Losing your temper!

Discussion in 'Gun Dog Forum' started by LADucks, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. LADucks

    LADucks Senior Refuge Member

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    This is one of my greatest faults as a trainer. In more difficult or new situations in training, I often do well with remaining calm, teaching the dog, and encouraging success. However, I find a hard time backing up and simplifying into a "gimme" scenario when he starts screwing up something he knows EXACTLY how to do.

    For instance, I might only have time for or conditions might warrant a short session. Lets do a little wagon wheel/baseball work to keep it sharp. Easy peazy, we've done it countless times. Then all of a sudden one day that sucker will take an over cast and banana peel it to the back bumper REPEATEDLY. At that point I know that throwing a new bumper to the over pile would make him take the over. I also know that's just reinforcing his selfish desire to pick up the bumper he wants to (the new one, the exciting one). With the same bumpers out I'll sit him again and give a strong OVER then boom, banana peel to the back bumper. I'll then proceed to lose my cool.

    Where do you guys draw the line between holding your dog to a standard he knows EXACTLY how to meet and simplifying the drill into a "gimme"? He wanted that back bumper because it was the last one thrown. Throwing to over and casting over solves nothing other than giving him what he wanted. He knows to go where I cast him and not just a release for where he wants to go. Do ya'll go to the gimme, or push the dog until he does it correctly? (When he has already been taught, and knows it all too well).
     
  2. Misty Marsh

    Misty Marsh Elite Refuge Member

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    I’ve been there, and although loosing your cool is not good and will likely contribute to new issues I get it. If the dog 100% knows the drill, the standard, and is just pushing dominance I would collar correct the dog and get the dog on the team again, becoming self employed is not a good standard to let slide. I would then consider moving on to the next drill, or a variation of the last one.
     
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  3. LADucks

    LADucks Senior Refuge Member

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    The issue I've run into repeatedly is that he's a force shy/low drive dog and always has been since I got him at 2.5yo. He did not have the correct upbringing before that point. Lean on him too hard and he shuts down. He's not your typical headstrong/self-employed dog. He's the opposite. He's not doing it to defy me. He's doing it cuz it was the easy choice. The fresh bumper. He just has a knack for forgetting everything (while making the obvious/simple choice) and then pouting when I hold him to a standard he has known for quite some time.
     
  4. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

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    "When you lose your temper, you lose." Is not just a dog training but a life lesson the dogs eventually help teach this short-fused hard-head.

    Next time your dog muffs a cast or command en route to a bumper, try sitting him and going to get it yourself, thus denying him the retrieve. Might find him a whole lot more attentive the next time.
     
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  5. 2-Dogs

    2-Dogs Senior Refuge Member

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    I disagree. What's the difference? Pout, go the wrong way, freeze, etc... There are times when a dog, for whatever reason, will simply refuse. If, as you suggest, the dog knows the command well, you have to hang in there until you get compliance.
    I'm 100% convinced that this is the MAJOR difference between Pro trainers and most amateurs. (How many times have you seen a dog totally compliant with the Pro then turn around and hump the owner's leg?) The pro is going to get the response they want, however long it takes, with whatever it takes. BUT, they're also not going to get emotional over it. I've witnessed a number of the top FT pros in the country use pressure to gain compliance. They didn't get mad and have a meltdown, or go over the top with the pressure, but by God, they were not going to let the dog win that battle.
     
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  6. twall

    twall Senior Refuge Member

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    Are your expectations of this dog realistic? It sounds like there may be a pattern here. What are your goals for the dog? Maybe you are doing too many drills and/or have to high of expectations? If you 'know' the dog will dog x when you want y do z instead. Ultimately, this should be fun for both you and the dog.

    The difference between pros and ams is the pros don't get themselves into win/lose situations. They read dogs and recognize patterns these battles start.

    Learn to recognize situations that potentially cause you frustrations and put the Barney Fife to it and nip it in the bud. You need to control yourself to get the best out of training. It sounds easy but isn't.

    Have fun with your dog,

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  7. KwickLabs

    KwickLabs Elite Refuge Member

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    These are the questions that need to be dealt with. When does the dog know the command well? What does
    "hang in there" mean? Training is not about compliance.....it is more about want to.

    Training is a combination of enabling (aiding) a young dog to learn and practice taught skills consistently. Only
    after many, many precise repetitions (practice), will a dog approach the goal of knowing the commands well.
    Compliance is not quick fix for inadequate teaching and/or practice.

    The old axiom of pointing a finger at the culprit and not accepting the reality that three fingers are pointing back
    at the trainer should be obvious. Retrievers do what the are taught or permitted to do. It is not easy to accept
    the fact that the "picture" has been painted by the trainer.

    In addition, as one gets older and more experienced, the expression "It's not the dog" tends to have more of
    an impact on loosing one's temper (or not). :h
     
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  8. LADucks

    LADucks Senior Refuge Member

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    I know I'm at fault here for a large part. The issue I have is wading my way through the subjective questions and judgement calls. That's where years of experience come into play, something I don't have. What I do have is a whole lot of lessons learned that I plan to put to good use on the next pup. It's just been very difficult because this wasn't a traditional scenario. The dog was brought to me at 2.5yo and was not properly trained, exposed, or socialized. The drive had been all but squashed and his confidence was as low as it could get. I always wonder what would have been had I gotten him as a puppy. However, I didn't and this is where we're at.
     
  9. Brack36

    Brack36 Senior Refuge Member

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    Wanting your dog to do it well CONSISTENTLY is good because it means you want the dog to adhere to a "standard". The X-FACTOR is how CONSISTENT is the trainer in adhering to the trainer standard "standard". Sometimes the answer is hiding in plain sight and isn't even related to the exact drill that is being trained. Sometimes we get heavy on one concept and light on another. It is a balancing act that never ends. Also, every dog has his day.
     
  10. Hoytman

    Hoytman Elite Refuge Member

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    Maybe you should elaborate on this read of your dog about his desire and confidence being low. Perhaps explain why you think this is so...as you described, squashed. How was it squashed? Not who, but but what way.

    His age and prior training don’t matter much. Train your dog...that dog. Help him to be successful.

    Patience is a trainers greatest tool imho.
     

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