Dogs: Training Tips, Diet, Stories and other info

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
Hello and sorry if there's another thread on this topic, I've had a look and couldn't find anything like it. Anyway, I am a dog owner who is seeking any and all info from dog owners on your training methods, successes, failures, experiences, etc....

Anything you're willing to share that might enlighten or help someone else, please feel free to post! I know there's some dog rescue experts getting around these forums, so I'm hoping they will share their experience and wisdom here.

I have a few basic and standardized questions. They're generalized so feel free to answer any, all, or none; any input is appreciated.

A topic like this will potentially bring people into conflict so if you don't agree with what someone else says, please don't get angry or offended about it, but debate it calmly or please ignore it if you can't. My thanks to anyone who participates.

Sample Questions:

#1: What are your 'golden rules' concerning defining what a 'good' dog is?
#2: What are your 'golden rules' concerning what to never do with/to a dog?
#3: What are your 'golden rules' concerning what to always do with a dog?
#4: What are your 'golden rules' concerning what behaviours you would get rid of a dog for?
#5: How do/did you deal with a dog showing intent to hunt livestock/pets?
#6: How do/did you deal with a dog growling at you or other people it shouldn't?
#7: How do/did you discipline your dog?
#8: How do/did you rehabilitate a frightened/beaten/aggressive/stock-chasing dog?
#9: How do/did you obtain and maintain alpha/pack leader/dominant status?
#10: How do/did you train a dog out of the following behaviours:
a) Den defense/possessiveness (whatever you deem it)
b) Food/toy/object-related aggression/defense
c) Small dog/other animal related aggression
d) Distrust/dislike of other people/children/animals
e) Fear of: (whatever)

Feel free to discuss anything concerning dogs, on/off topic, whatever, I'm just hoping to get some good info firsthand. I've read many books on training dogs that haven't given me much of use. I'm also keen to hear about what breed/breeds/mix of breeds you've kept, what diet you kept them on, what health issues they encountered, etc... Any info!
 

dainerra

Crowing
9 Years
Jun 4, 2011
3,595
571
296
I'll try to put my responses in a different color :)

#1: What are your 'golden rules' concerning defining what a 'good' dog is?
basic manners - walks nicely on leash. doesn't charge the door. takes treats nicely from your hands. Knows "sit" "down" and comes when called. doesn't jump on people Those are the MUST HAVES for me

#2: What are your 'golden rules' concerning what to never do with/to a dog?
never allow a puppy to do anything that you don't want them to do as an adult. IE if you don't want your adult great dane to sleep on your bed, don't let them do it as a puppy. This especially goes for jumping up on people Everyone thinks it's cute when a puppy puts his tiny feet on your leg demanding attention. Not so much when "puppy" weighs 60 lbs

#3: What are your 'golden rules' concerning what to always do with a dog?
be fair and consistent with training. Don't focus on what you DON'T want but on what you want instead. IE don't teach the dog "don't jump on people" by punishing him for jumping. Instead, teach him to "sit" for attention and reward him for doing the right thing.

#4: What are your 'golden rules' concerning what behaviours you would get rid of a dog for?
aggression to family members that can not be controlled or managed. If you have a dog that absolutely hates kids (hey, some humans hate them too!) then rehoming to someone who doesn't have kids would be an option. General aggression towards people = euthanize the dog

#5: How do/did you deal with a dog showing intent to hunt livestock/pets?
work on training. Until the dog is reliable, contain the dog or the livestock/pets securely. I don't leave dog/livestock completely unattended ever. If the dog isn't trustworthy off-leash around them, then you manage the situation
#6: How do/did you deal with a dog growling at you or other people it shouldn't?
I don't believe in correcting a dog for growling. A growl is merely a dog's way of saying "this situation makes me uncomfortable" It is your responsibility to figure out the reason behind the growl and fix it. Sometimes it's as simple as keeping the dog from being in those situations. Others, you need to teach the dog how to behave instead - you can work on teaching the dog that it is safe in a situation, for example.
#7: How do/did you discipline your dog?
#8: How do/did you rehabilitate a frightened/beaten/aggressive/stock-chasing dog?
#9: How do/did you obtain and maintain alpha/pack leader/dominant status?
#10: How do/did you train a dog out of the following behaviours:
a) Den defense/possessiveness (whatever you deem it)
b) Food/toy/object-related aggression/defense
c) Small dog/other animal related aggression
d) Distrust/dislike of other people/children/animals
e) Fear of: (whatever)


I'll get to the rest of the questions later
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
Thanks for the info!

So far it's more or less identical to what I do with my dogs, but I've tried and tried and tried to correct or redirect or discourage growling, to no avail, in one of my dogs... The wild born one, of course... But he was quite brain damaged when I got him and I now know in retrospect that I shouldn't have even tried to train him so intensively in that state, with those methods.
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
Agh. As I suspected, the peoples with the knowledge haven't found this thread, or they're too busy. After all, why would people who are very experienced with dogs go looking for dog training information.... :( And I don't really want to go find them one by one and ask them via PM, so...

Share your knowledge, for dogs' sakes, please! LOL.
lol.png
And thank you dainerra for sharing some of yours.

I'll keep looking, but it's awfully hard to find in-depth brain-pickings from those who have dealt with rescued or difficult dogs... I don't need to learn how to get a well-bred collie to herd, they teach themselves, almost! I need info on the general training, for sure, but also that hard-to-find info about wrangling a damaged dog back into working status. I'll keep updating this thread every now and then with any useful info I find, because I can't be the only one seeking it. Dealing with herding dogs can be entirely different to other breeds, and that's most of the info I find in books...

Ok, off to rescue, hunting and special training dog sites!
pop.gif
 

SA Farm

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 11, 2013
3,688
611
436
Ontario, Canada
Hope this helps. It's difficult to give directions without details of the dog in question since all dogs are different, but these are general answers.
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
Thanks, Kathryn P!

Almost all ditto with my training, but I haven't done much body-blocking, though recently I started it on my pup because he responds well to it... But lately he's using everything I do against me, trying to train me!

Specifics on the problems I'm having with one of my dogs is that he's an almost-purebred dingo, I guess sums it up. He communicates with growls when being friendly, and that confuses things, because he also growls to call people's bluffs if he feels threatened, and that's always been his way of handling a situation he is uncomfortable in. He has no intent to harm, just tries to frighten away what frightens him. Haven't been able to train him out of that. Asides from that he's a great dog, good with livestock and pets, incredibly loving and affectionate.

His son, the pup I have, is a bit too cunning like his mother. Not really willing, pretends submission to achieve his ends, very clever in a manipulative way, unmotivated, disrespectful.... I have no idea how you give a dog motivation when they won't work for treats or praise or whatever. Obviously I don't want him to work from the premise that punishment will occur if he doesn't do as told. I'm at an impass with him right now.

His mother is by far the most unfaithful, cunning, backbiting dog I've ever known; she lives to serve herself but she's smart enough to use people. She actively, sneakily manipulates all dogs around her into doing the wrong thing, so they get in trouble and she's 'golden'... But she only does it when she thinks people aren't watching. She's like the proverbial/anecdotal old rooster that gets the other newer roosters destroyed through trickery! I had no idea dogs could be so sneaky. Luckily we've caught her at some of her tricks, or we'd be clueless.

I'm having to re-learn all I thought I knew about dog training because it's not working 100% for my dogs. Worked for others. Just not these dingo-mixes. The basics are good, functional, etc, but the steadiness isn't there. I think it's got a lot to do with my domestic situation, too much constant stress and inconsistency for all the dogs' lives. I think they're seeking alpha status because they perceive the pack to be in need of better leadership or something.

Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. I'm sure that if I just fix the faults I can see, everything'll come good. I think it's mainly a situational problem because from what you guys are saying, the dogs are being trained right in general.
 

dainerra

Crowing
9 Years
Jun 4, 2011
3,595
571
296
I've heard that the closer you get to "wild dog" the more difficult that training is. Dingos and similar breeds don't have that innate desire to work with humans.
Good luck with them.
 

nok13

Songster
7 Years
Dec 8, 2012
411
31
101
as someone pointed out, dogs, including feral dogs, stillhave that 'want to please the human and be near a hearth and home' gene. wild canines do not have this, therefore they are unpredictable, they have wild animal instincts and training is not the same. conditioning responses /behavior moulding would be better then down right basic k9 training; and remember, they react as wild animals not as domestics.

so your ***** is not being cunning and wily, she is being a dingo; her dna is programmed for survival at all costs, not for dealing with youa s part of her pack. and notoriously mixed dog/wild canines are un stable as they have both dna;s in them, but neither one is 100% so their reactions are very much more umpredictable and unsafe.

rather like haveing a border collie and bloodhound mix... not sure which of the genes will kick in: the EYE or the SCENT CHASING....

pretends submission to achieve his ends, very clever in a manipulative way, unmotivated, disrespectful- those are human attributes. he isnt pretending submission to achieve his ends as u see it. he is doing as he needs to do to get by, not get hurt or get food, which is a perfectly normal behavior in a wild pack mammal.. manipulation is just an other word for describing a way to get something needed to survive or u think u need to survive. disrespectful? u have to find the way to prove u are the dominant one and dont take **** from him.. but what works on dogs might not work on a mixed dingo/dog when pack rules are different. unmotivated? then u just havent found what makes him tick.
many 'primitive' dog types are notoriously difficult to work with also: canaan dog of israel, african pariah dogs, thai village dog and ban kew dogs, even my lhasas (the true type gumpa dogs, like my male from russia. american european bred ones have had that stubborness/not wanting to please personality bred out by now so they resemble big shi tzus ). these dogs are all domesticated but still primitive i.e. they were never molded for human needs but just 'kept around' so they retain much of that 'survival only, do what u need to do, i dont get motiviated by human affection' type personality. dingos are listed in this category also.
to make them tick, u have to work: a ball? liver pieces? pressure/negative actions? i have a firend that has managed to train her salukis (one a true negev desert bred dog meaning they live on the fringe of villages and are kept only for hunting, not as pets) to agility. food makes them tick, but only if they are hungry. so she built their treats in to their feeding program so they are always a little hungry before training. if they are sated, notihing motivates them although hers are truly lovable family oriented dogs that just happen to like doing what they want when they want it...
remember wild animals have a fright/flight or fright and fight reaction much more so then a domesticated animal who has been bred to be with humans that are supposed to help them (part of the pack/herd etc) .

canaan dogs here are often feral, and very cat like in personality; they den like wolves when giving birth, and are amazing dogs, used in army , and stock guarding dogs, but do not tolerate in doors and react reverse when 'made' to do something they dont want to do...

read here for starters: http://www.workingdogweb.com/dingo.htm
and google primitive dogs. (primitive meaning unchanged dna )
 

chooks4life

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
4,902
678
296
Australia
Thanks for the feedback and info. I would have replied sooner but assumed no new replies had been posted as I received no new notifications. Funny how it quits out on me.

@nok13: thanks for the link and info, I appreciate it. I love researching new info on ancient breeds, and you named a few variations on what I've read a bit about, so I'll check that out. I think I'll explore behaviour-modification as opposed to simple dog training, as you suggested. Wonder how big-cat trainers do their thing, lol.

You've gotten my dog situation a little mixed up: the dog I called cunning and manipulative is not mine, she's my brother's and she's totally domestic, a border collie crossed with a show-type blue heeler. She's the mother of my dingo-mix pup, and all his worst behaviours come from her. He adopts identical body language to her when he's decided to do things his way.

She's the source of what I called 'pretend submissive, manipulative' traits, which you called 'human traits'; I have come from being originally of your point of view to the one I'm at now: they are the traits of certain mentality types, whether that mentality exists in a human or dog. All it takes is sufficient brain capacity and agility and perception, and some dogs, not all, definitely have that. She does. She pretends, manipulates, is deceptive, and cunning as. I would have agreed with you that no dog could be able to be such things, before we got her and we caught her out consistently at her sneaky tricks. She's taught us all just how intelligent a dog can be. We all thought as you do, before that dog came along. And we've kept many dogs before her. She's a rare and malicious gem, that *****. Still, I think in the right circumstances she would shape up and become a legendary worker. But I doubt she'll ever experience that situation, and she's an opportunistic product of her environment.

The dingo himself is fine. (The feral wildborn dingo-looking mix). He almost always obeys, is mostly happy to learn whatever, is loyal, loving, etc, totally honest unless bluffing when afraid. He's only cunning when it comes to figuring his way through man made obstacles. He's the father of the pup I said is unmotivated. Neither of the dingo mixes will work for treats. The dad will work for love of his owner, and so will the pup, when I build his confidence in his job and his place in my life. If that makes sense. When he feels detached, he exhibits the behaviour I've mentioned.

Many domestic dogs have a trait of pretending excessive submission when in fact they are being dominant, and even the false submission is an expression of that self-serving dominance. Professional dog trainers these days have methods for dealing with what they call 'submissive-dominant' dogs. She is one, and her son adopts her behaviours when he's not feeling loyal. Its very hard to explain if you haven't seen it before. The system defining what are human-only traits is flawed, old 'science'. A bit of truth in it, but it's not a complete truth in and of itself. Same with the notion that emotions are human-only experiences and we project them onto animals. Animals as smart as dogs, and even those that are consistently dumber, can and do exhibit both emotions and deceptive, socially manipulating behaviours. I don't think the majority of animals feel or reason in any way even vaguely comparable to humans, but I do believe that some do. Newer science, with less biased and more comprehensive studies and experiments, has proven the physical existence of emotions and shown emotional and logical reasoning capacities in many animals including birds. It pays to be open minded to new truths, I find. Certainly my brother's ***** opened my eyes to the possibilities of a cunning canine brain in action.

Some examples might help: for instance, she hates cats but pretends to like/tolerate them because she knows she'll be in deep trouble if she gets caught harming our pet cats. So she will be good as gold to your face, or whenever she thinks someone is watching through a window. When they aren't, she will chase or even attack our cats, (both of which she grew up with), but not kill outright, because she's too smart to leave a corpse in the vicinity. She's mauled our tom a few times, and behind our backs harasses both cats.

She will make the rounds of the house prior to doing something wrong, peeking as sneakily as possible through doors and windows to see if anyone's watching. We've often been alerted to her future bad deeds by seeing her doing a sneak-peek check on us, when she fails to spot someone watching. Still, you could say, she's just being a cat-hater who doesn't want to get punished. Fair enough. What really sets her apart is her success and never-ending efforts regarding getting other dogs to get themselves in trouble doing her dirty work. She will get them doing wrong, not join in, then alert people to what's happening. She will encourage another dog to dig in the garden, for instance, and every time it stops because she's not joining in, she'll do that pretend lunge thing as though she's about to start, and the other dog resumes. Then she'll bark to draw human attention, and stop encouraging, but too often the other dog is too stupid to stop what she tells it to do, and so gets in trouble. She's the alpha ***** here so the other dogs tend to follow her directions. She's never been punished harshly, while I will agree our methods and environment are not perfect. All our other dogs love the cats and are great and affectionate friends with them. The puzzled expressions on their faces when she skitches them on the cats is almost funny. None of them have harmed a cat yet, thankfully. She had to resort to doing her own dirty work there, though she did get our other dogs to eventually and only occasionally chase our cats.

When she knows we are watching, she will be good with the cats; you'd think her exemplary. Here's how she incites other dogs to do what they both know is wrong: When your back is turned but she knows the other dog's watching her, without moving from a sitting position, she will make a silent pretend lunge at the cat, stopping immediately, without scaring the cat, or alerting you; after she repeats it enough times the other dogs will sooner or later complete her pseudo-attack order. She's the alpha *****, so they obey her. She does this trick nonstop with other dogs; if she knows something is not to be done, and your dog knows too, she will wait until she's sure you're not watching, then make a false start at the forbidden deed, which the other dog will eventually 'join in' on, not smart enough to realize she's abstaining so she won't be punished. Once she's gotten another dog in trouble, if either you didn't spot her inciting (or she doesn't know you spotted her), she makes a big show of herself, being super-friendly, going to stand in plain view, doing her best to attract pats and praise. Unless she knows you saw her inciting. No words need be spoken then, you don't have to let her know she's in trouble, she knows she was doing wrong.

With that bad leadership from her as the alpha *****, the other dogs, who have all been trustworthy before and after that, have been incited into chewing shoes, digging in the garden, attacking the cats, disobedient and bad behaviour with people, and even whinging incessantly. (She sooks at high pitches we can't hear, the other dogs hear and answer, but they sook at pitches we can hear, the other dog gets told off, she's happy because she gets attention and the 'naughty' dog doesn't). You can see her adopt a certain pose as she sooks like that and she only does it when she thinks she's not watched, and the other dogs start up predictably. If you tell her off, even though they cannot see or hear that, they stop, because she stops inciting.

She will sit behind you whenever you go to deal with another dog, and make sure she's got its attention. Even while it's trying to please you and obey, she will make those small movements that they respond to; sudden small twitches as though she's about to spring forward and play or whatever, so the other dog reacts, and it's therefore disobeyed you. If you're watching, she does nothing. If she's behind you, or thinks you can't see her (reflections have been her undoing, often) then she is nonstop sabotaging whatever you are doing with the other dog. At night she get up to anything she wants. The only time she is good is when there isn't another dog to take the blame. She pretends she's obedient and trustworthy, but when she thinks no-one is watching, she is either doing wrong, or inciting other dogs to do wrong. I have seen her use the 'eye' on another dog, many many many times, guiding it with her eyes to do what is wrong. ('Get the cat. Get the cat.') Just like a human hinting to another human where something is and what do do with it. If you don't believe that, remember she's a mix of two herding breeds, and they often use 'the eye' to direct and control other animals. If the 'eye' direction isn't enough, she starts with tiny twitches of immediately arrested movement, as though she was about to pounce on the cat or whatever her intended victim is. We doubted the proof of our eyes for years with her, but it happens nonstop, with predictable results and reactions from the other dog, and now we just accept she's devious and dishonest. An untrustworthy, disloyal, manipulative dog. How else would you classify an animal that spends all its time, day in day out, being good to your face and instructing other dogs to do the wrong thing behind your back? All the other dogs are fine when she's living elsewhere. When her owner and she are living with us, it's always the same. She's deliberate trouble. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. She has many other tricks and habits she only does when she thinks nobody is watching; every single one of her actions is contrary to our training and the rules she knows off by heart, and every single one of her actions is harmful, destructive, or otherwise negative. What would you define her behaviour as, if not similar to what I defined it as? To your face she's obedient and good. Never behind your back.
 

nok13

Songster
7 Years
Dec 8, 2012
411
31
101
well ok, i wouldnt use words like you are for describing her; i would call that total absolute survival skills honed to a fine level, and a very good mix of border collie genes and heeler attributes working together.... she's just doing what her dna is progarmmed to do, only better, and she has trained you all very well indeed.

even my asperger lhasa , lilee, knows that when hubby is home, my bed is off limits and when he steps out of the house,she can sneak in and crawl under the covers... she also knows that she is not allowed in the chicks cordoned off area of the salon, yet i find signs that she wass there two seconds before she hears me coming up the stairs.soo, the problem is : she has trained me in to thinking that she knows she's not allowed, when in reality, she just associates my prescense with her not being allowed, and my abscense , with 'being allowed'. prevention: prevent access when im not around. darn, i can make paragraphs,sorry.................................................................she's just conditioning other dogs with her actions..................... Manipulation, whether its in a severaly handicapped child (many syndromes have manipulativeness as part of the syndrome) or a dog or a fully aware adult , is a survival trait, that does not need intelligence as much as it needs action/reaction to get food/shelter/reward/attention.... there is no reason for a dog to do something , just for the sake of doing it, unless its something programmed in, or they get a reaction (attention/food/or they are obsessive /compulsive so they get the 'release' from the obsession by doing the action'... i suspect that if she were kept more active doing more compex missions in life, she would spend less time making problems, other dogs inthe same situation might turn to paw licking or other obxessive energy releasig behaviors.ive worked with monekys caracals (desert cats) foxes, fennecs, weasels, whatever... and all animals have 'cunning' but its to serve a purpose. if the purpose isnt neccessary, it becomes problematic behavior (like my sis' s cattle dog herding chairs obsessively at dinner time), or fox terries tearing up the house cause it cant get out to chse a rat.... of course dogs have intelligence, but they train u just as u train them... by using all their abialities, just like a human child trains its parents (my daughter trained me well to keep me from dating, she developed severe migraines that we thought were brain anyresms!) only a few years ago she told me she gave herself the migraines cause i would leave my date and come rushing home.... she trained me to the point where she just had to sit quietly, and be a little spacy and i would ask, 'do u have a headache' , and the snowball would roll from there... idont think animals are down right bad, just some have higher levels of survival skills that are sometimes misdirected.... sorry for spelling and whatever, the keyboard isnt working properly... spiteful computer that it is... ;) anyhow enjoy the canaan dog etc links....
 

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