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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks.

So, i have a question in regarding addressing bad behavior. (We have 13 month male.)

Which of the two would be the proper course of action (indoors, at home), and why;

1. If doggo behaves badly (usually from over excitement), saying stern "No" up to 3 times and if he doesn't still listen, grabbing from his collar and leading him to his pen, saying the keyword to get him into the pen (e.g "Pen" or "Into pen") and closing the door afterwards. So that he could cool off and learn that the bad behavior isn't acceptable. (Doggo would remain in pen for 15-30 mins or so.) And this every time he does unacceptable things, until doggo learns not do to unacceptable things. Or stops doing it after saying stern "No".

2. 1st time when doggo behaves badly (usually from over excitement), saying stern "No" up to 3 times and if he doesn't still listen, grabbing from his collar and leading him to his pen, saying the keyword to get him into the pen (e.g "Pen" or "Into pen") and closing the door afterwards. For another 15-30 mins timeout. But 2nd time around, rather than leading doggo to his pen, threatening doggo instead with the keyword (e.g "Pen" or "Into pen"). When doggo stops bad behavior due to the threat, he won't be put into the pen at all. And this for all following instances. Rather than actually putting doggo into pen, doggo is threatened to stop bad behavior.

Now, this above is training conflict between me and my missus, regarding how to raise our puppy. For consistency sake (if anything), only one of the two should be used, right?


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Of the two options, I'd say #1 is the most fair to the dog (though I doubt you need more than a few minutes time out to make your point). I doubt that most dogs would learn to associate a word with a threat of the corresponding punishment! I also wouldn't necessarily give him three "nos" to stop the behavior. No should mean no every time (dogs do best when rules and consequences are clear and consistent). But to be honest, a better option would be rather than "punishing" your dog (by verbal or physical correction) for doing something "wrong" that you instead ask for an alternate behavior that he can then be rewarded for.

For example, if your dog is jumping on a guest, tell him to sit (and reward him for complying). Or train (outside of the exciting situation) a "go to place" behavior, where he can be rewarded for staying in his place rather than mugging the guest.

If you can be more specific of the type or types of behaviors you are trying to address we can probably give you a more specific answer to your question or some alternate training advice.
 

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Lisa beat me to it but I agree with her. Have you tried saying No one time and then making him sit and stay. I like the method where you teach them what you want them to do instead of just telling him no. if he doesn't have a reliable sit command I would work hard on that and work on increasing time he will stay in the sit and even hold it when you step out of sight. That way he is learning self control and patience. Until you can get that going well, I would leave a short leash on him and force a sit or a go to your place even if that is the crate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you can be more specific of the type or types of behaviors you are trying to address we can probably give you a more specific answer to your question or some alternate training advice.
Sure.

In our "pack", but in our doggo's mind: i'm Alpha, then comes doggo and my missus is 3rd. Now, we are doing obedience classes with him (every Monday) and i let her to do all the classes with our doggo, while i'm sitting on the sidelines and only helping out when needed (e.g doggo pulls loose from her during obedience class, since there are other dogs as well, and i'll run after doggo).

Now, the bad behavior our doggo does (has since puppyhood), is jumping up and/or play nipping hands. At home, my missus has done the daily obedience tasks with our doggo, that we learnt from obedience class and as long as our doggo gets treats for tasks, doggo behaves good. But once the treats run out and tasks are complete, doggo gets (overly) excited and starts to jump, hump and play bite her hands (sometimes her feet). <- Latter is unacceptable behavior.

In past, our doggo did the play bite with me as well, but i was firm and put him into the pen, every time. And from time-to-time, i have to remind our doggo who is the boss. Nowadays, it helps when i grab our doggo from the loose skin at his shoulders (the same spot where momma dog carries her pups). And our doggo instantly plants to the ground, stopping the bad behavior.
Now, my missus isn't as flexible as i am and for her, bending down to ground or squating is nigh-impossible. So, for her, it would be better to lead doggo to pen.

Here, i think that, with doggos, bad behavior should be remedied with action (putting dog to pen), rather than threatening dog with words. Now, with human child, with far more developed brain, sure, you can threat a child not to do things (e.g if you behave badly, i will take a toy away from you). But dogs, IMO, respond better to actual action. And that action also implants better into their small memory pool.

Edit:
When doggo does the play nipping with my missus and when i enter the room, doggo stops the bad behavior. Now, this is good. However, this would lead into a situation where doggo knows that when i'm around, he needs to behave good but once i'm gone, he can do bad things. <- This is not our goal, since my missus should be able to spend time with our doggo without a kerfuffle even when i'm not around.
 

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So.... you are making the "pen" the punishment place? Is that what you want to do?

My take is I would not do either of the options you mention for various reasons.

1. I don't have a crate set up here at the house, but let's pretend I do. I would want that place to be a positive place. I'm not yelling at my dog, grabbing him by the collar, and hauling him into his crate as punishment. Only result is my dog will not like being crated - and speaking as somebody who uses crates at shows and needs dogs to quickly go in without any aversion or upset, I would not use crates in this fashion.

2. If my dog is acting up, getting mouthy/jumpy/etc.... I'd literally assume he has to go outside for potty and send him outside. Even if they don't have to go potty, going outside and running around playing usually gets them sorted out. Dogs sometimes do things for a reason and are not just acting up. Other thing is sending the dogs outside to play when they are acting up, it reinforces my intention that my dogs be calm and settled in the house, even when they are young.

3. Oh and the third thing, fwiw. Grab a dog by the skin and haul him around enough over every little thing and there is a risk that you will create a hand shy dog. If you have a sweet dog, that's going to be one who crunches to the ground in a panic when hands reach for him. If you have a fear aggressive dog though, that will be a dog flipping around and attacking the approaching threat (your hands). <= There are reasons and situations where a very serious correction is necessary to get through to a dog. But get too quick and casual with serious corrections and you have an abused dog who will react one way or another and that is a reflection on you.

4. Here's one more note. :) If you ever have had an established "dog pack" with multiple dogs who have an established totem pole - you would know as I do that the boss dog is not the one who is constantly correcting, roaring, etc. These are dogs who just need to LOOK at the other dogs and they back down. If they must correct, they do it without noise or excessive aggression.
 

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Agree — I would not make a dog’s crate a punishment place. That’s his safe place for rest/comfort.

Also, agree about the hand as punishment. Someone once told me to thump Logan on his nose when he was excitement barking upon entering new places. Why would I want my dog to think of my hand as something to dodge? Not happening.

I’d make sure the dog is getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Work on impulse control exercises and make sure regular obedience training is taking place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So.... you are making the "pen" the punishment place? Is that what you want to do?
Pen isn't only for punishment, it is also for discipline. E.g we do alone training in the pen. And he also gets part of his meal in the pen as well.

1. I don't have a crate set up here at the house, but let's pretend I do. I would want that place to be a positive place. I'm not yelling at my dog, grabbing him by the collar, and hauling him into his crate as punishment. Only result is my dog will not like being crated - and speaking as somebody who uses crates at shows and needs dogs to quickly go in without any aversion or upset, I would not use crates in this fashion.
Pen:


Crate:



We have both. (The exact ones as on images.)

Crate is for sleeping and treats (only positive), pen is for time outs and waiting (when we leave home), so, a mixed bag.

2. If my dog is acting up, getting mouthy/jumpy/etc.... I'd literally assume he has to go outside for potty and send him outside. Even if they don't have to go potty, going outside and running around playing usually gets them sorted out. Dogs sometimes do things for a reason and are not just acting up. Other thing is sending the dogs outside to play when they are acting up, it reinforces my intention that my dogs be calm and settled in the house, even when they are young.
We live in an apartment complex and we can not let our dog "out" that easily. Moreover, according to our Animal Protection Act,

Persons keeping pets must comply with the following:

  • Ensure supervision of their cat or dog when on private property or in a public place. Keep their pet on a leash and use a dog muzzle, if necessary.
  • Ensure that dogs and cats cannot leave their property without supervision.
  • Promptly clean up their pet’s droppings.
  • Ensure that keeping a cat or a dog and that the behaviour of their cat or dog does not violate public order or disturb or endanger other people and animals.
  • Microchip their dog. Microchipping cats is voluntary. Pets can be provided with chips at veterinary clinics.
  • Register their dogs with the Estonian Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Estonian Pet Registry. Pets can be registered at veterinary clinics.

Pet owners must comply with prescribed requirements and ensure the welfare of their pet. Moreover, the rights of neighbours must also be taken into consideration. Keeping animals should not disturb your neighbours too much.
Meaning that our doggo cannot be off leash. Only in dog parks. And closest one is 15 mins drive away.

3. Oh and the third thing, fwiw. Grab a dog by the skin and haul him around enough over every little thing and there is a risk that you will create a hand shy dog. If you have a sweet dog, that's going to be one who crunches to the ground in a panic when hands reach for him. If you have a fear aggressive dog though, that will be a dog flipping around and attacking the approaching threat (your hands). <= There are reasons and situations where a very serious correction is necessary to get through to a dog. But get too quick and casual with serious corrections and you have an abused dog who will react one way or another and that is a reflection on you.
I'm not hauling my doggo anywhere when i grab him from the same spot, momma dogs grab their pups. I stand in place and let our doggo to "surrender" to me. And that too, only as a last resort move.

You may accuse me of intimidation, but the truth is, that show of force is preferable to use of force. Most GRs are easy going and will get by with far less forms of punishment (say NO, take toy away, stiffen yourself up etc). When show of force isn't enough to maintain order, sometimes you have to settle for the real thing.

I’d make sure the dog is getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Work on impulse control exercises and make sure regular obedience training is taking place.
He does get all of it, but breeder made a mistake by giving us, 1st time dog owners, a high-energy dog (mostly 1s and 2s in Volhard’s puppy aptitude test). Now for the most part, we can manage with him and he is a good boy, but there are still some aspects that aren't acceptable in his behavior. And yes, we are doing regular obedience training with him, on daily basis. To name the few:
  • He always must sit and make eye contact, before we lower his food bowl to him.
  • He always must sit and wait, before walking through doorways, after we say the command "Come". And he is the last one to walk through the doorway.
  • He always must sit and wait when we put leash on him, or when arriving home, taking leash away.
  • On arrival at home, he must wait until we take our shoes off, before we take his leash off.
  • Pulling on the leash = dead stop (at which point he sits), and moving forwards is only with command "Come" and with slack in leash. Another pull on the leash = another dead stop. Etc.

Of course, there are more but i think you guys get the idea.
 

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Aside from what Kate mentioned about creating a hand shy dog, I know a few dogs that ended up being reactive with the collar grabbing and actually lash out when their collars are grabbed (even to the extent of biting the owners…) and they have been forcefully hauled off somewhere for punishment. I know you aren’t rolling him, but pinning him down and wanting him to ‘surrender’ is a pretty outdated method of training.

Maybe instead of looking at what corrective actions you can take to ‘maintain order’, find out what is causing him to ‘behave badly’ as well and preventive actions instead? often training and exercise are the best solutions to ‘misbehaving’ dogs! It sounds like you have a good routine type training going, but it might benefit to do shorter training sessions within the day, as well. Teaching him ‘place’, doing trick training, getting him to use his brain throughout the day might help.
 

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There may be some helpful food for thought in this podcast:
 

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My cousin has a black Lab that has the same problem that your golden retriever has: jumping up in over-excitement and play biting hands. She has family members who admitted to wrestling with him and playing rough with him when he was a puppy. Their rough play combined with their lack of discipline in this area has led to a lifelong problem. He's now 4 years old and to this day he thinks it's an acceptable greeting to offer guests by jumping on them and chomping on their arms.

I hate to say this, but because they've let this slide for so long, he's now a huge liability risk to children. He'd never mean to harm a child, but for the sake of safety, I think the only way my cousin will be able to be sure that everything will be okay when he's around children is by keeping him on a leash AND putting a muzzle on him.

A show of force vs the real thing is not necessary. Dogs view the world in terms of black and white; something that's good is always good, and something that's bad always leads to bad consequences.

When my cousin's Labrador is excited to see me and begins running towards me, I ignore him. I turn my back to him, keep walking, and refuse to look at him or talk to him. He trots away from me pretty quickly because I've changed the conditions he incurs when he jumps on me.

Some other things you can try: Whenever one of you or a guest comes into the house, have one person keep the dog on a leash. The person holding the dog should lower the leash to the ground and step on it so that there's just enough slack for the dog to try to jump up unsuccessfully. The dog will end up giving himself a collar correction with the leash.

Also, when you know you're expecting company, take your dog out for a run before your guests arrive. A tired dog is far less likely to be jumpy!

Yes, that is the problem with treat training dogs. Sometimes they will only behave as long as treats are around. Check out the YouTube channel Dreamgaits. I don't agree with all her training methods, but for the most part, I appreciate that she teaches her viewers how to enforce discipline with a dog without being cruel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXDFOVyYl1vNMeDNCdt4z7w/videos
 

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I'm not hauling my doggo anywhere when i grab him from the same spot, momma dogs grab their pups. I stand in place and let our doggo to "surrender" to me. And that too, only as a last resort move.
Except you are not the momma dog. You are a human.
 
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If you say ‘No’ 3 times before hauling your dog off to the crate if he doesn’t listen, then the dog has learned 3 times that they can ignore the word ‘No’ and nothing happens. Then after the fourth ‘No’, you are grabbing the dog and hauling him into the pen and all you’ve accomplished is creating a confused dog who doesn’t understand why he just got yanked over to the pen.

Correct the bad behavior, redirect the dog to the desired behavior, and then praise the desired behavior. If the dog nips, use your correction and remove your attention. When the dog backs off, provide a toy that’s appropriate for chewing and then praise the dog for playing with the toy. If the dog jumps, use your correction and deny the dog attention. The dog may naturally sit or you can command a sit, and then praise when that behavior of sitting is given.

Both you and the missus need to follow this training method with your dog. The dog should never be allowed to nip or be mouthy with a person and will not understand why it’s okay to chew on the missus but not a small child.
 

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It generally works a lot better to tell the dog what you want him to do, instead of just yelling "NO!" Not that we all don't give in to that human default behavior from time to time.

Say, "No, sit!" If he does not sit ON THE FIRST COMMAND!!!!! calmly reach for his collar, tug up on collar, push on rump, and say "Good boy" Do not lunge or grab for his collar. If he's too fast, let him drag a short leash without a loop on the end (so it doesn't snag on things). With my jumpy, mouthy, PIA 16-month old, I will often make him sit while I count backwards from 10. "Ten, nine, eight, etc.". Then I release him, but if he starts leaping around like a maniac again, he has to sit and wait again. Repeat until he calms down.

For the mouthiness, if often helps to give the dog something he likes to carry, which inspires many dogs to "talk" about what they're carrying. So, he can carry his toy and moan and growl with happiness while you tell him what a good boy he is.

If you just keep telling him "no" without telling him what you want him to do, he is likely to become even more frantic.

Tons of directed exercise will also help in the long run.
 

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Pen isn't only for punishment, it is also for discipline. E.g we do alone training in the pen. And he also gets part of his meal in the pen as well.



Pen:


Crate:



We have both. (The exact ones as on images.)

Crate is for sleeping and treats (only positive), pen is for time outs and waiting (when we leave home), so, a mixed bag.



We live in an apartment complex and we can not let our dog "out" that easily. Moreover, according to our Animal Protection Act,



Meaning that our doggo cannot be off leash. Only in dog parks. And closest one is 15 mins drive away.



I'm not hauling my doggo anywhere when i grab him from the same spot, momma dogs grab their pups. I stand in place and let our doggo to "surrender" to me. And that too, only as a last resort move.

You may accuse me of intimidation, but the truth is, that show of force is preferable to use of force. Most GRs are easy going and will get by with far less forms of punishment (say NO, take toy away, stiffen yourself up etc). When show of force isn't enough to maintain order, sometimes you have to settle for the real thing.



He does get all of it, but breeder made a mistake by giving us, 1st time dog owners, a high-energy dog (mostly 1s and 2s in Volhard’s puppy aptitude test). Now for the most part, we can manage with him and he is a good boy, but there are still some aspects that aren't acceptable in his behavior. And yes, we are doing regular obedience training with him, on daily basis. To name the few:
  • He always must sit and make eye contact, before we lower his food bowl to him.
  • He always must sit and wait, before walking through doorways, after we say the command "Come". And he is the last one to walk through the doorway.
  • He always must sit and wait when we put leash on him, or when arriving home, taking leash away.
  • On arrival at home, he must wait until we take our shoes off, before we take his leash off.
  • Pulling on the leash = dead stop (at which point he sits), and moving forwards is only with command "Come" and with slack in leash. Another pull on the leash = another dead stop. Etc.

Of course, there are more but i think you guys get the idea.
You aren't the "alpha", and your dog doesn't see you as one either. "Alpha theory" is old, debunked nonsense peddled mostly by charlatans. What you're doing currently is going to create a dog that tolerates you (at best) and hates you at worst. You may well end up with a reactive dog, or a dog who decides that he will just try to get away from you at any opportunity he can. I can't imagine wanting that outcome. I would find a local trainer that you can work with in person that can teach you proper training methods that combine positive training with corrective training as needed.

I suggest you immediately find good trainer to work with before this all goes sideways and things get worse/harder.

ETA: If you're unhappy with the puppy the breeder picked, take it back to the breeder. There is still time for the breeder to rehome the puppy to a home that wants a highly active dog. Also note that MOST goldens are highly active dogs. They are not "couch potatoes." They are a hunting breed that requires a lot of exercise, more than potty trips outside and occasional walks. So you're going to have to step up the amount of exercise if you want to keep the dog and have it be a pleasant to live with family member. Join a local dog club, get involved in dog sports, a golden needs that. You may come to love it too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
but pinning him down
Me grabbing his skin and he then planting himself to the ground, isn't me pinning him down. Unless the meaning of "pinning down" has changed in the past few days.

It sounds like you have a good routine type training going, but it might benefit to do shorter training sessions within the day, as well. Teaching him ‘place’, doing trick training, getting him to use his brain throughout the day might help.
We actually do all that daily. We currently are training "sit" or "lay down" + "wait", so that we can step away from him (few steps at current moment), so that he won't get up and follow us at an instant.

And we also have plethora of treat dispenser toys for him, which are also used during his meals. So, he can use his brain as well.

There may be some helpful food for thought in this podcast:
The thing before the thing. That, i know of. Now, with our issue, either we can not avoid the tigger (e.g treats ran out) or there isn't any trigger, that we can acknowledge (read "the incident" below).

jumping up in over-excitement and play biting hands.
Our doggo doesn't jump on and/or bite our guests or strangers outside. Only us, namely my missus. Around children, he is well behaved but we monitor him constantly, just in case.

Now, the jump/chomp has never been okay with us, and for the most of the times, he won't do it either. But occasionally, he does it and it isn't pretty. I'm getting a feeling that maybe, perhaps, doggo still tests us and wants to see if he can get away doing this. (He is 13 mo, 1w old and mindset would be teen.)

Just today, when outside walk was about to finish, i had an "incident" with him.
Namely, when we were closing in to our front door, during normal walk (slack in leash), he suddenly started to grab the leash and tried to play tug-of-war with me. I completely ignored him and walked forwards, close to our front door. Doggo did follow me with slacked leash while still trying to get good grip on the leash with his teeth. Once he realized that he can't get good grip on the leash, he started to jump up on me, from behind, mid walk. I ignored him again and walked forwards. Then, he started to jump and bite me from the behind. Once he bit me from my behind (arse), that was when i lost it. Since i don't care who's dog it is, i will not let myself be mauled by a dog. So, i turned around, grabbed from the shoulder area. Then, doggo realized that what he did, was not fine and laid down to the ground. With a stern voice, i told him "No" and "It was painful."
This stopped the whatever "play" he was thinking about doing with me. I released my hand, stood up and he sat up. After which we continued on as normal, like nothing happened. He behaved well, sitting at front door, waiting until i opened the door, then came in when i tasked him. Etc, normal good behavior.

Except you are not the momma dog. You are a human.
Yes, but you can not act with a dog like you act with human child. E.g asking nicely from a dog, if doggo wants this or that. Instead, you say a command and dog must follow it.

If the dog nips, use your correction and remove your attention.
Removing attention doesn't work. He will jump and bite regardless if you're facing him, facing away from him or even walking away from him. Speaking of backstory, i wrote this reply when our doggo was 6 months old,
link: Dog bite

From there, you all can see what we've tried and what worked and what didn't.

Correct the bad behavior, redirect the dog to the desired behavior, and then praise the desired behavior.
Redirect doesn't work, since we've tried it countless of times. When our doggo is in that "state", he does not listen commands. At best, 5% of commands actually register in his brain. <- This is so with all dogs IMO. E.g you can not train a dog, when dog is in the overly excited state. With this, only way forward is to calm the brain down, so that ears "open" again.

Say, "No, sit!" If he does not sit ON THE FIRST COMMAND!!!!! calmly reach for his collar, tug up on collar, push on rump, and say "Good boy" Do not lunge or grab for his collar. If he's too fast, let him drag a short leash without a loop on the end (so it doesn't snag on things). With my jumpy, mouthy, PIA 16-month old, I will often make him sit while I count backwards from 10. "Ten, nine, eight, etc.". Then I release him, but if he starts leaping around like a maniac again, he has to sit and wait again. Repeat until he calms down.
A similar method we've tried when out of the walks and he gets "jumpy". Though, with a difference that during the waiting period, we have to step on a leash, so that he can't jump up on us. But often, when we've waited far more than dozens of seconds (more like few mins) and we like to move along, removing foot from the leash often leads him jumping up on us again. Essentially, he can wait it out (then again, we've done a lot of alone training with him and he has good deal of patience). And getting back to the "calming position" isn't easy when doggo is jumping up and biting us.
Quite a few times, i've gotten a call form my missus, when she is out on a walk, that she can not handle the dog and i've went to her rescue.

For the mouthiness, if often helps to give the dog something he likes to carry, which inspires many dogs to "talk" about what they're carrying. So, he can carry his toy and moan and growl with happiness while you tell him what a good boy he is.
I know that many GRs have favorite toy (or any toy) they like to carry around and show everyone. Now, ours don't have this trait. Sure, he does carry toys in his mouth but there is no toy he'd carry for his own comfort. When he carries a toy, then it is for bringing the toy to us, so that we'd play with him (or when retrieving thrown toy back to us).
We also have several chew bones for him, he likes to chew on. Oh, we rotate his toys daily, giving him 3-5 toys per day (so that he won't get bored of his toys).

I suggest you immediately find good trainer to work with before this all goes sideways and things get worse/harder.
Compared to the puppyhood, things have improved, vastly. For the most of the times, our doggo behaves very well. Only the occasional jumping up and play biting is the only issue we have with him.
 

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So, you only use positive reinforcement with your doggos? But how would you then deal with unwanted behavior? :unsure:
I'm as positive as a trainer can be . I teach commands and good behavior. Praise obedience and correct disobedience.

Time outs don't work, dogs don't think that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I teach commands and good behavior. Praise obedience and correct disobedience.
Well, we do all 4 with our doggo as well. But the elephant in the room, or most controversial of the 4, is how? to correct disobedience.

There are so many different suggestions out there (or even here, in my topic) on how to do it. Even the topic began with the very same question, where i described two "how"s and asked which should be used. I even linked one of my earlier replies within GR forums, where i've listed several "how"s with the results as well. Now, specific task that works with dog X may not work with dog Z. So, it usually comes down to trial-and-error.
 

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most controversial of the 4, is how? to correct disobedience.
There is nothing controversial about it how I correct my dogs.
I do it in multiple ways depending on the dog, the situation, the level of and type of disobedience. I use voice, e collar, heeling stick........ In field training simply stopping a dog on the way to a retrieve and calling him in a short distance is taken as a correction by the dog.
Timing is very important and for most things indirect pressure is the best way to correct.
Now, specific task that works with dog X may not work with dog Z. So, it usually comes down to trial-and-error.
That's true and why reading and focusing on your dog is so important. You learn from other dogs but never compare dogs or compete with others in training.
 
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