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Weird dog training advice


simba
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So we have the 'weird unsolicited advice' thread from laypeople. But I was unable to find the 'weird dog training advice' from people regarded as experts (perhaps including self-assessed ones).

 

Suzanne Clothier writes about being shocked and disgusted by the advice to fill a hole with water and put the dog's head in it, to cure it of digging holes.

 

I picked up another dog book in a bookshop recently (sorry, can't remember the name) and found that the dog trainer who wrote it strongly recommended cupping a dog's testicles. I'm not sure exactly what for, just leafed through it, but she talked about the objections of dog owners who retorted "I'm not gay!" Has anyone heard of this before?

 

Please, please, please do not let this get into the territory of 'positive only vs balanced dog training' or whatever, or anything to do with Cesar Milan. Please. At least until the third or fourth page, I beg you.

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:blink: Uh ... I've never had a need to mess with my dog's testicles. I mean, if they looked enlarged or injured or something, sure, I'd feel those rascals right up! But seriously. If we're training a dog, we want to engage the dog's brain, not his nuts.

An old cowboy friend of ours has a saying about the self-appointed experts: "An ex is a has-been and a spert is a drip under pressure." :P

~ Gloria

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Does sound weird, but hard to judge if we don't know what exactly it was recommended for...

 

I think submerging the dog's head in the hole with water in it (supposedly to teach it not to dig) originated from Koehler's methods.

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I always recommend cupping testicles, as well as handling each individual testicle, and sticking fingers in ears, and handling under the tail, and gently rubbing the inside of the lips, and opening the mouth and touching the tongue, and anything else you can think of to touch to make sure that when the dog actually has an issue with that body part, it already accepts you touching it.

 

I can't think of any other reason to cup the testicles.

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From the sounds of it it was to relax the dog and make the dog less aggressive. So if your dog had problems with aggression, in order to both relax it via massage, and show it who is boss, you handle the testicles.

 

Edit: I make no definite claims not to be mis-remembering this, normally when I'm quoting books I'll go fetch the book and double-check. For obvious reasons I can't do that here.

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Ha! There's my laugh for the night!

 

I still get "bite the ear" advice out here. But that's pretty much the worst advice I get.

 

Oh, other than the gal who informed me that all border collies are born knowing twenty words. Not really advice, but I still wanted to ask her which words those were.

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I was standing outside of a tasty freeze this summer and two ladies started talking to Kolt. He was happy and excited so I put my hand on his collar to help remind him not to jump up. Lady walks over from 6ft away "you're going to hurt your back doing that, I'll show you a better way" me "we're fine, thanks" lady who obviously can't hear "this is a great way to get them to lay down, I use it with my Boxers" me again "no, we're fine" (while thinking that my dog has a great down, he just super excited from the baby talk the lady is giving him). Lady walks over, grabs the leash that I'm holding onto, steps on it and tries to pull Kolt to the ground.

 

WTH?!?!

 

Me (fighting her for the leash that is attached to my dog and rather shocked) "no, no, I don't train that way" she holds on and tries to pull my dog to the ground for a good 30 seconds despite my protests. Finally backs off when she just can't win.

 

Ay. Yi. Yi.

 

Ten minutes later I started shaking I was so upset. And very much wishing that I hadn't been so shocked that I could have told her off. Ugh. At least she didn't win :/

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Oh my ^^^^ :angry:

 

I have never encountered anything that bad, but I did spend a part of Saturday with a friend at an agility trial. I was competing with Torque. She used to compete, but both of her dogs (Welshies) are older and had stopped competing about 5 yrs ago anyway due to back issues in one dog and behavioral issues with the other.

 

She felt the need to tell me how, and when, to reinforce Kiefer (21 month old who I was just walking around the facility [not competing with him] to get him used to the chaotic atmosphere). And how to run the course - even though her dogs were slow, while Torque is super fast. The handling choices are very, very different between two such dogs.

 

This is the same person who says she could never live with my dogs because they are always bugging her when she comes over. Well, yes, they do want attention, but rather than ignore them when they are looking for pets (which I tell her to do), she always has to pet them (i.e. reinforce their behavior). Then she complains about them being pushy and wanting more pets.

 

So - no weird advice, but unwanted, and sometimes incorrect, advice.

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In fairness to the lady who tried to advise you, Maralynn, physical methods can work well sometimes for teaching. Next time line yourself up beside the lady and give her a good hard shove. That'll move her into the correct position, away from your dog, hopefully in the 'down' position if you were really successful, and then you praise and give them a treat.

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I've heard the line about "feeding dogs meat will make them want to kill your livestock or become aggressive in general." What do they think kibble is made out of? Somehow cooking and processing the meat takes away the aggressive causing nutrients in the meat!? ;)

 

Or I like when people tell me that using treats to train means "you'll never get her off the treats". Meaning, I'll/she'll need them forever in order to behave. I had someone tell me this recently with Dixie, while working with her on jumping at the door. Meanwhile Levi the adult dog is greeting people politely without any treats or intervention from me two feet away. Hmm...

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Maralyn,

 

I'm no lawyer, and laws vary from state to state, but I think I might have tried something like,

 

Me, "Are you trying to steal my dog?" At the top of my voice.

Crazy Person, "No, I'm just showing you how to . . ."
Me, "Drop that leash, stop trying to steal my dog"

add more if necessary, all at the top of my lungs.

 

Animals are considered property. Just for future reference, someone at any kind of dog trial would get a lot of help if they were yelling, "Drop that leash! That's my dog!" Instead of trying to reason with an insane person.

 

YMMV, of course, but I'll give it a try if it ever happens to me. I'm so sorry that you were subjected to such insanity and rudeness.

 

Ruth and Gibbs

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Does sound weird, but hard to judge if we don't know what exactly it was recommended for...

 

I think submerging the dog's head in the hole with water in it (supposedly to teach it not to dig) originated from Koehler's methods.

 

Submerging the dog's head in the hole with water in it is advocated by Vicki Hearne in Adam's Task: Calling Animals by Name (pp. 67-68). Too long to quote in full, but it does indeed qualify as weird training advice, IMO, especially as laid out there.

 

It could have originated with Koehler, though, because Vicki was a Koehler devotee.

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Dear Doggers,

It originated with Koehler as a way to stop dog digging. Tony Ancheta, who runs the Koehler school today puts an electric fence line around the preferred hole and sprays the hole with stinky persistent aftershave. Dog gets zapped a couple times, remove fence, spray aftershave where you don't want him digging. Haven't tried it myself but it'd probably work.

 

Donald McCaig

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In fairness to the lady who tried to advise you, Maralynn, physical methods can work well sometimes for teaching. Next time line yourself up beside the lady and give her a good hard shove. That'll move her into the correct position, away from your dog, hopefully in the 'down' position if you were really successful, and then you praise and give them a treat.

Hear, hear! Except for the very last bit - should be, dig a hole, fill it full of water and shove their head in it.

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In fairness to the lady who tried to advise you, Maralynn, physical methods can work well sometimes for teaching. Next time line yourself up beside the lady and give her a good hard shove. That'll move her into the correct position, away from your dog, hopefully in the 'down' position if you were really successful, and then you praise and give them a treat.

Snicker. Guffaw!

 

The mention (by waffles) of people telling her not to use treats because "you'll never get her off them" reminds me of people (good thing my brother isn't on this forum :huh: ) who will NEVER give their dog human food because that means the dog will forever beg for food - in the kitchen, at the table where you eat, etc. I have politely explained to him that it is not the type of food, but the 'when' and 'where' they get the treats, that will determine the begging behavior. Also, I have suggested he teach his dog a 'Go to mat' command if he doesn't want him to beg. At a recent family get-together, my brother's 6 year old daughter saw me throw some human food at one of my dogs, upon which she promptly told me that they NEVER give their dogs human food. :P

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