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Leash Training: the hardest task so far.

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CMP, the comment about using punishment was in response to one very specific scenario (snapping and snarling at people and other dogs), which many trainers agree increases the risk of the dog suppressing warning signals and going straight into a bite without warning.


It's not at all similar to what you describe. ;)

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CMP, the comment about using punishment was in response to one very specific scenario (snapping and snarling at people and other dogs), which many trainers agree increases the risk of the dog suppressing warning signals and going straight into a bite without warning.


It's not at all similar to what you describe. ;)


Oh, I was just making a general comment (I read the entire thread so it was all sort of melded together for me) - I was not at all responding to your post or your situation. Sorry for the confusion.

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I think correction is an *absolute necessity* if for no other reason than to give the dog a positive framework for the inevitable moment when ONLY a correction will do. A dog running towards a road is not a "hey cutie pie, come to mama" moment, it's a "stop in your gd tracks, dog, and get your ar*e back here." It will carry all the hallmarks of a correction: it will have an implied consequence, it is not negotiable, the speaker is willing to enforce it with as much force as is necessary and it indicates a seriously wrong behaviour which must not re-occur. A failure.


I don't correct often, but when I do, I do it with a great deal of authority. I don't mean the moment to moment, "no no" when training a young puppy about the basics of life and "no" is an instruction and not a correction - I mean the times when the dog is about to run onto the road or fails a recall in an important situation or bites down on the kitten's head or is about to put his paws on the campfire bricks. This also includes other critical infractions such as jumping on people or trying to get to a place I have declined permission (this would cover leash stuff - she would not have my permission to go farther than the length of the leash)


I will physically restrain (across chest with my arms), remove (pick up and carry), repel (walking stick) any behaviour which is simply unacceptable ever under any circumstance.


My father - who I considered a great "dog man" used to tell me that the kindest thing you could do for your dog was to give it limits, never negotiate them and be prepared to enforce them (without cruelty or abuse, of course). It sets the lesson quickly and completely if it is used judiciously.


I think positive reinforcement is the best way - in general terms - but I think adhering to it dogmatically and without regard for the absolute need to have a clear and unassailable order of authority is not very wise. I watch the handlers work with the young sheepers all the time and I sometimes find myself thinking the real value of a Border Collie lies in his ability to act like a professional - that is to say take correction in stride and make the right decisions thereafter.


It is likely a disservice to them to take the long way around simple issues - resulting in perpetual nagging and them tuning you out - when there IS a way to give them the lesson quickly, efficiently and without any sort of trauma by insisting on your authority being recognized.


At 17 weeks, my puppy does not get second chances on recall. She comes or I go get her and move her to where I want her to be. There are no second chances on leashes or lines - if she pulls, I pick her up and take her home. Anything I KNOW she knows, she is expected to respond properly to. If she is to be my companion and a trustworthy service dog both of us must always know what to expect from the other.


YMMV, of course.

I think this was a beautifully made point. I think these dogs do respond to correction like professionals so long as they know that they won't be hurt. I'm working to get my dog used to yelling at her when the time is right and then praising and loving her afterward so she knows that even when I yell, she's not in danger. I am having to step up my limits training with her lately because she is pushing them so hard. I think I might need to institute your "no second chances" policy, though this will be tough...


I will say, as a side note, I took the pup to the vet today to have her eyes checked out and she was a total dream. She watched the cats and dogs alike attentively and hung by my side. After a few minutes I was able to run her through her arsenal of tricks to everyone's delight. I was very proud. I was very happy about her reaction to all the cats given her recent track record with them. So there are the good moments. =)

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I've had the opposite experience. I have to remember to let mine have supervised opportunities to drag the leash with her around the farm, because she "shuts down" aka lays as close to the ground and she possibly can, the second she felt any tension on the leash. She finally got to the place where she drug it while following behind me, and then now i can usually hold the end of it and convince her to follow me despite her feeling any tension. It's slow going, mostly because I havent worked on it as often as I should. I call her my shadow dog, since she follows my heels so closely i sometimes strip on her head between my ankles LOL.


I think a lot of it has to do with personality. I cannot imagine her ever wanting to pull me anywhere. My aussie on the other hand pulls fairly decently when we started training. But I just teach them to stop the moment there is any tension and generally change direction. Each dog has it's own personality and its own "better way" to learn.


as far as corrections, i make sure to balance reward markers with negative corrections. My husband is the worst at this, as he still doesn't get how a dog thinks. Dogs need to be rewarded for the correct behavior (even in baby steps) moreso then corrected, but I dont believe in lacking corrections at all...otherwise your dog will quickly walk all over you. There's going to be the proper level and intensity of correction, as always, timing is key. As well as management. As I learned when i got my obedience trainer cert, if your dog is failing more than 80%, then you need to go "back to basics" and ask less, setting up the dog to succeed, so that they truly learn what you are wanting from them and build from there.

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