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 Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client

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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:44 am

Good luck with the training and I hope Dexter continues to improve for the owners.
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:33 am

I am not a husky owner yet, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.

I am a fan of Ian Dunbar's positive reinforcement method of training. However, Huskies are a unique breed (along with the other ancient/asian breeds like the Alaskan malamute, shiba inu, chow chow...) because they are genetically closer to a wolf: http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/genetics-and-the-shape-of-dogs/4
So it wouldn't it make sense that Cesar Millan's "leader of the pack" method would be more effective with a Siberian husky?
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:38 am

What are you supposed to do when a dog bites on your arm if you're not to be somewhat aggressive with it? Not trying to be rude, but I don't know what the "positive" way to handle that would be.
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:39 am

@K9_Eric wrote:
Biting will 100% of the time result in some form of discomfort. They should never bite. Ever. I don't care if it is because they fear the reaction. Biting is intolerable. Ask a judge to reason with you because a strangers kid didn't ask to see your dog and frightened him a little, and got maimed in 1 quick snap.

Preventing a bite certainly is top priority, especially with a dog who has shown ability to bite before. But I feel we have a serious role to fill in that area, dogs don't "just bite." There are many communications going on before a bite... If we are ignoring them or correcting them for it... Having a dog who goes right to "bite" sounds more dangerous than a dog who is giving clear signals such as freezes, lip curls, whale eyes, and growls. Unfortunately when you suppress such a thing or teach them their communication gets them punished, what do we go by?

Since dogs don't genalize vey well, I am pretty sure a dog who has shown biting gets him a negative reaction from you, Eric, wouldn't show (much or any) restraint to a new child in a busy place who dropped a fry on the floor and bent to pick it up at the exact moment Dexter went for the same dropped item.

Quote :
A. There defintely is a Dominant/submissive relationship between dogs, and between dogs and people. B. A submissive dog doesn't have to be a cowering, fearful dog, and can be perfectly well rounded. C. Force has a place in training.

I have no reservations that dogs have an order between each other... such as human order in a family, or a work environment. What I don't subscribe to is dogs who are pushy are dominant and dogs who are reserved and polite are submissive. A pushy dog to me is a smart dog. I want a pushy dog, always feeling out the edges... Trying this trying that. In the right environment or with the right set of eyes on them... That dog has a huge knowledge base to work from.

Cheyenne is most certainly my head female. She would have been a fantastic mother and has great "pack management" skills. She is my "go to" dog to feel a new dog out. She is what some would call "dominant" but I see her as confident and fair. She is the most easy going relaxed dog who completely trusts anything I do to her as well as is fantastic with any and all people, her manners are impeccable. Right there is why I could no longer hold faith in the dominance/ submissive training techniques. My dog is a walking contradiction to that.

Just want to say I never suggested the dog was cowering. But I do feel a dog should feel confident in approaching his partner, us.

I can see the use of negative feedback in training, I am not wholeheartedly force free. But the less force and the more thinking/learning/teaching going on... The more solid the dog in comprehension of what I want and ability to preform.

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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:43 am

@katiesham wrote:
What are you supposed to do when a dog bites on your arm if you're not to be somewhat aggressive with it? Not trying to be rude, but I don't know what the "positive" way to handle that would be.

I just don't feel physically forcing a dog onto the ground and holding it down was a solution, it's not looking at why the dog bit in the first place...
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:44 am

@katiesham wrote:
What are you supposed to do when a dog bites on your arm if you're not to be somewhat aggressive with it? Not trying to be rude, but I don't know what the "positive" way to handle that would be.

The goal is to prevent bites. If a dog is so over threshold that it needs to resort to biting (the final step) the window for learning, I feel, has passed in that moment.

For example: Odin used to be very snatchy with food and would guard anything. If I were to straight up grab him or anything he had during that time, I would get bitten. So instead of pushing him to that limit we worked on breaking the train of thought which occurred before that. Through set-ups and keeping him put up during food prep or making dinner during our training (to prevent pushing him beyond his ability) we made it into a game. *item is dropped* *dog orients to handler for even TASTIER item* *celebration*




/// I just need to say I feel this discussion of force vs. force free training is something that would be beneficial to everyone and want to encourage those interested to ask questions and challenge APPROPRIATELY. Please- do not be negative and only contribute positively (which doesn't mean you have to agree!)

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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:51 am

@arooroomom wrote:

The goal is to prevent bites. If a dog is so over threshold that it needs to resort to biting (the final step) the window for learning, I feel, has passed in that moment.

I agree with that and that it's better to not give them a chance to make a mistake and praise for good behavior than it is to correct afterwards.

I guess I was more so asking about when I does happen, how you should go about correcting that situation or if you're suggesting that you should do your best to end the situation and move on without correcting. That has less to do with training and this thread in general, but was just curious.
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:16 am

If he made an indication, I would have mentioned it.

I've raised a number of dogs for myself and others at this point, after all.

No offense, I just feel like a lot of this is straight from the manual, and in practice, I've found the manual works really well for a well balanced puppy you start with, but creativity takes the cake for client dogs.

Almost anyone can raise their own dogs pretty well, is all.
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:34 am

This is definitely one of those topics that can get heated, I'm glad it's all civil and staying that way Smile
I think the whole "alpha dog" language has a bad rep from the days of shock collars and whatnot. But really, while I don't think everything can be boiled down to that, it is something to take into consideration. Honestly, people have "alpha" roles too, in the sense that we know who is in charge, and who we can walk all over. IMO
I met one of the nicest, best behaved dogs I've ever met today. She approached with ears back, tail wagging, kind of like how Dexter is now approaching Karissa. But she let me pet her, kissed me, she was the nicest thing, not fearful at all. And super super well behaved. And cuddly. And I even felt confident letting Korra off leash with her on a short hike/play in the woods. And I'd steal her in a heartbeat lol. I digress. But really, best dog ever. And that dog has always been like that. Maybe Dexter's just that sort of dog, if he'd started out on a better foot with his initial training and boundary setting. I say, if what Eric and Karissa are doing is working, why stop? And it sounds like it does. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:59 am

@K9_Eric wrote:
No offense, I just feel like a lot of this is straight from the manual, and in practice, I've found the manual works really well for a well balanced puppy you start with, but creativity takes the cake for client dogs.

Almost anyone can raise their own dogs pretty well, is all.

No offense is taken Eric. For the record I've only raised one of my dogs from puppyhood Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:07 am

Okay, fair enough point.

I want to pose a question, Kristina

You put down a pie,
Dog sticks face in pie
You tell the dog "no" and move his face from the pie
He looks at you and puts his face back in pie
You attempt to correct him with the martingale and he snaps out vocally while trying to bite your arm, whiich he does get into his mouth.

What happens next, at your kennel?
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:23 am

The pie is put down and the dog is told to leave it, the dog thinks about it and orients to me in which we mark and reward, go away from the pie still celebrating and return to proof the leave it. In my house "leave it" means do not touch it unless I give it to you and tell you to take it. I don't set my dogs up to let them fail. I want them to succeed so there is no fighting factor of the "leave it" being blown off and getting the item.

If for whatever reason I ended up in that scenario I would switch gears completely and come back to a food oriented session after success with something I know the dog is very capable of. At which point I would make sure the dog or myself isn't at a place to snap/ be snapped at.

I am not afraid of getting bitten- i feel getting bitten is a fail on my part. And have used force and scruffing many times to end fights or get control of an out of control situation. I am not against that at all. But I am against setting the dog up to make a mistake just so I can correct them.

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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:44 am



The pie wasn't a training tool, mind you. It was really my pie as I was saying goodbye to everyone, an hour after the end of the hour long session.

Dexter doesn't know Leave it, yet. He knows No. I've spent 2 hours and some extra with the client. We will get there.

As for setting the dogs up to fail, what good is the training, if you never actually know that it works in practice? If I always leave my dinner on my china hutch when I use the restroom, and tell the dogs at my house "leave it", of course they don't get it. The whole point of the command is to leave my plate on the coffee table. They should choose to submit to the command, and they should choose to submit every time. I know my dogs will leave it, because they'll get rewarded for leaving it, and punished for eating it. They find it better to not eat from the plate, because the steak may be tastier than the treat, but the treat doesn't come with a flick to the nose and being sent to hang out alone outside for a minute.

So, you would let him bite you, and not correct him biting you, and just try to do some commands? That doesn't sound great.

I am not afraid of being bit, but I would like to keep some of my limbs intact. I wouldn't always consider being bit a fail. The ex-combat dogs literally spring out of the kennel and try to kill you the moment the kennel door opens, when you first bring them in. Some dogs just know to bite from the beginning. I don't accept bites, because bites get dogs killed.

I apologise for the direct addressing of your post, id use fancy quotes, but my phone isn't that useful..

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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:03 am

@K9_Eric wrote:
As for setting the dogs up to fail, what good is the training, if you never actually know that it works in practice?

That's what proofing is for. And where did I say there aren't practical implications to what I train? I don't think I did Smile

Quote :
So, you would let him bite you, and not correct him biting you, and just try to do some commands? That doesn't sound great.

No it sounds really stupid and could have totally been avoided, to be honest. Which I why I wouldn't push the dog to that point, Eric. That was your scenario- not mine.

Quote :
Some dogs just know to bite from the beginning. I don't accept bites, because bites get dogs killed.

No- human lack of training and respect for an animal gets dogs killed. Dogs speak dog. Dog language is full of small things our human brains are more than willing to overlook as frivolous details. Dogs don't just bite. They don't. And if they do its because someone has trained that dog to do so- inadvertently or otherwise.


I just want to remind you I am not attacking you as your last post seemed a bit harsher. I used to share the same view totally, and only wished someone would have shown me "force free" isnt as dumb and useless as the traditional trainers say. I feel, personally, I could have been a lot further along at this point. That being said I'm happy I'm not "anti everything" that a lot of people are who promote different training views.

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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:35 am

Like I said, everyone wants different things from their dogs.

For whatever reason I have yet to totally figure out the dog snaps at people, unexpectedly, immediatly as a reaction to surprise and apparently correction. You don't get to choose what the dog will suddenly deem a bitable offense. Not every dog is exactly textbook the same. Not every bite comes with warnings.

You still aren't addressing the actual bite. A client dog actually biting you. That's what I'm interested in. How do you handle it once the dog has just bitten your arm, without giving warning aside from the snarl they emit as they bite. You can say you'd just avoid it, but that's avoiding the question too..

Well, when it boils down to a court case, dogs that bite get killed. Id love for the world to view it like a trainer sees it, but it doesn't. I worked at a kennel that evaluated and rehabilitated, or in some cases gave the euthanize order on court case dogs. They don't get much benefit of the doubt.

I don't mean to be harsh toward you, I am kind of rough and short in general. Always point it out when I start being a bit gritty, because sometimes my boat talk comes through, and I don't notice Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:02 pm

Wow that is a lot of information to absorb. . . Lots of great points made though.

Just want to add a couple points and maybe get some feedback on them. . .

First the "Pack" or "Alpha" issue, I still train with the "pack" mentality or the "alpha" roll. That said, I am beginning to think that maybe my idea of "pack" and "alpha" are quite a bit different from other perspectives. What I mean when I think of "pack" and "alpha" come from watching packs of dogs interact with one another.

For example, my parents have three female dogs and if you watch them interact Paige is definitely the Alpha of their little pack. The other two dogs show her the utmost respect, she eats first, they clean her, etc. They do not exhibit traditional aggressive or submissive behaviors toward one another. Paige leads the others gracefully but will give a little growl for correction when one is needed. In short, watching them interact it is clear that Paige is respected and trusted but also respects and trusts. As such, this is how I lead my pack at home, I give respect and love and trust but also demand the same in return. My pup counts on me for food, training, exercise, health, etc. I provide for her and she respects me in turn.

Second the biting issue, I have found in practice that making biting or nipping uncomfortable is a great tool to use in addition to other bite inhibition training. Granted it may not be appropriate for every trainer, every owner or every dog. But it can be a useful tool in teaching a dog that teeth on skin is NEVER appropriate.

I also agree that once a dog bites, our legal system does not give the dog much benefit of the doubt and they are certainly not innocent until proven guilty. Many dogs every year get put down over a bite that could have been avoided or in some cases (i.e. protection of home and family) was warranted.

For example, our shelter put a dog down just a couple years ago because it attacked and bit a criminal who had broken into the dog's home while the family was at work and attempted to rob them. This caused a huge uproar in the community, but the dog had already been euthanized so there wasn't much that could be done.
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:07 pm

@K9_Eric wrote:
You still aren't addressing the actual bite. A client dog actually biting you. That's what I'm interested in. How do you handle it once the dog has just bitten your arm, without giving warning aside from the snarl they emit as they bite. You can say you'd just avoid it, but that's avoiding the question too..


I did address the actual bite. But the way I go about the situation is differently than you would. If I have a collar sensitive dog, I'm not going to grab it by the collar. If I have a dog that I don't know, chewing a bone... I'm not going to tell it "no" and reach for the bone. In all of those scenarios I am expecting a "difficult" dog to react with a bite. So- why push it to bite?

If for whatever reason I pushed a dog to bite I would try my hardest to not react and switch gears totally. Take the dog out of the situation, alleviate the stress, play an easy "fun" training game, and circle back to our problem area adjusting to the point where the dog is more comfortable and won't react. My end game is not having the dog react.

You may not consider it an answer because in traditional training a dog who bites needs to be corrected, in mine... A dog shouldn't be immediately brought to the point of biting but instead be shown there is either a) no reason to react out of fear/aggression or b) there are more appropriate means of communication which are better and prove better results than biting.

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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:15 am

He gets collar corrections without issue 99% of the time.
Just like he gets corrected for food without issues 99% of the time.
Its not fair to assume he's collar sensitive, or that my covered pie he had to put his face all over would have been a problem. He wasn't snatchy with food or treats during training that day, and wasn't very pushy about my pie. He had one incident in his eval, for the same kind of thing, but one multi-faceted incident isn't really much to make decisons on.

I don't disagree with your method as far as a way to train a dog. I guess I just don't see why the dog, when faced with the same parameters, decides to react differently when biting = fetch, or some other kind of training. Nothing happened for the dog to decide, "Oh, I shouldn't bite at them when they interrupt me from doing my thing". I mean, yes, over time your dog will be obedient, but they still don't assossciate biting people with not being allowed.


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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:58 am

My son got snapped at again today. He came up behind Dexter to ask me a question in the kitchen. Dexter was fixated on me hoping to get food/treats. Dex snapped at my son before I even knew he had come into the kitchen. I had a talk with my son (again) about coming up behind Dexter when he wasn't looking (after I dealt with dexter). I instantly had a talk with Dexter letting him know I didn't find that acceptable, and he got a time out outside. Which he whined about the whole time.
My mother witnessed the exchange, and had to excuse herself to keep from saying something to me she would regret.
If I was any less determined to make this situation work, the dog would have been out of my house the second time he snapped at my child and the situation was brushed off like it was nothing by the dog's PREVIOUS owner. I am considering Dexter to be my dog now. If the boyfriend wants to leave at some point, fine. But the dog stays with me.

I plan on taking both my son and Dexter to a dog park for bonding time this weekend. I think developing their relationship will help drastically. And have our 3rd training session with Eric on Monday. I believe we are focussing on food training.
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:07 am

Its safe to say he doesn't like being startked when he wants food..

That's what we need to work on to solve his snappiness.

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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:40 pm

I think some bonding time is a good idea. I'm glad Dexter has you to help him through learning his manners.

I think as far as biting goes, there needs to be some kind of immediate correction. Not only for human safety, but for the safety of the dog. I'm not saying it needs to be super aggressive or mean, but holding his nose and giving him a loud "NO" at least. In this case a child is in the house, so it's even more important Dexter realizes that snapping in any way is not acceptable. Just my 2 cents. Everyone trains differently and that's how it should be, our dogs are as different as we are and have different needs.
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:52 pm

I started out by holding his muzzle shut when he snapped, and that was a giant trigger for him. It caused him to bite again. So I tried putting the palm of my hand between his eyes and applying light pressure. It's like an instant pause button. He can't see, but I'm not restraining him in any way, and he knows I don't like what he's doing. If he bites, I stick my pointer finger towards the back of his throat and he backs off instantly.
Dex started to snap at me last night and caught himself as maybe a single tooth brushed my arm and he stopped and pulled away. Must have realized it was a bad idea. I'm so proud!!! He's learning!!
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:25 pm

@goaliechick41 wrote:
Dex started to snap at me last night and caught himself as maybe a single tooth brushed my arm and he stopped and pulled away. Must have realized it was a bad idea. I'm so proud!!! He's learning!!

Or he's begun to associate a negative reaction to his bites and is avoiding the negative reaction. Unfortunately the underlying issue still prompts him to snap.

An article by a Rotti breeder I read a few weeks ago: http://www.wittenhauskennels.com/articles-dog-bite-discipline.html

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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:48 pm

I understand you think pinning the dog was too much.
I think biting is too much.
You're unwavering in your belief.
So am I.

As long as you're reading articles, http://leerburg.com/corrections.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Dexter the Siberian Husky - New training client   Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:54 pm

I'm just adding to the conversation, Eric. Not meaning to undermine. I feel people should have access to both ways of thinking/training. There's nothing wrong with that.

And I have read many of leerburgs articles. Some I enjoy, others I do not agree with Smile

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