Dog Training - Who Is Training Who? Training Using Dog Psychology

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I told some people I would post this, I sometimes get contracts to write articles for emags or other literature, I have a few I've written on different aspects of "Dog Training." If people are interested, I'll post more. I just don't want to seem like I'm doing this for attention...ya know? The articles had criteria I had to meet, so you may have to wade through some fluff. I also did a little editing, so my auto swap of "and" for "&" may appear a few times. Also, I decided last minute to merge a couple different ones so their may be some redundancy. But if you are a dog lover, you will enjoy it.

Dog Training – Who is Training Who?


Training Using Dog Psychology

Most people buy or adopt a dog with the best of intentions. They plan to feed him, play with him, train him, & fill a special place in their hearts - that only dogs can fill. It's going to be wonderful! Once the puppy is home, reality sets in. The pup is doing #1 & #2 in the house, chewing every item you care about, & otherwise terrorizing your previously peaceful life. Despite your best efforts, he won't sit, or lay down, never mind stay. It doesn't take long to get frustrated, which only makes owning a dog less fun. Your discouraged, the dog is becoming a burden, your motivation to train is much lower than before. Owning a dog should be a thing of joy, not trouble.

There are a couple of things at play here that most people don't realize. There is an easy way, and a hard way to do things. I'm going to show you the easy way. However, it's not all rainbows and butterflies from here on out. A friend of mine made a life observation one time that I will never forget. She said "Have you ever noticed how it takes effort to make things easy?" This is certainly the case with owning a dog. Here is a number of things you can do to make things, "easy."



Training Puppies

Patience is Key

Our main focus will be training dogs a little older than puppy-hood. But I feel I need to cover some aspects that cause the most frustration; potty training and chewing.

Dogs like to pee on things that are soft. In nature they pee outside in the grass, dirt, anything soft. They prefer not to pee on hard surfaces because they don't like the splashing, but they will. In the house, a carpet is as good as grass in their mind. They honestly know no different. It would be as if an alien beamed you up & took you to their house, where they had a special room, & a thing remarkably like a toilet inside. But when you pee'd in it, they hit you with newspaper. You would be very confused, no? (analogy taken from The Culture Clash - Jean Donaldson)

The trick with puppies is to take them outside frequently to pee. When they do, make a really big deal of it. Praise, hugs, kisses, treats, whatever is necessary to get the point across to that dog that you are very happy with what they just did. Dogs in general, but puppies especially have small bladders and short digestive tracts. Take them out enough so they have the opportunity to succeed. Don't set them up for failure. Then, when they do fail, all you need to do is give whatever word or sound you have chosen for your "I disagree with that behavior" command, pick them up, & rush them outside. It only takes several successes & a couple failures for the dog to understand. Also, the frequent bathroom breaks is a short term thing. Very quickly the dog will have bigger organs, & better control of them.


Dogs make associations almost instantly. With humans, you could comment on something someone did yesterday, & they would know what you were talking about. Dogs don't register things that way. If you want to "comment" on a dogs behavior, it needs to be right away. Literally within 2 seconds before or during the act, otherwise they don't make the connection. That is half of your battle right there, understanding that concept. In fact, it is so quick, that once you become good at this, you will be "commenting" to the dog, before he has even physically done anything. But now, you will be catching it at the prime time, the moment they start to think it.

"Commenting" is basically that; giving the dog whatever signal system you have worked out, that you are happy, displeased, or ambivalent. Dogs sense much more emotion than this. But for training purposes, those are really your main options. You either like this behavior, you dislike it, or you haven't said or done anything. In this case, the dog goes to his default response, that this is a freedom he is allowed. So keep in mind, every time you don't comment on the dog's behavior, you are in fact giving him a message. That message is "I don't mind what you are doing."

A dog does not have "feelings" you need to dance around. You must give a dog feedback, all throughout it's life, but especially in the beginning. As Cesar Milan always says (correctly in my opinion) it wants rules, boundaries & limitations. If you are not giving those to the dog...at all times, the dog assumes you are ambivalent, & it is free to do this behavior. If you cannot catch it time to make the correction, obviously lead the dog away from the situation, but hold off correcting until next time.


When you are outside & Fido starts pee'ing, say whatever command you want to be your pee command. Same thing with number 2. That is actually my command, I say "number 2?" The perfect time to say the command that you want the dog to associate with said action, is the moment he is thinking about doing it, or starts to do it. This applies throughout the dog's life. But when potty training, this is especially useful.

One of the easiest ways to train is to pay attention to what your dog is doing. When he does a behavior that you want, just call it out. E.g. the dog sits down, you say the word "sit" & then praise the dog. A great way to teach dogs this is just to sit in a chair with a treat in your hand. Say nothing. The dog will begin to do anything it knows how to do to get the treat. Block any bad behavior, & wait until the dog sits. When he does, say "sit" in a happy voice, & give the dog the treat. Continue to do this, with the major commands until the dog gets it. Dog's learn behavior first, word association second. So just watch their behavior and add the word association when appropriate. Once they have the word association, they can perform the action on command. But before this connection takes place in his little doggy brain, he needs to know what he just did, & what it is called. This applies just the same when you take them outside to do their business. Wait for them to do it, yell happily to your neighbors, "Go Pee!" Reward the dog however you choose. Always take young dogs out on a leash (unless fenced), it's easier to show them where they are allowed to go, & where they are not. Meaning the boundaries of where you will allow the dog to travel in your yard.

Dog Chewing

Your puppy is going to want to chew everything in sight. The most important thing is to gate the dog into one room and puppy proof it. That means remote controls, shoes, pillows, books. Anything in the dog's reach that it can get in it's mouth, it will.

Again, don't set your dog up for failure. Get the dog things he CAN chew on. A constant flow of things it's ok for him to chew on. During times you are with the dog (at night watching TV) put things on the floor the dog is not allowed to chew, so that you can teach the dog what is ok, & what is not ok. Make sure to remove before you leave the dog alone again. NEVER give the dog an old shoe or mittens to munch on, he is not going to know the difference between shoes and mittens that are ok vs. ones that are not. Make the things that it's ok for him to chew within easy reach and praise him when he uses them. Use them for play, make them exciting for the dog. You want to develop his interest in the things it's ok to chew on and remove the temptation to chew on other things.


Do not underestimate what your dog will try to chew in the beginning. I can't express this enough. If I had a dollar for each item my dog chewed, ripped, gnawed, disemboweled or just plain ate something I didn't think he would...I'd be a rich man.

Training your Dog - Who is Training Who?

Reverse Dog Psychology


Dogs are constantly learning how to manipulate their environment. This is happening, whether you know it or not. They can't talk, they can't gesture. The only way they know how to get what they want is to do doggy things. This is where your effort will eventually make things easier for you, & lack of it will lead to an unruly dog, & many years of stress for you.


To give you an example, when your dog wants to go outside, if it goes ballistic, jumping around, scratching at the door, etc and then you let the dog outside. The dog has just learned that this is the behavior he does when he wants to go outside. When I want to go out, I just go ballistic on this glass door here, & then they open it for me. It makes perfect sense to the dog. But humans often don't see it.

We need to use a little judo here. Use the dogs manipulation tactics against him. If you make the dog sit by the door before you let him out, the dog learns that this is the behavior that gets him let outside. Remember that dogs need that quick connection, so within seconds of the dog sitting, reward him by letting him outside. Every time you get frustrated & give in so the dog will stop being a hassle, you are teaching him a lesson. & the dog is learning. This is what many people don't realize.

If a dog has a good life, it consists of 2-3 meals a day, at least one walk a day, bathroom breaks, naps, & snuggle time. Not bad, but like all of us, the dog usually wants more....of something. You need to remember that the dog is always learning how to manipulate it's surroundings in order to get what it wants. Did you see that? Always. & you are always teaching. If you are not involved, you are teaching the dog just the same. But the dog is learning how to manipulate you, instead of you controlling the dog. We are going to allow the dog to manipulate us...oh yes, we are going to let the dog think he has figured us all out. But the way we are going to teach him to manipulate us, is actually the way we want him to behave.

If your dog begs at the table while you are eating, and you give it to him thinking he will be appeased and leave you alone, you couldn't be more wrong. You have just taught the dog that begging will get him fed. Dogs, being the geniuses that they are (at times) will continue to pursue what has worked for them in the past. Turn it around and make it a behavior that you want. A behavior that the dog will pursue in the future that won't be a hassle for you.

For example, I suggest no one ever feed the dog from the table, ever. Not company, not relatives, not children...never. When my wife and I are cooking, the dog used to be constantly underfoot, waiting for something to drop. It occasionally did and the dog was inadvertently rewarded. We did not want to reinforce this behavior, so we got a mat, and put it in the corner of the kitchen. We told the dog to sit on the mat and tossed him a treat as soon as he sat. But just far enough away that he had to get up from his spot to get it. He would then proceed underfoot and we would redirect him to the rug. As soon as he sat down on the rug, we tossed another treat. It doesn't take long for the dog to figure out that if I put my bottom here, I get what I want! Within three sessions or so, the dog sits patiently on his mat, thinking he is manipulating us! (Mats are a great tool for dogs, put them anywhere around the house you want the dog to sit. Use the technique I just mentioned above, & associate it with the words "Where do you sit?" They will go to their mat).


Here is a video of my dog Buddy and how he behaves in the kitchen. He does this without any prompting. I gave him no vocal signals at all, what you hear in the background is an episode of SVU playing (which I fixed for the following videos) What you may also hear is two times I dropped food on the floor, once was one of his treats, once was a piece of beef which he finds irresistible. You'll notice he didn't go for either one. He waited patiently on his rug because that is what he has learned gets him treats. After he understood where he was supposed to sit, we would intentionally drop things, & if he got up to eat them, we would pick them up. Poor little doggy was foiled. He notices that when he gets up to get the food, we take it away. He is confused, so he will look to you for a comment. This is an utterly beautiful moment. Now, you tell him "ok" & he is allowed to get the food. Only a couple sessions of this, & you can drop anything on the floor, the dog will stay on the mat, & look at you (that eye contact is good, that means they are looking to you to tell them what to do). Now the dog is not underfoot, unless we allow him to be, then he goes right back to his spot.


Sitting, where it all begins

Offering sits



Offering sits

By now you have the basic idea of how to use your dog's natural manipulation instinct to your advantage. They are smart. Are you smarter? Use his desire to get what he wants to get the behavior you want. You want to teach and reinforce good behavior. Never reward undesirable behavior. A lot of this starts with the sit.

Before we let our dog outside he goes and sits by the door. Before he gets fed he runs into his crate and sits, before we let him on the couch he sits and waits for permission. He loves all of it as he thinks of it as "winning!" But all this behavior starts by getting the dog to "offer" sits. I've included a video below of Buddy's behavior before being fed. Again he did this with no vocal prompting.

Offering sits is when the dog sits of his own volition, without vocal prompting. The way to do this is to have high reward treats, something your dog really likes. Treats need to be visible or the dog at least needs to know you have them. The dog will usually then proceed to go through several behaviors to try to appease you and get a treat. The moment he sits, click or praise, and give him a treat. Toss the treat far enough away from the dog that he needs to get up to get the treat so you can restart the exercise. Do this 30 times a few times a week. You may need to adjust the amount of food you give the dog on his regular feeding schedule to account for all the treats he will be getting. You don't want the dog sitting because he is too obese to stand.


Also practice this exercise in different places. Dogs don't generalize in the same way that we do. He might be able to do this exercise in the house, but if you try it outside they are usually baffled. After several regular sessions of this exercise the dog will start to use this as his fall back behavior when he wants something. Isn't that great!? Now when the dog wants something, his first idea is to sit calmly! After you get him good and trained with this exercise all you will have to do is look at him and he will sit. Anytime he wants something and doesn't get it right away he will sit. What a great behavior for the dog to practice. When starting out, if you have to give the dog a vocal command to sit, it's not ideal - but do what you must. Remember the end goal is for the dog to offer sits without vocal prompting. As training gets more advanced, you will progress to where the dog offers other behaviors. Anything you can train the dog, in which they think it was their idea, is good training.

Now that the dog knows the behavior it's very easy to incorporate into whatever you want. As I mentioned earlier our dog sits quietly in the kitchen when we cook and we randomly toss him treats. He does not bother us while we eat because he knows it does not get him what he wants.


Doggy Judo Black Belt

Now who is training who

I've been to people's houses where they have a full grown dog who is a maniac. Jumping on people, bothering you while eating, using outside energy in the house. What I always hear from the people is "He's not trained."

Quite the opposite. He has been very well trained for a long time. The dog's behavior has consistently been reinforced in one way or another by the owners. They just didn't realize that this entire time, they were teaching, and the dog was learning. In many cases the dog was actually the teacher and the people were learning how to appease the dog. It seems so stupid once you know what is going on. Especially considering how easy it is to remedy. You have a dog that constantly "scheming" (in an innocent way) on how to manipulate their surroundings. All you have to do is make those "manipulations," the behaviors you would like to see anyway.

Every dog is different. Some are less food motivated. But because they will always want a walk, to be fed, to have bonding time, you are chock full of opportunities! Not only to train the dog, but to make the dog LOVE being trained!


As I said in the beginning this is going to happen whether you like it or not. It's an ongoing process that you can't ignore, at least not without consequences. You are constantly teaching your dog whether you choose to put in the time or not. You can use your dog's desire to manipulate to your advantage, or to your detriment. It takes effort to make things easy.
 
Junk

Junk

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Best dog training technique I have seen is Cesar Millan the dog whisperer. Guy is a genius!

I wanted to put that in the preface, & I totally forgot. I wanted to say that I am by no means a dog "expert." I just know what I know, by learning from my father (he was the guy you brought your "untrainable horse" to), doing all the dog & horse shows/breeding/training, & the endless books I've read (endless!) I've also worked directly with some of the top experts in the USA to do research & write articles. My Facebook page (I never use it, my wife does) is almost exclusively filled with dog trainers & breeders. It's just the bubble I live in.

No denying Cesar is of the best. I love the guy. But a lot of people, serious heavy hitters in the dog world, disagree with some of his methods. Off hand, I can't think of anything I personally object to, but one of the things the show does I disagree with.

They edit SOME of the footage, SOMETIMES, to make it look like he transformed the dog in two minutes. Sometimes Cesar's trainers have come in to work with the dog much earlier, so when Cesar shows up it looks fast. Many things can be just as fast as he makes them look. Occasionally, it isn't. When they have a stopwatch on, or tell you the elapsed time, I assume that is correct. But when they don't show you that, sometimes the dog has already been worked with/seen by someone on Cesar's team. I don't object to it on a personal level, I think it's great the dog gets more attention. But, it can make the viewer quickly feel like a failure if they can't transform their dog in a few minutes.

The other thing that is done is often times he doesn't fully explain what is going on with the doggy dynamics. To the viewer it appears like a great explanation, but I never hear him talk about the minutia of what is making this technique work. You may disagree, but I'm talking about down to the very basic stuff. I guess what I mean is, when I watch the show, I get more out of it, than your average dog owner, because I know dogs equate space with rank. I know a dog will do what it knows how to do, or what it has been "taught" to do as I suggested in the article above. I know what the signs of submission are, or dominance, dog body language. You ever see a Cesar show & he interrupts & points, & says "this is bad right here" & then goes to change it. A lot of people don't see it. I know exactly what he is talking about. I have an article about dog body language I may post next if people are interested. But in the shows defense, they only have so long to do the show & pay the bills. If people want to learn all the finite details, they can read some books.

Kohler (Koehler?) has gotten some of the best results from the worst dogs EVER! But when you read his book, & see how he did it, I would not do that to a dog. He got the results though...so do results speak for themselves? In his case, I would say they don't.

The MAIN THING CESAR DOES, is with his presence. & that is usually all that is needed. You ever see two dogs meet each other, & then they get into a little scuffle. They are simply arguing who is going to be the top dog. They send out signals, some of which the trained eye can see, some of which they can't. Cesar is extremely good at sending out those signals that let the dog know, "This is my world." Unless the dog has a brain disorder, that is usually all they need to fall in line. People without a lot of experience with animals, find this type of dominant, powerful, attitude - hard to muster.

Dogs/horses will test you. Some more than others. A horse can be extremely difficult because 1. They are much bigger than you 2. They may not appear to have weapons, but they do & they know what they are (stepping on, throwing off, biting (I'd rather be bitten by a dog, a horse bits like a vice grip) kicking. (& yes, I have been bitten by Pits, Rotts etc) It's hard to physically dominate a horse, you have to break them down mentally & show them they don't make the decisions, you do. A dog may be smaller, but depending on the breed, they will test you just as much. You have to be watching for it, & make sure you are seeing it for what it is. It's not a bad dog...that is just a dog...it's what they do.
 
alaskind

alaskind

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I wanted to put that in the preface, & I totally forgot. I wanted to say that I am by no means a dog "expert." I just know what I know, by learning from my father (he was the guy you brought your "untrainable horse" to), doing all the dog & horse shows/breeding/training, & the endless books I've read (endless!) I've also worked directly with some of the top experts in the USA to do research & write articles. My Facebook page (I never use it, my wife does) is almost exclusively filled with dog trainers & breeders. It's just the bubble I live in.

No denying Cesar is of the best. I love the guy. But a lot of people, serious heavy hitters in the dog world, disagree with some of his methods. Off hand, I can't think of anything I personally object to, but one of the things the show does I disagree with.

They edit SOME of the footage, SOMETIMES, to make it look like he transformed the dog in two minutes. Sometimes Cesar's trainers have come in to work with the dog much earlier, so when Cesar shows up it looks fast. Many things can be just as fast as he makes them look. Occasionally, it isn't. When they have a stopwatch on, or tell you the elapsed time, I assume that is correct. But when they don't show you that, sometimes the dog has already been worked with/seen by someone on Cesar's team. I don't object to it on a personal level, I think it's great the dog gets more attention. But, it can make the viewer quickly feel like a failure if they can't transform their dog in a few minutes.

The other thing that is done is often times he doesn't fully explain what is going on with the doggy dynamics. To the viewer it appears like a great explanation, but I never hear him talk about the minutia of what is making this technique work. You may disagree, but I'm talking about down to the very basic stuff. I guess what I mean is, when I watch the show, I get more out of it, than your average dog owner, because I know dogs equate space with rank. I know a dog will do what it knows how to do, or what it has been "taught" to do as I suggested in the article above. I know what the signs of submission are, or dominance, dog body language. You ever see a Cesar show & he interrupts & points, & says "this is bad right here" & then goes to change it. A lot of people don't see it. I know exactly what he is talking about. I have an article about dog body language I may post next if people are interested. But in the shows defense, they only have so long to do the show & pay the bills. If people want to learn all the finite details, they can read some books.

Kohler (Koehler?) has gotten some of the best results from the worst dogs EVER! But when you read his book, & see how he did it, I would not do that to a dog. He got the results though...so do results speak for themselves? In his case, I would say they don't.

The MAIN THING CESAR DOES, is with his presence. & that is usually all that is needed. You ever see two dogs meet each other, & then they get into a little scuffle. They are simply arguing who is going to be the top dog. They send out signals, some of which the trained eye can see, some of which they can't. Cesar is extremely good at sending out those signals that let the dog know, "This is my world." Unless the dog has a brain disorder, that is usually all they need to fall in line. People without a lot of experience with animals, find this type of dominant, powerful, attitude - hard to muster.

Dogs/horses will test you. Some more than others. A horse can be extremely difficult because 1. They are much bigger than you 2. They may not appear to have weapons, but they do & they know what they are (stepping on, throwing off, biting (I'd rather be bitten by a dog, a horse bits like a vice grip) kicking. (& yes, I have been bitten by Pits, Rotts etc) It's hard to physically dominate a horse, you have to break them down mentally & show them they don't make the decisions, you do. A dog may be smaller, but depending on the breed, they will test you just as much. You have to be watching for it, & make sure you are seeing it for what it is. It's not a bad dog...that is just a dog...it's what they do.
Fun Topic, Junk
Ive used the Khoeler Method before when I was a younger man, and still use most of principles today. His methods are/were extreme but effective. I have modified his tactics, but still use his strategies. The most important thing I learned from him is that all dogs have a right to consequence. Also learned how important it is to create a learning situation/environment for training.... Learned how to employ agitation and releaf .... lmao its prolly been 25 years since I read that book, but it obviously left an impression...
 
DemonTrich

DemonTrich

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awesome thread!!!
we are bringing home our AKC registered pure bred male basset hound home at the end of the month. we had a female basset when I was growing up and LOVED that dog. what I don't remember was how my parents potty trained her or other training. my wife wants to crate train, but I still feel any time out of the cage he will be doing his biz on the hardwood floors. I am a stay at home dad of an 18 month old boy, so I have a lot of time to train.

im having surgery tomorrow, ill read up on everything you posted while im recovering.
 
Wee Zard

Wee Zard

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I have an article about dog body language I may post next if people are interested.

Yes, please!
full


Mahalo,
Weeze
 
Toaster79

Toaster79

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Keep it coming @Junk

I've got a 15 month old rescue saluki cross that was born and grew up until his 8th month in kennels. We came a looooong way since then. Love to learn on different techniques and approaches and observe how he responds to them.
 
GrowGod

GrowGod

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I wanted to put that in the preface, & I totally forgot. I wanted to say that I am by no means a dog "expert." I just know what I know, by learning from my father (he was the guy you brought your "untrainable horse" to), doing all the dog & horse shows/breeding/training, & the endless books I've read (endless!) I've also worked directly with some of the top experts in the USA to do research & write articles. My Facebook page (I never use it, my wife does) is almost exclusively filled with dog trainers & breeders. It's just the bubble I live in.

No denying Cesar is of the best. I love the guy. But a lot of people, serious heavy hitters in the dog world, disagree with some of his methods. Off hand, I can't think of anything I personally object to, but one of the things the show does I disagree with.

They edit SOME of the footage, SOMETIMES, to make it look like he transformed the dog in two minutes. Sometimes Cesar's trainers have come in to work with the dog much earlier, so when Cesar shows up it looks fast. Many things can be just as fast as he makes them look. Occasionally, it isn't. When they have a stopwatch on, or tell you the elapsed time, I assume that is correct. But when they don't show you that, sometimes the dog has already been worked with/seen by someone on Cesar's team. I don't object to it on a personal level, I think it's great the dog gets more attention. But, it can make the viewer quickly feel like a failure if they can't transform their dog in a few minutes.

The other thing that is done is often times he doesn't fully explain what is going on with the doggy dynamics. To the viewer it appears like a great explanation, but I never hear him talk about the minutia of what is making this technique work. You may disagree, but I'm talking about down to the very basic stuff. I guess what I mean is, when I watch the show, I get more out of it, than your average dog owner, because I know dogs equate space with rank. I know a dog will do what it knows how to do, or what it has been "taught" to do as I suggested in the article above. I know what the signs of submission are, or dominance, dog body language. You ever see a Cesar show & he interrupts & points, & says "this is bad right here" & then goes to change it. A lot of people don't see it. I know exactly what he is talking about. I have an article about dog body language I may post next if people are interested. But in the shows defense, they only have so long to do the show & pay the bills. If people want to learn all the finite details, they can read some books.

Kohler (Koehler?) has gotten some of the best results from the worst dogs EVER! But when you read his book, & see how he did it, I would not do that to a dog. He got the results though...so do results speak for themselves? In his case, I would say they don't.

The MAIN THING CESAR DOES, is with his presence. & that is usually all that is needed. You ever see two dogs meet each other, & then they get into a little scuffle. They are simply arguing who is going to be the top dog. They send out signals, some of which the trained eye can see, some of which they can't. Cesar is extremely good at sending out those signals that let the dog know, "This is my world." Unless the dog has a brain disorder, that is usually all they need to fall in line. People without a lot of experience with animals, find this type of dominant, powerful, attitude - hard to muster.

Dogs/horses will test you. Some more than others. A horse can be extremely difficult because 1. They are much bigger than you 2. They may not appear to have weapons, but they do & they know what they are (stepping on, throwing off, biting (I'd rather be bitten by a dog, a horse bits like a vice grip) kicking. (& yes, I have been bitten by Pits, Rotts etc) It's hard to physically dominate a horse, you have to break them down mentally & show them they don't make the decisions, you do. A dog may be smaller, but depending on the breed, they will test you just as much. You have to be watching for it, & make sure you are seeing it for what it is. It's not a bad dog...that is just a dog...it's what they do.
Yes yes you are right the show can only show so much with time limits and all.
I agree that Cezars presence says it all! Demands respect and those first few seconds of meeting a dog to train are extremely important!
What really amazes me is when he walks with like 20 dogs and they are all walking beside him and not pulling the leash to be first.
Great post by the way!
 
dieseldawg2480

dieseldawg2480

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that shit works been a animal lover all my life. calm and accretive energy is what they respond to the most. Nice post @Junk thanks
 
Seamaiden

Seamaiden

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I just know what I know, by learning from my father (he was the guy you brought your "untrainable horse" to), doing all the dog & horse shows/breeding/training, & the endless books I've read (endless!)
I used to show, and train. I trained for a short while with an old old Navajo guy who specialized in problem horses. He taught me some really neat hobbles to use on the dangerous ones. I showed breed specific, Arabian, once I got into Class A showing.

I learned just about everything about raising kids from raising animules.
Dogs/horses will test you. Some more than others. A horse can be extremely difficult because 1. They are much bigger than you 2. They may not appear to have weapons, but they do & they know what they are (stepping on, throwing off, biting (I'd rather be bitten by a dog, a horse bits like a vice grip) kicking. (& yes, I have been bitten by Pits, Rotts etc) It's hard to physically dominate a horse, you have to break them down mentally & show them they don't make the decisions, you do.
I've had bigger problems with the more intelligent animals, and the WORST are with sexually intact animals. I once new a lady, a trainer, who took on a QH stallion that had been banned from the race track for savaging grooms. He killed her one day when she went into his corral without the crop in her pocket. Grabbed her by the neck and snapped it. My own direct experience is that you're going to encounter this problem first with stallions, then with some mares, rarely with geldings, often with ponies and ALWAYS with miniature "horses" (they are NOT horses, they're fucking ponies). In fact, the only horse that has ever savaged me was a mini stallion. From the knees down I was TOTALLY fucked up!

Of course I had a gelding who was very intelligent, but also a very kind-hearted horse, so his answer to being pushed around was to sink his back, raise his head and become an immovable stone. Have you ever seen a pony rule the herd of regular sized horses? It's a lot less to do with size than body language and attitude, many horses don't actually realize they're bigger than you because if they did, you'd be like that gal I used to know.

In fact, there's a scene in this documentary that you've probably seen called Buck. It's a gal with a 3yo stallion that she can't handle. They open with him in the trailer and I swear, my skin began to crawl (it's crawling now just thinking about it!) because I knew the moment I looked at that horse, he will try to kill the first person he possibly can. It took a while, but when he got his chance BAM! Came down right on top of that cowboy. Frankly, I was amazed none of them could see it in the animal's body language. But, I sure could, especially after working with several stallions (not a single one of which was anywhere nearly as dangerous as that animal). I feel that it is intelligence that plays the biggest role in trainability and safety, especially when we're talking about horses. Although... Altas was pretty fucking stupid and stupid will also get you killed.

I don't know if you can see it, but I can. Then later on, this horse goes on to try and kill the old cowboy. The woman who owned this stallion? I wanted to fucking slap her silly. 18 uncut stallions in ONE PLACE???? It's the sacking out scene, and.. I would NOT have even gotten into the corral with that horse, with nothing but a rope for control??? Uh fucking uh, not me!


I've always felt that the lucky ones are given one true gift. Mine was working with horses. My body hasn't held up, or I'd still be doing it today. Especially foals, I love working with the babies.

Then again, I sure do love working with fish, too...


The most difficult dogs I've worked with were, again, the most intelligent. Rotties and actually the dog I have now, which I think is a pittie/Ridgeback mix, is by far THE most difficult dog I've ever worked with. I've had her 10 years, and can you believe she *still* tests me daily on 'lie down' command? Every day I have to back it up.

And THAT, my friends, is the biggest training problem with all animals people have in my opinion--consistency and backing your shit up.
 
Junk

Junk

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Thank you for proving my point that a horse has weapons, & it knows how to use them. Like I said, most of the time, I'd rather be bitten by a dog than a horse (especially that horse!) That horse wasn't very large, but even a small horse, when it steps on you, it hurts. I've had a few of my toes broken from an Appaloosa we took (no one else could handle him) Ribs broken from being thrown. My mother has pins holding her arm together. I could see that horses intentions with that first eye contact & movement at 32 seconds. Even before that I could see he was looking to go that way. Fortunately, in that part of the video, the guy saw it too.

I would not have gotten in that corral either. Definitely not by myself. & not to place blame on the guy, but he wasn't ready to turn. In the video at least, it looks like he gave the horse (beautiful horse) a little too much trust & the horse took it. But that horse has just been looking for a chance. Plus, if you aren't there, it can be hard to gauge the "feel." The guy obviously felt like he had it...

I would not have as many as 2 uncut horses anywhere near each other. 18? I'm really struggling to understand what that woman could possibly have been thinking? I mean that literally...what possible reason could she have for doing that? On the face of it, it seems like some mental issues she has - leading to animal hoarding. But I'm not a shrink. But since you grew up around horses, you already have a good idea of what it takes to train a dog. Most dog owners have no experience with horses. I also think that the horse background gives you a greater respect of what an animal is capable of. A dog is smaller, so generally easier to physically control, but when they lash out, they can do harm. I think just growing up with it, you kind of get the "feel" for how to communicate with them. Or knowing "how much" is "too much." The next article I'm posting is about Dog Body Language. It will be up in a few.

We initially had a Thoroughbred & an Appaloosa, Then we got into Quarterhorses. I took English riding lessons, Western, & started Dressage & finally just told my parents I wasn't that into horses. (I think the Dressage pushed me over the edge) I preferred motors, I'm just a born gear head & speed demon. The last horse we had was a mini, trained him for cart pulling etc & donated him to a farm that helps autistic kids through animals. I always liked training them though. As well as dogs. The dogs were more a showing thing. First Dalmatians, then to Golden Retrievers.

Arabians are stunning. Seen a lot of them, but never worked with one. I totally forgot, we had a Lucitano (sp?) as well, beautiful horse. They really do have that gate when they trot, just naturally, it's a neat thing to see. Her name was Overture. Here she is absolutely filthy...she was a class act, just a really great horse.
0401071213
 
Toaster79

Toaster79

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That horse was furious from the beginning and you don't need to be the expert to see that. The problem is that guy came with wrong approach at horse. Obviously the horse trusts only that girl and was calmed down only in her presence. So first they should start winning animals trust and then start training or even better put the girl in that corral and instruct her huw to work with that horse and go from there on. The animal was pushed in corner and scared. Every single animal, be it a horse or a dog will try defend it self and escape the situation. But that cowboy tryed to use force instead he should start working on trust first instead of using force. Well he got his results.

I'm by no means an expert, but I do know some basics that go for all animals. I did ride some horses but was no where near training one or anything else so really no experience but @Seamaiden i know exactly what you mean with seeing it in animals behavior. And there's no way I'd go anywhere near that horse being so furious.
 
Junk

Junk

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That horse was even beyond trying to defend itself. A horse in defensive mode will try to maintain it's space. That horse, was trying to take space. The thing that makes it crazy is that, while this horse was over the top, it's expected behavior from a Stallion. They are so pumped up with no release, they can be explosive. Putting more than one together is just stupid.

& your right, from the very beginning you could see he wasn't having it. No sir...not at all.

The dog body language post is up. Sorry it took so long, I had to get all new pics. A post like that is meaningless without pics.
 
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Seamaiden

Seamaiden

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I took English riding lessons, Western, & started Dressage & finally just told my parents I wasn't that into horses. (I think the Dressage pushed me over the edge)
:eek: I have always wanted to train for dressage! But, I was trained mostly in western, western pleasure, never got a good English horse (for Arabs that would have been saddle seat, not hunter/jumper EVER, they're looking for action on these English Arabs). The other thing I have always wanted to do, because I most admire good working animals, has been to be able to ride a good cutting/cow horse. You know the kind I'm talking about, the ones that'll cut when they're just loose in the paddock.

That horse was furious from the beginning and you don't need to be the expert to see that. The problem is that guy came with wrong approach at horse. Obviously the horse trusts only that girl and was calmed down only in her presence. So first they should start winning animals trust and then start training or even better put the girl in that corral and instruct her huw to work with that horse and go from there on. The animal was pushed in corner and scared. Every single animal, be it a horse or a dog will try defend it self and escape the situation. But that cowboy tryed to use force instead he should start working on trust first instead of using force. Well he got his results.

I'm by no means an expert, but I do know some basics that go for all animals. I did ride some horses but was no where near training one or anything else so really no experience but @Seamaiden i know exactly what you mean with seeing it in animals behavior. And there's no way I'd go anywhere near that horse being so furious.
Toaster, I'm afraid I disagree with your assessment of the horse. We're talking about an intact stallion here, an animal that clearly figured out that he's bigger and demands territory. My perception of him was that this animal would never tolerate human presence, especially another intact male. Yes, that horse knew the woman, but he was ruled by his hormones and her awful training. If you watch the whole documentary you'll learn that she brought this one stallion (out of 18, and Junk's got it right, that is an UNGODLY number of intact male horses to have in one place! I was absolutely astonished when I heard it) because she couldn't handle him anymore and was having other huge problems with him. She raised and coddled herself into an animal so dangerous he had to be put down, because gelding him would have done nothing to increase his safety around humans. She was clearly not equipped to deal with the problem she had created, not in any way, shape or form.

The horse wasn't pushed into a corner and scared, he was pushing the humans back and looking for an opportunity to attack. I could go over each piece of his body language that tells me that if you like, I've spent many, many, many years observing horse behavior from the moment they hit the ground to end of life. That cowboy would never have been able to get near that horse had he not at least had a crop, and you saw what happened when the stallion got his chance to nail him, and nail him he did. This is, in short, an essay of what can happen when the animal is not taught to always respect humans.

Here's a photo of me with my little show stallion Nashan. He's probably long gone now, next owners went ahead and gelded him because he just wasn't good enough for breeding, and by the time they got him he was pretty cranky. Which can be typical of many stallions, they do get cranky, ears laid back, nippy. But that's quite a different tune from trying to kill you. Nashan just wanted people to leave him alone UNLESS we were going to take him swimming (horse was bred and trained up in Oregon, I got a water-horse when we bought him down in Santa Barbara), this horse shown in the video wants to kill as many as he can. Anyway, this is me.. where was this? Del Mar, Pomona, Santa Barbara... Scottsdale? No, Pomona, ca 1980 or so? He looks pretty happy in that pic, doesn't he? That little horse was a difficult animal to show because he was so closely coupled that we couldn't find a saddle that fit him properly, they all hurt his back. As a result, I had to show holding my butt off the seat of the saddle, showed holding myself up by my knees the whole class, every time. If I didn't, he had this neat little trick where he'd just kinda dip his head and BOOP! Ass over teakettle I'd go. Only horse that could unseat me like that by that point.

Marina NashanPomonaShwChmp edit
 
Junk

Junk

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Stunning horse!

I think the thing is, for boys, dressage is not something exciting. In fact, I was scared to death anyone would find out. I actually didn't do that much. The first two lessons I was on a horse called Micah, who was farting the entire time. For those who don't know, horses can't burp, only fart. So they fart often & loudly. I think I was 15 at the time & I just found it so hysterical that I didn't pay attention to much else. I remember my mother getting irritated with me, & my father saying "c'mon hun, it is kind of funny." lol.

The most exciting horse I rode was a champion barrel racing horse down in New Mexico. The farm breeds them, & the daughter races them in rodeos. We timed my run on the champ, vs. hers on a "trainee" horse. I don't remember the times, all I remember is that she humiliated my time. I had never done it before, & the horse could sense I didn't have the lean down to cut around the barrels fast enough, so she rode "with" me (the sign of a good horse). The girl cut around those barrels like she was tied to them. I've been to a number of rodeos, seen plenty of barrel racing. But being that close to it, in that setting, it was neat to see.

To put things in perspective Toaster, that farm, iirc, had 50 horses or so, NOT COUNTING the boarded ones. I think the total was close to 75.

They had only 1 stud horse, on that whole farm. That horse had it's own, very large section, away from all the other horses. Any other breeding they needed to do, or options they wanted, they would out source a stud. I've personally never seen more than one kept on a farm. That doesn't mean keeping 2 is impossible, or never done...but I've not personally seen it, ever.

That's why 18 is just ridiculous. In my opinion, if she maintained a situation like that, it's not IF something will happen, it's when, how often, how many times, how many dead...horses or humans, before she fixes whatever is causing her to take this risk.

If I were to get a horse, & $ was no object, I have always loved Friesians. Ever since the movie Lady Hawk. But we found that deal on the Lucitano (sp?) I just love the ass on the Friesians, (if you are not into horses, just know that what I just said will make sense to people who are, & that I'm not a pervert lol) but Overture was the best horse I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, so no complaints.
Friesian horse desktop wallpaper in hd free download
 
Seamaiden

Seamaiden

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That horse had it's own, very large section, away from all the other horses. Any other breeding they needed to do, or options they wanted, they would out source a stud. I've personally never seen more than one kept on a farm. That doesn't mean keeping 2 is impossible, or never done...but I've not personally seen it, ever.

That's why 18 is just ridiculous. In my opinion, if she maintained a situation like that, it's not IF something will happen, it's when, how often, how many times, how many dead...horses or humans, before she fixes whatever is causing her to take this risk.
A few years ago, when we got involved in county politics, we were at a local building commission/planning board meeting. One local came up to talk about his neighbor, a woman who was running 10 or 11 intact stallions on her property. He was asking the county to forcibly remove the horses from her because they kept breaking out and one had bred one of his mares. This is farming and ranching country, and there used to be a time when folks could make the presumption that no one would do anything so stupid as this woman. Turns out it's actually pretty common. During my years showing Arabians I lost count of how many times I saw these men who had this idea of masculinity being further enforced or demonstrated by owning and domineering an Arabian stallion. It was, and is, incredibly sad. The horse has little control, the people don't have a clue, the horse pays the price (just like the stud in the Buck video).

All that said, my training barn was also a breeding barn and Kit had at least a half a dozen actively breeding studs on site at all times. I got to help with getting mares covered, believe me, it can get very intense, especially if other stallions have an idea of what's going on.
If I were to get a horse, & $ was no object, I have always loved Friesians. Ever since the movie Lady Hawk. But we found that deal on the Lucitano (sp?) I just love the ass on the Friesians, (if you are not into horses, just know that what I just said will make sense to people who are, & that I'm not a pervert lol) but Overture was the best horse I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, so no complaints.
Being of Spanish (actually, Basque, I recently learned) extraction, I have a thing for Andalusians and Lipizzaners. More dressage, eh?

Ok, I've gotta take a moment to step back. Talking about all this makes me think about how I can't do horses anymore. :(
 
Toaster79

Toaster79

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Lipizzaners are actually my national breed although the Austrians are still trying to prove they were first bred in Vienna ( the stable was moved there between the WWI, but coming from Lipica, Slovenia).

Like I said I have no experience with horses, but have my own point of view when it comes to training. First thing that comes to my mind is establishing a bond with the animal. Afterwards it's about how humble the beta is ; )
 

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