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Cool Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 19th 2016, 03:31 PM

This morning I went with Bentley and enrolled him into obedience training, we start tomorrow. Two other dogs are also enrolled. I am really excited to be doing this. Bentley needs to learn to stop running towards people and dogs to say hello and jump up on them. He is extremely friendly and hyper. He is completely fine once he and the other dog(s) say hello.

Tomorrow evening will be extremely interesting to see how he will react. The two other dogs are large dog breeds, whereas Bentley is smaller, way smaller than the two others. It doesn't even matter how big the dogs are, Bentley is always determined to say hello regardless.

I am not sure, but I find that he enjoys to jump (he does to me) but when I took him for a walk awhile ago he jumped up onto this concrete platform (something I couldn't even climb up on) so I am thinking of having him jump over a set up bar in my backyard. Something to get his energy gone. I would love to train him to jump over those set up bars (like horse jumping) he seems to fit for that sport. Does anyone have advice for this type of sport? (Bentley is a Collie (Smooth) )


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Re: Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 19th 2016, 06:19 PM

If your dog is treat-motivated, which most are, you can teach a dog to do ANYthing!!! Keep a baggie of treats wherever you can. I usually have some always in my bedroom and family room for easy access. I like to do many short-session training, like 3 15-minute sessions a day. Consistency will be your friend: keep your rules your rules, whatever the circumstance. For example: if you do not want him to jump, do not let him jump on other people, even if the person is okay with it. This will set a good boundary. I had a lot of trouble with keeping strict, especially with room mates who felt "too bad" and let her do whatever. YOU ARE THE ALPHA (FE)MALE!! Also, ask your trainer what equipment you think would work best. I had to try a few different training collar before I found a good fit. Do your own research as well. I trained my dog to be a service dog with the help of a trainer, so let me know if you have any other questions!!
   
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Re: Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 20th 2016, 05:45 PM

Good luck with the obedience training. I hope it goes well!

One thing my aunt did with her dog was get the dog to pick up a stuffed toy every time someone new came in the door, carrying something in her mouth seemed to stop her from jumping and barking.

I hope he gets on well with the other dogs!


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Re: Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 21st 2016, 01:58 AM

That's awesome, you'll have to let me know how it goes. I definitely think agility (which I think is what you described) would be great for a dog like yours. It can involve jumping over bars or through hoops, going through tunnels, going over A-frames, going through weave poles, and numerous other things. My recommendation would be to talk to your obedience instructor and see if they can direct you towards an agility club. Other sports you might like to look into are dock jumping/dock diving (where a dog jumps off a dock into a body of water, trying to get as far out as possible) or flyball (where teams of dogs race over low hurdles to fetch a tennis ball) as they might be things your dog could enjoy. Active breeds like collies love to be busy, which involves not only giving physical exercise but mental stimulation as well - something that these dog sports, even if you never compete in them, can provide.

As far as training goes, I would actually recommend that you keep your sessions super short, much shorter than 15 minutes. You want to try to stop your sessions on a good note, before your dog reaches its peak (because once it does, the dog's enthusiasm and your patience are only going to decrease). It's much better to have several very short sessions than to have a couple of longer sessions per day. From my experience I've found that about 2 minutes at a time is optimum, but of course you'll have to work out what's best for you and your dog. Make sure you keep training fun and exciting, too, and always reward correct behaviour. PM me if you want to talk training at any point; I'm not an expert but I like to think I know a thing or two.


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Re: Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 23rd 2016, 03:39 AM

Yay!

I've heard that they can be really good.

Let us know how it goes!


   
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Re: Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 23rd 2016, 04:07 PM

Bentley's first training went well! I have to admit, I didn't get a chance to walk in him yesterday cause it was raining then needed to leave for work, today, after work I may walk him. We are practicing more and more of him sitting and looking at me (focus) inside. It's going very well.

I've looked into agility training courses I will be enrolling him into so I am excited.

So, the one dog at the training, is a big dog (6 months and looks full grown but isn't, bigger than Bentley) she was a delightful thing to watch, sliding on the ground. The trainer and the dog made me laugh and I needed to control myself. She would run the other way, distracted and the trainer would call her name and stomp on the ground, then she would turn around and run (hop back) it was amusing!

Looking forward to doing more training with Bentley soon. Next week will begin going jogging with him (I need to jog and what better way to do that with a hyperactive dog?) so I am excited.


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Re: Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 23rd 2016, 10:14 PM

One thing we used with our dog is a choker collar. They have a bad reputation, BUT if YOU know how to use it properly, it is not painful for the dog at all. It only makes them unable to breath, which sounds horrible I know, but the dog is the one putting the pressure on the leash. Once they learn that, they don't pull.

And when you stop to say hello to someone, it you put the leash under your foot and stand on it, it's like them pulling a boulder with no give like your arms will give. Then they know there's no more room to get closer and won't pull so much.

Just a couple things I remember from obedience school to, but good luck, it actually is pretty fun, for the dog to!!!! ��
   
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Re: Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 24th 2016, 04:40 AM

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Originally Posted by Samuel View Post
One thing we used with our dog is a choker collar. They have a bad reputation, BUT if YOU know how to use it properly, it is not painful for the dog at all. It only makes them unable to breath, which sounds horrible I know, but the dog is the one putting the pressure on the leash. Once they learn that, they don't pull.
I'm going to respectfully disagree with this. Check chains are not supposed to be used to choke your dog; they're meant to be used to give sharp corrections to get the dog back into position. As such they're a form of positive punishment rather than negative reinforcement - the owner is responsible for it, not the dog. It's not a case of "the dog pulls, the collar feels tight, the dog stops pulling and feels better"; it's actually a case of "the dog pulls, the owner gives a correction, the dog learns not to pull because something unpleasant will follow". The only reason you should use a check chain is if a trainer you respect and trust recommends it, and even then it's usually a last resort because there are so many safer options. I'll get off my soapbox now, but incorrect use of check chains is a pet peeve of mine so I had to chime in with my two cents.

Anyway. I'm glad your first class went well! I also think that getting him to focus (which is a command my sister uses with her dog to get her to settle down a bit) is a really good idea, because you want your dog to be able to focus on you even when there are distractions around. The class sounds like a lot of fun, and I'm excited that you're looking into agility too. Let me know how Bentley's training goes, as I'd love to hear all about his progress.


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Re: Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 24th 2016, 06:38 AM

Hey there! I don't have much to add but I wanted to say that agility is a good idea. One of my dogs is a Standard Poodle and when we got her, the breeder suggested pupping her into puppy agility classes after we put her in obedience classes and we continued up the level 2. It's helped a lot to focus and was a great way to mentally stimulate her. We haven't put her in much competitions the past few years, just some local ones for fun that she seemed to enjoy. She loves running/jumping/fetching etc so I try to take her drop in time at a local centre when it works but otherwise we go to the off leash park and play games that get her active and make her think. I would recommend it and I hope you and Bentley enjoy it.


I'm glad your first class went well and I hope the rest of the classes go well as well.
   
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Re: Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 26th 2016, 04:02 PM

The other evening I took Bentley to the dog park and he went off leash for the first time. He did well. He ran a lot I took him this morning for a bit, but it's really cold outside so we didn't stay long.

Is there a way to train him to come on command? He is so hyper and happy to run around and meet other dogs that he doesn't listen to me. I've found he does when I have treats but sometimes it can be hard. He does stay close, as in he looks for me where I've been or gone or if I'm still there. I did do a bit of training on the way there with me saying his name and whistling and if he looked back I rewarded him with a treat. I m sure with time he will get better at that after some of his energy is gone.

I am a little worried that he may go in the children's area of the park (dogs aren't allowed in there) there is more land for the dogs than for the kids and sports fields. Which is good. There's always dogs there it seems, even though I've went two times.

I will also ask my trainer about him not really listening to my command or maybe I am not doing it properly?


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Re: Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 26th 2016, 06:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Static Wolfie. View Post

I'm going to respectfully disagree with this. Check chains are not supposed to be used to choke your dog; they're meant to be used to give sharp corrections to get the dog back into position. As such they're a form of positive punishment rather than negative reinforcement - the owner is responsible for it, not the dog. It's not a case of "the dog pulls, the collar feels tight, the dog stops pulling and feels better"; it's actually a case of "the dog pulls, the owner gives a correction, the dog learns not to pull because something unpleasant will follow". The only reason you should use a check chain is if a trainer you respect and trust recommends it, and even then it's usually a last resort because there are so many safer options. I'll get off my soapbox now, but incorrect use of check chains is a pet peeve of mine so I had to chime in with my two cents.
You're right, I explained with the wrong words and concept. My bad.
The reinforcement is of the owner, not the dogs reaction, it's a learned behavior.
I've been to obedience training with my dog and the trainer taught us to use the choker coller. Yes, there are other ways, and if it is used improperly, someone can seriously injur the dog. So you should only use them with the guidance of a trainer who knows how to use them. The collar and leash is something the dog should become to like and enjoy, they learn that when they hear it, they're going out, and like it.

But yes, you are right, stand corrected....
   
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Re: Enrolled: Obedience Training - April 28th 2016, 12:45 AM

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Is there a way to train him to come on command?
Absolutely! The trick is that you have to build up to it. You have to make your dog always want to return to you, and you have to start off in an environment where you're unarguably the most interesting thing there. For example, say you want to get your child interested in reading. Do you start them off by giving them a book in the middle of a playground, with children running and shouting all around? No, you let them read at home, where it's quiet and there are no distractions, before expecting them to be able to concentrate in noisier environments. The same thing applies here.

With that in mind, you have to introduce the command in the calmest, quietest environment you can find - usually inside the house. Start off really small, with the two only a couple of steps away, and always make a huge fuss of him when he does come. You could also use his name in the command. So it would look something like this: you and Bentley are inside. You have treats, or a ball, or whatever reinforcement you use. Bentley looks away from you, and you call his name. He looks at you, you say "Come", and when he does, you give him his reward. Work your way up so that he responds to you when there are distractions around, and make sure he's reliably returning before moving on to a more "difficult" environment. The dog park would be your goal, so you have to take steps to get there: first get Bentley to come when you're in the house, then in the yard, then on lead outside, etc. That makes it easier on both you and him.

Also, make sure that you never give the command if you're not prepared to follow it up. If you say "Come" and he doesn't, and you don't do anything, he's going to learn that he can get away with ignoring you, or maybe only returning once you've given the command a good five or six times. With my dog, she knows that if I give the "Come" command and she doesn't come back, I'm going to go to her and bring her back myself (whereas I also have an optional command, where if I use that word she knows it means I want her attention but it's her choice and there won't be any consequences if she doesn't come over). And it's in her best interests to come back voluntarily: if I have to go and get her, then playtime's usually over for the moment; but if she comes back voluntarily, she gets a pat and maybe a treat, and then I usually send her back out to play. Make sure you don't just call Bentley back when you're leaving, otherwise he'll learn that "Come" means "Get back here, the fun's over and we're leaving". Get into the habit of calling him back randomly, and then most of the time just releasing him after praising him.

Like I said, don't ever give the command if you're not going to follow through. Which also means that you shouldn't give the command if you're not in control. If you're at the dog park, for example, and you know that there's no way you're going to be able to bring your dog back if he doesn't listen to you, then don't issue the "Come" command. In this situation, until he's reliably returning on command, you might like to have him on a long line (although that may be impractical depending on what the environment's like - how many dogs there are, how energetic your dog is, etc). That way you can issue the command and then, if he doesn't return voluntarily, you can guide him back in on the line, so that he physically can't just ignore the command.

I hope this all helped a bit. I'd also recommend talking to your trainer/instructor to see what advice they have, because in my experience the "come" command (along with "stay" and "leave") is one of the most important things you can ever teach your dog. Good luck with it all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel View Post
The reinforcement is of the owner, not the dogs reaction, it's a learned behavior.
Quick technical note: it's actually punishment (trying to prevent a behaviour) rather than reinforcement (trying to encourage a behaviour), which would be rewarding the dog when it stays in position. But yes, many trainers have different ideas of how to explain or implement things, so you're bound to get a different opinion depending on who you talk to. The important thing is to never take advice from a trainer you don't know and trust.


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