discipline advice

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discipline advice

Postby 80s750 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:59 pm

Need help. I have a 4 and a half month SM pup. Generally he's a great dog. Have worked recall, heel and whoa with him. Also some tracking. He's done well and when on a check cord his recall is 95%. When off it he is about 50%. Where this becomes an issue is I'm not sure how to discipline him when he doesn't return. Some days I walk away and he'll come find me but do I praise him then for coming even though he disobeyed the original command? Second if he is scolded with a stern No he will often take off running loops and will not come to a recall. Its getting bad because he is running through the neighborhood now. Its in the country with a high speed road and half acre lots and farm fields not a safe place for him to be wondering. How do I discipline him when I finally catch him. I have not struck him and to my knowledge no one else has either. Forgive me if this has been posted already I couldn't find it.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby CZfan107 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:24 pm

[quote="80s750"]Need help. He's done well and when on a check cord his recall is 95%. When off it he is about 50%.

He has to be 100% on recall 5% he gets away with not coming he's learning it is ok to not come. I think he's to young for a e collar keep him on check till he's a little older maybe 6 months then get a e collar and use it with check till he's 100% recall then just e- collar .
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Re: discipline advice

Postby Doc E » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:55 pm

Those of us with labs and follow "Smartwork", begin ecollar to HERE at 4 to 4.5
months of age.
.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby marysburg » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:28 pm

Good advice about the ecollar and Smartworks. An ecollar is a lot better than a dead or injured pup on the road. Keep him on a checkcord until you can get set up to use the ecollar.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby mastercaster » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:44 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong but don't pups at the age of 4-5 months become much bolder in their attitude? It's like they've hit their teenage rebellious years. I know mine did for a few weeks. Her recall was excellent up to that point and then she started trying to test me. The 2-3 times she did it up at our cabin which is right in the wilderness I just walked after her and eventually it became apparent to her that she was in trouble and just stood there. I calmly grabbed her by the collar and dragged her back the 75 yards or so back to the place I originally called her from. She REALLY knew she hadn't made a good decision not to come by then. I think I only had to do that those few times and since then her recall has been good again. Don't know if that will work on all dogs but it did for my griff.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:06 am

Perfect Start DVD shows how to teach recall and use ecollar introduction in association with it (and a whole lot more training your pup will need).

Much as you may want to, disciplining the pup at that age when it does not recall only teaches it to not recall all the more. I do not call my pups when they are engaged in something and their body language strongly suggests they are unlikely to come when called. Doing so just teaches them to ignore the command.

Instead I have the puppy dragging a light check cord always. I calmly move towards the pup until I can get my foot on the cord, call it and give a tug on the check cord at the same time, kneeling down to praise the puppy when it arrives. If the pup was super bold and likely to run off in your urban setting, I would not turn it loose there.

Above all else I would not call the puppy when I was not in a position to re-enforce the command immediately if it did not comply. Re-enforcing the command consists of simply tugging on the check cord lightly and saying Come or Here depending on which command you choose. Pull the puppy all the way if you need to once you have given the command, but try not to make a habit of that. Picking your spots as to when to call the puppy is very important at this stage as any good pup is likely to be more interested in the world around it vs being at your side. Luring the puppy with a treat or a toy is not a bad idea initially either. And I would always act happy when the puppy arrived to me whether I was in reality happy or not.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby ANick » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:30 am

AverageGuy wrote:Perfect Start DVD shows how to teach recall and use ecollar introduction in association with it (and a whole lot more training your pup will need).

Much as you may want to, disciplining the pup at that age when it does not recall only teaches it to not recall all the more. I do not call my pups when they are engaged in something and their body language strongly suggests they are unlikely to come when called. Doing so just teaches them to ignore the command.

Instead I have the puppy dragging a light check cord always. I calmly move towards the pup until I can get my foot on the cord, call it and give a tug on the check cord at the same time, kneeling down to praise the puppy when it arrives. If the pup was super bold and likely to run off in your urban setting, I would not turn it loose there.

Above all else I would not call the puppy when I was not in a position to re-enforce the command immediately if it did not comply. Re-enforcing the command consists of simply tugging on the check cord lightly and saying Come or Here depending on which command you choose. Pull the puppy all the way if you need to once you have given the command, but try not to make a habit of that. Picking your spots as to when to call the puppy is very important at this stage as any good pup is likely to be more interested in the world around it vs being at your side. Luring the puppy with a treat or a toy is not a bad idea initially either. And I would always act happy when the puppy arrived to me whether I was in reality happy or not.


^^ That.

"Never give a command that you cannot enforce.", quoted from some unknown old smart person.
Regarding the ecollar, I don't think your pup is too young. .. .. PROVIDED you do the ecollar conditioning correctly. It is NOT 'slap the collar on and set it to stun'. Ideally it is a training aid, not a punishment tool. Until you are ready, know what you're doing with it, keep the pup on lead or the long check cord.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby hicntry » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:29 pm

In a pups mind, coming to you means getting bored to death with some more drills even if there is no correction. People want their pups to be outstanding examples so they can have bragging rights. So, now the pup is outside in a fascinating world and he wants to see it a lot more than he wants to run more drills. Now the pup doesn't want to come back and to get him back you will have to resort to force only because you have created your own problem. You want your pups to come to you willingly??? Forget the drills until six mo old and keep out of the pups face. Take them outside to roam as much as possible and then some.... then he might see you as something mother than a major buzz kill.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:55 pm

Following on HiCntry's post,

I get my pups out for a run in natural cover most everyday at that age. I go somewhere that my need to be overly concerned which direction the pup is headed in at any given moment is minimized. Local WMAs often fit the bill depending on where you live.

On most of those runs I am only looking for one good recall opportunity and most often I choose when the pup is already checking back in with me after it has been out exploring for awhile and is heading back towards me. It is much easier to get enthusiastic compliance when the pup is already heading your way vs unproductively attempting to pull them away from something alot more interesting.

And if the puppy is enthusiastic about retrieving, including in water, I will time my recalls around a pond and give it a water retrieve when it arrives, so there was something exciting attached to coming to me. I will also include some hunt dead commands for a dead pigeon or bumper with wings zipped tied to it when I recall the pup. I am working on multiple objectives using "drills" that hopefully the puppy is very eager and happy to do. Once gunfire has been introduced and positively associated with dead birds, I will occasionally fire a random blank in the air while the puppy is out exploring and when they come running I give them the hunt dead hand signal and voice command towards the area I tossed a dead bird. It is another form of presenting an exciting reward for returning to the handler and working on multiple development objectives in a way to minimize boredom or resentment.

Distracted, exploring puppies are what we all hope for at this age and development, so work with it is how I approach it.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby Willie T » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:15 pm

I am of the same opinion as many of the previous posters. At this stage consistency is key. Your pup is somewhat reliable with a check cord. Unreliable without a check cord. Your pup still needs a check cord. Don't mistake this next bit of advice as me criticizing you. It is advice that is meant to help your dog develop conditioned responses and reliable Obedience. With a four month old dog, the trainer is the one who needs discipline. Resist giving any command that you are not in a position and willing to ensure 100% compliance. If you don't do that, inadvertently you are teaching your dog that your commands are optional. Down the road as your dog matures, sometime after it loses its puppy teeth and has a full set of dog teeth, you will use a combination of correction and escalating distractions to proof your known obedience commands. If you have not set the table with consistency your dog will not understand why it is being corrected. This confusion will make proofing your commands much more difficult. Given that scenario more force than should be necesssry will be required to firm up your commands. There is a real downside to that path. Without going into a long explanation, the consequence is a lack of style. Learn to anticipate what may happen before you give A command so you can set pup up to succeed.
One other comment. I believe in separating obedience from field work. I do not attempt to incorporate the two before it is reliable.


Best of luck working with the new pup. It should be an exciting time for both of you.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby ryanr » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:41 pm

I also do a lot of what both AG and HiC are talking about. Did it with my Labrador up in NH at school, did it with my now 6yr old Drahthaar and especially now with my 10 month old GWP. I think this little girl is going to be special. Like I said she's 10 months old now and I've run her in some great places,with very minimal interference or worry but I'm about to expedite her conditioning to the e-collar this week. She's shown me she's definitely at that point. Her disappearance on Good Friday for almost an hour in an area of tens of thousands of acres of rugged forest (well known for coyotes) after getting bird drunk flushing around 30 woodcock and grouse kind of hinted it's probably about time. When she came running up behind me after I hiked back to my vehicle to get another coat after shedding my other one to leave for her to find in the last place I saw her she also taught me she's got the goods to find her way back just as my previous 2 dogs did. Difference is she's my sweet little 50lb rocket girl and my males were 70 and 98lbs respectively. I pretty much had a heart attack before she finally came running up behind me, tail wagging and looking quite pleased with her adventure.

I don't necessarily think there is a specific age for e collar conditioning, read your dog. I want them to be plenty confident in themselves out there before I do it, they just run with a 25ft check cord before that. My Labrador was almost 2 but that was definitely more because I was a collehe kid and new to it. With my Drahthaar I thought I was going to wait until a year as the breeder suggested but by 6 or 7 months he was on it because he needed to be and he was really ready much sooner. With this girl, she's 10 months but I probably could have done it at 9 months, maybe even 8.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:35 pm

If you are going to collar condition him, don't just throw the collar on him. Whenever he goes outside for ANY THING, put it on him so he associates it with pleasure. Then start. Beats me why you're trying to call him with no cc on him. The old trainers used to say "Keep him on a check cord until you think he's trained, then keep him on six months longer.". Never put yourself in to a situation where you have to command him and can't enforce that command. Oh, yeah.......he's just a baby.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:43 pm

You DONT discipline him when he comes back. Otherwise you are disciplining him for doing what you wanted, and he's less likely to come back the next time.

Turn around and walk away. When he catches up, make a big deal about what a good dog he is.

Train a collar grab. https://youtu.be/UQWY4A4teRM
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Re: discipline advice

Postby 3drahthaars » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:49 pm

Doc E wrote:Those of us with labs and follow "Smartwork", begin ecollar to HERE at 4 to 4.5
months of age.
.

Not a lab...

Those with versatile dogs learn to take the leap of faith in the breeding, allow some independence, and enhance the natural instincts.
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Re: discipline advice

Postby ryanr » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:39 pm

Misskiwi67 wrote:You DONT discipline him when he comes back. Otherwise you are disciplining him for doing what you wanted, and he's less likely to come back the next time.

Turn around and walk away. When he catches up, make a big deal about what a good dog he is.

Train a collar grab. https://youtu.be/UQWY4A4teRM


And it works great, walking away, right up until the young dog finally decides it doesn't give a crap. Which actually happens. At various stages of puppyhood I think every dog I've had has gotten to that point.
Last edited by ryanr on Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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