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Old 05-19-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Rural New Mexico
557 posts, read 2,523,399 times
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After being dogless now for a few years, we're getting a dog from the Humane Society at the end of the week. Hobbs is being "tutored" at the vet right now & getting his shots. No history on this friendly fellow but he's a mix of lab and other breeds. He's about 2-3. Years ago, basic obedience training with a choke chain was the thing--is that still preferred?
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:46 AM
 
7,079 posts, read 36,849,060 times
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No, no no!!!!!

Find a class that uses clicker training! And get yourself a book on it, like Pat Miller's 'The Power of Positive Dog Training.' Using clicker training I was able to teach my dog (who was 14 weeks old the day I brought him home) to give me his paw and his name on that SAME day he came home with me.

Clicker training is 100% positive: no jerks or pops on the leash, no reprimands, just rewards. Dogs love it and learn QUICKLY!!!!

No choke collars, no forcing dogs into position, etc. Just FUN! And DO sign up for a class, but make sure the trainer ONLY uses positive methods - no alpha roll, no jerking around, etc.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Greater Los Angeles area (unfortunately)
177 posts, read 727,959 times
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Yes, clickers are a great method of positive training.

You can also do positive rewards with food treats (they make special low-calorie training treats) depending on how food-motivated your dog is.

As much as you can, teach obedience with positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement. It's fine to verbally correct bad behavior (a sharp noise when jumping on the couch or something like that), but physically manipulating your dog or strong-arming him around isn't as effective as your primary method of training.

Victoria Stillwell has a few books out on it. No trainer is completely perfect, but I favor her positive methods over someone like Caesar Millan.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,856 posts, read 63,103,401 times
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Even the guys who came up with the alpha role have changed their minds about it, from what I've read. I hate it when Cesar M. pushes a dog donw and over. I quit watching his show b/c of this.

I had some issues with a pit bull I adopted so I used Bark Busters. They are expensive but they come to your house and work on what needs to be done for your particular dog. They will come back as many tim,es as needed as long as the dog is alive. The trainer gave me a collar, don't know the name, but she didn't want me to use the choke chain I had. This collar is leather and tightens up but releases quickly.

Definitively positive training is the best!
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Sherwood, OR
666 posts, read 1,775,846 times
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The best way to obedience train is to do what works best for YOUR dog. In our experience, with many dogs at the rescue, one method does not work for all. It is a trial and error process.

For the dogs we own, one responded very well to clicker type training. Our other much more dominant dog did not do well with it. She is also not food / treat motivated.

You'll find many VERY strong opinions to why one method is better than the others, but the reality is that there is no real consensus amongst behaviorists / trainers. It is not my position to tell you how to train your dog. I can only extend my wish that you don't use a method that involves inflicting mental / physical pain on your dog.

My only advice is that you should go in to it with the understanding that the first method you try may not be the one that ultimately works.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:23 AM
 
7,079 posts, read 36,849,060 times
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If a dog isn't food motivated it's likely because you haven't found the right food. To teach a dog new things the food has to be AMAZING: chicken, cheese or steak. Yuck 'cookies' from the store are not of high enough value.

When you learn about positive training, you'll see that dogs DO RANK their treats. Kibble and store-bought cookies are among the LOWEST ranking treats. Chicken, cheese and steak (and it can be really tiny pieces) are the highest ranking treats. You're asking the dog to do something new, so the treat must be SO wonderful you'll make the experience memorable and he'll be more likely to repeat the behavior you're looking for. And the clicker is used to 'mark' the behavior you seek.

Many dogs that need a LOT of positive reinforcement during the day (like drug-sniffing dogs) get their positive reinforcement from a favorite toy, which is used in play when the dog does the requested behavior. After all, you can't keep feeding the dog all day (yes, do subtract from meals and withhold the meal closest to the training session!)! These toys are used ONLY in training and are the absolute FAVORITE of the dog in question!

I've never met a dog that won't respond to clicker training when it's done right.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Sherwood, OR
666 posts, read 1,775,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
If a dog isn't food motivated it's likely because you haven't found the right food. To teach a dog new things the food has to be AMAZING: chicken, cheese or steak. Yuck 'cookies' from the store are not of high enough value.

When you learn about positive training, you'll see that dogs DO RANK their treats. Kibble and store-bought cookies are among the LOWEST ranking treats. Chicken, cheese and steak (and it can be really tiny pieces) are the highest ranking treats. You're asking the dog to do something new, so the treat must be SO wonderful you'll make the experience memorable and he'll be more likely to repeat the behavior you're looking for. And the clicker is used to 'mark' the behavior you seek.

Many dogs that need a LOT of positive reinforcement during the day (like drug-sniffing dogs) get their positive reinforcement from a favorite toy, which is used in play when the dog does the requested behavior. After all, you can't keep feeding the dog all day (yes, do subtract from meals and withhold the meal closest to the training session!)! These toys are used ONLY in training and are the absolute FAVORITE of the dog in question!

I've never met a dog that won't respond to clicker training when it's done right.
Look, I was very careful in my previous post to not single you out because I have a vastly different view point on training dogs. It will lead to a debate that I frankly do not want to get involved in. You will not change my mind and I will not change yours.

I do not appreciate you trying to cram your method down my throat (and other people's throats for that matter). You do not know my dog and you do not know what I've tried as far as training methodologies. FYI - I could spray cheese on a chicken-wrapped steak and my dog would not care.

If you think clicker training can work for all dogs, you are really showing your lack of knowledge on the subject.

We deal with some very abused inner-city pitbulls and would be happy to offer them up to you to train with a clicker.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Rural New Mexico
557 posts, read 2,523,399 times
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No classes nearby; will be doing training on our own. Sounds like the choke chain training is passe. Didn't work for my former lab--toys and cheese did (much of the time but he was pretty head strong). Was wondering about a *combination of techniques* used by Victoria Stillwell and Caesar Milan but then I'll need to see what kind of dog Hobbs turns out to be.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:41 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
13,655 posts, read 37,069,441 times
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Sun You do need to find out what works Best for Hobbs LOL
I had dogs the choker works best on Food being something they dont care for OR Gets them too hyper to really listen!! Others Tone of Your Voice works great too! Some even did great in combo of different methods!
Good Luck on your new Family member!!!!
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,280 posts, read 6,799,814 times
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My take on the choke collars is that they aren't so bad if used correctly. They're just really, really, really easy to use incorrectly. And that can cause all sorts of problems.
Positive reinforcement is easier to do right and safer if you screw up. YMMV of course.
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