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Discussion: Happy Birthday Brody!

in: 'Bent; 'Bent > 2018-03-04

Mar 5, 2018 5:20 AM # 
Myka:
What a great gift he got! :)
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Mar 5, 2018 11:38 AM # 
'Bent:
Also got a bbq steak, as did Bash and Logan. He’s also getting some professional sport-dog off leash training which may or may not work.
Mar 5, 2018 9:21 PM # 
Myka:
I was wondering about the steak as I know it's a tradition at your household:)
Sport-dog off leash training? What's that?
Mar 5, 2018 9:41 PM # 
Bash:
Most dog training is designed around positive reinforcement - rewarding the dog for good behaviour, e.g. giving him a treat when he sits.

But for some dogs and some behaviours, there is no greater reward than misbehaving so this method doesn't always work. In Brody's case, the greatest reward would be the freedom to go for a solo run to explore the forest and play with deer for a few hours. Even if we called him with steak in our hands, he wouldn't come back because steak isn't as rewarding as going for a run on his own. As a result, he just turned 7 and he still can't be trusted off-leash so he misses a lot of fun.

This sport dog training uses a collar that gives him a mild shock - not painful, just annoying. The level goes up to 20 and the training takes place at level 4. The idea is to train him to sit reliably on command in any situation.

Right now, he walks with a person on leash and whenever they say "sit", they press the button until his bum hits the ground. It doesn't happen quickly every time so he doesn't seem super-bothered by the collar. This technique doesn't work on every dog but it's worth a try. 'Bent is working with the most experienced dog trainer in our area, who mostly does standard, reward-based training. This technique is for particularly hard-to-train dogs who find it very rewarding to misbehave. So we'll see...
Mar 6, 2018 4:53 AM # 
Myka:
Fingers crossed it will work!
Mar 6, 2018 8:13 PM # 
FB:
I'm glad my mother wasn't aware of all this 'more rewarding to misbehave stuff' ... I'd still have shock collar scars!! :-)
Mar 6, 2018 8:53 PM # 
Bash:
Ha!
Mar 6, 2018 9:40 PM # 
'Bent:
I have to say he wasn't very interested in sitting on command on our commute. He's good in the house.
Mar 12, 2018 9:13 PM # 
Carbon's Offset:
We've considered putting a shock collar on our AR teammate James/BigFish when backcountry skiing... he likes to venture off on his own in the trees in search of fresh powder, but we sometimes end up waiting nervously at the bottom of the run, wondering if he is okay or stuck in a tree well. He always shows up eventually, but sometimes it might be better if we could just shock him to make him stay closer to us.
Mar 14, 2018 11:44 AM # 
'Bent:
Hmm, light continuous buzz when he skis off course, stops when he’s back with you guys. A big shock may make him ski off and not come back.
Mar 17, 2018 12:43 PM # 
Carbon's Offset:
Ah, never thought of that. He does respond very well to cheese as a reward. I think he finds it more rewarding than skiing off.
Mar 17, 2018 1:35 PM # 
Bash:
If you can find a reward that works, that’s always better. I suggest smoked cheddar or baked Brie.

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