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Messages - WhiteShepherdDog

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The simplest and best thing I ever taught my dog was to sit quietly on a tied leash.
We did this routine 4 times for 4  days in a row and reinforce it intermittently and it is wonderful.
Don't change anything (person doing it or location) for 4 times a session per day/4 days (so dog gets pattern)- then change person and repeat or change location and repeat 4 times/4 days etc.
1.) Choose a place where you and partner can sit nearby to a spot where pup is tied to stationary object.
Like you are at an outdoor restaurant.
(sort of face away dog - but keep eye on what he is doing) So while you are waiting for him to display appropriate behavior you are chilling, too.
2.) Tie dog to tree or other stationary object with 6 ft leash. Be sure only to use a flat collar or martingale collar-no slip collars!
Your dog will likely fuss to get free for a while--so look out of the corner of your eye to be sure he is safe.
3.) Wait til dog quiets and/or sits on his own. IGNORE all other behavior.
Idea is to only reward sitting quietly. Do not look at the dog until he quiets and sits.
The second that dog quiets down (Ideally sits down)-JUMP up/run over smiling to dog and PRAISE- "Good Dog!" and pat him on his side (to signify-"free") and say FREE!
Untie leash and walk him around for break about 1-2 min between tie-downs.
Don't give him attention while on break....
This exerice shows how you can get a behavior - without treats---just with PRAISE and attention----
by ignoring all other behaviors.
Most dogs get it right away. They sit or quiet down and get what they want: your attention and to be free.
Each time we did this, the length of time to get the desired behavior got shorter and shorter.
By the 4th time in the row-the second day we did this-Jasper sat almost as soon as we tied him to tree! So of course, we returned to untie him and take him for a little walk around the yard.
Most dog owners get it too---"Oh, I am reinforcing the behaviors I am giving my attention to!"
The idea is you are creating the desired behavior with PRAISE--no need for force (the settle technique described above)or aversives to punish (Spray bottle or vinegar)...
you are rewarding the behavior the dog offers on his own at first---then he repeats it to get your POSITIVE EMOTION>which is what he wants> your attention.
(Works with kids, too---not the tie-down part ;D)

You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Mixed Breed Discussion / The Monks are not the best role models!
« on: November 16, 2005, 03:11:10 pm »
The Monks of New Skete have a wonderful training DVD/video!!  It's calm and gentle and makes perfect sense.   It's on

Whoa! Wait a minute....the monks use the Alpha roll----no-no-no!!!
They advocate hitting your dog on the chin...
They have beautiful dogs and love them, I am sure.
They are not the best canine psychologists. ...too weird for me.
They are notthe cutting edge way to develop a relationship with a dog using canine psychology---not worth the $75.00- really.
I recommend the Whole Dog Journal and Pat Miller.
I have to put in a plug for training dogs using John Rogerson's emotional reward methods---but you can't really find his books- his seminars are great, though.
Like I said, find a dog behaviorist who knows current practices....e ven Cesar Milan's stuff is better than the me! I bought the DVD's and couldn't believe they do the alpha roll.

Mixed Breed Discussion / Do not take your dog *near* that person
« on: November 16, 2005, 03:04:48 pm »
That is sooooooooooooo oooooooo wrong!
I am so sorry for Kobi and you had to watch.

There is no need to do that to a dog.
If the dog has dominance problems, there are much more positive ways to handle it (I have posted these on this board elsewhere)
You can find someone in your area who know canine behavior..
I am sold on 'behaviorists'- not trainers.....
The APDT site should help you find a good person.
I'd bite him too!

German Shepherd Discussions / Re: Good Morning
« on: November 13, 2005, 02:56:59 pm »
Yes, pretty quiet-indeed.
That's a good thing!
My boy is at new vet this AM...went well. He is a healthy beast!
We both really like the place (get this: Love Pet Hospital---her name is Love). They are very compassionate and knowledgeable about canine behavior.
(plus, he really liked the cat at the front desk!)
I was going to get him x-rayed for OFA, but didn't want his first trip to new vet to be so drastic.
It is the responsible thing to do---good on you!
Jasper is now 2. His prelim OFA's were Good.
We have time still.....
we are taking break from agility classes and day care for holidays....
we may take him camping in airstream (love Texas winters!)
Can't think of any funny stories...just that I have been sick and he has been so hard trying to cheer me up...he'll bring this toy, then this toy....or keep checking on me while I am lying on couch watching TV.
He has to have his job to do!

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / very sorry-very sad
« on: November 09, 2005, 04:41:36 pm »
I feel for you- I just went through this in July with my12 yr old GSD- I kept wondering if I was putting her to sleep too soon....
I struggled-cancelled appts, then had the vet come to the house....
I now know I made the right decision - even though it was hard and I cried and felt guilty at first.
yes, she could have hung on longer---she would have lived longer--but it was about her quality of life....the signs were all there: lameness, peeing, etc.
I'm glad my memory is of her before she was so far gone...

I swore after I kept a lab alive til 15 yrs old on Rimadyl and using all sorts of extraordinary means I would *not* ever keep a dog living just cuz *I* wasn't able to say goodbye...or just because the vets could keep her alive.
Remember the joy and goodtimes!
We buried her on our land....Jasper sniffed her and said goodbye, too.

Newfoundland Discussions / Re: Prong/Pinch collars??
« on: November 09, 2005, 02:39:59 pm »
How great that he sits and waits!
That is the first huge step!
I would build on that and just get him to stay until released.
For the dog's safety, you can use a martingale collar, that if fitted correctly, is nothing more than a flat collar that tightens if he tries to slip out. (It should not be fitted like a choke collar!)
I have trained my dog only using this type of collar. My trainer only uses these type of collars---even with mastifs and all big paws! Once my boy realized he couldn't slip out of it, he became more compliant.
What we have worked on (for a year now) is 'loose leash' control. The collar isn't used for pulling the dog away (this can create dog agression)- but just to be sure he is safe and can't run away.
How we trained a longer stay is to:
In a non-distracting place- put him in a sit and every 5 secs, praise and give him treat for holding it for 1 min or as long as you can the first few times.
Then pat him on his side to 'release' him (I say FREE)...give him a few minutes break and then repeat for 4 times...on 4 consecutive days.
Then you try to get him to sit for 10 sec for 1 min; 4 times, etc. until he sits for 1 min.
Then you do this in more distracting places.
The idea is conditioning.. .repetition--dogs learn in 3-4 times in a row....weird- eh?
Think of training a behavior you *do* want to replace the behavior you don't want.

German Shepherd Discussions / Re: Fearful new pup
« on: November 08, 2005, 04:14:55 pm »
Jasper is protective of his territory, too, so a pup I tried to teach him to "bark" on cue-then the cue "enough" (Like the QUIT suggestion) to stop
I tried to say Bark! while he was barking...etc.
(he stopped barking to look at me since he thought it was so weird of me....)
He never did get it to Bark on cue, but eventually he did get the "enough" cue to stop.
I'd say 'enough' the minute he took a break and praised---good boy!
If you can anticipate losing her attention before it happens, you might distract her.....
ie.) call her to you to sit/give treat/praise
or use toy to engage her first.
Teach her an alternate behavior.
I heard a story that when they were trying to get a dog adopted at the shelter who barked at everyone...the y took a pvc pipe and ran it from the front of the kennel to the back, so when people approached-they put a biscuit in the pipe that came out at the backside of the the dog learned to run to back of kennel when people approached---clever?
It just takes time!!!

Golden Retriever Discussions / dog's dream come true!
« on: November 08, 2005, 04:06:59 pm »
Dogs - 1
Squirrels -0

Wow-Jasper tries his hardest to grab one of those tree rodents. Poor guy wears himself out at the base of the tree and they are long gone. Yesterday he lost it---wouldn't leave the tree---nothing, no where....only the faint scent left in the tree.

Dogs -3
On the other hand, he is obliterating the armadillo population on my property.
Twice he has brought us possums in his mouth that he hadn't shook ....yet.
I bet cuz they played possum!

Book Club & Noteworthy Reads / aggression breeds aggression
« on: November 06, 2005, 11:29:46 am »
!...When a dog knows his place he is a much happier dog...I learned this the hard way!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, but normally dogs routinely exert their leadership without such extremes.

Most aggression that is behaviorial (not medical or genetic) does come from a weak (inconsistent) human pack leader.
Dogs are much more consistent in establishing and negotiating their leadership roles than most humans.
Beating/smacking a dog is stupid and unnecessary if you understand canine behavior.
You use that sort of thing on a German Shepherd, it can turn on you and anyone else.

The subtle ways to exert your leadership is to control resources (food, sleeping areas, toys).
You can constantly move your dogs sleeping areas. Never let your dog sleep in walkways or doorways or on your bed.
Don't make a big deal, just use your body language and move into their space...they get up and move.
You don't need to say anything or use anything more than a nudge.
If you observe dogs, the dominant dog subtly takes over the sleeping space.
Feed your dogs after you. Make them watch you eat first. "Leader" dogs eat first.
Withhold food to use as reward when training...
Leaders initiate the play....put toys away when play is done. You get the toys out.

I would rather train a dog using canine behavior than smack it or use any sort of physical punishment.
Alpha rolls are so outdated and proven to be ineffective in so many ways. The Monks of New Skete are out in left field on this practice. I think even they have stopped  the practice. Alpha rolls were a result of misinterpretat ion of dog behaviors.
My dog rolls on his back for me, cause he respects me and knows his place. I never coerced this relationship.
I built the relationship with my dominant male dog by using dog psychology. I control resources:food, water, bed. toys. It's all mine! And I am lots of fun...he gets a rich life in return for his place in the pack.

I established myself as leader by training him to respond to me using positive rewards, putting in him in timeout for displays of unwanted behaviors; by correcting his misbehavior with verbal cues.
I have off lead control by working very hard at training.
Beating a dog teaches it not to do the behavior in your presence.

The only excuse for beating a dog, rather than training it positively is lack of committment and time to your dog.
You are lucky *this time* if you don't create a worse problem than you started with.
Using aggression on dogs showing aggression is a time bomb.

This book confirmed that by stating that it is best to have opposite sex dogs

I think that pointing to gender as the focus for behaviorial/D2D/aggression issues is simplistic.
Training  (conditioning) is also only a part of it.
I do agree some aggression issues can't be fixed easily.
Bad genetics are bad genetics.
I had to euthanize a beloved older female as she was teaching my younger dog to be dog aggressive.
I had let her think she had the highest ranking member in my pack.
So this was opposite sexed dogs but due to the psychology of the dogs, it was not a healthy pairing.

It depends more on the temperments or personalities of the dogs, place in the pack....I would say than just the sex or spayed or neutered state.

No book can do as well as a consultation with canine psychologist --- dogs have to be observed and analyzed in the unique situations with the people and dogs...all the pack members! ;D

The best tact to take with aggression is to ferret out a good behaviorist!
I would see a vet to make sure that there isn't an underlying medical problem.

Book Club & Noteworthy Reads / Re: Must have dog books.
« on: November 06, 2005, 11:01:31 am »
> "Lad: A Dog" I don't know who it's by, but it's really really good!

Albert Payson Terhune wrote this series about collies...I read them all as a kid....and cried!

The old adage is: if the dog is doing a positive behavior, they can't be doing a negative one.
(Teach positive alternative)
The other rule of thumb is only give attention to the positive not say anything in reaction to bad behaviors, but leave the dog alone immediately... remove the reward to the dog (attention of people).

So if everyone tells the dog at greeting to "sit" and he gets smile and verbal praise paired with high value treat, he will learn that "sit" gets praise and attention....beforehe chews, chases or tears pants.
The suggestions to get him to play with toys before he engages in bad behavior are good ones, also (Distract).

If when you release him ("Free") he then chews chases, you can turn away/walk away...go indoors, remove yourself from access to dog> lesson: attention for one behavior>no attention for another.

This behavior may get better with time, but training the above will have longterm pay off.

Newfoundland Discussions / Re: Stairs
« on: November 06, 2005, 10:07:13 am »
>do not force him and Steps should only be done once a day GUIDED by the COLLAR

Here's a tip when getting a dog to 'follow' as you guide using collar
...turn your back to them or turn away to face the way you want to go...facing them head on is a confrontation in dog body language...
leaders turn away and the followers follow...

I spent hours with treats on each stair before I learned not to face him when I moved forward...but. ..
eventually, he climbed on his own to get upstairs where we were. We were just hanging out and there he was...he showed up on his own.

I never carried him upstairs, it was a strong desire to see what we were doing up  there...

Our stairs are 'open' like outdoors stairs...he never had as much problems with stairs where you couldn't see the space or get the sense of elevation. Very scarey. I still had to reward him lots on stairs in different places after he did the ones in our home.
I also paired him walking up the 3 easy stairs with "up" so he got the idea and "step" when he stepped I could verbally cue him too.

He loves the A frame now and is a great climber of everything!
It just takes time to build his confidence...
Patience, repeated exposures to 'good things happen' on stairs and at him on the stairs....
it's okay that he doesn't do it at 17 weeks...
what you don't want is conditioning to 'bad things' happen on stairs (pulling/struggling, frustration, shouting, etc)
Bottom line, when the desire is great enough, he will muster up the skills needed to do it on his own---if he has positive emotions associated with it. You know he has the skills from doing the 3 steps...
he just needs to chain them together by himself.

German Shepherd Pictures / Re: New Pics of the German Shedders!!
« on: November 03, 2005, 03:25:24 pm »
I'm partial to sables...
Is your sable DDR or east  german?
Jasper is from east german lines....
Has anyone tried the supplements to reduce shedding?

I've read that some of the no shed products work...using minerals and vitamins...
I feed Wellness which is pretty high grade food, but Jasper sheds all the time.

Neapolitan Mastiff Discussions & Pictures / Re: HEART-WRENCHING DECISION
« on: November 03, 2005, 11:45:31 am »
I am so sorry for your pain.
Unfortunately, you can't do much to change the genetics of the dog and the early life of it with its mother and that is the fault of the breeder!
If it is behavioral though, a canine behaviorist can help.
First you need to find a vet who has experience with dogs with issues to find out if there is a medical/genetic cause for problems.
The treatment that a behaviorist recommends will be costly ---- mostly it will be teaching you how to intervene and eliminate the dogs reactiveness. It will take hours of your time and money, too.
It is not hopeless Cesar Milan shows - it is training the handler.....
teaching you how to handle the dog until it learns what is expected.
I have a dog I crate when there is too much happening in the house....why subject it to something that stresses it?
You can see if this behaviorist can suggest anyone in your area.

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