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I've got some ideas, but would appreciate some input on this.
Most of the time, issues with handlers arise from lack of consistent control and the dog's become TOO much of the handler's "buddy". I am working with someone with the total opposite issue.
Basically, the dog here has gotten to the point that he can't relax around his handler. He's always tense that he's doing something without his approval and is going to recieve a correction. Quite literally, around his handler is NOT a happy place for this dog. Obviously, the handler is numero uno at fault and corrects harshly for any tiny infraction and the dog has simply "shut down".
The dog is so used to total control, that as soon as he is given the slightest inch of freedom, the handler has to SCREAM at the dog to re-gain formal control. The dog won't bolt or do anything totally wacko, just takes full advantage of his free time to frolick, sniff and so on before finally nervous enough to slurk cautiously back to screaming handler.
So- telling him to ease up just a bit at a time is'nt working. The dog as he sees it is responding to all or nothing. Bad part is, the dog is'nt hard or high-drive enough to retain drive despite harsh handler and has issues committing to the bite because he's so aware of what his handler is doing and whether he approves.
They do spend time just chilling together, but "quality time" turns into corrections every time supposedely as handler feels like he should down dog when he gets too wound up (apartment-type situation and neighbors complain) and as soon as the dog hears a command it's instantly this broken spirited response. Of course, dog moves an inch and he corrects for poor down/stay......
Any advice? Not necessarily formal training stuff- just how to get the dog and handler chilled out a bit? Everything else will improve when I can break to this guy how to let his dog like him. For the record- he hates that the dog can't relax and isn't happy around him. Wants things to improve but does'nt know how without "loosing control".
Pointers?
 

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Kristina Senter said:
I've got some ideas, but would appreciate some input on this.
Most of the time, issues with handlers arise from lack of consistent control and the dog's become TOO much of the handler's "buddy". I am working with someone with the total opposite issue.
Basically, the dog here has gotten to the point that he can't relax around his handler. He's always tense that he's doing something without his approval and is going to recieve a correction. Quite literally, around his handler is NOT a happy place for this dog. Obviously, the handler is numero uno at fault and corrects harshly for any tiny infraction and the dog has simply "shut down".
The dog is so used to total control, that as soon as he is given the slightest inch of freedom, the handler has to SCREAM at the dog to re-gain formal control. The dog won't bolt or do anything totally wacko, just takes full advantage of his free time to frolick, sniff and so on before finally nervous enough to slurk cautiously back to screaming handler.
So- telling him to ease up just a bit at a time is'nt working. The dog as he sees it is responding to all or nothing. Bad part is, the dog is'nt hard or high-drive enough to retain drive despite harsh handler and has issues committing to the bite because he's so aware of what his handler is doing and whether he approves.
They do spend time just chilling together, but "quality time" turns into corrections every time supposedely as handler feels like he should down dog when he gets too wound up (apartment-type situation and neighbors complain) and as soon as the dog hears a command it's instantly this broken spirited response. Of course, dog moves an inch and he corrects for poor down/stay......
Any advice? Not necessarily formal training stuff- just how to get the dog and handler chilled out a bit? Everything else will improve when I can break to this guy how to let his dog like him. For the record- he hates that the dog can't relax and isn't happy around him. Wants things to improve but does'nt know how without "loosing control".
Pointers?
try this...

videotape the handler working with the dog one day.

the next training session (preferably a couple days later), have the handler some place out of sight from the dog, but have him watch as you or someone else handles the dog. this person should obviously be someone who is VERY happy and upbeat with the dog. lots of praise. corrections of course when needed, but un-emotional corrections. video tape this session as well. i'm sure what you'd see is a happy dog that for the most part works better for a somewhat or total stranger. once the handler sees both days on tape, it might open his eyes a bit....
 

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Tell him to get out of dogs????

I have seen this before, and the video thing will at least show him what an idiot he is, but isn't gonna help with the training.

After the video, show the guy how to shape a behavior with a clicker. Give the dog some time off from formal training, just drive building exersizes. Get him to teach the dog a couple tricks, with the stipulation that he can NOT touch the dog.

I think the next step, is he needs to learn to train without a leash. This is SOOOOO hard for some people, if the leash is out of their hands you can see the anxiety start to build.

I don't know how old this dog is, but if it has been worked this way long enough, he is fighting conditioning. He will have to take and find a way to do exersizes out of the normal context, even going so far as to change the name of the commands.

The other thing, is nothing can stay at a high level of control for long periods without burnout. I played soccer at high levels when I was younger, and no coach just stays on you all the time. I always felt like an experiment, as just when they have about ruined the game for me, making it a job, they would let up.



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The dog needs a new handler!
I 100% agree with Jeff's comment about training without a leash. That often separates the trainers from the people who just CONTROL their dogs.
 
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