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Old 09-10-2004, 05:05   #1
G20man32904
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Mike's Memorial Ask a Trainer Thread

Hey all,
I just wanted to start a thread about dog training to see if I could help with any GT members families.
My resume is this: I started out working with Palm Beach County K-9 program as a volunteer about 1994. My job was obedience training, protection training and tracking training. All of these dogs were top quality and already started in these disciplines and was very easy to get them to learn new things. I worked with them for about 6 months and moved into full-time in-home dog training one-on-one with the family. This is the best situation for learning how to train a dog bar none!!!! I worked for someone else for 3 years and then started out on my own. Having well over 3,000 dogs trained I have a solution for any problem anybory can came up with. If this thread gets popular maybe we can ask a mod to sticky it. I will cover anything from housebreaking to behavior problems to obedience to choosing the right pup. Basically if you want to know how to change something about your dog ask. I dont know all the answers but I will find out if anybody stumps me. So fire away with your questions. I am here to help.
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Old 09-12-2004, 11:15   #2
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You're a hell of a guy, G20!;c

Thanks for this thread!

Your advice has already helped me quite a bit. Took your advice on the crate, put the divider back in. took the fleece pad out for a week. Also, covered the crate with a blanket (except the front). Keep him on the leash with me around the house (or attach leash to couch if I'm watching tv).

Everything is going well except for alone time. He makes it through the night fine in the crate as long as I'm in the room. No whining, no accidents. But if I leave for even a minute, he starts whining. Any longer than that, and he barks and cries nonstop. If I am gone more than a half hour or so, he'll pee in the crate.

Is there any way to get him over being such a wimpy guy about being alone?
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Old 09-12-2004, 12:07   #3
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Hey scowan,
Glad to help out partner, afterall that's what this place is about right??;f

Ok, here we go, he needs confidence. Now the way to get there is no harsh corrections (either verbal or leash) and he should be wearing a buckle type collar (not a metal choker). He also need to learn his commands ASAP. These must be kept short and fun with minimals "no's".
I really like to use food rewards (something small and soft, I personally get best results with liver boiled then chopped in the size of mm's then frozen in ziplocks for future use) with pups because it keeps their interest and makes it tons of fun. Start with "sit" then the "down" command. It is extremely important to use voice inflections to keep it positive and fast paced!! Use a high pitched "good boy" and it must be real!! If you try to fake it he will know and will not be as enthusastic as he could be and will soon tire from this "training".
Praise CAN NOT BE OVER EMPHASIZED!! We will go deeper in the commands phase later, right now we need to work on this peeing thing.

If you are not already using a water bottle on the crate go with that instead of a bowl. Before preparing to leave take him outside on the leash for 5-10minutes. Pick a time and stick with it. When I was a smoker I gave my dog the time it took for 1 smoke and thats it. Whatever time length you choose, keep it consistent no matter what.
Keep this in mind, it takes 2 hours for a dogs body to process water and 4-6 hours to process food. So what we want to do is make sure he will empty at least 30minutes prior to your leaving. This means no water 3 hours before you leave the house. He only needs water maybe 5 minutes at a time 3-5 times a day day unless you have him running around (which you shouldn't because he is on the leash tied to you, right? ).

Ok this one will require some time but here is the deal, after making sure he is empty, put him in the crate and grab that can we talked about and set it outside the door to where ever he is. Then walk outside. As soon as you hear him start to cry rush back inside and fling his door open and calmly, quietly, and firmly give him a "NO" followed by the stare down contest. Very important, do not let him win these contests, stare him down.... As soon as he looks away, let your entire being change to "good boy" with normal influctions. Then immediately turn and leave again. Use the can as a last resort here or after about 5 attempts with just verbal corrections.

Another very imprtant point is dont get into the habit of long goodbyes and immediate hello's when you walk in the door. Ignore him for 10minutes or so upon returning home unless he is crying, whinning then a verbal no and a stare down contest until he looks away.
Repeat this varying the length of time of your returns. Sometimes it will be necessary to have someone drive your car down the street while you stay and listen for him to cry out.
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Old 09-21-2004, 00:23   #4
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i'll throw in on this G20...thanks!

how do i get my puppy to lay down?

i've tried pretty much everything i can think of...i'll tell her to sit, and she does it 99.9% of the time. i say 'down,' and she looks at me like wtf? she has no problem being led down, especially when there is a treat waiting for her at the bottom.

also, how to i get her to come EVERY time when i call her? if she has something else in mind, she resists. if she is outside and i want her in, i'll call her...she'll look at me and lay down (if she doesn't wanna come in). similarly, if i'm leaving for work and say 'cage,' she lays down right away...i have to pick her up and lead her to it.

she knows what i want, she just resists a bit i think. one time when she was about 11 mo/old she ran out the door when i was moving in. she grew up previously in the country where running out the door wasn't a big deal, then she got into a city environment where running out the door meant the sidestreet was 20 ft. away. anyways, as soon as she got out i shouted her name and said DOWN! ....she dropped to the ground about 5 ft. from the porch and waited for me to get to her. shes a really smart puppy, which is probably the problem
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Old 09-21-2004, 10:08   #5
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Hey Ender glad to help out
Quote:
how do i get my puppy to lay down
From your post I gather that you have got into the habit of saying down more than 1 time. This absolutely can not happen if you want her OB to be 100%. This is where the human training comes in. You have to get yourself mentally prepared for this and put the leash on her. Get her into the sit position, then tell her down 1 time!!!! When she doesn't go down have the leash under your foot going up towards your hand so that when you apply upward pressure on the leash it forces her head down gently. As soon as she hits the floor reward her with a treat from a hidden location (back pocket). If she is resisting going down (which she most likely will) give her a quick, sharp, NO, down. Notice the no is in caps and the down is not? the emphasis is on the No while the down should be in normal tone. Practice this and you will see its harder than it sounds. Lots of praise when she does it!!

Quote:
how to i get her to come when called EVERY time when i call her?
The secret to this one is every time you call her it must be positive. Since she is already past a year I know this has not been the case. You have 2 options here a long leash (30-50ft) or an elctronic collar. Before the lib's on here start bashing me for an electronic collar saying its cruel and this and that, I will say this: Every Police K-9 I have come in contact with has been trained with one. For off-lead Obedience there is nothing better.
If you wish to use the long leash then everytime she goes outside put her on it and tie the other end somewhere close to your outside door. Call her back in when you are ready and if she doesnt come, start reeling her in. When she gets in, reward her lavishly with praise and maybe a small treat 30% of the time.
The key to this is everytime you tell her to come, You must be able to enforce it by reeling her in or a remote correction. If you tell her to come and you have no way to enforce the command, she wins. It takes about 30 of your wins to equally her 1. So if you have done this 100 times with her in the yard it will take you about 3000 reps before she realizes she cant win anymore and she will have to come to you. The more positive you make it the quicker she will learn to accept this.;z

Good luck and if need clarification on any of this let me know. ;f
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Old 09-21-2004, 12:42   #6
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thanks G20...i'll give it a try!

she comes most the time when i call her, but sometimes she'll just be stubborn as all get out. every time she does something good i praise her, but she was a pound puppy and i dunno what life was like before for her. she doesn't show any personality traits that would indicate abuse though...
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Old 09-21-2004, 13:24   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ender

she comes most the time when i call her, but sometimes she'll just be stubborn as all get out.
There is the problem Ender, you can't call her, if you can't make her come to you.
Also do not ever go to her to give her praise, not even one step. ALWAYS make her come to you!!!

Glad to help out
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Old 09-21-2004, 13:49   #8
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Hey G20man,

Would the same thing work for a cat? I use a harness instead of a collar...

I have one cat that will come when called every single time The other vanishes from time to time and I have spent several hours at a time hunting her :( How can I teach her to come? She is 8.

I have tried teaching them to fetch. It ain't working.

But the one who won't come will shake hands, "box" with me, give me five and play dead The other one sits in the window and waves at me so I know it ain't hopeless.
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Old 09-21-2004, 14:06   #9
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You don't train cats. They train you!

But I am seriously curious as to the real answer.
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Old 09-21-2004, 14:10   #10
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MissKitty,
It certainly will, however with a cat they respond much better to food rewards then praise.
Be careful to be consistent with whatever word you use for them to come to and just associate that word with a good food reward. I like liver with cats cause most will turn themselves inside out for it.
I boil it down for 10min then cut into pieces about 1/2 the size of M&M's.
Also do not go to them to give them praise, always make them come to you....
Keep it fun and postive and they will respond accordingly.
Let me know how it goes?

ps I am assuming you were the mod that stickied this thread??
Thanks, it makes me feel good to give back a little.
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Old 09-21-2004, 14:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by scowan007
You don't train cats. They train you!

But I am seriously curious as to the real answer.

So do dogs scowan, if not I wouldn't have a job....;f
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Old 09-21-2004, 14:14   #12
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Liver? Uck... If you say so I will try it One of mine loves turkey more than anything too.

Nope, I didn't sticky it, but I got Eddie to If I had this forum, I would have!

Fred learned to come by us calling his name and giving him roast beef when he got there. Ran that little guy all over the kitchen that night but he has come ever since ;f
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Old 09-21-2004, 14:19   #13
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Tell Eddie C I said thanks then
Use what works for him, and get the other cats involved too. Maybe he didn't like the roast beef or turkey and thats why he didnt come?

Quote:
Fred learned to come by us calling his name and giving him roast beef when he got there. Ran that little guy all over the kitchen that night but he has come ever since
Now that is funny!!! But you see how it works, he associated you calling him with the beef and now he does it all the time. Same principal different food tastes...
Good luck
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Old 09-21-2004, 21:06   #14
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Might need to run by Arby's tomorrow ;e
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Old 09-21-2004, 21:14   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by misskitty5077
Might need to run by Arby's tomorrow ;e
I really thought you loved your pets until yuo threatened them with Arby's food. What could they have done to deserve that punishment?!?!?;g ;f
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Old 09-23-2004, 11:32   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by G20man32904
When she doesn't go down have the leash under your foot going up towards your hand so that when you apply upward pressure on the leash it forces her head down gently. As soon as she hits the floor reward her with a treat from a hidden location (back pocket). If she is resisting going down (which she most likely will) give her a quick, sharp, NO, down.
I'm not a trainer, but as a second option, a trainer gave me a way to teach "down" that worked very well with my dog. My dog did not react well to any pulling on the leash, so I had to find an alternate way.

Put you palm flat on the ground with a treat underneath it. The dog will naturally lay down to see if he/she can get under your hand. Right as he/she lays down, state the command and remove your hand so they can get the treat. Repeat about 10 times, then try giving the command without your palm on the ground, but DO use the motion of your hand going towards the ground. If he/she doesn't understand, put a treat under your palm, say the command while putting your hand towards the ground, and wait for them to lay down then reward.

This way, they are more aware of the action they are taking. I guess it's called "making the dog think", or something along those lines. Like I said, I'm not a trainer, so I have no idea if there are negative consequences of this; I only know it worked with my dog! Good luck!

;c

G20Man,

Finally, to my question..Do you know of a good way to train courage? My dog is afraid of so many things it's ridiculous. Don't laugh at me, but recently I bought a remote control car, knowing he would be afraid of it. I put it near the entry way and slowly inched it towards us. Naturally, he ran away and hid under the table. He doesn't do this with people or other dogs; He'll bark and act like he's going to attack. But for some reason, non-biological objects such as plastic bags, blowdart guns, or knives scare the crap outta him.

Back to the remote control car; I got down on the ground with him acting like we were going to 'take it out'. It worked, he started barking at it but stayed right next to me.. It seems like a ridiculous way to train. ;f Any suggestions to build his courage?
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Old 09-23-2004, 11:46   #17
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Spen
The short answer is here is to re-direct your dogs attention away from the RC car. How is the down stay command???
I would work that command until it is rock solid for a good 30minutes without the dog breaking with heavy distractions, (people, balls being thrown around, noise makers, etc). Once that is accomplished, I would start with the RC car way down the street but still visible to the dog, and work the commands. Then SLOWLY bring the car closer and wait for the dog to break and when it does correct him (with a buckle type collar if feasible) and put him back. Bottom line is get the dog to pay attention to you rather than the distractions. If your dog shows fear in other situations build confidence by working those OB commands in public (I like to use my local Petsmart) and maybe have other stimuli around when you practice. When your dog pays more attention to you than the distractions, you win...
Or you could just give a nice big prime rib while playing with your car....;f
Don't be too harsh on the corrections and be very heavy on the praise and his confidence will come around...;c
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Old 09-26-2004, 22:27   #18
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Thanks G20man.

The down-stay command is so-so. Only has a max of about 5 minutes before he gets anxious and moves. I will definetely give this a shot. Thanks!
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Old 10-08-2004, 17:37   #19
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G20 need a little help.

About 4 mo ago I was walking my 4yr old male Lab when he was attacked by a large Pit Bull. The Pit was a stray and just came up on us and I didn't have any opportunity to avoid the confrontation. When the attack occured I let my Lab go, I didn't want to be caught between the two of them with my hand in a leash. The ensuing dog fight was one of the worst I have ever witnessed.

Even though I don't consider a Lab a match for a Pit when it comes to a fight, my Lab certinaly didn't lay down and more than held his own.

To make a long story short, my fun loving hunting partner has become quite aggressive when he around other dogs.

Any suggestions as to how to remidy this problem?
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Old 10-09-2004, 01:38   #20
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Matt,
Its understandable how your bud feels around other dogs now but we can get him a little more social. First thing I would suggest is a group obedience class, the bigger the better. We need to get him around other dogs and to concentrate on what you want instead of what he wants.
Even if his obedience is top notch (in your eyes), you will still take some good info away from the class. We have Petsmart here, check into them and if they are local to you. Sign up for the adult beginners class and see what happens. If no Petsmart ask your Vet who does the biggest group class.
The trainer may ask you to put a muzzle on him depending on how bad he reacts so you might want to get him one now and starting wearing it around the house so he is used to it by the time the class starts.
HTH and Good Luck
If you need anything else let me know...
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