Class has been going well since I decided that I would stay and make the best of it. I think that the instructor also realizes that I am serious about this , and am going to show, and also help steward at their show. We started working on some beginning off-leash heeling excercises and Emilu was really "on" (she usually is at the beginning of class and peters out about 3/4 the way through). "I" even got praised for improving on my heeling and stopping ability! Then we got out the dumbbells. Haven't worked with them for qutie a while in class. Emilu has been doing well at home, "getting" the dumbbell from wherever I put it, and retrieving from me throwing it. I always get nervous when we bring them out in class though, because I am the only one who doesn't do the ear pinch. I throw the dumbbell first - way to far (thought I had too) and Emilu went after it, but then went in really wide arc back to me (checking out the dogs coming in for the next class) and I had to really call her to get her back. Back on leash she went. Then we put the dogs on a long sit, followed by a long down while we stood at the other side of the room and individually took our dogs and practiced having them retrieve while on the leash. After about 15 minutes of watching that dumbbell go back and forth in front of her, Emilu just started getting up and coming towards me. I had to go correct her 3 times. Then it was our turn. She isn't used to going out on the leash to retrieve (I can heel her past a dumbbell and she'll pick it up, but she isn't used to going away from me on the leash) She wouldn't pick up the dumbbell, just kept kinda playing at it while we got tangled up in the leash. The instructor said "give her an ear pinch" Turns out I don't think she remembered our big problem with the ear pinch at all. Wanted to show me right there how to do it on Emilu. I said I knew how to do it, and I would try it, but not here. Then she did the ear pinch on me to show me that it doesn't hurt. Thing is - we had quite a discussion, but it was OK. I promised I would do it at home and see how it went. I mean - it's so embarrassing when she doesn't pick it up, becuase I DON"T have a way to "make her". After class the instructor insisited on doing a little ear-pinch on EMilu, and Emilu didn't freak out - in fact she turned around and licked the instructor - it has taken months and months for Emilu to not be afraid of her. This is a major breakthough for us and the instructor. I will try the earpinch at home - the thing is, Emilu always picks it up now, so I am going to have to make it kinda hard for her so I can actually use the ear pinch to show her what I mean. Maybe it will work - keep your fingers crossed for us.
I don't get the whole ear pinch thing. We have some people in agility who do it also. Here's my bias-I feel that if my dog is doing something the wrong way it is generally my fault. I need to try something different. The dogs who I know in my agility class who receive ear pinches seem less motivated and seem to enjoy agility less than the dogs who are trained positively. My dog did not ask to compete in agility. She does not have a choice. I try to be respectful of that fact and remain patient with her as she learns.
I don't get the why they insist on an ear pinch. There are other "corrections" should the dog decide not to retrieve. Sounds like rather than a refusal, there might have been confusion. Even when they play with the bell, an ear pinch is not the correction in my opinion.
Did I read it right--the instructor did an ear pinch on you?!
I would not pinch Ruger's ear either. He is very sensitive about his ears, having had a lot of ear infections. One trainer showed me a collar correction that really worked for Ruger. I think I described this to you before. It works on the same principle as the ear pinch, but you use the collar.
When your dog refuses to pick up the dumbbell, gently hold them up by the collar (not off the ground, but snug enough so they can't get their heads down) and say, "Take it, take the dumbbell, take it" excitedly to get them trying to lunge for the dumbbell. By holding them away it makes them work harder to try to take it, and when you do release them for it, they take it with gusto.
I would do this to Ruger at trials... outside, behind the building. I'd drop the dumbbell and then hold him up by the collar and get him excited with my "take it!" and he would dive for it. Then we'd go in to the ring and he'd take it beautifully.
If you don't want to do an ear pinch. Don't. There is NOTHING that says you have to do this.. .and there are a lot of different methods to correct/re-inforce the retrieve.
That's basically the one we useOriginally Posted by raian
I like Linda's idea! ;DEXACTLY how I feel.Here's my bias-I feel that if my dog is doing something the wrong way it is generally my fault.
OK. Will someone please explain what the heck is involved in an ear pinch? I have heard all about it from other trainers, but have never seen how it is done. NOT that I am considering adding this to our repetoire. :P
Pat, I can't believe you didn't bite the trainer when she pinched your ear.
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
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I so agree--that means I have not communicated sufficently.* Although there are times when I can tell by the look on Caleb's face that he knows what I want him to do and he is messing with me--that he is doing what he wants.* BUT, I know my dog and I know that look!Originally Posted by AngusFangus
Ear pinch is taking the ear of the dog, up closer to some of the "wrinkles" in the ear and pinching it to get the dog to retrieve using your thumb nail to "pinch" the ear.* Some people will also wrap the ear around the collar and "pinch" the ear that way.
I like Linda's idea too. Maybe I am still too much of a wimp, but I cannot imagine using the ear pinch on Jake - I just don't like the idea of a dog performing to avoid pain :-\
Hopefully the leash idea will work for Emilu
Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy
Different training methods for different folks and different dogs....
My old trainer was first and foremost a hunting/field trial lady, so we semi-force fetched all our dogs.* I don't really have much of a problem with the method as it quickly teaches the dog that the pinch/pain is gone the minute they retrieve.* They only get the pinch if they decide NOT to do it.* When they do the retrieve correctly, they receive praise, treats, or some play time, so in all cases the reward for the correct behavior is there.*
We taught Maddy jumps with an e-collar, and once she recognized that no pressure was applied when she did the jump correctly, she did it right thereafter.* I don't think of it as teaching them to avoid pain, but instead it helps them recognize the correct behavior quicker which they are rewarded for. Sure they do know that it might "hurt" if they do it wrong...but remember folks, that just because a dog whines doesn't mean it really hurts like real pain.
Originally Posted by yellojakesmom
There are four primary motivators in a dog--food, water, adversion and reproduction. Those are the four things that will motivate a dog. The older way of training focused on the adversion. Newer methods seeks to take advantage of food as that motivator.