Dog Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is my first post and I am sure if the advice in here is good I will be very active in this forum. I'm 43 and have never been a dog person even though I had dogs in the house as a kid and a dog with my family now. I think I started not really being a dog person when I was about 8yrs old when a retired police dog my friends dad had caught me alone in a hallway and I turned and ran...that dog was on me tearing at my clothes. Pretty scary as a kid and probably would be just as scary today.

Anyways I live in the country and live on a couple acres. When I moved here with my family we decided to get a dog about 13yrs ago. I knew nothing and thought the dog would eventually do what was needed. It actually did, but I made a lot of mistakes with this dog. I'd get frustrated and yell at the dog or punish the dog for digging hours after he did it when I arrived home. This cause the dog to be scared of me and flip on its back and pee if I raised my voice........not good.

Well that dog has served our family very well and has alerted us to strangers and kept my wife and kids company in the garden for over 13yrs. Well its having a hard time getting up and we are probably going to have to put the dog down before it gets bitter cold this winter since its an outside dog. We wanted to get another dog before our lab "murphy" has to be put down so she can show the new dog what to bark at and what not too.

This dog I want to do right with and by. There is a breeder that is getting too old to deal with breeding anymore and offered us one of his dogs and we took it. It is a pure bred red aussie, and its 18months old. It is beautiful and we have in two weeks invested about $500 in stuff and medical exams and testing so she is off to a good start. We don't want to breed her so we are going to have her spayed this week.

I have committed myself to train this dog. I have had two private lessons with a lady that has come very highly recommended and I guess has done some training for dogs for movies. Its suppose to be a group class but I have been there with just another dog so its almost private lessons. She is not big on treats at all. She is a firm believer in choke collars for corrections. I have seen the collar get the desired behavior without any problem with the dog. Sometimes I feel like if I use the choke collar correctly the dog is still gonna not like me or something. The instructor says the dog needs the training and will eventually die for you. She also stresses the need to be the Alpha in the relationship. Which I have no problem being. The last thing I want is for this dog to turn into a flip on its back and piss all over itself because of something I have done. I have gone out of my way to not get mad and to show affection throughout the day which is very out of character for me. I figure the dog doesn't know I haven't been a dog person. I want to be a dog person and am very fond of this dog. I see the benefit of the collar and also I see the benefit of treats......I guess I want to use them both but don't really know if that is a good thing.

The trainer said that I should have my dog on a leash for one year with at least 5min of training a day. After one year I can through all my training stuff away cause the dog will be perfectly trained. Also it should have a kennel area. Our 2 acres is fenced and its tough to leave it on a leash even though its on a zip line and can run 40ft or so and come on the porch to get out of the weather. The dog doesn't have the basic commands down at all though it is really smart and is learning. I don't want to have to feed the dog treats all the time I'd rather reward with my approval and touch / praise. But if treats will speed the initial training of the basics I'm fine with trying that. I have let the dog off the leash a few times for about 15min and the dog goes wild and enjoys herself but doesn't want to "come" at all. So I can't see the point of letting her off leash until she can come EVERYTIME. Also I attempted to start the process of teaching "fetch" the dog was scared to death of the squeeking ball and was doing back flips to get away from it. I just want him to fetch so bad cause that looks like a great bonding activity. I read somewhere to tie the ball on a string on her collar. I did that and the dog acted like it was being chased by the ball for about ten minutes..then I think it clicked in the dogs head that "hey..whatever this round thing is...its nothing to be scared of" cause it just relaxed with it....it still has no interest or understanding of what I want to her to do with the ball......any advice would be great.

Oh yea..my new aussie's name is "Stella"
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
Find a new trainer. I recommend finding one that uses current techniques with positive reinforcment & clicker training, which involves treats. Our eskie is now 15mo old and around our property I can trust her to be off leash when I am out & about. Treats are more than food but initally usually involves food. If you tell them to sit & they do then you petting them is reward. Clicker training helps mark that behavior and the food treat reinfoces it in a way the dog enjoys. Our eskie went through 3 levels of training and now that we have our 11 week aussie he is also going through the same classes - tonight was the first class.

I also was more a cat/bird person but the love we have received from our eskie has been unmeasurable, so much that we decided to get another dog. We haven't stopped laughing since we got our aussie. He is our comic relief, our eskie is our love.

I think its great you are trying to learn what is right & how to build that bond. Training will definately build the bond & trust as well, especially with an aussie. As for the money, its alot but so well worth it in the end between the expense of health & training & toys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well my heart says do the treat training. I don't know what clicker training the mark or whatever you said is but I'm sure I'll find out. The trainer is very convincing that her way works and works well. The dog yawns a lot to relieve stress I think when training this way and lifts its paw off the ground if I do too many corrections in that five minute section. I've only had the dog 3weeks.

What is a good treat that won't make me all "sticky" or my pocket sticky or smell like dog food 24/7. I figure something more than boring milkbones. Since I am getting her spayed this Wednesday and I'm suppose to go to the trainer on Saturday. I think I'll skip her since I don't think the dog should be "corrected" so close to surgery. I will use this and next week to "treat" train and see what that does for our relationship. If there is a treat out there that is easily available, small, and won't make her fat if I shower her with treats in an attempt to change training gears....post a link to a picture of the treat so I can find them somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,782 Posts
I use kibble...no stickies ;) That way the dog earns its meal

the food is just to teach the dog the behavior. You can absolutely wean them off them once they 110% understand the cue.

I ditto the clicker training suggestion.

Browse our training/behavior forums and you will get a good idea on the general stance on training here, not alot of us recommending choke collars... anyway... Lots of good info around here. If you have anything specific you want to know, just ask :)



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,635 Posts
the treat will depend on the dog...some dogs are more likely to work harder for really yummy treats like bits of chicken while others will be so excited about the chicken, they won't be able to concentrate. i use different treats depending on what i'm working on. just using kibble is a good idea...you are already buying it to feed the dog and that way you know you aren't over-feeding her.

i also recommend finding a different trainer if you can, it sounds to me like you have a "soft dog" some dogs are more resilient to corrections then others are...yawning and looking away, panting can all be signs of stress...my personal preference is a trainer who only practices "positive reinforcement" and doesn't use corrections...it will help you to build a really good bond with your dog (she's gorgeous btw;)) more and more trainers are using positive reinforcement these days...anyway, it sounds to me like that is the sort of thing you are looking for...

marker training or clicker training sounds a bit complicated sometimes, but once you start doing it, it gets easier. basically when you are teaching a dog to do something, it takes the dog a while to figure out what you want since there is a gap of time between the dog doing what you ask and getting the reward...a marker (also called a "bridge") is a noise or signal that you give a dog at the moment they are doing what you want them to do. you teach the dog that the noise/signal = a reward. basically the marker "bridges" the gap of time between the dog doing what is asked and getting the reward...a clicker is just a device you can use to make the noise/signal sometimes trainers use whistles or their voice or for a deaf animal, a flashing light...it takes some getting used to, and it isn't fool-proof, but it is extremely effective. "the power of positive dog training" by patricia miller is a great training book.

a couple of guidelines to help you on your way:
1) reward "good" behavior (the behavior you want) and ignore "bad" behavior (the behavior you don't want)and remember-your dog doesn't know the difference between "good" and "bad" the way a person does, but she does know the difference between getting a treat and not getting a treat;) use this to your advantage...rather than trying to teach her "good" and "bad" show her by rewarding good and ignoring bad
2)focus on taking baby steps...most training doesn't happen overnight...i say most, some stuff the dog will figure out really quickly but give yourself time to learn stuff as well as giving the dog time to learn it you are going to have the dog for the next 10-15 years or so, no need to try to rush thro everything now...
3)having a dog is supposed to be fun, try to make the time you spend with her positive for you and her, you won't regret it....training sessions should be something that you look forward to and that your dog looks forward to...you will both learn a lot more if you are enjoying the time rather than performing a "chore"

there are lots and lots of great posts on this forum, different recommendations for training all sorts of things...look around, and don't be afraid to ask questions...we like to help!

btw....i think it is really really cool that you are concerned with building a bond with your new dog...just be patient with yourself and your dog, you are both learning how to communicate with each other, and that isn't always easy...you are 2 totally different species after all...

oh yeah....welcome to the forum:)



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
I found our trainer through our vet, she came highly recommended and I after our first session with her I understood why. We did 3 levels of classes with her. Now we are taking our new pup through too. Clicker training is very easy with the right trainer to show you how to use it (inside of a 10min explanation & practice). Find a trainer & method that works for you and your dog, one that won't stress her so much. Aussies are great dogs, with training. Training creates an incredible bond & lets you learn each other and she will have a clear understanding of your expectations.

I would start with your vet & maybe even calling 2 or 3 in the area to get their opinion on trainers - the receptionist in each clinic should be able to give you the name and number of who that clinic recommends.

Good luck...don't give up, it is worth the effort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Bravo to you for finding the trainer, and for looking for advice! I would recommend that you look around for another one, though. There is no guarantee that any dog is going to be "perfectly trained" for off leash after a year of anything...it depends on the dog and the person training and the methods. Do all the reading you can and you might want to go observe some training classes if you can (without the dog) before committing to them. I would recommend you read "Don't Shoot the Dog" by Karen Prior. It's a nice, short, readable introduction to "positive reinforcement" training and will give you a good background.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,579 Posts
Welcome Welcome!! :)


This dog I want to do right with and by.
Most people make the same mistakes again and again their whole lives. You are a bigger person then many for recognizing, and deciding to change :) :) That's great :)


We don't want to breed her so we are going to have her spayed this week.
*dances around* WONDERFUL!!! I don't know if you know how much good your doing by spaying your dog-if you don't I'll tell ya!! That's super!! :)



I feel like if I use the choke collar correctly the dog is still gonna not like me or something.
That's a really good gut instinct.

There are amazing horse trainers out there who get great results. But you can't come visit your horse while they are training them-because they are doing cruel things to get results.

Sometimes trainers have great reputations and their methods are less then nice.
As others have said-these methods are not necessary. Up to you, but sounds like your gut is telling you she's too harsh and you don't want to do that to this dog :)


The trainer said that I should have my dog on a leash for one year with at least 5min of training a day. After one year I can through all my training stuff away cause the dog will be perfectly trained.
I think this is another "you should try another trainer" flag. If I buy a perfectly trained dog, and don't keep it up, he'd be a monster in no time. That's a bunch of junk. Too boot-one year? Not 53 weeks? Not 48 weeks? That's pretty silly.


have let the dog off the leash a few times for about 15min and the dog goes wild and enjoys herself but doesn't want to "come" at all. So I can't see the point of letting her off leash until she can come EVERYTIME
Your two million percent correct :) No off leash until recall (come!) is almost perfect :)

Also I attempted to start the process of teaching "fetch" the dog was scared to death of the squeeking ball and was doing back flips to get away from it. I just want him to fetch so bad cause that looks like a great bonding activity. I read somewhere to tie the ball on a string on her collar. I did that and the dog acted like it was being chased by the ball for about ten minutes..then I think it clicked in the dogs head that "hey..whatever this round thing is...its nothing to be scared of" cause it just relaxed with it....it still has no interest or understanding of what I want to her to do with the ball......any advice would be great.
I finally successfully taught my dog 'fetch' and he will drop it, sit and wait for the throw and he always get it :)

So how we did this; you'll have to start a bit earlier-and make the dog want the ball or whatever your fetching. Mostly work on having the dog want it, and when thrown have the dog get it (the bring it back and drop it for you can be worked on later)

Tying it around his neck probably desensitized him-so he's not afraid anymore. But now he has to want it. Try just making a fuss about the ball "you want your ball? You want it?" and then rolling it to the dog (instead of throwing away) until he consistently picks it up. Then you can move on to rolling it a bit off course -away from him, so he gets it.


Once he's figured out he wants the ball and retrieves it, you can work on brining it back (calling him, praise when he comes with the ball) and dropping it nicely for you (I used a second ball, so when my dog came with his ball I threw the second one, then grabbed the first one-he would drop it when he took off to get the second ball).


Ok-huge answer :)

To summarize-your doing great :) Your dog is SUPER beautiful :) AND fire the trainer :p

Or-try another, one that jives with your gut instincts. Trainers have all different methods-use the net to find a trainer who uses methods your comfortable with :)
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top