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Everything posted by sandysfarm

  1. My female bc was a bait dog without an owner for her first three years. She has zero trust issues and is the sweetest cuddler I've ever owned. So it seems to me that must be just who she is.
  2. He's so elegant in his ability to just "be" amongst his animals that it's a very quick buy-in for tv watchers; the camera loves him. It's how he gets there that causes trainers to roll their eyes. The disclaimer's in case one is not quite strong enough that day to sustain a good Alpha Roll...lol
  3. well, I have collie and greyhound(s) here. The collie herds the hounds but she can't see above their knees and the hounds casually walk over top of her instead of following her directions. When she flies off the handle at them, they open their loooong jaws and place them over the collie's head to calm her down, which works. She finds them a consistent challenge to move around and they find her soft warm and fluffy to put their heads on. They never obey her and she never quits directing them. By me, a lurcher/bc just has to be a conflicted personality. lol
  4. I have to say I agree about checking the thyroid before you start defining the behaviour too tightly. Maremma being flock guardians...
  5. This is mine. I mush a can of on-sale human grade tuna and a raw egg on high in the blender till it's a paste. Then I dump it on a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. I put another piece of parchment paper ON TOP OF the tuna and begin to smooth all, somewhat evenly, toward the edges of the paper. Then I take a rolling pin and roll aggressively until it's 1/8" thick. Then I slide the whole onto a cookie sheet and into a 275 oven until it's set up dry right through to the middle. Take it out, lay it flat on the counter and carefully peel off the top parchment sheet. Five minutes later I use my pizza cutter wheel to cut long skinny strips which I nip into teeny bits with my thumbnail as I need to. It's cheap, plentiful, nice and stinky, and uncomplicated ingredient-wise.
  6. OMG I'm not going anywhere near this one!! ROFL It's the same issue. AKC hounds bad, working hounds good. But let's back to border collies as I am in complete awe of the level of training conversation on this forum.
  7. This made me smile a little. Sighthounds get the same charge (pun) out of chasing things down as collies get from truly working; they're both hard-wired for it. If your lurcher had a snappy recall, I promise it was mostly the collie part of his brain responding. Once a sighthound (I come from greyhounds) fixates and receives the adrenalin dump, he's gone till he's dead or done. You can train recall till your eyes roll back in your head but you're never going to trump the primal thrill of the chase.
  8. Food. The original bargain between man and dog, says Stanley Coren, or someone. Man fed dog to keep it near his cave because a dog's heightened senses warned of strangers and predators. In return, dog got to live a bit longer and with a full belly. Fear, the need to eat, sex drive, they're primal drives, which is why they're the reinforcers of choice to teach a behaviour and make it stick. If you teach something using food and you do it well, there's no reason the dog would "forget". The best way to keep him sharp on it, though, would be to food-reward for it occasionally, which would qualify as random reinforcement. The theory is that dogs are gamblers so rewarding this way is very motivating. Does any of that fit into your experience with him, I wonder?
  9. Or, you might step up his walking/exercise time. It sounds like he's a bit bored and looking for something to ease the twitchies.
  10. I would add that, once I felt we were over the "I hate you" hump, I might grab a clicker, charge it as a separate activity, and then capture/click/treat something - he could teach himself a tiny trick for instance, or ...I might click his staying at a certain distance from me .
  11. I would be chucking nice bits of stuff in the direction of that dog occasionally for the whole time I was dealing with him without looking at him or talking to him, the little brat I see what you're driving at but me, I'm treating the whole thing as 'not-operant' I'm not rewarding for decent behaviour, I don't really care what he's up to - that's the no-attention' part. I'm just reinforcing in his brain that, when I'm around, food may or may not happen...dogs are pretty superstitious so I say he's more interested in wondering what I'm up to than he is in cruising my knees....
  12. Omg lol ! No, no extinction burst; but a superstitious interest in the OP, who, if she does it well, has just blown this dog's mind with her surprise generosity. Later, tossing meat to him casually without letting him figure out when it's coming, i.e. no pattern, is randomly reinforcing her position in his mind as the meat goddess. I maybe should have gone on to say that a totally unexpected freebie plate of warm meat for him very occasionally would essentially do the same but it's not necessary in the protocol....but I was embarassing myself at the length of my post Extinction bursts have more to do with operant behaviour, that is, you get in the elevator, the door slides shut, you push the button...and nothing happens. So...you push it again,...nothing. Wth?? this button is damn well supposed to move the ***elevator! ...push, push, push........panicky now because I KNOW the button ALWAYS moves the elevator, push-push-push-push....(there's your extinction burst)...ok, defeat, I'm stuck...time to stop pushing and start looking for alternate help.
  13. Hi I've been reading your story with interest (and sympathy!) I'm a trainer in Ontario who works on a referral basis with little dogs. The referrals come from from a couple of vets who find examining their small patients "challenging", to say the least and suggest conditioning to their clients So I hope I'm not butting in... It reads like you're doing fine so far by pairing yourself with food for the dog. Hard core classical conditioning, however, would have the dog already looking at you like you were the second coming :}...which you're about to be : First: you need to make a big-huge UNEXPECTED statement 3 or 4 times in a row - say, Fri/Mon/Tues/Wed, like this: unlock the door, make all your usual noises except language ones, silently walk straight over to a place on the floor, armed with a "visually full" plate of SERIOUS MEAT which you put on the floor, then turn and wander right away and ignore him....Don't check, he'll eat if it's rare beef sliced fine When he's eaten, toss an extra piece of the same MEAT anywhere on the floor randomly - spacing a bunch of them out so that the last piece of meat gets tossed at him when you get bored enough to leave. Obviously this is a set-up, so the other dogs are not around and you're not letting anybody out this trip - it's an event, you'll need the owners to pinch-hit or whatever...sorry, I know it's tricky - but it's worth it **VIP is you don't talk to him, don't say a word - you want to stay totally in control of the "shock value" of his new treatment because that "shock value" is what irrevocably changes his opinion of you, - you are now the meat goddess - and no dog with a belly dislikes the meat godess. From here on you treat him very casually, indifferently, even. His previous behaviour was netting him attention, and attention is a lower-level reinforcer...so you nix that. The only way you interact with him is to toss meat at him randomly. This random reinforcement is very potent in maintaining your goddess-status in his brain...works even if he's a little short on dog-IQ. From what I'm reading, you're approaching some behaviour change with treats but not really effectively. You may even be accidentally rewarding his snarky behaviour with you by feeding it with a treat that's lower in value than the situation warrants. Since it's likely his behaviour toward you is more fear-driven than aggression-based, you're dealing with a reflexive i.e., primary drive. And you're trying to reduce it with another primary, food (hunger). So....produce more hunger, astonish him with crazy-better food and you've got a decent shot at trumping one with the other. My Rule, I always have the owners "forget" the meal closest to my arrival so that the dog is really hungry ...and remembers who bailed him out So I see I've written a book - I hope at least it helps ..
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