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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Judging by all the topics on this forum,we obviously believe there is a great deal to teach our dogs.We spend hours trying to figure out the best way to teach our dogs to perform a given task.We have in our own mind, a mental picture of the way we want our dogs to bite,track,retrieve and perform obedience excercises.Then on top of that we have yet another image of the way the dogs should look while doing the excercises.Does this sound backwards to anyone else but myself?
In actuality we have little to teach the dog.They are all born with the natural ability to bite and track and jump and discern one scent from another.Even in the obedience we are only teaching when to sit or lie down or stay by our side.The dogs are perfectly capable of doing these things on their own.
So now we come to the task of motivating the dog to do what we wish.In fact the very feeling that there must be some outside influence of motivation is leading us down the wrong path of understanding.Why do we have to motivate the dog in the first place?If we communicate properly...naturally, the dog will respond.What some call semantics is the difference in the way we look at things.It is a mindset that can influence behavior patterns in both ourselves and the dogs.
There is much more to learn from the dogs than there is to teach them.The dog I grew up with as boy gave me far more satisfaction than any dog Ive had since.The thought of training him never entered my mind.He was a dark red Australian Shepherd dog named "Chance".I could tell Chance to climb a tree and he would.I could tell him to find a squirrel and he would gaze up all the trees in the yard.I could tell him to find a rabbit and he knew where they would be found on the ground.He was an excellent protector that would NOT back down.Above all he was my best friend.I played with him when we got him at 7 weeks old and I put him down myself when he was 14 years old and suffering from cancer.I can still take you to the spot where I buried him.At no time did I ever think about how to motivate this dog.I communicated to him naturally as many children do.Children are more honest and sincere.The dogs respond to this above all else unless they have been bred to respond unnaturally to an unnatural motivator.
I think we often get so caught up in the excersises that we forget to enjoy the company of our dogs.There is much we can learn from them but we first must be open to their form of communication.It is subtle and we have to pay close attention.I think of it as similar to the thousands of radio frequencies passing through and around our bodies day and night.It all goes by unnoticed.Most of the signals the dog is sending go unnoticed as well.Even when we are not formally trying to communicate with the dog we are constantly giving them signals by our body movements and attitudes.The realization of these things can be the doorway to a whole other realm of dog handling.There is nothing mystical or magical about it..its natural and direct without interference.
 

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greg,

while i would never (at least anymore) criticize someone's methods who i have not used or even seen, i think it's important to put your ideas in perspective. for the person who gets their dog as a puppy or for someone who gets an adult dog and has the luxury of "bonding" with their dog for a long period of time prior to doing any real "training", then yes i would say the types of extreme bonding that you and jose subscribe to would be a viable option.

for people in my line of work, we don't really get that opportunity. when we get a dog, we usually have anywhere from one to four weeks with two weeks probably being the average, to get to know our dogs prior to starting training. not a whole lot of time to experiment with climbing steep ladders in attics. that is assuming someone qualified to teach these methods is even around. when we have our dogs and are waiting that two weeks to start training, we're pretty much given the dog and told "feed him, give him water, pick up his poop, and MAYBE do some on leash obedience". i say maybe because if the dog is a very dominant dog and the handler has no dog experience (happens quite often) then there is a good chance the handler will get eaten up the first time he tries to correct the dog.

i know basic patrol school lengths very from state to state, but in my neck of the woods we get four weeks. not a lot of time. that is BARELY enough time to get the dogs to pass the basic certification test. we don't really have time to mess around with building these extreme bonds. our dogs are taught what is expected of them. when we are sure they know the task, if they don't do it, they get corrected. if they do it, they get their reward (bite, ball, praise, food, etc. whatever works best for the given dog). during the course of giving fair corrections and following some basic pack leader philosophies (not letting them sleep with you, walking in rooms/doorways first, feeding yourself first) the dog learns that the handler is the pack leader. pretty basic, tried and true, fundamental dog training.

this philosophy falls under the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" idea. is it the best way? maybe, maybe not, but again, we're not talking about trial dogs or a dog who we want to protect the family in a year. we're talking about a dog that we need working the streets in a month. during this month, hopefully and most likely, there is some bond between the dog and handler. certainly something to build on throughout the dog's life. i'm certainly not advocating the idea that a bond isn't important or shouldn't be worked on.

i would love nothing more than to get a puppy and bring him up in your and jose's ways and try that out, but the reality is that it will probably never happen. not because it doesn't work, but because we don't have the time intially...
 

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Tim Martens said:
greg,

while i would never (at least anymore) criticize someone's methods who i have not used or even seen, i think it's important to put your ideas in perspective. for the person who gets their dog as a puppy or for someone who gets an adult dog and has the luxury of "bonding" with their dog for a long period of time prior to doing any real "training", then yes i would say the types of extreme bonding that you and jose subscribe to would be a viable option.

for people in my line of work, we don't really get that opportunity. when we get a dog, we usually have anywhere from one to four weeks with two weeks probably being the average, to get to know our dogs prior to starting training. not a whole lot of time to experiment with climbing steep ladders in attics. that is assuming someone qualified to teach these methods is even around. when we have our dogs and are waiting that two weeks to start training, we're pretty much given the dog and told "feed him, give him water, pick up his poop, and MAYBE do some on leash obedience". i say maybe because if the dog is a very dominant dog and the handler has no dog experience (happens quite often) then there is a good chance the handler will get eaten up the first time he tries to correct the dog.

i know basic patrol school lengths very from state to state, but in my neck of the woods we get four weeks. not a lot of time. that is BARELY enough time to get the dogs to pass the basic certification test. we don't really have time to mess around with building these extreme bonds. our dogs are taught what is expected of them. when we are sure they know the task, if they don't do it, they get corrected. if they do it, they get their reward (bite, ball, praise, food, etc. whatever works best for the given dog). during the course of giving fair corrections and following some basic pack leader philosophies (not letting them sleep with you, walking in rooms/doorways first, feeding yourself first) the dog learns that the handler is the pack leader. pretty basic, tried and true, fundamental dog training.

this philosophy falls under the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" idea. is it the best way? maybe, maybe not, but again, we're not talking about trial dogs or a dog who we want to protect the family in a year. we're talking about a dog that we need working the streets in a month. during this month, hopefully and most likely, there is some bond between the dog and handler. certainly something to build on throughout the dog's life. i'm certainly not advocating the idea that a bond isn't important or shouldn't be worked on.

i would love nothing more than to get a puppy and bring him up in your and jose's ways and try that out, but the reality is that it will probably never happen. not because it doesn't work, but because we don't have the time intially...
Everyone here knows I push total motivational training but I'll have to agree with Tim here. A 1 1/2-2 yr old dog that is recieved by a PD has it's foundation training (at least) started already. If that foundation is heavy compulison (most likely), the time and money isn't there to retrain.
Can they be retrained motivationally? I believe so but not on the PD's time scheduleor wallet.
Could they be trained correctly from a pup with motivational methods? Again, I believe so but then your back to one of the reasons PD's get older dogs. The training and costs go down the tubes if the dogs health turns out bad after it matures.
 
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Tim Martens said:
greg,

while i would never (at least anymore) criticize someone's methods who i have not used or even seen, i think it's important to put your ideas in perspective. for the person who gets their dog as a puppy or for someone who gets an adult dog and has the luxury of "bonding" with their dog for a long period of time prior to doing any real "training", then yes i would say the types of extreme bonding that you and jose subscribe to would be a viable option.

for people in my line of work, we don't really get that opportunity. when we get a dog, we usually have anywhere from one to four weeks with two weeks probably being the average, to get to know our dogs prior to starting training. not a whole lot of time to experiment with climbing steep ladders in attics. that is assuming someone qualified to teach these methods is even around. when we have our dogs and are waiting that two weeks to start training, we're pretty much given the dog and told "feed him, give him water, pick up his poop, and MAYBE do some on leash obedience". i say maybe because if the dog is a very dominant dog and the handler has no dog experience (happens quite often) then there is a good chance the handler will get eaten up the first time he tries to correct the dog.

i know basic patrol school lengths very from state to state, but in my neck of the woods we get four weeks. not a lot of time. that is BARELY enough time to get the dogs to pass the basic certification test. we don't really have time to mess around with building these extreme bonds. our dogs are taught what is expected of them. when we are sure they know the task, if they don't do it, they get corrected. if they do it, they get their reward (bite, ball, praise, food, etc. whatever works best for the given dog). during the course of giving fair corrections and following some basic pack leader philosophies (not letting them sleep with you, walking in rooms/doorways first, feeding yourself first) the dog learns that the handler is the pack leader. pretty basic, tried and true, fundamental dog training.

this philosophy falls under the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" idea. is it the best way? maybe, maybe not, but again, we're not talking about trial dogs or a dog who we want to protect the family in a year. we're talking about a dog that we need working the streets in a month. during this month, hopefully and most likely, there is some bond between the dog and handler. certainly something to build on throughout the dog's life. i'm certainly not advocating the idea that a bond isn't important or shouldn't be worked on.

i would love nothing more than to get a puppy and bring him up in your and jose's ways and try that out, but the reality is that it will probably never happen. not because it doesn't work, but because we don't have the time intially...

Bonding can be done at any trainable age, depending on the kind of work the handler is willing to share WITH his dog. I've worked handlers with their dogs and a significant bond was already evident just after a day's work. As the work progresses, so will the confidence, trust and the bond be. The training is not at all new, nor is it machoistic, mystical or magical. It's just plain focusing on self, the dog and the work. Nothing else matters.

The purpose for starting them young is likewise nothing new, and the purpose is foundation. In my experience, a dog raised and developed differently then retrained or crosstrained for a specific vocation may appear ready for that vocation, but when pushed then his real foundation will show. I don't need further surprises in a situation that may promise full of surprises.

Just my opinion and clarification...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tim,

You have to use the methods that you know will get results with the dogs you have to work with and the time frame you have to do it in.The dogs you have will probably not have the foundation to bring the dog to it's full potential in the fashion I advocate.The dogs do the best if the work is started at 5 or 6 weeks of age.If you had a dog with decent genetics and that type of foundation,I believe there would be no problem adjusting to a new handler.
I dont see it as "extreme" bonding.I just see it as normal bonding.Its building a team and not just a dog.Have you ever heard of TOPS training facility in Illinois?They do alot of very similar excersises to build teamwork between dog and handler.I havent been there but from what I know they produce a much more reliable and capable PSD handler/dog team.Im not trying to push anything on anyone but I do want people to think about it whether they agree or not.What I wrote in my article is just the very very basic stuff.
To get your dog to climb up a steep ladder is not the important part of the excersise.The important part is your desire to communicate.That builds the communcational bond.Whether the dog climbs the ladder or not really isnt important but does the dog understand what you ask?This takes 5 minutes or less.You dont have 5 minutes to experiment?You want to play ball with the dog?Ok,turn it into a communication excersise.Throw the ball and make him wait till you tell him to go get it.Have him down before he gets to it.Then have him get it and bring it back.Send him to the right and to the left with the ball.Send him to drop off the ball in a certain spot and then return to you.See you have now placed the importance on you and not so much on the ball.This takes 5 minutes also.To get the dog to do these things will require work on yourself as well as the dog.
Are saying you wouldnt want to do it unless it was all or nothing?I think even a tiny bit of those types of excersises would be beneficial even in your current program.But why even try?Like you said,"if it aint broke...".
I dont know the details of your training program Tim.I assume you get the job done without many problems.I certainly respect any PSD handlers who put their life on the line.I dont presume to know what is tactically sound and what isnt.I do know some of things the dogs are capable of.I know of some things the dogs are being used for today and in the past that would surprise you.I know that the dog's full potential isnt being realized.The guidelines a PSD operates under is pretty narrow.This is partly due to issues in the past and partly due to the accepted training.
 

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Greg Long said:
I dont presume to know what is tactically sound and what isnt.I do know some of things the dogs are capable of.I know of some things the dogs are being used for today and in the past that would surprise you.I know that the dog's full potential isnt being realized.The guidelines a PSD operates under is pretty narrow.This is partly due to issues in the past and partly due to the accepted training.
This is pretty ambiguous.

What were they being used for today and in the past? Or is this top-secret only-real-dog-trainers can understand and comprehend kind of stuff? It bugs me because this is the same kind of stuff the molosser crowd uses to justify their dogs...you can't see it, can't touch it, it's there though, you're just a novice if you don't understand it, and by the way, look at the big chain on my dog's neck. That's because he's TOUGH. My dogs are tougher than yours, etc. This makes my teeth hurt.

Also, re: PSD guidelines...which guidelines do you construe as "narrow," and can you guess as to what issues might have driven those types of training/service protocols?

This natural dog stuff over the last few days was amusing at first but is starting to bug me. Y'all sound like you're trying to sell me bill of goods, quite frankly. That's certainly the sentiment I am getting from other forum members who know more about dogs than most of us here. Dogs can be measured, genetics can be measured, training can be measured. We need to get a bit more disciplined about what the heck we are talking about because otherwise we become just a bunch of tools romanticizing about what REAL DOGS USED TO BE. Which gets old, old, old. And is mostly not useful to anyone TODAY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Im not trying to sell anyone anything..least of all you Woody. :roll:

The whole "my dog is tougher than yours attitude" has no place whatsoever in what Im describing.Ego only gets in the way of what Im trying to accomplish.

Nothing that secretive but you can disover these things yourself if you try.Im not going to make it that easy for you with YOUR attitude.

Experts at what?Why the PMs?Just go ahead and state your opinions.Is that a secret too?

Why you are a mod on a working dog forum is beyond me.You know less than Liz Monty and thats a fact.

All I am doing is trying to show some of the people here that there isnt only one way to do things.If you dont want to do it that way then you are free to follow the so called experts who curiously only PM you.Come on experts let me have it.
 

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Greg, we have tons of folks who read these posts and comment to the mods frequently. Some of these folks happen to be significant dog trainers (i.e., they train them, write about them, title them on national stages, sell them, train others to handle them, have done so for many years, and tend to be "identifiable" names). They don't post here because they have done these discussions before and, quite frankly, it's time better spent training DOGS, not taking offense and then taking potshots at idiots like me, or trying to rationalize their own training philosophy. They figured it out some time ago.

My overall point is that you're making a lot of claims to LEOs about PSD guidelines, training, and superdogs...I'm just asking that you actually articulate what you're talking about, because responding to a great post by an informed dog handler like Tim along the lines of "I don't know what's tactically sound but I do know what dogs are truly capable of" and not giving specifics rings hollow for this forum, which, at the end of the day, should be positioned as an accurate, reasonable articulate, and informative one. You guys have been giving Reiner a rasher of $hit for talking up Boerboels and Great Danes, yet you're posting the same kind of ambiguity (and what I might call challenges to conventional, informed wisdom) that he was.

Note that Reiner's response was not to say that you all know jack-all about dogs and he wouldn't waste his time trying to enlighten you. I think, anyways.

And I hope one day I know as much about dogs as Ms. Monty thought she knew, I'll leave it at that. :lol: And I will always be comfortable acting as dumb as you think I am. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Woody,

I dont know what your talking about.I never gave Reinier a hard time.In fact I find his theories more sound than most.I am interested in Boerbols and havent seen enough Great Danes to comment.

Ive stated several times Im not an LEO.That should be enough for everyone to take any posts Ive made with a grain of salt referencing LE.Ive also stated several times that Im not an expert and my dogs do not have a real working job.Do these facts exclude me from posting on this forum?You want me to give specifics? I wont.You want to believe that dog training and breeding has improved over time?Go ahead.

Woody,you are a self proclaimed novice right?Do you take peoples advice simply because they are "experts"?This is not enough my friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
we have tons of folks who read these posts and comment to the mods frequently. Some of these folks happen to be significant dog trainers (i.e., they train them, write about them, title them on national stages, sell them, train others to handle them, have done so for many years, and tend to be "identifiable" names). They don't post here because they have done these discussions before and, quite frankly, it's time better spent training DOGS,
Come on...BS.They have time to PM a mod but not to post and benefit everyone?

Titles and years training and breeding does not always mean that person knows dogs...look at [mod edit]. :roll:
 

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They comment on stuff because I usually ask them to...when stuff doesn't make sense to me, I ask the folks here that consistently seem to have their stuff together and know dogs. You think I ask dumb questions here, you should see my PMs.
 
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Woody,

It's sad that you're no longer AMUSED by the ideas we post. Our mystical and magical traning that's so old old old it carries no value bug you now. I hope --- if I have the time --- to bring you more entertainment and amusement showing pups with outdated, silly, stupid and circus-like training.

Don't worry, I won't PM you or any moderator for anything. I stand behind my dogs who reveal to my amazement how silly and stupid they are day by day. Anyway, truth can stand alone, it doesn't need numbers.

Best regards...
 

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Jose, you can call me silly and stupid all you want (no one else here, though, I might add). Reread what the hell I was asking of Greg, ask yourself how I was referencing you, and continue to sleep well in the knowledge that everyone's just a bit dumber than you.
 

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Not to add anything relevant, it's just that can the MOD of this forum move
this discussion, or at least the "you're dumb! Am not, you are!" stuff - to the
Canine Lounge?

I have not referred this forum as I have Ed's b/c of this kind of posting.

Albeit, for every 9 GREAT posts here, there is one that deteriorates like this
one does - it's just that my wife (for example) looks over my shoulder to
see "what all the fuss is about on THAT dog forum :wink: " - just to read, a
post that basically says "you're dumb!"...


But who am I? Just an occasional poster who is learning TONS from this site!

Thanks Mike S!!! And sorry about not referring your site. I guess I will anyway...
Cause just like me, others can sort out the off-topic name calling :?
 

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Woody Taylor said:
Jose, you can call me silly and stupid all you want (no one else here, though, I might add). Reread what the hell I was asking of Greg, ask yourself how I was referencing you, and continue to sleep well in the knowledge that everyone's just a bit dumber than you.
he didn't call you those names woody...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I didnt post this article to start a back and forth name calling contest.I thought that Tim's reply was a good one and raised some very good points.Most of the others werent very useful(including my own).My intention was to express my opinion based on my experience working with dogs.I will continue to do so.I will try to answer any questions and help anyone I can.Thanks.
 

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Greg Long said:
.... In actuality we have little to teach the dog.They are all born with the natural ability to bite and track and jump and discern one scent from another. .... So now we come to the task of motivating the dog to do what we wish. In fact the very feeling that there must be some outside influence of motivation is leading us down the wrong path of understanding....
But isn't the point (or a point) of training to influence the dog to do these things in the situations and with the outcomes that benefit human endeavors? I mean, dogs aren't born with an innate ability to bite, track, or discern one scent from another for the benefit of humans; they are born with the ability to bite, track, or discern one scent from another for the benefit of the dog.

Can you clarify how the idea that there must be some outside influence of motivation is leading us down the wrong path?
 

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dogs aren't born with an innate ability to bite, track, or discern one scent from another for the benefit of humans
...I wonder.

DOGS have been domesticated and bred by humans for over 150,000 years. By now, I am quite sure - albeit empirically - that there are MANY hardwired collaboration behaviors between dogs and humans, that only need to be harnessed.

I believe Greg's basic point is that training should be a shared experience, where the handler feels the "rough" spots as well as the dog, and they eventually understand each other better.

Currently, the dog sweats it out (the training)...and the handler simply YELLS commands. I think EVERYONE here agrees there can be more than that; a more "personal", collaborative relationship.
 
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