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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 07:25 AM
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My backyard is an acre and a half and sometimes he just won't listen at all. Won't look, won't come, and nothing I do can distract him. I don't want to chase him as that would just be a game to him that he's leading and I will lose. How do I deal with this? I work a lot on treating him whenever he looks at me or responds to his name. He knows his name well and knows he is ignoring me. I usually go stand just inside the garage door and wait if he's not doing anything dangerous or destructive. Eventually he'll look at me and then I'll call him and he'll come. It doesn't happen often, usually zoomie time.

Sometimes it's really hard to know what I should be doing!

You need to do the training outside where there are distractions. Every puppy is a star in the house. You should get a 30 or 50 foot cotton web lead for outside. This way they think they can run and run but you can corral them. The whole point is work in areas with distractions.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 10:58 AM
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Not sure what they mean by pressure-its not necessarily a bad thing. I train horses and use a pressure and release method of training. Which at the basics means that when I pick up the right rein and take out all the slack (putting light pressure on the horse's mouth) I keep that pressure there until the horse even slightly moves his nose to the right, then I drop that rein to give him a release. The release is his reward-horses don't like the pressure so will move around til they find the release; eventually they learn that moving their nose to the right was what gave the release-which is why giving the release at the exact right moment is so important; if you release before the horse moves his nose, you will teach him that pulling against the rein is what you want and you will have a very poorly trained horse. <- That's very basic first step type stuff that you do with a young horse even before you get in the saddle, but an example of pressure and release training.
With dogs, I apply similar principles. For instance, teaching sit, I push gently on the puppy's rear while gently pulling up on the leash. When he sits, he is immediately rewarded. For goldens, I actually typically don't use treats. I find that they are often too food oriented and focus too much on the food rather than what they are being taught and end up not really learning it. I find that goldens are such people pleasers that an exuberant "Good dog!" and petting are perfectly acceptable rewards for them. I might give treats at the very beginning of learning something, but that's about it.
I'm also hesitant to recommend "positive only" trainers. It sounds like a good thing, but too many of them have you rewarding your dog for bad behavior because, hey we're all about positive. You can absolutely tell your dog no when his behavior is not acceptable. But many positive trainers would tell you to never correct your dog, just shove treats at them instead. (thereby effectively teaching them to continue that bad behavior since they got food for it.) I agree with others about finding a trainer who actually competes and has titles in AKC obedience or agility or what ever.
And prong collars can be a wonderful thing for a stubborn dog when fitted and used correctly. My sister, dad, and mom got a husky/lab mix puppy who just turned 1. My sister does the training and she listens very well to her-she walks her with just a flat buckle collar and she doesn't pull (or if she does, my sister just gives her a pop on the leash and tells her to heel and she's back to paying attention). She listens to my dad too. My mom, however, has never been much of a trainer. All of our dogs have always known that she will let them get away with more stuff. She doesn't want to let them get by with stuff, and tries to correct them, but she just isn't very authoritative I guess. Anyway, she's in her 60's and was getting to the point where she was afraid to take the puppy on a walk because they live on top of a hill so have to go downhill to walk and mom was afraid she would get pulled over by the puppy, especially when they would scare up a rabbit or something. So I bought a prong collar and got it fitted to the puppy and showed my mom how to use it. Its been a lifesaver for my mom as she can now enjoy her walks with the puppy. We never had to use a prong on our goldens though, so it really depends on the dog. Our goldens we had from breeders at 8 weeks old though, and the husky/lab they didn't get til she was like 4 months or so (craigslist rescue), so that could make a difference too since we always start training our puppies right away.



Autumn Harvest Moon II (aka Autumn) born March 2000 Crossed the Bridge August 2015

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 11:38 AM
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I'm glad you found a place to help you learn how to deal with your pup. As far as running your acre and not responding... put the pup on a long line. Remember this dog doesn't speak people yet. Never allow a situation that you cannot control with a pup. You want to create a situation where your puppy can be successful. Your pup has no clue what you expect from him until he learns the words, until then keep on a leash. He is doing what he knows how to do, be a hunting dog. It's up to you to teach him other behaviors and the training group will help you do this.
It's like kids running through the mall and their parents running after them screaming... the kids do this because they can :-)

As far as the training... corrections can only be applied after the dog understands the command and is refusing to comply. While this Kohlar method works for several breeds (German Shepherds, Doberman, rottweiler) a golden takes corrections personal and can have a melt down trying to figure out what they did wrong. Training a golden follows the thought that you will get better results with honey than vinegar.

Enjoy the process of training, these guys learn quickly. Have fun.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maggie'sVoice View Post
You need to do the training outside where there are distractions. Every puppy is a star in the house. You should get a 30 or 50 foot cotton web lead for outside. This way they think they can run and run but you can corral them. The whole point is work in areas with distractions.
There are two situations that happen outside typically, aside from potty. The first is we go out there when he's full of energy and wants to play. This goes well. We play tug with a towel. We practice drop it with this intermittently. Then when he gets it and plops down with his prize, I'll walk about 30-50 feet away and call him. He comes running as fast as he can (sometimes with the towel and sometimes without) and loves this game. In the evenings, we do it with my husband and I taking turns. He is focused on me (or us) and plays and comes reliably.

We also work on retrieving a bit. He likes to do short fetch games in the house but outside I only get one or two retrieves before he gets bored. I am hoping he will like this game more eventually as I want to use it when he's bigger to tire him out.

The other situation is, he wants to explore. I do this on leash and let him sniff around the yard and follow him. I am not sure if this is good or not. I just wanted him to be able to explore. He has some favorite areas that he likes to sniff and stick his nose in. I can't even get him to turn his head to look at me when he is sniffing. I don't exist until he reaches the end of that leash which happens when he gets near something I don't want him near Even then he doesn't look at me, just goes a different direction. Perhaps I shouldn't let him wander like this until he learns to look at and take direction better?

The big problem lies when we are playing the off leash game and his nose takes over and he starts sniffing, or he gets near the blueberry bushes where for some reason he likes to dig. He gets underneath them and it becomes a difficult chase game to get him out.

I will try the long lead where he can't get to those bushes. That will work and we can still play our game without the option of reaching the bushes, shed, or rock pile that gets his nose going. My husband is also going to put a little fence up around the blueberries this weekend since they are irresistible to Butters and the hardest area to get him away from. It seems we are being trained more than the dog ;-) I expected that.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Goldens&Friesians View Post
Not sure what they mean by pressure-its not necessarily a bad thing. I train horses and use a pressure and release method of training. Which at the basics means that when I pick up the right rein and take out all the slack (putting light pressure on the horse's mouth) I keep that pressure there until the horse even slightly moves his nose to the right, then I drop that rein to give him a release. The release is his reward-horses don't like the pressure so will move around til they find the release; eventually they learn that moving their nose to the right was what gave the release-which is why giving the release at the exact right moment is so important; if you release before the horse moves his nose, you will teach him that pulling against the rein is what you want and you will have a very poorly trained horse. <- That's very basic first step type stuff that you do with a young horse even before you get in the saddle, but an example of pressure and release training.
With dogs, I apply similar principles. For instance, teaching sit, I push gently on the puppy's rear while gently pulling up on the leash. When he sits, he is immediately rewarded. For goldens, I actually typically don't use treats. I find that they are often too food oriented and focus too much on the food rather than what they are being taught and end up not really learning it. I find that goldens are such people pleasers that an exuberant "Good dog!" and petting are perfectly acceptable rewards for them. I might give treats at the very beginning of learning something, but that's about it.
I'm also hesitant to recommend "positive only" trainers. It sounds like a good thing, but too many of them have you rewarding your dog for bad behavior because, hey we're all about positive. You can absolutely tell your dog no when his behavior is not acceptable. But many positive trainers would tell you to never correct your dog, just shove treats at them instead. (thereby effectively teaching them to continue that bad behavior since they got food for it.) I agree with others about finding a trainer who actually competes and has titles in AKC obedience or agility or what ever.
And prong collars can be a wonderful thing for a stubborn dog when fitted and used correctly. My sister, dad, and mom got a husky/lab mix puppy who just turned 1. My sister does the training and she listens very well to her-she walks her with just a flat buckle collar and she doesn't pull (or if she does, my sister just gives her a pop on the leash and tells her to heel and she's back to paying attention). She listens to my dad too. My mom, however, has never been much of a trainer. All of our dogs have always known that she will let them get away with more stuff. She doesn't want to let them get by with stuff, and tries to correct them, but she just isn't very authoritative I guess. Anyway, she's in her 60's and was getting to the point where she was afraid to take the puppy on a walk because they live on top of a hill so have to go downhill to walk and mom was afraid she would get pulled over by the puppy, especially when they would scare up a rabbit or something. So I bought a prong collar and got it fitted to the puppy and showed my mom how to use it. Its been a lifesaver for my mom as she can now enjoy her walks with the puppy. We never had to use a prong on our goldens though, so it really depends on the dog. Our goldens we had from breeders at 8 weeks old though, and the husky/lab they didn't get til she was like 4 months or so (craigslist rescue), so that could make a difference too since we always start training our puppies right away.
That's what I thought pressure training was as well. In my reading, loose leash walking with a martingale collar is done this way. We have tried a bit of this. I am not opposed to gentle pressure to communicate and direct.

I hate prong collars and will never put one on my dog. My father-in-law uses one on his standard poodle (not correctly) and It makes me sick whenever he yanks on it and makes the dog yip in pain. He does this while yelling and the dog clearly doesn't know what he's supposed to do. It is really painful to watch and hard to not do something. I do understand that there is a correct way to use them. My aversion to them is personal.

I agree that some positive only is too much if it rewards bad behavior. I am also not opposed to telling my dog no. We do this already. I don't yell but I do firmly say no to unacceptable behavior such as chewing on furniture or baseboards. I direct him away and give him an appropriate chew toy, which he happily takes. He seems to want to please. Then I praise him for chewing on the appropriate chew toy.

It's funny but Butters listens to me more than my husband even though I am the bigger softie. I think that's just because I work with him more being the one home all day.

I hope we will do well with the trainer I signed up for. They do teach competition obedience. If not, I'll look somewhere else. I certainly don't want to start with correction if it's not necessary.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 03:08 PM
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The place I decided to go with is on this list and is close to me. I talked to the trainer and she was really nice and helpful. I haven't seen the facility but it is close to me and worth a try. Most of the others on the list are at least an hour's drive from me and involve heavy traffic through Portland.

Dog Days Training in Vancouver is the one I signed up for. I feel much better about this place than I did the others.
Dog Days in fantastic! We've been going there for 5 years and have done puppy class all the way through Novice.

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Originally Posted by Agolden4me View Post
My backyard is an acre and a half and sometimes he just won't listen at all. Won't look, won't come, and nothing I do can distract him. I don't want to chase him as that would just be a game to him that he's leading and I will lose. How do I deal with this? I work a lot on treating him whenever he looks at me or responds to his name. He knows his name well and knows he is ignoring me. I usually go stand just inside the garage door and wait if he's not doing anything dangerous or destructive. Eventually he'll look at me and then I'll call him and he'll come. It doesn't happen often, usually zoomie time.

Sometimes it's really hard to know what I should be doing!
I have a similar situation; large yard that attaches off of the garage. I just keep a bag of treats near the door. Everytime he comes back toward you and gives you his attention, call his name and treat him. You can let him know you have the treat if he's really distracted, but don't call him unless you know he'll come.You can do this multiple times in a session before you bring him back inside.

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I have a similar situation; large yard that attaches off of the garage. I just keep a bag of treats near the door. Everytime he comes back toward you and gives you his attention, call his name and treat him. You can let him know you have the treat if he's really distracted, but don't call him unless you know he'll come.You can do this multiple times in a session before you bring him back inside.
I am a walking treat dispenser. I now only wear sweatshirts or fleeces with pockets full of treats. I am sure I smell like dog food all the time ;-)

This is what I do but I haven't tried not keeping him in after doing it. Great suggestion. Next time I'll let him go back out a few times. It's the same concept as out in the yard and letting him play more after a recall but I hadn't thought about doing it at the door too.

I spoke with Dee from Dog Days for quite awhile on the phone. I think we'll like it there. I wish I could do more than one class a week but it looks like I can once we get through puppy class and companion 1 successfully. She said it usually takes more than one round of companion 1 to be ready for companion 2 or the other classes. She also said goldens are a bit harder because they are just so excited around other people and getting over the distractions is difficult for them.
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We can never dismiss pressure training because even with treats you will need some sort of pressure. For example: to teach sit you usually pull up on the collar and gently push down on the bottom. That is pressure. How about jumping up? Do you give them a push with a knee followed by a "no" (pressure again) or just give them treats and positive praise when no jumping. Some sort of pressure is always needed. There should always be positive training including "good dog", pets and lots of praise when commands or tasks have been done correctly. Relative to prong/pinch collars I prefer them to a "choke" chain. I feel it applies a more even pressure and never will cause a dog to choke when they start pulling. However, both can be used effectively. Relative to picking a trainer or a group check with those that use the trainer and how it is going. Lastly, I like to work a puppy without distractions first then bring those in later once each command or task is mastered. Training a puppy with a bunch of other dogs would not be preferred.

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Originally Posted by Agolden4me View Post
My backyard is an acre and a half and sometimes he just won't listen at all. Won't look, won't come, and nothing I do can distract him. I don't want to chase him as that would just be a game to him that he's leading and I will lose. How do I deal with this? I work a lot on treating him whenever he looks at me or responds to his name. He knows his name well and knows he is ignoring me. I usually go stand just inside the garage door and wait if he's not doing anything dangerous or destructive. Eventually he'll look at me and then I'll call him and he'll come. It doesn't happen often, usually zoomie time.

Sometimes it's really hard to know what I should be doing!
My young dogs always have a check cord and small pinch collar attached to them when running around in a bigger field or yard during training. A very thin cord for a 8 week old puppy and obviously something larger for a bigger dog. Before you call the dog go find the end of the check cord, call, apply pressure on the cord as needed and reward as you see fit once your dog is recalled. Do this consistently and then again with distractions (kids playing, around toys, etc..) and you will have solve this problem. Hint for bigger dogs that are big runners....use gloves! Also, do not leave a pinch or choke collar on your dog when you are not with them.

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