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Pets & Working Animals => Dogs => Topic started by: Fleecewife on June 28, 2020, 10:05:39 am

Title: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 28, 2020, 10:05:39 am
Dog training.  Do you follow any particular training regime?  Ultra strict?  Gentle and loving?  Treats as rewards or verbal praise?
Graeme Hall in his 'Dogs Behaving Badly' programme goes for endless repetition and a confident but gentle way.  Barbara Woodhouse was rather loud and gave military orders to both dog and owner.  Both concentrate on the owners as well as the dogs.  My impression is that Barbara Woodhouse ruled by fear and Graeme Hall teaches by understanding and love.  Am I right?  What do you do?
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: Blondie on June 28, 2020, 10:25:36 am
I wouldn’t say a prescribe to any one school of thought but we have gone for repetition and praise with our retired greyhound. When I watch Graeme Hall, I do think instinctive we followed a very similar method to what he used.

We initially started with training treats and were pretty militant in using the same commands at the same time and over the top praise. We also had a clicker but didn’t really use that as much. We is really quite well behaved now with only lack of a “drop it” command annoying.

We do obviously use a harsh no, but only use that sparingly so if she is told off now, she knows she has done wrong!
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 28, 2020, 11:16:31 am
Having had collies for the last 14 years, who are super-sensitive and can easily be put off work by harsh treatment (which to a collie can be nothing more than a raised or gruff voice), and whose brains work super-fast, I have almost completely changed my approach to dog training.

I haven't seen Graham Hall so can't comment on his methods, but I would absolutely never return to the very authoritarian style of training that was prevalent in my youth, and of which Barbara Woodhouse was an eminent proponent. 

I will always be grateful to Derek Scrimgeour, whose "put a word on it" approach works so brilliantly with collies.  Get them doing the behaviour you want, by whatever (kind) means necessary, and then while they are doing it, tell them what that is called, and in a "good dog" sort of a voice.  Collies make associations super-quickly, but all dogs do it, so it works for all, I think.  All other training methods, apart from clicker-training, it is way too easy to reinforce the wrong behaviour, to get unintended consequences, because the gap between the word and the deed, and / or between the deed and the reward, are often too long and the dog makes the wrong association.  This way, the praise (tone of voice), the command (you say the word while they are doing the action) and the deed are all completely simultaneous.

You do this a few times, tell them what it's called while they are doing it, (meanwhile you are of course working out the best ways to get them doing it anyway without a command ;)), and then you start to ask for it (or as Derek prefers to put it, invite them to do it, saying the word in an inviting tone of voice)... initially of course when they are about to do it anyway, so that they take the invitation ;), and then as they actually do it you say the word again in a praising tone of voice.

And the other element that has changed since Barbara Woodhouse days is to completely ignore any behaviours you don't want.  Dogs love attention, so ignoring them is a powerful disincentive!

When I look back at some of the training I did when I was younger, I cringe.  Telling a dog off after the event nearly always looks completely random to a dog, even if the naughty thing is in front of them / you are waving it in front of their face.  If there is an afterlife, I am going to spend quite a bit of my time up there finding the dogs I trained before 2006 and apologising...
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: doganjo on June 28, 2020, 11:42:13 am
Couldn't have put that better, Sally.  Exactly how I work with my Brittanys - in a lot of ways they are very similar to collies, very sensitive, and often have cloth ears, but very loving.
I often feel guilty at the way i used to yank my poor cockers and springers - there was no need but that was how we were taught.  After my husband died and we had brittanys, and I knew better, I started dog classes and all our students were taught to look for a dog doing something you wanted and give it a name and reinforce it with praise, in the stubborn breeds we used treats, but ofen praise was all that was needed.
For example most dogs will sit or lie down when they are a little tired so after the social exercise of walking round the room a few times I would tell them all to stop, watch our dogs, and when one of them sat down we all said sit - it was surprising how many of the others would sit too.
I must admit I'm not averse to the occasional reprimand though - a firm 'no' is usually all that is required for any behaviour that i dont want
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 28, 2020, 12:33:40 pm
Aww, thanks Annie  :hug:

Sometimes even a brilliant collie needs to know that something's wrong too, but again, it's best to catch them before they actually do it, while they are thinking about doing it.  So, for instance, to stop the dog coming in at the sheep when you didn't ask them to, set them up so you know they will do it, then, just before they turn in, tell the ground off where you don't want them, for instance by pointing a stick at it and growling at it.  Works amazingly well.

I have seen Derek use a firmer correction.  He did it with my dog Skip (who Derek liked very much, saying he was a very clever dog.  Not surprised, I am sure he was a descendant of Derek's amazing Laddie; they looked very similar and had many similar moves.)   Anyway, Skip was 2 when I got him and had developed some bad habits as well as a lot of good.  Derek helped me to get on top of a lot of them, then said that Skip did need to be perfectly sure who was boss, so that when I did the "growl at the ground where I didn't want him" thing, he took notice.  It wasn't coming, so Derek, with my permission, stepped in and reinforced what I was doing, sharply, once.  Never needed any more help ;)

Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 28, 2020, 12:37:54 pm
And just to demonstrate how easy it is for even experienced trainers to end up reinforcing the wrong thing, here is a post I recently made on a friend's thread on FB.  She has recently acquired a "Sprollie" (springer x collie) and writes very humorously about how the training is going.  This time she was lamenting that retrieving wasn't coming.

Quote from: Sally
I was about to write about how Dot, even with her brain the size of a planet, has failed to work out, in all her 12 years, that she has to bring me the toy to get me to throw it for her again.

But, as I was mulling over how to write it entertainingly,  I realised that what in fact happens is she does her super cute irresistible stare intently at the toy with her ears on top of her head, I fail to resist, get up and pick up the toy and throw it for her.

So actually, it is *me* who has taken 12 years to realise that in fact, the dog has trained *me* to retrieve...
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 28, 2020, 01:31:32 pm
These new/old dogs, Mia and Sophie, are the 10th and 11th we have had.  Wolfhounds, wolfhound crossed with LGDs, German Shepherd, Bearded Collie, mongrel, Patterdale x Cairn and JR x Border Terrier, and now Staffie x Lab and Staffie x Lab X Pointer.  All so very different even within a breed.


The first dog was a Wolfie.  She thought she was human, and had the same right to self determination as the rest of the pack ie us.  We took her to dog training classes a la Woodhouse.  She produced a giant puddle on the floor to show her opinion of that and we were banned from the classes. We had to agree with her choice. I think that was the core of our 'training' with Brora - we mainly agreed with what she did but there were enough of us to make sure she complied if she herself felt she didn't want to.  She was supremely confident and the only contretemps I had was a small battle of who was higher in the pack order, her or me.  I won by being very firm.


The next two were a German Shepherd Ayla and a rescue puppy Cally.  They were extremely easy to train - it just happened really.  I think the mongrel was so keen to please and so bright she simply made sure her larger sister did the same things.


Then came the two Livestock Guardian dogs, Conna and Rowan (at the same time as the previous two).  With LGDs, their behaviour with the flock is innate, and their domestic behaviour just automatically complied with the other two. There was a problem with fighting caused by dominance challenges, which I eventually discovered could be best sorted by a bucket of water over the guilty party.  It sounds drastic, but when you have 6 dogs, 3 of them giant, one large and two medium, and a small child together, with only one human, then dealing with the problem instantly is essential, but I must say I hated doing it.  We did find other methods to prevent the fights, including muzzling the guilty party, but she hated the muzzle poor thing.


Another Wolfhound, Megan, and the Bearded Collie Molly,  came to us preformed and trained as they belonged to one of our sons.  It was just a case of getting them safe with the livestock and that was  firm 'no's', brief tugs on their leads, and unstinting praise for good behaviour.  The Bearded Collie was a total feartie though so hens and lambs were terrifying for her.


Lastly were the two terrier crosses, the first terriers we had had, and totally different in every way to all our previous dogs.  Lucy who came first had been terrorised by a nasty small boy as a new puppy in her birth home.  Her main aim in life was to run away and we found that very difficult to deal with. A visiting shepherd showed us the trick of ignoring any imperfect behaviour by folding our arms and turning our backs on Lucy and within hours she just wanted to please us.  Great advice and quite a changing point for us.
When Rip the JR arrived he seemed to know just what to do from birth.  He was the bravest and most diligent little dog we have ever had  :love:


So now we have Sophie and her mum Mia, Staffie crosses and we have no prior knowledge of their breeds.
They have spent a year in the rescue home where they had very little training and minimal socialising.  They have clearly been well trained before by their previous owner so we are currently helping them to remember life in a domestic home.
They are both bright but both have their breed related innate behaviours which we have to learn.  We could never use the Woodhouse method even if we wanted to, as they are a bit nervous.  We don't raise our voices and we keep calm at all times.  There have been some firm 'no's' and 'get down's ' (we refuse to share an armchair with stinky dogs  :D ) but otherwise we use the quiet repetition and praise method, reinforced with a small tug on the lead.  In the rescue place they used treats for everything but so far we have managed to avoid that route - it just doesn't sit well with us.
We are getting there with the livestock although both dogs are a bit too interested in the hens still.  These dogs are much bigger than the terriers were, and so far no hen has dared to deliver the peck on the nose which would sort the problem I think.  Our method with the livestock is to walk the dogs amongst them regularly on the lead, with a slight tug and a 'no' if they pay attention to them.


Our basic philosophy is to get our dogs to the point where they know what is expected of them, and they want to comply.  That seems to be the loving way, and who would keep a dog if they don't love it?


I asked the question because we have no formal dog training knowledge and we want to get it right.  With our previous dogs training has been pretty much hit or miss.  From all your replies so far  :bouquet:  it sounds as if we are on the right track this time. We have had the dogs for 4 days now and already they are settled and mostly calm, but they still show a degree of separation anxiety although it is improving beautifully. We have never left them alone entirely but we will not start that step for a week or so.


Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 28, 2020, 02:29:51 pm
I had one rescue who had extreme separation anxiety.  He had almost no other issues, and had been a stray, so we concluded that one day his owner just never came home, and the dog ended up trying to make a living on the streets.  There was no sign that he had ever been mistreated in any way at all - and also, he knew no commands at all when we first got him!  lol.  But he loved to have no problems in his life, so learned really quickly :love: :dog: :hugdog:

Anyway, back to the separation anxiety.  Even though he would be with the incumbent dog, who presumably reassured him that we would come back, we always do, he couldn't cope and would be destructive.  If you left him enough newspaper he would shred that into tiny, tiny pieces, and only start on other things when no piece could be shredded further...

But we didn't like to think of this lovely, happy dog being so upset, so we wanted to address the anxiety.

I had John Cree's book "Your Problem Dog" and looked into that for help.  And so we started to use a "Toy Box".  At first, when we were still there with him, so that Horace learned to love his Toy Box and enjoy it, and be excited when he got it.  Then, once he was at that stage, we would pop out while he was busy with it, at first just for a few seconds, so you would be back before he got bored with the Toy Box, and then longer and longer, until eventually you would not be there when he looked around.

It worked brilliantly.  If we were going out (and sometimes when we weren't), we would make up Toy Boxes for them (of course they had to have one each, otherwise Veni, who was boss, would have taken over the Toy Box and Horace would have noticed we'd gone). 

The Toy Box was a plastic crate, filled with interesting things - toys, tiny treats, the odd twig - hidden in amongst bits of screwed up newspaper and such like.  At least two things in each box high value prizes : a bit of pigs' ear maybe, a fave toy that they hadn't seen for a while.  So it would take them a good few minutes to go through the boxes and find the things, eat the snacks, chew the twigs up, etc.  While they were busy and excitedly doing that, you would slip out.  The key thing was that they didn't notice you go, so you avoided the most anxiety-inducing moment.  By the time they were done with all the things, you would initially either be back or very nearly, so they built up an experience base of it wasn't a big deal, you would be back soon.

Over time, we didn't need to do Toy Boxes - although would still do them sometimes as the dogs loved them so much!  lol

Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: arobwk on June 28, 2020, 03:25:54 pm
Very amateur dog trainer here, but I would like to add some comments:

As mentioned, kind regime is obviously best, BUT having one or two sharp rebukes in the repertoire for very bad behaviour is, I would say, essential if the bad behaviour could have “really bad” consequences.  (All dogs are different and are variously distracted/excited in certain circumstances and I believe a couple of “I really mean this – listen to me now” type commands/sounds are worth having.)

Mine are:


“No!” (like so many of us) which has proved good for so many different circumstances:  I’m not really sure how the dogs have worked out that “No!” can mean “don’t you dare” or “stop doing what you are doing” and even “oi! - pay attention”, but I guess it’s to do with intonation.

My other rebuke/way of getting them to “listen” (when they are obviously ignoring me) is to shout their name gruffly and I’m sure it’s a matter of volume and the note of irritation that they have come to recognise.  This normally works even with stubborn (“I hear you, but I’m not ready yet”) madam Papillon  – the gruff name call normally gets her to click back (reluctantly) into submissive mode.

As regards training with treats:  starting out, I decided treats should be used as sparingly as possible.  When I got the Boy (who liked to wander off all over my fields and beyond) I started using treats as an almost constant reward.  The difference was, and still is, amazing – he doesn’t get a treat every time now, but I can now be confident that he will run back to me, from where-ever he has roamed (enticed by animal scent trails), for either his treat (he 1st looks at my hands) or a bit of play-time.

Finally:  while I never admonish bad behaviour/”accidents” after the incident has passed for fear of confusing the dogs, I don’t worry too much about delayed rewards.  They seem quite prepared to wait for me to fumble with treat bag or go find a box/bag of goodies as they know only too well what my movements mean.


Finally, finally: mine are not the best/thoroughly trained dogs in the world.  (I quite like a little bit of doggy independence and mine are small, really friendly and not about to bite or dangerously ravage anyone.)  Never the less, they will respond just as readily to head/eye movements or arm/hand movements as to verbal commands:  why wouldn’t they since they are my constant companions ?!!
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: harmony on June 28, 2020, 06:10:33 pm
I would never advocate "harsh" or "cruel" treatment to train or work any animal and equally I don't think "kind" is best either. Of course there are variations and extremes of all those. I think the key is everyone knowing and understanding their place in the pecking order. And as pack leader you should be firm, fair and not break an animals trust in you as pack leader.


It is us humans who introduce the fuzzy lines. In a dog pack everyone is treated the same and the treatment is consistent. They don't make any judgements on the personalities.


I know people who run their dogs at trials that never fuss their animals. They aren't hard with their dogs either. As soon as they let a dog out it looks at them immediately for instruction. They are happy dogs, they know their place and they want to please. I know for us we want added interaction and I'm ok with that.


Whatever the lesson we should be clear in our instruction. If the animal gets it wrong it was probably our fault.


So many times people say they don't reprimand bad behaviour after it has happened because it confuses the dog. Whereas I think the opposite of that. For example, your dog runs off and won't come back immediately you call it. When it does you don't want to punish it because you don't want it to think you punished it for returning.  So, it learns that it can come back when it wants and then it adds chasing sheep into the equation and now it has done something really bad and do you still not reprimand because it still came back? Obviously you have to teach recall first but if a dog that has learnt recall decides to ignore it until it is ready to return I would reprimand that behaviour. I would use my voice and my stance, I would put it on the lead and I would take it home and ignore it during that process. I don't have to be harsh. The punishment is that the dog no longer feels welcome in the pack because it's behaviour was unacceptable and being part of the pack is really important to a pack animal.


If I came home and found the my cushions ripped up and the dog is asleep I would still reprimand even though I didn't catch them in the act. I'd show them the cushion, speak firmly then ignore.


When the dog is young I praise lots and how you use your voice is important not what you say. You can say "you are a very bad dog" in such a way the dog thinks it is in fact a "very good dog" or indeed vice versa.











Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 28, 2020, 06:38:59 pm
So many times people say they don't reprimand bad behaviour after it has happened because it confuses the dog. Whereas I think the opposite of that. For example, your dog runs off and won't come back immediately you call it. When it does you don't want to punish it because you don't want it to think you punished it for returning.  So, it learns that it can come back when it wants and then it adds chasing sheep into the equation and now it has done something really bad and do you still not reprimand because it still came back? Obviously you have to teach recall first but if a dog that has learnt recall decides to ignore it until it is ready to return I would reprimand that behaviour. I would use my voice and my stance, I would put it on the lead and I would take it home and ignore it during that process. I don't have to be harsh. The punishment is that the dog no longer feels welcome in the pack because it's behaviour was unacceptable and being part of the pack is really important to a pack animal.


If I came home and found the my cushions ripped up and the dog is asleep I would still reprimand even though I didn't catch them in the act. I'd show them the cushion, speak firmly then ignore.

That's how I used to do it.  And I now believe that all I taught those dogs was that I would sometimes randomly be cross.  :'(
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 28, 2020, 06:43:51 pm
For me, the 100% recall is an absolute must.  And in my experience, this is best achieved by the following maxim, "A dog that comes is a good dog."  No exceptions, not any.

Doesn't matter what it was doing the second before it came, it's a good dog for coming. 

And the only time I would ever, ever reprimand if they are not coming, is if I can literally hand-on-collar get-hold-of-them-in-the-act.  Otherwise, suck it up.  In the long run, it's better all round.

Once the recall is 100%, and coming is always nice, and it always gets praise and a fuss, then you can be more "I really mean it" about calling them if they don't run to you instantly.  But not until they come  e v e r y   s i n g l e    t i m e

Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 28, 2020, 06:48:59 pm

If I came home and found the my cushions ripped up and the dog is asleep I would still reprimand even though I didn't catch them in the act. I'd show them the cushion, speak firmly then ignore.

Modern thinking is that this will lead to more cushion-ripping, not less.

Dog's perspective : Ooo, goody, hooman home. Woof! Wag!  Uh-oooh.  Hooman cross.  Cushion bad!  Cushion in face bad!  Hoooman cross with cushion and Dog! 

Next time dog at home alone and gets stressed...  Awwww, where hooman?  Hooooooommmmmaaaannnn!!  No hooman  :(   What if hooman never come back?  Hooman!  Hooman!  HOOMAN!  Dog scared now, Dog frighted.   Dog bitey foot, dog bitey tail, dog bitey bad things... Cushion bad!  Dog bitey cushion! 
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 28, 2020, 07:05:44 pm

If I came home and found the my cushions ripped up and the dog is asleep I would still reprimand even though I didn't catch them in the act. I'd show them the cushion, speak firmly then ignore.

Modern thinking is that this will lead to more cushion-ripping, not less.

Dog's perspective : Ooo, goody, hooman home. Woof! Wag!  Uh-oooh.  Hooman cross.  Cushion bad!  Cushion in face bad!  Hoooman cross with cushion and Dog! 

Next time dog at home alone and gets stressed...  Awwww, where hooman?  Hooooooommmmmaaaannnn!!  No hooman  :(   What if hooman never come back?  Hooman!  Hooman!  HOOMAN!  Dog scared now, Dog frighted.   Dog bitey foot, dog bitey tail, dog bitey bad things... Cushion bad!  Dog bitey cushion!

My dogs must have gone to a better school than yours Sally - their grammar, pronunciation and enunciation are all perfect  :roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim:
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 28, 2020, 07:20:21 pm
We are gradually getting towards body language in this discussion.  I think our new dogs are still learning our body language and we are learning theirs.  We all take so many cues from body language without really knowing that we do it.  Fine when body language and words match up, totally confusing for all when they don't.


It's not just human body language that animals learn, but that of all other animals they are in contact with - sheep, birds, hens, cattle, other dogs, cats, etc.  I swear our koi in the pond recognise us by our body language as well as other characteristics, so they expect food if they know it's us waving a pot of pellets around, or danger if they don't recognise the signs.


On from that, we have always used a degree of hand signals and facial expressions as well as body movements when communicating with our dogs, as I think many others do.  This has meant that when Lucy the Patterdale X Cairn went deaf and a bit blind, she could still follow our comms by watching us.  We had to attract her attention with a loud handclap sometimes, and overexaggerate the movements.


I find the whole study of non-verbal communication, especially between species, to be fascinating.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: harmony on June 28, 2020, 08:53:28 pm
So many times people say they don't reprimand bad behaviour after it has happened because it confuses the dog. Whereas I think the opposite of that. For example, your dog runs off and won't come back immediately you call it. When it does you don't want to punish it because you don't want it to think you punished it for returning.  So, it learns that it can come back when it wants and then it adds chasing sheep into the equation and now it has done something really bad and do you still not reprimand because it still came back? Obviously you have to teach recall first but if a dog that has learnt recall decides to ignore it until it is ready to return I would reprimand that behaviour. I would use my voice and my stance, I would put it on the lead and I would take it home and ignore it during that process. I don't have to be harsh. The punishment is that the dog no longer feels welcome in the pack because it's behaviour was unacceptable and being part of the pack is really important to a pack animal.


If I came home and found the my cushions ripped up and the dog is asleep I would still reprimand even though I didn't catch them in the act. I'd show them the cushion, speak firmly then ignore.

That's how I used to do it.  And I now believe that all I taught those dogs was that I would sometimes randomly be cross.  :'(


When puppies are reprimanded by their dam they learn a lesson and I'm sure that the lesson wasn't that randomly their mother is cross  :thinking: 



Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 28, 2020, 08:55:53 pm
Yessss!!! 

(Although why such educated and erudite dogs dor't just simply elucidate their requests, I'm not sure.  :-J  :roflanim:)

Another of the many, many mistakes I've made along the way was being too obsessed with verbal commands, and getting frustrated if the dog was anticipating the command.  Of course, to the dog, it's all communication, so if our body language is signalling that we are about to do something, it's actually being an obedient dog to make the response as soon as it interprets the signals.  (And then I would tell it off, and make it "Wait!"  :coat:  Oh, there will be ssssssoooooo many apologies to make when I get over rainbow bridge....)

Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 28, 2020, 08:57:56 pm
So many times people say they don't reprimand bad behaviour after it has happened because it confuses the dog. Whereas I think the opposite of that. For example, your dog runs off and won't come back immediately you call it. When it does you don't want to punish it because you don't want it to think you punished it for returning.  So, it learns that it can come back when it wants and then it adds chasing sheep into the equation and now it has done something really bad and do you still not reprimand because it still came back? Obviously you have to teach recall first but if a dog that has learnt recall decides to ignore it until it is ready to return I would reprimand that behaviour. I would use my voice and my stance, I would put it on the lead and I would take it home and ignore it during that process. I don't have to be harsh. The punishment is that the dog no longer feels welcome in the pack because it's behaviour was unacceptable and being part of the pack is really important to a pack animal.


If I came home and found the my cushions ripped up and the dog is asleep I would still reprimand even though I didn't catch them in the act. I'd show them the cushion, speak firmly then ignore.

That's how I used to do it.  And I now believe that all I taught those dogs was that I would sometimes randomly be cross.  :'(


When puppies are reprimanded by their dam they learn a lesson and I'm sure that the lesson wasn't that randomly their mother is cross  :thinking:

Oh, absolutely.  But the adult dogs reprimand the pup as it does the unwanted behaviour, not some time afterwards.

Giving them a clear indication that this is not a good thing while they are doing it is a completely different scenario to being cross with them after they come back to you, or after you return home.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: harmony on June 28, 2020, 09:00:10 pm
For me, the 100% recall is an absolute must.  And in my experience, this is best achieved by the following maxim, "A dog that comes is a good dog."  No exceptions, not any.

Doesn't matter what it was doing the second before it came, it's a good dog for coming. 

And the only time I would ever, ever reprimand if they are not coming, is if I can literally hand-on-collar get-hold-of-them-in-the-act.  Otherwise, suck it up.  In the long run, it's better all round.

Once the recall is 100%, and coming is always nice, and it always gets praise and a fuss, then you can be more "I really mean it" about calling them if they don't run to you instantly.  But not until they come  e v e r y   s i n g l e    t i m e


I completely agree about recall being an absolute must.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 28, 2020, 09:01:03 pm

I find the whole study of non-verbal communication, especially between species, to be fascinating.

Yes indeed!  Shall we do it here, or have another thread?  And if so, where???
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 28, 2020, 09:25:18 pm
I'm for a good old fashioned mixture of both ......
I try to be as positive as possible, sometimes I use treats, frequently I use verbal and physical praise but occasionally I reprimand my dogs.
I would love to be able to train completely using positive methods but I'm not sure that it is possible to be positive all of the time.
Mine are working line labs and they are clever and eager to please in general. I try to teach a lesson well ..... in fact to over teach it. I don't reprimand until I'm sure that the dog knows the lesson and understands what it should be doing.  However, if the dog then chooses to ignore me then I would reprimand.
I think it also depends on the level of obedience you want and expect from your dog and also on the temperament of your dog.

Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: arobwk on June 28, 2020, 09:46:05 pm
Let's be clear here:  if you catch your dog doing something you do not find acceptable, you admonish them immediately right (?), but if you find your dog has done something you do not find acceptable AND you missed the event, how do you make them connect your annoyance directly to something they've done in your absence?  You can't! 
That said, I swear mine can make a connection between a past event they were admonished for and a similar more recent event I missed, but show non-directed annoyance about.  I can often tell the guilty party (!!), but I still avoid telling them off directly if I actually missed the event.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: harmony on June 28, 2020, 10:03:39 pm
So many times people say they don't reprimand bad behaviour after it has happened because it confuses the dog. Whereas I think the opposite of that. For example, your dog runs off and won't come back immediately you call it. When it does you don't want to punish it because you don't want it to think you punished it for returning.  So, it learns that it can come back when it wants and then it adds chasing sheep into the equation and now it has done something really bad and do you still not reprimand because it still came back? Obviously you have to teach recall first but if a dog that has learnt recall decides to ignore it until it is ready to return I would reprimand that behaviour. I would use my voice and my stance, I would put it on the lead and I would take it home and ignore it during that process. I don't have to be harsh. The punishment is that the dog no longer feels welcome in the pack because it's behaviour was unacceptable and being part of the pack is really important to a pack animal.


If I came home and found the my cushions ripped up and the dog is asleep I would still reprimand even though I didn't catch them in the act. I'd show them the cushion, speak firmly then ignore.

That's how I used to do it.  And I now believe that all I taught those dogs was that I would sometimes randomly be cross.  :'(


When puppies are reprimanded by their dam they learn a lesson and I'm sure that the lesson wasn't that randomly their mother is cross  :thinking:

Oh, absolutely.  But the adult dogs reprimand the pup as it does the unwanted behaviour, not some time afterwards.

Giving them a clear indication that this is not a good thing while they are doing it is a completely different scenario to being cross with them after they come back to you, or after you return home.


Puppies live in a fairly contained environment and their everyday life, thought processes and experiences are simple. As their environment and training progresses their lives become more complex. They are in my opinion able to process that today something happened on a walk which was unacceptable to their pack leader not their hooman. It didn't result in a physical punishment or even a shout but a clear push to the outside of the pack which made them feel unsafe for a while. Instead of the usual walk they were taken home and given time out. And your next outing you have to reinforce the positive of a good recall situation.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 28, 2020, 10:16:37 pm
Yes, catch them in the act.
Sometimes I put mine in a position whereby it is possible to 'catch them in the act'. Eg. I know that a dog knows and can do a good recall. And recall can be at many different levels, right from a puppy who is just beginning to come back when called in the garden when there are no distractions to an older dog with a reliable recall in all situations. If my dog is at a good level in recall teaching.....knows and can recall reliably ....but then starts to ignore me I would perhaps go back a lesson or two to check and consolidate their learning. But then if I was sure that they understood then I would recall when they were near to me and occupied (sniffing in the hedge etc). If they ignored then I could get to them and reprimand while they were ignoring the reprimand rather than once they eventually returned.


But arobwk I agree that mine definitely know when they have done something that they shouldn't have done ......that guilty look when you walk in the room ....puppy dog eyes or what?!!!!!!! And I would reprimand if I walked in the room and found that they had taken something off the kitchen counter for example. I think it depends what they've done and if you know that they know they've done something wrong. Somethings they wouldn't connect but mine would understand a late reprimand for certain things.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: harmony on June 28, 2020, 10:34:19 pm
Let's be clear here:  if you catch your dog doing something you do not find acceptable, you admonish them immediately right (?), but if you find your dog has done something you do not find acceptable AND you missed the event, how do you make them connect your annoyance directly to something they've done in the past?  You can't! 
That said, I swear mine can make a connection between a past event they were admonished for and a more recent event I missed, but show non-directed annoyance about.  I can often tell the guilty party !! - but I still avoid telling them off IF I actually missed the event.


So they eat the sausage you left defrosting in the kitchen when you were doing the garden and you left the kitchen door open. You don't discover this for hours. Do you ignore that? Would you ignore it if they pinched it off your plate whilst you turned your back momentarily? You didn't see either happen?


Personally. I think both is unacceptable and the rule is dog food is provided in the dog dish and I think a dog is perfectly capable of processing that they shouldn't have done that and that they have received admonishment for it.  The empty plate and location is the connection. It would be no good going into the garden and telling them off.


Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: harmony on June 28, 2020, 11:02:24 pm
Yes, catch them in the act.
Sometimes I put mine in a position whereby it is possible to 'catch them in the act'. Eg. I know that a dog knows and can do a good recall. And recall can be at many different levels, right from a puppy who is just beginning to come back when called in the garden when there are no distractions to an older dog with a reliable recall in all situations. If my dog is at a good level in recall teaching.....knows and can recall reliably ....but then starts to ignore me I would perhaps go back a lesson or two to check and consolidate their learning. But then if I was sure that they understood then I would recall when they were near to me and occupied (sniffing in the hedge etc). If they ignored then I could get to them and reprimand while they were ignoring the reprimand rather than once they eventually returned.


But arobwk I agree that mine definitely know when they have done something that they shouldn't have done ......that guilty look when you walk in the room ....puppy dog eyes or what?!!!!!!! And I would reprimand if I walked in the room and found that they had taken something off the kitchen counter for example. I think it depends what they've done and if you know that they know they've done something wrong. Somethings they wouldn't connect but mine would understand a late reprimand for certain things.


Have you lost sausage too?  ;D


Generally speaking dogs learn to do things that make us happy. If we are happy they get to be part of a pack and packs provide what they need, protection and food. Behaviour that makes us unhappy pushes them out of the pack and that makes them feel vulnerable. Dogs have used their intelligence and versatility to infiltrate our packs over a number of centuries demonstrating a fair amount of understanding about what makes us tick. They've been training us all that time  :thinking:


I agree with you in the hills about sometimes having to go back with your lessons to check and consolidate.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 28, 2020, 11:28:23 pm
Yessss!!! 

(Although why such educated and erudite dogs dor't just simply elucidate their requests, I'm not sure.  :-J :roflanim: )

Another of the many, many mistakes I've made along the way was being too obsessed with verbal commands, and getting frustrated if the dog was anticipating the command.  Of course, to the dog, it's all communication, so if our body language is signalling that we are about to do something, it's actually being an obedient dog to make the response as soon as it interprets the signals.  (And then I would tell it off, and make it "Wait!"  :coat:  Oh, there will be ssssssoooooo many apologies to make when I get over rainbow bridge....)

When you finally get to wherever you're heading Sally, you will, according to Terry Pratchett, discover that all the dogs have been led off by The Death of Dogs to somewhere filled with lamp posts, tennis balls, comfy human beds and dogs with smelly bottoms  :innocent: so say your sorries now  :D
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 28, 2020, 11:38:33 pm

I find the whole study of non-verbal communication, especially between species, to be fascinating.

Yes indeed!  Shall we do it here, or have another thread?  And if so, where???

Can we delay it a week or so til this is finished?  The coffee lounge would be the best place for everyone to see it, do you think?
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 29, 2020, 12:19:54 am
I'm not going to belabour the point as we are clearly not going to all agree on this one.

But I'll just finish by saying that that "guilty look" is, in my opinion and that of many modern dog behaviourists, fear at the anticipated random anger which they have learned can happen on the humans' return, and not at all linked to awareness of the deed they did some minutes or hours ago.  Human comes in, sees ripped cushion / empty plate / whatever.  Human body language alerts dog that human is not happy.  Dog has learned that this often precedes a reprimand, so dog's body language goes fear / submission / appeasment.  Human thinks dog is guilty and knows it, so interprets fear / submission / appeasment body language as guilt.


So they eat the sausage you left defrosting in the kitchen when you were doing the garden and you left the kitchen door open. You don't discover this for hours. Do you ignore that?

Yes, 100%, because I cannot punish the dog for that.  I can only punish the dog randomly and make it feel insecure, and furthermore, increase its anxiety when I leave it in anticipation of random punishments on my return.


Would you ignore it if they pinched it off your plate whilst you turned your back momentarily?

Same answer.

If I want to stop the dog pinching my sausages, the best way is to set it up to catch it about to do it, and make the sausages scary so that it builds an association of "oooh, not nice, don't want them after all" when it looks at sausages that aren't in its bowl (or being given to it by your hand if you like doing that.)  The beauty of this is it is not dependant on you being present for a plate of sausages to be unpleasant and the dog walk away from them.

Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 29, 2020, 08:27:35 am
Mmmmm, but I would guarantee that if I wasn't in the room and my dog was in the act of stealing those sausages they would be looking around sheepishly to check that I wasn't around because they would know and understand that what they were about to do was unacceptable.
If I returned in 5 hours then I think that they might not make an association but 10 minutes later they would. They would remember what they had done 10 minutes before and already have been taught that it was unacceptable.
I also think it depends on how you train your dog, the relationship that you have with your dog and what you mean by a reprimand. Surely a good trainer doesn't have a dog that is 'fearful' or overly 'submissive'. I would be very concerned if me showing displeasure at an action meant that the dog then suffered anxiety worrying about my return home or into the room on the next occasion. I would have failed.
I know a lot of excellent/top trainers of gundogs and collies. They do reprimand their dogs and they also praise their dogs. The reprimand and the praise is quiet and controlled. The lessons are taught in tiny positive steps, the dog understands, is confident and understands and there is TRUST between dog and handler. If any reprimand is too harsh, not matched to the temperament of the dog or not understood by the dog then it is a problem. It will break down trust, confuse and worry the dog and hinder training.
I think that the reprimand given is a small part of a much bigger picture and if given correctly is not a big negative. And maybe there lies the problem if people get that wrong.



Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: harmony on June 29, 2020, 08:41:59 am
Mmmmm, but I would guarantee that if I wasn't in the room and my dog was in the act of stealing those sausages they would be looking around sheepishly to check that I wasn't around because they would know and understand that what they were about to do was unacceptable.
If I returned in 5 hours then I think that they might not make an association but 10 minutes later they would. They would remember what they had done 10 minutes before and already have been taught that it was unacceptable.
I also think it depends on how you train your dog, the relationship that you have with your dog and what you mean by a reprimand. Surely a good trainer doesn't have a dog that is 'fearful' or overly 'submissive'. I would be very concerned if me showing displeasure at an action meant that the dog then suffered anxiety worrying about my return home or into the room on the next occasion. I would have failed.
I know a lot of excellent/top trainers of gundogs and collies. They do reprimand their dogs and they also praise their dogs. The reprimand and the praise is quiet and controlled. The lessons are taught in tiny positive steps, the dog understands, is confident and understands and there is TRUST between dog and handler. If any reprimand is too harsh, not matched to the temperament of the dog or not understood by the dog then it is a problem. It will break down trust, confuse and worry the dog and hinder training.
I think that the reprimand given is a small part of a much bigger picture and if given correctly is not a big negative. And maybe there lies the problem if people get that wrong.


Completely agree. Also dogs move on and quickly. They want to be excepted back into their comfortable, safe place.


I know trainers who are harsher than I would ever be and their dogs are happy, good workers without issues.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 29, 2020, 08:59:51 am
When you see a professional trainer reprimand their dog, it will be for something the dog is doing right there and then, and the dog will be in no doubt about why it is being reprimanded.  So that is just the same as the dam telling the pup off, and won't erode trust or security or engender fear.

What you won't see that professional trainer do is reprimand the dog "for" something the dog did some time ago.  And I have quoted that "for" because in that circumstance, the human will understand the "for" but the dog will not.  All the dog will know is that sometimes, out of the blue, it will be reprimanded and it will have no idea why.  So those reprimands erode security and engender fear.

Dogs are creatures of immediacy.  They work on associations : deed -> reaction.  They do not think, "Hmm, not sure why that has just happened.  Wonder what I might have done in the last 60 minutes that might be the reason I am being shouted at now.  Let me think... now, working backwards from now : greeted hooman, heard hooman come in door, heard hooman car arrive, walked around checking sniffs, licked butt, had a big stretch and roll, had a snooze, made my bed forty gaziiliion times, walked around checking sniffs, had a woof at the cat next door through the window, ...."  And even if they did arrive at "chewed up cushion" an hour ago, they are much, much more likely to associate the reprimand with something much more recent - which will be you coming home.   :'(
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 29, 2020, 09:03:02 am
I don't believe that I'm harsh at all with my dogs but do realise after going to a puppy training class which was an all positive class that some people now seem to disapprove of all reprimand with some passion and wouldn't agree with my way of training.
I find the subject quite interesting and I'm open to any new training methods/tips/thoughts etc.


I've also watched with horror some people who seem to believe they are training in a kind way but are actually constantly correcting and nagging their dogs. No peace for them or their poor dogs.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: harmony on June 29, 2020, 09:10:37 am
I'm not going to belabour the point as we are clearly not going to all agree on this one.

But I'll just finish by saying that that "guilty look" is, in my opinion and that of many modern dog behaviourists, fear at the anticipated random anger which they have learned can happen on the humans' return, and not at all linked to awareness of the deed they did some minutes or hours ago.  Human comes in, sees ripped cushion / empty plate / whatever.  Human body language alerts dog that human is not happy.  Dog has learned that this often precedes a reprimand, so dog's body language goes fear / submission / appeasment.  Human thinks dog is guilty and knows it, so interprets fear / submission / appeasment body language as guilt.


So they eat the sausage you left defrosting in the kitchen when you were doing the garden and you left the kitchen door open. You don't discover this for hours. Do you ignore that?

Yes, 100%, because I cannot punish the dog for that.  I can only punish the dog randomly and make it feel insecure, and furthermore, increase its anxiety when I leave it in anticipation of random punishments on my return.


Would you ignore it if they pinched it off your plate whilst you turned your back momentarily?

Same answer.

If I want to stop the dog pinching my sausages, the best way is to set it up to catch it about to do it, and make the sausages scary so that it builds an association of "oooh, not nice, don't want them after all" when it looks at sausages that aren't in its bowl (or being given to it by your hand if you like doing that.)  The beauty of this is it is not dependant on you being present for a plate of sausages to be unpleasant and the dog walk away from them.


I'll agree we wont agree on this.  :)


Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 29, 2020, 09:16:44 am
Well yes SITN it is all about .....when, why, how and what has gone before.


And of course time scale ..... no good correcting for something that happened yesterday or several hours ago ....... but mine are aware of something they did a few minutes before.


And of course professional trainers aim to not have to reprimand a dog at all by teaching the dog in tiny steps, teaching the same lesson with distractions, in different settings, reading the dogs body language, anticipating when the dog will go wrong and making sure it doesn't and also putting the dog in a position that if it does ignore a command you can correct the dog while in the act.
Professional trainers probably don't use reprimands as much as some pet owners. My dad trained other people's gundogs and he would say that you aimed not to have to reprimand but if you did you would do it in a way that the reprimand counted .... the dog understood what the correction was for and the correction was precise and measured. I remember him telling folk off for reprimanding their dogs usually saying ...... ' it's you and not the dog'!
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 29, 2020, 09:19:21 am
I think the folks who disapprove of any kind of negative reinforcement (even things like shaking a bottle of pebbles when the dog looks at your sausages ;)) are coming, on the one hand, from a similar place as my antipathy to using titbits for training.  It's all about timing; titbits are a wonderful reinforcing aid in skilled hands, but unfortunately a lot of pet handlers simply don't have the skill to make the titbit instant enough.  So they end up reinforcing the wrong behaviours.  I used to see it a lot when I did dog obedience classes with the wonderful ladies in Cricklade 30 years ago; the teacher would demonstrate giving the titbit instantaneously as the dog sat in front of her on its recall, then the hapless pet owner would have a go, and by the time the dog got the titbit it was jumping up her to get at it.  So the behaviour that actually got reinforced would be jumping up! ::)  It's so much easier to get a word of praise delivered at the exact right moment - and you can use it for things that went well remotely too ;)

And the same applies to the timing of negative reinforcement, as I have been trying to explain.  But in this case, some people would argue that it is actually cruel to the dog to be reprimanding it when it doesn't know why, and since getting the timing right is very hard for a lot of people, then if there are ways to train without any negative reinforcement, that is kinder to dogs.

Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 29, 2020, 09:21:00 am
My dad trained other people's gundogs and he would say that you aimed not to have to reprimand but if you did you would do it in a way that the reprimand counted .... the dog understood what the correction was for and the correction was precise and measured. I remember him telling folk off for reprimanding their dogs usually saying ...... ' it's you and not the dog'!

Oh, this.  So much this. 

Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 29, 2020, 09:23:40 am
My dad trained other people's gundogs and he would say that you aimed not to have to reprimand but if you did you would do it in a way that the reprimand counted .... the dog understood what the correction was for and the correction was precise and measured. I remember him telling folk off for reprimanding their dogs usually saying ...... ' it's you and not the dog'!

Oh, this.  So much this.

One of the things I have learned as I work with the working collies is that they are always trying to do the right thing, so if you shout at them when they aren't delivering what you want, you simply break their hearts.   :'(   It is always the handler's fault.  (Maybe not when they are very first learning, and run in excitedly and even grip :o, perhaps, but once you have them sorted with the basics.)
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: harmony on June 29, 2020, 09:55:58 am
My dad trained other people's gundogs and he would say that you aimed not to have to reprimand but if you did you would do it in a way that the reprimand counted .... the dog understood what the correction was for and the correction was precise and measured. I remember him telling folk off for reprimanding their dogs usually saying ...... ' it's you and not the dog'!

Oh, this.  So much this.

One of the things I have learned as I work with the working collies is that they are always trying to do the right thing, so if you shout at them when they aren't delivering what you want, you simply break their hearts.   :'(   It is always the handler's fault.  (Maybe not when they are very first learning, and run in excitedly and even grip :o , perhaps, but once you have them sorted with the basics.)


Most dogs try to please you. I wouldn't reprimand a dog because it didn't do what I wanted it to do
working the sheep or retrieving a rabbit. That isn't about unacceptable behaviour. And will absolutely break trust and confidence.



Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 29, 2020, 10:06:48 am
Most dogs try to please you. I wouldn't reprimand a dog because it didn't do what I wanted it to do
working the sheep or retrieving a rabbit. That isn't about unacceptable behaviour. And will absolutely break trust and confidence.

Well let's cherish that as something we can agree on!  lol   :hug:
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 29, 2020, 10:12:37 am
My working line labs do want to please and so they are relatively easy to train. However I don't think that they 'always' want to please and sometimes they would prefer to do what they want to do. Often it is the handlers 'fault' but sometimes the dog surely chooses to ignore and do what it wants to do?


When you're working any dog I'd agree though that you have to be very careful when and how much you reprimand and how you reprimand because you can easily 'ruin' a young dog for work. Hence why professional trainers are so careful and considered in using reprimands.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: doganjo on June 29, 2020, 11:16:56 am
For me, the 100% recall is an absolute must.  And in my experience, this is best achieved by the following maxim, "A dog that comes is a good dog."  No exceptions, not any.

Doesn't matter what it was doing the second before it came, it's a good dog for coming. 

And the only time I would ever, ever reprimand if they are not coming, is if I can literally hand-on-collar get-hold-of-them-in-the-act.  Otherwise, suck it up.  In the long run, it's better all round.

Once the recall is 100%, and coming is always nice, and it always gets praise and a fuss, then you can be more "I really mean it" about calling them if they don't run to you instantly.  But not until they come  e v e r y   s i n g l e    t i m e
I disagree!!!

By far teh most important commadn is STOP - right where you are, no questions.

THEN and only then should you recall - when it is safe for the dog to do so.

A friend of mine had a pup from me, they lived near a railway line, the dog had a 100% recall as it was used with birds of prey.  Heidi was out for a walk with 2 year old Copper one day and she ran off to hunt, Heidi saw her at the other side of the railway line and immediately whistled recall. Copper immediately started to run back - just as the Inverness to London train came along - she carried her beloved dying dog 3 miles to her car and Copper died in her arms.
So STOP command is first - 100%  It can be a life saver
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: harmony on June 29, 2020, 11:51:45 am
My working line labs do want to please and so they are relatively easy to train. However I don't think that they 'always' want to please and sometimes they would prefer to do what they want to do. Often it is the handlers 'fault' but sometimes the dog surely chooses to ignore and do what it wants to do?


When you're working any dog I'd agree though that you have to be very careful when and how much you reprimand and how you reprimand because you can easily 'ruin' a young dog for work. Hence why professional trainers are so careful and considered in using reprimands.


I'm sure they choose to ignore and that could be because we have blurred the lines, given the wrong signals etc but also it could be just to test our dominance as pack leader.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: harmony on June 29, 2020, 12:00:42 pm
For me, the 100% recall is an absolute must.  And in my experience, this is best achieved by the following maxim, "A dog that comes is a good dog."  No exceptions, not any.

Doesn't matter what it was doing the second before it came, it's a good dog for coming. 

And the only time I would ever, ever reprimand if they are not coming, is if I can literally hand-on-collar get-hold-of-them-in-the-act.  Otherwise, suck it up.  In the long run, it's better all round.

Once the recall is 100%, and coming is always nice, and it always gets praise and a fuss, then you can be more "I really mean it" about calling them if they don't run to you instantly.  But not until they come  e v e r y   s i n g l e    t i m e
I disagree!!!

By far teh most important commadn is STOP - right where you are, no questions.

THEN and only then should you recall - when it is safe for the dog to do so.

A friend of mine had a pup from me, they lived near a railway line, the dog had a 100% recall as it was used with birds of prey.  Heidi was out for a walk with 2 year old Copper one day and she ran off to hunt, Heidi saw her at the other side of the railway line and immediately whistled recall. Copper immediately started to run back - just as the Inverness to London train came along - she carried her beloved dying dog 3 miles to her car and Copper died in her arms.
So STOP command is first - 100%  It can be a life saver


I would agree that "stop" is up there with recall. Although it could be down, sit or stay as long as the dog also learns it doesn't move again until told. Sad story  :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 29, 2020, 12:24:00 pm
Arrr Doganjo, that is so sad.


I'm just reinforcing/teaching to a higher level the stop whistle with my young dog. Your tragic story shows the importance of the stop command for safety and to be honest I hadn't thought too much about it in that way.
Thanks for sharing.  :hug:
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 29, 2020, 12:43:05 pm
For me, the 100% recall is an absolute must.  And in my experience, this is best achieved by the following maxim, "A dog that comes is a good dog."  No exceptions, not any.

Doesn't matter what it was doing the second before it came, it's a good dog for coming. 

And the only time I would ever, ever reprimand if they are not coming, is if I can literally hand-on-collar get-hold-of-them-in-the-act.  Otherwise, suck it up.  In the long run, it's better all round.

Once the recall is 100%, and coming is always nice, and it always gets praise and a fuss, then you can be more "I really mean it" about calling them if they don't run to you instantly.  But not until they come  e v e r y   s i n g l e    t i m e
I disagree!!!

By far teh most important commadn is STOP - right where you are, no questions.

THEN and only then should you recall - when it is safe for the dog to do so.

A friend of mine had a pup from me, they lived near a railway line, the dog had a 100% recall as it was used with birds of prey.  Heidi was out for a walk with 2 year old Copper one day and she ran off to hunt, Heidi saw her at the other side of the railway line and immediately whistled recall. Copper immediately started to run back - just as the Inverness to London train came along - she carried her beloved dying dog 3 miles to her car and Copper died in her arms.
So STOP command is first - 100%  It can be a life saver

Thank you Doganjo, that is genuinely helpful.  A similar thing happened in our village where someone, like us, has the road going through the middle of his land. After bringing his flock across, he failed to notice his favourite collie was still on the other side when he called it. The dog was killed in front of his eyes - horrific.
I had forgotten that whilst training our new dogs but I'll remember it now  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 29, 2020, 03:38:32 pm
For me, the 100% recall is an absolute must.  And in my experience, this is best achieved by the following maxim, "A dog that comes is a good dog."  No exceptions, not any.

Doesn't matter what it was doing the second before it came, it's a good dog for coming. 

And the only time I would ever, ever reprimand if they are not coming, is if I can literally hand-on-collar get-hold-of-them-in-the-act.  Otherwise, suck it up.  In the long run, it's better all round.

Once the recall is 100%, and coming is always nice, and it always gets praise and a fuss, then you can be more "I really mean it" about calling them if they don't run to you instantly.  But not until they come  e v e r y   s i n g l e    t i m e
I disagree!!!

By far teh most important commadn is STOP - right where you are, no questions.

THEN and only then should you recall - when it is safe for the dog to do so.

A friend of mine had a pup from me, they lived near a railway line, the dog had a 100% recall as it was used with birds of prey.  Heidi was out for a walk with 2 year old Copper one day and she ran off to hunt, Heidi saw her at the other side of the railway line and immediately whistled recall. Copper immediately started to run back - just as the Inverness to London train came along - she carried her beloved dying dog 3 miles to her car and Copper died in her arms.
So STOP command is first - 100%  It can be a life saver

Thank you Doganjo, that is genuinely helpful.  A similar thing happened in our village where someone, like us, has the road going through the middle of his land. After bringing his flock across, he failed to notice his favourite collie was still on the other side when he called it. The dog was killed in front of his eyes - horrific.
I had forgotten that whilst training our new dogs but I'll remember it now  :thumbsup:

Next question - how do you teach a dog to stop when it's off the lead? Do you start when it's walking beside you on a lead?
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 29, 2020, 04:20:08 pm
Once they can sit using a verbal command. I introduce the whistle. So, as they sit from the verbal command I blow a single blast of the whistle as their bottom is touching the floor.  A young dog gets it in no time at all and then you can drop the verbal command and just blow the whistle. This is with the dog on lead and heeling. Then I might run and blow the whistle and hope that the dog responds and sits quickly.


Then I would blow the whistle as the dog is playing in the garden for example but when they are nearby and not particularly distracted by anything. Hopefully the dog stops and looks round. If it doesn't sit you could use the verbal command too. Then I say stay and walk to them and praise or give a treat. I'd expect them to stay there until told to 'play' or whatever command you use that means off you go. Then increase the time before they are allowed to play. Or when they have mastered this part you could give a recall command. Or give the play command from wherever you were when you blew the whistle. Mix it up then so the dog doesn't know exactly what you will ask it to do from this stop signal. Then it's attention is on you. It's thinking ok what now.

Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 29, 2020, 05:23:53 pm
Then with a gundog you might blow the stop whistle and dog sits. It doesn't move as it's waiting for a command. Then throw a ball to its right and it stays until a hand signal is given for it to fetch. The dog has already mastered steadiness to the fall at this point. In this way stopping to the whistle becomes fun because dog relates stopping to something fun but of course its still under control.


Then gradually increase the distance between you and dog when you blow that whistle. Further away the dog is the more likely he is to ignore you.


You can sit them. Walk away. Call your dog to you and when they are fairly close blow the stop whistle. They sit you walk to them and praise. Then gradually blow the whistle when the dog is further from you. Mine quickly learn this so don't do it too much as they start coming back slowly waiting for the whistle! Ha!


With gundogs the stop whistle is used when the dog is looking for an unseen dummy/bird and might need help finding it from its handler. It stops and looks to the handler who gives a hand direction. You don't really want them to sit as they get to know the lesson just to stop quickly and look to you for a command.


Now, what do you do if your dog has gone through the many steps of teaching the stop whistle, understands it, has shown that they understand it but chooses to ignore it?????????  I've never known a dog that wouldn't choose on occasion to ignore it eg. Mmmmm, stop or chase the rabbit, sooner run after that dog and play.
This is when I might gently reprimand a dog while in the act of ignoring that stop whistle. In the long term I see it as a positive. Dog can enjoy retrieving that wouldn't be possible if it wasn't trained to that whistle and for safety it knows not to ignore that whistle.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: doganjo on June 29, 2020, 06:05:48 pm
Quote
Next question - how do you teach a dog to stop when it's off the lead? Do you start when it's walking beside you on a lead?
Exactly as #inthehills says
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 29, 2020, 07:21:37 pm
Working on the later stages of stop whistle with my young dog, Doganjo ........ What have I missed??????? :eyelashes:  Any tips?
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: doganjo on June 29, 2020, 09:28:58 pm
I just always teach the sit to whistle starting at my side, then on the lead in the garden, then off the lead in the garden, then on the lead in a large but enclosed area, then off the lead in same area, then on the lead in the big wide world, then on a longer lead, and then a longer one, then on a trailing lead, then I trust them - any slip from 100% and they go back a step. No second chances, no relaxation, there wouldn't be if there was a car coming.

That said, Missy has been a trial for me, mainly because I became ill soon after I got her so it's been more difficult.  Not her fault.  But her recall is pretty good, as is her turn, so I could turn her rather than recall if necessary.  She's just so blooming fast.  :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 29, 2020, 11:29:30 pm
Thank you for that @in the hills .  I get the gist of the method and can pick that out, but I shan't be using a whistle, just verbal commands.  The dogs are still a bit nervous from their year in the rescue and sudden sounds frighten them. Also, when I most needed it I would be bound not to have a whistle with me.  These are not working dogs, just old ladies living out their lives who need to be safe.  They don't go far from us and our land is not so huge they would ever be out of earshot.  Away from home they will be on retractable leads.  All I need is to be able to stop them in their tracks if they get close to machinery or make a mistake around the livestock, or someone leaves a gate open onto the road.
I have always used an oral whistle for recall with all my dogs, so they are learning that too.
It's day 5 since we got the girls and we are all making excellent progress.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 30, 2020, 07:39:42 am
In those situations maybe a simple 'no' command would suffice, FW.



Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: Fleecewife on June 30, 2020, 01:52:12 pm
In those situations maybe a simple 'no' command would suffice, FW.

Wouldn't that be confusing ? All our previous dogs have always had the 'no' command, but used differently to 'wait' or 'wait there'.  I think 'stop' is different yet again and is a bit like the driving test - when the examiner says 'stop' he means an emergency stop and not a hover-what-shall-I-do-next? - there's a finality to 'stop' and I can think of a couple of situations where we would find it useful, so we shall proceed with that.  The girls are both bright, as shown by how quickly they are adapting to their new lives  :thumbsup: so they'll get it.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 30, 2020, 03:01:30 pm
Whatever suits you and your crew, FW.


I was just thinking that the stop command takes a while to teach thoroughly and though it is subtly different the 'no' command may already be known to your dogs or will be taught by you in lots of situations indoors and out. And will probably give much the same response .....to stop and look at you and give time for a 'come' or 'stay' command depending on circumstance.


I think my natural response if my dog was heading towards stock or an open gate would be 'no'.


You're probably saying 'no' when your dogs take any interest in your stock ..... probably on lead I guess at the moment. But when off lead you can still shout 'no' if they show interest and same at the open gate. Dig should still stop and look at you thinking it's doing something wrong. And 'no' is a very quick word to shout out in an emergency. Probably easier than stop.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 30, 2020, 03:07:38 pm
Stop whistle is different for a working dog because you wouldn't shout 'no' when they were hunting for a retrieve because it is just a stop and look at me you want.


Shouting 'no' would be confusing for them as it usually means you're about to do something that I don't want you to do. They might be running in the wrong direction but they aren't actually doing something that needs a 'no' command.


Maybe for a pet dog the 'no' command is easier and all that is needed in 99% of situations.


I don't know ..... but have fun!
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: arobwk on June 30, 2020, 03:46:28 pm
"Stop" - um yeah, I hadn't thought about that 'til now for my pet dogs.  Noting the good posts, I'm gonna have to do some new training.  For my pets, could be a distanced "Lie down", but I think I will go see what I can do with "Stop". 
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: doganjo on June 30, 2020, 04:04:36 pm
Single word STAY is what i teach when within earshot.  That is taught exactly the same way as with a whistle.

Always start training this command with the dog beside you on a lead.  Sit the dog, give the command STAY and take one step away, return immediately so as the dog doen't get the chance to break from the command - then gradually increase the length of time. 

When that is robust you move onto the next stage of stepping away further - to the end of the lead and start off with one second and build up the length of time.

It's done slowly and one step at a time so that the dog is not confused and feels secure.  Never do a recall from a STAY
HTH
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on June 30, 2020, 04:22:38 pm
Yes, Doganjo, that's true.


For a non working dog a really good stay command would also be a good substitute for the stop whistle/command. When you think about it that is all you want the non working dog to do so teaching a separate stop command might not be worthwhile.
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: doganjo on June 30, 2020, 04:51:59 pm
Yes, Doganjo, that's true.


For a non working dog a really good stay command would also be a good substitute for the stop whistle/command. When you think about it that is all you want the non working dog to do so teaching a separate stop command might not be worthwhile.
In our pet training classes  - when they were proficient, a test was to ask them to let the dog off lead to wander around the room(command Go Play or Free or soemthing similar, then to call their dog's name and say STAY in a very firm voice.  If they had been practicing at home it worked instantly. the dog sat or lay down wherever it was
Title: Re: Graeme Hall or Barbara Woodhouse?
Post by: in the hills on July 01, 2020, 01:48:40 pm
Sounds a good method, Doganjo.