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Thread: Training day

  1. #1
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    Default Training day

    I drove 5 hours yesterday to go to a training day by Underdog Training. They're based in Melbourne, but do these workshops all over the country for rescue organisations.

    If I had known it was going to be that good, I would have tried to get some other dog owners from here to come with me.

    It was a full on day. Lots of information, delivered very fast. She covered lots of basic stuff, but also assumed the attendees had some knowledge of training principles.

    I'm still processing and will have to go through my notes again, but one interesting thing I learnt is that phasing out rewards is not a desired goal. She said she still enforces her terrier's recall 7/10 and her ACD x 4/10! And when I asked, she confirmed that she still calls them regularly only to reward and release too.

    Lots of people would find that demotivating, to have to carry treats forever, but it does make sense that your dog would continue to get paid for the work they do.

    I also learnt that I really need to use food more to my advantage by feeding most of the dogs' meals as treats, particularly when I want to train out unwanted behaviours. But harder when you feed raw though...

    If the trainer's verbal explanations wouldn't have convinced me that she knew what she was talking about, the 2 dogs she brought certainly did. I don't think I've ever met 2 more well behaved, happy dogs. They snoozed in their crate for most of the day, barely looking up at any noise, looking totally relaxed. When they were used as test dogs in the practical demonstration, she put them in a drop and they didn't move or react, even when other dogs lunged at them. Though the older dog did kind of move from his spot by having a good roll on the grass, which wasn't strictly doing what he was told, but very cute to watch.

    In contrast, some of the participants that brought dogs, their own or fosters, showed a total lack of understanding of the basics of conditioning. Some of these dogs got quite stressed/excited by the environment. There was lots of yanking the lead, but not once did the alternative behaviours that they offered again and again get noticed, let alone rewarded in any way.

    So now I'm going to read my notes and think about how to train Banjo to deal better with situations that make her anxious or over excited. I realised she's not as happy as she could be and I'm determined to change that!

  2. #2
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    She said she still enforces her terrier's recall 7/10 and her ACD x 4/10!
    do you mean she rewards her ACD 4 out of 10 recalls? with a treat?

    I forgot the main treats for the beach walk this morning ie the bag full of kibble, but I still had some roo jerky...

    So I wasn't quite the usual vending machine - and I got just as good recalls as with the kibble. Sigh. I didn't get quite so much pocket bashing tho. The vending machine puts out when ever the nose pokes the pocket or the hand... except when the vending machine forgot the food... oops. I should do that more often.

  3. #3
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    Yes, reward with food. She said the 2 dogs she brought would probably not need dinner that night as they'd got it all as rewards throughout the day.

    I only reward Banjo very occasionally for stuff she knows well, like recall. Sometimes I don't for ages. Often I'll only carry treats when we have a foster pup who is still learning. And I definitely don't call her for no reason anymore, unless she didn't come when called and then we'll do a few practices (without reward) before she's allowed to wander further away from me again. But that very rarely happens...

    But I'll start rewarding more again now. And I swear I will finally get around to proofing her drop/stay!

    I'll get some liver to cook for treats and might try some heart too. Then I just have to find a way to keep the 2 dogs' treats apart, so I can keep track of how much each of them gets.

  4. #4
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    I love Tamara's style of training and like her I still use treats, i carry surprises for my dogs and it makes them more relaible as they always live in hope....mine are gamblers, always hoping for a jackpot.

    I went to a few of her workshops in the past.
    Pets are forever

  5. #5
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    And if you were impressed with her two dogs, she always used to take five and they used to just stay on their mat....I do think the more dogs you have the more you expect of them
    Pets are forever

  6. #6
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    It wasn't just their obedience that impressed me. But the fact that they looked so perfectly happy when being made to do nothing. There's no way I would have taken Banjo because I would have felt awfully sorry for having to leave her in the crate for that long. But these dogs didn't mind at all and at no stage did I feel any pity for their situation.

    It made me feel more determined to try desensitise Banjo to people. I always thought it would take value away from her life, but now I realise she would be a lot happier.

  7. #7
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    I got into trouble tonight on the way home... one of my neighbours and friends from dog club was practicing obedience with her new puppy dog. Needs to get him to pass grade 5, needs a good stay...

    but of course the second he spots my dog coming he's not staying... So I cross the road to be on the same side as them in their little bit of park and then I get Frosty do a drop stay and then I get him to - except he's got zero proofing. As long as there's no distraction he's not staying...

    So erm I feel bad to treat frosty and not him but he's not earning the treat so I reset him back into the drop stay (and I had to repeat a verbal to get him there - sigh). and then I try to fake him out which all that took was a shoulder wiggle - and yet Frosty stayed...

    And then the other dog's owner got mad at me... she said - there's no point you training him to stay... I have to - hmm got a point. So I left them there and went home.

    But you have to fake him out and distract him to get a good stay. Ie he understands "stay" so long as there's no distractions - so now she needs to fake him out...

    But she's still with that club that's embedded in the old school training where no distraction training happens... everyone has to be still and quiet when a dog is doing a stay...

  8. #8
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    We work on a beach at lake Lilydale near melbourne and i just leave my dogs, either in the back of our van with the puppy gate and the door open or all tied to the fence there If I crate mine they go to sleep, but i have too many dogs to take crates. Mine love it as they know they will get their turn at doing something. I think it is just a matter of doingit and doing it more. It is the people I have trouble with as they all want to pet our dogs and hug them and such. which four out of six love, but my two boys have led a tough life and are not so sure. but that is the only time my katy will bark, to let me know someone is bothering the boys..or she will stand physically stand in front of them and take all the petting. But the more often we go, now at least once a month, the more used even the boys are getting to it. Practise make perfect. So just keep doing
    Pets are forever

  9. #9
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    Jan 2012
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    Tamara is great. Underdog is not far from me. The good thing about their way of training is that they let you wear whatever training gear is best for your dog. A lot of other classes and clubs in the area say you must only use chains or no chains are loud, etc. They also have great agility gear too

    The other great thing about Tamara and Underdog is that they are a home centre for NDTF students and Tamara does a lecture or two as part of the course.

    Did she have her shepherd there (I think he's a shepherd for memory)? He is so quick to learn new things. She uses shaping for pretty much all his trick training.

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