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Broken Alpha- (and Some Training)


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#1 Starghoti

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 07:35 AM

BROKEN ALPHA
Some thoughts and things I have learned over the years.

No matter how long you have been 'doing it wrong' - remember, each and every day is a new chance to get it right.
Act as if you have traded your dog for one that looks just like it. And start over fresh.

Being the alpha is a 24/7 job. Not just when it is convenient and necessary.
You cannot slack off. You cannot enforce the rules Part of the Time.
You Must be consistent.

If you get so frustrated you want to hit your dog or yell at your dog, you are doing it wrong.
If, when you are reprimanding your dog- your heart rate or breathing changes- you are doing it wrong.
Take a time out and just go play with them and enjoy their company.

You must calmly and consistently take the lead role.. Or they will.
You go through the door first,
You eat first,
You have your choice of locations to rest - couch/bed/chairs
(Mine will readily scoot over for us if we want to sit where they are)
You require your dog to do something for you- to get something they want
(wanna go out to play? you gotta sit for a moment first)
You want your dog to stop barking? You need to acknowledge the reason of the alarm and then quietly ask them to stop
(you do not yell at them, that is merely barking along and egging them on) And Then PRAISE them when they are quiet!
Never let your dog play Keep Away with you. It is only asking for trouble.
You need to learn to anticipate their behaviors and plan your responses.
You are the one with the thumbs and higher brain functions- you can do this...
Punishing your dog 15 minutes after they get it wrong makes as much sense as rewarding them 15 min after they get it right. What behavior are you punishing for???

The best thing you can do for your dog is to set them up to succeed.
Give them opportunities to make correct choices and praise them for getting it right.

Teach your dog to be giddy/happy to have their collar grabbed- not to shy away. Give them treats! Grab-Treat-Praise (rinse repeat) until you are sick of it and your dog is thrilled to have their collar grabbed. It could save their life! Think of dangerous situations such as Traffic, when- if they shy away, it could kill them. And while you are at it, teach them that the faster they come- the More/Better treats they get!

Shaping their behavior and rewarding to get what you want is preferable to threats and punishment to not get what you don't.
Shaping-training yields Thinking dogs that Want to get it right :), whereas punishment makes for dogs that are afraid to try... :(


Likely this list of thoughts will grow over time..
"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 

#2 miz molly

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 10:32 AM

Brilliant! I'm going to print this one out and use it PRN (whenever needed). Thanks Star, for making this so succinct.
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~John Muir

#3 DebiSlaughter

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 04:06 PM

Where's the LIKE button?
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#4 Starghoti

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 02:06 AM

Thanks guys!

I plan to add 'installments' every day or 3

Today's thought: When you are teaching your dog something new, like "sit," Do NOT use the word sit, at first. Sounds crazy- I know, but they don't know what the word means, and until you can illicit the correct behavior, you are only teaching them that the word means things other than to put your backside on the ground. Best to learn to anticipate when and how you can get them to sit on their own, and give them a treat for doing it. Then, after a few dozen times you can consistently do that, THEN add a physical signal- hand sign or some such right before they sit, Rinse/Repeat another dozen times- stretching the time delay by tiny increments. When you have a consistent sit to hand signal, add the word. R/R the delay of the Word before the hand signal, and watch the magic. They will learn to anticipate your wanting them to sit when they hear the word, and will do it easily.

I tested this method on JJ, works Fabulously. No butt shoving, no 'manhandling' him into the position, no treat luring. He just sits.

I am using this method almost exclusively now, and I have a wonderful problem-solving thinking dog. Yay!
Taught him 2 new tricks yesterday using this method. To stand on a board with all 4 feet, and a new move for Freestyle Frisbee. And, after only a dozen or so repetitions, he is pretty solid on them both now.
"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 

#5 Starghoti

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 07:36 AM

Here is a Fantastic step by step example of Shaping-training

Youtube Lightswitch/Clicker training

She outlines during the video, what is going on.

Another Really Kewl series- (I Love this woman!! She is Fantastic and has a wonderful sense of humor)
How to teach your dog practically Anything- pt 1 Basics
H2TYDPA- pt2 Lure/Reward
H2TYDPA- Pt 3 Shaping
H2TYDPA -Pt 4 Phasing out the food
H2TYDPA -Pt 5 Troubleshooting

Shaping is awesome- They learn to figure things out for themselves...
No lure, no coercion, no negative - Tho it does make the dog think they can turn their human into a treat dispenser- bummer! LOL

And it makes your dog Think- which is something they enjoy doing.
"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 

#6 Allison

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:53 AM

I still have not had a chance to view these in full, and look forward to it, but I wanted to pass on a story that Kim told me, that will add to this discussion.

Chawa only had two pups. Kim says she is a very strict mother, and uses "tough love". She will not let them touch her food, and makes them stay in the dogloo, while she eats. He says they stay there, watching, and do not move until she is done. Thing is, when Kim is working with them, they also give him this respect. Clearly, early learning is useful.

It is so difficult to not spoil little pups, but you have an opportunity to set the tone for your whole life together, and it is much easier when they are young. Spoil them later, if you wish, when they know the limits.

Kim talks about their "tricky little minds"--they will try to work you even at this young stage. And they are really good at it!
One could argue that evolution suggests were not idiots, but I would say, Well, no. Evolution just makes sure were not blithering idiots."

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#7 miz molly

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:29 AM

These video's are awesome. I really like the theory of "shaping." And she makes it look so easy. Looking forward to trying this out today........
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~John Muir

#8 Starghoti

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:43 AM

These video's are awesome. I really like the theory of "shaping." And she makes it look so easy. Looking forward to trying this out today........


Bear in mind, if your dog is not used to 'offering' behaviors it can take a little while for them to get the hang of it.

I like the "It's your choice" game to teach them to offer.
That is where you sit with a handful of treats. Open palm.
If your dog goes for the treats, you merely close your hand- so they can't just take them- they have to earn them. (teaches restraint)
And when they 'offer behaviors' <as in.. they spontaneously sit>, you 'click' or say "good!" or whatever marker you choose and take a treat with your other hand from the pile and give it to them. Then you wait for another behavior. Say they stand up or lay down, or sneeze or bark or whatever. Doesn't matter, just that they learn to offer behaviors and that you are going to give them treats for doing so.
And you only do it for a minute or two at a time.
Don't frustrate them.
And use high value treats, so they really want to figure it out!

LOL
"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 

#9 Starghoti

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 08:58 AM

Finally found the dang link!

This is how the game is played... :)
"It's Yer Choice 1"

Notice how she is using the method to teach a tiny puppy Self Control!!! If he surges towards the treat/s it goes back in her hand and her hand closes. Kinda like how you stop leaving the house if the dog/s gets crazy.

There is a 2nd stage video too.
"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 

#10 Starghoti

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:33 AM

Well Said!!

Train, don't React.
Kikopup video (3Lost dogs)

More from this wonderful lady
3Lost Dogs
"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 

#11 Karen

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 02:55 PM

Well Said!!

Train, don't React.
Kikopup video (3Lost dogs)

It's so odd to hear someone talk about "training children", and suggest that raising children with dogs would be a good way to teach children that violence is not OK. I agree with her that force is not OK, of course, but when she said she watched a man physically abusing a child and left so she could "get away" from it, I had to remind myself that she was obviously young and clearly more experienced with dogs than kids.
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#12 Starghoti

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 07:59 AM

I know, when I was young(er) I would have tried leaving also. For fear of being assaulted - and would have likely called police from a safer distance. And you forget that society has tried to teach us to 'Mind our own Business.'
I do not fault her for her reaction, and she did ultimately confront the man for being abusive to the child.
But this is not the point of my posting.

The point is: the damage that can be done by training with violence towards children or dogs.
I thoroughly Love this woman's methods, and wholeheartedly encourage you all to try them.
It has done wonders for Tehya and Jasper is a shaping/luring veteran now! LOL

Many years ago I took an "obedience" class where the instructor encouraged us to Hang our dogs by the Choke Chain, to get their attention. I will never forget: She said matter of factly. "It's ok, they have lots of muscle on their necks, they barely feel it. And they feel pain differently than we do anyway."

I have since totally changed my perspective on training. And I encourage my dogs to Want to be with me, because it earns them love and attention, not for fear of punishment. If my dogs are misbehaving and I scold them- They Always Come when Called immediately afterwards! Because they do not fear being punished when they get to me.
"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 

#13 judyk

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:18 AM

I know, when I was young(er) I would have tried leaving also. For fear of being assaulted - and would have likely called police from a safer distance. And you forget that society has tried to teach us to 'Mind our own Business.'
I do not fault her for her reaction, and she did ultimately confront the man for being abusive to the child.
But this is not the point of my posting.

The point is: the damage that can be done by training with violence towards children or dogs.
I thoroughly Love this woman's methods, and wholeheartedly encourage you all to try them.
It has done wonders for Tehya and Jasper is a shaping/luring veteran now! LOL

Many years ago I took an "obedience" class where the instructor encouraged us to Hang our dogs by the Choke Chain, to get their attention. I will never forget: She said matter of factly. "It's ok, they have lots of muscle on their necks, they barely feel it. And they feel pain differently than we do anyway."

I have since totally changed my perspective on training. And I encourage my dogs to Want to be with me, because it earns them love and attention, not for fear of punishment. If my dogs are misbehaving and I scold them- They Always Come when Called immediately afterwards! Because they do not fear being punished when they get to me.



HOLY S@*T!!! Wonder how some people would like to be hung by a choke chain! It boggles my mind -- the mentality and methods of some people!! Grrrrrrrrr!
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#14 Starghoti

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 02:03 AM

I know, Judy.
As I said - this was Many years ago. And that methodology was the norm at the time.
Training by fear and intimidation was the way it was taught by the 'professionals' back then.
"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 

#15 liz

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 02:23 AM

I know, Judy.
As I said - this was Many years ago. And that methodology was the norm at the time.
Training by fear and intimidation was the way it was taught by the 'professionals' back then.



I try to think back to when we used to train Shunka, it all seems a long time ago now!
but whatever we did worked for us, I took him to dog training lessons, and all he wished to do was socialise, like a collie is he I was asked? Can't train them until they are older!
So I decided this wasn't for us, and took on training him myself, we got it wrong sometimes, but as long as he realised I was his boss he was fine.

He is no retriever, can't see the sense of chasing a ball! I love my boy as he is, he still thinks for himself sometimes and often he is right!

He is protective of me and mine, loved by many, I could start a fan club! I wouldn't want any more.

#16 Starghoti

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 09:11 AM

Been a while since I posted on this thread. Sorry, been busy with the 'kids' :)

Found a new link recently that has lots of fun stuff to teach your dog/s
Easy Dog Tricks

I love how she reiterates to shape the behavior first, THEN give it a name/command word.

Have fun folks!
"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 

#17 Starghoti

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 08:43 AM

Got a compliment from someone at the dog park the other day.
"Your dogs never try to escape from YOU."

Nope. I both reward and I'm inevitable.
The inevitable part is "walking down" a dog who tries to avoid you. (tough love)
Patiently, calmly, keep walking back and forth until you've cornered the dog and then with no emotion say, "Okay," and take them by the collar.
They usually only try it once, maybe twice. They learn that I have more stamina and patience than they do. And I am more stubborn. LOL
Besides, no matter how much trouble one of my kids might get into- they know as soon as I say their name and 'come' they are NOT going to be punished when I get ahold of them. And the quickly and readily come straight to me, usually with low posture and 'soft' ears.
At which point they get a kind and heartfelt "Thank you, good dog" and skritches.

Additional note- another person was confounded, when I ask my kids "Are you ready to go home?" and regardless of whether they are truly worn down yet, they always say "Ok Mom" and head for the gate and wait for leashing. No chasing around, or cajoling to entice them to want to go home. They just quickly and happily comply.
Good Dogs! Ok, Let's go... lol
I think there are some that are a tad resentful of this.
"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 

#18 Joanne Frances

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:28 PM

Nami_Exhausted.jpg Nami_Almost_4_months.jpg [at
tachment=4843:Chicken_Anyone..jpg]
Wow! So glad I was able to read this thread tonight. Tomorrow is my first day of obedience classes with Namequa. The new trainer I found is using the techniques described here...and actually, I've been a tad skeptical of and resistant to the whole treating thing. I'm finally getting the idea. I've been thinking of treats more as lures than as rewards. Thank you for starting this whole thread out with a reminder that we'd best forgive ourselves for past mistakes and just get on it with as though we were training a new dog. I love Nami and MooShoo so much, and every day I wish I was a better dog Mom. They are such wonderful dogs. Thanks for the information and the inspiration too.

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#19 Allison

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:05 PM

Good luck with class. Nami is so cute.
One could argue that evolution suggests were not idiots, but I would say, Well, no. Evolution just makes sure were not blithering idiots."

--David Dunning

#20 Starghoti

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 01:35 AM

Nami-kins is a Cutie.
And she is getting So big. They grow up so fast, don't they?

Have fun in your class, and glad I could offer insight.

Let us know how it goes and what you think of the human trainer.
"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 




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