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Old 05-18-2007, 08:51 AM   #1
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Default Training techniques on different types of breeds-

The purpose of this thread to exchange ideas how their breed types ( working, herding, sporting, sighthounds, toys, non sporting etc etc ) - what is different in the training techniques. I am looking more so for comparisions, and personal experiences are the welcome source, as well as breed recomendations. Understanding that all dogs are indivuals, there are however certain traits of the breed types..

Owning one "type of dog " ends up being different than another "type". I will start with my own, and I hoping others especially with field dogs in sporting etc will join in. I think this can be a good thread for someone else reading it to find out more on the breed or breed type they were thinking about adding to their families. Its usually recommended that when looking into a breed, to talk to other owners of the breed, the breed club etc for advice and observations in the breed. Many times people not understanding that " not all dogs act like any other dog", and too often just pick a dog for looks or size and not look at " how is this dog to live with- what is the best way to train this breed, and what else can I expect". When these questions are not answered or asked early on, and things do not work out becuase of this factor- the dog ends up dumped in a shelter or a breed rescue.. While I agree most breed types if PROPERLY trained and accomplish most things- each breed type however- some more than others- have a " method of operation" in how they think- their strengths and weakness's- and where into the training picture how this all fits... So lets give this a try. Remember what is posted are the posters opinions on what strenghs and weakness's they had to work with.

Speaking of my own experiences- I had working/ herding/ a few toys/ and of course sighthounds..
I found that with shepherds, they seem to have more of a working temperment than herding. I noticed they analyse more than other breeds I ever had. With praise and encourage with a ( almost daily ) set of bounderies of proper behavior- the sky was the limit what they could learn.. My dobermans- also working, I found the same- but more so work independantly. Usually catching onto things quickly, and did not test the limits as much,but repeated the trained actions with more consistancy. The shepherds were also consistant, but needed to be reminded " no- do it this way.." lol..
Collies- were more of a soft touch, and trained with praise would flourish faster than with corrections. Setting the dog up to seceed with more direction, the dogs seem to learn faster. Taking more one step at a time, then putting the steps together..
Borzois- my first I got I still had shepherds- and my first was hard to figure out. Reading books, talking to people, really I still was not quite ready to understand just how much of a soft touch they. Soft touch doesnt mean " wimp"- but if man handled- or even attempts to train as I did the shepherds, dobes- even the collies- got me blank stubborn stairs.. Just how much different became obvoius in the first fight. Buddy got into it with one of my dogs- and I went to break up the fight the way I use to with my shepherds. Yelling loudly (!)- and put them both in a down.. Buddy, I swear, didnt speak to me for a week.. lol.. " A simple no" gets a sulking dog.. Where as the shepherds/dobermans- would just simply take the no " okay mom- fine" then keep on with the next activity. With my borzois- I have noticed- they will zone out you, refusing to continue- until they do something right back with praise. Also- I had to realize completly that they still have a will of their own agenda- and never to have a reliable recall at all times. The most loving of breeds- they are also independant, and perfectly willing to go off and sleep by themselves. Not needing constant assurance that " yes you are the most beautiful wonderful dog"- lol - they know they are.. lol.. While they love you completely, they are less of constant assurance and perfectly willing to just be in the room with you. Even petting is less physical than the other breeds were. Even though lighter in body fat, they are however solid muscle. Not sure how much of being petted with a light touch has to do with their emotional make up, or the physical factor of needing a light handed petting. They seem to have more a pressence of dignity, and they admire how much you admire them.. A different strong sense of self..

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Old 05-18-2007, 09:09 AM   #2
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Default what a great idea for a thread!

I've had a border collie and a yorkie.

Its very funny reading what you say about the borzois, coz it sounds very similar to my yorkie, i had to work very hard motivating her to want to do all the things ive trained her. walking to heel is expescially difficult, coz they're so low down, she does tend to loose interest sometimes and i do get the 'blank stubborn look' you describe, lol.

They're not exactly very enthusiastic workers either, my dog will do wot she can be bothered to do, and EXPECTS a treat for it . They are very sensitive though and are DEVOTED to their family, i dont know id use the praise 'willing to please' with yorkies, but there devotion and affection means they know when your pleased and they do love it, my dog is so submissive (i think!) that she'll do woteva she is asked and is a very good girl (propbably the lease rebelious dog ever!!)

i had a BC puppy and well wot can i say, they are immensly capable dogs, she new the basic commands (sit/down) within one day of having her. The intelligence is not always easy though, and made mine quite a lot to handle!
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:12 AM   #3
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Uh- very interesting point about the yorkie!.. And I agree- a border collies intellegence is frightening! lol.. Probably why so many end up in rescues because they are not challenaged with stimuli, and want to continue to learn... Then not provided for..

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Old 05-18-2007, 09:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by borzoimom View Post
Uh- very interesting point about the yorkie!.. And I agree- a border collies intellegence is frightening! lol.. Probably why so many end up in rescues because they are not challenaged with stimuli, and want to continue to learn... Then not provided for..
Yes absolutely. they really are a true working dog, thats wot they WANT to do, mine also liked to nip heels and mouth A LOT, she was crying out for some sheep!lol. They are like bombs, if you dont let them diffuse, they explode with bad behaviour.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:05 AM   #5
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Great thread!

All my dogs are mix breed so I really can't specify certain traits per breed. I can however say that they are all different, all train different, and respond to different techniques and tools differently. So my biggest advice when choosing a certain breed is to be flexable and open minded with your training style.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:09 AM   #6
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I agree.. Any ideas what the mix is???

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Old 05-18-2007, 10:49 AM   #7
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I agree.. Any ideas what the mix is???
The oldest is pure terrier but a mix, mostly rat terrier and a small bit fox terrier. The breeder did this intentionally to thin up the dogs, so they weren't as robust and more agile than the pure rat terrier. He's a fast agile rodent killing machine. He a sight hunter and a sprinter. He will dart quickly, but only give a short chase, if he doesn't catch it in 50 yards he turns off. There for recall wasn't a huge issue with him, he never went to far. A few months with a long line was all it took.

The middle one is some kind of a terrier mix, I personally believe he has beagle in him, He has an incredible nose and can almost howl but not quit. He's a scent hunter and a distance runner. When he's on the track he will pursue for hours. Re call was a huge problem there for I had to use very different method after I spent a year or better working with him on a long line for recall. He's smart and driven, he knows when he's not tethered and wants to follow his nose more than anything in the world. Treats included, I've literally throw treats on the ground in front of him when he's following a trail and he will acknowledge them and keep following his nose. When not on a trail he's a treat lover. So again this dogs had to trained differently than the first.

The newest one that we've had for 3 months is a greyhound mix. She has many of the classic sight hound traits. She's sensitive, and careful with her body. She doesn't do well on tethers because when she gets tangled she goes into fits because she doesn't have control over her body. So far she is a visual chaser obviously, she is like a missile chasing birds and what not. Recall on her is very easy as long as you get her stopped immediately or don't let her start. We haven't tested the waters a whole lot to see what happens after she's been on the chase a while. We'll get there.


As for obedience, the first one was trained off leash, the second one was trained on leash and does well, the third was trained when we adopted her and does well on a leash.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:53 AM   #8
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I approach dog training from an "all dogs are equal" standpoint & then adjust my methods to suit the individual dog. I assess the success or failure of my techniques according to each dog's response to that training. I attempt to be clear, concise, consistent, patient, & willing to adapt at all times.

I've got a sporting dog who, I'll admit, he's thrown me a few curve balls in my generally accepted approach to training that lead me to believe the sporting dog in him lead me to adjust; however, other than the Golden Retriever's goofball tendencies, I don't see much difference from any other dog I've trained. The biggest difference is he's the smartest dog I've ever had (and I've had some really smart dogs — and, a few, who were NOT) and how quickly he becomes bored if the pace doesn't keep up — his mind must stay stimulated.

Ozzy, Golden Retriever, could care less about retrieving. He has little interest in balls beyond chasing them when they're moving fast. He loves to chase sticks, but would rather lie down & munch on them instead of retrieve them. He's very voice oriented, easily coached, at times difficult to maintain his attention (which are all things typical of a Golden) but can be obstinate & inflexible at times (which is completely atypical of a Golden). Describing him as a retriever is a ridiculous association, he's more a keep-away-er. He has more balance, style & grace in his movements than any dog I've ever worked with; however, at times & can turn around and be as clumsy as an ox. When he's "ON", he's really "ON" (luckily, that's 95% of the time) — however, when he "shuts off", he's as obstinate as any bulldog ever thought about being.

My Akita was the "softest" dog I've ever trained. Raise your voice to him as a handler & he peed, as if by command. Attempt to threaten me or even move into a seemingly dominant position, he'd defend instantly with his position, size & stance, without any show of aggression. He was a high energy dog who lumbered through recalls but soared through jumps like a gazelle. Akitas, well-known for aggression, would be considered an entirely different species from this dog if that was a breed requirement. He loved all creatures great & small & felt tiny kittens in his home were his personal responsibility to protect & defend by placing his body between them & whatever the perceived threat. That held true with other unknown small critters outside his home — it was his "job" to protect the small &/or weak & he would seek them out to stand by & protect them with his presence. Although Akitas were used to guard children, they are known to be prey driven & aggressive — not him. His favorite games were scent work exercises & I've never known one who displayed extraordinary scenting skills — except him.

I've had an Amstaff who was likely the wimpiest dog I've ever owned. He lived with a parrot who would ride on his head. He loved all critters, people & I'd have to say my Golden is more protective & a better guard dog than he ever thought about being. He had never head those pit bull rumors.

OK — where am I going with all of this? You're probably wondering already. So, here it comes —

I view dogs through the eyes of a handler/trainer, not by any breed bias or myth associated with any particular breed. I consider this forum to be the most knowledgeable forum on the net with the friendliest members overall — bar none!

What confuses me to NO END, is how much breed bias & myth is touted about so many breeds here @ DF by members whom I otherwise consider to be knowledgeable. For my further comments, please assume that I am specifically NOT referring to rescue dogs nor dogs raised in a negative manner.

Sometimes, the things I read here simply stun me. The strangest part is the actual owners & breeders of these dogs are the specific people who are making these breeds look like they're not fit for society. Boldly announcing (as if with pride) these dogs have uncontrollable prey drive, killer instinct, are unable to be trained, show weakness/timidness, insinuating they can't even be trained to "SIT", they can't be left to run/roam as there's no way to control them from harming themselves or others. Is this really the image you want others to have? I'd like to think that I can see beyond those biases, but at this point, I'm not so sure I haven't been convinced myself.

I wonder how many lurkers or new members @ DF have come here to research different breeds they might enjoy owning. I wonder how many inexperienced trainers come here to research training information. Yes, I wonder! I wonder how many dogs are never allowed to roam free & explore the world due to fear or lack of training because they've "learned" it can't be done. I wonder how much people have learned about dogs in general, breeds of dogs, training methods, training tools, etc. that is based on myth & breed bias. I wonder how many people have been totally turned against owning certain breeds based on the info they've read. Yes, once again — I wonder! I suggest we @ DF can do a better job of educating on such matters.

A dog is a dog. Period. Yes, I'll agree breeds & groups of breeds have tendencies that require adjustment in our training methods & daily activities with them. But, that's where it ends with me. I suggest if a specific dog can't be trained to do something, it is the handler who hasn't found a method to train it. To me, excusing or condoning inappropriate behavior from a dog based on breed bias is simply handler negligence. I haven't ever blamed a dog for being incapable of performing an exercise & certainly never associated it with any breed or group of breeds.

I hope you'll consider my comments to be genuine & well-intended as that is how they are intended.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Caincando1 View Post
The newest one that we've had for 3 months is a greyhound mix. She has many of the classic sight hound traits. She's sensitive, and careful with her body. She doesn't do well on tethers because when she gets tangled she goes into fits because she doesn't have control over her body. So far she is a visual chaser obviously, she is like a missile chasing birds and what not. Recall on her is very easy as long as you get her stopped immediately or don't let her start. We haven't tested the waters a whole lot to see what happens after she's been on the chase a while. We'll get there.


As for obedience, the first one was trained off leash, the second one was trained on leash and does well, the third was trained when we adopted her and does well on a leash.
Interesting same traits.. And I agree- sighthounds seem to do well naturally on a leash. Seldom pullers, and walk calmly on the lead..

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Old 05-18-2007, 11:12 AM   #10
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I use to think a dog was a dog- certain breeds some training methods work better- Until I got a sighthound.. lol..

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