Sunday, March 19, 2006

Day 241 Sunday Answers

Question: Margot,I hope everything is OK. This is Friday. How did you communicate your "Correction" to Sanity in the Doctor's office?Stay Safe,Mike CrimensBayern, Germany

I answer:
Actually that was pretty easy. I excused myself with the doctor so I could turn my full attention to the brat in question. I stepped on the leash and started to pull up at the very same time I pushed down with my thumb between her shoulder blades and pressed on the constant button on the ecollar. It was also very helpful that the floor was slippery so I had all the leverage and she had none.

My efforts garnered a mournful look from Sanity as she complied and a small smile from the doctor. I then explained that she was my newest service dog and that she is still very much still in training and no way was I willing to let her think she could get away with disobedience in certain circumstances. He wanted to know how old she was and when I told him 10 months, he said, “She’s just a baby. How I wished my patients with children would do what you are doing. Their children would be much better behaved.”

I laughed and pointed out that at least for the time being dog owners are still being allowed to actually train and apply appropriate discipline, whereas, parents don’t appear to have that luxury anymore. He agreed with me and we went back to the real reason I was there.
Question: It sounds like Tyler has noticed that all the "important" dogs wear their e-collars.

I answer:
He very much has noticed that the ecollars appear to confer a level of status on young dogs that is something he wants. After all, Sanity wears one and she is the tall, red-headed goddess that he follows as much as he possibly can.

Poor Tyler he just doesn’t understand that he will never grow up to be as tall or as fast. I don’t have the heart to tell him, so he just keeps on reaching.


Question: Margot,Please forgive an ignorant person for this question. Question: is a cue (or encouragement)for scent a stim when she sniffs at the correct item, or is she only working from information given in the command given at the beginning of the exercise? In other words, are both used, in the training process?

I answer:
I wish I hadn’t lost my first answer to this question, since it was a really good one. Now I am going to try again.
At this point, I am not using the ecollar for anything other when I first send her and then again if I need to get her moving because she is out there in “la la land” rather than working. I give her my scent and say “find” at the same time tapping the momentary button set at the low “encouragement” setting. After that I for the most part keep my mouth shut. The only cues/signals/signs she is getting from me now is a totally blank face with eyes staring off into the distance when she has the taboo article and a happy face with eye contact and a big smile when she has the correct article. However, she doesn’t see either face until she has committed to a choice and is on her way back to me.

Verbal praise happens when she gets back with the correct article, sits and I take it from her. After two correct finds the praise includes the right to leap straight up in the air and give me a lick on the way down. When she is of a mind to, she can spring higher than my head now and from past experience with previous Dobermans I have enough sense to keep my head out of the way. I use the right to spring/jump up like that as a form of tension release, since I realize that what she is being required to do creates a substantial amount of tension in a dog. They will keep on working and keep on trying as long as there is a way to release the tension every so often. Hope I managed to answer your question since I wasn’t all that clear on just what you were asking.


  1. Anonymous6:30 AM

    Thank you.
    Stay Safe,
    Mike Crimens
    Bayern, Germany