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Deference, Appeasement & Calming Signals in Training

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Deference, Appeasement & Calming Signals in Training
  • Liesje


    Every trainer I know that uses corrections also uses a clicker.

    If you were going to correct a dog it should be long after you install the appropriate behaviors, and proof them thoroughly. 


    This is how it is done.  I don't know anyone who would use a clicker and corrections in the same training session.  Seems a little bass-ackward.


    I totally agree with you, but you would be amazed at some of the &*^% I've seen;-))


  •  I recently ran in to a trainer that did not believe in using food or anything else. He was teaching a class that I dropped in on to work Abbie around other dogs. Thankfully the guy pretty much ignored me and I ignored him. I just worked abbie either in the center of the group or off in a corner. After the class though the guy and i got to talking and he revealed his non-reward system training. I know that it is no use to try to discuss any other methods with this type of person as they are set in their ways. So, I pretty much nodded, smiled and never went back

  •  I think it can sort of work, but it's limited, and if you try to do TOO much, it can backfire.  I think that mimicking a few of the basic gestures help to build a rapport with the animal.... but it's the equivalent of knowing how to say "Please" and "Thank you" in Portugese or French.  It gets you on side with the natives, but you'd be crazy to suppose that you could hold a fluent conversation with them, just from knowing a few words!

  • Liesje
    Personally I think the biggest mistake people make with recalls is that they end the fun.  They try to recall the dog b/c it's time to go or whatever.  Why would the dog want to obey a command that always means the fun is over?  Regardless of my body language and tone of voice, when Nikon was little I did tons of impromptu recalls and immediately sent him back off to play.


    Well done. Making the recall or sit fun and conditioning to the sound and tone of voice as you would use in the competition and making that fun, as well. So that hearing you bellow out platz at your volume is not a scary thing but something to be heeded because it ends well.

  • On topic, I've had some luck with some gestures. Side presentation and downplaying the energy of meeting a dog that doesn't know me. Knowing that most dogs, even the ones that seem barky and aggressive are actually warding off a confrontation helps me to remember to offer myself as no threat. Even if I can't and won't get on all fours and sniff rear-ends. Also, since I am not a dog, my dog-speak is limited but I think a dog can interpret it well enough. In side presentation, you are also not allowing the dog to have frontal presentation with you. So, they have no particular reason to ramp up if you are not engaging in a frontal stare-down contest. Soothing tones help, at least they help me, as they keep me in the right frame of mind. If I am truly calm and relaxed, I smell like I am relaxed, another cue for the dog that I am no danger.

    In training Shadow in stressfull situations, I would look for the signs of calm, even if that happened to be no visible reaction at all. And rewarded that. With grilled pork chop. (I know some will say, not again with the treats. Well, you haven't tried my grilled pork chop.)

  •  Huh. I've had a lot of positive results using calming signals / doggie language. Obviously I'm not fluent in dog talk, but my dogs and other dogs I run into seem to accept my pidgin dog and respond as I'd wish. I curve, I yawn, I look away, I engage in play stances and that dance of Am-I-gonna-get-you-or-not. I've taught my 6 year old a lot of dog language and it's been useful to her to. She knows about looking way, she knows what yawning means, etc.