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Novice obedience class

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RB, congrats! I cannot comment on the criteria for other counties, I don't know it and quite frankly it's not important enough for me to look into. So, the dogs you listed above have NOT (just to be clear) achieved and AKC OTCh, they have a Canadian one. RB, you win, congrats, I've wasted enough time here. This topic is worse than a correction for me. Have fun with your dogs and enjoy them, that's all that counts.

 

Erin, stick with the heeling you are comfortable with and have fun!

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RB, congrats! I cannot comment on the criteria for other counties, I don't know it and quite frankly it's not important enough for me to look into. So, the dogs you listed above have NOT (just to be clear) achieved and AKC OTCh, they have a Canadian one.

 

Just to be clear - the first one listed is an AKC OTCh. Only the second one was Canadian. Isn't it funny what gets lost in translation sometimes?

 

So, there is at least one - real deal.

 

As an aside, I never thought I'd see the day that anything AKC would be so wholeheartedly extolled and revered on this particular board. I think pigs are flying somewhere! :rolleyes:

 

RB, you win, congrats, I've wasted enough time here. This topic is worse than a correction for me. Have fun with your dogs and enjoy them, that's all that counts.

 

I thought we were having a discussion, not a competition. I'm sorry you found it negative. I always learn a lot from these discussions and I enjoy them.

 

I wish you the best with your dogs, as well.

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Just to be clear - the first one listed is an AKC OTCh. Only the second one was Canadian. Isn't it funny what gets lost in translation sometimes?

 

This is just to clear up my own knowledge as all the letters after dogs' names are still a big mystery to me- but the first one is listed as this (line breaks as shown on website):

Honors/Wins:

CKC OTCH WC JH AGn TDX CGN

AKC CDX JH

 

Doesn't that mean that only the CDX and JH were gotten under the AKC and not the CKC? And if so, how could that be (I mean, can you have both CKC and AKC reg?)

 

This has been an interesting discussion and I for one have learned quite a bit. It does seem to me if it is so hard to find positive-only (or however you want to call it) trainers in competition obedience, there may be something to what Karen and SShepheress are saying about the necessity of training techniques involving corrections. Just because a small few have been able to do it a different way, doesn't mean that most people or dogs would be able to. I guess this idea makes sense to me since you cannot train stockwork without corrections, and it seems to me there are a lot of high-level human activities that can't be trained without providing negative information (corrections) to humans (as in "don't do it that way") as well.

 

Just to be clear, all y'all would knock my socks off in any of this stuff, be it rally, obedience, freestyle, whatever.

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Just to be clear - the first one listed is an AKC OTCh. Only the second one was Canadian. Isn't it funny what gets lost in translation sometimes?

 

So, there is at least one - real deal.

 

No Kristin it is not funny. Please show me where this listed and AKC OTCh..

 

Trainer Name:

June E. Hooper

Honors/Wins:

 

CKC OTCH WC JH AGn TDX CGN

AKC CDX JH

 

It clearly says AKC CDX.

 

Gawd I wish it would defrost here.....whatever, this so called discussion is one I should have known better to get involved in. I'm tired of being berated for my so called methods by folks that have NO track record much less experience, I'll go back to abusing my dogs now, everyone can return to their regularly scheduled "life is a bowl of cherries".

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I'm tired of being berated for my so called methods by folks that have NO track record much less experience, I'll go back to abusing my dogs now, everyone can return to their regularly scheduled "life is a bowl of cherries".

 

I have never berated you for your methods. My objection is to the assertion that training a solid, reliable heel (for obedience or any other sport) cannot be done without leash pops. That is not berating your methods. It is disagreement with you on your position on methods and approaches that you do not even use!

 

Your choice for you and your dogs is your choice. I have never said that you should change your personal preferences. The fact that I choose to train without corrections - and I share that openly with others who are interested in doing the same thing - is not a personal insult of your training choices. I share that information so people know that they have that option if they so choose. It is not to "berate" anyone. Why not let people consider all of their options and make the training choices that they feel are appropriate for their own dogs?

 

As far as the OTCH on the first trainer, that was my mistake. I thought CDX was something else. I had posted that originally for shyshepherdess, and I will follow up on that with her once I get more info. I'm inclined to think that there are some reinforcement trained dogs out there who have OTCh's. I mean to find out the actual answer instead of assuming one way of another.

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I have never berated you for your methods. My objection is to the assertion that training a solid, reliable heel (for obedience or any other sport) cannot be done without leash pops. That is not berating your methods. It is disagreement with you on your position on methods and approaches that you do not even use!

 

And there lies the difference.

You and I wouldn't claim that the sort of training we are talking about can't be done with corrections; of course it can, but we choose not to go down that route.

On the other hand, those who use corrections claim that it cannot be done without corrections but have never tried it or presumably consorted with anyone who has and has achieved success. You cannot prove a negative. Just because a person may not have personal experience of something doesn't mean it is impossible.

 

I had to suppress a wry smile at the suggestion that Obedience shows are highly distracting. I was helping out at our club's show on Saturday and you could almost have heard a pin drop compared to the Agility shows we hold at the same venue.

I'm not denying that sustained concentration in heelwork is very hard work for the dog, both physically and mentally, and difficult to achieve to a high standard, but I would consider that I had reached my goal if my dog could do it around the Agility rings when I'd know that he'd give his soul to be doing something else.

 

ETA At the Obedience show the sound of clickers was very much in evidence so clearly there are people out there who think they are worth a try. I just hope that they have bought into the ethos as well as the mechanics.

 

Pam

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Is a clicker trained Crufts Obedience Champion good enough?

 

http://pages.123-reg.co.uk/j04nn42460-9834...ining/id17.html

 

(I'd like to train with Jo Hill whose site this is.)

 

Video of Mary Ray at Crufts with her old dog Quincy (ObCh, Advanced Agility dog with a Reserve CC, and star of her Crufts HTM performances for several years) -

 

 

Quincy would have been 11 then so not as sharp as he was but Mary has won it 3 times with different dogs and has had many top places - came 2nd last year with one of her younger dogs and has competed at Crufts for over 20 years.

 

http://www.maryray.co.uk

 

Check out her web site and see the section Ask Mary to get a flavour of how she trains. I can't say how much correction she still uses from her pre clicker conversion days but it doesn't seem to be the mainstay of her approach and she does say that she's a "hands off" trainer.

 

You've got to respect someone who can reach and maintain that level of achievement in 3 different disciplines.

 

For anyone not familiar with her performances in HTM, look at the videos on her site. Not something that really appeals to me but still impressive.

 

Pam

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RB, if you recall I did admit that "positive only" methods work extremely well on some dogs for advanced work. Border collies, especially high drive ones can be trained through advanced levels without a correction at all. The majority of exercises in obedience can be taught easily without corrections it's not as if competitive obedeince = corrections! I am sure with the right dog and trainer combo an AKC otch can be obtained using methods such as yours. The fact that one is so hard to find out of the thousands of people competing should say that is IS a very rare thing, not impossible though.

 

 

And it certainly isn't that trainers aren't willing to try these methods, it's that for the most part in regards to competitive obedience, THEY DON'T HOLD UP!!! To sudjest that the trainers who have achieved success have done so by taking the "easy way out" by jerking there dogs around is the farthest thing from the truth!!!

 

The thing I find so amusing is that poeple are getting ALL riled up about a little collar tug, it's just silly! I train almost ENTIRELY with motivational methods, my dogs are driving, focused and have a blast. Yes, they get a small collar correction if necessary, but since they know what it means and have had such a rich foundation they hardly EVER need it!!! With the way they heel, happy and high stepping you would NEVER suspect they have any sort of abuse, or correction that would have them so scarred that they don't want to work!!!

 

And I don't have a problem with RB's way of training, I have a problem with her advising using her methods when there is little to no proof that they actually hold up in a competitive obedience environment. So I feel obligated to offer advice to someone interested in obtaining heel work for that setting, having trained and competed in that venue for many years. I have trained with some of the best and most succesful competitive obedience people out there, highly respected trainers and I feel I should pass some of there knowledge that I have learned over the years. Passing on methods that they have used that are successful, to a newer person wanting to start out on the right foot and be successful themselves. Thats the kind of info I was seeking out when just starting, info from knowledgable people who have competed in the venue I wanted to try.

 

AND, the reason that AKC obedience is so prominant in this discussion is that unlike herding or agility, there really aren't any real competitive organizations for obedience competition other than the AKC. UKC is small and so is ASCA, CKC also. While in agility there is USDAA and NADAC which are pretty competitive. In herding USBCHA and AHBA.

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RB, if you recall I did admit that "positive only" methods work extremely well on some dogs for advanced work. Border collies, especially high drive ones can be trained through advanced levels without a correction at all. The majority of exercises in obedience can be taught easily without corrections it's not as if competitive obedeince = corrections! I am sure with the right dog and trainer combo an AKC otch can be obtained using methods such as yours. The fact that one is so hard to find out of the thousands of people competing should say that is IS a very rare thing, not impossible though.

And it certainly isn't that trainers aren't willing to try these methods, it's that for the most part in regards to competitive obedience, THEY DON'T HOLD UP!!!

 

 

I can't speak for your Obedience world, but here things move very slowly in those circles. New ideas are very slow to catch on but I can see a difference over the last few years.

 

I've had a few years where I have been pretty much detached from the Obedience side of our club, largely because of the methods they used which differed very little from those I knew from the early 1960s. They've persisted because people see no need to change.

 

However, a change seems to be taking place and was apparent last Saturday. For one thing the average age of competitors seems to have gone down. Whether more have been attracted because of more dog friendly training methods or whether the younger people have brought those methods with them, I don't know. I suspect that it's a bit of both. People are better informed than they used to be and can take ideas from diverse sources.

 

One thing I am sure of - it may take a while but you will see more of the new wave getting to the top.

 

Pam

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And it certainly isn't that trainers aren't willing to try these methods, it's that for the most part in regards to competitive obedience, THEY DON'T HOLD UP!!! To sudjest that the trainers who have achieved success have done so by taking the "easy way out" by jerking there dogs around is the farthest thing from the truth!!!

 

Well, "easy way out" are your words, not mine. In fact, I would not say that use of correction is an "easy way out" at all, but if I told you why you - or someone - would probably take offense. So I'll leave that can of worms closed. :rolleyes:

 

I would be interested to know exactly which methods those trainers are finding "don't hold up". You know, there is not just one way to "train positive", as you say. There are many, many ways. What is "not holding up" specifically? Why was it not holding up? What other non-correction based approaches were tried?

 

I'm not saying that would be everyone's preference. I am simply saying that "doesn't hold up" really doesn't hold water with me. It's too general. I see plenty of correction training going on around me every day that "doesn't hold up". Without knowing specifically what doesn't "hold up", what other options were tried, etc., all that means is that the trainer got to the point where he or she decided to change approaches.

 

The thing I find so amusing is that poeple are getting ALL riled up about a little collar tug, it's just silly! I train almost ENTIRELY with motivational methods, my dogs are driving, focused and have a blast. Yes, they get a small collar correction if necessary, but since they know what it means and have had such a rich foundation they hardly EVER need it!!! With the way they heel, happy and high stepping you would NEVER suspect they have any sort of abuse, or correction that would have them so scarred that they don't want to work!!!

 

What I find so amusing is that the fact that I don't use collar tugs to train makes people who do so defensive. I really wish those who use collar pops, pinch collars, etc. could really understand that the fact that some of us choose not to use them - and the methods we choose are effective and more than satisfactory for us - is not a personal insult toward them.

 

And I don't have a problem with RB's way of training, I have a problem with her advising using her methods when there is little to no proof that they actually hold up in a competitive obedience environment.

 

Listen, if you consider the competition experience and success that I have as null and void because it is not the hallowed AKC competition obedience, that is your opinion and you are entitled to it.

 

However, this is a public message board and I have as much right as anyone to throw suggestions out there. I have used these techniques and found success in the contexts in which I compete. I know that solid, enthusiastic duration heeling can be taught without collar pops and I am going to offer suggestions to those who want to know what their options are.

 

It is really up to every individual who is reading to decide what suggestions are going to suit them and which will not. I think it's a shame that you have a problem with that, but I'm not going to refrain from letting people know that they have options just because you don't think I have the proper credential to do so.

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Shyshepherdess, I think this might have gotten lost in the greater discussion. I am particularly interested in your answer to these questions.

 

Could you run a Level 3 APDT Rally course with that 6 month old pup? That's going to include a down on recall, a down from a sit and then a sit from the down with you six feet away, backwards heeling, a recall over a jump where both you and the dog are offset, a moving down, an exercise where you leave the dog in a stay and run several steps and the dog must stay until called and then you call the dog to front as you are moving forward. Plus much more. For your bonus you might need a retrieve, a lateral side step, a straight step back, a stand for exam, plus others.

 

6 month old puppy? Really. You could train a 6 month old puppy to do every sign in APDT Rally and then run the courses off leash? Have you done it?

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Hi Pam,

 

Coming in late on this....This is exactly what I do with my dogs! I like to go out to the agility area and(for example) send my dog through a tunnel then immediately call him to heel. If I get good focused heeling attention I will release him to take a couple jumps, then call him back to heel. I also have set out my scent articles on one end of the tunnel and taken my dog to the other end. I send him through the tunnel to find his article and he returns back through the tunnel. This is really fun for my dogs and it teaches them to listen to me. They never knows what I might tell them to do=) My oldest dog is 10 yrs old and still loves to do his obedience! My prefered method of training is whatever works=)

 

Happy Training~

 

Janet

 

I'm not denying that sustained concentration in heelwork is very hard work for the dog, both physically and mentally, and difficult to achieve to a high standard, but I would consider that I had reached my goal if my dog could do it around the Agility rings when I'd know that he'd give his soul to be doing something else.

 

 

Pam

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Pam, can I just give you a bit of background on me?

 

I am young, mid-twenties actually. I started ut with my first dog under an instructor much like the corrective-based trainers you have described. I followed the methods being new and not knowing much. We were very successful regardless and competed at the top for many years. BUT, I was always looking at other methods, wanting to get better and imrove my skills as a trainer. And I TO watched in horror at some of the really "old-school" trainers jerk the snot out of there dogs. I knew that's not how I wanted to train.

 

What really changed my style of training and opening my eyes to newer methods was when I got my first bc. He LOVED to work, under my old trainers instruction was not meeting his potential. We switched to a different trainer who has bc's and has revolutionary motivational methods! Very creative!!! My dog was like a different dog!!! He gets extatic when we even pull up to the building!!! The methods I use, based on the insruction of my highly respected and successful trainer are 99% purely positive!!!! Which is a FAR cry and competely different than many of the traditional methods implored by obedience trainers. I would much rather my dog mess up an exercise with enthusiasm and a love for the work than perform it correctly and NOT having fun! So, I am sorry, but a collar tug here and there taught correctly used promarily in cleaning up heeling alone, does not define the way I train! It's merely communicating to my dog during heeling. And he doesn't sulk, doesn' get offended, he knows what it means and is rarely used.

 

I use many other methods in polishing heeling besides a collar correction, mostly involving a hidden toy treat, releasing the dog, "poking" him with my finger, things like that.

 

Anyway, I don't think deciding to use a mild correction in a training situation should define someone's way or training.

 

The day that changed it for me was when I saw a successful obedience instructor practicing with her dog. He was a bc and really high drive, he was trying his heart out for her and kept jerking the snot out of him, yelling at him. I felt sick, what an amazing little dog. He just took it and kept trying,trying, trying his heart out for her!!!! I did not and am not that kind of trainer and never will be and I don't promote that kind of training...... I hope for the most part that alot of that kind of training goes by the way-side with the "old-school" people who is it....

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RB, yes my current competition dog could do ALL those things and more when he was 6 months old!!!! My current pup is not going to be worked in obedience but herding alone.

 

Look, the only situation in which I condone a collar correction is during heeling and it's for very specific reasons. If you knew my whole break down of how I train heel work you would see that an actual correction has very little to do with my training as a whole. I would absolutely love to go over with you how I teach and reinforce specific exercises!!! We might actually find alot in common!!! :rolleyes:

 

The REASON that I train with some kind of correction for the heel, is because, as you or anyone would find out in training for competitive obedience the dog has to have an absolute understanding of heel position and whats expected of it. What works for my dogs is setting things up to be as clear as possible with a distrations and SOME kind of correction to mean on SOME level "no you may not grab that tennis ball on the floor", "no you may not go over and sniff the judge", etc. For some very willing dogs this might just be a poke, for the MAJORTIY of all breeds it's a collar pop early on when learning, hopefully replaced by just a verbal later on. You set things up for the dog to LEARN and prepare whats acceptable and what is not.

 

The heeling styles of freestyle and competitive obedience i am sure you can see are very different among some similarities. Mostly the fact that I am sure during Freestyle it is very stimulating, the dogs interest is easily on you. you are dancing and moving about, I am sure this is fun! And in Rally you can lure, move your hands and talk. Not that the dog doesn't have to understand heeling and all that. But in the obedience ring, everything is stoic and quite. The dogs actually have a HARDER time dealing with this silence than a highly distracting environment!!! During the shows I have competed at the dogs DO have a harder time at the quieter shows!!! So you can maybe see why some kind of training to insure the dog stays in position is needed.

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Any type of training takes diligence, commitment, perseverance, consistency and good timing.

 

Personally, I prefer to train positive. I like the fact that KZ is now 8 months and I can whisper a command or move my body slightly and she enthusiastically does what I wanted her to do. I like that we can do beginning off lead heel through a room with treats and toys scattered on the floor around people and other dogs, and I can trust that she's going to leave all of it and keep her attention on me. Most of all, I like the way training positive makes me feel.

 

I, personally, have not received that same level of willingness with dogs I've trained using traditional methods, but I know there are others who have. IMO, it comes down to the competency, experience, and method proficiency of the trainer. Great trainers exist on both sides of this divide.

 

I hold to the belief that a well trained dog should not need a choke, prong, or shock collar, and it's all the better for me if I can train without it. In fact, the UKC does not even allow choke/slip or limited slip collars in the ring. I had trained Maverick without a choke initially and then introduced him to one so we could break into competitive obed. Imagine my surprise when I was told I had to remove it to enter the ring! So I don't agree that the UKC is great way to break in to the world of competitive obed. In fact, it can be much more difficult if you trained traditionally. Mav and I scored high and beat out our local AKC Kennel Club--most of the AKC club dogs didn't even Q that weekend and I suppose it's because the dogs didn't know how to behave without the choke. That being said, we don't do nearly as well in AKC events. It's a different venue with a different mentality, and Mav hates the choke.

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RB, yes my current competition dog could do ALL those things and more when he was 6 months old!!!! My current pup is not going to be worked in obedience but herding alone.

 

And how many Level 3 APDT Rally courses did you qualify on with that dog when he was 6 months old?

 

Look, the only situation in which I condone a collar correction is during heeling and it's for very specific reasons. If you knew my whole break down of how I train heel work you would see that an actual correction has very little to do with my training as a whole. I would absolutely love to go over with you how I teach and reinforce specific exercises!!! We might actually find alot in common!!! :rolleyes:

 

That would be a fun discussion to have sometime - kind of a compare and contrast thing. We could include video, if you wanted. I am preparing for a big Freestyle competition at the end of March, but maybe after that we could actually do that. Dean would love that! Heeling is one of his favorite things to do.

 

I think we would likely find a lot in common as well. I use clicker and food rewards primarily to do the initial teaching, but I do some toy motivation training once some fluency is attained, and a good bit with using the environment as a reinforcer in place of what is commonly referred to as "proofing". I will do much more of using the environment as a reinforcer with future dogs because it was not really a technique that I understood as well as I do now when Dean (my third competition dog) and I were getting started with his training. Ironically, when I use the environment as a reinforcer with him, he gives me total focus almost immediately, so I really haven't been able to do a whole lot of it with him. He's too focused. And that's a nice "problem" to have.

 

The REASON that I train with some kind of correction for the heel, is because, as you or anyone would find out in training for competitive obedience the dog has to have an absolute understanding of heel position and whats expected of it.

 

Holding heel position is a behavior. In order to carry out any behavior correctly, whether it be holding proper heel or backing six feet away from the handler and doing two spins, the dog must understand the behavior and what is expected in order to carry it out correctly in a competition situation. And that's any competition situation - obedience, Freestyle, Rally, Agility, etc. All competition situations are stressful, distracting, etc. It's not just in obedience.

 

I get the impression that you don't really see that reality about other sports. If a dog does not understand weave poles and what is expected from them in Agility, the dog cannot qualify. If a dog does not understand four separate positions in relation to the handler in Freestyle, the dog does not qualify (in the higher levels, that is). If a dog does not understand that he or she is to remain in a down until released in Rally, the dog does not qualify. Etc.

 

I am not diminishing the importance of the behavior "heel" in obedience. I am merely pointing out that each and every sport that specialized behaviors that are critical to success in that sport.

 

I am bringing this point up to illustrated a key difference in the way that you and I approach training. In the statement above, you said that the REASON you train with correction for heel is that the dog must have absolute understanding of heel position and what is expected. In that statement, you are conveying that in order for a dog to absolutely understand a behavior and what is expected, correction is necessary. Is that a correct conclusion? If not, please do elaborate a bit more.

 

What I have learned is that it is not necessary for a dog to be corrected in order to absolutely understand something and know what is expected.

 

Let me be clear - I am not saying that is not one way of learning for a dog. It certainly is. But I am saying that it is not the only way. There are other ways that dogs learn.

 

The REASON why I train using reinforcement is that in order to be successful in the sports that I compete in, my dogs must have absolute understanding of the behaviors and must know what is expected.

 

So, we are actually making two distinct choices for the same reason. You seem to be making the claim the way that I have chosen cannot work in the most challenging of competition situations. I hold the position that it can work. And there are top level competitors out there in various sports who have made it work.

 

What works for my dogs is setting things up to be as clear as possible with a distrations and SOME kind of correction to mean on SOME level "no you may not grab that tennis ball on the floor", "no you may not go over and sniff the judge", etc. For some very willing dogs this might just be a poke, for the MAJORTIY of all breeds it's a collar pop early on when learning, hopefully replaced by just a verbal later on. You set things up for the dog to LEARN and prepare whats acceptable and what is not.

 

You say that works for your dogs. OK. Do you really think that is the only way that can possibly work?

 

It seems rather short sighted to me to believe that there is really only one way.

 

The heeling styles of freestyle and competitive obedience i am sure you can see are very different among some similarities. Mostly the fact that I am sure during Freestyle it is very stimulating, the dogs interest is easily on you.

 

LOL!! That really shows that you have never tried it and you have no idea how difficult it really is! WOW!

 

No, the dog's interest is not easily on the handler. Yes, there is a lot of movement, but that alone does not make it easy to keep the dog's focus. In fact, that can present a challenge all it's own for some dogs.

 

I could list the types of distractions that make focus challenging for dog's in Freestyle - and I will if you are really interested in knowing.

 

This does help me to see why you don't really appreciate the level of difficulty in competition Musical Freestyle at the high levels. You really don't know what it takes to get there.

 

And in Rally you can lure, move your hands and talk.

 

You can't lure in Rally. Not if you want to qualify.

 

APDT Rally courses are lengthy and the dog must have quite a good duration of focus to complete them. Yes, you can talk and use hand signals, but Rally has it's own challenges that I am pretty sure you don't really understand.

 

Earn an ARCHMX and then tell me it's easy.

 

Not that the dog doesn't have to understand heeling and all that. But in the obedience ring, everything is stoic and quite. The dogs actually have a HARDER time dealing with this silence than a highly distracting environment!!! During the shows I have competed at the dogs DO have a harder time at the quieter shows!!! So you can maybe see why some kind of training to insure the dog stays in position is needed.

 

Yes, some kind of training to insure the dog stays in position is needed.

 

Where I disagree with you on the notion that there is one way and one way only to teach that to a dog reliably.

 

I'm not saying it's not challenging or difficult. I'm not saying it doesn't take a skilled trainer.

 

What I am saying is that there are options.

 

The more I learn about dog training, the more I learn how much more I have to learn. One thing I've learned is that there are many, many ways to train behavior.

 

There is a lot that is possible that neither you, nor I know about yet!

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Kelliepup, I am not sure I understand. You can wear a choke or slip collar in the ring for KC obedience but you can't use it. In Novice the leash is to be slack the whole time and you don't get to use a leash in open/utility. Most high level competitors I know use a flat buckle collar when going in the ring. I don't see why wearing or not wearing a choke collar in the ring would even make a difference.

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At the UKC Premier last year we were told our dogs could not wear a choke, it had to be a flat buckle collar.

 

Sometimes for beginning dogs, the trainer will start with just the choke or prong. This can, and has, tell the dog that you only have to listen when you are wearing the choke at the beginning levels. The choke has a different feel and a different weight. Since Mav was never really taught with the choke, I never use it at home, it makes him nervous and he does not perform as well.

 

Our only experience with AKC obed, because Mav is a mix and until this year the AKC wouldn't allow mixes, is with our local 4H and they require the dog to wear a choke at all levels of competition.

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RB, I also use food/toy rewards during heeling followed by many different exercises. The fact that you are defining my training by the fact that I use a collar pop at times is starting to get old. I have a slew of different ways to teach behaviors and my dogs need to know each of them well!!! I am by no means stuck on one way of training!!! I am always open to new ideas, from people whom have been successful with there dogs! But as we have clarified, you HAVE NOT competed in obedience. I am not doubting that your methods and such have worked well for the activies you choose to do, but it's hard to take what you are saying when you have not tried these methods in the obedience ring. I HAVE used my methods in the obedience ring and been very succesful. I didn't come by my way of training overnight, it has been through many years of competing in this specific sport, and obtaining the knowledge and skill necessary to be successful and have fun while doing it.

 

I have never claimed to be able to train a dog for freestyle, I think I would suck at it cause I can't dance!! LOL!! But both sports are very different!!! Just reading about the way freestyle is judged, very different!!! There are similarities but I don't see many!

 

AS for rally, APDT stands for Amercian PET dog training right? I don't doubt it obviously takes some time to train for this, but rally has a HUGE advantage over competitive obedience because you CAN talk and LURE(not with actual food/toy but with your hands) This makes ALL the difference!!!! I can't tell you how many times even one extra command would have saved me in the obedience ring, so being able to talk and encourage the dog the whole time is HUGE!!!!! HUGE DIFFERENCE!!! I will be honest with you and bite my head off if you want, but the only people I know who do APDT are the ones who can not get a basic level obedience title to save there life. I am not saying those are the only people who do it by no well repsected trainer I know does it. We sometimes do Rally, ONLY to prep a young or inexperienced dog for actual competition.

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KP, it is common to start a young dog with a prong/slip or choke but hopefully by the time they are actually ready to compete they no longer need it :D

 

If the dog is going to not perform because they can feel the difference whether they have a training collar on or not probably should not be in the ring yet :rolleyes:

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RB, I also use food/toy rewards during heeling followed by many different exercises. The fact that you are defining my training by the fact that I use a collar pop at times is starting to get old.

 

Actually, it is you who are doing that. All I have said is that my preference is to train without collar pops, and that it can be done. That is not defining anything about you.

 

If you said that you don't train with a clicker, is that a definition of me by my training?

 

You are the one who is getting hung up on this. You could accept that other people make different training choices, but that is totally up to you.

 

I haven't defined you as anything.

 

I have a slew of different ways to teach behaviors and my dogs need to know each of them well!!! I am by no means stuck on one way of training!!! I am always open to new ideas, from people whom have been successful with there dogs! But as we have clarified, you HAVE NOT competed in obedience. I am not doubting that your methods and such have worked well for the activies you choose to do, but it's hard to take what you are saying when you have not tried these methods in the obedience ring.

 

And there we differ. I consider my experience in Freestyle, Rally, and Agility as a valid test of the training that I use. I do not consider obedience to be the "only" true test of training heeling.

 

I guess I have a much broader view of the dog sport world than you do. I don't consider competitive obedience to be the one and only way to know whether or not training will hold up under stress, distraction, etc.

 

You seem to. Others will decide for themselves based on their own competition goals and on what they feel is best for their dog. Which, I might add, trumps any competition goal that could possibly exist.

 

I have never claimed to be able to train a dog for freestyle, I think I would suck at it cause I can't dance!! LOL!! But both sports are very different!!! Just reading about the way freestyle is judged, very different!!! There are similarities but I don't see many!

 

The main similarity is that both are structured disciplines where behaviors are trained and must hold up reliably under the stress and distraction of competition. Both disciplines present a very high level of stress and distraction to the dogs and the dogs must be prepared to perform under those conditions.

 

While some of the behaviors are distinct, trained behavior is trained behavior.

 

AS for rally, APDT stands for Amercian PET dog training right? I don't doubt it obviously takes some time to train for this, but rally has a HUGE advantage over competitive obedience because you CAN talk and LURE(not with actual food/toy but with your hands)

 

Yes, the APDT is the Association for Pet Dog Trainers. That organization sanctions APDT Rally. That does not mean that APDT Rally is somehow some simple simon competition venue that any pet dog off the street could be successful in. Far from it.

 

And if you really think you can "lure with your hands" in APDT Rally, you really don't know anything about it. Yes, you can use hand signals, but those differ substantially from lure. If you lure your dog in APDT Rally - if a hand signal is perceived by a judge as a lure - automatic NQ.

 

I have actually been NQ'ed for that - way back when I was first getting into it. And I still see it happen to people at trials that I attend now.

 

I'll lob your own argument back at you - if you've never actually set foot in an APDT Rally ring, why do you think you know that luring is allowed?

 

Yes, you can talk, but no luring.

 

This makes ALL the difference!!!! I can't tell you how many times even one extra command would have saved me in the obedience ring, so being able to talk and encourage the dog the whole time is HUGE!!!!! HUGE DIFFERENCE!!!

 

Yes, there is a DIFFERENCE (caps added for emphasis, not shouting). I have never said there is no difference.

 

I am saying - and this is becoming more and more clear - that Rally (and the other sports) have their own challenges. Challenges for which the handler must train seriously in order for the dog's focus to hold up in the ring.

 

I'm really surprised that you so vehemently deny this reality.

 

I will be honest with you and bite my head off if you want, but the only people I know who do APDT are the ones who can not get a basic level obedience title to save there life. I am not saying those are the only people who do it by no well repsected trainer I know does it. We sometimes do Rally, ONLY to prep a young or inexperienced dog for actual competition.

 

Well, you do show forth your opinion of people who compete in sports that differ from AKC obedience very clearly. And you make your view of those sports themselves very clear. And that does nothing to increase my respect for your sport.

 

The fact that you have not given me any specific information about where reinforcement based training has not "held up" in competition obedience settings for people that you know speaks very clearly, as well. I mean specific as in - exactly which reinforcement based techniques they used to train, exactly how they handled incorporation of distraction into their training, and exactly what behaviors broke down under exactly what circumstances. It's easy enough to say that something doesn't work because it did not "hold up" for someone else. Really, though, it shows nothing except that at some point those people decided - for some reason - to change their training choices.

 

I stand by the suggestions that I have made to the OP in this post. People can try them or not as they choose and draw their own conclusions. I can attest to their success in my own experience. I am not going to pretend that other training options don't exist, and that's not going to change. :rolleyes: I don't really care how many "top trainers" would do things differently. I know what's best for my own dogs and I am confident and satisfied with my own training choices.

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Well, you do show forth your opinion of people who compete in sports that differ from AKC obedience very clearly. And you make your view of those sports themselves very clear. And that does nothing to increase my respect for your sport. In fact, to be totally honest, much of what you have said has served to diminish it.

 

I still have respect for the level of training needed for success in competitive obedience - or any dog activity.

 

I think the disagreement illustrates a common dichotomy between trainers in the two majors camps of approach. It just so happens that at present the obedience world consists of a large proportion of those who depend to a greater or lesser extent on correction.

 

You and I, I'm sure, view all training as an opportunity to discover what can be done. There are no limits to what can be achieved.

 

The "correcters" IME focus on things that are wrong and must be put right rather than what is going well. We know blips can be fixed and aren't worth getting uptight about.

 

Very much a difference between a positive and a negative approach. Glass half full or half empty; most people are pretty much one or the other. Being a "half full" sort of person myself, negativity drives me nuts, but from the other side of the divide I'm apparently considered as being someone who thinks life is "a bowl of cherries", which I'm sure some find equally incomprehensible.

 

Shyshepherdess's advice to Maggiedog on how she was training heelwork clearly revealed that she does not understand what was happening and why it was acceptable.

 

I do understand correction as I was using it long before she was born. I don't know about the US but competitive obedience in the UK only dates back to the early 1950s (within my lifetime so recent to me) and only a decade after that I was training my own dog and going to obedience shows. I really don't see any fundamental difference between the way I was taught to train then with a combination of corrections and rewards from the methods described by those who claim to be mainly positive but see nothing wrong in using a prong collar or choke chain.

 

There still seems to be a view prevalent in the obedience world that their sport is the real deal because it has been around a long time and other more recent activities are something that noone takes seriously. I've even been told by obedience competitors that the reason obedience is losing popularity is because it's too hard and people prefer to go off and do other things that are easier. There seems to be no realisation that it may just be because other things are more fun to those defectors.

 

Ironically, when some of our obedience branch decide to try agility they don't tend to do very well and don't stick at it because they can't loose their control of their dogs and it's a lot harder than it looks.

 

On the other hand, we have agility members who have beaten some of the obedience competitors at their own game by just going to APDT classes.

 

Pam

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I still have respect for the level of training needed for success in competitive obedience - or any dog activity.

 

Oh, so do I. And I respect high level trainers who remember well where they came from and sincerely encourage and support the efforts both of those at the lower levels, and those in other disciplines. Those who know that there is a great deal to be learned from everyone - not only those who have achieved prestige. I have met many high level handlers like that in Agility and Freestyle. I am sure there are many in Obedience, as well. I know a few people who are serious about Obedience who do not go around poo-poo'ing others who have not attained the same level of accomplishment that they have. So, I know they are out there. But I have learned now that not all are like that.

 

I guess, when it comes down to it, I don't have a whole lot of use for prestige. I am much more interested in how a sport can benefit my dog. And I am much more interested in training techniques that bring out the best that my dog has to offer, not in trying to make my dog conform to external standard of "greatness".

 

At this point, after this discussion, I don't really see competitive obedience as something that could benefit my dog. That's where the diminish in respect for the sport comes in. Of course, I respect those who put their heart and soul into working with their dogs and training them to their greatest potential, while maintaining value for the dog as an individual.

 

I'd still like to give it a shot someday - if I have a dog that desires to pursue the discipline. But if I were to do so, I would do so to bring out the best in my dog. My dog would be an active participant in the learning process.

 

For me, nothing else is acceptable.

 

You and I, I'm sure, view all training as an opportunity to discover what can be done. There are no limits to what can be achieved.

 

That is very well put.

 

. . . most people are pretty much one or the other. Being a "half full" sort of person myself, negativity drives me nuts, but from the other side of the divide I'm apparently considered as being someone who thinks life is "a bowl of cherries", which I'm sure some find equally incomprehensible.

 

I guess I just don't understand what is so incomprehensible and offensive about the fact that some of us choose not to use certain techniques.

 

Nobody . . . absolutely nobody . . . uses every single training technique that is available. For one thing, it would be almost impossible to know them all. For another, many are incompatible. You cannot, for instance, try to free shape and train using a prong at the same time. That's not to say that one is good and one is evil - it simply says that the two techniques cannot be used at the same time.

 

I would ask anyone who gets upset when someone says, "I don't use leash pops" - would you get just as upset if the same person said, "I don't use a clicker?" Or to someone who gets upset when someone says, "I train that without a prong" - would you get just as upset if the same person said, "I train that without a lure".

 

I suppose I will never understand it. And I suppose that a lot of people will never understand why I don't use corrections in training just because that is their particular preference. So, I guess it goes both ways.

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Pam, how exactly did not not understand what was going on with Maggiedog? I was trying to help sudjest she target her dog in a way to better position the dog, she was not in correct heel position! Nothing I was sudjesting to her was corrective-based!

 

did you even read my last post to you?

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