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Old 12-19-2012, 10:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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tug versus ball drop (or other toys)

Hi all.
I am looking for some based on experience suggestion.

I am new for dog training. Know very little of it from some readings (book n article) and watching the airforce K9 unit nearby our housing complex.

I've started making training my 18month female dobb (Gamma) as new hobby (after office hour & weekend) after seeing a BH trial few weeks ago and at the sametime my dog was rejected by a profesionnal trainer to join a protection trainning (for lack of defensive drive).

I just simply want to try to train G for Sit&Down in motion, long down, the recall. For basic sit, come, walking beside (not a clean heeling) and introducing her to various places and crowd have been part of her routine since 3 months age. She is easy to be controlled (on & off leash in a small park). Some even said, she is a mellow (but not a shy) dobb.

In the last 2 weeks, I have been playing with her prey drive using rubber toys as a tug to train for sit motion and running/walking on a steep ramp.
BUT many addressed their concern in playing with the tug. They explained to me that would teach my dog to challange me. I admit manytimes I let her win for the tug and have it for 1-2 mins before giving the LOOSE command.
They show me the Cesar Milan site that explains why he oppose playing tug with puppy.

So what you guys suggest for me (a week-end amateur trainer)? Would a ball drop method is preferred then a tug in prey drive? How to play a tug safely (not talking about avoiding dog bite, BUT keep the dog understand we control the tug game)? Is tug only safe played by a pro?
Or get a pro to train my dobb for BH is the answer (that dog training is not for everyone)?
But I love the time spent training while playing w/ my dobb.

I have 2 other dogs, 2 yrs old of male and female Golden Ret. With them, I don't have much difficulties in dog training... they are easy to be controlled. But dobb is totally different... they quick to learn what we want, BUT the willingness to follow the commands (e.g. when off-leash, not immediately sit when I command to sit from a distance, but when she sees I am approaching... she sits) is another thing.
I think she is testing me. Or is it something wrong in my training method? Is it only Gamma or typical for this breed?

What is NePoPo (Negative Positive Positive) method? How to apply it? Would anyone explain please?

I am opened for any comments / opinions, esp the based on experienced ones. I am tired in reading books/articles that conflicting each other (not coz they are lying, but might simply applicable for other breed).

best regards
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can't answer all your questions but I will address a few that we have had success with.

My dogs love to tug so we use it as a motivational tool before we enter the ring and afterwards as a reward. But we taught our dogs early on that we control the tug and the game ends when we say so. The easiest way we found to train this was when tugging not to release the tug when done but to bring it up next to your body and hold it still, once your dog realizes it not a game anymore they will normally release it. After doing it like this several times and they understood the game was over when the tug stopped moving we added the release command.

On teaching the sit command from a distance, start up close to your dog then continue to move back as your dog is successful at each distance, eventually the distance won't be a problem.

Good luck with your training.
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would ignore anyone recommending the Caesar Milan website as a resource.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As far as a motivator I don't think it makes much difference to the dog. As far as Ceaser Milan, I think he has some good ideas and some methods that will work for some dogs. I would never reject out of hand a suggestion just because I don't agree with everything someone suggests.

I think he is probably oversimplifying the issue of whether or not to use a tug. For a beginner handler (or beginner to using a prey object reward) if you do not know how to properly teach a release (out) command then it can become a conflict between the handler and dog for the toy. However this could happen with a ball as well. I have used both. I tend to use the tug more because of potential of creating chewiness with the bite and fears this could carry over into chewiness on grips in bitework and in holding dumb bells on retrieve exercises. If you are not planning on competing or doing bite work this is a non-issue.

As far as defense drive being lacking for personal protection work, I would say that a pp trainer who is overly concerned about this being a necessity for teaching pp work, is one who I would want to avoid anyway because of the potential for having a really crappy trainer who could damage your dog. I would be more concerned initially whether the dog has prey drive. A dog with high prey can be manipulated into doing pretty decent bite work. Without this foundation in bite work you would not want to introduce defense drive anyway with an 18 month old dog.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks guys... I'd continue on with the tug. She loves the pulling game more then her squeezing ball.

WorkingDobie, thanks for your tug playing tips. I'd try that tonite, ending the game NOT by releasing it BUT hold it after bring it up next to my body.

Re. the sit from distance. On leash... up to 6 m leash, she responses well. Whenever the collar is NOT on, she is not responding well. She understands the command... it seems that she is teasing me.
Does this has something to do with the method I chose; correcting/neg. training method (pulling the choke chain whenever she is not responding)?

Rosamburg... thanks for your easy-to-digest explanation
In the bite work article I read, it describes that the dog should use the rear part of their mouth/teeth for a strong grip.
How to train a dog to bite NOT using her front teeth? Most of the time, G only grip the toy w/ her front teeth. I can pull the tug out of her mouth with one soft pull

hey the sun is still rising, not the end of the world
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re. the sit from distance. On leash... up to 6 m leash, she responses well. Whenever the collar is NOT on, she is not responding well. She understands the command... it seems that she is teasing me.
Does this has something to do with the method I chose; correcting/neg. training method (pulling the choke chain whenever she is not responding)?
I would be willing to bet she does not know the command. To find out if she knows the command have the collar on her. Do absolutely nothing, no movement, nothing for 5 seconds in the time leading up to the command and then say the command. See what happens. If she does nothing then she is likely cuing on your movement, body language, possibly tone of voice, or even the movement to correct as her cue to sit. She is not teasing you. They really have to really know the command before they can do that. Dogs are very situational learners.

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Rosamburg... thanks for your easy-to-digest explanation
In the bite work article I read, it describes that the dog should use the rear part of their mouth/teeth for a strong grip.
How to train a dog to bite NOT using her front teeth? Most of the time, G only grip the toy w/ her front teeth. I can pull the tug out of her mouth with one soft pull
Make sure you are applying resistance on the tug. Also teach the dog to really pull and do not push into the dog. This is one of the surest ways to have a better grip.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I honestly don't think she is teasing you, most dogs aim to please. My guess is there may be something she doesn't understand. You need to be positive she knows the sit stay before you give a correction, if she's not sure continue to work in increments of distance with longer durations, then once you are absolutely sure she knows what is expected of her correct if she breaks.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Rosamburg and WorkingDobie.
I tried your tips during the holidays. You are correct.
1. G is not understanding to the command. She has been responding to the correction and I did not have a clue about this Lucky I was not on bet Rosamburg
I start practicing to give command after a pause and be still. Also only focus for 1 or 2 new command in one training. I need to re-train myself 1st.

2. Thanks for teaching me to play w/ tug (applying resistance). G is more responding, she likes her tug more.

With your tips, I find that is more fun in training my dog. Honestly speaking, that is now G who put me into training how to train her (or a dog); how to communicate w/ dog (read: how to let dog understanding what we 'say' to them).
AND you guys give me a new experience of how fun training while playing w/ my dobbi could be. Thanks!!!
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plt View Post
Thanks Rosamburg and WorkingDobie.
I tried your tips during the holidays. You are correct.
1. G is not understanding to the command. She has been responding to the correction and I did not have a clue about this Lucky I was not on bet Rosamburg

AND you guys give me a new experience of how fun training while playing w/ my dobbi could be. Thanks!!!
I would not have taken your money, I am an amateur.
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