Thursday, May 20, 2010

i havent posted yet about last night

i will though... but it brings up some interesting thoughts i have, especially after reading some posts from some of the email lists, and some posts from other peoples blogs...

how much responsibility do you take for your dogs reactions to things, and how he acts?
if your dog blows you off, do you say - oh that was my fault! or do you go after the dog and say "should have known better!"... does it depend on the dog? level of training? where you are? the situation? do you always give the dog the benefit of the doubt? do you always blame the handler? are there certain exercises where you always give the handler the blame? are there certain things you know you do poorly and are your fault? are there certain times where you thought it was the dog, and it ended up being you and you felt badly?

examples:

dog is called for the DOR, but takes the jump on its way to you at a match. you stop him, set him up and next time you call him, he flinches and starts, but wont come at all. now what? what happened? whose fault?

you're running a course in agility and all of a sudden your dog goes off course and takes a few extra jumps. what happens now?

a dog refuses to retrieve a db thrown - will go out to where it is, sees it, but will not pick it up.

a dog does a go out, but after the turn and sit isn't taking any jump, despite repeated signals...

after an agility run, the dog wanders away, sniffing...

the dog, seasoned at scent articles, comes back with the wrong article. lets say the dog was taught using around the clock and it brought back your cheese article. lets say the dog brought back the entirely wrong article.

during an agility course (this would be better if i had a course map) a dog repeatedly misses a push out to the tire... runs around the tire, but doesn't take it (goes PAST the tire)...

whats going on here? what do you do to evaluate whats going on? whose fault is it here? do you blame the dog? do you punish the dog? what does it depend on?

5 comments:

Crystal said...

Great questions.

For me and my dog, I tend to take more responsibility for her mistakes. I do this for a number of reasons, one of which is that she is wicked smart, and usually if she fails to do something, it's because I haven't communicated with her clearly enough. Typically, if I fix my body language/cues/whatever, the issue goes away on its own.

However, there are times when she appears to be "blowing me off"- usually on recalls when loose. I mean, I can see her choose not to come. Although she made a deliberate choice, I chalk that up to my failure to adequately train for distractions/distance/whatever's applicable.

When there's a situation where I think she's been adequately trained and proofed, but refuses to do something anyway, I tend to assume it's a physical issue vs. willful disobedience. When she was refusing jumps last fall, it ended up being a muscle strain/back problem. Again, this has to do with my dog- she's incredibly willing and eager to work with me.

This is a great topic- I'll be thinking about this, and probably posting more in my blog. Thanks!

Dawn said...

It sounds to me that most if not all of those obedience examples are a confused dog wanting to do the right thing, but just not sure. I find that when Magic gets confused on one thing, he doubts on all the others while we work through the confusion. (And honestly Magic is not nearly well trained, I am a bad trainer.)
Always on the agility course, its all me. There has only been one time where Magic clearly had a determination to do what HE wanted on the course over what I wanted. And we were laughing so hard at the time that there really was no "consequences" to him.

doberkim said...

since all these incidents have been mine, i know what ive interpreted them as :)

hopefully when i get to VA i can go into each situation and say what i did/didnt do...

Crystal said...

I'd love to hear how you interpreted them, and why, Kim. I mean, obviously it's different for every dog and handler, because we all have our own personalities, strengths, weaknesses, etc. and it's so interesting to hear about how the process works for others.

Training my Mammoth said...

For me, since I'm doing the learning at the same time, I tend to take the blame for mistakes. Most of the time I am doing something wrong, which makes her do something wrong.

Not all the time though. This past Wednesday in agility, Layla got a "time out" for being bitchy. Bitchy meaning, whenever I moved my hand to cue a rear cross, she'd jump up and bite my hand. That's not me. That's her.