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Thread: Trainingresistant BC?

  1. #21
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    Just a little update on our Rox. We are getting there The instances where she freezes in fear are pretty rare these days and I'm also getting much better reading her. When she now avoids eye contact I just give her more space and she'll reward me right away with eye contact. As i said. She trains me well The last few months we have all been very busy and I didn't have time for training. So we just spent time having fun together and building our relationship... As a result she is a lot more relaxed around me now and I'm now going to start on learning new things with her.

    I sometimes think she is getting a little bored with us now, which is a good sign. Maybe. Well, better bored than freaking out! She is taking on odd jobs, such as keeping the green patch in front of our house bird free! No bird is allowed to sit there anymore and she'll patrol the deck to make damn sure no bird dares to land on her grass. I sometimes wish I could tell her to extend her activities a little to the left, where the same birds continue to raid our plum tree completely unhindered. sigh.

    Last week I gave them a bone and while Nero took his and settled under a bush to spend the next hours gnawing away, she didn't eat hers. She'd put it in the middle of the garden and hid under a bush watching it. Everytime a bird came a little too close for comfort she'd shoot out from underneath the bush, barking her head off to chase the little birdy away. Then she'd retreat again under her bush, uttering swearwords and settle down, waiting for the next bird. She did that for hours!

    She is bored, right?

    That's a picture of her in 'the zone'...
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    Last edited by margoo; 12-28-2013 at 11:18 PM.

  2. #22
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    hyacynth, she didnt alpha roll her dog, the dog in 'collapse' mode, rolls onto its back.
    hey margoo. just wanted to come out supporting you, and any other, that has a dog, that is not lassie it must really miff you to have a bc like this. Surely its a given, obedience/bc's so doubly distressing perhaps.

    I think the ball maybe your solution, your communication tool, your reward, your motivator. forget food, some dogs just are not interested, and high prey drive = adrenalin = appetite suppressant, so forget it for a dog that's 'in the zone'.

    my body language issues are similar to yours. I lean over unconsciously. I do to my dogs, what my foreigner hubby does to me, i repeat what the receiver did not understand, mistaking confusion for deafness, not the same thing at all. and i know how friggin annoying it is to ask 'what do you mean?' and be told the same exact thing, exactly the same way aggghhhhh. must drive dogs nuts too?

    good luck, and well done for hangin in there for the first year. Thankfully, you have another 4 legged trainer to assist on recalls etc. Copying will do, its what im using on a recall right now. Has the same affect as calling the Brian, if i call one of the others who does a recall prefectly. Its all good training. ie. it still counts shit loads in my book, as i can clip a leash on dopey dog on return by it following others.

  3. #23
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    I enjoyed reading that update, Margoo. I laughed at the bone story. It's better than just immediately burying the bone like Banjo tends to do.

    And Rox is just beautiful.

  4. #24
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    About the Alpha roll thing - yes. I misread the original post.

    Lovely update, Margoo.

    All the time, every day you are with a dog - is a training opportunity. Pretty sure yours will work for praise or just another job to do. Eg if she does the sit (ask for it random like anywhere you are together), ask her to do something else like a drop or a stand... Ie for dogs like her, the reward can be another job to do.

  5. #25
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    I dont think she's training resistant ... I think you have a combination of her getting out of doing things with her learned behaviour and she's confused with your actions as your communication isn't clear.

    Your dog isn't deaf. You only ask a dog to do something once before you make an action to change it or help the dog. Look at the sit - you're now in a routine of her rolling, avoidance behavior etc and you repeating yourself and escalating your own body language and tone before she sits. Ask her once, give her a second then put her into a sit position and reward. You have problems because your foundations are not set properly, not because she can't be trained. Of course it gets worst and more frustrating as you both roll on as the dog keeps pulling out behaviours that elicit frustration in you as the handler. Treat her like a baby, tell her once, help her out and if she tries to roll over put her up into an upright position or hold the leash tight so she cant get down and wait her out.

    She has drive, loads of it. She doesn't know how to satisfy those drives with interaction with you though hence you find she doesn't want rewards or 'work' for them from you. Her nerve might not be the best BUT she needs to learn to cope with your body language and the world around her.

    Take a look at Leerburg.com and Michael Ellis on Youtube. Harness her drive on an object and remember all rewards need to be earned. Don't want to take it fast? Miss out. Never push a reward onto your dog (OK, I do force feed sometimes but that is in extreme cases of freeze where I shove fresh food into the mouth to elicit the food response to snap them out of it)

  6. #26
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    Nah Nekhbet, I don't think you're right on this one. I know you're a trainer and know a lot more about dog training and behaviour and all. But what you suggest just ads pressure and I think that's really counterproductive for her. I want her to focus and think with me. And I feel the only way I can get her to do that is by keeping her relaxed. She is a smart girl, but she'll tune out when she gets anxious.

    I actually did what you suggested once, many months ago and in utter frustration. She refused to sit and just avoided eye contact, so I leaned forward and 'helped' her into the sit position. I find 'helped' is the wrong word because she resisted and I ended up forcing her bum to the ground. Apart from the fact that I would be worried to hurt her doing that all the time, she was just scared and confused by the experience. Her bum propelled upwards as soon as I removed my hand as if it had a spring built in and so she was standing in front of me again - looking the other way. So I said 'sit' again and sure enough she flopped onto her back... I never tried that again.

    I find the best way to deal with her withdrawal is to give her space. I know that she knows the command now and when she doesn't sit right away I take a little step back, make sure i'm still standing straight and don't lean forward and say it again in exactly the same voice. So far (touch wood) it always worked. She isn't stubborn or unwilling - she just genuinely can't focus when stressed.

    So now I'm going to introduce new commands... That's going to be fun! I have to admit I'm putting it off because I'm a worried that we'll end up in the same frustrated spot again where we were some months ago. We have started on 'down' but unfortunately Nero isn't a terribly good role model on this one as he hates it.

  7. #27
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    hi Margoo

    Part of the training with a smart dog - is working through frustration and stress - for both you and the dog.

    Shaping tricks is a good way to practice this. And you can start somewhere really familiar and comfortable.

  8. #28
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    I actually did what you suggested once, many months ago and in utter frustration. She refused to sit and just avoided eye contact, so I leaned forward and 'helped' her into the sit position. I find 'helped' is the wrong word because she resisted and I ended up forcing her bum to the ground. Apart from the fact that I would be worried to hurt her doing that all the time, she was just scared and confused by the experience. Her bum propelled upwards as soon as I removed my hand as if it had a spring built in and so she was standing in front of me again - looking the other way. So I said 'sit' again and sure enough she flopped onto her back... I never tried that again
    I'll tell you where you went wrong in that particular situation. 1) you got frustrated first. She went into avoidance and then instead of backing off which her behavior is trying to make you do, you forced her bum down. 2) You pushed her past the point of understanding so she resorted to old behaviors and you gave in. I would never tell anyone to make a dog do something if manipulating the dog is going to cause physical harm. But when you push her bum down, you kneel down with her, pat her, she will be tense and stiff, nervous, but you keep gently patting and soothing her in the position until she relaxes. Go back to good old fashioned bonding too.

    Compulsion is not about forcing the dog, that's where the problem is. If the dog is resisting that hard and avoiding you, then she rolled over (which of course makes you back off and stops you trying to get her to do things) she's got what she wanted. You help the dog calmly and quietly, if you have to pat the dog gently, get in there and try and relax the dog with physical touch and then gently manipulate into position it can work. I've worked with dog literally frozen, helped them into position and even force fed to get the brain moving into a better place.

    This is the thing about the internet, too much gets lost in translation and I'm better when I show people lol

  9. #29
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    I know when I go out with Maggie especially when she had awful recall people would think it either hilarious or strange that I had a BC that wasn't completely obedient.
    At the obedience training she was by far the most distractible and disobedient one! I found it embarassing until I just got over it and got on with working with her where she was.

  10. #30
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    I think that's the thing with BCs - they are so insanely smart - if they learn they can train their owners - the owners are in deep trouble.

    Dogs aren't great at choosing what's in their own best interests.

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