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 Koehler method of dog training - feedback please

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Windfishin
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PostSubject: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:19 am

Our boy just turned 1. We've been doing basic treat training and he does great when he's not distracted and motivated for treats. But his attention to me goes out the window if there's anything more interesting, other dogs, etc. He my first husky but I'd say he's fairly high spirited and dominant.

The Koehler method was recommended to me and I am half way through the book. This is the guy who trained all the Disney movie dogs over the years. The methods make sense but I am not looking forward to applying the very FIRM corrections that he advocates. E.g. It starts out with leash training on a long lead. You train your dog to pay constant attention to you and follow you because when they don't, you do an about face, release the slack, and walk quickly in the other direction until the dog gets yanked hard on the choke chain. Another example is that when the dog bites the leash or paws it, you pull the leash straight up and hold the dog off the ground until any contention leaves his mind.

Koehler contends that starting with 'very firm' corrections right off the bat is critical and far less cruel than less convincing corrections that will result in repeat offences and therefore more corrections. Later in the book they introduce the use of the e-collar and I've already got my Mini-Educator.

I was surprised not to get any results when searching for 'Koehler' on this forum. Has anyone heard of it, or had success with similar approaches? I'm convinced that positive-only treat training is not going to cut it with this dog.
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R_shepsky
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:05 pm

Well, as a Shepsky owner, I also sometimes visit the Shepherd forum because he has some issues that are more typical to GSDs (growling at strangers who pet his head, as a small example).

That forum is very expert about training, and tends to use 'harder' training methods (prong, e-collar, etc). A lot of their dogs get obedience titles, etc. and work offleash. So it seems like that would be a good place to ask your question...they are a group that is REALLY into dog training, and many favor "balanced training", not "positive only" training.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:30 pm

I believe I belong to the same gsd forum R_shepsky Smile The Kohler method is outdated to me, and most of the gsd people in that forum do not promote it either. Balanced training, with mild corrections for hard headed huskies I feel is better. Some just don't respond well with all positive training. I had great success with my husky mix girl using the e-collar. Invest some time on this site http://www.loucastle.com/ will give you far better help with training and the use of the e-collar and ditch the kohler book.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:35 pm

I will also add, that huskies are a what is in it for me breed vs gsds that are how can I please you my owner breed. Huskies are willful, and hard corrections can ruin trust and the bond. The skillful use of the e-collar may work on the hard headed husky types, but it is a tool to be used in order to proof a command and not train the command. Wind can you tell us what type of issues you are having with your husky? It may be easier to assist if we know what issues you face. Huskies do not mentally mature until 3-5 years of age vs gsds that mature mentally at around 2-3 years of age. Huskies overall are a more sensitive breed, and one mistake may take a very long time to make up with this type of dog.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:05 pm

I find low level ecollar training invaluable with my crew. Lou castle, the dog good dog training (sean o'shea) solid k9 trainimg are good resources.
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R_shepsky
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:12 pm

Ah yes, sorry, rereading my post, I hope it didn't sound like I was advocating hard corrections for your dog. I am a big softie, myself, and training with me mostly involves pocketfuls of cheese. Very Happy

Just that I have learned a lot about training from that forum...it's very active and there are a lot of discussions about training. It's the only forum I feel like where I can ask hard questions and nobody is shocked, like, "a man ran into the street and my dog growled and lunged at him" (an actual recent episode with Rumo). I don't think huskies behave like that...
MiyasMomma is right, a Husky is not a Shepherd!
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:35 am

Shepsky...You're fine Smile Like I said I belong to that forum too and amazing and knowledgeable people there, especially trainers. Miya is my husky/gsd/? girl and I have Sofie who is a gsd. So it was logical for me to be in both forums, tho I do favor this one more, since people seem to be more pleasant. Smile Huskies for the most part have never met a stranger hahahahaha, where as a gsd can be suspicious. There are some things that are similar between the breeds, and oddly enough there are many people out there who own both breeds. My advice Windfishin for the lack of focus, because that is a fun husky trait, lol, is to stop whatever you are doing at that moment and make him calm down. I use enough, you can use whatever, like calm. I have also used watch me and point to my eyes. Placing him in a sit and using some type of command as I mentioned should calm him some and then progress ahead on whatever y'all are doing. One part of the Koehler method I do suggest is the abrupt turn and go in a different direction, however, there is no pulling on the dog, so no harsh corrections. Huskies are incredibly smart, however, the what's in it for me issue will pop up, and they prefer fun over heeling any day. For most of these types of issues, I suggest redirecting his energy onto you and what you are wanting to do. If you can give us some ideas on the issues you are having we can give you ideas.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:07 pm

As Renee suggests, when husky loses focus, a command is in order. When my guys get unruly "sit" is my rock solid command. It tickles me to see the rambunctious trio plop their asses when things get a bit much. Unruly inside gets a bellowed "out" with a finger pointed towards the back door. Usually this is because they are over excited and group zoomies have commenced, the sole purpose of "out" with pointed finger is to protect house and people as fast as I can. The seem to respond, heaven knows why but they immediately run to the back door and out they go Razz My guys are not big on eye contact - up until recently I've been rather annoyed at that and keep trying. Then I read an article about dogs and eye contact. To summarize, perhaps a bit inaccurately, the closer a breed is to wolf, the less eye contact they will make. And Siberian Husky was one of the least likely to make eye contact. Since it always seems to make my guys uncomfortable, after reading this, I decided as long as they are listening to me, eye contact is superfluous.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:36 pm

LOL, Amy, yep my gsd has no issues at all making eye contact with me and when I say to her watch me, she plops into a sit and looks me in the eye. Miya is a 50/50 if she will do that, but will sit and wait on instructions, so that's a plus. Very Happy Amy Can you share where you read that, I would love to read the article as well. Smile I agree with it, since huskies are an ancient breed, and primitives tend to have their own mindset, hahahahaha, as we all know. Wink
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:00 pm

http://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/did-you-know/different-breeds-seek-eye-contact-differently/
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:24 am

Thank you Amy!
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Windfishin
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:13 am

Thanks all. Our biggest concerns with Lachlan in priority order:

1. On several occasions he's gotten too rough and aggressive with other smaller/younger dogs. Seems to be a chemistry thing because he's fine with most. He's never hurt another dog so I know he's holding back, but he's really upset some other owners and their dogs.

2. On off-leash hikes, when he realizes were heading back and he knows the way he bolts

3. Leash biting and pawing on runs and walks

4. We'd like him to calm down around our cats and quit chasing them.


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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:33 pm

Wisconsin, I'm laughing. Sounds just like Ami when we got him at 1 yr old. People not familiar with husky play frequently are horrified...husky play is not for the faint of heart! Off leash? You're among for trouble unless he is thoroughly trained, probably even ecollar trained. My boy used to lay down and play with leash as we got closer to home. We fixed that with a treat once we got home. As for cats, I was never successful. Kitty always had an out...tree, wood pile, closed building and the dogs have multiple tags persistent to make noise.

Good luck. I strongly recommend ecollar training if you intend off leash excursions.
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Windfishin
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:27 pm

I checked out the GSD forum. Besides the site being really slow and clunky, the people on there have some serious issues! LOL. I found 2 very long threads related to Koehler. Nobody was swearing by it, but many were defending it as having some value, including Lou Castle.

Yesterday on our run, when Lach starting biting/pawing the leash, I stopped and lifted the leash straight up putting pressure on the prong collar. Only took a couple such corrections and the biting stopped. Later in the run he started pulling to chase some runners up ahead. I would gather some slack and with no warning I would stop and release the slack. Soon his attention to me improved and the pulling ceased. As we approached the car I did some "about faces" and soon he was having fun with the game of keeping track of me and heeling like a champ.

I'm going to study Lou's site and some others I found and come up with a plan. This is so much work and time I don't have but I'm sure it will be worth the investment.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:47 pm

Ami was a piece of work when we first got him...the first week, I swear I stopped and waited every 10 ft to get loose leash. And LOTS of reverse course. Check out https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/ In retrospect, I wish I had tried ecollar training right from the get go.
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GlitzyPandora38
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PostSubject: Re: Koehler method of dog training - feedback please   Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:05 am

Personally this method doesn't work with my husky. She's about a year and 4 months now but was treated very badly by her previous owners before she was even 3 months old. Any sharp pulls and she curls up and shows teeth. In her case, her motivation thus far has been only food. It's the only way she'll get any obedience/tricks down. I talk to her like she's human, even when she does something bad. We've had some pretty good back and forth arguments, lol.
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