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Whats your method of choice?

Discussion in 'Bull Terrier Training' started by Sora5, May 29, 2011.

  1. Sora5

    Sora5 Puppy

    Hello all,

    My bully girl is 6 months old and she's a gem! Very funny and lovable and a quick study.

    We raised her as a clicker puppy and she knows basic commands. However, as a bully, she is eager and smart and clicker training is soaked up like a sponge. My intention is not to knock it by any means. However I will say that she could benefit from a training approach of the all-purpose general kind that I can utilize the rest of the time when Im not clicker training her which will help teach her how to behave. So far I feel I've been too dependent on clicker training to interact with her and I would like her to learn directly from my actions or behaviors around her or pertaining to her without clicking and feeding her.

    Something along the lines of NILIF, Cesar Millan's pack leader method, respect training etc...

    I'm just curious what approach do the rest of you use to maintain a leadership role with your bully when you're not actively training him/her?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2011
  2. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Good Dog

    iuse cesar millans method along with praise i htink bullies need praise more then what cesar millan gives IMO.
    although i love cesar millans methods i warn people against useing SOME of his methods unless you know what he is doing like putting your dog on the ground dont do it its unnecessary and can do more harm then good if you dont know exactly how its done which most people dont they think throw your dog on the ground and hold them there NO thats NOT how its done its done with energy not physical force. im not saying dont roll your dog onto its back to pet it or play with it just dont try doing this as a dicipline tactic. rember alot of people have trouble doing cesara tecniques simply becuase its done with energy not physical force or verbal commands people think oh all i have to do is jab my dog in the neck and say shhh and it will stop when it doesnt work they get angry. his methods do work you just have to prepare yourself instead of your dog :)
  3. Sora5

    Sora5 Puppy

    Thanks for replying, Cesar is a good approach. I like how much attention he gives in communicating and understanding what the dog is saying, that's something I would love to learn to do better. And I agree, its the energy and intention that must be clear and not the jabs and other tricks you do to the dog. I'm watching his latest season of Dog Whisperer and Im glad to see he is including more positive reinforcement rewards than he did in his earlier seasons but he hasnt abandoned his original way of doing things.
  4. crazybully

    crazybully Little Dog

    Cesar milans methods are Archaic and useless, he promotes fear and anxiety in dogs. There is no use in Alpha rolling your dog, mentally they aren't wolves, physically they are. The dog kicker doesn't teach anything but to make dogs mindless zombies that just sit there not thinking on their own because they are afraid of a physical correction. I have serious concerns because his methods are often intimidating rather than motivating. On TV, the dogs do comply but often they're being forced to - you can tell by their body language: tail down, mouth closed, ears back, eyes dilated... motivating leadership is far more effective than leading through intimidation.

    you both should pick up this book, IMO it is a must read for any BT owner.(Chairity_casex pretty sure on Bulliez.net i responded to s similar post of yours about dominance and your use of cesar milan advice.)

    Amazon.com: When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs (9781929242443): Jane Killion: Books
    This is her in action Free shaping her Bull Terrier. She is trying to get her into her bed without any leading, she marks the bed as a "hotspot" by tossing a treat to it. This is how i Spend my time teaching my dog, and letting him figure out what i want of him, HE LOVES IT. in fact, i can put this video on and he can be in the other room, and he hears the click and he will come running into this room trying to do something that will get him a click.

    Bull Terriers are not a breed that was bred to listen to people, they aren't willing and really could care less about what you want them to do. They were bred to be smart and outsmart what they were after. That is why shaping and clicker training is fantastic!! BT's need to work to figure out what you want. I'm always training, there is never a moment when a dog is a puppy that you can't be training, going out for a walk is a training session, going for a ride in the car is a training session, LIFE is a training session for the dog in general so essentially to your question... the same thing i do when i'm training carrrying the clicker in my pocket and watching for behaviors i like and him repeating them :)
  5. aprotopo

    aprotopo Big Dog

    Excellent post crazybully!

    I know Millan is very charming, but please realize that he is an ACTOR, he is NOT a trainer or a "dog rehabilitator"! This would be like getting medical advice from Dr.Oz (except that he is actually a doctor) or psychological advice from Dr. Phil (who, I believe is not a doctor). If you have a psychological disorder, you will not get better by watching Oprah and Dr. Phil, right? All these shows are for entertainment only!

    Before you say, "well it works for my dog", please go to this link and read what actual professionals (who are veterinarians, animal behaviorsists, trainers, professors, etc) have to say about him. Could it really be that this 1 single actor is right and decades and decades of research and practice are wrong...hmmm....
    Andrew Luescher, DVM, Veterinary Behaviorist, Animal Behavior Clinic, Purdue University

    Sora5, why do you feel like you want to show your dominance to your dog? I promise that your dog will not take over the world if you let it eat or go through doorways before you (I'm ridiculing this because this is the myth that we, dog trainers, have to live with daily).

    I personally use time-outs pretty heavily even though I do call myself a clicker-trainer. Certain behaviors, like nipping, barking, etc respond really well to negative punishment (e.g. time-outs). You have to look at each behavior by itself and figure out what is maintaining that behavior, instead of looking for a magic cure that will solve all of the problems at once (like Millan's pack-leader mambo jumbo).

    Do you have specific behaviors that you are trying to get rid of? I know that my dog, Sonya, is very stubborn and it took a good couple of months of consistent time-outs, and redirecting to get her to stop mouthing us when she wants anything.

    ---------- Post added at 02:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:10 PM ----------

    Sorry I misread, Sora5, you didn't mention dominance anywhere in your posts.

    But to actually answer your original question:

    After the basic obedience is established in the house, I don't really use food as reinforcement anymore (only to teach new behaviors). I use attention to reinforce anything I like and ignore anything I don't. So I like when Sonya is quiet, so I make sure to pay her extra attention when she is lying around doing nothing. And I make sure to ignore any crazy jumping or mouthing she may do to try to get my attention. For barking and heavy mouthing, I time her out in the bathroom for 30 seconds. I also make her do basic commands before we leave the house and before I give her breakfast and dinner. While I love clicker training, I think natural contingencies for behaviors is usually enough for teaching manners. So for example, if you need to put ear drops and you are holding the dog in place, don't let him go if he starts struggling. Only let him go when he is not. So just make sure to know what the reinforcers are for every single moment and only reinforce behaviors that you like with those reinforers.
  6. crazybully

    crazybully Little Dog

    Thank you!
    Aprotopo that was a nice article thank you for sharing that, I completely agree with it that Flooding should not be used on animals and in most cases people, there are some cases that i've used a flooding type method to help my GF over her fear of water, but most times it isn't to be used, and I like how it referes to the start of the Milan show "Do not attempt these Techniques at home" yet people do it anyways :lol:

    I lol'd!! people often relate this to Leashe pulling as well, I remember one time a lady told me that my dog was pretty dominant because of the way he was pulling on the leash at a pet store, and i said no no no we don't have a treadmill at home so we just use this floor here when it's nasty out :P
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2011
  7. aprotopo

    aprotopo Big Dog

    Haha! Someone did come up to me once and said, "Oh your dog must respect you as the leader, she walks so well on leash". I guess people forget that one can train a dog? I had to keep repeating to myself to just smile and walk away, smile and walk away, lol!

    ---------- Post added at 04:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:01 PM ----------

    When I worked as a trainer, I usually whipped this position statement out whenever I had a Millan lover in my classes. Maybe it can convince some people if the highest authority in the vet behavior field in the US says it.
    http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/images/stories/Position_Statements/dominance statement.pdf
  8. Sora5

    Sora5 Puppy

    Thank you for sharing these videos and resources, crazybully and aprotopo. The more information is out there, the more informed a decision can be. My bully girl looks to me for direction a lot of the time and I think I will continue to show her what I would like her to do using clicker training as you suggested aprotopo. I think my problem with it was that I didnt see it as a versatile training tool around the house, around the clock but it can be. I am extremely interested in that book by Jane Killion, will be purchasing that and giving it a good read.
  9. Hucklebutt

    Hucklebutt Banned Back Yard Breeder

    I use Cesar's Methods (despite what others think I just don't care!) I have a house of 5 here and we go to the dog park regularly without problems and recently joined a bully club which we all hang out. I use reinforcement when a dog does good but to be honest I dont give my dog a bunch of cookies the praise from me is well enough. I correct the bad and how I do that varies from situation to situation. Like I said I use the same methods as Cesar uses or the 'old fashioned way' but works wonderfully for me and many other people with bull terriers I know.
  10. crazybully

    crazybully Little Dog

    Just remember Sora that you don't earn trust in your animal with Corrections, swatting, yelling, all of that creates a dog that can't trust you 100%. You want to build a relationship with your animal, you ant to let them trust what you say is for their good, and that something good will always come of it. That is how the cookies and stuff work, but of course you could always go the shock collar method i've heard that works wonders...
  11. aprotopo

    aprotopo Big Dog

    Hehehe :lol:
  12. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Good Dog

    Yes im planning on picking the book up next week once i get paid. i dont belive cesar millans methods pramote fear or anxiety as ive been doing it with Cesar and hes not afraid of me at all i use a cobination of cesars methods and posative training cesar learns quickly and enjoys listening when he goes upstairs which hes not supposed to do i use my energy and a verbal command to come down i dont even have to go upstairs nor do i have to call him i just say "get down here" and give him a look and he comes down and avoids the stairs unless he sees our poodle go up then he sneaks up with her. when were out side off lead if he wanders i just say UH UH and he comes to me wagging his tail and a big smile. i dont alpha roll him ever though i do roll him over to be patted and he doesnt mind if i do and i dont always use treats or a clicker i hated clickers ive always hated clickers i dont mind if others use them but i hate useing them i like a dog who responds to me and not a clicker. i also dont give affection to him when hes really excited or anxious. and hes certianly NOT a mindless zombie! but i think whatever works for people as trainers and whatever makes them happy and there dogs happy is what matters
  13. aprotopo

    aprotopo Big Dog

    If you tell your dog "good job" before giving a treat, you are in fact using a "clicker". It's just a verbal marker and not an artificial noise marker. Clickers are used to "tell" the dog which specific behavior has earned him the reward. The reason why I think that the artificial sound of the clicker is better than a verbal marker, is that it is more consistent. For example, the sound of the clicker is the same no matter if you are angry, sad, happy, etc. However, this is only to teach new behaviors, the clicker is not used to maintain known behaviors (unless you feel like it, there's no harm in it!).

    Certain behaviors are tough to teach with just a verbal marker. For example, teaching loose-leash walking with a clicker is 50 times faster than with a verbal marker (and both are 5000 times faster than with corrections, or the "be-a-tree-method, or unpredictable-human method).

    By the way, I'm making these numbers up, but that's what I have experienced with trying out the many methods that are available to us to train our dogs.

    ---------- Post added at 06:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:10 PM ----------

    I keep forgetting to say, you have a beautiful girl, Sora! I would love to see more pictures of her :)
  14. crazybully

    crazybully Little Dog

    just something to add, this is an excerpt from the book that i linked above.

    Karen Pryor and veterinary neurophysiologist Barbara Schoening have been doing some research into the neurophysiology of clicker training in an attempt to discover exactly why clickers do work so well. their hypothesis is that the click is processed in a different part of the brain than spoken words are. The click, they believe, goes directly to the instinctive, reflexive, part of the brain (the amygdala, which is part of the limbic system) instead of having to go to the "thinking" part of the brain (the cortex). According to Pryor in an article entitled The Neurophysiology of clicker training.

    Research in neurophysiology has identified the kinds of stimuli------bright lights, sudden sharp sounds----- that reach the amygdala first, before reaching the cortex or thinking part of the brain. The click is that kind of stimulus. Other research, on conditioned fear responses in humans, shows that these also are established via the amygdala, and are characterized by a pattern of very rapid learning, often on a single trial, long-term retention, and a big surge of concomitant emotions... Barbara and i I Hypothesize that the clicker is a conditioned "joy" stimulus that is acquired and recognized through those same primitive pathways, which would help explain why it is so very different from, say, a human word, it its effect.

    In other words, once a dog is conditioned on the clicker, he will react to the clicker reflexively.

    This is why this is EFFECTIVE even though some will argue that positive reinforcement won't work on every dog, but it does, and i've seen it work on other dogs... terrible cases that were closing in on the needle.
  15. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Good Dog

    i dont disagree it doesnt work nor am i disagreeing that it works faster im sure it does i just dont prefere it
  16. aprotopo

    aprotopo Big Dog

    Crazybully, I've read that and heard Karen Pryor preach this. However, there really has been no research on this at all. I know karen Pryor means well, and obviously she has done an amazing thing for our field, but we really can't claim these things about the clicker without actually doing the research. One of the professors, and a close friend, is currently finishing a project looking at the effectiveness of a clicker versus a sharp verbal marker and primary reinforcement alone. I can't say the results before they officially get published, but I can tell you guys about them when they do (won't be long now! Exciting, exciting!) The problem with this kind of research though, is that people can jump to the "clickers don't work" conclusion without realizing that you are actually comparing the effectiveness of a primary reinforcer alone versus conditioned reinforcer followed by a primary reinforcer (which is what a clicker actually functions as), and NOT at all saying anything about positive punishment versus positive reinforcement!

    Crazybully, I'm going to start a different thread, now that I know i have a hardcore clicker trainer amongst us! I want to get some advice on Sonya's behavior.
  17. Sora5

    Sora5 Puppy

    Why thank you aprotopo :)

    Here's a few more of Zoey

    1. Sitting pretty
    2. One of her @3 mos ~ Blurry but I love her expression
    3. Her being comfy on the futon but ready to pounce and play at any minute

    I have noticed that with clicker training, the speed at which she "gets" it a little unnerving. It took a bit of getting used to. The dog is so focused and zoned into you, the clicker and the treat. Clicker training is very intense. It could be its also just my bullies personality. I havent been around other bullies much or had a chance to see them in training except what I watch on the net. But Zoey was not distracted at all during her training in puppy classes. She pretty much ignored them and was only interested in me. She definitely is less "doggy" than other dogs and more...just her! Hehe. Basically, she would be the nerd in school, teachers pet, straight A's, the conscientious one. It wouldnt be hard to envision her wearing glasses and a book or two lol!

    Are all your bullies also "intense" in this way? Just curious. Could also be an age thing. Shes still young at 6mos.

    Attached Files:

  18. crazybully

    crazybully Little Dog

    She's beautiful!!!! I almost thought you stole my dog for a second!!! :lol:

    Mine is VERY doggy, and when we are out he is always after other dogs
  19. Rogue Bullies

    Rogue Bullies Good Dog

    NFL training along with pack leadership, corrective and positive methods. Bullies work well with positive methods, but you must know when it is time to put them in place (which is usually often with this breed). Being to corrective or negative however will make them go in the opposite direction. I make them work for everything they earn and they know their place in the household.
  20. fctv808

    fctv808 Little Dog

    yes, i now feel like an idiot for posting an absolutely similar thread in the general forum.

    good info here. :)

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