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Old 12-26-2007, 01:05 PM
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
8,029 posts, read 14,429,247 times
Reputation: 3612


Originally Posted by meadowlark3 View Post
As he grew up, there were two things that were part of his entire life as followup discipline. (1) We NEVER let him "win" in any situation where we had to "back him down"...
That's an important point in dog training: the dog must NEVER "win" his challenges to the human's authority, and it doesn't matter what kind of dog it is, nor whether the challenge is minor or major. YOU are the boss, period, and you must do whatever it takes to maintain that position. Dogs vary a lot, so Being God can mean as little as a stern glare, or as much as a spectacular thrashing. Most cases fall somewhere between, tho. Naturally, life is easier when maintaining your position as God doesn't involve more than harsh words and the occasional swat.

Originally Posted by meadowlark3 View Post
(2) The second thing was that whenever he was "put in the corner" (never left there for more than 7-8 minutes) he was then released and required to go, on his own, to the person who had put him there and lay down at their feet, whether they were seated or standing. Our command for that was "Apologize". Obviously, we were simply requiring him to submit to us, when he had refused to do so earlier.
That's another important point that you got right -- after a misbehaviour, the dog must actively do something entirely to the human's will before he's "Good" again. When a dog has been bad, and has had his punishment, he has not then been GOOD. He has merely stopped being bad. Praise is for actively obeying, NOT for stopping being bad. If you praise for that, then pretty soon the dog will actively disobey as a method of getting praised! So an intermediate step, such as what you did, is very much called for.

That's why as a pro trainer, when I have to discipline a dog, and then release him from discipline, I don't use any "good dog" words or interaction. I scowl and sternly mutter "that's better", and don't give the dog any attention-reward. After all, I am NOT YET pleased with the dog; I'm merely no longer "mad" at him. He has to EARN my renewed approval. The net result is that the dog becomes much more eager to actively be good, and doesn't start seeking praise by being bad on purpose.

Originally Posted by meadowlark3 View Post
Our dog, Bear, died in a terminal seizure after 4-5 years of being on seizure medication. Broke our hearts and we cried for days. He was the absolute best.
Epilepsy (which is definitely inherited in dogs) is the single hardest thing for pet owners to deal with. Aside from the medical aspects, it can cause breaks in an otherwise-good temperament, where the dog suddenly acts in a way that is completely unexpected, including bouts of aggression with no visible cause. (This is why so many epileptic dogs wind up in "rescue".) The incident you describe, where you had to back him down all by yourself, might have been secondary to a microseizure clogging up his brain, so to speak.

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Old 12-26-2007, 09:24 PM
20 posts, read 63,800 times
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Thanks for your informative comments. I'm glad to learn that we did the "apologizing" right, just by instinct. We did not "fawn over him" or praise him for submitting after punishment. We would just say in a normal voice, "Ok, you're fine now" and then he would relax and know he was released to return to normal activities. Sometimes he would do the full physical submission, laying flat and showing his belly. The minimum we required was that he sit in front of us, with his head relaxed downward and he would raise a paw to us which we would then take. With any of the dogs we have had (pit, Dalmatian, Siberian Husky) we have just applied the general fact that they must see us as the top dog in somewhat of a literal way. It has worked out pretty consistently. Anyway, as I said, thanks for your instructive comments....!
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:21 AM
Location: LEAVING CD
22,974 posts, read 25,745,966 times
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What amazes me is the grief I get about my opinion that I won't own a dog that is not absolutely trained and that won't obey. I've been told "all you want is to dominate a living animal".... No, it's just like my son, I don't tolorate being disobeyed. I feel if you do allow it when does it stop? How does a young skull full of mush (both dog and human) figure out when it's ok to disobey and when it's not?
All I've ever expected (demanded) from any dog is to sit when told, stay when told and not to destroy my house or attack people (without being told and trained to do so).
I've got many relatives and friends who let their dogs pretty much do as they please and with only on exception the dogs show they've been allowed that freedom (of course so do their kids) and tear up everything, jump all over people and out of the blue bite people...

I'm no drill sergent, I just expect a certain level of behavior from them....Kind of got that from hanging out with my best friend who's dad was a police dog trainer and boy did he have a GREAT dog.
What I'd really love to do is get and maintain a search dog, either drug or disaster or the like, being retired I've got the time and I think it'd be a real good time.....
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