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Old 12-04-2012, 10:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to correct your adult doberman?

Hi dobermann lovers, I'm happy to join your ranks.

I have just finished an watching an obedience training video for my doberman. The video showed me that my dog does not respect me, shown by her dominant disobedient behavior.

I have made a lot of progress with her in the past few days, teaching her the submissive down command. My concern is with correcting her when she does not listen. In the video the guy uses a chock collar and jerks them into the down position. He explains that it shows dominance over your dog, and it sure appears to work. His philosophy is that dogs are smart and you have to give them a reason to listen to you. The temporary discomfort the experience when disobedient is the reason they listen to you.

I am worried about the neck trauma this may cause my doberman. You guys have any alternatives for correcting the dog when they ignore your command?
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Typically I say "Excuse me", and Elka looks to me for a cue (or re-cue, as the case may be). Collar corrections of the level you describe kind of make me feel hinky.

What behaviors do your dog exhibit that strike you as "dominant disobedient"? Are they behaviors you feel that you've clearly and consistently trained? What training methods have you used?
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ugh! Toss that video in the trash. You need to either (preferably) find a good trainer that used positive methods, or failing that, get a video of a good trainer who used positive methods. For basic training, positive, reward based training is more effective than "crank and yank", hands down.

ETA: Twenty-plus years ago, I trained a dog under a "crank and yank" trainer. Let's just say that the difference in attitiude toward trainig between Gin and the dogs I have now is astounding. All three of my current dogs go nuts when they see me with a leash in my hands, because they WANT to train, and whomever gets left behind screams about missing out on the fun.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I find that going to training is way better than a video. Each dog is different and should be treated differently. A video just shows one scenario and one dog. Not fair to the one you are training.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't think that ANY method that teaches commands by abusing them is fair or beneficial. What you described is the epitome of compulsion.

I am not opposed to using a correction, and sometimes a damn hard one, once the dog knows the command. It takes a period of time with good positive teaching methods before a dog knows a command, however.

WorkingK9 is right, as well. Every individual dog has an individual threshold for a correction. What may take a gentle pop on the leash or unkind word for one dog may practically take a frying pan on top of the head for another (speaking in metaphors here people)
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would also toss that movie right out the window and never look pack. Your poor dog, you should be worried about neck drama. I get that "dominance theory" is still practiced by many but, in my opinion, there are much better more positive options that will create a much better relationship with your dog.

Personally, 98% of the time all I have to do is ask my dog "In what world is that okay?!" and he stops doing whatever it is that he is doing or thinking about doing. I've trained him with positive reinforcement training.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchworkRobot View Post
98% of the time all I have to do is ask my dog "In what world is that okay?!"
Funny suggestion. Though I doubt that would cause my dogs to listen.


What do you guys mean by positive training methods? I have tried using treats but then my dogs will not listen unless I have a treat in my hand (4y.o. dobermann and 6y.o. lab).

I always praise my dogs when they do good- but I need help with correcting them when they don't listen. Showing physical dominance was not my first choice, but it has proven to be extremely effective in gaining my dogs respect, and getting my dobermann to start listening to me. I just don't think jerking on her collar is the best way to correct her when she does not listen.

I started this thread to discuss correcting methods. Please avoid off topic comments like "throw video in the trash" or "get a professional trainer". If I had the money for a trainer I wouldn't be posting on the forum.

Hoping to get this thread back on track. Any advice with correcting methods?
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, I will advise that you refrain from correction unless you're absolutely certain your dog knows what is being asked of him or her. Otherwise it's extremely confusing, and "not fair" (human thinking).

I mostly use verbal corrections. Occasionally I'll tap Elka on the shoulder or butt (literally tap, as you would when getting an acquaintance's attention).

What methods do you use to teach in the first place?
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Please throw that obedience video away you will ruin your pup/dog training that way that is the way people trained back in the 50,60,70,'s Please forget about the dominance BS too sorry but it makes me mad dominance this and that. I'm 62 years old trained my 1st dog using the Lack land Air Force Manuel lived in San Antonio, It is where they train Military dogs using a choke chain it was the crank & yank method which I no longer practice it is cruel get better results with treats & praise if you must tell the dog no. look up NILF dog training.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My dogs certainly understand the commands, because if I have a treat they will sit or go down as soon as I tell them.

My problem is my dobermann is smart. She will not listen if there is no benefit to her. She knows she can get away with not listening. She is also an older dog- very stubborn.

I need advice on how to make my dobermann want to listen to me!

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Old 12-05-2012, 12:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Funny suggestion. Though I doubt that would cause my dogs to listen.


What do you guys mean by positive training methods? I have tried using treats but then my dogs will not listen unless I have a treat in my hand (4y.o. dobermann and 6y.o. lab).

I always praise my dogs when they do good- but I need help with correcting them when they don't listen. Showing physical dominance was not my first choice, but it has proven to be extremely effective in gaining my dogs respect, and getting my dobermann to start listening to me. I just don't think jerking on her collar is the best way to correct her when she does not listen.

I started this thread to discuss correcting methods. Please avoid off topic comments like "throw video in the trash" or "get a professional trainer". If I had the money for a trainer I wouldn't be posting on the forum.

Hoping to get this thread back on track. Any advice with correcting methods?
To teach a dog it needs some sort of reward. For some dogs food is the best motivator, for others it might mean playing with a toy such as a tug or towl/rag. It would be good to look up articles and books on positive training.

In our system we are striving for top level obedience. This is different than pet training obedience. However some of the training ideas do carry over for sure.

Showing/learning phase:

Initially in training you are just helping the dog learn commands. This is something that the dog should feel happy and safe learning. There are many different methods and training theory out there. It would take weeks to explain just small aspects of any of it. The point is that during the initial learning stage it should be solely a reward based system.

Securing: This is the point at which the dog knows the commands and can demonstrate this. We look at it that the dog immediately and happily (with good expression) already will do the command the first time, without body language from the handler. At this point is the time you begin to introduce corrections. I have a dog who also would never respond to just a mild correction, and certainly not just an unkind word though many Doberman's would. The correction should be just above the dog's threshold. Anything below that will only stimulate the dog and make the problem worse.

Proofing: The dog clearly knows the commands, and once a correction has been given, will clearly show he knows how to turn off the correction. At this point distractions can be introduced to solidify the training.

Unfortunately it is very difficult to really learn how to train a dog well, because we need guidance. Many people do not even really have access to high quality training. There are some video's out there that are good on positive training, or marker/clicker training. I say learn these methods first before learning how to correct your dog. Your dog deserves it. Once you get this then look into corrections.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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My dogs certainly understand the commands, because if I have a treat they will sit or go down as soon as I tell them.

My problem is my dobermann is smart. She will not listen if there is no benefit to her. She knows she can get away with not listening. She is also an older dog- very stubborn.

I need advice on how to make my dobermann want to listen to me!

Something you need to understand:

"A dog will willingly move from discomfort to comfort, at the same a dog will not willingly move from comfort to discomfort" (Lance Collins). Meditate on this for a very long time. Everything in obedience training can be traced back to this basic concept.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I would also toss that movie right out the window and never look pack. Your poor dog, you should be worried about neck drama. I get that "dominance theory" is still practiced by many but, in my opinion, there are much better more positive options that will create a much better relationship with your dog.

Personally, 98% of the time all I have to do is ask my dog "In what world is that okay?!" and he stops doing whatever it is that he is doing or thinking about doing. I've trained him with positive reinforcement training.
It's neck trauma not "neck drama" lol almost 5000 posts.. that's embarrassing...
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDobermann View Post
My dogs certainly understand the commands, because if I have a treat they will sit or go down as soon as I tell them.

My problem is my dobermann is smart. She will not listen if there is no benefit to her. She knows she can get away with not listening. She is also an older dog- very stubborn.

I need advice on how to make my dobermann want to listen to me!

I would have to see it. I have seen Schutzhund 3 dogs that don't really understand commands. Usually people think their dogs know more than they do. Often the dog has read some signal that precedes a verbal command. That is what the dog is cuing on, such as the treat in your hand, movement, etc. Keep treats out of sight, make no body movement and say a command. If the dog goes into the correct position it might know the command. Make sure you make no movement whatsoever for 3-5 seconds before giving the command (this is something I got from Jogi Zank).

If the dog just stares at you, chances are he is cuing on something other than the command. I would suggest people try it and report back on the results. That would be an interesting conversation I am sure. Last year after the Jogi seminar I almost completely changed how I train.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Very interesting point Rosamburg. Do you guys have any stickies explaining the concept of positive training here on dobermann talk?

Does positive training avoid using any corrections?
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:30 AM   #16 (permalink)
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It's neck trauma not "neck drama" lol almost 5000 posts.. that's embarrassing...
Dam that stupid thanks button!!!

I thought Neck drama was a pretty good way of putting it myself.

At the OP.
Go on youtube, type in any of the following:

Ian dunbar

Victoria stillwell

Zak George

Tab289

K9-1

Positive training dog


Seriously don't just bin that vid, destroy it, someone else might get hold of it, all that 'respect my authoritah' shite should have long gone. Also if you see Ceasar Millan on the TV, either:
A:switch it off
or
B: make fun of him by drawing a military moustache on the screen over milans face.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DrDobermann View Post
Very interesting point Rosamburg. Do you guys have any stickies explaining the concept of positive training here on dobermann talk?

Does positive training avoid using any corrections?
Obedience Training

Positive training shows the dog what you want it to do, and the rewards it for doing it. Clicker training is great. Like Rosamburg said, corrections come after the dog knows what the command means, and refuses to do it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DrDobermann View Post
My dogs certainly understand the commands, because if I have a treat they will sit or go down as soon as I tell them.

My problem is my dobermann is smart. She will not listen if there is no benefit to her. She knows she can get away with not listening. She is also an older dog- very stubborn.

I need advice on how to make my dobermann want to listen to me!

I clicker trained an 11 year old dog to his CGC. I hadn't done anything other than basic civilizaion with him until then. He was doing well enough that I entered him in an obedience trial. He was too stressed out, though, so I sent him home after one class.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:01 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DrDobermann View Post
My dogs certainly understand the commands, because if I have a treat they will sit or go down as soon as I tell them.

My problem is my dobermann is smart. She will not listen if there is no benefit to her. She knows she can get away with not listening. She is also an older dog- very stubborn.

I need advice on how to make my dobermann want to listen to me!

No not stubborn. She's learned she behaves when there are cookies. Dogs do what works. It was a training error on your part. We ALL make them. Now it's just time to fix them. Please find a good qualified trainer to help you and do a bit more research on dog behavior and dog training.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:53 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Kudos to you for questioning the approach in the video and for seeking possible alternatives.

If I were you, I would go back to square 1 and reteach every command (not all at once, of course) using one of or a combination of the positive approaches that another poster suggested you look up. Take a look at more than one video and tailor the approach you choose to the needs of your dog (and note that your Dobe and your Lab may respond differently to the same method, so be prepared to be flexible and adapt your techniques). This will take some time, but it will be worth the effort.

And . . . do you use a release word? In other words, when your dog is in a down or a sit (or whatever), does she remain there until you give the release command (e.g., "okay" or "break"). If you don't use a release command, it would be a good idea to start incorporating this into your training immediately and to be very consistent about using this word, not only when training but also on the day-to-day occasions when you want your dog to down or sit (or whatever). Once you release the dog, praise, praise, praise and give the treat or the toy.

Once you're sure that your dogs really know the commands, you can start easing back on the treats or the toys -- but never on the praise. Always, always, always praise when your dog responds in the way you want. It doesn't have to be a party every time, but your dog needs feedback to reinforce behaviour.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:55 AM   #21 (permalink)
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:I started this thread to discuss correcting methods. Please avoid off topic comments like "throw video in the trash" or "get a professional trainer". If I had the money for a trainer I wouldn't be posting on the forum.
I really don't see where either suggestion was "off-topic". Frankly, I don't always have the money to go with a trainer either, but I'm glad I had a good trainer give me the foundations of positive training. I'm hoping to scrounge up enough money to take another class in the spring. In the meanwhile, if I get stuck, I know can come on here, and get some good advice from more experienced trainers.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Whoopsy is his signal that something went wrong in training or he made a mistake in agility - like popping out of the poles or slow sits in rally - I say whoopsy and we go back and start again. It is said in a positive manner. If I gasp he knows something he is doing is not acceptable as in eating my grass, lol. I also have a tendency to say Really? to him or Are you kidding me. I don't know why. But he responds to those as well.

He knows leave it so we have that. He really doesn't do much that I have to really correct him for anymore. Aside from ripping my greass out by the roots! Most all of our training has been very positive. He is very food & toy motivated so I have used that to my advantage.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:38 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Mocha has two; "ah-aaht" and "awwwww". The latter might have "bad dog" added onto it if she's doing something she needs to stop immediately like chasing the cat. Mocha stops moving when I say "ah-aaht" and looks at me asking for direction. She drops whatever she has and slinks off if "awww" is said, and that's usually only for potentially dangerous things such as when she caught a starling out of the air and we needed her to drop it NOW (she did, she'd broken its wing, but the reserve we took it to said it should recover fine), or when she counter-surfed for the first time on Thanksgiving and made off with a turkey bone (which we got before she chewed).

Also, "ouch!" for playbiting. As a puppy she bit fairly hard and we'd researched and seen that chows really do not like being ignored by their people. A yelp of "ouch!" plus getting up and ignoring her solved the problem very fast. If she starts playing too rough now that she's an adult, "ouch!" will make her disengage and step back.


Many people on this forum would say that she's "soft". I have no formal training but I see Titan as softer as he's far more handler sensitive in that all I have to do is give him a look and he'll drop his head and slink away from the trouble he's getting into. When I first started training him he was a "make me" kind of dog. He knew the command, he just didn't want to do it. I discovered that my sister had been training him with treats which he was going "meh" at, tried just praise and got a wiggly responsive dog. Go figure.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:54 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote: "I need advice on how to make my dobermann want to listen to me!"

You need to start making it enjoyable for your dog to listen to you. Like you said - your dog is smart & if there's no paycheck involved (be it a treat or some sort of a secondary reinforcer) your dog won't be all that thrilled to listen. You can't MAKE them want to do something by punishing them. Make it a game, make it fun & she'll be looking for an opportunity to "listen" to you!
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:31 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelly View Post
Quote: "I need advice on how to make my dobermann want to listen to me!"

You need to start making it enjoyable for your dog to listen to you. Like you said - your dog is smart & if there's no paycheck involved (be it a treat or some sort of a secondary reinforcer) your dog won't be all that thrilled to listen. You can't MAKE them want to do something by punishing them. Make it a game, make it fun & she'll be looking for an opportunity to "listen" to you!
Yes, yes, yes! This is the underlying principle of all training, and it's worth repeating over and over again!
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