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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before getting Betty I read Gwen Bailey's ''perfect puppy'' and this has been
pretty much my ''bible'' since. At puppy classes the trainer seems to be
more of the ''pack leader'' school of thought. I have bought a couple books for my forthcoming holiday on Saturday ( the Puppy listener by Jan Fennel
and Don't shoot the dog by Karen Pryour) as they seem to be at opposing ends of the spectrum. Both approaches when written or expalined seem to make perfect common sense and I know the pack leader /Alpha male theory has now been scientifically been disproved ( although science does have a habit of changing it's mind ie what's good to eat one day is bad the next /
globaal warming is now climate change etc..) but was wondering what the concensus on here was.It is hard to follow a training prgramme if you are unsure of the correct starting point. I'm not that happy with classes Betty is
going to and like the sound of clicker training although not read about it in detail yet.. Betty can be quite wilful and I often feel she is only following my
commands when SHE feels like it:):)
 

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Hmm. I'm hmmming because all the training theories you've read I've never heard of. I think you're way ahead of me :D Think I will have to thrash myself with birch for not having planned ahead and thought this through :D;);):D

The only one I have heard of and use is the clicker training method. I guess I kind of fell across it because the puppy training classes I chose fitted my kind of thinking. I know they are too far away for you, but I've attached their website just so you can see there methodology of training dogs:D

http://www.thefamilydog.co.uk/

But you are right, one day things are fashionable and correct, the next they are wrong and why did we think it in the first place :(:confused: You have to go with what suits you, your gut instinct and of course your lovely puppy. :D
 

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I don't think it matters what type of training you use as long as it works for you and your puppy and you're both happy with it! At the end of the day the important thing is that your dog is happy, well socialised and fits into your lifestyle and expectations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, it's a bit like the speying before or after first season question - so many expert opinions but no difinitive!! So confusing for us first time puppy owners:rolleyes::confused:
 

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I am very much a non dominance/pack theory person. Having read books such as 'The Culture clash' by Jean Donaldson and 'The other end of the leash' by Patricia McConnell I have decided that these methods and ways of thinking are what is right for me. :D
 

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Colin, i went to Clever Dog training classes and they were clicker training but i did find them quite basic but may be worth a look as i am in Windsor and they had classes all over.

I also looked as doing the Kennel Club Good Citizen awards and found a place in Staines that did it, but work situation changed last year so haven't got round to this yet.

I thought the Gwen Bailey book was brilliant and have given it to a friend who is going to get a dog next year. I sort of get the pack leader thing but from my experience with Betty i have felt being consistant has been the main key with her. For instance i have always made her sit before she crosses a road and as she got better at it I would leave the lead loose to see if she would sit on her own and reward her when she did, but even now if she goes to cross without sitting, she comes back and starts again.

From my view the pack leader thing is more about showing authority and consistency in your training and handling of your dog.

Betty is by no means perfectly trained and can also be wilful, but if she continues to not come back when called, she stays on he lead for a bit and we practice recall more next walk. However, time and consistency has meant that over time she now just does what she is told more often than not!!!

I suppose like anything else it's not an exact science and what works for one won't always work well for others!! Will be interested on what you do going forward with Betty's training.
 

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Before getting Betty I read Gwen Bailey's ''perfect puppy'' and this has been
pretty much my ''bible'' since. At puppy classes the trainer seems to be
more of the ''pack leader'' school of thought. I have bought a couple books for my forthcoming holiday on Saturday ( the Puppy listener by Jan Fennel
and Don't shoot the dog by Karen Pryour) as they seem to be at opposing ends of the spectrum. Both approaches when written or expalined seem to make perfect common sense and I know the pack leader /Alpha male theory has now been scientifically been disproved ( although science does have a habit of changing it's mind ie what's good to eat one day is bad the next /
globaal warming is now climate change etc..) but was wondering what the concensus on here was.It is hard to follow a training prgramme if you are unsure of the correct starting point. I'm not that happy with classes Betty is
going to and like the sound of clicker training although not read about it in detail yet.. Betty can be quite wilful and I often feel she is only following my
commands when SHE feels like it:):)
I also followed the methods as explained in Gwen Bailey's book when training my two cockers and am applying the same principles with my new cockapoo puppy. I think she is still establishing a hierarchy within the pack by using dog psychology rather than force or agression eg not allowing the dog onto furniture and by making the dog follow you through doorways and tight spaces rather than the other way around.

By manipulating situations so that the dog can only do the right thing you can reward the dog and praise it for getting it right eg taking the dog out every hour to toilet means that appropriate bahaviours can be rewarded rather than letting the dog mess in the house and then becoming frustrated or angry. She also covers disciplining the dog without having a direct confrontation. If I am telling Beau to leave something and he ignores me I pair the command with the noise of something dropping, such as training discs and this reinforces my voice command. He doesn't know where the sound came from but it gets his attention and he complies. I also think the clicker is a great tool for getting the dog to understand what behaviours we want to be repeated. :)
 

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I did a training session with The Company of Animals last week to help with Rufus as he is horrendous at pulling on the lead. I was lucky enough to have the head trainer and dog behaviourist sit in on the session. As Rufus is a confident dog I have always 'struggled' to get my foot through the door first whilst pulling Rufus back on the lead. It isn't always convenient to sit and wait especially with other dogs on leads too and I don't have a big porch! The best thing I came away with from that session was that it is not just about going through the door first .... it is about respect. I was taught to open the door slightly and if Rufus shoves his nose in to go through, to shut the door again (not right on his nose obviously! They move pretty quickly out of the way!). I repeat this process with no language until Rufus looks up at me when the door is open but does not force his way through. At that point I can say 'ok' and he can go ahead of me if that is what is more convenient at the time. We have respect! Rufus responded really well to that training and now 9 times out of ten he'll pause at the door. I like the approach at The Company of Animals and start puppy training classes with them on Tuesday with Basil. :)

Karen x
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I like the Gwen bailey approach but do think she works on the presumtpion
we have nothing else to do all day...although do appreciate you need to invest the time.
I will finfish the rest of the classes I'm currently doing then decide what to do next....
I met another cockapoo owner in my local park the other day - he had
a Jandaz dog which was about 18 Months old which he had whistle trained
and it was absolutley amazing - he could get it to do whatever he wanted
based on the amount of whistles. Dreaming Betty might be like that one day!!:D
 

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I am very much a non dominance/pack theory person. Having read books such as 'The Culture clash' by Jean Donaldson and 'The other end of the leash' by Patricia McConnell I have decided that these methods and ways of thinking are what is right for me. :D
Me too which is also backed up by lots of reading and also having used at least 12 different trainers to date.

I'd suggest finding an overall concept/principle you are comfortable with then work 'holistically' rather than trying to follow a strict set of guidelines.

Look at kikopup movies on youtube as a good concept.

Read lots:

Before and after Getting Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar

Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs by Suzanne Clothier

For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend by Patricia B McConnell

In Defence of Dogs by John Bradshaw

The Perfect Puppy: Britain’s Number One Puppy Care Book by Gwen Bailey
 

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I like the Gwen bailey approach but do think she works on the presumtpion
we have nothing else to do all day...although do appreciate you need to invest the time.
I will finfish the rest of the classes I'm currently doing then decide what to do next....
I met another cockapoo owner in my local park the other day - he had
a Jandaz dog which was about 18 Months old which he had whistle trained
and it was absolutley amazing - he could get it to do whatever he wanted
based on the amount of whistles. Dreaming Betty might be like that one day!!:D
I think I must be rather easily led. I've been reading Gwen's book (I don't have a puppy yet) thinking 'When will I have time to eat, sleep and go to the loo myself?' Good to know I'm not alone! Will follow the basic principles I think but you've got to find a routine that works for you surely?

Turi x
 

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Yes, Turi! Best advice I've been given (by Stephen at JD when I collected Izzy) was that she has to fit in around our lifestyle - there has been some adapting in our household, and I have been able to take most of the summer off to be at home with her but Izzy knows her place (usually very very close to me! :D )
 

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Poppy went to puppy classes and it was clicker based. I'm old school and could not get my head round using the clicker instead of praise, but we stuck to it and did get a lot from the classes.

As I have said I am old school and have competed in obedience. I started when the choke chain was the way to go and if used properly it is very effective but in untrained hands can have the opposite effect than intended. The downfall of it is you can put it on wrong and this will choke your dog, you can only walk your dog on one side. If you have seen Crufts the dogs are all walked on the left. You also had to swap collars as it is no good for free running as if it got caught on anything it would injure your dog. The progression was a half check collar which is a nylon or leather collar with a chain that pulls it tighter, a little gentler than a chain but has the same clicking noise. This how it works when done right The dog would react to the noise (clicking of the chain) and do the manouvre without having to put pressure on its throat. You still used praise and treats.
Then came a new method using treats. If started with a puppy you started by moving your puppy from the stand to the sit to the down and back to the stand by moving your hand with the treat. This also introduced hand signals to your dog at an early age. Before this training did not start till your dog was over 1 year old and in some cases had already become problem dogs. You then progressed to the walk to heel with the treat in your left hand and your dog would put its nose on your hand and you walk holding your hand against your leg. I still use this method to distract my two and get them to walk to heel. Then in both method's you moved on to recall and stay etc. To get away from using the treats all the time you moved on to giving your dog a favorite toy or ball when they had finished the exercise. If you have watched the TV programmes about police dogs you will have seen this in practice.

Now the clicker is used instead of "Good Dog" and there is no end and release from each exercise, which is the bit I found hard.
The good things about the latest thinking is that the recall is learned from early on, and that a puppy is never too young to start training.

I think if you have never trained a dog before you could go along to clicker training with a good trainer and come away with a well trained dog in the end.
Also I would suggest that you find out what type of training is going on in your area, a good trainer will encourage you to go and sit in on a class. If this method appeals to you, read up on it, do the course, then read books on other methods and use the bits that you think will help you further.

I would never go back to using a check collar. Patience, treats and lots of loving praise, along with lots of hard work is all that's needed.

Hope this rambling of an old man will help.
 

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Thanks Colin, although I'm not hugely experienced, I have taken 3 dogs to training classes over the past 20 years, and things have certainly moved on form the days of the choke chain. My 13 year old daughter is training Izzy, the classes are small, friendly and completely voice and treat reward based. The trainer does offer clicker training on a one-to-one basis. Personally, I like talking to my dogs :D
 
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