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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, thank you for reading.

My mom owns a Red Tick Hound/Jack Russell Mix that, honestly, she doesn't know how to care for. Caroline (the dog) is a rescue, and we have no idea how she spent the first year of her life, but now well into her second year she's spent with us. I just started to begin working with her in training after my mother made a comment that rattled me about "taking her back to the pound" which she said she didn't mean, but got me upset anyhow. Anyways, I'm only with my mother every other week, and in those weeks I have school from 7am-3pm and work on Sundays and Mondays, making what little time I have to spend with Caroline very precious, and my mom doesn't have the energy after her own day of work to have the patience to train her.

Can several short training sessions a day with Caroline every other week get her on the right track to being a "good dog"? Or will being without me for a week at a time undo any progress I make with her?

Thank you for reading,

Connor
 

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depends on the dog.
If you feel it isn't working I'd aks a trainer to help you.
if that doesn work or you feel that your family can't meet the needs of the dog, I'd think you shout talk with your mom and decide if you want to rehome the dog.
 

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What kind of "training" are you talking about? What is the dog doing now that makes her not be "a good dog"? Does she bark? Is she destructive? Does she jump up on people?
I've had dogs all of my life, and with the exception of my current 1.5 year old, I've never consciously "trained" any of them. I spent time with them, and they had ample exercise and care, and that seemed to be enough to create good pets out of them. My two older dogs do not know any basic commands (sit, stay, etc.), and one of them has absolutely no recall whatsoever. But they're both "good dogs". Great dogs, in fact. They don't do anything wrong.

Another thing to consider is that every interaction a dog has with a human is "training" it in some respect. Sometimes the dog is learning things we don't want it to learn. For instance, I've been teaching Winston to be calm when he first greets his two favorite people besides me, which are my parents. But the deal is, it wasn't Winston who needed the training, it was my parents! They created excitement and fueled the frenzy by the way THEY greeted HIM, and then they tried to calm him down after creating that frenzy. I showed them how to behave so that he won't be so excited, and what do you know? It took exactly 30 seconds for them to see what a difference THEIR behavior had on the dog's behavior.

Other things, like chewing stuff up or barking, could be down to just a change in the dog's management. Is she getting enough exercise? I can tell you that the days Winston gets a lot of exercise he spends the rest of his time pretty much asleep. It makes a HUGE difference.

So, if your mom can manage the dog well enough during the time you're not there, and be conscious of how her own behavior affects Caroline (love that name!), then she can create the "good dog" that she wants, and you can work on the finer obedience training (sit, down, stay, etc.) when you're around. I find most dogs do retain that kind of thing. My dad taught Winston to shake/give paw one night when we were over there. I rarely ask him to do it, but it seems to be something he definitely knows now.

Good luck to you, your mom, and Caroline!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
depends on the dog.
If you feel it isn't working I'd aks a trainer to help you.
if that doesn work or you feel that your family can't meet the needs of the dog, I'd think you shout talk with your mom and decide if you want to rehome the dog.
Hopefully some things in my mom's life will be settling down soon. I want to do everything in my power to keep Caroline with me and my mom, but I will do what's best for her if my mom can't keep up with Caroline's needs while she's on her own. Thank you for the reply!
 

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What kind of "training" are you talking about? What is the dog doing now that makes her not be "a good dog"? Does she bark? Is she destructive? Does she jump up on people?
She does bark at car doors being shut and strangers at the door, she pulls on walks, she uses the bathroom indoors more often than not, because she lacks in physical exercise much of the time, she has a lot of pent up energy at home, she "happy pees" when people come in the house, has no sense of personal space, and regularly steals items off of counters and tables. Just to name a few things. Despite this I consider her a very sweet a loving dog. She could really use a physical outlet, and once she gets walking without pulling down, I'd like to actually do the near opposite and learn to bikejor with her. I've begun using a combination of clicker training and "all-or-none" training to try to encourage more polite behaviors and the latter for teaching commands. Today is day two and she's been very interested in learning for food rewards.

I've had dogs all of my life, and with the exception of my current 1.5 year old, I've never consciously "trained" any of them. I spent time with them, and they had ample exercise and care, and that seemed to be enough to create good pets out of them. My two older dogs do not know any basic commands (sit, stay, etc.), and one of them has absolutely no recall whatsoever. But they're both "good dogs". Great dogs, in fact. They don't do anything wrong.
All of my other dogs, who've we raise from puppy hood, we're raised in a much similar way. We taught them their basics and potty trained them but any other behaviors they must've learned along the way. Caroline is a rescue who we got at a little over a year old, and a combination of poor raising from us and in her past has exacerbated some of her problems.

Another thing to consider is that every interaction a dog has with a human is "training" it in some respect. Sometimes the dog is learning things we don't want it to learn. For instance, I've been teaching Winston to be calm when he first greets his two favorite people besides me, which are my parents. But the deal is, it wasn't Winston who needed the training, it was my parents! They created excitement and fueled the frenzy by the way THEY greeted HIM, and then they tried to calm him down after creating that frenzy. I showed them how to behave so that he won't be so excited, and what do you know? It took exactly 30 seconds for them to see what a difference THEIR behavior had on the dog's behavior.
This is exactly where her hand biting came from. My mom had a long-time boyfriend who would get on the bed with Caroline and play "Run down the hall" with her by rapidly moving his hands on each side of Caroline's face to go after, rather than give her other toys to chomp on instead. I plan on using every opportunity I get to condition Caroline into good behaviors, when my mom gets home from work I ask her to come lie on the couch with me for treats, same with car doors outside, or whenever she puts her paws up on the counter ("down", reward). Again, hopefully exercising more with her will get her home energy levels down to reduce some of her other behaviors.

Other things, like chewing stuff up or barking, could be down to just a change in the dog's management. Is she getting enough exercise? I can tell you that the days Winston gets a lot of exercise he spends the rest of his time pretty much asleep. It makes a HUGE difference.
I can definitely get her the exercise she needs when I have time to, which is most days, the better question is "Can my mom?" which, I think, is less likely. If I can get Caroline to not pull while walking and become a good companion for my mom to walk with, then those odds increase.

So, if your mom can manage the dog well enough during the time you're not there, and be conscious of how her own behavior affects Caroline (love that name!), then she can create the "good dog" that she wants, and you can work on the finer obedience training (sit, down, stay, etc.) when you're around. I find most dogs do retain that kind of thing. My dad taught Winston to shake/give paw one night when we were over there. I rarely ask him to do it, but it seems to be something he definitely knows now.
I certainly hope she can. Maybe not to the level of dedication I am with Caroline, but mustering up some extra patience with her, starting to go for walks every night, with help set Caroline on the right track. Also, considering I live in North Carolina, there's so many things that she could've possibly been named after in this state. Carolina Panthers, University of North Carolina, East Carolina University, Carolina Hurricanes, I'm sure the list goes on.

Good luck to you, your mom, and Caroline!
Best wishes to you and Winston!
 

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I think whatever you give will have an impact, that as long as it's consistent. It might take the dog longer to learn firm cues, but I think it's doable. Look at all the once in a while things dogs already teach themselves.
 

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Ah! I just noticed you're from Raleigh! I live a couple hours east of you in Bath (about an hour east of Greenville). I graduated from ECU (a million years ago). Small world!

She does sound like she has a long list of "vices", your Caroline, but I'd be willing to bet that with a healthy dose of exercise those things would be greatly reduced.

As for the pulling while on leash, I'm not sure if this will fit your training philosophy, and I'm not sure how the forum in general feels about it, but I recently purchased a very nice Remington slip lead (so, I guess it's one they'd use on gun dogs?) at Tractor Supply. Winston isn't the worst puller in the world, but as he's gotten bigger he's gotten harder to control with just a flat collar and leash when he gets excited. He's nearly pulled me off of my feet in my parents' yard when he sees the squirrels. I have to use two hands and dig my heels in to keep him from just taking off. Then he winds up hacking and coughing because of the collar. No good. With his new slip lead, he's a completely different dog. This is a dog that lives most of his life OFF of a leash (on my small horse farm), but yesterday when we went to: Tractor Supply, the waterfront downtown, and the local state park, he was a model citizen. If I ever think he's going to get strong or excited, I just make sure the lead is high behind his ears with the slip part coming out from under his jaw on my side. In this position I never have to pull him and he never tries to pull me. It's awesome. And the lead is very soft and silky, so if you do have to tighten up on him for a moment, it releases immediately (and I always give a quick, gentle "reminder" tug and then release at once).

For a case like your mom's, where she doesn't have an endless supply of time and/or energy to work on teaching Caroline not to pull, I think a slip lead could be very helpful. Winston seems happy as a clam wearing his.
 

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Thanks Gretchenpc. I'd rather use humane training first before I look into humane equipment (largely in part because money is very tight for everyone involved with Caroline) to correct the pulling, but if it gets to that point, I will definitely look into the slip lead.
 

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Slip lead as in choke collar? Not a good idea. Teaching loose leash walking is preferable to depending on punishment and yes this is punishment. If necessary, condition the dog to wear a head halter until you've thoroughly trained loose leash walking. Jean Donaldson has a video on how to condition to the head halter so it's not aversive to the dog.

Honest opinion is that yes, you could improve things with that amount of training if you're a good dog trainer, set criteria in priority needed and have your Mom watch as you train and instruct. Will the dog generalize what's learned to your Mom? Maybe.

Sometimes we do have to face the fact that a dog is in the wrong home. Not criticizing your Mom. Not everyone is ready for a high energy dog.

You've got nothing to lose by trying to help if your mom is willing to be involved.
 

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Slip lead as in choke collar? Not a good idea. Teaching loose leash walking is preferable to depending on punishment and yes this is punishment. If necessary, condition the dog to wear a head halter until you've thoroughly trained loose leash walking. Jean Donaldson has a video on how to condition to the head halter so it's not aversive to the dog.
I figured it wouldn't go over well here, but my aim was to get the dog out and exercised ASAP to help get the training process started. If the OP's mom is reluctant to walk the dog because of her pulling, having something that gives her a little more control and confidence would at least get the dog walked more often. Obviously the OP's mom doesn't have the time/energy/interest/whatever to do a lot of in depth training right now (and that's perfectly understandable), so the dog is bursting with energy.

Winston's neck suffers MUCH less abuse with his new slip lead than it did when he was on the regular collar and lead trying to drag me to everything he wanted to see. I will be working on loose leash walking with him as well (he actually does this really well as long as there isn't a major distraction/trigger around) but in the meantime, getting him out and about to socialize and see the world is my priority and when we're doing that, he wears this lead. Maybe he's a genius or something, but he never pulls on it. Like, even when we walked out of the woods at the state park and saw a deer bounding across the parking lot. He sure WANTED to pull, but he didn't. He's never choked or gagged or coughed with this lead like he did his regular collar. *shrug*

But I won't say anymore. I do stray from the pack (lol) here on a few things anyway.
 

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Thanks Gretchenpc. I'd rather use humane training first before I look into humane equipment (largely in part because money is very tight for everyone involved with Caroline) to correct the pulling, but if it gets to that point, I will definitely look into the slip lead.
You're welcome, and I totally respect your decision.
I'll relate a little bit of wisdom among horse people. There is a lot of discussion about various levels of harshness in some of the bits used in horse's mouths. The saying goes, "The bit is only as harsh as the hands on the reins." In other words, in a skilled, light-handed rider's hands, a "harsh" bit is actually more gentle than a "gentle" bit in an unskilled rider's hands.

I think the same could be true for leashes, collars, etc. But I'll cool it with the "controversial" topic. ;)

Best of luck! Keep us updated on Caroline's progress! Start a training thread for her. :)
 

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I think it will work because that is what I did with a Kelpie I took care of for an elderly man quite a number of months ago. I visited about once a week / fortnight and played, walked and trained him because the old man was like your mum. The dog did retain most of my commands but he would also get confused and mixed up with the commands I.e. When I ask for "down" he does "roll over". It could possibly be a combination of me only visiting once per week or that there was some kind of inconsistency in the way I trained him and how they trained him after watching me.

He was able to come to me most of the time when I did the recall but he did not generalize well so he doesn't go to the elderly man. However, I would say that the dog would probably obey commands for 70-80 per cent of the time rather than all the time because he wasn't trained or exercised every day. He was also a serious puller too and that is why the elderly man's leg is permanently damaged from falling over. Can you imagine locking a Kelpie in a backyard and only walking him once a week for 30-40 minutes without toys and training? Of course the kelpie is destructive and ill mannered. He doesn't destroy anything at my house, bark or run around like crazy because he got 3 walks a day plus toys and games so exercise makes a huge difference. I got the dog a harness and it reduced the strain on his neck. Loose leash walking takes a lot of time and patience and consistency based on my experience with my current puppy. He is getting much better but it took 2 months of 3 walks per day and heaps of off leash training in my backyard where I made him walk next to me with treats and a clicker. He still rushes ahead sometimes outside but he is perfect in the backyard. So you might try this exercise first without outdoor distractions.
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Thanks Gretchenpc. I'd rather use humane training first before I look into humane equipment (largely in part because money is very tight for everyone involved with Caroline) to correct the pulling, but if it gets to that point, I will definitely look into the slip lead.
You're welcome, and I totally respect your decision.
I'll relate a little bit of wisdom among horse people. There is a lot of discussion about various levels of harshness in some of the bits used in horse's mouths. The saying goes, "The bit is only as harsh as the hands on the reins." In other words, in a skilled, light-handed rider's hands, a "harsh" bit is actually more gentle than a "gentle" bit in an unskilled rider's hands.

I think the same could be true for leashes, collars, etc. But I'll cool it with the "controversial" topic.


Best of luck! Keep us updated on Caroline's progress! Start a training thread for her.
There is a lot of truth in what you're saying. I have seen perfectly ethical use of traditional methods, the rub is with the skill of the person using the training tool. With horses, let's just say they are much much more work, and the cost of membership into horse fancy is astronomically higher; not going to get as many Joe Schlub's out there trying to train his own horse, kwim?

Now dogs on the other hand, they're all but promised to everyone in the Bill of Rights! And oh yeah, there are a lot of people who claim to be able to train a dog, when they don't have the skillset to even be picking up dog poop. Even though I have owned and trained 5 dogs in my lifetime, I still start each one in the same beginner classes. Why? Methods change and I am frankly prone to forgetfulness. Some of the traditional methods make it way too easy to turn a nice dog into a mentally unwell dog who injures other dogs, people, and himself!
 

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With horses, let's just say they are much much more work, and the cost of membership into horse fancy is astronomically higher; not going to get as many Joe Schlub's out there trying to train his own horse, kwim?
You'd be surprised. I've seen things that still make me sick to my stomach. :(
 

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@Gretchenpc, Advice to use punishment shouldn't go over well anywhere. I've heard all the excuses. It's your choice to use an aversive. You didn't answer the question about what you mean by a slip collar.

I don't find it acceptable to say that because someone doesn't have the time, energy, interest or whatever to train using positive reinforcement, that it's ok to use an aversive collar. If a parent didn't have time, etc to teach their child something would it be ok to punish the child until the parent got a clue?
 

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@Gretchenpc, Advice to use punishment shouldn't go over well anywhere. I've heard all the excuses. It's your choice to use an aversive. You didn't answer the question about what you mean by a slip collar.

I don't find it acceptable to say that because someone doesn't have the time, energy, interest or whatever to train using positive reinforcement, that it's ok to use an aversive collar. If a parent didn't have time, etc to teach their child something would it be ok to punish the child until the parent got a clue?
The lead is made by Remington, is soft rope, sort of like the leads they use in dog shows. It does tighten on the dog if the dog pulls, but if used properly and in the correct position, it doesn't "choke" the dog. It does apply pressure right behind his ears and under his jaw, but because they are sensitive there, it takes very, very little pressure to get a response. Now, should it slip lower, like where a normal collar rests, then yes, it can "choke" the dog and cause it to cough or gag, and they may still pull regardless, which is why using it properly is important.

I use it because if I'm out in public and something triggers Winston to react with enough excitement (squirrels are definitely his biggest weakness!), I want something that (a) he cannot get out of and (b) can get his focus directed back to me. For the record, I also work with loose leash stuff at home with treats galore, and hope to do some of it in public too. It's not like I slap a noose around his neck and choke him out until he submits to my almighty will. I'm very careful with how I use the lead, as the goal is for him to never feel it tighten up at all. In reality, he almost achieved that the other day on our first outing with it, which surprised me. If he does start getting "heavy" (like contact with a horse's mouth), I stop, adjust the position of the collar/lead, ask him to "Look at me" (which he's excellent at), and give a very gentle tug to remind him where I want him to be (beside me). I'll be adding treats into the mix the next time we go out. I've yet to do treats in public, so I'm excited to do that as i know he'll be great.

Anyway, as I think most who've read my posts can tell, I'm don't believe in ONLY +R training, I think a balance between +R and corrections works best.

As for children, I believe in a balanced approach there too. I'm a high school teacher, and if I never corrected my students they'd never learn much of anything.

All of this said, I will refrain from suggesting anything that isn't 100% positive reinforcement based on this board again. My philosophy of teaching spans humans, canines, and equines, and has been very successful on all three species, but I have no need to convince anyone here of this.

I wish the best to the OP, her mom, and Caroline. :)
 
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