if you're still behind, it's a buzz and let's face it, once you win on a machine, you'll always go back to the slots, even if you return 6 months later. Same with dogs. Variable rewards are very powerful.

    I'd be a bit careful on the chasing thing because that is a hardwired behavior, some dogs are more reactive to motion than others and he sounds like he's highly reactive. I'd just hate to see him get hurt. It's a tough thing to train them out of. ESPECIALLY because he is a herding dog.

    Much as it might have been difficult to "praise" him when he came back after he did the serpentine thing, remember, any behavior that is positively reinforced or positively punished more than a few second after the fact, has very little impact. I'm pretty sure that what made him delay his return was that he knew your were pissed by body language, scent etc.

    Good example. My girlfriend insisted that when she came home from work, her dog KNEW she had done wrong by knocking over the garbage pail in the kitchen. I said "No, she knows to link, "Garbarge pail knocked over = human pissed off"

    After much discussion I said "OK. Take the dog outside. I'm going to knock the garbage pail over in the kitchen. I want you to then bring the dog in, let her loose into the kitchen and then you come in through the front door as always and I'll guarantee the dog will do the same routine"

    Sure enough, the dog threw herself at the mercy of the jury with the same "Please don't beat me with a tire iron" look on her face.

    It's all conditioning.

    Smart animals but people tend to see their behavior anthropomorphically ,that is, they give it human qualities.

    I don't know if it was a matter of you being far away enough that he knew he could get away with it as much as it was your control was watered down enough by distance that whatever the attraction was, it was stronger than your influence. So he took off.

    And yep, I energy on the walk back was STRONG. He was surely reacting to that. It' shows ya how well they read energy.

    As an aside, the "alpha" stuff has pretty much been blown up, even by the guy, David Mech, who coined it scientifically and connected it between wolf and dog behavior. He has actually been begging people to ignore what he published in the early 1970's

    Good stuff. I could talk this all day long. Thanks for your story! I learn something from everyone's experiences.
  8. Vtwin

    Vtwin Power and Performance

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    I don't mind at all. I'm no pro trainer and can stand to learn all I can.

    Fortunately the road is separated from the trail by a bank and fence so he is content to run down the trail chasing the car. It a good controlled situation to give him chase opportunities in a relatively safe situation. We've done so much work in this exact situation that he really surprised me yesterday.

    I hear you on my energy. I actually made an effort to control what I was putting out but like you said, history and his ability to see through my effort to appear calmer then I was definitely affected his behavior.

    He definitely knows I am there when he is taking off. Once he is in full stride and I call him with a more urgent tone I can see the little hitch in his step as he makes that split second decision to stop or go. If he can actually catch what it is he is chasing he will give it a quick sniff and immediately turn and run back to me. He most definitely lives to chase things. He chases jets and the moon. He used to chase clouds but must have decided there were to many of them to keep running off.

    I couldn't imagine what these dogs would be like if we didn't spend the time we do with at least basic obedience training. They are both well bred from DDR working lines and are smart with strong personalities. I regret that I don't have the time and skills to get them to reach their full potential.

    Thanks for your thoughts and the link. I learned something new today.
  9. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    She tells me 30 sec is your personal best ;)
  10. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    You wanna have a blast with him? Buy a remote controlled car. It's funny as hell and you'll find yourself competing with him. It's a great way to satisfy his urge to chase with no danger involved...other than you getting pissed every time he catches the car. And for fun, you can put pieces of a hot dog in it, peanut butter, etc...and really make the car an attraction. If you want, you can teach some calming stuff and some self control (for the dog, not you) Simply get a "sit-stay" and move the car sloooooowly. If he breaks the sit-stay, back to start. If you get a second or two of the stay, give him a command, like "chase" and off he goes.

    You can do the same thing with the recall. The chase will be a super high value item. So call him to you, the second he reaches you "chase" and off ya go with the remote controlled car.

    It'll make his recall that much stronger.

    As far as you not having the time, and potential and all that, I do volunteer training at a local shelter and I see plenty of dogs that people gave up on. So, with that said, pat yourself on the back for giving them a home and the amount of training you're doing. :D
  11. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    Yes, I gave the "two minute warning" a new meaning.
  12. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    This was the "Flying cooking pot" exercise...

    I use hand signals you'll see me give her a "spin" command...the folding my arms for site "The I dream of Genie, sit" and the the stay cue.

    First time I just tossed the pot up in the air...

    Second time, I ran by with the pot and her bone..waving both and then I threw the pot.

    When I brought her home from the shelter, at the age of 6, she knew "sit" Nothing else. The shelter sucks. Most do. She had every behavioral issue a dog could have. Took the better part of a year to really get some good, solid foundational behavioral stuff in place like, uh, DON'T BITE ME...don't guard all your possessions...don't attack strangers...don't attack dogs...walking on the leash means by my side, not three blocks ahead...and on and on...

    She's a great dog.

  13. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    That dog looks like a sweetie pie.

    BTW cool mullet.

    This is my dog

  14. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    Yeah, she's great. She was a HORROR when I first brought her home but 2 years in a shelter will do that to a dog.

    Nah, no mullet..just 7:30 AM and "bed head"


    Shame is, ya know how many dogs get euthanized due to people seeing dogs like that in that song.. It's brutal. I see 'em at the shelter all the time. Pits are GREAT dogs...people just screw 'em up
  15. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    Don't they usually euthanize them when they aren't claimed after a certain amount of time?

    My friend works with this chick whose boyfriend wants her to buy an expensive dog. I'm like, look ****heads, just go to the shelter and get one for free. Save a life.

    BTW that song was using dogs as a metaphor for guns.
  16. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    Some shelters are "kill" shelters, others aren't. And yeah, they're on a time schedule. Mine had 48 hours left before she went to the no kill shelter.

    There are some really good advantages to bringing home an adult dog from a shelter, main one being, you know what you have personality wise.

    But it's REALLY important to do an assessment because so many of the shelters are friggin' archaic in their training techniques and the dogs have a ton of behavioral mine did. In that case, you have to love training as well as loving the dog.

    And yeah, I get it about the song...but that entire mindset is the reason so many dogs, mostly Pits and Rotties, are screwed up.
  17. peplaw06

    peplaw06 That Guy

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    I can't help but wonder what's going through her head when she watches you throwing various kitchenware around the yard....


    "What is this guy doing???"
  18. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

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    I think the same thing when I'm doing it but it's fun and for the dog, doesn't feel like "training"

    This weekend's work has been, getting her to follow a "sit" cue.

    They are so accustomed to sitting, while in front and looking at us, that it's very different to get them to sit from other cue positions.

    So, today, we practiced, cue "sit"...1)with my back to her...2)from a distance of 15, 20, 25, 30 feet...3) Hopping on one leg (me, not her) 4) Doing jumping jacks 5) Twirling 6) while sitting 7) while lying down 8) while lying down and the dog lying down also, give the "sit" cue.

    Fun stuff. and it's good for the dog too, exercises their brains...and ya know, a good "sit" is helpful. Ya never know when you'll need it and what the circumstances will be. So tons of distractions are a great way to work the cue.

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