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Dog training resources - UPDATE


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#1 DesertBlossom

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 11:36 PM

Update: A couple days ago we went and looked at this "small" Mastiff mix and loved him so much we took him home. The lady said she saw him at the shelter and couldn't leave him there. She had had him for about 3 months. But she had 3 other dogs and really couldn't keep him. He knows a few commands but for being relatively young (1.5 to 2 years) he is calm and good natured. He has been a super easy dog so far. I did get a couple books by Mcconnell from the library and have enjoyed what I have read so far.

...........

We recently said goodbye to our yellow lab that we'd had for about 7 years. She was given to us by a friend and she was the best. dog. ever. She always listened to me and was very laid back and chill. She chased our chickens once, got yelled at, and then never did it again. She was even great when we had little tiny baby chicks roaming the yard. I wouldn't say I am a "dog person" but she was the perfect dog for me. She was the one creature in the house who listened to me the first time :) but I had nothing to do with her training. She came to me that way.

We are looking for another dog that will be a good fit for our family. I don't want a puppy so I have been looking at various rescues, craigslist, etc. And I am realizing that I probably should know something about basic dog training. I literally know nothing. And there were too many options on Amazon with great reviews to know where to start.

Also, thoughts on a "small" (per the description) mastiff? I want a good family dog, but an intimidating dog would be awesome because DH is often gone overnight and I get more paranoid in my old age.

Edited by DesertBlossom, 28 October 2017 - 09:46 PM.

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#2 Pawz4me

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 05:10 AM

Patricia McConnell

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Be careful as far as an intimidating dog. The guardian type dogs are by nature pretty strong willed and in general they do best with an experienced owner. I see a LOT of newbies getting themselves in trouble by getting "too much" dog for them. Most any dog who lives in the home and is raised with love will have some instinct to warn. And what most people want (and are capable of handling) is a watch dog. Not a guard dog. They're different.


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#3 ktgrok

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 07:06 AM

Patricia McConnell

Ian Dunbar

 

Be careful as far as an intimidating dog. The guardian type dogs are by nature pretty strong willed and in general they do best with an experienced owner. I see a LOT of newbies getting themselves in trouble by getting "too much" dog for them. Most any dog who lives in the home and is raised with love will have some instinct to warn. And what most people want (and are capable of handling) is a watch dog. Not a guard dog. They're different.

 

All this. 

 

That said, Mastiffs are AMAZING dogs. One of my favorite breeds. Not super obedient, but not crazy or hyper usually. And not aggressive as far as the ones I've known. They do have a shorter life span though. And slobber. 


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#4 DesertBlossom

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:11 AM

All this. 

 

That said, Mastiffs are AMAZING dogs. One of my favorite breeds. Not super obedient, but not crazy or hyper usually. And not aggressive as far as the ones I've known. They do have a shorter life span though. And slobber. 

 

From what I've read, they sound awesome. This particular dog we are going to meet later this week. But it's a mix of some sort. It has the coloring and look of an English Mastiff, but it looks like it could be part lab or maybe German Shepherd. And at 1 1/2 it's *only* 65 pounds. 



#5 DesertBlossom

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:15 AM

Patricia McConnell

Ian Dunbar

 

Be careful as far as an intimidating dog. The guardian type dogs are by nature pretty strong willed and in general they do best with an experienced owner. I see a LOT of newbies getting themselves in trouble by getting "too much" dog for them. Most any dog who lives in the home and is raised with love will have some instinct to warn. And what most people want (and are capable of handling) is a watch dog. Not a guard dog. They're different.

 

Thank you. Judging by the number of pits and pit mixes available online and at the animal shelter, it seems like that's a dog that a lot of people want but realize they can't handle.  I don't want a puppy, but I would like to find a dog that has been in a home so that they owner can tell me about their personality. That's why I don't even want to look at the animal shelter-- I don't know what their history or temperament is and when bringing a dog home to house full of kids that makes me nervous.


Edited by DesertBlossom, 24 October 2017 - 10:17 AM.

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#6 Pawz4me

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 11:29 AM

Thank you. Judging by the number of pits and pit mixes available online and at the animal shelter, it seems like that's a dog that a lot of people want but realize they can't handle.  I don't want a puppy, but I would like to find a dog that has been in a home so that they owner can tell me about their personality. That's why I don't even want to look at the animal shelter-- I don't know what their history or temperament is and when bringing a dog home to house full of kids that makes me nervous.

 

I'd look at rescues who have their dogs in foster homes. It's not foolproof, but you'll be much more likely to be told upfront what the dog is really like. Yes, rescue groups want to get their dogs adopted. But reputable rescues also want them to stay adopted and be loved. Many times owners trying to "rehome" a pet just want to get rid of it and will tell you anything they think you want to hear. That's not to say you can't or won't find a good dog on Craigslist. I'd just be super careful.

 

I wouldn't totally discount shelters. Some of them do temperament testing which can be very accurate.


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#7 hornblower

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 11:37 AM

for training, the youtube channels of 

kikopup 

eileenanddogs

 

Donna Hill 

 



#8 MissShellyA

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 04:56 PM

Patricia McConnell

Ian Dunbar

 

Be careful as far as an intimidating dog. The guardian type dogs are by nature pretty strong willed and in general they do best with an experienced owner. I see a LOT of newbies getting themselves in trouble by getting "too much" dog for them. Most any dog who lives in the home and is raised with love will have some instinct to warn. And what most people want (and are capable of handling) is a watch dog. Not a guard dog. They're different.

 

This is great advice. NOTHING against those breeds, they are amazing dogs who are great with kids that often get a bad rap, but they are intended for more experienced owners. I would strongly recommend another Lab or a Golden Retriever for your family. Both breed are notoriously mellow, great with kids and can be fierce protectors when they need to be (our Golden woke us up in the middle of the night to stop our NEIGHBOR from getting robbed and you should have heard the snarl that came out of him that night). 

 

To answer your question about resources, I can't recommend the "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan enough. Some people have criticized his methods, but I think they're nuts to be honest. I had always been a dog person, but I learned SO much from him about dog psychology and how to better communicate my needs and wants to my dog. Ultimately your dog wants to please you and if you can effectively teach them what you want from them (and reward them of course) they are usually happy to comply. 



#9 hornblower

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 04:15 PM

good grief, I thought / hoped all the defenders of the crazy tv entertainer "don't try this at home" guy had disappeared. 

the man has been a pariah among behavior scientists and ethicists for years.  This is from way back in 2009. 

http://www.petmd.com...sar-millan-6741

The man understands very little about dogs. Dogs are not wolves, and wolves don't even behave the way he thinks they behave (the guy who did some of the original wolf research on which this stuff is based has totally abandoned all that because further research showed much of it was wrong &/or being misinterpreted. Dave Meech is the wildlife biologist who first talked about alpha wolves and he explains now how that all went wrong. http://www.davemech.org/news.html


Edited by hornblower, 25 October 2017 - 04:17 PM.

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#10 mamaraby

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 04:28 PM

I’ll second Patricia McConnell - http://www.patriciamcconnell.com

As for Goldens protecting people? My Golden Retreiver will not protect anybody. He would show you where all the valuables were and do anything you asked as long as he could go for a ride. Be best friends? Just pet me? Tell me what you need human, I’m your guy! smh

If we got another dog, I’d be going with a breed specific rescue that fosterd their dogs.
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#11 hornblower

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 04:33 PM

I met Patricia McConnell when she came here to do some talks on dog behavior. She's really really nice IRL. 


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#12 ktgrok

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 05:04 PM

I met Patricia McConnell when she came here to do some talks on dog behavior. She's really really nice IRL. 

I named my border collie after her favorite border collie - Luke. 


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#13 Pen

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 05:33 PM

My experience has been that females by and large tend to be easier to handle and more eager to please than males.  There are exceptions. Our current male is great and one female in my life was a problem dog.  And I've known exceptions to that with friends' dogs too--but beyond breed, I'd guesstimate than many a girl dog will tend to be more eager to please than a boy dog of the same breed.

 

OTOH, my experience is that male dogs have tended to be somewhat better on watch dog duties than the females.  Again, not absolutely consistent, and there, breed and raising can make more difference than sex/gender.  

 

Some of the big guard dog types in addition to being a lot of dog to manage and not perhaps the best choice for a family that might have inexperienced handlers around, also, IME, can easily sleep through things that might have warranted some barking..

 

I like Ian Dunbar and Brian Kilcommons (not sure of name or spelling) for training books.  An excellent in person trainer can be a great resource.   Especially if you do end up with a large dog or one in a more intimidating breed type, I strongly suggest you try to find an excellent irl live trainer to work with you and the dog.

 

  And trainers and vets can also sometimes know of good dogs who need homes.

 

Also sometimes seniors going from living on their own to a group home need to find someone to take a dog who may be a very good dog.

 

My sister and her family got a great dog by volunteering at a shelter as dog walkers.  They fell in love with a Lab and took him home.


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#14 Pawz4me

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 06:52 PM

My experience has been that females by and large tend to be easier to handle and more eager to please than males.  There are exceptions. Our current male is great and one female in my life was a problem dog.  And I've known exceptions to that with friends' dogs too--but beyond breed, I'd guesstimate than many a girl dog will tend to be more eager to please than a boy dog of the same breed. 

 

LOL! M experience is the opposite--in general I've always found male dogs to be much more eager to please than females!

 

 

 

I like Ian Dunbar and Brian Kilcommons (not sure of name or spelling) for training books.

 

I used to help moderate a board owned by Brian and his (now ex) wife, Sarah Wilson. I "knew" Sarah much better than Brian. I was very sad when they got divorced (and the board eventually went kaput because of it). I agree he's a very good resource.


Edited by Pawz4me, 25 October 2017 - 06:52 PM.

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#15 Innisfree

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 07:31 PM

And trainers and vets can also sometimes know of good dogs who need homes..



We found my younger dd's dog by talking with our vet. She asked what sort of dog we wanted, we described our requirements (temperament, trainability, rough size), and she picked up the phone and called a friend in a rescue group.

We ended up with the very dog I'd been wistfully eying online, but hadn't pursued because the rescue group's requirements had sounded so stringent. Turns out our vet's good word was all we needed.

That little dog is perfect. The rescue group knew his temperament, and the vet knew us.

As far as training, we did our initial obedience training with a local training class that mainly focuses on basic obedience and good manners. Both dd and her dog loved the training, though, and we eventually graduated to an AKC training club in a nearby city. At this point we're just treating dog training as one of dd's extracurricular activities. When one class ends, we sign up for another. Dd's dog is thriving on the mental stimulus, and the trainers have been wonderfully encouraging to dd (it doesn't hurt that she's the only kid among a group of mostly senior citizens). I love going and watching all the training classes and the wonderfully skilled dogs. Anyway, I highly recommend getting involved with a training club, if you have one nearby.
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#16 Pen

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 09:53 AM

LOL! M experience is the opposite--in general I've always found male dogs to be much more eager to please than females!

 

 

So together our dogs even out to neutral on that I guess!

 

 

 

 

I used to help moderate a board owned by Brian and his (now ex) wife, Sarah Wilson. I "knew" Sarah much better than Brian. I was very sad when they got divorced (and the board eventually went kaput because of it). I agree he's a very good resource.

 

 

I didn't know there was such a board. Too bad not any more. Are there current boards you know of that would be good training resources?

 

 

 

I found some breed specific boards to be helpful sometimes.

 

 

 

Also to mention to OP, friends of ours are very into "clicker" training and used that to train a couple of dogs in agililty.

 

I tried it some, but found that for my needs Ian Dunbar style use of a treat to shape a behavior was more effective (for distance work, clearly something else would work better).


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#17 Pawz4me

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 10:05 AM

I didn't know there was such a board. Too bad not any more. Are there current boards you know of that would be good training resources?

 

 

 

I found some breed specific boards to be helpful sometimes.

 

 

 

Also to mention to OP, friends of ours are very into "clicker" training and used that to train a couple of dogs in agililty.

 

I tried it some, but found that for my needs Ian Dunbar style use of a treat to shape a behavior was more effective (for distance work, clearly something else would work better).

 

Unfortunately I don't. I wish I did!

 

For awhile we had a spinoff of Great Pets (Brian and Sarah's board) but it fell victim to a massive hack. The lady who was running it pretty much gave up on reviving it.

 

Sarah has a site that used to have a board, but for some reason it got shut down. I don't know why. She's got some pretty good articles there, though.


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#18 Minniewannabe

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 11:10 AM

Klee Kai are small guard dogs. They are a smart breed and easy to train. We used A professional trainer. When I compared her methods to Caesar, there seemed to be a lot of similarity. I know he gets a bad rap on this board, however.

#19 hornblower

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 07:55 PM

I have absolutely no preference or bias about dog genders and their biddability. 

I'm in Susan Garrett's Recallers & there's a nice group of people there but you have to be a paid up member. 

Recallers is not just about recalls because the foundational skills she teaches transfer to so many things. It only opens up to new members once in a while though. https://recallers.com/ 

Silvia Trkman's online courses also have lovely communities: very supportive and enthusiastic people. http://www.lolabulan...online-classes/

 

on fb, the positive dog training group is ok for most basic stuff. It tends to attract new/beginner people https://www.facebook...ups/2210941004/

the clicker training group has a lot of very skilled trainers on it https://www.facebook...lickertraining/



#20 DesertBlossom

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 09:46 PM

Update in op
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