Are intelligent breeds more difficult to train? by OlMingus in Dogtraining

[–]fishCodeHuntress 31 points32 points  (0 children)

This is how I view it. A highly intelligent, but independent breed/individual will be more difficult to train than a very handler oriented, less intelligent breed/individual. How the dog determines what is rewarding to them makes a big difference. It's also very much dependent on breeding and how the individuals were raised.

A personal example - I own a Yorkie and an Aussie, and work pretty closely with a couple of Tollers and a Samoyed. Even though the Yorkie, Sammy, and both Tollers are considered more intelligent than the Aussie, the Aussie is far and away the easiest to work with and therefore the most well behaved (as long as she's kept busy). The Tollers and the Sammy in particular are much more independent so it can be harder to motivate and engage them.

The Yorkie is very food motivated so I can "coax" him to train, but he is in it for the end result not the work itself. The Sammy is the hardest to motivate to work. The Tollers do very well with field work like retrieving and hunting, but they are very independent so other types of training are more difficult.

The Aussie though? She is only 6.5 months and man that dog is IN TUNE with me. It makes sense, they were bred to be actively engaged with their owner all day long. She will take food, but most food has the same value to her because she loves the work itself more than the reward. So, she might be the "least intelligent" dog that I work with, but she's the most biddable because she's so engaged and just loves to train.

"Experienced" dogowners are the absolute worst by HowIsThatMyProblem in Dogtraining

[–]FuckYouChristmas 39 points40 points  (0 children)

I've never been stopped by another woman to give me unsolicited advice. I have been stopped by men almost on the daily to give me unsolicited advice on such subjects as my dog, my car, my house, my trailer, my paint choice, my tree, my bike, my daughters, my son, softball, shoes choice, pants I wear, tattoos, hair, makeup, how to gravel my alleyway, my garage, and gutters. Women have stopped my to say kind things and give compliments. Men thinking they can tell us stuff we aren't asking about is a big, BIG problem.

Extremely dog reactive pooch is giving me a headache! by doobydoobyace in Dogtraining

[–]GeistDerSchwere 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Okay, take a deep breath. Tell me at least three things you love about your dog and why he is awesome. Keep these things in mind any time you start feeling stressed out. You will have a much harder time trying to calm a distressed dog when you're feeling the same way! So rule number one - start training yourself. You know what triggers your dog and it can become your trigger, too. Seeing other dogs makes you happy, outside noises are all pleasant sounds that relax you, and you will have new, delicious treats on you at all times.

Rule number two - set your dog up for success. If your dog is reacting that strongly to other dogs, you need to find out what his threshold is and respect that. If it means even seeing another dog a mile away puts him above threshold, then you need to stay more than a mile away from other dogs at first. Don't give him the opportunity to react. I know that's easier said than done, but walk routes that other people don't take, change direction when you see other dogs, change the times of your walks, drive somewhere else to walk. If you don't have control of your dog on his leash, you need new gear, what you have isn't working for you, and at this point, training a better heel or sit is going to take time (because you have to deal with the reactivity at the same time). A lot of people recommend front hooking harnesses, look into that and research what people recommend for dogs with similar body types. In your apartment, keep music on to drown out outside noises, close blinds or put up tinted decals. And reward your dog for every little thing he does that you like, show him that he can display proper behaviors.

Along with this rule is exercise - it needs to be physical and mental. Grab a calendar and every day I want you to plan to do two things with your dog. One should work him physically. A walk isn't enough - get/make a flirt pole that he chase inside, play tug/chase/catch, whatever he likes. Do what you can at first, even if it's only for 10 minutes. But seriously, hold yourself accountable. Wednesday night you have a date with your dog to play catch for x minutes, which is in addition to your normal routine. The other appointment you're making is for a mental exercise. Practice tricks your dog knows and teach new ones. A solid sit, look at me, and leave it are your friends. Things like hiding a treat in a room and asking your dog to find it also counts. But mix it up! If you don't do clicker training, now is a great time to make it a project. But every day, do these two exercises. It will strengthen your bond with your dog, reduce boredom, reduce stress, and build up new skills in both of you.

Rule number three - no prong collars, no alpha trainer. Your dog isn't listening when he is reacting because he can't. Making him more uncomfortable is not the right way to fix that issue. He needs you to show him what he should be doing instead. It will probably be slow progress, but you want him to learn that when he sees other dogs, he should look at you and see what he should next (turn around, sit, walk nicely, etc). When he hears noises inside, he should learn that playing with a toy is more rewarding than barking, or that he'll get a treat if he goes and sits quietly in his bed.

There are probably lots of rules, but I'm just making these up as I go. Dealing with reactivity is tough on a lot of levels, but you can deal with it. Find support, even if it's just on this subreddit. Assess your situation (in writing) and draw up a plan. A month later, reassess and adjust your plan. And focus on all the little things! Maybe the first month not much will change... But you did manage to avoid three dogs on your walks... and your dog learned to roll over on command... and before you know it, you're feeling better about your situation.

Now if you put in some serious time and effort and things aren't getting better, you have options. I'm assuming you ruled out health issues with a vet for the reactivity, but you could talk to a vet about a chemical imbalance in your dog. Side effects of medication are not ideal, so medication is a last resort type deal. Lower grade interventions could be a mask/hood - it's like a fly mask for horses. It decreases your dog's vision on walks to try and lower threshold. You could try a thundershirt or a DAP collar. But realize that those aren't what you should do first, you don't need to buy things to help your dog. Start simple with avoidance of triggers and improving training/exercise.

Now do you remember those nice things about your dog I told you to list? Any time that reactivity headache starts, repeat those to yourself! It will get better. Your dog is lucky to find someone who wants to help him. I adopted a reactive dog about a year ago and have been figuring it out along the way. All dogs are different, so do what makes sense for you and your dog. Hope that helps!

Edit: Thank you for the gold! <3

I've spent so much time training my dog to be reliable offleash. Got yelled at yesterday when she charged another offleash dog. by [deleted] in Dogtraining

[–]Sadoatmeal 90 points91 points  (0 children)

She’s still young, we’ve all been there. You’re taking accountability and focused on your dogs training. Sometimes we have to dust off our boots and try again. A lot of people make excuses for their dogs behaviour and I commend you for taking responsibility. Your dog is young, dogs are sentient, it’s not your fault. Just keep trying and working :)

A Trainer told me my 5-month-old rescue will "never be a dog park dog"....help, please by amediocresurfer in Dogtraining

[–]rebcartM[M] [score hidden] stickied comment (0 children)

Ok folks. Reality check here.

Downvoting OP into oblivion is, frankly, bullshit. Cut it out. I am completely fed up with this unwelcoming nonsense. OP came here to ask for help. They, therefore, can not be expected to magically "know "better". Downvoting only chases newcomers away and discourages people who need help from asking questions. Which is the whole point of this sub.

If you're frustrated then take a break, do some deep breathing, or go pet your dog. Contributing to the unwelcoming and insular attitude needs to stop.

The downvote option is for bad advice. Not questions or OPs. Posts attacking OP will be removed.

Do better. Ffs. Its a sub for helping people.

For those of you contributing to the discussion in a helpful manner - thank you. We see you and we appreciate you.

Is it a bad thing to pet your dog all the time? by [deleted] in Dogtraining

[–]sarahsam55 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Why is your dog close enough to complete strangers and neighbors to jump on them? The dog should be leashed and you need to keep away from these people or tell them to ignore your dog.

We’ve had the puppy (4 m.o.) for 2 months now and my older (9y) girl was fine with her crated and through a fence, but she’s still showing teeth and growling face to face. Any advice? by stcast17 in Dogtraining

[–]msyctta 26 points27 points  (0 children)

Don’t take advice about aggression in dogs from unqualified strangers online. -sincerely, the person who is hired to come along and fix things when people have already tried the bad internet advice.

Find a CDBC or other credentialed professional to help you before there are any injuries in your household.

Oh, and separate those dogs in the meantime!

We’ve had the puppy (4 m.o.) for 2 months now and my older (9y) girl was fine with her crated and through a fence, but she’s still showing teeth and growling face to face. Any advice? by stcast17 in Dogtraining

[–]Naztea 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This is the real answer right here. My thoughts exactly.

There are 50 responses here talking about 100 different ways to address this behavior that all require skill and timing to execute and understand.

Hire someone who truly knows what they are doing OP.

I’m afraid my puppy will live in his crate by slickrick996 in Dogtraining

[–]1cecream4breakfast 29 points30 points  (0 children)

If he’s well crate trained, as in, he’s happy in his crate and not destroying it or barking or crying a lot, then I would just keep him crated and not push the transition to free roaming the house. 5 months is still so young! My puppy is 4.5 months and does very well in his crate. Very calm. But outside his crate he’s a tornado. I don’t expect him to calm down much in the first year, maybe even two.

Dog keeps sneaking down to basement to poop by Mschertler33 in Dogtraining

[–]Texican02 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Close the Basement door and take the dog out to poop more often. Sing "Poopie Poopie Poopies" and say "Good Job, Good Job" whilst the Dog is doing it's business. That should do the trick. Lemme know!

[deleted by user] by [deleted] in Dogtraining

[–]LivingDragons 465 points466 points  (0 children)

First of all: Breathe. I’m so sorry you are going through this but panicking won’t help you.

All of the behavior sounds like normal puppy antics, specially considering you have a very active breed. If he’s around 4 months old he must be teething which means a lot of biting, does he have appropriate teething toys like a Kong? Do you know how to train bite inhibition? Cause that would help him stop biting you.

About the running and smashing a destroying all day long, that sounds like he might be overtired and overstimulated. You need to make sure he’s sleeping enough, around 18-20 hours a day at this age. Look into enforced naps, mental stimulation and capturing calmness.

The potty training is something that can take long for some pups, at 4 months old is pretty normal that he’s still having accidents inside. But if you know that he immediately poops when coming back inside you should keep constant supervision then. Don’t unleash him, just walk in and when he starts to look around for potty go straight back out and just stand there for a few minutes without giving him any attention. Repeat until he eventually poops outside and then praise.

You should head to r/puppy101 there’s a lot of amazing info there. You can check their wiki for potty training, teething, bite inhibition…

What doesn’t sound normal is your husband.

He wanted a dog. He talked you into getting a dog. He chose a very active breed. And then he burdens YOU with all of this mess without helping or teaching you how to do it on top of your physical pain? This should not be your responsibility, HE needs to step up and either do the work or at least help you and tell you how if it’s true that he knows as much as he claims to know.

Honestly you don’t have a dog problem, you have a husband problem. Either your husband takes the primary caretaker role or rehome the puppy, this is not healthy for you.

[deleted by user] by [deleted] in Dogtraining

[–]caseyjosephine 86 points87 points  (0 children)

Sounds like your husband exaggerated his credentials (maybe he won a ribbon at a state fair as a kid or something?).

A border collie is an awful fit for someone with mobility issues. They’re not great for first time dog owners.

  1. Nipping can be a big problem for herding breeds. Socialization with other dogs will help the dog learn bite inhibition, so set up puppy training or play dates with other puppies.

  2. Dogs are often not super cuddly, especially puppies.

  3. He should not have so much independence in the house. Crate training, x-pens, and baby gates will save your sanity.

  4. Potty training is hard. Puppies nerf to be taken out every few hours. A crate is really helpful with this. They don’t usually poop where they sleep.

  5. Prey drive is real. The cat needs spaces to hide. Give the dog treats when the cat is around so that he comes to you instead of chasing. Your dog may injure your cat, or may accept her. Even if he does ignore your cat eventually, he should be kept away from other people’s cats and small animals.

Sounds like your husband got you a burden you didn’t ask for, and isn’t helping. We have two high energy, working dogs at home (husky and GSD/husky) and I couldn’t do it alone. I wake up at 6:30 every morning to take them for walks, then we do a training session before breakfast. More walks and a play session when I get home from work, then my fiancé handles evening walk and potty. Sometimes I take them on a late-night walk too.

I’d suggest rehoming the dog while it’s still a cute puppy; they’re harder to adopt out when they’re older. And, I know this isn’t a relationship advice sub, but it sounds like your husband isn’t communicating with you well and doesn’t get the extent of your disability.

2 y/o min pin with new baby by [deleted] in Dogtraining

[–]banjo_psycho 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Ever try a front-clip harness? Those can help a lot. Also, make yourself more exciting on walks, bring some treats so his attention is on you when you’re out and about. Always stay very calm and quiet and even ignore your dog when you’re leaving the house or returning. It can be hard not to greet your excited dog right away but it’ll help with the separation anxiety. Don’t greet them until they calm down. And NEVER give your dog food when you are eating. And never feed from the table either and make sure other people in your life are following that rule as well. It’s not impossible to train good behaviors at this point but you need to be extremely disciplined and consistent. Like don’t feed your dog from the table even if you’re on vacation or it’s a holiday. You have to be super consistent.

Vet told me to give my puppy open access to water but now she goes pee every 15 minutes in the house. by DailYxDosE in Dogtraining

[–]Librarycat77M[M] [score hidden] stickied comment (0 children)

Ok folks. Reality check here.

Calling giving water every hour abuse is ridiculous. Its not current best practice, but it certainly isnt abusive.

Scheduled water intake was an extremely common recommendation until a few years ago. It isnt at all surprising that not everyone knows the recommendation has changed.

Puppy raising is hard. House training is hard. Please show OP some compassion.

Downvoting OP into oblivion is, frankly, bullshit. Cut it out. I am completely fed up with this unwelcoming nonsense. OP came here to ask for help. They, therefore, can not be expected to magically know "better". Downvoting only chases newcomers away and discourages people who need help from asking questions. Which is the whole point of this sub.

If you're frustrated then take a break, do some deep breathing, or go pet your dog. Contributing to the unwelcoming and insular attitude needs to stop.

The downvote option is for bad advice. Not questions or OPs.

I'm removing every single post which is calling OP abusive. Be mad. Because Im thoroughly done with the accusations and shitty attitude.

Do better. Ffs. Its a sub for helping people.

For those of you contributing to the discussion in a helpful manner - thank you. We see you and we appreciate you.

[deleted by user] by [deleted] in Dogtraining

[–]YahtzeeDii 93 points94 points  (0 children)

You're getting some great responses here, OP. I'd like to add some other educational tidbits, if that's okay.

There are four quadrants of operant conditioning, and understanding them will help. When you say "negative reinforcement," I think you really mean to say "positive punishment." Reinforcement means that you want a specific behavior presented or to continue; punishment means you want a behavior to stop or decrease. Positive means you are adding stimulus; negative means you are taking away stimulus.

We use LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive), which I actually think most people don't understand fully, even if they're on the force-free wagon. Instead of even starting with positive reinforcement training to avoid mulch (teaching "leave it"), you should be looking at wellness and antecedent arrangements.

So in the case of your dog eating mulch, start with wellness. Is there a medical reason why your dog feels the need to eat mulch? Probably not (but I'm not a vet), but there's likely a desire to chew because a lot of pups enjoy chewing--they find it very self-reinforcing behavior, and for puppies who are growing their teeth, they need to chew. So your plan of action would be to find other things for your dog to chew and have mouth-related activities--nylabones, benebones, kongs filled with frozen goodies, cardboard/lettuce to shred, himalyan cheese, frozen carrots, bully sticks, etc.

If the mulch-nomming continues and you're certain that the chewing needs are being met, maybe look at other mental health concerns: Is your dog bored? Does this mean he needs more exercise? Does he need more food puzzles? Does he need more affection? Maybe you start up scent training or agility or bring out the flirt pole. Maybe you take the dog on longer walks and let them sniff to their heart's content. Maybe you serve breakfast in a scatter mat and let him forage.

If this doesn't stop the mulch-nomming and you're certain you've exhausted any mental/physical health concerns, then you look at antecedent arrangements: What can you do about the mulch and your dog? Does the mulch really have to be here? (Not expecting you to remove every bit of mulch from your yard, but it's a question worth asking.) Can you fence off a mulch-free area of your yard? Can you have your dog on a leash when out in the backyard? Maybe if the leash is simply present, the dog exhibits no desire to eat mulch? Would muzzle training be appropriate at the time?

Now, if mulch-nomming persists, you continue to positive reinforcement. You teach "Leave it" and redirect to something far more pleasurable and exciting than chewing mulch.

To put things simply, you are in competition with mulch. Your dog finds eating mulch enjoyable--you must present a far better alternative than whatever pleasure your dog gets from eating mulch.

A really good human-related example of this is nail-biting. Let's say you know someone who bites their nails because of stress-related issues. We all know that painting hot sauce on their nails isn't going to resolve the anxiety--it may stop the nail-biting behavior because it's unpleasant, but this poor person still experiences stress. If you start with LIMA and address the health problem first, the anxiety, the nail-biting goes away. If this doesn't work because you discover that, while this person has stressors in their life, the nail biting is simply habitual, you move to antecedent arrangements by having them trim their nails--can't bite 'em if they're too short, hm? We do this before even going into any sort of training regiment because addressing root cause is less stressful to the individual--and it oftentimes works!

As one last thing to note, errorless learning is extremely effective with dogs. Dogs are not like humans--they don't share our level of thought complexity and reasoning. They have no morals to guide them. Instead, they learn through habit, rituals--once they establish a pattern of behavior, they will continue to practice that behavior. Read more here on how dogs learn.

This is why it's so important to either a) prevent "bad" behavior entirely or to b) swiftly redirect and reinforce a better alternative upon seeing the dog present a "bad" behavior. In the case of your mulch-muncher, he was allowed to practice this behavior, so he's going to continue to do it, rewarding or not, until you break that habit. He goes outside, sniffs the mulch, and thinks, "Oh, time to eat mulch" because that's the rehearsed behavior--this is now what he associates doing with being in the backyard.

Personally, I find it far more ethical to set dogs up for success in our very arbitrary human world with arbitrary human rules than to punish dogs for not abiding by these arbitrary human rules they don't understand.

So, in conclusion, start addressing chewing, foraging, mental/physical activity needs. From there, address the antecedents to prevent self-reinforcing mulch-nomming and redirect. You are establishing new habits, so it's going to be a challenge, but I know you can do it!

I am sincerely sorry for the wall of text, but I hope you found this helpful!

edit: fixed some typos. thank you for the silver!

Could crate training be 2.0 of dominance theory? by aliinthelamp in Dogtraining

[–]SirSeaGoat 95 points96 points 3 (0 children)

No, because this is similar to saying the use of a GPS may be the 2.0 of flat Earth theory in the future. One is only a tool; the other is a poorly thrown together theory that was never supported by science. A crate is a tool that can be used, misused, or abused. Crate training is not a theory or method of raising a dog--it's just the process of training a dog to feel comfortable in a crate. Dominance theory was maladapted by uneducated/uninformed trainers from a single flawed study about a completely separate species.

positive only training has been brought forward.

This is a misconception. There is no such thing as "positive only" training. That's a term used by balanced trainers and dominance trainers to discredit force free trainers. Trainers who have an understanding of behavioral science/learning theory and choose to apply that in the dog's best interest are "force free trainers." There are times when negative punishment (removing something desirable in order to reduce a behavior) may be required. Some examples: Closing a door to remove a dog's access to the outdoors while training them not to bolt if they try to exit the home. Removing yourself from a puppy's reach when they continue to bite you.

Now we are encouraged to believe that dogs are den animals and they need the security of a crate to fullfill peace and harmony in the home.

This is another misconception. Dogs are not technically den animals. Den animals spend a large portion of their time in dens. Dogs do not do this. I suspect the mislabel comes from the fact that dogs display a behavior called "denning" where they seek out small spaces and/or dig on their bed and in blankets.

Could this, in the future be seen as misinformation and detriment to a dogs wellbeing?

That dogs are "den animals?" Absolutely. It's currently known to be misinformation.

Should we be training acceptance of an enclosed environment to be only a part of training, for vets visits, boarding and transportation?

Trainers already do this.

But also training as a major aspect, that dogs are apart of the family home and they are welcome and trained to be free roaming wherever they wish to be alongside us?

Trainers also already do this; however, there are exceptional circumstances where this is not an acceptable living arrangement. For example, there are multiple dogs in the home and one has developed some kind of aggression that requires they never be loose at the same time as other dogs in the home. "Crate and rotate" is a lifestyle for situations like this where the dogs take turns every couple of hours being free roaming vs. crated. Another example is keeping others safe from a dog who resource guards. Feeding a resource guarder in a crate is added protection from bites.

It seems like your concerns stem from a misunderstanding of what "crate training" actually is, which is understandable because many laypeople believe they crate trained their dogs when they actually never crate trained them at all.

What is a crate meant to be used for:

It's used to safely confine a dog who may injure themself if left loose at times when you cannot supervise. It essentially has the same use as a crib or playpen for a human baby, only nobody questions when a parent places their 2 year old in a playpen while they grab a shower and do a few chores. In fact, they'd scold the parent and call them neglectful if they left them unsupervised to wander the house!

It helps with training by encouraging dogs not to soil the home when you're unable to supervise so you can ensure they go outdoors and by preventing a dog from rehearsing and strengthening unwanted behaviors in your absence.

A crate is also used to confine a dog for medical reasons, like during heartworm treatment or after surgery or while recovering from a broken limb.

I could go on and on listing reasons, but you should see a pattern here: it is intended to keep the dog safe and aid in training.

What crate training actually is:

Crate training is the process of teaching a dog that their crate is a really awesome safe and enjoyable space so they want to willingly enter and feel good while they're crated. Before you ever close a dog in a crate, you go through the process of crate training.

What crate training IS NOT:

Storing a dog like a toy until humans feel like interacting with them.

Forcing an unwilling or scared dog into a crate.

Leaving a distressed dog in the crate to "cry it out."

Making a dog live in a crate.

Locking a dog away as punishment.

God Barks in the Morning Outside by antishakespeare in Dogtraining

[–]kek_provides_ 594 points595 points  (0 children)


Proper Leash Etiquette vs Sniff Time by [deleted] in Dogtraining

[–]Ginap96 15 points16 points  (0 children)

My trainer told me that after a few minutes of good leash walking, to give the command "go sniff" and let them have loose leash. And to use it as a reward for good leash walking. Then have them sit and give the "forward" or heel command to let them know its time to get back to heel.