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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I should give background first.... it might be long, though...

my male, who was my first working dog, has been a thorn in my side with OB issues for awhile now. When I bought him, I wanted to work him - but didn't count on not having a club to work WITH. (The local schH club wasn't accepting new members at that time.) So I started training OB with a local PP trainer when he was six months old. There was NO positive reinforcement at all, just prong collar, old school 'yank n crank'. The dog wasn't drivey or happy while doing it and was stubborn as all get out. When he was about seven or eight months, we moved to the advanced OB class with - you guessed it - a electric collar. :cry:

While this was going on, we were also working bitework, and he did awesome. Solid grips, good nerves, just super. We got to a point where the PP trainer told me he didn't know enough to take the dog any further, so... I started driving two hours to Atlanta every week to train schutzhund.

First time the dog came out of the crate, the TD worked him. He was about 13 months old. he did very well in the protection portion, but his OB was awful. I started working him with food and just working on focus. We did nothing but this for a few months. Meanwhile, his bitework was beautiful, and the dog was nailing all the courage tests beautifully and taking any drive well. He still never had a real 'spark' with OB and refused to hold a downstay, or even down half of the time. Of course, he'd do it with an e-collar on, but the point was not to put it on him. The food and marker training worked ok.

I found CSRA club at that time and started coming out to train ASR, because I did like it better than schH. My dog did very well and was taking huge amounts of pressure. BUT THEN - I started trying to introduce control into the protection work, and everything fell apart. He absolutely refused to stay, or out, or heel, or anything I told him to do. He didn't get the concept of working for a reward, and so I put an e-collar on him. The dog completely shut down (ask Chris Duhon the difference between the first time he saw my dog in VA, and the next time in Augusta) and got to the point where he didn't even want to bite. this dog had always been drivey as all get out. We put no OB on him for awhile and either slipped the sleeve or choked him off the suit, and his bitework is back to normal, BUT - he still doesn't listen worth a flip, and he gets sullen and pouty like a kid if he doesn't get his way.

I've used mostly positive reinforcement training (working solely for the tug) with my female - I know better now - and she does well. But he is a constant source of frustration for me, because the dog wants to work, but doesn't want to work FOR ME, just for himself. Even with the food, his focus sucks, and he doesn't seem motivated by anything. He does what he's told while working obedience (most of the time), but doesn't seem to enjoy any of it. We have what I would call a good relationship - he's loose in the house and behaves well out in public.

Today, I was working OB with Bane like I usually do, where he can see it, and put her back in her kennel in the van. I got him out and was getting some treats out for him when he snatched the tug out of the car and started running around with it. he doesn't work well for the ball, but I'll admit, I've never really tried the tug - looking back now, I don't know why. I played tug with him for a second and told him to foos. The dog snapped into position like he never does. He did the whole BH routine perfectly, offleash, with nothing on but a fursaver (OK, except that instead of finishing on the recall, he slammed all 85 lbs. straight into my chest while snatching the tug from underneath my armpit. :oops:) He outed clean, he gripped the tug hard.

I'M excited because this is the first time I've ever seen HIM be excited about doing obedience. We've tried bite obedience with a decoy, but it's like it never sunk in that he actually got to bite for listening to me.

I get really frustrated with the dog and myself, only because I know he's a good dog and has so much potential, and I messed him up with such heavy corrections when he was so young. I was beginning to give up on the idea that I would ever get the dog to understand the concept of working with me as a team, but he gave me a little spark of hope tonight!! [-o<
 

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So glad that you're having success now Amber. I hate stories that have the Ecollar being used that have the dog , as you say "shut down."

With proper use of the Ecollar this never happens. It ONLY happens when trainers who only know how to use it in a punishment mode do so. For most of them the Ecollar is nothing more than a unique way to cause pain to the dog, another step up the discomfort ladder.

I hate hearing these stories because it's not an indication of a failure of the tool but a failure of the trainer; but the Ecollar gets the blame.
 

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that is so cool amber! the hard part for me would be to quit while i'm ahead--i always want to keep working with the B-dog when he "gets" something.
anyway, neato :)
 

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You know Amber sometimes dogs show us how to train them.

I like your boy, I think him and Bane can really make an impact in the sport world, BUT you have to stay contestant in your training and not jump around so much. Dogs learn through repetition. The more you do a certain thing the better they will be at it. I am fully confident both can do just about anything as long as you remember one rule

Stimulus (command) = Response = Reward

With this you can achieve anything.

Stay focused on the end result and take your time getting there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bane can really make an impact in the sport world.
Aw, Matt, Bane really wants to make an impact on YOU. She notices that you don't ever want to play with her any more, you stick Jay doing it all the time - she thought you were a good chew toy! :twisted:
 

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Well I wish I could say the same for her. But it seems Jay ALWAYS has the pants on when you brings her out, and I have just worked all of the younger dogs, so Jay fresh and ready to go......it is all just a matter of bad timing (and Jay loosing the coin flip) Sorry.
 

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It's not special I give Jay the same choice everytime....Heads I win and Tails you lose. :smile: He picks Tails everytime.
 
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