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Old 06-02-2011, 03:19 PM   #931
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More pics of Joni (all of pets must be named after my favorite musicians, apparently):











My fourth dog (well, I had one for a week that was completely unstable and was promptly returned; would rather not get into that whole mess at length). She's just been an absolute blessing so far. Completely housebroken, limited barking, and she wrestles with and does whatever else with you. Completely crap at walks, but she will learn in time. And yeah, I've slept great two nights in a row thanks to the aforementioned crate training I assume she's had. Flash kept me up very late that first night; might not have slept at all had my father not volunteered himself to watch him.

Also, I enjoy the slow progression from depressed and pissed off to thoroughly pleased that can be seen in those pics. She seems pretty happy here now, though it was ver challenging to pry her away from her owners, who had to let her go because of lack of space and two very large, presumably territorial German shepherds.
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:56 PM   #932
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You don't need any formal training or schooling. When I look at working with trainers their work speaks for itself. The more actual experience training dogs, the better. It is really a skill that some people have an others don't, something that cannot really be learned in books or studying learning theory. I find that one needs to have a very good understanding of the four quadrants of operant conditioning and how they apply to dog training and behavior. That is absolutely the most important thing regardless of what training tool you are using or what you are training a dog to do. Read Karen Pyror's "Don't Shoot the Dog!" My philosophy is that training is basically communication between you and the dog and for it to work you need to be clear, fair, and consistent. Those three things - clear, fair, and consistent - leave lots of room for using various tools with various behaviors and account for the vast differences in temperaments and working drives. I train dogs with everything from food treats, tug toys, balls, prong/pinch collars, remote collars, you name it I have used it. There are some behavior chains I will *only* train via backchaining and freeshaping, and other behaviors I will train exclusively with compulsion/escape training.
cheers for the info Liesje!
i've heard of that book, will definitely check it out! i'm not familiar with the terms "backchaining" and "freeshaping" - with the horses i mostly use "pressure/release" and "advance/retreat", which works wonders in all kinds of situations, desensitizing etc., but you really have to get the timing spot on...

thanks again!
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:18 PM   #933
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YES, I forgot to say that too, timing is everything!!! Not to toot my own horn but I'm very good at timing whether it's a marker, a reward, or a correction. Often at club, I am clicking the clicker for someone else, or tapping their remote, or even line handling their dog. It can be very difficult for people to grasp. Part of it is that most people do not break down behaviors into small enough steps. For example, say you have a dog like my Coke that is very bad at coming when called. With this dog at the beginning of training a recall, you do not wait until the dog has come back to you to mark the good behavior and reward. The first step would be to mark as soon as the dog turns his head from far away and acknowledges your command to "come!".

Backchaining refers to training a complex behavior (usually a sequence of behaviors) and breaking it down into steps which are basically taught in reverse. For example, in Schutzhund obedience we have to perform three formal dumbbell retrieves. This is my full article (with video links) on backchaining a retrieve: http://www.dutchbingo.net/personal/H...20Retrieve.pdf Many dogs retrieve willingly but not with the level of precision that this routine requires. So for those like me who backchain the formal retrieve, the first step is to train the dog to hold the dumbbell sitting in front, then you train the dog to come towards you with a dumbbell in his mouth and sit in front, then you add more and more distance, then you training the dog to go out and get the dumbbell (it's actually a LOT more steps than that, but you get the idea). Another example is something I am working on right now with a dog in the protection phase. We have these "blinds" which are like a triangle tent where the "helper" (decoy who gets bit) stands. The first exercise is to send the dog into the blind. The dog has to bark at the helper for a period of time, then the handler comes around, walks up to the dog, and commands him to "sit" (which in this case also means to stop barking). I was having an issue where my dog would go in and bark good but when he could see me coming his way he would get slightly distracted and look at me between barks. I suggested to my helper that we backchain this. In this example that means we start with me standing next to the dog in the blind while he is barking. Then as we progress I move farther out of the blind until I am standing where I would be in a trial.

Freeshaping is something often paired with backchaining. It's a "purely positive" form of training where you are using a marker (a word or click) and reward. Most positive training is either freeshaping or lure/reward type training. Freeshaping is not as common b/c it requires a LOT of patience, impeccable timing, and a dog that has a knack for it. Basically it is what it sounds like, you allow the dog to be "free" and "shape" the behavior you want. It's easier to grasp with an example. Go back to the formal retrieve. As I said the first step is usually to train a dog to hold a dumbbell. That alone can be a challenge since a dumbbell weighs 5lbs and the dog must hold it tightly while focusing intently on your face and is not allowed to loll the dumbbell or "chew" on it. But how do you get a dog to take a dumbbell in the first place? I usually freeshape my "hold" (we call this behavior the "hold") using a clicker. I start with a dowel not a dumbbell (dumbbell is too weird and heavy at first). I just hold it out to the dog. If the dog sniffs it, I click/treat. I c/t sniffing the dowel ten times because the dog has no idea what I want and cannot be expected to take and hold it, so I am first shaping a positive interaction with a dowel. Once the dog gets that, I up the ante so now the click/treat only happens if the dog tries to put his mouth/teeth on the dowel. From there we shape biting, then taking and biting, then taking, biting, and holding correctly, then holding for longer and longer, then holding for a long time while I make distractions, etc. This is freeshaping because I am letting the dog decide what to do, just only rewarding the choice *I* want the dog to make. By contrast, I could simply pry the dog's mouth open and shove the dowel in, or I could wave it around like a toy to entice the dog to bite on it. But those are not freeshaping, those are examples of luring. I like to freeshape certain tricks because it makes for a more pro-active, thinking, problem-solving dog than a dog that is certainly obedient and willing but needs to be constantly directed what to do.

By contrast, many people train a formal retrieve using compulsion (also known as pressure or escape training). On the operant conditioning diagram this is negative reinforcement (NOT positive punishment as some might think). If you want to use -R to train a dog to hold a dowel, you would apply discomfort until the dog opens his mouth and takes the dowel. Immediately the discomfort turns off and the dog quickly desires to hold that dowel.
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:05 PM   #934
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Rare moment while watching The People's Court. This idiot is suing a dog trainer. One of the reasons she stated was that a doberman was too big for a crate. Let a person do their job.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:49 PM   #935
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Pantalaimon....herding phail




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Old 06-26-2011, 06:22 PM   #936
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YouTube - ‪Joni dances to Erasure‬‏

Oh yeah.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:56 PM   #937
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I just found a tick on my dog. Firmly attached to her lip of all places. I pulled it out but wanted to know if there's anything else I should do? Never had a tick issue ever before, so I'm clueless.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:53 PM   #938
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I just found a tick on my dog. Firmly attached to her lip of all places. I pulled it out but wanted to know if there's anything else I should do? Never had a tick issue ever before, so I'm clueless.
The ticks have been really bad this year. If it's just holding on to a little bite of skin, I just grab it and pull it off. If it has gotten to the point where the tick is actually buried in the dog's skin and has started swelling up, then I get a tweezers to pull it out and put rubbing alcohol on the bite area. You want to make sure that the tick's head and mouth parts don't break off and stay in. They have hard shells, so I sometimes squash them on the sidewalk with a rock or just flush them down the toilet. My dog has had so many that he knows what "tick" means and pulls them off himself and immobilizes them with his drool and then stares at it until someone comes to get it.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:30 AM   #939
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this dog weighs 252 pounds

Biggest dog in the world: Meet George the 7ft long Great Dane... who's terrified of chihuahuas | Mail Online
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:22 AM   #940
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Poor dog Even normal sized Danes are already prone to several health problems and live relatively short lives in general.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:09 AM   #941
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got a big dilemma at the moment - some people have a holiday home on the edge of a public footpath/bridlepath where a lot of people ride horses, and they have a newfoundland dog - he is only a year or two old, beautiful, but incredibly boisterous and VERY badly trained - he runs at and chases the horses, and even when he is on a lead out on a walk, he has total disregard for his owners and they cannot hold him... he does not come to call, and will actually jump up on horses/bikes/people and chases cars that go along the path - he jumps their fence and even jumps out of the house thru the double stable-type door...

it's getting v. worrying as, with the horses, he could cause a terrible accident... the dog's owner has recently broken her leg due to an incident with her dog... at the moment we are avoiding that route, but it's normally one of the safest off-road places to ride around here...

i'm wondering what is the best way to respond to a big boisterous dog like that when you meet it out and about??? i don't think he is aggressive, just massive and very very intimidating! if i do go that way, should i take a ball or something to throw for him, to distract him and get him away from the horses?? or would that just make it worse??

it's more a safety issue than anything really...
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:22 AM   #942
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My 160 lb. Newf was a little scared of Great Danes because they were taller than her. It was very cute.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:41 AM   #943
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got a big dilemma at the moment - some people have a holiday home on the edge of a public footpath/bridlepath where a lot of people ride horses, and they have a newfoundland dog - he is only a year or two old, beautiful, but incredibly boisterous and VERY badly trained - he runs at and chases the horses, and even when he is on a lead out on a walk, he has total disregard for his owners and they cannot hold him... he does not come to call, and will actually jump up on horses/bikes/people and chases cars that go along the path - he jumps their fence and even jumps out of the house thru the double stable-type door...

it's getting v. worrying as, with the horses, he could cause a terrible accident... the dog's owner has recently broken her leg due to an incident with her dog... at the moment we are avoiding that route, but it's normally one of the safest off-road places to ride around here...

i'm wondering what is the best way to respond to a big boisterous dog like that when you meet it out and about??? i don't think he is aggressive, just massive and very very intimidating! if i do go that way, should i take a ball or something to throw for him, to distract him and get him away from the horses?? or would that just make it worse??

it's more a safety issue than anything really...
You live in Europe, no? Just asking because the US and western Europe have a different culture with regard to dogs. In the US, things are very much like "get your dog off my property before I shoot it!" and people are not likely to get away with that sort of thing. I have to assume that everyone in my neighborhood hates dogs and be respectful about keeping my dogs in my yard, keeping them quiet, and obeying the local leash law (illegal for dogs to run at large, must be on a 6' leash when off the property). I'm not sure if it is like that in Europe, it seems to me that people are much more relaxes about dogs (when I watch Victoria Stillwell they are always taking dogs to random fields and turning them loose off leash, letting them run up to strange dogs and people, etc). If I had an issue with a dog as you describe, I would first ask the owner to fix the situation. If that did not work I would report to Animal Control. If the dog was running at large off the property and I felt comfortable doing so, I would catch it and bring it to Animal Control. I've done this before, usually for the safety of the dog. If their owner refuses to properly care for and contain their dog, I will bring it in so that they have to pay the fine and deal with AC to get it back, or leave it there and a better owner can adopt it.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:19 PM   #944
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Yes, atleast here in Finland dogs have to be in leash and everywhere else prolly too, it´s just careless owners, contact local animal control or even call a police and explain it

Liesje pretty much covered it all

and to make you smile

‪Ultimate Dog Tease‬‏ - YouTube
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:39 PM   #945
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You really like that video
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