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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I don't know if my title is correct. Feel free to change if needed.

Here is my question. I feel like I'm getting conflicting information. And I know ultimately it's going to be what I'm comfortable with using (method) wise.

Do you train using all positive reinforcement or do you add in a corrective collar for corrections? (Not debating the types of collars)

Recently Denali's prey drive has kicked in full force. Anything with movement gets him going. Running, swinging, cars, bikes etc. I have discovered he is a runner. He's not allowed off leash unless it's a safe and secured location. He will now lunge and bark at cars going by. I need to get this under control ASAP. And depending on the trainer I speak to I get different answers. 2 want to focus on all positive and one wants to use a corrective collar. I honestly want to use a mix of both. One trainer today feels if corrections are not used properly I can in essence ruin him and make him frightened.

I am open to your experienced thoughts. (Denali is almost 7.5 months old)
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You're right that you're going to get a mix of answers. You have to decide what you're comfortable with, what is safe for you and your dog, and ultimately, what is going to give you and your dog the best quality of life.
 

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If you are going to try to go all positive with no corrections you'll have to be ultra aware of exactly what sets him off and recognize the earliest signs so you can stop it before it starts by removing him from the trigger instead of waiting for the trigger to activate the behavior you do not want.

You can do it this way--I've seen it done this way but I've always ended up needing some sort of correction...talk about a mix of answers.

dobebug
 

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I like the idea of wholly positive training but have never seen it work reliably. When a pup is young it should be positive shaping and redirection but as a pup grows I believe in adding in consequences. Never cruel, but just as one should reinforce positive behavior and correct negative behavior in children, so it goes with dogs.

I will add that 7 1/2 months is a TOUGH age, especially for an intelligent working dog. I spent most of my pup’s 6-11 months wondering if we’d make it together (spoiler - we did) and feeling like my past success with multiple obedience titled dogs was a fluke.

Ultimately, educate yourself by reading training books from a variety of experts, meet with trainers to see who clicks, and KNOW your dog as much as possible. Watch for his triggers, his type of drive (prey, pack, etc), learn his type of intelligence (adaptive, instinctive, and working), and just enjoy spending time with him.

Good luck AND post some photos of Denali - we love photos!
 

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Your dog must understand what is expected of him or her before a correction collar is used.
Really work with your dog first so pup clearly understands basic commands of stop- stay- leave it …or whatever your verbal command are at this stage.
If you decide to go with correction collar make sure you are working with a very experienced trainer.
Correction collars can be a great thing when used properly.
In turn can be very bad training tool if used incorrectly or at the wrong stage of training.
My first Doberman chased anything with wheels.
It took me quite some time to figure out why he would chase some things but not others…..turns out after observing him….it was anything with wheels.
 

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Hi Murphy . Welcome from the Pacific NW

So..... What dobebug said ^^^^. If you plan on using primarily positive training, it essential that you learn to read your dog's emotional state and comfort level at any exact moment. While there are common emotional displays that we are all familiar with, each dog is different and some tell tale signs are so subtle that only you will pick up on them.

McCoy, my current boy, is the most malleable dog that I have ever had. I would say that at least 90% of his training was positive, including mitigating unwanted and inappropriate behaviors. Still, learning how to allow him to communicate his immediate state of mind in everyday situations was a priority. Today, I can simply glance at him and get a good read on "where he is at".

Here is a typical example of dobebug's comment "ultra aware of exactly what sets him off and recognize the earliest signs so you can stop it before it starts by removing him from the trigger instead of waiting for the trigger to activate the behavior you do not want.":

McCoy is never off leash in public or taken to leash free parks. The other day we were walking through a large neighborhood park and a person had their young dog off leash. The dog came running over and tried to instigate play with McCoy. McCoy is generally fine with unleashed dogs while he is leashed if it is one on one. It was a typical friendly introduction. Some tail wagging, a little play bowing and brief sniffing. Then another person walked by with what he said was a 10 month old husky, also off leash, trying to engage. I immediately, noticed changes in McCoy's comfort level. The body language changes were so subtle that probably nobody but me or a behaviorist would notice
- His stance became ever so slightly more rigid
-The hair on his nape, while not really standing, was no longer totally flat.
-And while his focus still seemed to be on the other dog, I could see the white parts of his eyes as he held a sidelong glance at the new dog.

That was it. No obvious and overt sign's, but enough for me to say good bye and quickly walk off. Knowing McCoy, there is a good chance he would have worked through his mild discomfort. But why set him up for possible failure, when it was so easily taken care of.

Along the same lines... Although I would never recommend it, I have maintained two male households. Currently, I have McCoy and my son has a 9 month old male Dobe, who spends a lot of time with us. The only reason this is working, is because I am always there to supervise them when they are together. And, IMO, the most important part is to constantly ascertain their individual level of comfort and voluntary participation during interactions. This includes while playing, watering, feeding and training.

Best to you and Denali

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
 

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Welcome 59 to DT

Your right there are thousand ways and replies to answer your question - boy talk about opening a can of worms -- lol

I for one , don't know how you can train a dog with out corrections . What I'm sayin is if you don't give them some correction then how do they learn what they are doing wrong ?

When I was working with Kadin - it was praise and correction - When he was healing right where he was suppose to I was talking to him - good boy , good boy then if he would start to get ahead a little I would be saying -- walk with me , walk with me and when he got back into position , it was good boy .

Puling on walks - time for a prone collar , keep it up high on there neck - Kadin got to pulling bad and then would not walk by myside - introduce M. Prone and he was right back to normal - I can walk him with just a regular collar for the most part and does great with it .

I think it was Bug that said you have to be ahead of the trigger - very good advice right there ! That was something I learned from a trainer we went to , I had to be ahead of Kadin , the moment I didn't , he was schooling me on I goofed up , lol

I have a brand new shock collar , still in the box I brought 5 years ago , never used it , I felt if I needed to use it then what kind of trainer am I ??? No need to reply on that LOL If we are trained right , then we can train our dogs .

Double M brought up a good point also -- 7 1/2 months can be tough , it just takes time and patients and of course lots of work with them .

Good luck

One other thing - ----------- Where are the pictures at ? lol
 

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Straight positive, without any sort of correction, is often not viable for this breed. Many purely positive trainers either become cookie pushers with poor results or use adversives in the form of corrective harnesses or head halters, claiming they're purely positive when they aren't. There are very few truly good positive trainers.

I suggest asking these positive only trainers exactly what they mean, in detail. Ask them what tools they encourage. Ask them how they prevent unwanted behavior.
 

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Balanced training using all 4 quadrants of operant conditioning, will give the best results in achieving any goals in training. If you look at the top competitors in Schutzhund/IPO/IGP there are virtually none that are competitive that are purely positive. I think one guy that claimed to be purely positive got like 50th place at the FCI world championships with a Malinois. If you are just pet training for good behavior then theoretically I supposed you could do it with Positive Reward and Negative Punishment (withholding the reward as some sort of lesson to be learned), but I personally would never rely on this. The quickest and most reliable way to stop bad behavior is with positive punishment (using a correction above their threshold-not yours). Keep in mind that any correction below a Doberman's threshold will merely stimulate them and increase the problem, while eventually de-sensitizing them to any and all reasonable corrections.
 

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I ALWAYS train positive. Once the dog knows how to perform the behavior and purposely defies me then I give corrections. Those corrections are normally followed by high praise for doing the behavior I asked.

For example, I ask for a sit and dog knows how to sit. Immediately after defying the command I give him a GOOD correction, not a nagging correction but a good one that they'll remember. As soon as the sit is performed I say "Good sit" in a high voice.

IMO, if you want to be competitive in obedience it has to be balanced but more towards the positive side. I am always playing with my dogs on the field so they always know when they listen they will be rewarded. As puppies they are rewarded often and then I slowly ween them off the reward but I ALWAYS make sure there's a reward. We don't work for free so we can't expect our dogs too.
 

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Remember this: If you watch a bitch with puppies you will soon find that she uses correction when there is misbehavior. It is quick definite and memorable then she just as quickly becomes the doting mother. The main thing to note is that while the correction may sound and appear to be harsh there is never any damage inflicted. It is almost impossible to train a dog of any kind to not do an unacceptable behavior without using correction, there has to be consequences the trainee will remember.

I agree with those that recommend the pronged collars they provide the sort of stimulation needed and when used properly do no damage.
 
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