Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I walk with the dog and she is walking nicely.
A group of older people appear walking towards us with two smaller dogs kind of doing their own thing.

The doberman stops to scope them out and i correct it with a leash pop, we do a 180 turn, a few steps and turn around to keep walking.
The doberman walks alright but is interested in the dogs and turns head more so than pulling towards, meanwhile the small dogs act frightened and start barking and at this point the doberman barks back.

I corrected the barking back with conditioned punisher word preceding the stick and we walked away but boy did these people criticize me using the stick and how it pissed me off when their dogs just moments ago basically attacked us.

What do you think about correction of barking back and would you do things differently?

I plan to try marking and rewarding her aggro behavior to get the dog in a different mindset when these situations occur. In general she doesn't aggresively lunge towards other dogs or people but she takes interest and if they snap she will bark. She generally just wants to play and not be pestered. When she plays with dogs she is friendly and acts adequately, plays and will give warnings if harassed. I think she is more or less adequate at this point, perhaps insecure and excited by other dogs but generally not aggressive.

In example i let a small dog come up to her today as she was resting and she didn't care much for it but as it got a bit too excited for her liking she barked at him to keep him away. I think this is more or less ok as she can have some peace without random dogs pestering her, lest one wants a therapy dog i don't think it's a problem.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
406 Posts
Am I reading that properly - you hit the dog with a stick?
Why are you letting a known reactive dog be near other dogs in the first place. You are setting her up for failure.

My 10-month old puppy is the same way, small dogs ALWAYS bark at him and he gets keyed up when he sees a dog because he wants to play with all dogs, regardless of size. Cats, too. So to manage this I....
a) NEVER let him get so close he can get to a dog unless I know the owner personally and the dog is friendly.
b) Redirect Beau’s barking with a treat too and “find it“ command OR just pull him away and keep walking without making a fuss. No correction involved but removing him from what he wants and moving on.
c) the most aversive punishment I use on him (other than a leash pop) is a bottle of water adjusted to spray a stream of water. Spraying on the back of the head is enough to snap him out of his over-arousal.
d) I also get his lengthy walks out of the way at times (and in locations) where we are less likely to encounter others.


Imagine if you are being struck each time you vocalized excitement or displeasure. Eventually, you are going to turn around and hit the person striking you or you will act out in other ways. Additionally, your bond with that person will be damaged permanently,

If you are training a dog using aggressive tactics and not taking the intense time and effort to use a more balanced approach, you need to never ”train” any dog. If the dog is actively attacking a person or a dog, I can see using extreme methods but if you are putting the dog into situations that it can’t handle, then the fault is yours. Those people were right to chastise you and possibly report you for abuse.

You need to do lots of reading and watch some videos on walking reactive or overly aroused dogs. Start with How to Speak Dog by Dr. Coren and educate yourself on dog body language.

I live in a city without even the smallest secured outdoor space, that means I am up at 4am to walk my puppy before anyone else is out and I still have to be on high alert for any dogs that may appear. It means that about 7 or 8 times a day, every day, I have to navigate two hallways, an elevator and another 2 hallways in a dog-friendly building JUST to get outside in a densely dog-friendly neighborhood. It is a long and arduous journey but I committed to this dog and will do what it takes to help him succeed and that does NOT include hitting him with a stick.

If I misconstrued your meaning, my apologies. If I didn’t, do that dog a favor and surrender it to a rescue today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Are you swatting her with a stick or even a flexible crop?
As far as i understand it this is me trying out Operant Conditioning and nothing new, whether i am doing it correctly is another manner and why i am asking questions here.

i am not sure about swatting but i generally would just pop the leash or use social pressure for positive punishment to communicate that a behavior is not allowed, occasionally i will use a small stick to hit the dog lightly. This dog is conditioned to the e-collar for this but i don't like the collar as it often loses contact and have used the leash corrections, finger poking and even light kicking and we are talking playful type of kicking and i am not ashamed of this.. This dog plays so rough and this is absolutely nothing in comparison.

I figure physical corrections are necessary and i don't know what i would have done without. In general my philosophy is to use treats, if treats don't work i try the stick and if the stick fails i stop training it. I figure using the stick like this is in no way hurting the dog, neither physically nor emotionally and is having a rather opposite effect of giving the dog guidance & direction which teaches them behaviors to avoid and it works out for the better for them.

People train even elephants with a small stick as well, it's symbolic, it's not about inflicting pain to break a dog but to communicate that they are doing something wrong. Yes it's unpleasant for the dog but until i can explain in a gentle manner that i don't like this or that and have it listen i will have to keep doing it as it is not even the lesser evil but the only means of communication with this animal. I don't get angry when i do it and have a plan for what i am going to do beforehand, cruelty is not found in me when i do corrections. To me it is like breaking someones ribs when performing CPR, if i needed i am sure as hell hoping they would crush that ribcage completely as it would be best for me and if i were a dog i would want to be disciplined to have more priviledges due to good behavior and i would be one who knows little of the stick unlike spoiled dogs who get put down due to bad behavior.

the most aversive punishment I use on him (other than a leash pop) is a bottle of water adjusted to spray a stream of water. Spraying on the back of the head is enough to snap him out of his over-arousal.
I think which is worse is a moot point. Id rather be hit with the stick than have a leash around my neck. I am not trying to actually hurt the dog or inflict so much pain that a behavior becomes unbearable. I just talk and hope it will listen, if not i try something else.

I think the stick is not the problem but when my dog wants to say hello, these dogs bark, my dog barks back and i punish her, i dont think this is a good look for me as her guardian. To me this comes of as me taking the side of the other dog and i think it is bad for our bond.

I guess i learn a lesson here that one can't really take this dog outdoors yet but i also think it's a big decrease in a dog's quality of life and that a dog being required to be completely non-reactive in public is a big ask and i am not sure if it's even feasible for this dog.


Dobermans seem to get a bad rep and are held to higher standards than cute dogs but pretty is as pretty does i think and i really don't like my dog not getting walks when their aggro/fearful dog gets to walk around as if it's not the actual problem dog.

I also think i should try marking her taking interest, positively reinforcing and then taking control in these situations so that she associates encounters with weirdo dogs with something good, i have a feeling bacon will work better than a stick for conflict resolution i think. I also heard this from a trainer, not something i thought up on a whim.

I want to learn guys to be a good dog owner and trainer. I think animal abuse is not found here, this dog likes me a lot and since i started training the Operant Conditioning our bond got a lot better and it's not even close. Imo this dog is thrilled about me and i would be too, i often do what it wants to do instead of doing what i want to do, i take her out to play, i help her exercise her grip strength and show her the world. Our relationship involves many small corrections and no big outbursts or anger due to being annoyed. This is healthy and predictable for her, when she gets 50 small corrections during a day for trifling things, she knows why she is getting them and adjusts behavior to relieve that stress and have even better quality of life due to less pestering and being pleasing to her human. A correction at the lowest levels is not going to hurt the dog, or destroy the bond, rough play and lack of training can cripple or take the dogs life.

Inflicting averse feeling on another is a slippery slope for some but i think reluctance is a flaw in a trainer. One can do it wrong and break a dog, have it fear making a mistake or fear coming to you when called, not wanting to be close, not playing with you, not making progress in training, these are signs of abuse and not a trainer using a stick...

I think it's best way to train and therefore i do it even in public as i do it at home and if i learned that it is bad i would stop doing it but i wouldn't feel guilty about having tried it. This training taught me to appreciate what my parents did for me when they disciplined me and i entertained the thought of what kind of trouble i would run into had they not done the work.

If you guys really think it's abusive then i will give this dog away in 2 days and not train it further but i think you would be stealing from her with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
I think we all need some clarification by what you mean by "stick". If its how I and many others are reading this as, I'm with everyone else and you should never hit your dog. Not only is that cruel and abusive, your dog will not learn. Hitting your dog is not the way to train your dog. Please rethink your training methods and research some proper ways to train your dog.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dobegal and ECIN

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
406 Posts
I think you should surrender that dog to a rescue and never own another dog. Elephants may be “trained” with sticks but that, too, is abuse. Outdated training methods by dominance have no place. eCollars, when used by a true professional, can be effective because of the adjustable levels and to state that it loses contact in a Doberman coat is a bit ridiculous since the coat is thin.

Hitting with a stick is not a “gentle” manner. I could continue flaming you and educating you (which you clearly need) but I won’t as it goes against what I think this forum is all about. I wish you good luck and I wish that poor dog more luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I can upload a demonstration of us practicing leash walk and me using a stick for clarification and if nobody is in agreement i will do as you say.

meanwhile this is how i trained the ecollar but i never much used it to actually do a correction at higher levels. I also used it after say correction word which conditioned the expected response and am phasing out the intensity and the frequency of a punishment following the verbal cue. I try to maintain the cue's power and eliminate the need for the aversive stimulus.
A collar can certainly lose contact and this is a known issue with ecollars and why people get one with two sets of contact...The fact that you think this is rediculous undermines my confidence in your expertise with ecollar work MMcCown. Another reason why i don't like a collars is that they are not always on and then one will need to learn using the voice or other methods because guess what the dog might be making a fatal mistake.

I can make a video using leash only, stick only and ecollar only for heeling and you will see it's no different to the dog.
 

·
Big Lil pup
Joined
·
6,595 Posts
So... Just for the heck of it: My 2 cents

McCoy is never off leash in public, and he is never allowed to bark at other dogs. Never. And this is regardless of how they react towards. him. He is an intact male, and somewhat stoic as other dogs approach on leash. As such, he is frequently subjected to aggression by other dogs on leash in the form of yapping, snarling lunging, etc. He also, initially had a had a bad habit of staring at them. IMO, that is a real no-no in the doggy social world and had to be nipped in the bud. He will still occasionally do it if I don't intervene.

I started to train him early on to react as I specifically wanted him to. First off, it is very important to learn to understand your Dobe's immediate emotional state of mind. This is done by carefully observing their subtle body language indicators as their environment changes. These changes can be anything including sudden noises, commotion, strange and known people, wild life and, of course dogs. We would go out to our local neighborhood mixed use street and simply sit and watch the world go by. Cars, bicycles, pedestrians, baby strollers, skate boards, etc. And of course, dogs. This started at about 12 weeks and with no interaction. Slowly, over the course of months we began to walk among all the interesting thing around him and he was allowed to approach strange things, including leashed dogs.

He has always reacted differently to different dogs. Today, there are certain dogs he will merely glance at and pass by. These dogs get no more than a leash length of separation by me. Others, he perceives as a potentially interesting, perhaps positive, interaction. A little sniff, tail wagging and maybe a "play bow". If the other dog owner is amenable, I allow a brief meet and greet. However, he recognizes many other dogs as impending threats. This is from his learned experience based on a generalization of interactions with certain types of dogs in the past. These are typically dogs that are smaller than he is, They tend to posture from a bit of a distance. Even from across the street. It is not uncommon that there is more than one and their walker is paying absolutely attention to them.

In these situations, which happen almost daily, I direct mcCoy to look at me in order to take any focus off the dog. If there is no avoiding the aggressive dog, and they are going to pass by. McCoy has been trained sit or lie by my side until the dog(s) have passed. The idea is that he feels absolutely no threat and remains calm and at ease. All this was taught using positive reinforcement, such as praise, pets and of course, treats! LOL.

Also, as my dogs are allowed to sniff and meander a bit on walks, it is not uncommon for us to be approached by someone, with or without dogs, from behind. This can make any dog, but especially a dog with a typical Doberman awareness, very nervous. The solution is to pull him aside, while he focuses on me, and allow the person to pass.

In both the above situations, it is amazing how often I will be thanked, as the individual thinks that I am doing this for them, when in reality, I am altering my actions strictly for the comfort and well being of my dog.

Today... I can safely say that my 6 yo boy, when tethered, is the least reactive dog that I have ever owned. That being said, I am sure that a good portion of this behavior can be directly attributed to the type of temperament that his breeder strives for in her dogs.

The bottom line, is that there is nothing nicer than having a Doberman that one can take out in public and be confident that it will be received positively by others because of its attitude, demeanor and actions. I always want my boys to act as what some call "good will ambassadors"of the breed

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
 

·
Super Moderator
Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
Joined
·
26,769 Posts
One situation you can get into with correcting a reactive dog who is uncomfortable on leash around other dogs is that the dog wraps it all up into one package, so to speak.

It's almost like your correction joins up in her mind with her tendency to react negatively to other dogs, and shows her that, yes, there is a reason she should be upset. Other dogs mean punishment to her.

That can actually reinforce her negative behavior and even lead to leash aggression (a negative response under specific circumstances--not just a general reaction to the presence of another dog) which adds in the frustration and tension for her of being treated negatively while she is on-leash in a confrontational situation.

The association of leashes and corrections at the same time as she faces a confrontational dog or dogs can all act together to create a downward spiral and actually worsen the situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,948 Posts
Leerberg makes a collar that will hold almost any ecollar, I use E-technologies and I know it holds them. It has a an elastic portion ensuring that the ecollar never loses connection with the dog. Mine have never personally not connected but it is a learning experience putting them on correctly.

Leerburg Easy On Collar for E-Collars

I like this one
Leerburg Quick Snap Bungee Collar

I wouldn't personally suggest using a stick just due to how it looks but good luck with your training. Also, personally I believe that when training dogs to behave around other dogs, whenever possible try to use positive reinforcement because punishment can sometimes amp them up and make matters worse, just a suggestion but every dog is different.
 

·
Got mutt?
Leo, Lily, and Simon
Joined
·
13,896 Posts
There can definitely be some fallout from using aversive methods with reactive dogs. I would suggest that you check out some videos on Instagram by a trainer named Denise Fenzi on the subject.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Rosemary, Gretchen Red, melbrod, and 4x4bike ped -

MUCH respect for all of you being able to get your points across without belittling the guys methods or talking down to him. All great examples of how you can help someone politely and respectfully even if not in complete agreement with the methods they use. :)

Not a fan of choke collars myself but - I am not about to cast stones at someone that uses them. Same with E collars - May not be something I would consider personally but not going to belittle another dog owner that does choose to use them.

I like pinch collars but am SURE that there are many out there that find those things horrible. To each their own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
The doberman stops to scope them out and i correct it with a leash pop, we do a 180 turn, a few steps and turn around to keep walking.
The doberman walks alright but is interested in the dogs and turns head more so than pulling towards, meanwhile the small dogs act frightened and start barking and at this point the doberman barks back.

I corrected the barking back with conditioned punisher word preceding -
Dobermans are ungodly easy to desensitize to most anything you can imagine. Could be sounds, water, air, people, crunkly stuff under their feet, other dogs, etc. Whatever it is that you want to desensitize them to the best way is to expose them to it more frequently. They will 'lose interest' if you do it enough.



Dog parks can be a great place to have your Doberman interact with other dogs and learn stuff that is really hard for you to teach it without those random interactions.



In that picture above, I told Dystopia when she started eyeballing those poodles that 'If you start **** and they kick your ass you are NOT riding home in the front of the truck'. She figured it out.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top