Dogs, guns, training

Dogs, guns, training

This is a discussion on Dogs, guns, training within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I replied to a thread about dog training, but I guess I should have started a new thread. We recently lost our dog to the ...

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Thread: Dogs, guns, training

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Holdcard's Avatar
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    Dogs, guns, training

    I replied to a thread about dog training, but I guess I should have started a new thread.

    We recently lost our dog to the tainted pet food recall. He had been sick but was getting better. To get him to take twice daily pills we started giving him the foil pouch dinners from Nutro, a brand we've trusted for 15 years.

    After the treat food he got sick and we had to put him down, we didn't put the time line together until later, now we're convinced it was the food that did him in. Anyone knows a good lawyer let me know.

    We started looking for a replacement and I researched breeds as best I could. We have some unique circumstances. The area we live in is not the greatest (and yes we are planning to move, just gotta get things right before we do). Because of where we live we need a guard type dog.

    We also have a disabled person that lives with us, so the dog has to be gentle as well. Our second grand baby is a handful to say the least so the dog must be patient.

    We decided on a Mastiff, the temperment of the breed seems right, and it will be big enough.

    I've never trained a dog past sit and stay, so I'm looking for some guidance. Since we work with people that have disabilities, the dog can't defend me against a client having a behavior. In case of a break in, I want the dog to defend the family.

    I have no idea where to start, I searched the internet and found many different training methods, but dont' know which one to follow. Any advice will be appreciated.

    I'm also looking into the therapy aspect of the dog. I've seen wonderful things happen with sick or disabled people and animals.

    Thanks,

    Holdcard


  2. #2
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    OK, I'll help... I've trained lots of dogs, mainly German Sheperds and bird dogs for fun. I've never worked with a Mastiff...


    What exactly do you want your dog to do?
    Do you want the dog to be protective outside of your home too?
    It sounds like you want a generally passive dog, until he is needed.

    Mastiffs are generally protective of their home, no training required.
    Obediance is key! Its also super important not to "burn" your dog.
    This is when owners train the dog to hard when they are to young.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    OK, I'll help... I've trained lots of dogs, mainly German Sheperds and bird dogs for fun. I've never worked with a Mastiff...


    What exactly do you want your dog to do?
    Do you want the dog to be protective outside of your home too?
    It sounds like you want a generally passive dog, until he is needed.

    Mastiffs are generally protective of their home, no training required.
    Obediance is key! Its also super important not to "burn" your dog.
    This is when owners train the dog to hard when they are to young.
    Thanks for the reply.

    You're right, I want the dog to be passive and gentle until necessary. I also want to see if we can do the therapy dog thing. I'm not sure he can be both.

    Can you point me in a direction, or discipline for training the dog at the right pace. A book or video would be great, I don't mind doing the research myself, but at this point I'm overwhelmed and don't really know what I'm looking at or whom to trust.

    In our situation, we work with developmentally disabled people. Not often but once in a great while I'll have a combative behavior. At that point I don't want the dog to get involved. (My old dog did this on his own). On the other hand if I need to defend my family or myself, a big angry dog can be quite helpful.

    Like I said, I'm not sure that training in both passive and aggressive behavior is possible.

    Thanks again

  4. #4
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    As far as therapy goes, the first goal should be the AKC Canine Good Citizen test. Many canine therapy associations consider this a pre-requisite to any form of therapy training.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    Hi Holdcard,

    If you're wanting your dog to be a certified Therapy Dog, he's going to be the exact opposite of a defensive dog. (We're slowly in the works of training our dog to be a certified Therapy dog.)

    A Therapy dog is trained to be extremely friendly and trusting of all people, and he must be able to have an extremely high tolerance for all kinds of strange behavior from people, such as mentally ill people shouting or making strange movements - behavior that would very likely alarm a trained protective dog.

    Hopefully the sheer size of a grown mastiff would deter someone from harming your family, but if he's trained to do therapy work, he's very likely to not be helpful in a fight.

    Here is a source for general Therapy dog training, and maybe there's a source local to you.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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    I dont want to say its impossible to do both, but its probably not a good idea. Its a huge liability to own such a dog, and a huge responsibility. I have two sheperds, both are trained/training in personal protection. I had to take out extra insurance in case they ever did anything... both are big babies, and the neighborhood kids come over and play in their yard all the time.
    Its a lot of work, both in initial training, and the up keep of the training. You are never done training a dog.
    I dont have any handicapped people around me, but I would imagine that only adds situation.

    The Mastiff is going to be protective of his homestead with or without any training. He might need a little push to show his fierce side, but thats not hard to do. I would start with the obediance training first, and see what he personality is first. He may not be suitable for protection work. He may be a dopey dog... who knows.
    I dont know of anybody who is an expert on the Mastiff, but I'm sure they are out there.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Sixto, That's why I was asking, it seemed to me that the 2 objectives might be unlikely to train into a dog. I have no idea how to train that quality into a dog, but that was the personality our old dog had.

    He was extremely patient, but when he drew a line that was it. He was great around people with disabilities, but stood his ground with strangers. We never tried to do any therapy with him, but he did get on the Gompers van a few times and said hi to all the clients. This was something he did instinctively.

    It's hard to explain, but I'm not really looking for a trained attack dog. I just want one that will stand his ground and help me out if I ever need it.

    I may opt for the therapy end of it because the person that lives with us and the extreme grand baby (she'll either grow out of it or be on ritalin soon), I don't want any accidents.

    Bumper, thanks for the link. I'll follow up on it. Are you interested in a training buddy?

    Matt, I'll look up the AKC Canine Good Citizen test. Maybe that will help me make the decision. From what I've read a therapy dog is either born to be one on not.

    Holdcard

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    What you are really looking for is a dog that is well socialized. Well socialized dogs have trained to be that way. The key to this training ist taking your puppy out in public and exposing it to everything you can, i.e. people, noises, colors, smells, stores, gun shots, whatever. With noises you do want to start out with quieter sounds. Gunshot from 100 yards, then 75, etc. Let all kinds of people handle the puppy, disabled, young, old, tall, fat, black, Chinese, smelly, etc. The more exposure at a younger age the better. Here's a list Dog Field Trips

    The other thing is finding a good dog trainer to teach you what to do. In fact I would suggest finding the trainer before the dog. I'm a big fan of using electronic collars to train with. The philosophy behind them is very good and the results are outstanding. In fact, e-collars are well established in police K-9 training. In case you were unaware, K-9's are extremely well socialized and great dogs to have around children and families. They are very gentle except when they are TOLD not to be. They are taught to be aggressive on command.

    I would also spend the money and buy a dog from a respectable breeder. The dog breeding world is filled with puppy mills. You want to know the personalities of both parents lineage. Dogs with good personalities breed dogs with good personalities. Also check out the medical history. Genetics don't lie. Don't buy from a pet store. The inter-breeding and medical problems are horrible.
    Pitmaster

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitmaster View Post
    What you are really looking for is a dog that is well socialized. Well socialized dogs have trained to be that way. The key to this training ist taking your puppy out in public and exposing it to everything you can, i.e. people, noises, colors, smells, stores, gun shots, whatever. With noises you do want to start out with quieter sounds. Gunshot from 100 yards, then 75, etc. Let all kinds of people handle the puppy, disabled, young, old, tall, fat, black, Chinese, smelly, etc. The more exposure at a younger age the better. Here's a list Dog Field Trips

    The other thing is finding a good dog trainer to teach you what to do. In fact I would suggest finding the trainer before the dog. I'm a big fan of using electronic collars to train with. The philosophy behind them is very good and the results are outstanding. In fact, e-collars are well established in police K-9 training. In case you were unaware, K-9's are extremely well socialized and great dogs to have around children and families. They are very gentle except when they are TOLD not to be. They are taught to be aggressive on command.

    I would also spend the money and buy a dog from a respectable breeder. The dog breeding world is filled with puppy mills. You want to know the personalities of both parents lineage. Dogs with good personalities breed dogs with good personalities. Also check out the medical history. Genetics don't lie. Don't buy from a pet store. The inter-breeding and medical problems are horrible.
    Thanks for the advice and the link. Is there a recognized club or some other way to find a good trainer? Since I have no experience in dog training I don't know how to make a good decision on a trainer.

    What are the things I look for? Finding the right questions to ask the breeder took a little digging, but I found them. So far I haven't had much luck looking for trainer qualifications.

    I tend to shy away from pet stores and large chains. I only buy food and toys there. Some of their advice is OK, but I've found the pimple faced teenager isn't always right. They only say what they learned in training.

    Can you ball park what is a fair price for training? I really don't mind spending the money, I just don't want to get overcharged. I do realize that many times you get what you pay for.

    Thanks again for all the advice.....

    Holdcard

  10. #10
    Member Array KMBRTAC45's Avatar
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    I know a breeder/trainer/importer of protection/police/search & rescue/bomb detection German Shepherds, his name is Hans, his web sight is www.alpinek9.com. He may be able to answer some of your questions. His kennel is in Wittmann, AZ.

    P.S. He is from Czech, so his people skills are a bit rough(they are a very curt people), but he is VERY good with dogs(been training them for about 40 yrs). He may also know another trainer who can help with the type of training you are looking for.
    Last edited by KMBRTAC45; April 12th, 2007 at 02:47 PM.
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    Ecollar_Dog_Training_Plus is a good group of folks that can help. I like their common sense.

    The suggestion of contacting and using police dog and I would include Search & Rescue trainers is a good one.

    There are a lot of people who promote positive training by using clickers. I don't like it because they don't believe in using negative reinforcement in training. Positive training provides positive rewards when the dog does what you want. Sometimes the dog won't do what you want and then the dog is in charge. When negative reinforcement for unwanted behavior or non-compliance to a command is used the dog learns it has no choice and it MUST comply. This extra control can be valuable when you need your dog to do something immediately. If you dog starts running out towards the street you want it to follow your command of come or sit. When it does it, its life may be saved. If the dog ignores you or thinks about the command it may get hit by a car.

    A good book about socializing a puppy is "The Art of Raising a Puppy" by the Monks of New Skete. There are decent books too.

    I'm gathering that you work with the DD population and can see the benefits of having the negative reinforcement vs. positive reinforcement only training.

    Good Luck
    Pitmaster

    HELGA: Where are you going?
    HAGAR: To sign a peace treaty with the King of England.
    HELGA: Then why take all those weapons?
    HAGAR: First we gotta negotiate...

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