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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Ok so here goes, I have a 1 year old bulldog boxer mix she's a relatively well behaved dog... and from the day i got her i started to work with her... her being my first dog and after doing extensive research as to how to make her well balanced and well behaved i decided that i was going to go with the old crank and yank, cesar millan, leerburg type training, because as i researched i understood most training methods and the treat/clicker training although effective ... in a breed such as mine i've read that it had an occasional bad result where she would ONLY listen when treats where present and if not ... then she wouldn't ... but ok ... enough background here's the issue.....

about 2-3 weeks after i got her on one of our many walks i discovered she had a serious fear of big trucks weather there parked moving ,off or on...it doesnt matter... and as we kept on moving i realized that as we walked she would start to build up anxiety and eventually something would happen I.E (which this just happen on our walk about 20 mins ago) we were walking down a main street ... as we walked by a convenience store the door closed making a loud THUD... and she lost it .. complete flight mode... if i wasn't holding the leash she was gone... so i just kept my body straight.. my mind focused and kept on walking but this is a constant issue... i try to watch for the signs of it building up ... but i get torn as to how to get her through the incident because i want her to be able to get through it and build off the confidence that facing something that normally scares her... but i also DONT want her to get to that point where she feels she has to completely run for her life....basically the training i used was ::COMMAND:: refusal = :::correction::: in the form of a leash tug... but one of the biggest issues i see she has is she will NEVER look at me... inside the house ... she does the same... head down... listens to commands usually but say if she's playing with a toy... and i call her name.. she wont even look at me..or if she's just on the other side of the room and i say "Lucy C'mere" she will come 80% of the time... but even then... will not look at me... i really am not sure as to weather or not i pushed her too far and she's completely afraid of me... or if she's disobediant.. or if she just ignores me ... orrrr if she just doesnt trust me.. but reguardless of the situation i want to get past this... i hate the fact that she doesnt listen... it really does suck for me because i put SO MUCH effort into it i really do i love the dog to death but i really just dont know what to do... i understand that not everyone here will agree with these methods i used... but at the same time i really am not here seeking approval.. everyone has there ways and i thought this was what was best for me....

So in closing ... what i want .. is a idea of what i did wrong... what the solution is .. and how i can get her trust me ... if thats what it really is.. i love her i really do and under no circumstances will i get rid of her.. i just feel that ive failed as an owner... like little bit more about her.. and how where ive got her too....

Commands she listens too and how she does them
~waits for food.. as long as i want... from 20 ft...to 1 ft from the bowl
she will not eat it until i say "go ahead"
~she sits down 80% of the time..
~lays down 80% of the time....
~stays 40-60% of the time
~never steals human food or "counter surfs"
~gets excited but is calmed down relatively quickly when somone comes home or someone new comes into the house Never jumps on them
~NEVER barks... ive had her for 2 months and heard her bark twice
~she whines whenever i put her in her crate and im going to sleep she will whine for like a min and as i ignore her she will go to sleep as well
OUTSIDE
~sits 25% of the time
~lays down roughly the same 25%
~focus's NEVER
~looks at me NEVER
~stays by my side 100%
~pulls on me NEVER
~poops and pee's outside 100% in a designated spot


So in closing... i'll say it again.. i know these methods are not 100% approved of.. and i also know that some may even frown upon them.. but at the end of the day i did what i felt most comfortable with... so all i ask is to look at this post as kindly as possible and know that i DO NOT need criticism i DO NOT need to be scolded for my methods i just need advice as to how to help my dog.. and i am 100% open to using new methods if they will in fact help her.... Thanks for reading and look forward to reading
 

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you need to rebuild your trust with the dog before you can even begin to work on obedience. treats, praise, positive activities, ect.

it will take time to undo what you've done. as you've now seen firsthand, the dominance training/milan type stuff doesn't tend to produce a happy dog.

as far as the truck issue, this is how she sees it: truck coming = leash correction, therefore I'm scared because every time a truck comes I get yellled at.

Dogs dont generalize punishments the same way that people do. As far as she knows, you are correcting her due to the presence of the truck, NOT correcting her because of her behavior. Start making a truck coming be a POSITIVE thing (treats, praise), and she'll learn to relax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
you need to rebuild your trust with the dog before you can even begin to work on obedience. treats, praise, positive activities, ect.

it will take time to undo what you've done. as you've now seen firsthand, the dominance training/milan type stuff doesn't tend to produce a happy dog.
Yes i can see it... but my problem is i just dont understand how to "undo" it ... like for example what do i do when she doesnt listen... do i say "oh well maybe you'll listen next time.. " Going to be uploading a short 2 min video of just simple things inside the house... and everyone can watch and evaluate and give me advice and maybe you all can see something that im not seeing int

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oochtlJG0rw&feature=youtu.be This is Lucy and me... inside doing basic commands... and showing some of the behaviors i get.. and some of the issues i have and maybe its 10X worse then i thought.. i really dont know.. please just watch and let me know
 

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the video is "currently being processed." for the next week, STOP working on commands. just try to rebuild your trust. fun walks, treats, toys, playing ball, praise. You aren't going to get anywhere until the dog learns that you are something good, and not something that just corrects her and then corrects her for being scared of the correction.

http://www.dogforums.com/dog-training-forum/114990-please-help-newly-adopted.html#post1207781

you got some good advice on this thread:

So, when she is frightened, you jerk on her neck. That would certainly reassure me! (not). The tail is like the punctuation of a sentence. Every part of your dog's body is "readable" You might see if you can get ahold of Brenda Aloff's "Canine Body Language" at your library and see how to really read dogs (not just a tail). I'd get some really reliable behaviors and distract her by asking for something she knows, and I would also use treats and a clicker. I know that's not Cesar Millan style, but by the time you've gotten through with his techniques, there's often not much confidence left in the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the video is "currently being processed." for the next week, STOP working on commands. just try to rebuild your trust. fun walks, treats, toys, playing ball, praise. You aren't going to get anywhere until the dog learns that you are something good, and not something that just corrects her and then corrects her for being scared of the correction.

http://www.dogforums.com/dog-training-forum/114990-please-help-newly-adopted.html#post1207781

you got some good advice on this thread:
Yea its finishing up the upload as i type .. and i have to run to the bank at the moment i'll check it out when i get back.. but please the video just finished so u can check it out ... please take a look
 

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Switch to clicker training. Dogs are dogs, it doesn't matter the breed, clicker training works for all of them. It also works for dolphins, whales, elephants, cats, tigers, bears, any animal at all.
 

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After viewing the video, it's pretty obvious that she's very cautious and submissive toward you, almost to the point she's shutting down. She doesn't look like a very happy dog. It's good that you've realized that the method you were using isn't working well for your dog.

It will take a while to repair the damage done. I'd recommend starting with the Kikopup Channel on YouTube to get you started with positive clicker training. Don't expect quick results but, over time, you'll be able to build some trust and the dog will become less fearful of being punished.

I also like the enthusiasm of Zak George. Check out his intro to clicker training:

 

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I watched the video and I agree with bgmacaw. I don't have sound on my work computer, which actually makes it easier to see the dog's body language. I recognize it, because that's how Kabota acted when I first got him. Cringing, head down, "please, please, please don't hurt me" written large on his every action.

Stop training for a while. Forget all the Leerburg crap, throw away all the collars you have other than a soft nylon collar for her tags. Buy a harness, you can't leash check a harness. Just work on building a relationship based on trust and kindness. If she does something you don't like, just redirect her. Give her a toy, remove the item she's chewing, but no punishments.

No punishments, ever. Remove the word "no" from your vocabulary. No raised voices. Nothing. The absolute worst thing you should do to this dog from now on is remove your attention for a few seconds.

Then, watch every kikopup video on youtube. Read Ian Dunbar and the Other End of the Leash. Really learn the science. Then start clicker training. Treat, praise, start small and slow and let her recover at her own pace.

It has taken months, but Kabota wags his tail if I say his name. He looks at my face willingly all the time. He is excited to train, his tail goes up like a flag and his ears perk forward and he jumps to obey. He actually asks to be trained by doing all his tricks in front of me. It takes work, but you can get there. However, Leerburg will never get you there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After viewing the video, it's pretty obvious that she's very cautious and submissive toward you, almost to the point she's shutting down. She doesn't look like a very happy dog. It's good that you've realized that the method you were using isn't working well for your dog.

It will take a while to repair the damage done. I'd recommend starting with the Kikopup Channel on YouTube to get you started with positive clicker training. Don't expect quick results but, over time, you'll be able to build some trust and the dog will become less fearful of being punished.

I also like the enthusiasm of Zak George. Check out his intro to clicker training:

Thx guys really appreciate the messages... so basically what your saying is it'll take me prob twice as long to undo what i've done and redo a positive reinforcing training.. so i mean yea that sounds great... really gonna have to do more extensive research on clicker training and how it works in the real world because thats one of the things that always confused me
 

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Up to this point it sounds like you've focused on punishing behaviour you don't want. Maybe start working on rewarding behaviour you DO want. I was also worried about only having a dog that responded when I had a treat in hand but I found a simple solution, only pull out the bag of treats when the behaviour has been performed. That way they never know whether or not you've got one and will perform in the 'hopes' you have one on hand. Of course dogs also love praise and play as rewards too.

I would start really simple, she just looks at you (voluntarily) 'good girl' and give her a treat. She comes to sit by you or lays on her bed... same deal. Right now it seems the best she can hope for is the absence of a punishment. I think she will be much more motivated if she trusts you more and is working for something she really wants (cheese always works for me). I'm not a trainer by any stretch, but thats whats working for me and Pete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yea, i had the clicker and treat bag already i started when i first got her but shelfed it because i was getting better results with the physical method ... but i started as soon as i read all the posts and were doing good just went for a walk with ZERO corrections.. just letting her make the decision to come to me.. :D and it worked well she already walks VERY well.. so i'll update in a week or so
 

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Punishment based training does work. You'll get a dog who obeys that way. She'll also be scared to death to move wrong and hate training and be wary around you, as you have discovered.

Good for you switching methods. It's hard to admit you're wrong. I think people just get obsessed with losing the treats right away. I don't know why. I don't work for free, do you? Yes, with treat training you do treat forever, but on a variable schedule once the command/behavior is learned. As far as I'm concerned, it's a good excuse to give my dog treats. He loves them, I like seeing him happy. Nowadays a sit earns a treat once in a while, but the first few dozen times, every time. Then 4 out of 5, then 2 out of 3, 1 out of 2, etc. I don't see the big deal.

Anyway, she'll come around, just give it time and lots of nummy treats.
 

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So in closing... i'll say it again.. i know these methods are not 100% approved of.. and i also know that some may even frown upon them.. but at the end of the day i did what i felt most comfortable with... so all i ask is to look at this post as kindly as possible and know that i DO NOT need criticism i DO NOT need to be scolded for my methods i just need advice as to how to help my dog.. and i am 100% open to using new methods if they will in fact help her.... Thanks for reading and look forward to reading
If the methods you are using aren't working to your satisfaction, you might need to look at changing them instead of defending them. It occurs to me that you aren't looking at things like attention and eye contact as BEHAVIORS which need to be taught. And then need to be taught again with distractions. And it seems to me that your method of communication (leash jerk) isn't very effectively communicating what you want it to communicate. It may be that you are intimidating your dog. Dogs being unable to make eye contact is frequently a matter of deference. By the way, clicker trained dogs who won't work unless they've seen the treat (of any breed) have not been correctly trained. It's an old an inaccurate argument.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If the methods you are using aren't working to your satisfaction, you might need to look at changing them instead of defending them. It occurs to me that you aren't looking at things like attention and eye contact as BEHAVIORS which need to be taught. And then need to be taught again with distractions. And it seems to me that your method of communication (leash jerk) isn't very effectively communicating what you want it to communicate. It may be that you are intimidating your dog. Dogs being unable to make eye contact is frequently a matter of deference. By the way, clicker trained dogs who won't work unless they've seen the treat (of any breed) have not been correctly trained. It's an old an inaccurate argument.
its like you read the first part of the message but not the 2nd where i said "i am 100% open to using new methods if they will in fact help her" ... and i have started clicker training today .. soooo ya lol thx?
 

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Punishment based training does work. You'll get a dog who obeys that way. She'll also be scared to death to move wrong and hate training and be wary around you, as you have discovered.
This isn't true. I know a "traditional" trainer, he has trained LOADS of dogs. And they are all really happy, friendly, well adjusted dogs. He has worked with very aggressive dogs as well as fearful dogs, and they have all come good in the end. And they all love the trainer. He uses science to train the dogs, he rewards the good and punishes the bad, and also sets the dog up for success, and every new behaviour is taught using rewards, and punishment is only introduced as a consequence for non-compliance once the dog knows the behaviour and it's on cue.

It's INCORRECT use of punishment that causes a dog that cowers and is scared to death of their owners, which is clearly the case here. There is no good trainer who would train only using punishment and force, and the Leerburg dogs certainly don't cower and act scared of their handlers. I'm pretty sure Leerburg uses lots of rewards and training in drive etc.

But anyway, this isn't a discussion about training methods, but about this particular dog. I think switching to clicker training is an awesome idea. I find that I'm a lot less frustrated with my dogs after I realised that their "bad behaviour" isn't bad behaviour at all, it's natural behaviour and it's simply feedback from them to me about where they currently see value. If sniffing a pole has higher value than coming to me when I call them, it's MY fault for not making the recall fun enough. And when I realise it's MY fault, it's quite hard to be frustrated and angry at the dogs.
 

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Just thought I'd comment on her submissive posture in the vid clip. She is not doing that to show she's not a threat, she's doing that because she percieves YOU as the threat. It's more of an appeasement. She's actually trying to say ... "please don't hurt ME", not "I won't hurt you". It's likely this behaviour has developed from a broad use of punishment in your training methods. ie. coming to you has held a negative consequence. The lowering of your voice predicts to her that you're one step away from administering that same consequence. Lowering of voices (and/or issuing ultimatums such as "now!") seldom creates enthusiastic responses. Again, it merely tells the dog that they're one step away from punishment.

As for how to fix things, I would immediately switch to a completely positive training approach. Forego any negativity and all of that whispery tsst, ayy, and palm display stuff. They're only intimidating to the dog, and intimidation is certainly not a tool of communication I would ever use. Read Pat Miller's book, The Power of Positive Dog Training.

Learning how to present treats ONLY after the behaviour has occurred, and learning how to properly apply a variable schedule of reinforcement, will address your concerns and misconceptions regarding 'treat dependance'.
 

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I agree with what lil_fuzzy, as in corrections works and doesn't traumatize dogs if well implemented and appropriate for a dog's temperament.

I can't see the video at work, but I agree that this dog needs softer and more positive training. Also, it needs to develop more confidence on her.

I would start by putting training aside and focusing on what you both do daily. Do you play with her? Pet her gently? What does she really like? Try to pamper her, lure her with tasty treats, toys... Be gentle in your movement and voice.
Try to get her to look at a treat, and slowly bring the treat in front of your eyes so that you can lock eye contact with her even if for a millisecond. Praise with happy and gentle voice the millisecond she looks at you, and repeat a lot. Also, what does she do when she waits on command in front of treats? Does she not even look at you even once? I've trained my dog to look at me by having him wait in front of treats, and then allow him to get it the second he looks at me. But then he's a confident one. But you can try to catch the eye contact in different situations. Like maybe when you call her name, and then the moment she looks at your way, throw her a treat (but don't scare her).

If you're gentle and full of goodies, and you show how much you like her by gentle happiness, she will eventually get past the trauma. :)

Also, consider hand feeding instead. Building more dependency from her can help.
 

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When I watched the video my heart broke a little for your dog... She just does not seem happy at all, just going through the motions and she seems hesitant/nervous that she is going to get it wrong. She's broken down and you need to work on building her confidence up. Like the others said, work on bonding with her and layoff on the corrections. Here is a link on youtube for building eye contact http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oo6tcSxWWg this trainer also has a lot of other great videos, I learned a lot from his channel. Be patient because it's probably going to take a while.

When it comes to dominance theory and that type of training, it's not that it can't work, but it is much to do with timing, doing the proper correction, at just the right moment, just the right amount of force, etc., etc...If you are off, you can really do damage. Oh and by the way I just want to give your dog a huge hug, she looks like an absolute sweetheart!!!
 

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I agree that corrections can work if applied properly. But IMO, we should forget about the dominance theory when applying corrections. We apply corrections to teach our dogs what we don't accept or what the dogs shouldn't do. But if we keep the dominant mindset, we might forget about being compassionate and what's really good for the learning (we might not be understanding for them), and we would start correct as to exert dominance instead.

But again, this dog doesn't need any corrections at all, she's very submissive and insecure and needs assurance and feeling secure.
 

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I agree that corrections can work if applied properly. But IMO, we should forget about the dominance theory when applying corrections. We apply corrections to teach our dogs what we don't accept or what the dogs shouldn't do. But if we keep the dominant mindset, we might forget about being compassionate and what's really good for the learning (we might not be understanding for them), and we would start correct as to exert dominance instead.

But again, this dog doesn't need any corrections at all, she's very submissive and insecure and needs assurance and feeling secure.
When I did a dog trainer course and learnt about the correct use of leash corrections, dominance theory wasn't mentioned at all ever. I don't see why you'd need to believe in dominance theory to use them.
 
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