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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I have a 1/2 lab, 1/2 husky who is almost 2 years old (December).

I have been doing correction/obedience training for 5 months now, and train with my dog for at least an hour everynight.

For the most part it is going well. But sometimes during an excercise (no one in particular) he will just start jumping around, and darting around really fast. Its so quick that I can't do a normal correction as I have been taught. And to give a correction on the choke collar during this time would be cruel, because he moves so fast that it wouldn't be a quick "zip" like normal. It would be prolonged. So I avoid that.

What are some other alternative corrections I could do to prevent this behavior?

- BigBear
 

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If you read the forum description/rules, you will see that this is not a community that uses (or advocates) the use of punishment. So you aren't likely to get recommendation for "alternative corrections," and much more likely to get responses from people who have embraced very different ways of training.

Personally, I think an hour of training or obedience drilling every night sounds unbearably boring, so I would be joining your dog in frantic leaping about. For prevention, I'd aim to reduce stress: shorter training sessions, higher rates of reinforcement, lower (or zero) rates of punishment, more breaks, more fun.

A highly competitive, excellent trainer who excels in obedience is Denise Fenzi, and she has a whole blog full of free advice, videos of her training with her dogs, and other useful things (plus an online training school, which is not free but very reasonably priced and useful). Her blog is: Denise Fenzi | a professional dog trainer specializing in relationship-building in competitive dog sport teams
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your input. So far I have only been training the way the school has taught, and I welcome new ways. Don't get me wrong, the school is wonderful, and I have seen advancements far beyond what I could have expected.

When you say higher rates of reinforcement, could I get examples of that? My dog does get praised after an excercise is completed.

I think you are onto something with breaking up the training into shorter periods. I'll be sure to try that.
 

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I'd ditch the school and start checking out youtube- Tab289, kikopup and Zac George, to name a few.

There is, or was, a forum member who trained her dog like you're training yours. Her dog was perfectly trained, perfectly behaved, everyone was amazed by him. Several years go by and he starts to crack. He starts disobeying commands at random, running away and then one day he jumps into a lake and refuses to stop swimming in circles. This went on for an hour, he almost died.

That's what happens when you use punishment to train dogs. It causes damage to their psyches. Koehler was a very famous trainer who used seriously harsh punishments and his dogs were useless after just a few years. Some dogs, like hers, push that damage way down and it doesn't pop up for years. Others, like yours, crack a lot sooner and that's actually better. You can stop doing this to him now, find a new, better, gentler, kinder way to train and he'll be happier, healthier and more stable for it.

Your dog can be just as well trained and behaved trained with treats and no punishments, mind you. Lots of winning dogs are trained without punishments, so you don't have to sacrifice behavior or winning for this new training, though your school will probably tell you that you will. They'll say all sorts of things, ignore them. Listen to you dog, he's begging you to find a better way.
 
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What cue is he acting up on, we can likely offer you a lot of advice on an alternate way to train it that does not involve the use of corrections.

I'd stop the corrections and start using positive reinforcement to train him, try something like clicker training. Think of it like this, if you were a young adult going to college and you had a professor who smacked you on the back of the head every time you got something wrong, and told you good job while patting you on the head or rubbing your back, would you enjoy that class? You'd likely be stressed, afraid to mess up, and not enjoy learning right? Now imagine a different professor, this one ignores your mistakes, but when you get something right he gives you a dollar while telling you what a great job you do, and if you do a really good job he gives you $5. Wouldn't you love going to class? Wouldn't you do your best to get stuff right and try your hardest, but not stress about getting anything wrong, and wouldn't learning be fun? That's the difference between positive reinforcement and correction based training.

Here's some links that has more info on it, and one on how to use treats properly.
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/suppression-modification-shutdown-fallout-4776/
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/4-quadrants-operant-conditioning-23702/
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/choke-prong-collars-163962/
http://www.dogforum.com/training-be...rge-dominance-aversive-training-tools-160418/
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/thoughts-training-food-1219/

How to get him to not act up depends on why he's acting up. What those of us who use positive reinforcement do is figure out the reason for the bad behavior, or why the dog is not obeying cues, and then fix that. An example might be a dog that was taught to heel not heeling, we'd figure out why he was not heeling, was the distractions to much, did we move to a new environment, was he just being independent, once we figured that out we'd work to correct the problem.
 
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I think it's great that you're exploring ways to expand your training and your relationship with your dog! Many amazing trainers (and just plain "good dog owners") start with one school of training and grow from there...there is so much new stuff to learn, and it sometimes takes a while to discover just how much fun training can be for everyone involved!!

Rate of reinforcement refers to the rate a dog gets rewarded for certain behaviors. Rewarding a dog for getting it right is a way of saying, "Yes! THAT! Do THAT again!!" Communicating that to a dog in a meaningful way is a great way to build a training relationship where the dog is an eager participant, trying hard to figure out what to do to get it right again and again. I think that a comprehensive understanding of reinforcement is essential to any good training, so is a great place to start. Wherever you start, I hope you keep reading, learning, playing, and having fun with your dog!
 

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I think that your dog would respond really well to clicker training (Kikopup) in particular. Sometimes when we involve praise and corrections, it sort of becomes "too many balls in the air" for the dog. They have to try new behaviors in order to get the reward, but at the same time they are leery of trying something wrong and getting corrected. And after extended periods of this, they just sort of... Blargh!!! Lose their marbles.

Clicker training on the other hand is very simple, straightforward and low-pressure. The dog doesn't get it right, no biggie, they just try again until they get the behavior. And of course, as they begin to catch on to what is earning them the reward, the behavior will become faster, and more deliberate until bam bam bam... They nail it every time.
 

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Agreed with pretty much everyone above. I also popped in to reply to this:

Koehler was a very famous trainer who used seriously harsh punishments and his dogs were useless after just a few years.
Some people still whole-heartedly advocate his training methods, saying that they're not at all harmful or aversive in anyway. I'm just like... are we talking about the same Koehler here? The guy who said that in order to stop a dog from digging holes under the fence you should fill the hole with water and hold the dog's head underwater until it passes out? Yeah... not aversive at all.

Also...
he will just start jumping around, and darting around really fast.
Our Husky is four. He's been trained using force-free methods for his entire life. He still does things like that. Typical rambunctious Husky behavior...
 

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Let's not trash Koehler too much here, it's easy to criticize his results with the benefit of 70 years of dog training knowledge that largely built off of his methods. It's a bit like calling out galileo for what would now seems like unforgivable elementary errors.

The dogs he trained were at the time some of the most sought after working dogs to be had.
 

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I also think that pet owners always need to bear in mind the distinction between docile pets, and working/protection dogs who are expected to attack, without provocation, on cue.

That's like saying that subjecting high school kids to the same training techniques used on the marines, forensics investigators or trauma surgeons. Mucking around with surgery and dissection of live animals and cadavers may be useful for someone entering a profession which requires them to be callus to human suffering. Will this subjection to extreme situations necessarily produce a high-school class of emotionally well-rounded individuals? Likelier than not, it would be unnecessary trauma that may lead to psychological scarring or even antisocial behavior.

So yes, I think that we need to pay attention to the fact that in pet dog training, the bottom line is that the animal ideally will not act aggressively to humans under any circumstances. That entails entirely different training priorities than what would be ideal for a working dog who will be handled/managed by a knowledgeable professional at all times.
 
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