I’ve taken my dog to dog classes and I learned the “clicking method” – using a clicker to mark good behaviour and then rewarding the dog. It worked for tricks, and getting the dog to go in her kennel, but my dog also had some tempermental problems – growling when she didn’t want me to take a toy, growling when I took her a bath – and the only thing that worked was being firm with her, shouting and refusing to let her get her way (like Ceasar Milan on the Dog Whisperer). I think clicking works in some instances but not in others. I remember being in dog class and the trainer completely avoiding my dog because she was so hyper and stubborn – it just goes to show it doesn’t work with everyone. What do you think? What training methods do you use with your pets?

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  1. MeLiSsA_

    Ceasar Milan is a very talented trainer and here is what I like about him. Right now there is a trend in dog training, 100% positive rewards method. It simply isnt realistic and I am glad to see Ceasar Milan including reasonable and humane discipline.
    There are phases in training, and there must be positive and negative. THe first is the learning phase and that involves no correction. In this phase we are simply teaching our dog what behaviors we find acceptable. We are also conditioning our dog to learn that if they comply with our command, something good will happen.
    THe second phase is the correction phase. If we have timed our training right this will be around 6 months when the dog becomes a “teenager” and begins to “test” us.
    The dog knows what we are asking, yet has decided that he does not want to comply, or the reward is no longer as sweet as the distraction.
    Correction does not mean hitting or anything cruel.
    It may only be a strict “eh!” it is also different with every dog so I wouldnt speculate over the internet what was needed with your dog if at all. With my Rottweiler (Lexus), I pull on her leash tight for only an instant and say “hey!” this communicates to her that I am unhappy and that gets her attention. It is not a “leash pop” and hard to describe, it does not hurt her in any way and works because of the “leadership program” she is on.
    Lexus, like your dog is also very dominant. Your dog’s behavior is known as “dominance aggression.”
    There is an article you should read, you may find this section: “So, do you live with a dominant dog? How can you tell?” somewhat hilarious if your dog is dominant.
    REmember the dog is no longer allowed to get away with these behaviors in a non-confrontational way.http://www.joycefay.com/articles/dominan…
    Now that you know what the behavior problem is called, if you read the article and agree, you can begin to research on the net, and know what you will want to hear from a trainer.
    With a dominant dog, training in new locations and with the right trainer is so beneficial it would be very worth your time to look into another class somewhere else.
    I would interview the trainer and watch the class before you enroll. This way you will know if there will the discipline your dog needs, yet no harsh correction.
    I would also stay away from petstores, they will not teach discipline for dogs, they dont want the company to look bad if someone takes it out of context and abuses thier dog. However, they are perfect for puppy socialization!
    Personally, I am not interested in the clicker method.
    You are right, it is good for some types of training and dogs. I would bet that you have a dominant working dog (my favorite)and that is not the right type of training for you.

  2. Nicole D

    I have always trained my dogs from very young with stuff like food and toys and baths. But I have seen this done on dog rehabilitaion shows.. (kind of like Ceaser) I would go to the store and buy one of the little claw things that you can pic stuff up with.. and try to take a toy from your dog with that and if there is a growling do NOT move the claw. say No firmly and then Hush. do that until she calms down and then take it. make her sit or lay down. give her a treat and then give it back to her to show her that YOU have the right to take her toy because YOu are her master but that you are also a loving master and that you will give it back when you are ready. As far as the bath goes I have to bring one of my dogs into the bathroom and let them be in there with me with the door shut and let it calm down… run the water while you are petting her and then lure her into the tub. But like i said before if there is growling do not stop what you are doing. tell her no and to hush. when she responds praise her and then try to lure her in again.
    I hope my info will help.
    Secret Dog Lady

  3. Ingrid

    Positive Reinforcement with treats – works wonders with my dog.
    I also used the biting method when he was a puppy. He would bite me and I would bite him back (not hard) – so he could relate better to me. It worked!
    He was scared to bite me after a few times.
    See a picture of him on my 360 page…http://360.yahoo.com/my_profile.html

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