How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

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nanami
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How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by nanami » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:22 am

Hello! So I have a 7 month old Brittany who is the sweetest dog that I have ever had, but who is also the most stubborn. To be honest I have not had a puppy for quite some time (the last one was a Vizsla, who recently passed on at the age of 15 this summer), so I am not the most educated on dog training.
I have however been working with a trainer and have tried at her suggestion some types of disciplinary methods on the puppy when she gets rather wild and unfocused (and completely deaf to my commands) . These have been the use of a prong collar when walking, and shock/vibe collar when running in the field and being naughty at home.
When the collars come on or are put into use, my dog will suddenly become completely dejected, even though the collar is only used mildly and for not very long. She obeys my commands but only with her tail tucked under and wears a very mournful air, as though she thinks that I despise her now. She, in other words, becomes a different dog.
What I am wondering is if there is a better way to work with a very sensitive dog who really needs to be taught to behave, or whether this personality switch should be ignored and the use of the collars continued.
Would love some advice! Thanks!

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by kninebirddog » Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:52 am

Rick or Ronnie Smith seminar would be an awesome thing to attend or the there are others but going to someone and getting hands on experience for this very thing is going to be far more helpful then written words
This is where reading a dog is invaluable because a soft dog has a learned behavior which she has learned acting that way has gotten her out of things so going back to basics and rebuild habits through repetition.
All the words and all the books you read will never teach you how to read a dog that only comes with hands and and yep mistakes and a big enough heart and mind to be open to do and seek new ways and ask for help
Good luck hope you find a good wing to follow
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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by averageguy » Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:54 am

Check out Leerburg DVDs.

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by isonychia » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:48 am

Make sure you put the ecollar on only when doing fun stuff that she loves for a while without stimulation. Sounds like time to revisit the conditioning phase, IE collar turned off but put on the dog and go run and do fun stuff.

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by gonehuntin' » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:30 am

If your dog was thoroughly trained on the CC BEFORE the collar was introduced, you would not be having theses problems. Back up and slow down.
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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by Gordon Guy » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:47 am

How did you re-enforce the recall command with the e-collar? And how did you collar condition her?

Here's what's worked for me with a sensitive dog (FWIW - I think e-collars are better for sensitive dogs than verbal or physical reminders)

Some trainers use the "Positive" method (I'm not sure it's so positive but that's what it's called) to re-enforce the recall with an e-collar. After the recall command is taught in the yard the trainer puts a check cord (CC) on the pup and an e-collar with the intensity set at the lowest level the dog reacts to. (if you are going to make an error here set the intensity lower, you can always do it again at a higher intensity. I wonder if the vibration mode might be better) The trainer picks up the other end of the cord and when pup is exploring as far as the CC will allow, the trainer pushes the continuous button on the transmitter and gives the command to recall. When the pup turns and starts toward the trainer, you can help with pulling on the CC, the trainer releases the button. The pups learns to turn off the stimulation by complying with the command. Some trainers will not release the button until pup gets all the way in. But I release when they start towards me as my collar will shut off if the button is pushed for longer than 9 seconds. I also reel them in with the CC at the same time. I wish I had three hands while doing this. And praise and treat when pup comes in. (for non-bird work I use treats to keep pups happy and engaged) Check this youtube video out. IMO Treats help with yard work for sensitive dogs...well for all types of dogs really.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIINwy7BzP4

I have a sensitive pup right now and it's been a challenge for me too.
Tom

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by shags » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:19 am

IME both KNine amd Gonehuntin nailed it. The dog has learned that "Woe is me" has given her what she wants or gotten her out of what she doesn't want; and then she wasn't properly conditioned to tje ecollar before you used it.

You need to go back to the beginning of basics. I would start with basic obedience in the house and yard where you don't need the collar to enforce commands. Make her do what you've asked and ignore the pouty/"I can't do that" behavior.

Then properly condition to the ecollar. She should be going nuts with happiness when you strap it on.

The suggestion for a Smith seminar is excellent. You'll learn so much about reading dogs and training your head with almost explode on the drive home.

I've had a couple of similar dogs and the key was not falling for the drama.

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by cjhills » Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:41 pm

You need to get bull headed and stubborn out of your vocabulary. These are people words, not dog words.
I also don't buy into "woe is me" thing. She is not properly collar conditioned and is genuinely afraid of it. It will be difficult to get her over that.

She needs to learn to give to pressure. You can do that with a check cord and a choke chain. If you heel on the left choke chain goes over the dogs neck with the loose end behind the right ear. In use a 20 ft. stiff checkcord. Take the dog on a walks preferably in a field or lawn where you can change direction don't talk just walk when she runs too far ahead give a tug and change direction. No command. Stop occasionally don't look at the dog, don't talk to the dog, walk off again. keep walking, stopping and changing directions. Do not let her pull on the checkcord get some slack and jerk her as hard as you need to. Do this about 1/2 hour twice a day. The object is to get her paying attention to you. Eventually you will never feel her on checkcord when you change direction. You can let her run and have some free time at the end of each lesson. When she is not pulling you need to add distractions. Other dogs,people or whatever you can imagine. Then start working on the recall command with short tugs. she can wear the ecollar but keeep it turn off until she is very good on recall. Then start very light stim and command. when she will come on stim go to command and stim. after that always command first. This should get you back on track..........Cj

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by birddogger2 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:50 pm

Shags nailed it an so did Gonehuntin.

Brittanys do tend to be soft and do not usually need heavy duty corrections. However, Brittanys also tend to be kinda smart and they will work you over in a heartbeat.

There is nothing heavy duty about a prong collar or a wonder lead, or an e-collar when used correctly, but your dog has apparently got you buffaloed into thinking that there is. I would put the collar on every single day and not put up with the "poor me" BS from the dog, because that is precisely what it is...BS. The dog has a job to do. YOU as the trainer have to make certain the dog knows how to do that job and that the dog understands it MUST do that job.

I suggest starting with heel/whoa drills after the manner of Paul Long. I use a pigging string, a cheapie version of the wonder lead, but a prong collar is fine also.

Do heel/whoa drills in the yard with either a wonder lead or the prong collar. Make the drill into a game of "gotcha" and have fun with it. You will have engaged the dog's mind in a positive way and shown the dog that it can indeed have fun with you while doing what you want it to do. OR...If it insists on moping around, it gets dragged form point A to point B and then back again. Let the dog do the choosing. You just keep doing what the drill calls for.

The dog will come around. It will get tired of getting dragged from place to place and "decide" to cooperate. Trust me on this.

Patience, persistence and insistence.

You need to be patient, insistent AND persistent. The dog needs to understand that it is YOUR way or NO JOY. Tye dog needs to understand that the only way it gets to have fun is if it does what you want, the way you want.

Where are you located?

RayG

Just read cJ's response. That is right on the money as well.

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by Sharon » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:41 pm

Wow., you've had great advice! To be honest I've never had a dog who wasn't thrilled to get that e collar on and let's go!
You've definitely done something wrong or are thinking wrongly- sorry-. Re read the advice several times and make some big changes in your thinking . Personally, I wouldn't even use that e collar now until I had a dog thrilled about birds , so didn't care about the e collar.

I hope it works out for you.

PS A Huntsmith Seminar would be a great idea for you - google for dates and locations. Expensive , but worth every penny.
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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by nanami » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:02 pm

WOW!!! Thank you so much every one! I really appreciate all your advice since my puppy is the first one that I have trained personally. @birddogger2 I am located in Southern California, and train my pup in the Santa Ynez Valley. @Gorden Guy I re-enforced the recall by letting her run free ("At Ease" as I call it) in the field with the e-collar, and then afterwards calling "Come!" with the tone/vibe/shock. I started by using the tone. She will not pay any attention, (birds and bushes are far more exciting). I went to vibes. She will stop and consider them as I call her to "Come," but in the end will continue sniffing around. then I went to the shock... She ignored the shock until I went to level 6 (of 10).... Then she came at my call, with the "Woe is me" attitude and slunk between my legs.
She is very good at normal commands at home... in general. She is probably to smart for her own good, and will ignore certain commands when she knows that I am too busy to make her do them. But mainly it is just when she is out in the field that she completely ignores me. She isn't scared of the collar itself. It is just the after effect of the shock.
It is very odd because when ever we are working/training outside and shock is used (and I don't go all the way to 6 anymore) she will be extremely sullen but obedient, and refuse to take any of the treats from my hand and get excited about my "happy happy happy voice". In a sense it ends our training sessions...
Again, thanks!
EM

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by shags » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:37 pm

It is very odd because when ever we are working/training outside and shock is used (and I don't go all the way to 6 anymore) she will be extremely sullen but obedient, and refuse to take any of the treats from my hand and get excited about my "happy happy happy voice". In a sense it ends our training sessions...

"Oh poor me, I'm so upset I don't even want a treat...and happy time makes me soooo sad"

That's what *you* think your dog is thinking.

"I'll show him...try to make me do what *he* wants will he? Just for that I'm not taking his stupid treat and I'm sure as he77 not going to act happy when he does that weird voice thing. At least if I act unhappy enough he'll take this collar off me then I don't have to do anything he says unless I feel like it."

That's what your dog is thinking.

Don't give in to the drama.

FWIW, you might want to give your command, give the dog a second or two to comply, then enforce with a stim. You have to give your dog a chance to comply before you correct for noncompliance. Also, If you command, wait, command, stim, you are teaching the dog that she can ignore you the first time.

IDK what kind of collar you have, but going halfway up the levels for a compliance sounds kind of harsh. That might be part of the pouty stuff, it hurts! Put the collar on the dog, start with the lowest level and climb the ladder until you see a response, which could be an ear twitch, lip lick, or head movement. Generally I use that level for corrections, or maybe go up one notch momentary. My big burly setter responds at #1 momentary. The little guy goes to 2. Save the rough stuff for trash breaking.

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by cjhills » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:16 pm

I am on the side of the dog on this. I just simply don't believe dogs sulking when the e collar is used is because they know it gets them what they want. Why would she want to get out of what you want her to do? It is because the dog is intimidated by the ecollar, because she was not properly introduced. If you continue trying to use the collar by raising the level. she will soon be so intimidated by it that it will be useless and she might be also.
The next step will be that she won't leave your side with the collar on. If a dog gets sullen when a command is given it is because she was not properly trained and does not understand.
Lose the ecollar and use the checkcord. or let her wear it turned off while using the checkcord. Get a really good recall with the checkcord'. Let her enjoy life in the field and work on her confidence. Take more time on all your commands and let her learn from mistakes and how to relieve pressure by obeying first the checkcord. then maybe the collar. But she needs to learn that she can control the pressure. Don't turn up the juice. Train the poor dog first.
I am also not a huge believer in treat training except for very young puppy kennel training. The dog learns to train you to give her a treat.
If you follow the choke chain directions in my first post, you will see the dog change as she starts to respect you and see you as her leader. You will see her start to be proud to be with you. The only treat my dogs get is a chance to be with me and a kind word. They love that.
You can do things quicker with the e collar but the dog will be eons better when she learns to keep track of you.
Cj

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by kninebirddog » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:05 pm

There are some people that meet up at Prado to do training

I have Rick Smith planned for Feb 2019 we are over in Coolidge Az
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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by birddogger2 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:04 pm

Just a quick point, based on another poster's advice.

I personally would not recommend using a traditional metal choker collar. Especially not someone who is trying to learn their way forward. A pinch or prong collar is MUCH safer to work with. You can get the correction across to the dog with considerably less effort. One of the best troianing tools of this type, IMO, is the Smith wonder lead.

If you have a big, powerful, mentally tough dog, there is a place for a choker chain collar, but it is actually rather easy to injure a smaller dog with one. The Koehler method, which is used to train guard dogs and such, uses choke chain methods to teach the dog. These dogs, Shepherds, Mastiffs, Malinois, etc are trained to perform the commanded task, and to persist...even through pain. I don't think you need quite that.

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by cjhills » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:22 pm

birddogger2 wrote:Just a quick point, based on another poster's advice.

I personally would not recommend using a traditional metal choker collar. Especially not someone who is trying to learn their way forward. A pinch or prong collar is MUCH safer to work with. You can get the correction across to the dog with considerably less effort. One of the best troianing tools of this type, IMO, is the Smith wonder lead.

If you have a big, powerful, mentally tough dog, there is a place for a choker chain collar, but it is actually rather easy to injure a smaller dog with one. The Koehler method, which is used to train guard dogs and such, uses choke chain methods to teach the dog. These dogs, Shepherds, Mastiffs, Malinois, etc are trained to perform the commanded task, and to persist...even through pain. I don't think you need quite that.

RayG
All the animals in the "Incredible Journey" movie were trained by the Kohler Method. None were big powerful guard dogs. One was a Siamese cat.
they were not trained to persist through pain. they are trained to respect their trainers. I think the Op needs that.
He does have ways to train aggressive dogs.

I have never seen a dog injured with a properly used choke chain. I have with a prong collar.
On John Hann's " perfect start" DVD he starts all dogs on a choke chain. Big,small.tough or timid
The choke chain will work and you will have a confidant happy dog.

The ecollar will likely make this dog worse.........................Cj

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How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by grousefern » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:57 am

gonehuntin' wrote:If your dog was thoroughly trained on the CC BEFORE the collar was introduced, you would not be having theses problems. Back up and slow down.
total newbie here. sorry, what is the CC?

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by Featherfinder » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:59 am

I'm not a proponent of the choke collar either but that isn't because they don't work. I have other methods that I find more palatable.
You have already received a good deal of utile info. One of the underlying suggestions in a number of recommendations (although not as evident in some) is that you need to change your personal mindset where this dog is concerned. That is key! If not, your dog will train you.
I don't believe your dog is either as hard headed or soft as you might think. I believe this dog is a product of her environment, as all dogs (and people) are. Clear the slate. Get a positive and clear (written if necessary) structured plan. You can put the e-collar on your dog at every outing but it doesn't have to be implemented. If there is enough fun in those outings, your dog will ignore the e-collar until such time as it actually connects the e-collar with hunting.
There is one aspect of your offerings that tweaked me to something. You mentioned that you used the collar at 6 out of 10. That in-of-itself tells me you have a certain type of collar that might not provide the spectrum of stim that is productive for your dog.
My collar goes from vibrate-only to 127, meaning I can tweak it in tiny increments to extract the appropriate response, as dictated by the dog. Going up one level on a unit like yours that goes from 1-10 might mean that 5 isn't quite adequate and 6 is too much. Just an observation on my part....
Last edited by Featherfinder on Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by Sharon » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:12 pm

grousefern wrote:
gonehuntin' wrote:If your dog was thoroughly trained on the CC BEFORE the collar was introduced, you would not be having theses problems. Back up and slow down.
total newbie here. sorry, what is the CC?

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CC means check cord. ( I leave the hard questions to the experts we are lucky to have on here.:) )
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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by birddogger2 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:58 pm

cjhills wrote:
I have never seen a dog injured with a properly used choke chain. I have with a prong collar.
On John Hann's " perfect start" DVD he starts all dogs on a choke chain. Big,small.tough or timid
The choke chain will work and you will have a confidant happy dog.

The ecollar will likely make this dog worse.........................Cj
I HAVE seen dogs injured by a choke chain. It is relatively easy to bruise a windpipe with one. A single incident where the dog lunges and the trainer does not let go quickly enough can do long term damage to a dog's breathing apparatus.

THAT is why I do not recommend that an inexperienced person use a choker chain. There is a HUGE difference between someone attempting to train their first dog and a trainer like Jon Hann who has probably worked on a few THOUSAND dogs. He has developed ..."the touch".

Over the years, I have used just about every training aid out there...including a choke chain according to the Kohler method. I repeat...I do not recommend it for a new trainer...unless they have someone who can SHOW them how to use it correctly and safely. As with many things there can be a HUGE difference between reading how to do something and having someone show you how. If you were local, I and certainly several others on this board could show you how to use a choke chain safely and effectively, but it is not something I can do justice to in print. There has to be a "feel" for the tool and the dog, in my opinion and you just can't put that into words. Every dog is a little different and that difference does indeed influence just how you use any tool.

One of the safest, simplest to use properly and most effective training aids is the Smith Wonder lead. That is what I use... most of the time...and what I recommend that a new trainer start out with. I also recommend that the trainer read and follow the Paul Long method of heel/whoa drills, using this lead, when they begin to train their bird dog. That drill creates a firm foundation for a number of behaviors going forward and conditions the dog to accept cues and corrections willingly and cheerfully.

The e-collar is also an amazingly useful tool for a variety of situations. BUT, you gotta know the how, the when, the why, and the "how much". That is again, something that is better shown than described in print. Honestly, if the dog has been conditioned properly with the wonder lead, the transition to the e-collar is pretty much a non-event. On some dogs, I have been able to virtually skip the dragging check cord step...but that...again...depends on the dog.

Last thing... Training a bird dog is NOT rocket science. If I can do it...you can do it. Learn to read your dog, go through the steps with patience, persistence and insistence on correct performance...and you and your dog will be fine.

RayG

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by Featherfinder » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:38 pm

X2 re birddogger2.
The thing is, whether it's a choke collar, a CC, a slip lead (Smith or other configuration), e-collar, etc., they all remain an extension of the trainer at the helm. You can injure/abuse a dog and not have any equipment on him/her.
Further to what birddogger2 stated, getting to know yourself is also a part of the process. We all have diverse strengths and less-strong attributes. Develop a strategy through respected counsel, become competent of the individual steps. Then....implement. Dogs will not follow lost leaders. Instead, they see the weakness and do what they do, which often becomes taking control - with the best of intentions. Sometimes, their efforts to take control are what we struggle with the most. Then, we end up trying to resolve the symptom(s) rather than the core issue.

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by kninebirddog » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:32 am

Playing with puppysImage

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by DeLo727 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:21 am

I agree that you have to back up. The dog is now associating the collar only with negatives. Im curious how this has been developing since the original post?

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by Featherfinder » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:36 am

Knine...what a delightful pic!! Got more???

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by kninebirddog » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:09 am

Featherfinder wrote:Knine...what a delightful pic!! Got more???
I have more of the dogs and pups then of my grandkids lolImageImageImage

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Re: How should you train a bull headed ultra sensitive Brit pup?

Post by Featherfinder » Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:19 am

Knine….nice....VERY nice!!

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