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Old 08-06-2011, 08:15 PM   #16
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the two of us live in 750 square feet. i can't see subjecting a big dog that needs to run to 10th story jail.
I have a friend that has two (working line) German Shepherds in an apartment on the 18th? floor. But yeah, I couldn't do it either!
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:53 AM   #17
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I'd also say that the author doesn't seem to be disputing whether or not operant conditioning works, but that it's fair to subject another creature to pain in order for it to obey commands. A child could be trained in the same way, but I doubt any sane person would recommend it as a reasonable method of training
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:53 AM   #18
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*unfair
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:13 AM   #19
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Apartment dogs?

Americans are weird.
We have a dog. ANd we live in an apartment.

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the two of us live in 750 square feet. i can't see subjecting a big dog that needs to run to 10th story jail.
Our dog is about 55 lbs and and our apartment is just over 1000 square feet. Is it too small?
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:24 PM   #20
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I'd also say that the author doesn't seem to be disputing whether or not operant conditioning works, but that it's fair to subject another creature to pain in order for it to obey commands. A child could be trained in the same way, but I doubt any sane person would recommend it as a reasonable method of training
If you get into discussions on dog training it can be as volatile as discussions on politics. It's like asking a communist to read the Anarchist's Cookbook. Just like a lot of other "debates", one side is often trying to justify their methods by completely misunderstanding the other. It is not simple pain vs. reward, and no two quadrants of operant conditioning are mutually exclusive. Also there is a huge difference in training the common household pet dog how to sit, stay, lie down, be quiet, etc than training a multi-generational purpose bred dog for a high level of work. This is more comparable to conditioning and training a pro athlete, not getting a child potty trained or teaching a child not to whine. The statement about the retrieve leads me to believe the author/biologist whose life's work is studying dogs hasn't really read and understood the Koehler retrieve let alone have any experience with it. I have done Koehler retrieve, "pure positive" freeshaped retrieve, prey based retrieve....you name it. And I don't really care for one over the other but whatever most efficiently gets through to the dog standing in front of me. Repeatedly subjecting a dog to pain has no place in dog training not because it is pain but because a good dog trainer knows that regardless of the methods and tools used, the goal is clear, concise, and consistent communication and resorting to inflicting pain means that there is a breakdown in communication. Ideally you show/lure/freeshape/escape train a dog to do a behavior 2-3 times and the dog understands what you want.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:05 PM   #21
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Our dog is about 55 lbs and and our apartment is just over 1000 square feet. Is it too small?


i'm not the dog expert that Lies is, but i think it more has to do with breed rather than just size -- i.e., bulldogs can easily weigh 50lbs but they are naturally pretty lazy and make great apartment dogs.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:10 PM   #22
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Yeah definitely depends on need. Coke is very large, not very heavy, but larger than all of my German shepherds. He is the laziest dog though. He gets walked maybe once a week. He's perfectly content to stay inside all day and sleep.

Honestly my shepherds would be fine in an apartment because even with the house (1300 sq feet) they can't really release energy. And walks are not "exercise" for them, more like a warmup. It's more important for me to have a yard, even a tiny one, so they can chase each other around and we have a place to train. Their minds and bodies are exercised with training and work.

The temperament doesn't always correspond with size. The ability to turn on/off and settle in a house is actually an element of nerve. Pan is a high drive dog, but he has very sound nerve, so he is perfectly capable of lying still in the house or being crated for an extended period without throwing a fit. Nikon has less drive, but is a bit more unsettled in the house (though still well behaved, but it took him about 2 years to be what I'd consider a nice house pet). Many people misinterpret hyperactivity as high drive, or assume that a high drive dog is going to be too hyper indoors (and must be kenneled, or can only be owned by someone with acres of land).
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:43 PM   #23
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Coke is very large, not very heavy, but larger than all of my German shepherds. He is the laziest dog though. He gets walked maybe once a week. He's perfectly content to stay inside all day and sleep.
All but one of our family's collies when I was growing up were like this too. Whereas Falstaff got destructive if he didn't get enough exercise to tucker him out daily, at least for his first 5-7 years. Age also seems to make a more dramatic difference with some breeds?, I mean any dog has more energy in youth but it seems like with some breeds the difference between (hyper) young dogs and (mellowed) middle-aged ones is a lot more dramatic than in others.
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:00 PM   #24
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I think age matters but it is still individual. Coke has been this way since we got him when he was 1. Some German Shepherds will slow down but often that is more due to health problems, like if they didn't have arthritis or spondylosis or DM, they'd still very be active. I don't have much experience with Pugs but our neighbor's Pug was a holy terror! That thing could run! Every collie I've ever met/known about has been on the super laid back, lower energy, and lower drive end of the spectrum. I know someone who has used Collies as service dogs but after frustrations with wash-outs and health problems she recently switched to German shepherds (kind of ironic, switching to shepherds for health).

Coke also doesn't like heat and with his coat I don't blame him. I just spent an hour with a scissors trimming him down. He goes out to eat and potty and begs to come right back in. If he goes for a walk, a mile is plenty sufficient. Sometimes I feel bad like I'm not doing enough with him but when we try to do more he honestly doesn't enjoy it. He seems most content just being a house dog and rough-housing with Pan for a while each evening.

In my working/competition dogs I prefer more middle of the road as far as GSDs go. I like a dog with the genetics for the drive I want but the nerve to cut the crap in the house. I don't want dogs that have to be kenneled. I like having dogs that don't need any motivation in order to go out and work but turn it off when we're done.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:12 PM   #25
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We have a dog. ANd we live in an apartment.



Our dog is about 55 lbs and and our apartment is just over 1000 square feet. Is it too small?
Apologies for that outburst, I am probably once again forgetting about cultural differences. Apartment complexes here pretty much don't allow dogs full stop, although I don't see the problem with it once the dog is exercised regularly and there are parks nearby.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:28 PM   #26
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Apologies for that outburst, I am probably once again forgetting about cultural differences. Apartment complexes here pretty much don't allow dogs full stop, although I don't see the problem with it once the dog is exercised regularly and there are parks nearby.

i thought it was funny, no need to apologize.

my apartment complex doesn't allow dogs full stop either.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:30 PM   #27
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Repeatedly subjecting a dog to pain has no place in dog training not because it is pain but because a good dog trainer knows that regardless of the methods and tools used, the goal is clear, concise, and consistent communication and resorting to inflicting pain means that there is a breakdown in communication. Ideally you show/lure/freeshape/escape train a dog to do a behavior 2-3 times and the dog understands what you want.
It seems the author is maybe arguing against a non issue or at the very least, arguing against outdated practices?
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:45 PM   #28
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But they aren't outdated. I know a guy who travels the country getting paid $500 per dog to train a Koehler based retrieve over a three day seminar and it sells out. My puppy will probably be trained with this method when he is ready (Nikon was trained very differently). The problem is that those who keep insisting they are outdated, cruel, inhumane, etc don't have a thorough understanding of what's actually going on and why, nor do they offer a sufficient alternative.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:21 PM   #29
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I'd love to have a Bull Terrier again, but I'm not home enough. I keep trying to talk my Mom into getting one, but she insists she needs a protection dog and well Bullies while intimidating to look at don't have that protective streak her German Shepherd has.

I completely agree that training needs to be tailored to the breed and purpose.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:47 PM   #30
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I think Bullies do the job! In fact, most times all you need is just *a* dog and you are protected. Ironically, if I'm walking dogs in public the one that people want to pet and gush over is Nikon, who has all the protection training, but are more afraid of Coke who doesn't know a stranger. Nikon is good with people, and if I say no it's usually because I don't feel like stopping. Luckily I've never had to call on my dog in a real life scenario, though all he needs is a whispered command to "watch him" and he alerts (hits the end of the leash barking). I have seen people I'd rather not meet cross the street when I have my dog. Usually it is obedience, not aggression, that scares people. If I command the dog to do a really formal heel while walking down a public sidewalk, people wonder what else the dog can do... A true personal protection dog is a LOT of work, involves years of training. Nikon is not and never will be a true "PPD" because there are a few things a PPD does that I don't train. For example, I never train my dogs to bite a passive person on command. I *only* train my dogs how to respond to an actual threat. A PPD is trained such that if a person were sitting in a chair 100 feet away facing the other direction, the dog could be commanded to bite. I don't need that level and don't see the use for it. I do train my dogs to alert to a passive person (again, that means they go out to the end of their leash barking and showing aggression) because there might be a person that I know is a threat to us but might not be acting threatening. My dog is only trained and allowed to bite a threat, and I'm not training the dog TO bite because that is something that is either in the dog or not, I'm just channeling the drive and aggression and working the control. For example right now Nikon is learning to bite armpits and collar bones. He will bite the threat but I want him to target specific areas that are easy, universal targets and will best bring someone down without really injuring them. Most dogs of any breed or training serve as a visual deterrent level of protection. A true protection dog doesn't just happen because of breed or looks, there's a lot of training and testing the dog's level of aggression and courage to make sure unfair expectations are not being placed on the dog. Most times dogs react and bite it is really out of fear. In training we setup every scenario so that the dog is going to win and we let the dog do what he does naturally but frame it in a way that builds confidence rather than pressuring a fight or flight response. Without this, even a great German Shepherd might end up cowering if a real threat enters the home and gets physical with the dog or owner. That is something that should be worked out in training sooner rather than later!
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