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Thread: Help--bad first e-collar session with "here"

  1. #11
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNG View Post
    Hi--I'm training my first dog (6 mo old) and new to the forum. I've got a ton of questions, and I'm very glad to have found a place with knowledgeable people to ask.

    I am using Smartwork, and started formalizing "here" today. The dog did pretty well through the first couple levels of pressure, but then he started refusing to leave my side.....I'm sure I did wrong just about everything that could be done wrong. So, a few questions for anyone willing to share some knowledge with a total newbie:

    (1) Did I ruin my dog?
    Sorry this is so late. I actually thought I had responded, but don't see it here, so here goes. First, not wanting to leave your side is not the bad thing you may suppose. In fact, it likely means you did something very right. If you've done this process correctly your dog should think being with you is the best thing on earth! Don't let yourself be fooled by a pup overreacting to this new situation. Take advantage of it. When a pup does this it's more important than usual to try to get someone who follows directions well to assist you with the second rope.

    As you may have noted in the video, the two-rope method takes into account this type of reaction. That's why we lead the pup out to the same spot each time, and restrain them with the longer rope so they cannot come until called. The shorter rope assures they will do so as commanded. With experience you can manage both readilly, but I understand how clumsy it can feel at first.
    Quote Originally Posted by JNG View Post
    (2) Should I wait a couple of days and re-try this session (figuring out a way to manage all the ropes and the remote by myself in the meantime), or just go to reinforcement?
    Wait a day or two if that's how long it takes to get someone to help, and make sure they understand what you want. The waiting is not for the dog, specifically. If you have a helper, go right back to it, but take more time before moving up scale with pressure.
    Quote Originally Posted by JNG View Post
    (3) Should I worry about his sudden reversion to play-nipping?
    Not really. I think it's likely nervousness, and that is fairly common.
    Quote Originally Posted by JNG View Post
    (4) Was the head-turning a sign of too much pressure?
    It was a sign of the pup acknowledging pressure. In healthcare professions we learn early to use signs and symptoms to diagnose illness and/or injury. As a trainer, you will learn to use signs and symptoms to diagnose problems, as well as progress. So far it looks like he's shown you two distinct signs of acknowledging pressure. That is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. E-collar conditioning is all about pressure conditioning.

    How about some video of a session?

    Evan
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  2. #12

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    Evan, thanks much for the response. I will get some video of our next (third) session.

    I tried again tonight, with my wife helping. Things went much, much better with her help, but the dog's maniacal jumping and spinning around every time he finished a rep him still resulted in him getting tangled badly in the ropes four or fives times out of a 20 or so repetitions (on a Tritronics, he went from 1-low all the way through 5-high, max setting, without vocalizing. Only pressure sign was a head turn, which started at 3-med).

    He also started biting the rope and refusing to let go of it at the end of every rep. Given the the amount of discomfort he likely experienced getting repeatedly tangled and untangled from the ropes, I understand him getting a little hostile to them. I just can't see any way to stop that from happening, though, without just grabbing him with both arms and restraining him whenever he finishes a rep. Maybe that's what I'll have to do.

    I'm still not exactly clear on how to tell how much pressure is "enough". The dog started acknowledging some discomfort at 3-med; his performance started to degrade a little at 4-high; but he was able to tolerate up through 5-high still performing the task requested and without vocalizing.

  3. #13
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    JNG, please click "notifications" at the top right of the page. I sent you a PM. I copied Evan too, since you're using his program and he's involved in counseling you.

    Good luck. Be sure to keep it fun for pup!

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

  4. #14
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNG View Post
    ...... but the dog's maniacal jumping and spinning around every time he finished a rep him still resulted in him getting tangled badly in the ropes four or fives times out of a 20 or so repetitions (on a Tritronics, he went from 1-low all the way through 5-high, max setting, without vocalizing. Only pressure sign was a head turn, which started at 3-med).

    He also started biting the rope and refusing to let go of it at the end of every rep. Given the the amount of discomfort he likely experienced getting repeatedly tangled and untangled from the ropes, I understand him getting a little hostile to them. I just can't see any way to stop that from happening, though, without just grabbing him with both arms and restraining him whenever he finishes a rep........
    the long time RTF'ers will know how much it pains me to type this.....
    Ditch the ropes!
    and those same know that I have butted heads with Evan afore on the two rope, post, helper thing. As I use the other way. But I know Evan has typed (don't feel like searchin') "Train the dog at your feet"... if Rover is thrashing about he is not learning anything but panic at the disco. Get to work fresh on a new day, work on sit. Sit with a stick tap. then slip in a collar nick for a stick tap.
    any way you could give me a phone call? 802-863-1576
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    When I read the OP's last post earlier this morning, it made me physically sick for this dog. Please, someone help, without getting anyone's panties bunched. This poor dog.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

  6. #16
    Senior Member cakaiser's Avatar
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    Not there, so can't read the pup. But, to me there are many concerning things happening.
    Pup is panicking.
    Pup is nipping at you and the rope.
    Pup is not responding. Pup is clamming.

    These are potential red flags. I strongly advise you to get some experienced, hands on help. Before you do any real damage. For your sake, and the pup's.
    Last edited by cakaiser; 11-15-2012 at 05:01 PM.
    Charlotte Kaiser: " The Problem Lies In The Talent."

  7. #17

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    Just to reassure some of those who appear to be getting overly concerned about my dog:
    (1) the crazy jumping and spinning is not a sign of panic. It's just a really irritating personality quirk of his. He does it all the time, pressure or no pressure, whenever he's really excited about something. In this setup, it ends up with him getting tangled in ropes 1 out of every 4 or 5 sets.
    (2) The getting tangled in ropes is not a sign of panic. He also does that all the time, even with a single rope, because he is so excited to have the rope on (see: crazy jumping and spinning above) because it usually means he gets to go on a field hike or retrieve or both.

    Neither of these events are unique to training him with pressure--both happen to him with some regularity. It's just very difficult to train him while these things are happening.

    He also did not clam up--he responded to every command, and was enthusiastic about his fun bumpers afterwards.

    So cakaiser, only one of the three things you list ("panicking," "nipping," "clamming") is actually occurring--nipping. I would much appreciate your insight on what you believe that nipping signifies.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Charles C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNG View Post
    Just to reassure some of those who appear to be getting overly concerned about my dog:
    (1) the crazy jumping and spinning is not a sign of panic. It's just a really irritating personality quirk of his. He does it all the time, pressure or no pressure, whenever he's really excited about something. In this setup, it ends up with him getting tangled in ropes 1 out of every 4 or 5 sets.
    (2) The getting tangled in ropes is not a sign of panic. He also does that all the time, even with a single rope, because he is so excited to have the rope on (see: crazy jumping and spinning above) because it usually means he gets to go on a field hike or retrieve or both.

    Neither of these events are unique to training him with pressure--both happen to him with some regularity. It's just very difficult to train him while these things are happening.

    He also did not clam up--he responded to every command, and was enthusiastic about his fun bumpers afterwards.

    So cakaiser, only one of the three things you list ("panicking," "nipping," "clamming") is actually occurring--nipping. I would much appreciate your insight on what you believe that nipping signifies.
    The nipping signifies a lack of understanding on the dog's part. He's trying to turn off the pressure by getting rid of the rope. HE IS CONFUSED.

  9. #19
    Senior Member PalouseDogs's Avatar
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    5 high????!!!! I'm sorry, but I agree with the other posters that the leaping and thrashing is panic. Just because he also leaps in play, doesn't mean the same behavior can't also be a sign of panic. I'm on my 3rd standard poodle. All of my poodles have been the "suffer in silence" type. They have all liked to bark at this and that, but they have all clammed up and gotten quiet when under duress. IOW, don't go by the lack of a vocal response as a sign that you aren't ramping it too high. In fact, with Alder (current poodle), a head tilt is the response I get. No yelping.
    Kelly Cassidy (person)

    HR Maple Cassidy CDX JH RE (golden retriever)
    Alder Cassidy CDX RE (standard poodle chipmunk chaser)
    plus whacked-out weird Burka (elderly mix-breed rescue girl)

  10. #20
    Administrator Chris Atkinson's Avatar
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    jng, your post count is now 15, so you can PM folks if you choose to.

    Good luck with your dog.

    I think you are putting a bit too much emphasis on pressure...that's my read.

    Chris
    "Determining and applying the criteria for when and when not to use correction is the essence of the art of dog training. I make a distinction between a mistake and a lack of effort." - Mike Lardy - Volume I "After Collar Conditioning"

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