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Thread: Victoria Stillwell on positive reinforcement training

  1. #11
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    I do want to control my dog so she is pleasant to be around both for me and other people. She doesn't get consequences and dangers so learning to 'come 'and 'stop' and 'leave it' are devices to keep her safe. I can't take to Cesare Milan because he is so convinced he is always right and no one is, a little humility goes a long way when dealing with another species. I much prefer firmness to alpha dominance over a dog that will just become fearful.
    If they are scared whoever is training them has missed their way as far as I am concerned. (Mind you Maggie has never snitched a book off the bookshelf since the heavy Excel For Dummies fell off the shelf and landed by her nose with a very large thud!.. she shrieked and ran.. dangerous things books)
    When we raise out children we learn from many sources and no one way is the right way for every child even within a family group so why on earth would one way be right for every dog! I expect to learn how to train Maggie from several sources, this forum being one of them. I listen to advice and filter it with my common sense and knowledge of my dogs temperament and preferences.
    It is not either/ or for me, I can probably learn something from both Cesar and Victoria, but wouldn't take everything they propose as necessarily useful.

  2. #12
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    If I had listened to "only positive reinforcement trainers" there would be no Annabelle..........Their only suggestion was PTS

    I like using what i need to help a dog..Assess the dog, sort the training required to help the Handler and owner.

    I did most of Delta ( I was doing Delta, whilst I got Annabelle) and went to NDTF and just went to many, many different trainers to learn in the past five years....The ones who helped every dog were the open minded ones.

    Personally I still believe good leadership is very important
    Pets are forever

  3. #13
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    I use both methods, don't really understand why anyone would want to limit themself to just one methodology. Naturally I prefer to be an inspiring leader to follow but some dogs have ingrained problems or time limits which means you have to use every method available to you until you find the one that works or that you can carry thru with.

  4. #14
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    Coming from 5 years of abuse, I had HUGE behavioural problems with Scrappy, on lead (other dogs) aggression ( not with my 2 in the home), visitor aggression, all sorts.

    To be honest I didnt find that positive reinforcement or firm leadership made much difference.
    All dogs are individual and I think its a case of learning your dogs individual personality and sometimes putting together a method that works for you, yourself.
    I took some of my behaviouralists ideas, Amichien bonding and Calming Signals For Dogs. Towards the end Scrappy was improving heaps with visitors and with his on lead aggression, but then sadly and unexpectedly was PTS.
    Trouble is with Pound dogs you just dont know what psychological torture they have been through especially when their previous owner has had them for years and years : ( I remember 2 years into having him we were out on a quiet walk together and i took off my thong had a thorn in my foot, looked over at Scrappy and he was at the end of the lead cowering and shaking thinking I was going to hit him with my shoe.......... and that was after 2 years of solid love and affection.... : ( I mean really who knows what the correct answer is, firm leadership, calming signals, positive reinforcement, sometimes I had no clue what to do and part of that problem was so many differing opinions on how to "cure" an aggressive dog (fear aggression, I should add) ....

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bella44 View Post
    Coming from 5 years of abuse, I had HUGE behavioural problems with Scrappy, on lead (other dogs) aggression ( not with my 2 in the home), visitor aggression, all sorts.

    To be honest I didnt find that positive reinforcement or firm leadership made much difference.
    All dogs are individual and I think its a case of learning your dogs individual personality and sometimes putting together a method that works for you, yourself.
    I took some of my behaviouralists ideas, Amichien bonding and Calming Signals For Dogs. Towards the end Scrappy was improving heaps with visitors and with his on lead aggression, but then sadly and unexpectedly was PTS.
    Trouble is with Pound dogs you just dont know what psychological torture they have been through especially when their previous owner has had them for years and years : ( I remember 2 years into having him we were out on a quiet walk together and i took off my thong had a thorn in my foot, looked over at Scrappy and he was at the end of the lead cowering and shaking thinking I was going to hit him with my shoe.......... and that was after 2 years of solid love and affection.... : ( I mean really who knows what the correct answer is, firm leadership, calming signals, positive reinforcement, sometimes I had no clue what to do and part of that problem was so many differing opinions on how to "cure" an aggressive dog (fear aggression, I should add) ....
    Amichien bonding and Calming Signals For Dogs is all about Leadership....Leadership is calming for a dog. Dogs love to follow and find it less confusing if we take up good Leadership. The first thing you do in Amichien bonding is gain Leadership. Ignore when you come home, ignore when you leave. be in control on the walk......

    I deal a lot with aggressive dogs and ex pound/rescue dogs. Leadership is usually where we start, but it is not done by force

    Amichien bonding is also about a lot of positive reinforcement, especially when doing the walking and general training. And if you follow Turid Rugaas for the calming signals, she also uses a lot of positive reinforcement.
    Pets are forever

  6. #16
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    I totally agree Newfsie, its a form of leadership but very gentle, I dont believe in choke chains/ punishment or anything like that. Well frankly you cant even use choke chains etc on tiny dogs because you can collapse their windpipe by using them - I would never use anything like that, shock collars etc, positive leadership is the way to go as far as I am concerned, but even then if a dog has been abused deliberately over a long period of time, a bit like people with post traumatic stress disorder, there is only so much that you can do as a layman : ) Well thats what I found anyway : )
    With Scrappy a lot was about management, he never met any children, never really met any strange dogs etc. Still, I loved him to bits, still would not have missed him in my life for even one second. Never, ever regretted having my angel in my life either, not for one second. As stressful as it was at times, I would do it all again in less than a heartbeat : ) I met a poor man the other day who had a dog aggressive German Shepherd weighing in at 29 kilos, made me feel better about having to handle Scrappy who when all was said and done I could always pick up and remove from a situation at only 4 kilos : ) : ) Luckily that guy had started with an Animal Behaviouralist so Ive got my fingers crossed for him : )

  7. #17
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    Sometimes to save a dog you do have to use the more aversive techniques...never say never. i quite happily, correctly use a check chain on a dog that will not be managed any other way. A check chain used correctly is fine. the E-collar when used appropriately and correctly can save a stock-chaser from being PTS. and if that is what it takes I will use it too.

    I prefer to start with positive reinforcement training, especially if you get them from puppy. But I will use anything else if it will save the dog and make the dog happy and not PTS or re-homed.

    And if you get to work with aggressive large over 50kg dogs, you do have to use every method available to you. Assess the dog and use what it needs.......
    Pets are forever

  8. #18
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    I would agree with these being used for a stock chaser, etc , but my dogs have always been tiny mixed breeds, (all rescue dogs I might add, never from BYB /petshop.)
    And yes positive reinforcement is perfect if you get a dog from a puppy, sadly it is much harder work when you take on an older dog who has been abused / physically neglected/ never socialised. And for over 50k dogs I would agree that you would have to use every method available : )

  9. #19
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    we work at opposite ends...I take on large rescues (and small) But I really am a big dog person. Have two small fosters at present from a puppy farm. They are getting it together and are quite cute, but I could never imagine keeping them forever.......
    Pets are forever

  10. #20
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    Thats so funny cos Ive never been attracted to big dogs lol Nothing against them whatsoever, they dont scare me or anything like that, its just not me, and as I say its great with the tiny ones, when you have an issue or problem, ie when they have a bad thorn in their foot needing tweezers or something cos you can just pick them up and walk lol.

    I like terriers though because they are fiesty and strong little buggers, and Scrappy I loved because he was very vocal, (and I dont just mean barking) Pookie is a jack russell terrier/chihuahua cross and Scrappy was an Australian Terrier/Silky Terrier/dont know what else, cross : )

    Bella is my only soft as butter girl she is a spaniel/poodle cross, not fiesty at all but the comedian of the bunch. Pooks and Scraps are classed as Toy as they are so small and Bella is classed as Small : )

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