Training the "Untrainable": Our Life of Positive Reinforcement

This page is always getting edited to include new information, tips,tricks, videos, stories and my thoughts. Please check back often!


     Dachshund Mommy here.  Many people will tell you that Dachshunds (and many other small breeds, terriers and hounds) are too stubborn/stupid to train. This, in my honest opinion, is complete and utter bullshit. A dog is a dog, regardless of the breed. Any dog can be trained, provided you use methods that work for the individual and you have a bit of patience.

     Nola is not a stupid dog. She is incredibly bright, and very clever. But she is very stubborn and feisty and, until I found a method that worked for her, was a challenge to train. Which works fine for me, as I like to be challenged ;).

Eye contact is not an issue with a clicker trained dog.

NOLA IS TRAINED WITH STRICTLY POSITIVE RENFORCEMENT (PR or +R) and NEGATIVE PUNISHMENT!!!!!!!!!! 
I STRONGLY disagree with any other form of training. 



Dominance Debunked:

       The heavy, dominance based training doesn't work. It's cruel, primitive and barbaric, not to mention has been debunked by modern science. Dogs aren't out for world domination (well, mine is, but not in the way people treat dog training). Here are several links on the topic of Dominance Theory:

Are Dogs Pack Animals? This is one of my favorite articles on the topic. 
The Dominance Controversy 


As is this one.
Nonlinear Dogs


Myths About the Dog's Origin and Nature 


Dominance and Dog Training


Beyond Cesar Millan


American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior



Cesar Millan, Dog Whisperer: An Alternative Approach

 
Wolf Status and Dominance in Packs
 This is a more scientifically written one, but worth a read. 

ClickerSolutions: The History and Misconception of Dominance Theory 

The Social Organization of the Domestic Dog
 Very long and deep article, but once again worth it.

        In dog training, jerk is a noun, not a verb.

                           - Dr. Dennis Fetko

  
     I despise Cesar Millan aka the "Dog Whisperer". He's stuck in the dark days of dog training, and he's leading people to believe that that is the only and/or best way to train. People watch his show and think "well, a celebrity's doing it, so it must work!". There's a reason that the show says "do not attempt these methods at home" and that is because the harsh methods he uses pushes dogs to either shut down or attack. 
I much prefer Victoria Stillwell of "It's Me or The Dog". Her methods are positive only and are headed in the right direction for dog training. Notice there's nothing in her show about not attempting these methods at home, because they will not harm or push your dog.



     Dogs are not wolves, any more than humans are apes. 
Example: You take two puppies from their mothers right after birth. One was born to a captive wolf, the other to a feral dog. You hand raise both of them (separately), give them the same amount of socialization and training. The dog that was born to a feral mother is a happy, well adjusted, trustworthy pet. The wolf, born to a captive mother who was accustomed to humans, is a nervous, reactive, unpredictable wild animal. See the difference? Dogs are not wolves.

  

What method works for Nola?


     I use clicker training with Nola. I find it the best, fastest and most effective way to teach cues and new behaviors, plus it's just plain fun!
With clicker training, the click or verbal marker lets the dog know that they just did something great, and a reward is to follow. She does anything at all I like, it's an immediate "yes!" or a click followed by either a treat, praise or toy. She quickly puts 2+2 together (hm, I just did something that made Mom really happy and I heard the good word followed by something I love. I'm going to do that again!) and offers me the behavior again. "Yes!" or click and reward. See how fast and effective that is?

   I use a small amount of luring, but the majority of Nola's training is what's called "Free Shaping". Free Shaping is where you break a cue down into small steps, then go to the next step once the dog knows the first, and so on and so forth. I've found Free Shaping makes the dog think, and tires them out a lot more than luring. 





On choke, pinch and shock collars:


   They are tools, but tools that should only be used in the hands of someone who knows how to use them with a valid reason to use them, after exhausting every single other option. And that's not many people. I personally think choke, pinch and shock (often called "remote collars" "e collars", ect) collars should be banned. In fact, they are banned in many countries. There are so many other humane options out there! Thousands of harness to fit every dog! Is It Harmful to Walk Your Dog on a CollarTraining Your Dog With a Shock Collar
     I'm going to repeat something someone said on one of my favorite dog forums, because it puts correction collars into such a simple clear focus. Repeat after me: "if you pull or make one mistake, I will hurt you." That is, in essence, what you tell your dog when you use a correction collar. Is that really, truly how you want to treat your dog? 



     

  


"Just turn the other check! It's not hurting you or your dog, so leave it alone.":

     This is often the attitude you encounter with people who use corrections, "training" collars, dominance based training, ect. And I suppose it is a valid question, to some extent. So why does it bother me so severely? The answer is both complex and stupidly simple  the same time. The short version is this:
The methods listen above cause pain, fear, stress and insecurity in dogs, and the sad thing is that the methods don't even work, at least not well. You are suppressing the behavior rather than fixing it. More on that in the below section.



Bandaids, Suppression and Quick Fixes vs. Actually Fixing the Behavior:

     Ah, such a lovely topic that most people are too pigheaded to understand. Let's stick with the correction collar thing, even though this topic extends way beyond that.
You have a dog that pulls on walks, making it an unpleasant and embarrassing experience. You have two options; Option 1 is to use positive methods that teach your dog what to do and fix the behavior, and Option 2, which is to use (in this case) a choke collar that hurts the dog when it pulls, suppressing the behavior. Option 1 takes a little longer than Option 2, and since you want a "remedy" right now, you choose Option 2.
You put the collar on your dog, your dog pulls and experiences pain and choking. The dog stops pulling. You're amazed! It's a miracle. Your dog walks calmly next to you, so long as he's wearing the collar. Soon enough, you think you dog is ready to be walked on a plain collar and leash again. You leave the choke chain off, your dog realizes he won't be hurt when he pulls and mushes like a sled dog. What is going on?! You didn't train your dog not to pull, you taught him that choke collar + pulling = pain, and that no choke collar + pulling = no pain and enjoyment. You suppressed, not fixed, the behavior, and it comes back to bite you in the ass.

     Had you decided on Option 1, it would have taken more time, but you would have taught your dog that pulling = we stop and don't move, and that loose leash = walking, praise and treats. That's not something that goes away when you switch collars or harnesses.

What equipment do I use?

     The only things I use for training are my voice (for praise and direction), my hands (for affection, hand signals and reward giving only), a clicker and food. That's it. It's all I need. For walking, Nola is on a regular harness (not a no-pull one) and leash. She wears a collar, but only for ID. 



Books to check out: 

How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves - Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS

Don't Shoot the Dog! The New Art of Teaching and Training - Karen Pyror

The Other End of The Leash - Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D

Control Unleashed - Leslie McDvitt

When Pigs Fly! Training Success With Impossible Dogs - Jane Killion

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training

The Power of Positive Dog Training - Pat Miller

Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy and Well Behaved Dog - Dr. Ian Dunbar

The Puppy Primer - Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D

For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend - Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D

Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way to Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs - Jean Donaldson

Oh Behave!: Dogs from Pavlov to Premack to Pinker - Jean Donaldson

On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals - Turid Rugaas

Quick Clicks: Fun and Fast Behaviors to Train With a Clicker - Mandy Book/Cheryl S. Smith

     If I could only get three of these, they would be:
The Other End of The Leash - Patricia B. McConnell 
Don't Shoot the Dog! - Karen Pyror
When Pigs Fly! Training Success with Impossible Dogs - Jane Killion


Articles to Check Out:

Is Clicker Training Right For Me? - Karen Pyror Clicker Training

Why Can't I Just Use My Voice? - Karen Pyror Clicker Training

Shaping - Clicker Training USA

Tactics of Training: Classical and Operant Conditioning: Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer

Steps for Reactivity: BAT (Behavioral Adjustment Training)

You Can't Reinforce Fear - TheOtherEndOfTheLeash/Patricia B McConnell

"But Every Dog Is Different!"

ZoePhee: Clever Alternatives to Using Using Adversative Punishment In Dog Training


Words, phrases and abbreviations to know:

  • C/t: click and treat.
  • CC and CC-ing: Counter condition and counter conditioning. 
  • Drive: The dog's desire for something, how high it is and what extent the dog will go to get that something. Example: Nola has a high food drive; food is her main reward and it's what she works for when learning and behavior. Other examples of drives include toy drive and prey drive.
  • Luring: Using food to guide the dog during the beginnings of training. Example: You want to teach your dog to sit. You take a treat, show it to your dog, move the treat just over his head till his butt hits the floor. You give the treat as the reward.
  • Capturing: Clicking and treating the dog for a behavior when she offers it outside of a training session. Example: You want to teach down. You carry around a clicker and treats, and wait till your dog lays down. Click and treat and praise heavily. You don't do else until the dog offers the behavior again at a later date. 
  • Free shaping: Reward small steps towards the complete behavior. Example: You want to teach your dog to target your hand. Hold your hand out, dog looks at it, c/t. Once she's consistently looking at your hand, up the ante by c/t-ing only when your dog moves her nose toward you hand. So on and so forth until you've trained the behavior. 
  • The Four Quadrants of Opponent Conditioning: Positive Reinforcement (PR, or +R), Negative Punishment (NP, or -P), Positive Punishment (PP, or +P) and Negative Reinforcement (NR, or -R). More on this below.
  • Biddability: Natural willingness to be obedient and willing to please. Breeds such a Labs, Golden Retrievers, Poodles and Border Collies are general highly biddable breeds.

Videos to check out:

My two favorite dog trainers on YouTube are Kikopup and Tab289. Both use strictly PR, Negative Punishment and clicker training, and they're my go to YouTubers for training. Tab289's video on dominance is a must! It's right up there ^ so check it out. 










The Four Quadrants of Opponent Conditioning:

Here are a few good articles on the Four Quadrants, and a helpful graphic:







Training without pain, corrections and intimidation:

     If you've read about clicker training and positive reinforcement, then you should know it's a much gentler and more effective way to train animals. Contrarily to popular belief, you do not need to cause your dog pain or fear to train them. You don't need to correct them for doing the wrong thing, especially when you haven't taught them to do the right thing. Don't punish your dog for your shortcomings or laziness. It is not the dog's fault you haven't taught them the right thing to do.

     




Positive does NOT equal permissive:

     Just because I train my dog in a humane, gentle and positive way does not mean I let her run rampant and shove treats in face 24/7 even when she acts out. She does not jump up on people, bark excessively, resource guard from people, she is not mouthy, she does not pull on leash, ect. Instead of punishing her for "rude" behaviors, I ask for an alternate behavior so that she A) doesn't have time to preform any "rude" behaviors, B) learns that all feet on the floor, for example, equals treats and praise, and jumping equals the removal of attention and C) the behavior I ask for becomes ingrained in her as the proper response instead of the "rude" thing she was doing.
Here's a great article on the topic: Positive Does NOT Mean Permissive!



Teaching Recall:





     Teaching recall isn't as hard as it first seems. The 3 most important things to remember are:


1) NEVER call your dog for punishment or when you're angry
2) Reinforce every single time your dog comes to you, either with food, play or affection/praise
3) Don't teach your dog that the word "come" means the fun is over (i.e. you leave the dog park, beach, in the yard, ect). When you're at the dog park, for example, recall your dog every 5-10 minutes and reward, then let her back off. Make it a constant guessing game, and make it that coming to you is better than anything she's leaving behind.

     How I taught Nola's recall is actually pretty straightforward. When she followed me, she got a a verbal marker and a reward.
Then later, if she was somewhere in the house I'd call her name. If she came to me, she'd get the jackpot of rewards. If she didn't, I hadn't introduced the word come, so she wasn't disobeying. It only took her a few times to figure out it's a great thing to come to Mom right when she calls. That's when I introduced the word "come".
Then we moved outside, following the same steps as above, except she obeyed the come command.
When I felt she was trustworthy, I let her off at the deserted beach. She was perfect and continues to be! I've also taught her that "checking in" with me while off leash is a highly rewarding experience. 


     I always have treats or a toy in my pocket, and reward her randomly for following and coming back of her own accord throughout the day. It's become something of a game.






"Nola, come!"
"Nola, come!"

"Nola, come!"

"Nola, come!"
     In the above photos, Nola is at her favorite place on earth, the beach. Full of smells, creatures (she loves crabs), water and sand, and she's off leash. Nothing physically keeping her near me or coming when I call. But every single time, she comes barreling towards me at full tilt, and goes into a sit or down at my feet. I am incredibly proud of my little girl.









Meet the basic needs before asking the dog to preform!


     I learned this the very hard way. Always make sure the dog has adequate food, water, shelter, rest, love, safety and is healthy before doing training or asking for any behaviors. ALWAYS.  
Take Maslow's Theory and apply it to dogs, obviously bending it a bit to fit an animal instead of a human. If your dog is not getting all her needs met, she will not be willing to preform to her highest potential. 

    I learned this the hard way with Nola. Nola's weight fluctuates between being a bit too chunky and a bit too thin, and when I learned this lesson I'd really cut back on Nola's food to try and get the extra few ounces off her. I did that successfully, and made the mistake of not upping her food to keep her at an ideal and not continuing loosing. Nola was hungry. Not just "hm, I wanna eat!" but starving. I feel utterly horrible for not seeing it sooner, and having to be shown in such a way that I was literally starving my dog. 

I'd let Nola off leash at the beach, and attempted to take her for a walk while my parents stayed under an umbrella closer to the parking lot to have an early lunch. As soon as I unclipped her leash, Nola took off back toward my parents and the food, totally ignoring my calls. She had never done that before; she was literally so hungry she was singleminded. I have never been so horrified and scare for a dog in my life than I was in that moment Nola didn't come when called. It really put into perspective what I was doing to my dog and the consequences of my actions. Nola is now at a healthy weight with the right amount of food, and has listened every time I've called her since. 




You're going to screw up sometimes:

     As much as I hate to admit it, I mess up when training and raising Nola. Not a lot, thankfully, but enough to be humbled and reminded I'm not perfect. I've made a few bad choices in raising her, and I've made some mistakes training her. I'm not proud of it, but I've yelled at her on a few occasions (only 3-4 times in my two years of having her) and I'm ashamed to admit I've jerked her harness on two occasions. 
I felt (and still feel) utterly horrible for doing those things to her. But I know I'm only human, and I'm not using that as an excuse for my behavior, and I'm going to fuck up sometimes. I give her a treat, a hug and kiss, and tell her I'm sorry. Then we move on. 
You're going to mess up with your dog, and you most likely have messed up with your dog. But don't let it keep you down! Move on, and be better!
The Miracle of Counter-Conditioning:

     I used to not be able to cut Nola's nails without someone pinning her down while she thrashed, whined and whimpered. This was, obviously, quite upsetting for both her and me. 
I'd never conditioned Nola to nail clipping (a big mistake on my part; one I hope you didn't make!) for two reasons. 1) because I was used to big dogs that wore down their nails on their own and 2) because we took looks of daily walks and runs on concrete, which kept her nails short and smooth with no need for clipping. 
When we moved and didn't get to walk on concrete as much, Nola's nails started growing. Which led to them needing cut, which led to the above described scene. So I decided I wanted to change the scene, and thus our journey of counter-conditioning began.

     To understand what exactly counter-condtioning is, feel free to read here, here and here.
If you don't read the articles, this is the basic gist of counter-condtioning:
Counter-condtioning is where you change the dog's emotional reaction to a stimulus. It's nearly always used to change something negative into something positive. I'm going to use a condensed version of an example given in one of the above articles.

    We've all heard of Pavlov and his conditioning experiments, right? Well, let's say he did his experiment a little differently. Say that instead of pairing the sound of a bell with food, he paired it with an electric shock. After a few times, the sound of the bell would elicit fear or aggression in the dog, no matter if it was followed by a shock or not.
Now say Pavlov wants to make the bell mean food, and change the dog's emotional reaction to the sound. Give the dog food, ring the bell. Doing that enough times the dog would come to realize the sound didn't mean pain anymore, and now meant something pleasant. Now Pavlov could ring the bell before the food and not have the dog react in a negative way. Thus, the dog's entire physiological state was altered. It's truly a fascinating subject.

These two videos show counter-condtioning, and prove that it really works:


     How are counter-conditioned Nola was actually rather simple and easy, given that I used a clicker to speed up the process and Nola is a clicker savvy dog. These are the basic steps I followed, and I was able to cut Nola's nails with almost no fuss in just two weeks.
First, getting her used to her feet being handled:

  1. Have a clicker and small, high value treats (I used hotdogs). Reach to lightly touch your dog's paw while you click and deliver a treat (c/t).
  2. Touch your dog's paw before you c/t, praising profusely for not jerking her paw away. Gradually increase the amount of time you touch your dog's paw, always keeping it a fun and rewarding experience.
  3. (It's a huge help if your dog knows the "paw/shake" trick) Pick up your dog's paw as you c/t, and as soon as the dog is done with the treat release your dog's paw and praise. 
  4. Once your dog is comfortable with that, pick up your dog's paw and c/t her for not jerking it away. Gradually increase the amount of time you hold her foot.
  5. While holding your dog's paw, quickly reach out with your other hand and touch her toes and nails while you c/t and praise. Do this until she's comfortable, and do not rush.
  6. Once she's good with the above, c/t after you touch and she's calm with it. 
  7. Tap/gently pull/pet on her toes and foot a lot, always c/t and praising. DO NOT RUSH THIS!!!



Getting her used to the clippers:

  1. Sit with your dog, and have the same high value treats and a clicker. Have the nail clippers near you, but do not hold them or have them on your lap. Click and treat (c/t) her for calm behavior around the. Note: this step is only necessary if your dog is really scared by the clippers, as Nola was. 
  2. Once your dog is calm with the clippers, put them near her. You'll be able to tell  when your dog is over-threshold (getting scared and stressed). Stop just before she gets to that point. C/t her and praise. Take your time, and only proceed to the next step when she's 100% calm all the time around the clippers. 
  3. C/t your dog for looking at and investigating the clippers. Make them something great to be near and interact with. 
  4. Once she realizes the clippers mean great things, you can hold the clippers in your hand that isn't clicking and treating. Show her that the clippers in your hand mean awesome things, not scary ones. 
  5. If your dog knows it, you can ask your dog to touch the clippers with her nose or paw, praising and c/t-ing the whole time. 
      I then combined the two, and know I can calmly cut Nola's nail's while she either sits or lays down, with minimal fuss.






What clicker do I use?

    There are several different styles of clickers, and the one I use is the StarMark Clicker. I like how it has more of a button where you push the clicker, making it easier and quicker to click exactly as the behavior happens.





What's in my treat bag?

     This is a pretty frequent question I get, so I'm going to tell y'all what I use and of what value (crack, high, medium and low value) the treat is. As you'll see, I very rarely ever use commercial treats, and almost never during training. 

I currently use an OutwardHound treat/bait bag that I got on clearance at PetsMart. I like how it clips and attaches to my jeans, the pocket for the clicker, and the drawstring closure. It's not very durable though. 


  • Cheerios (plain): medium value. Nice that they're healthy and low in calories, which is great for giving "jackpot" rewards. This is a staple in my treat bag; something I almost always have. They're also great for tossing to the dog if you want to give rapid fire cues.
  • Carrot (raw) slices: low value. Used to throw out and away from me to work on recall games.
  • Blueberries (frozen): medium value.
  • Carrot (cooked) pieces: high value.
  • Other veggies (raw): Low value. Used for same actives as raw carrot.
  • Other veggies (cooked): high value. If we have something like veggie soup I'll use some of that during training, and Nola loves it.
  • Bread: medium value.
  • Pasta: generally low value.
  • Frozen yogurt drops: high value. Not generally a practical thing to use, but I'll use them to teach new behaviors on occasion.
  • Apple pieces: medium value.
  • Frozen pineapple: medium value. A good summer treat.
  • Her homemade food: high value.
  • Pieces of cooked chicken or turkey (usually boiled or baked): high value to faintly crack value.
  • Ground beef: medium to high value, depending on what she wants.
  • Other pieces of beef (such as steak, ect): high value.
  • Lunch meat: medium to high value. Lunch meat is nice because any other treat you have in your bag (Cheerios, for example) absorbs it's smell and flavor, making the lower value treat the same value as the meat. 
  • Cooked chicken liver: crack value.
  • Hotdog: crack in it's most purest form. Nola will do anything for this, and I use it very sparingly so it keeps it idolized status. It's used for off leash recalls, nail trimming (Nola used to be traumatized by nail cutting), intense socialization (such as dog events, crowded events, large and busy stores) and in the beginning stages of advanced tricks. 
  • Canned green beans: medium value. A great "filler" treat.
  • Canned peas: Same value as green beans. Great filler treat, and also great for jackpot rewards. 
  • Zuke's Mini Naturals broken into halves or fourths. High value. I usually use these when we're out in public.

During this training session, I had Cheerios, hotdog and green beans in my bag. This was for an advanced trick training session (retrieval), hence the hotdog. For a "normal" training session or a more basic trick training session the hotdog would be replaced with a small amount of lunch meat or ground beef. 




Teach tricks!








     In addition to the usual sit, stay, come, down, heel, teach your dog tricks! It not only sets your dog apart from your usual run of the mill pet, it's a huge crowd pleaser and confidence builder. Nola actually learns tricks faster the obedience commands.
Teach them anything! Be creative and silly!


Nola's paw and wave trick:


Nola's "bang!"



More advanced trick training:










Cues/tricks/words Nola knows:

Sit
Down
Stay
Come
Off
Wait
Leave it/No
Let's go (basically a loose heel on either side)
Focus (look at me)
Hold up (stop pulling on the leash)
Stop! (drop on recall)
Up (both onto something and to put her paws on my leg)
Over
Load up (get in the car)
Touch
Here (during off leash walks, if I stop and say "here" it let's Nola know to stay close to me and stop walking ahead)
Spin (spin counterclockwise)
Turn (spin clockwise)
Take a bow
Bang
Shame! (cover her eyes)
Go get it (retrieve something)
Hold it (take and hold something in her mouth)
Paw
Wave
High five
Give kiss
Move your ass (scoot over)
Fist bump
Back up
Door (shut a door)
Bedtime (go under the covers)
Where's your ball? (go find your basketball)
Where's Mommy? (find me)
Where's Sweetie? (find her "grandma")
Where's Sugar? (find her "grandpa")
Photo shoot! (come running and pose at my feet)
Go find (follow an easy scent trail)
Who's that? (bark)
Hup'up! (jump into my arms)
walk
Nola
food

treat
bed
Auggie
Boston
Phoenix
snuggle
you got mail!
chickens
pig pig
car ride
toys
chewy
clothes
stairs
Mommy
Sweetie
Sugar

What'd you get?
Grandpa
Her "aunts" and "uncle"
Who's here?
Where'd they go?
ball

want something to eat?
water
beach
dinner
be cute
opossum
bath
minions



Nola's "take it"

Again

Retrieve 





"Up"
"Over!"

"Stop!" Drop on recall
"Up" (paws on my knee)








Remember:



  • Dogs learn infinitely better by being taught what they should do, rather than what they shouldn't. 
  • Don't set you or your dog up for failure! "Oh, I have a Dachshund, they're way to stubborn for training". Clearly not! Don't limit yourself with stereotypes.
  • Quit while you're ahead. Stop the training session with the dog wanting to continue, rather than when it's frustrated.
  • Mental exercise (training, food puzzles) is just as, if not more, important as physical exercise. 
  • Don't train when your dog is tired, hot, sore, stressed or right after a meal.
  • Don't train your dog when you are stressed, angry, irritated, sad or in a bad mood. Your dog will pick up on it.
  • If your dog is having trouble learning a new command, fall back on one she knows well. A boost of confidence.
  • Training makes your bond with your dog stronger.
  • After training the go-to cues such as sit, stay and come, teach tricks. Tricks exercise your dog's mind, and not to mention they're just plain fun! Be as silly and creative as you'd like. 





UPDATE: On November 10th, 2012, Nola passed the AKC's Canine Good Citizen test at 2 years, 1 month and 10 days old!!!! Read our victory post here.


     Here's the video of Nola passing:



 
   
     Now you're probably thinking, "damn, that dog is perfect!". She's not.  She's smart, and she knows it. She has mild separation anxiety, is demanding, doesn't like people outside the family and is nervous around big dogs.
"stay".
     But, she's my perfect dog, which is why it works. 




American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior on Dominance Training

11 comments:

  1. What treats do you use for her training?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zuke's Mini Naturals, Bil*Jac Little Jac training treats, Canadie's TidNips, chicken, beef, cheese, Cheerios, strawberries, blueberries, squash, sweet potato, cook celery, cooked carrots, her regular food....Whatever she likes, I give her! :p
      Nola's Mom

      Delete
  2. This is how Ellie trains us! We completely agree with you on everything you just said about training. People are constantly surprised that a dachshund can know so many tricks! We even overheard somebody passing by say, "Wow, I didn't think you could train dachshunds to do that!"

    Well, of course we can be trained to do that! You just have to learn how to communicate with us! That's what training is... learning how to communicate with us doggies in the most effective way, so we know what you are wanting us to do! Old school dominance training is NOT the most effective way.

    ~Treasure the Dachshund

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People don't realize how incredibly smart the breed is!

      Delete
  3. Hey Nola's mom - just found this. Don't know how I missed it before. Pretty sure I knew you were +R but nice to see it all laid out like this.

    Like you, we are not fans of the Dog Whisperer and fear he has done more to create fearful and aggressive dogs than to help them.

    Nola's a wonderful example of all that can be accomplished with a little patience and a lot of love.

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  4. Do you have any tips for dog aggression? Chewy absolutely hates other dogs and goes into a frenzy when he sees one. The only time he doesn't is when we're at the Petsmart groomer, oddly enough! But, this aggression causes problems, such as our walks, I have to go on routes where there usually aren't any dogs, and if we do encounter a dog, I either have to turn around and backtrack, or if a side street is available, go down it. I am unable to take him anywhere public where dogs might be.

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    1. While I am by NO MEANS a real trainer, and as such I can't really recommend anything, I can say this.

      True dog aggression can never be fixed. It can be helped, by extensive counter conditioning, but you'll never get rid of it.

      BUT, reactivity is a whole nother ball game, and is often confused with DA. Here's a link for more on reactivity:http://www.dogforum.com/dog-behavior/reactivity-leash-aggression-barrier-frustration-12538/

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  5. Thank you for posting this!! I entirely agree!
    I compete in Rally-Obedience with my Dachshund and we do very well 😊
    Here is a video of some of his training:
    http://youtu.be/whhE41Itd04

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  6. this is vary helpful i myself am doing a blog on taring pets and someone asked how to train this type of bread I'm going to be sending her to your site!!!!

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  7. This is great! I am a clicker trained Dachshund, and I am a breeze to train! I am not your typical stubborn Dachshund. I know lots of tricks and commands and soon I'm going to a test for my CGC title! I am also a show dog. Go positive training!

    Your Dachshund pal,
    Christmas

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