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Dog advice contradictions

1094 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  wvasko
Posted here a while back about puppy selection (found a blacklab/mutt from shelter) and some bite advice (he was only 8 weeks old). Mostly going well, still working on the angry/sleepy/hungry snap or bite. It happens. Thanks for all the great advice.
Here are some contradictions I have seen, even on this website:
1. Maintain eye contact / look away when trying to stop biting.
2. Move to other room from biting dog / never leave dog unattended, not even a moment.
3. Say NO BITE / do NOT say NO BITE
4. Play tug of war/do NOT play of war
5. Try ONE technique and stick with it/List of 5 or 10 things to always do
6. Punish/don’t punish (I don’t need advice here – I will not physically punish the dog, no matter the opinions of many/few)
Also, a small loop I am sometimes in – dog eliminates in the evening, then wants to play, then has to drink…then has to go at 2am.
Or – dog eliminates, I refuse to give him water after 8pm, he becomes …desperate for a drink around 11, to the point of not sleeping/howling.
So – water, or no water, in the evenings? (Refusing to play after going out at 8 or so is not really an option – he’s wide awake and ready to romp.)
Thoughts? Thanks…
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Well, any topic will give you a variety of opinions, but, some opinions have more science and truth behind them.

For example: don't tug/maintain eye contact/punish are from the old school dominance theories of dog training. Current science debunked the logic behind these theories long ago. People just don't like to let go. Tug/look away/don't (positively*) punish are more recent theories of training, as proven by a great deal of science.

As to the "do one thing and stick to it" v. "here's 5 things you can try" what we're trying to say by "stick to it" is "longer than 5 minutes". People are impatient. You have to give things time to see if they work or not. Trying something twice and then throwing up your hands and saying "man, what a stupid dog" isn't even in it, though it's a common enough thing to do.

as to "leave the room" v. "don't leave the puppy unattended" we mean "leave the room for 20 seconds which is about 15 seconds past a puppy's attention span anyway" not "go to the store and try on a bunch of shoes, then get ice cream on the way home."

I suppose we could be clearer. I mean, geez, I know what I mean, why don't you, internet stranger? ;)

*positively in the Pavlovian sense means to add a bad sensation, i.e., a collar snap, a shock from a shock collar, etc. negative punishment means removing something good, generally your attention. When people say "purely positive", what they mean is only using positive reinforcers (clicks and treats) and punishing only in the sense of ignoring the dog, not causing any discomfort.
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