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My goal my whole life was/is first and foremost to have a 100% reliable "truck dog".
I like that and agree. I need a little more than that like boats, bush planes, freight sled transport, etc. but I get what you mean. The tips I picked up here for certain trained behaviors have carried over well.

I'd respond to the question about offering examples of where too much time on details mucked the waters of the bigger picture but I don't know if I see the point or rather what my doing so would accomplish. What works for me, isn't necessarily needed or appropriate for anyone else. I respect those differences.
 

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"What works for me, isn't necessarily needed or appropriate for anyone else. I respect those differences".


100% Amen to that! :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #43
re : ""What works for me, isn't necessarily needed or appropriate for anyone else. I respect those differences".
.... 100% Amen to that!"
** that goes without saying, but not why i started the thread. mutual respect is a given.

- but to "agree to disagree" tends to be a thread ender and may not stimulate further discussions, especially for people who may feel they do not yet have enough experience to post :)
- i don't want to discourage those people from weighing in

this thread was to get new members or old members who don't post a chance to discuss the three options
- big pic is more important than details
- details more important than big picture
- both are equal
.... actually four, if you consider "not worth discussing" and option :)

we all have opinions ... and if you have a dog you are a trainer :)

i also think newer trainers tend to change their minds based on what they learn and when they see different approaches that work for others

when you give actual examples that relate to training sessions i think the differences become much clearer and give people more opportunity to change and/or improve their training techniques

i hope that explains why i am asking for training examples rather than training philosophies

trainers who can't tell me "why" they do something don't impress me as much as those who can.

off topic, but fwiw, here in Japan that can be a hurdle because "students" are taught to never question the "teacher" and sometimes i have to force clients to ask questions.
....invariably i find out they were doing something because they were "told" to do so.....and it ended up giving them the problem they came to me to fix //lol//
-- but end result is a win win win .... for me, them and their dog(s)
 

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Errr, so what are you getting at exactly? How is it that Rick is somehow always right or do you have true and genuine motive in starting this thread?

AND, I posted this to NOT be a thread ender. Say something, not to someone else but to me. Your passive, aggressive style of interface is a little foreign to me because I rarely waste time with people that **** around like this.

Well? You had a dog that was looking away from you number of times during a training session, so much so you that you dismissed it as him blowing you off when I think you missed something really obvious. How does that fit into the big picture or detail discussion? It's a fair question and I'd like your version of what you believed was taking place.
 

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re; " but to continue with the jigsaw puzzle analogy.
- some want to put the straight edges together first, and some may want to focus on parts that are similar colors, etc etc....many roads available

- but until you start fitting them together all u got is the picture on the box and a pile of puzzle pieces, or a "potential" PPD, to use one that is dog related :)

that's how i see it as it pertains to training NEW BEHAVIORS or refreshing what the dog has already learned
Thanks for your kind comments. Really appreciate it.

Nicely said. Some people like a more direct approach; some dogs may respond better with more increments. What works on one dog or for one person may not apply well to another, or in a different situation, or even just on a different day.

To me, setting a dog up to succeed is important. That means, IMO, making increments that fit a particular dog in a particular situation. For instance, if I want a stay on a green dog, its my job to release the dog from that stay before he breaks it so he can succeed at the request most of the time. If I make it too difficult too early, the dog receives too many corrections or do-overs, and loses willingness to try, or to try new ways to figure out which I want.

So I try to train each dog as an individual, and take them from where they are at when I start a session; I might have planned to work on one thing but then I get a "leak" somewhere completely different and have to go work on that instead. Or a dog might have a break-through towards a complex behavior I want, so I will just run with building on that. I try to train the dog who shows up in front of me.

I try to end each session on what I think is the best response I will get of whatever we're working on. I might work on pieces of several behaviors one after another, and quit each before the dog loses interest. I pay attention to which order I work items in, and try for the last item to do in a session be something the dog is somewhat familiar with, that I want to make progress on. I will get one or two good responses and quit when the dog does not expect it. Even if its in the middle of a par

agraph, like that :!:. Which I view as me underlining text to the dog--that is what I most emphasized that session, what he most remembers next time we start. Then, I will start either the next session or the next day with a brief review of that item and see if the dog can make progress there again.

I start teaching brand-new things from scratch earlier in the day and earlier in the session when the dog is more fresh. But by the same token, if the dog is all over the place, I will exercise them before I attempt training sessions. If they still have trouble I either up the exercise, shorten the training sessions (and add frequency), or all that.

I often chart what I'd like to be working on in the training plan (big picture) and outline my general steps on how I might get there. But I always go back and log what actually got worked on and how it went, when working with young dogs or teaching new material, so I can compare that with where I am on my map of the big picture. Then I can best determine how to get where I want to go with that dog, see progress that may not have been apparent if I hadn't kept detailed notes, and help ensure that I close up gaps in the training process without skipping anything I deemed important for that dog's goals.
 

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And this is why forums are such a valuable training tool. It is refreshing to learn a new, and maybe better, way to train certain exercises. For me, the recent post and video made by a member on how she trains the flip finish was very cool. I couldn't wait to give it a go and although I was all left footed in the beginning, I got a rythym and had a blast.
Agree with this! Where can I find a link to the flip-finish topic or video?
 

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Rick,
As far as dogs not understanding the big picture, I agree. I find that some dogs will do better if they are shown a reason for doing something (besides "because I intend for you to do it that way", LOL). I had a dog who I wanted to close heel but forged out too far from my knee/ankle at heel. I put a sign post in the way. He went around one side of it while I went around the other. He stopped and went OH! I could almost see the light go on in his head. He backed out of the jam and came in to close heel as taught. For me this worked better than nagging him about it when I had taught him how I wanted it done but he just wasn't consistent about doing it that way before.

I agree timing is critical--its so easy to reinforce the wrong thing or get things out of sequence and have to go back and fix your errors where sharper timing can make more accurate training more efficient, IMO.

I also agree about proofing--omit it, slop it (not enough / not enough of right type or places) and get a dog overfaced by big distractions when you go somewhere and try to do something with that dog. Great points!
 

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I see the big picture as the bar, the measurement against which I wish to train X dog to do X thing, to X extent. To get this, I think a person has got to first-hand see dogs work at that level in order to get a true idea of what that level looks and feels like, and work some at that level on a dog already trained to it. Otherwise IMO its too easy to fall into the trap of setting the bar too low, and thinking that is a good result.

For instance, say that a person has taught their pet dog to retrieve (and the dog is a retriever). Repeat cues cause the dog to tune out the trainer mostly, but the dog likes the toy and carrying things around, and praise when he brings it back, so he wanders off to get it, but really sloppily. The person is proud of her dog for retrieving. She has never seen a competition retrieve or a directed retrieve so she has no idea what a fast, tight, accurate retrieve looks or feels like. She got the item from the dog 6 out of 10 times but it might take 5 minutes and 50 'commands' to achieve, LOL.

She therefore has no chance of teaching it at a very high level--unless she happens to get a new dog who is so great at it that he raises her handling / training ability by doing many things very well on his own (huge natural aptitude, prior pro level training, or some combination of those) that happen to lend themselves toward better performance retrieves. Sometimes a really great dog can make an average trainer seem better than they are, or be a huge help to a novice trying to learn.

To some extent its about how far you want to go, and to what standard you need your dog to work at when finished. I try to train at least a half-level or several notches above what I think I need in real world work use as a cushion against overfacing my dog.

My point is I think first hand experience of some dogs - ideally at least one - already at the level you want to get to, or at minimum intensive study of others working at that level, is needed to know where to set training goals at, to what standards/level of difficulty. Then a person has to work out how to get to that level with the dog they have (or recognize when it has reached its limitation on that area of training). A person also should recognize when they hit a wall in training due to either running out of skills (learn more or get help) or tools, or techniques.

Its up to each person what level of excellence they want to aspire to. If one of my dogs is working subpar its either because I let training slip and need to tuneup, or its something I know I won't regularly use or need on that dog; perhaps a dog has hit a limit on something how far they can achieve or, maybe I hit a roadblock about how to go further with something (how to get what I want at the level I want it).

Usually I'm aware of the level I want to get to and how high my middle increments need to be to get there in a reasonable time frame, but I won't always know how others got the results. Or I may find other ways to teach the same skills to the same level that work better for me or my dog. If one way didn't work I will try something else. If I don't know any other ways I will either find some, find someone who does know and learn, or invent new ways. Sometimes how I get there seems better to me, other times I look back and wish I was more efficient but I try to always keep learning and improving my training skills as well as my dogs. And, I learn more from each dog I train. Its all a process.
 

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I'd like to get the ball rolling on this just to show that we are all human and make mistakes. It also supports the statement above...

I taught my current dog the article search. He was bang up and I was proud of the job I had done. Then it was time to put it into real world practical use when a discarded gun was found by another officer. I thought, "this is a great opportunity to do a real world article search and see how he does". Well, the dog was clueless. He never indicated on the gun even though he could see it and nearly stepped on it. I was embarrassed, and pissed off. Then it dawned on me that I had only used my odor during the training as it was something I taught him during my down time and not during formal training sessions with other people. Once I figured out the all important detail (other human odor) was missing from his training I immediately went out and did a number of searches utilizing other people's odor. Problem fixed and proofed within a couple of days.

So, I knew what the big picture was supposed to look like and i trained it in a detailed manner but, An important aspect of that training was omitted and the dog failed by no fault of his own. Now, if it was MY gun that was lost I would have been good to go:) but it wasn't. I've seen other handlers train the same exercise and try to get there too fast by skipping steps. Their dogs are mediocre at best on articles, or it actually took them much longer to become proficient.

My experience supports why I feel both are important. Others may feel differently or are just better at it than me to do it differently.
Sorry for quoting the whole post but I thought this is a brilliant example of what you meant. Thank you for this intelligent, thoughtful perspective.
 

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somewhat off topic but i thought i'd throw this out :

it is OFTEN said that you have to be clear with the dog.
could a lack of "clarity" result from trying to clump too many details into one session ?
I think this is on topic because to me a huge barrier in training can be dog doesn't understand. A lot of times mistaken by a person as something else ie. refusal, dog hard to motivate, dog disinterested, or even dog is stubborn, but the first thing I ask myself is "Does this dog understand X request or command right now?"

( I don't necessarily think all commands are requests, I meant them to be obeyed--I first ask a dog to do X, after ensuring he understands HOW TO do X; then if that doesn't work, promise he will, and if necessary finally tell him he Is Going To. But how is this reasonable of me if he doesn't first understand what I wanted?) Dogs know when a cue/command/request is Fair, vs. when its not.

To me, confusion is the opposite of clarity. So, yes, I absolutely think a lack of clarity can and often does result from asking too big of a piece of a behavior or not breaking into small enough parts or more sessions so the dog can process and understand. If they understand and still refuse then I will try and work out why and see if dog can be better motivated, make sure its not a medical problem or some other environmental factor interference, or whether goals need to be adjusted accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Christi

TX a lot for taking the time to put your thoughts into words with real training examples

it's clear you have put some thought into these simple questions and i see a lot of keepers in what you wrote

EXACTLY what i was hoping for in this thread and hope you just gave it a few more legs :)
 

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Thanks Rick, I hope so too! Explaining what I do and my thoughts helps me think about why I train the way I do. Reading other trainers' posts gives me new ideas to try or new things to think about; perspectives or theories.

I would like to post more but have hesitated reading some of the reactions when newer members post. I was happy to see the starter thread here.

I do not understand any of what Nicole Stark has written [#52 above]. I don't know anyone here, have only posted a handful of times despite having been here several years and don't want to step on anybody's toes.
 

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Thanks Rick, I hope so too! Explaining what I do and my thoughts helps me think about why I train the way I do. Reading other trainers' posts gives me new ideas to try or new things to think about; perspectives or theories.

I would like to post more but have hesitated reading some of the reactions when newer members post. I was happy to see the starter thread here.

I do not understand any of what Nicole Stark has written [#52 above]. I don't know anyone here, have only posted a handful of times despite having been here several years and don't want to step on anybody's toes.
 

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Why don't you step on Nicole's shoes and ask her what she meant? I'm sure she won't bite you.
 

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Christi,

Thank you for the compliment. I also want to thank you for weighing in on this thread. No one can beat you up for posting your opinion and/or your experience. Dog training isn't an exact science and we all know this. That is why it's good to have different views on the things we do. I find your posts well thought out and easy to follow. I also get the feeling that I can learn something from you if only you'd come out of your shell and post more.:)

Regarding Rick and Nicole....I don't keep track of who doesn't like who. It's counterproductive to me. I do however have to remain neutral and unfortunately am tasked with being the playground monitor so lets squash it shall we? I like the way this thread is headed and do not want to close it or piss anyone off by over moderating. We are all adults here and should be able to thicken our skin a bit. In the past I've been the target of aggressive members and I just ignore them. Easy Peazy.

Thread open:)
 

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I would like to post more but have hesitated reading some of the reactions when newer members post. I was happy to see the starter thread here.

I do not understand any of what Nicole Stark has written [#52 above]. I don't know anyone here, have only posted a handful of times despite having been here several years and don't want to step on anybody's toes.
Hello Christi. It was posted directly beneath Rick's post, so it would be logical to rationalize I was directing my comments at him. Unless you are rick, you wouldn't know what I meant nor should it have bothered you…

As for not posting, this forum has been neutralized or rather well moderated for quite some time, meaning very little exists here to fear. But just know that if you feel that way and want to post more frequently avoiding those whose posts bother you is simple. You can put them on ignore. In other words, you have options and shouldn't limit what you want to do if you find this forum beneficial.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
wanted this thread to stay DOG TRAINING RELATED and it did until people like Nicole showed up who continually try and read too far between the lines and have THIN skin :-(

i am a very direct person and fwiw, i'm also the type who feels there IS such a thing as a dumb question. some understand that and accept it; others don't or can't. but i post because i'm trying to help someone and i base advice on real world training and techniques i have used successfully and not just seen it in a training video, and my experience has not just come from training pet dogs

why did i say that ?
because Nicole posting some cryptic latin phrase has NOTHING to do with the Q's i posed to discuss DOG TRAINING and that's why it didn't make sense to Christi, who was focusing on DOG STUFF

when someone else comes up and asks a poster to step on someone"s toes, that just degrades things further - IT'S NOT NECESSARY

re : "No one can beat you up for posting your opinion and/or your experience."
- DO NOT AGREE :)
- they can "try" and they certainly DO, but it rarely bothers me unless they take it a step further, like attacking my professionalism or ethics as a trainer ... or attack my wife too :-(
- i will draw the line when that crap happens
- and i also think that kind of crap deserves MOD intervention to nip it in the bud rather than allow it to degrade the quality of the threads. but that is just my personal opinion and it doesn't matter what i think is good or bad about the WDF

mods rarely step in when the personal attacks start, and there are many members who actually enjoy those kind of flame wars and even ask for banned members to be brought back in to keep things "lively" :)
- i don't agree with that because i think has detracted from MANY threads on the WDF and tends to keep others from posting

glad this thread lasted as long as it did, on topic, but that isn't the case anymore so i'm done with it

i've got better things to do than waste my time explaining why some people don't like me. probably due to my skin being a lot thicker than most and not enjoying taking a MOD position, which is not my job //rotflmao//

either way, it's no biggy
hope this rant doesn't deter you from posting Christ,i and welcome to the jungle :)
 

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Rick as far as explaining why

Something as simple as teaching a stay most of us don't use the stay other then in AKC competition so here is how I do it.

Obviously the needs to understand the sit command.

Keeping it in that position is a simple matter of me using a calm bridge word "good" and rrewarding with food.

Many trainers like the dog to make mistakes so they can learn what a correction is. I don't.

If the dog is in a training stage then "I believe" a correction is unfair at this point. Yes! I did it for yrs but I now withhol corrections untill I'm sure the dog is refusing. I don't see that very often at all.

It's easy enough to add time, distance, distraction with the dog never breaking that position so why push the training till the dog makes a mistake??!

Simply add distance OR time OR distraction and bridge with the "good" and give food.

Vary the distance and "randomly" go back to the dog.

That can be to it's side or just in front of it.

When I have reasonable distance and want to add time I go back to the side of the dog, start the behavior then keep the distance close when adding the time. Never time AND distance at the same time.

In going back to the dog I may go just halfway back and immediately turn around.

I may just take a foot or tow towards the dog then return.

I never want to build in anticipation to any command because the dog starts to second guess it's next move.NOT out of any refusal as many think but simply out of anticipation of the next command.

I want everything random.

I realize many want to teach a pattern of behaviors as in competition. I personally feel that can easily result in anticipating to easily. JMO of course. What works for someone is just that. It works for them.

#1 "for me" is teaching for the real world. It can be lots more complicated then any trial field or ring.


Hopefully this is closer to what your asking and YES, I'd love it if some of the folks with lesser training and skills would jump in.

For many new folks just trying to do what is explained in our posts can be a lot harder to do because mistakes can easily be made and they may simply be missing those mistakes.
 

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Thanks guys ---> to everyone who replied. Good discussion on training here.

Bob, that's looking a lot like how I work on stays. I agree about either adding in distance OR duration OR distractions but I only raise one at a time.
 
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