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Thread: Walking out with dogs. is this some form of training?

  1. #1
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    Default Walking out with dogs. is this some form of training?

    I want some opinion, especially the pro's here....please.
    I have 2 dogs, that i have had since pups.
    As pups, they first learnt to 'follow me' around the garden - off leash
    they had the luxury of living rurally, so staying off leash is normal. I have to make a special effort to use a leash with my older 2 dogs.

    Now, im no dog trainer, and this could be a load of mumbo jumbo. But i believe, that when i believe the dog will return, when i dont even look to see if its following, it is. When i see and hear my son's doubt, when recalling his dogs, i wonder, he's almost setting this up to fail. Do you think there's anything in, a dog responding to your anticipated outcome, somehow being communicated to the dog.

    Or is it that the behaviour of walking out daily, forms a bond, that encourages following?
    this is badly formed. Im still mulling it over.

  2. #2
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    erm.

    My dog is quite the forager, and the go say hello-er, and scavange treats of anyone else who has them.

    And she's happily gone to anyone from when she was tiny - my fault for letting her off lead before I had solid recall - and she was also impossible to catch for the first 12 months. I'd have to get help or use tricks like hiding or going up stairs (narrow stairs were never fail - cos she just LOVES being up high).

    I never trust that she will just follow me. And at the moment we don't have a "classically conditioned" recall either. Tho it's 90% there.

  3. #3
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    yes bernie you are right.
    i would call it a passive conditioning to follow from a young age.
    where as most are made to follow on lead.
    this would encourage a more nature willingness to follow and build more of a trust to follow rather being "made" to.

  4. #4
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    I also think there could be a genetic component, either breed or personality. In general I am hard put to get my cattle dogs to leave my side. If they do go ahead they will always check to see where I am and like an invisible leash were attached they will stop at a certain distance and wait or come back. My others are more inclined to spread their wings although they will come when called.

  5. #5

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    I think there's going to be a very strong genetic component. My dog is a Dobe/Rottie cross and those breeds have a history of guarding people, so I didn't really have to do anything in the way of training to get him to want to follow me and be close to me.

    I have seen others with dogs like beagles and huskies where despite huge amounts of training, they would still use a lead if ever it was essential that the dog remained along side them. I also agree though that depending on your tone/energy and your relationship with the dog, the handler can impact on whether the dog will choose to respond to a controlling command (one that is not really fun for the dog, that they only obey really because you've asked them to do it - a recall, a sit, down etc rather than a hey, go chase that rabbit kind of command).

    As an example, my dog has a 100% reliable recall now, I can call him off rabbits, other dogs and it's been this way for a while now. But, if someone else tries to call him, although he obviously knows the command and he will stay near them anyway as is his natural inclination, there is a strong chance he will disobey. I recently worked with my new partner to help him change the way he 'asked' Sammy to do things, I felt like I could hear in his voice that he expected to fail and if I could hear it, I'm sure Sammy could.

    I told him to think about it for a moment, he knew Sammy was going to eventually come back, he knows Sammy knows the command and what to do here, so just think about that when you say it instead of imagining the dog disregarding you etc. It's worked and now Sammy will obey him a lot more of the time, that's helped build up his confidence with the dog and so Sammy continues to become more obedient with him.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 01-24-2014 at 12:14 PM. Reason: put some visual breaks (press enter twice) in the text so I can read it

  6. #6
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    my dog likes to know where I am at all times. So if we're places where she's comfortable about what I will do, she will be less careful about keeping an eye on me. If we're somewhere new or unfamiliar she's much more careful.

    But she likes to scout ahead, check for food and danger. I'm not sure I like her doing that but some dogs see that as their role. And she's really good at sniffing things out. Like cats hidden under bushes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    my dog likes to know where I am at all times. So if we're places where she's comfortable about what I will do, she will be less careful about keeping an eye on me. If we're somewhere new or unfamiliar she's much more careful.

    But she likes to scout ahead, check for food and danger. I'm not sure I like her doing that but some dogs see that as their role. And she's really good at sniffing things out. Like cats hidden under bushes.
    One of my cattle dogs would scout ahead and she would also try and make the other dogs keep behind her if one had the audacity to try and overtake her, and always looking back to check where I was, never getting beyond a certain distance.

  8. #8
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    Well you could say "genetic component", but i think the basic term would be natural instinct.
    because's a puppy is just a baby, and you taken them from mum, and taken over the role of mum supplying food and leadership and protection.
    so naturally puppy going to follow and learn from you, and create the bond that will last a life time.
    how you treat them and how much effort you put in to raising them will determine how they are going to turn out and how much respect they will have for you when they are an adult.
    you can't expect a loyal and perfect dog, unless you show them and give them a good reason to.

    a slave imprisoned for life and made to do what you want with no freedom will never respect you.
    but show them boundary's to keep them safe and respect with freedom within certain lines in a way they can understand, and you have a friend for life. and maybe they will jump through that hoop cause they want to impress you out of respect, and not out of fear.

  9. #9
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    I also believe dogs react to the trust/confidence you show them. I discovered this first when I used to walk the GSDs we had when I was a teenager and that I had not trained myself. If I left home with a confident attitude about the dog's training kicking in when needed, we were usually fine. But if I left feeling worried about whether he might disobey me and run off (he only did so to chase moving objects like cars or trains!), there seemed to be a higher occurrence of this type of disobedience. This was purely circumstantial evidence of course, but it made me eventually come to the conclusion that I owe it to my dog to trust her good intentions. After all, what else do we do all this training for?!

    So I also just keep walking and only look back if I think there is something near us that requires me to manage my dog, like a kangaroo or another dog. Otherwise, I assume my dog will follow. And she does, but there is no set rule about the distance she needs to keep, apart from: keep me in her sight. When she was younger, if I noticed that she'd stayed too far behind or ran away from me to explore, I would simply hide behind a tree and wait. It is her responsibility to watch where I'm going because I am her most valuable resource! I try hard to avoid giving any dog the impression that I'll go looking for them if they wander off. A couple of weeks ago I actually got in the car and drove off when Banjo wasn't with me when I got to the carpark!!! (We still had our foster dog and there'd been some commotion with her and a passing dog and Banjo got fed up waiting apparently.) I only drove to the end of the short road and then turned back (and only then realised that I now wasn't on her side of the road anymore - doh!). I drove back into the carpark just after Banjo had arrived there and told her that next time I'd just drive home without her. lol!

  10. #10
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    there's no way I'd drive off and leave Frosty for ignoring me. That only encourages car chasing in a dog prone already to that. Yikes.

    But I've seen other people say it works. I've gone as far as getting, shutting the door and starting the engine (park brake still on). But gets no reaction from her when she's in "keep away" mood. Sometimes it's because she just needs another couple of minutes to have a crap before getting in the car. Go figure. So if I give her enough warning that we're leaving - like a long on lead walk back to the car - she will do the crap in a more timely fashion. The things the dog is trained (me) to do...

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