Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When using Positive dog training can you teach your dog negative commands or do you always ignore the negative behavior? For example, "off" for when they are jumping up on a person or thing, or "no bite" if they bite.

I just got a new Labrador/shepherd mix. I intend to take training this dog very seriously. We already have two toy dogs (maltese and chihuahua) which after housebreaking we pretty much stopped training. Which has been fine with two 7lb dogs but not ok for a dog that will be 80+lbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
Positive training doesn't mean no corrections and you don't ignore bad behavior(s). Training is always broken down into the 2 parts the dog understands....YES or NO.
It's that simple but, unfortunately (for the dog) some people try to train only from the NO angle. But, you can't train just YES either....the dog must be taught all the things he cannot do (all the NO's....no jumping, no biting, no counter surfing, no chewing the furniture, etc).
Ideally, we would train all the desired behaviors we want with purely positive methods and never have to cope with any bad habits....not much hope for that in the world of dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I have some more newbie training questions:

1. I have three dogs now. Do I need to do separate training sessions with the dogs. In other words, take the dog I want to work with outside or put the other dogs outside. As noted above, I have the new lab pup I want to train but while I am learning all this new training stuff I was going to work with my maltese and chihuahua some more. So do I just do all of them at the same time?

2. Along the same lines, am I correct in thinking that when working with multiple dogs that the dog's name should precede each command, "Heidi come", "Madi sit".

3. I am probably not going to use the clicker but I do plan to use the treats for rewards. As I understand it, you should have a phrase for the dog to associate the reward with. Is there anything wrong with "good girl"? Do I need to use the dog's name each time for this as well, such as "good girl heidi" "good girl Madi"?

4. With treats, my wife usually likes to get the dogs these soft strips. I have no idea what they are called but they are about a 1/4 inch wide and 3 inches long. I was thinking about just taking these and cutting them to little pieces approx the size of 1/2 a dime. Does that sound like a fine idea. Anything wrong with using the same treats for the lab pup and other toy dogs. My chihuahua already has a weight problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
1. I have three dogs now. Do I need to do separate training sessions with the dogs. In other words, take the dog I want to work with outside or put the other dogs outside. As noted above, I have the new lab pup I want to train but while I am learning all this new training stuff I was going to work with my maltese and chihuahua some more. So do I just do all of them at the same time?
I would teach them separately if you are working on new things -- say, addressing problem behaviour, or teaching a new command. If you're just doing revision of old stuff that all three of them know, you can do it with all three at once. That's how I do it with my two. Sometimes I add in an element of competition -- treat the one whose butt hits the ground fastest upon hearing "sit"; treat the one who reaches me first upon hearing "come" (my dogs are the same size, but obviously this one won't work once your pup grows up :D).

2. Along the same lines, am I correct in thinking that when working with multiple dogs that the dog's name should precede each command, "Heidi come", "Madi sit".
Yes and no. This one is up to personal preference. I don't do it. I just give the cue and use my body language to indicate which dog I'm speaking to -- turn my body to face the dog, or step towards the dog. It works just as well as if I preceded each cue with a name. Just hope I'll never have to cue my dogs from behind a screen or something.

3. I am probably not going to use the clicker but I do plan to use the treats for rewards. As I understand it, you should have a phrase for the dog to associate the reward with. Is there anything wrong with "good girl"? Do I need to use the dog's name each time for this as well, such as "good girl heidi" "good girl Madi"?
Again, it's completely up to you. Dogs are smart enough to understand that if they hear the words "good girl" and they see their owner petting and treating another dog, they're not the one whose behaviour is being reinforced. In my opinion, saying "good girl Madi" and "good girl Heidi" will go further in teaching the dogs their respective names, rather than showing them which dog is being rewarded. Your body language should speak well enough for that to be clear. In other words, it can't hurt to do it, but I can't see you being in any sort of trouble at all if you don't.

4. With treats, my wife usually likes to get the dogs these soft strips. I have no idea what they are called but they are about a 1/4 inch wide and 3 inches long. I was thinking about just taking these and cutting them to little pieces approx the size of 1/2 a dime. Does that sound like a fine idea. Anything wrong with using the same treats for the lab pup and other toy dogs. My chihuahua already has a weight problem.
No problem in using the same treats for different breeds. Cutting up treats is an excellent idea and many people do it. It's actually recommended, because a) you can move on with training more quickly after a reward and b) the dog doesn't get sated as quickly, so it's more motivated to learn. If your Chi has a weight problem, you can treat with chunks of banana, apple, carrot or any other safe vegetable/fruit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,385 Posts
I agree with what everyone has said. Here's some additional ideas that may help.


1. Go to the Sticky about Ian Dunbar... He is the poster child for positive training. For example:

Ian Dunbar Blog: http://dogstardaily.com/blogger/4

Sirius Training Video: http://dogstardaily.com/ One of the first positive training videos...

Free Book Download: http://www.dogstardaily.com/after-you-get-your-puppy-0 Behavioral, Developmental Timelines

Off and Take-it: http://www.dogstardaily.com/videos/don039t-touch Very powerful and fast method, when reinforced for a few days.

Also, Check out the Training Textbook dropdown. If you can read through all of these then you’ll have everything that I’ve learned over the past 10 years and more. It is worth taking a few hours every week to read through all of these.

2. When you first train a dog, you want minimal distraction. So, you train the dogs separately, teach them by name, and incrementally include anothe dog in training. Look up the 4D's of training - Distraction, Distance, Duration, and Distribution of reward.

3. The purpose of the treat is to mark the behavior as good. So, use a minimal taste, a half a dime is fine. And for dogs, a 5 little treat jackpot, given one at a time in succession, is a greater motivator, than a one very large treat. Also, if you give a tiny treat, it doesn't distrct or disrupt the flow of training while the dog takes the time to chew (a larger treat.)

4. Be sure to teach Bite Inhibition and socialization.

- Hank Simon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Alright, I have been doing a lot of training the last couple days. Now I have a couple more questions:

5. Loose leash walking - the new sheprador pup (heidi) has been out on a few walks and she seems to do ok for a 8 week old pup. But when I was trying to leash her up in the house or backyard for a training session she kept biting and pulling the leash with her mouth. I immediately stopped and dropped the leash and walked away so she wouldn't think it was a game. Then I took the leash and drenched it in that "no bite" spray stuff. The spray had zero effect. She did the same thing after about 3 more sessions like this. I spread each session out about an hour. Each time she kept biting the leash. Do I keep trying or is the easiest thing to just get a leash that has chain link for about the first foot that attaches to the dog? I figure she would loose interest in biting the chain links very quickly.

6. My maltese has been biting more aggressively with my 3 year old and 21mo old boys. I am talking about real bites not play bites. What I have tried doing so far is sitting on the floor with the boys sitting in my lap or next to me. I have been having the boys hold a treat in one hand and put there other arm around the maltese's body. Then we treat her. It works fine when I am around she doesn't even growl. But if we aren't paying attention sometimes sure enough one of the boys will come in crying saying Madi (the maltese) bit them. I know part of this is training the boys and part is training Madi. Any suggestions?

7. Training Lola the chihuahua - she is my hardest rehabilitation case. The puppy is a puppy and absorbing everything very quickly. The maltese is an alpha female and let's everyone know but she is very responsive to the treats and leash. The Chihuahua has serious emotional problems and she is way overweight. She's terrified of the children. So basically I have started by just trying to train here to come when I call her out from under the bed. She doesn't seem to be very responsive to the treats. Any ideas?

8. Does anyone see a problem with teaching my dogs "come here" instead of "come". I just feel weird walking around saying "come". To me "come here" is more natural. Although this is my preference is there any reason my dog's wouldn't like this instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
5. Loose leash walking - the new sheprador pup (heidi) has been out on a few walks and she seems to do ok for a 8 week old pup. But when I was trying to leash her up in the house or backyard for a training session she kept biting and pulling the leash with her mouth. I immediately stopped and dropped the leash and walked away so she wouldn't think it was a game. Then I took the leash and drenched it in that "no bite" spray stuff. The spray had zero effect. She did the same thing after about 3 more sessions like this. I spread each session out about an hour. Each time she kept biting the leash. Do I keep trying or is the easiest thing to just get a leash that has chain link for about the first foot that attaches to the dog? I figure she would loose interest in biting the chain links very quickly.
Some people who have had this problem give their pups a toy to carry on walks. It's particularly common in retriever breeds, who can be very mouthy and just really like having something in their mouths. There is a Lab mix in my shelter that carries around an old drink can on each of her walks.

6. My maltese has been biting more aggressively with my 3 year old and 21mo old boys. I am talking about real bites not play bites. What I have tried doing so far is sitting on the floor with the boys sitting in my lap or next to me. I have been having the boys hold a treat in one hand and put there other arm around the maltese's body. Then we treat her. It works fine when I am around she doesn't even growl. But if we aren't paying attention sometimes sure enough one of the boys will come in crying saying Madi (the maltese) bit them. I know part of this is training the boys and part is training Madi. Any suggestions?
First of all, I would not leave Madi with the kids unattended, ever. EVER. If they can't be watched with your full attention, Madi should be crated or confined to a separate room. The kids should not be allowed to play with Madi alone, for their safety and also for the sake of training. You want to ensure that Madi's interaction with the kids is 100% positive and it's hard to guarantee that no inadvertent harm is caused while you're not looking.

Second of all, what triggers these bites? Rough handling? Resource guarding? You need to figure that out before you start addressing the behaviour, and you may want to consider enlisting the help of a professional behaviourist (not obedience trainer) to diagnose this.

Lastly, having the boys treat Madi when you can supervise is a good idea, but stop putting your arm around her. It's comforting for humans, but confrontational and threatening to a dog. Instead, have them approach Madi from the side, without reaching hands out over her head, and perhaps toss treats from a short distance.

7. Training Lola the chihuahua - she is my hardest rehabilitation case. The puppy is a puppy and absorbing everything very quickly. The maltese is an alpha female and let's everyone know but she is very responsive to the treats and leash. The Chihuahua has serious emotional problems and she is way overweight. She's terrified of the children. So basically I have started by just trying to train here to come when I call her out from under the bed. She doesn't seem to be very responsive to the treats. Any ideas?
Can you find out what does motivate her? Does she like toys? Praise? Petting? Not all dogs are primarily motivated by food. When training recall, start from very short distances. Set the dog up for success -- never ask for more than you think she can do -- this helps to build confidence and allows the dog to enjoy training. http://fearfuldogs.com may be a helpful resource.

8. Does anyone see a problem with teaching my dogs "come here" instead of "come". I just feel weird walking around saying "come". To me "come here" is more natural. Although this is my preference is there any reason my dog's wouldn't like this instead.
Absolutely no problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,385 Posts
Alright, I have been doing a lot of training the last couple days. Now I have a couple more questions:

5. Loose leash walking - the new sheprador pup (heidi) has been out on a few walks and she seems to do ok for a 8 week old pup. But when I was trying to leash her up in the house or backyard for a training session she kept biting and pulling the leash with her mouth. I immediately stopped and dropped the leash and walked away so she wouldn't think it was a game. Then I took the leash and drenched it in that "no bite" spray stuff. The spray had zero effect.

6. My maltese has been biting more aggressively with my 3 year old and 21mo old boys. Any suggestions?
For the Maltese, check out the Sticky by Ian Dunbar: The Bite Stops Here... you probably should do that on the pup, also. Got pictures ?

The spray probably won't work, because the bitter taste buds are at the back of the dog's throat, so she has to swallow to taste it. If you can find the March/April issue of JustLabs Magazine, I have an article no p. 18 that describes yelping to train dogs. It is effectively a "positive" method of teaching "no" to a puppy in their own language. Effectively what you do is Yelp when she first starts to bite the leash, and she should back off. You'll have to then play it by ear. The magazine should be in any larger bookstore.

However, she is young (not too young !) and she will learn to work with the leash. Does she bite it, if you just let her drag it around ?

- Hank Simon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Update:
Leash biting does not seem to be a problem any more for the Lab puppy. She must have got bored with it or something from me dropping it and walking away everytime she tried to bite and pull. I also switched to a very skinny 4 foot nylon as opposed to the 5ft 1inch wide leash I had. Perhaps the skinnier one just looks like less fun.

I am considering working in a little corrective collar with my maltese. I know it isn't "positive" but we're supposed to cater training toward the dog, correct. The maltese has clearly established herself as the alpha female of the pack by nipping at the other dogs. So I thought she may be a good candidate for a correction here and there. What do you all think?

The other question would be what behavior I want to use the corrective collar to enforce? It is very evident she is confusing my young boys as part of the pack. But I don't want her to have any negative associations with the boys. I am working on having my three year old give her commands while I enforce the command.

She is responsive to treats but only as much as she wants to be. She has a decent sit and I am working on the stays. I got about a 5 second out of her the other day. But she refuses to do a down. I've tried pulling her down with a treat (not physically touching her), I have tried working her down by pressuring between her front shoulder blades, I have tried pulling out her front legs....Also, she is out of control when the door bell rings or around other dog's at the park.

So I was thinking working the "down", doorbell, and around other dogs/humans at the park would be good corrective leash behaviors. What do you all think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,761 Posts
I am considering working in a little corrective collar with my maltese. I know it isn't "positive" but we're supposed to cater training toward the dog, correct.
Oh, but it is "positive"...positive punishment, if that's what you mean by "corrective". If you were catering to the dog you'd not use a collar at all, so I'm not sure what you're trying to suggest.

The maltese has clearly established herself as the alpha female of the pack by nipping at the other dogs. So I thought she may be a good candidate for a correction here and there. What do you all think?
Nipping does not = alpha. Bad behavior in general does not = alpha. Puppies nip each other, that's how they teach each other bite inhibition. Why are you concerned about the nipping above normal puppy behavior? Blood drawn? Does the other pup run away in fear? Does your dog get nipped back?

The other question would be what behavior I want to use the corrective collar to enforce?
On a puppy? None.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Nipping does not = alpha. Bad behavior in general does not = alpha. Puppies nip each other, that's how they teach each other bite inhibition. Why are you concerned about the nipping above normal puppy behavior? Blood drawn? Does the other pup run away in fear? Does your dog get nipped back?
I don't have a problem with her being the alpha of the pack except when she thinks my three year old and 21mo are part of her pack. I have been watching her behavior closely with my boys and it appears to me that is what she thinks. My game plan with this is to have my boys start giving her more commands and perhaps start feeding her more.

Other than that, she is more than fair with the new puppy and I even give her alpha priveleges such as she still gets to be on my lap or sleep next to me for a nap (only when invited). That's not going to happen with the Labrador pup.

On a puppy? None.
I wasn't planning to use a corrective collar on the puppy. She is soaking up everything like a sponge. I doubt I would have to ever use with her.

OK, I was a little iffy about using any type of correction collar on my maltese and the more I read about it I think she is too small for one. Apparently Shock Collars are popular for toy breeds? What's up with that?
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top