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Training DVD
  • kai_528kai_528
    Posts: 25
    I was wondering if any of you could recommend a good training DVD. I eventually want to get her into a board and train program but for now I want to try some kind of instructional video. Please let me know what has worked for you.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-05-28 13:47:32
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Check out Dogwise. There are a great deal of DVDs and books on training that you can buy. @sandrat888, what is the name of the service that we get? I think it's Bowwowflix or something like that, but anyways, those are dog specific DVDs they send to you like Netflix, and many address training goals.

    I like Really Reliable Recall, anything by Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, Jean Donaldson, Turid Rugaas, or Karen Pryor will be good for starters. Crate Games is another good title to try, and staying within that genre of positive training technique will be of most benefit IMO.

    The reasons I do not suggest Board and Train, is that the dog is learning to work for someone else. It develops zero working relationship with the primary handler (which is you). You in turn learn zero troubleshooting skills that an in person training session can help you with. I don't recommend it, although I know people in the hunting world and service dog sphere routinely do this.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2011-10-10 17:39:56
  • kai_528kai_528
    Posts: 25
    @lindsayt- Thank you so much. I think I may try Bowwowflix. (on second thought, it seems a little expensive)

    The board and train idea just seemed like an easy to handle training. I figured when they hand your pet off to you,I would get some kind of follow up class or I could just purchase a private training session afterwards. I have heard good and bad about this idea. Have you had a personal experiences with this?

    Thanks again!
    Post edited by kai_528 at 2011-10-10 20:29:08
  • @kai_528

    Why do you want to go for a training DVD at this point? What prevents you from going to class? Is it time/schedule, distance to commute to a training facility or other reasons?

    DVD is fun to watch, but it is no comparison to actually being in class with a real instructor and other dogs/human there. Watching a DVD may be supplemental to going to classes, but it is probably not going to be as effective as going to classes to someone who is relatively new to dog training.

    If time/schedule or distance is your main concern of taking your pup to class at this point in time, I would suggest getting a good positive reinforcement-based book to read (there are many suggested titles on this forum) and you can couple that with a DVD as well. BowWowFlix is a relatively cheap service considering they serve a niche market and plan starts at $10.95/month for one DVD out a time to $26.95/month for 4 DVDs out a time. This is a great deal for anyone that is really into dog training and you can cancel your subscription at any time. Most dog training DVDs goes for at least $30 and many times upwards, so the price is very reasonable.

    For anyone that is interested in BowWowFlix, you can find more details of their service here

    I have not done board and train and I don't like to hand someone my dog to train, unless it is service dog training or personal protection work. It is really not so much about training the dog, but more about teaching the human how to communicate and train their dogs. You also get to bond with your dog during the training sessions, which you do not get at a board and train program.

    I saw in your other posts that your pup is 11 months old and you got her from her previous owner.

    Have you asked around how much it costs to do board and train? I would assume it is going to be much more expensive than getting BowWowFlix, buy a good book or actually take your dog to a basic obedience class. Unless there is very specific factor in your situation, I really would not suggest a board and train approach.

    Costs factor aside, please keep in mind that a board and train program is not going to work like magic. You still need to research and find a good facility or you run the risk of someone using aversive on your dogs and making her worse.

    Please share why you consider board and train, so the members on this forum can provide you more feedback.
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2011-10-11 01:47:40
  • I would not send my dog to a board and train program either, for all the reasons people have already noted. Training is about training the handler even more than the dog, so you benefit from being there with her. Also, I've heard too many horror stories about bad board and train programs. A lot of them use aversives, and you have absolutely no control over what is happening to your dog when you're not there. It just has too much potential to go wrong.

    A training class usually isn't that expensive, and is not a huge committement of time, even, as they usually only meet once a week (though of course you practice at other times, but only for about 10 minutes at a time!) That's by far the best way to bond with your dog, too.
  • kai_528kai_528
    Posts: 25
    The main reason I do not want to do classes is due to lack of time. I am in contract till the end of the year with my second job and it's hard for me to get to any group classes. I figured could buy a dvd or two and watch them at home with the wife so that way we could learn together.

    Board and train just seemed like a quick and easy solution. Of coarse the cost is up there ($1200) for two weeks but figured it would be worth it if I took a couple of private classes with a trainer at home afterwards,then it would be ok.

    And for the bowbowflix I could buy a dvd for $30 and own it, verses $10.95-$16.95 monthly fee.

    I like researching so that would not be an issue. I just want a board and train center that teaches positive methods. I would never take her to a place that used an e-collar or such.
    Post edited by kai_528 at 2011-10-11 10:08:34
  • If it's due to lack of fixed schedule to attend group classes (not lack of time altogether, meaning you can spend time with your dog, but just not able to make a 1 1/2 hour commitment (group class is usually 1 hour and I throw in 30 mins for commute) at say 6:30pm every Wednesday night due to work or other constraints, then I would go for private lessons initially, rather than board and train.

    Again you need to do your research on the trainer to make sure that they don't mainly use aversive methods and I would strongly recommend finding someone that is certified and use mostly positive reinforcement methods. I also would recommend reading some basic training books, so you can better evaluate the trainer's methods and whether they make sense or not.

    I did a quick price research on private sessions in my area (Seattle area) and the cost is about $90/hour and $400 for 5 1 hour sessions and $799 for 10 1 hour sessions. This is way better in my opinion than just sending the pup to a training facility without you being present there regardless of what methods the facility uses.

    Do you have any specific behavior issues with your dog now that you hope board and train can fix? And how long have you had her?

    For BowWowFlix, I think it is a great solution for anyone that wants to learn more about dog training because you can return the DVD anytime, so you get to watch more DVDs, rather than being stuck with just one title that you buy. If you turn them around in a week time, even with a 1 DVD out at a time plan ($10.95), in a month, you will get 4 DVDs for just $10.95, rather than just buying one DVD for $30 and upwards.

  • Kai: I would not leave my Shiba at a boarding facility and have some one else train. I did that with a doberman (a more biddable breed) with less than stellar results. Really you have no idea what they say they are doing is actually what they are doing. Your dog is at the mercy of whatever they decide. What you consider positive is not what all trainers think is positive by any stretch of the imagination. You can not be an advocate for your dog if you are not there!

    In some centers there is the option of doggie day care with some training in between by staff. I think that would be a better option since it provides some socialization and the dog can come home to you to relax. Besides crammed training in one or two week sessions overall is not as effective as training over time, under a LESS stressful situation. Boarding is stressful!!! It stresses many dogs out. The last thing I would want is someone unknown/new training my stressed dog.

    Surely there is someone in the family or buddy that can help you out trading shifts for pick up and drop off for day care. Develop a play-share travel arrangement with a buddy dog family so that you guys can swing it and your Shiba can have down time at home.

    Also I forgot to mention some really good centers often have drop in training for a flat rate of 8 sessions or so. Do some research and check that out too.

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2011-10-11 10:46:28
  • kai_528kai_528
    Posts: 25
    Thank you y'all so much for all the information. I think I am going to buy a book or dvd and see how that goes, Then I am going to look into private training here In Austin. Thank you for giving me some rates, to compare too. I found one trainer with really good ratings on yelp. (

    You all bring up very valid concerns with leaving her in a board and train program, and I do not want her to experience anything like that. Austin is a super dog friendly, but you never know.

    @sandrat888- On a side note. I really want to move out of Austin, Tx, it is too darn hot. But I was wondering if it is difficult to deal with the frequency of the rainfall there. Every time I look at the weather for Seattle,Wa and Portland,Or, all I see is rain though out the week.

    Thanks again for changing my mind!
  • Definitely get a book or two while you figure it out which trainer to go with. Check out this thread for some book recommendations.

    I also like Dr. Sophia Yin's book "How To Behave So Your Dogs Behave"

    Dr. Sophia Yin also has a new ebook titled "Perfect Puppy In 7 Days", which you can get from her website or Be sure to check out her blog as well,

    For the rainy and cloudy days in the Pacific Northwest, I have to admit it is not for everyone, but summer is great here as it never really gets too hot. Having lived at different parts of the country, I would take rain/cloud over snow or hot and humid anytime, but that's just me.
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    Ian Dunbar also has the free downloadable books. They're fairly brief, not as much info as going out and buying a normal training book, but they're a really good starting point (and free!).

    I've got a couple of books given to me by friends that I still need to read, but I've already gone through the Before and After puppy books on his site and it's given me a lot of helpful information and guidance for training my pup once I get him.
  • XabiXabi
    Posts: 432
    There is a lot of good videos on youtube by Ian Dunbar or Sophia Yin. "How to Behave..." by Yin and "Before & After" by Dunbar are great, great resources. I wish I would have read them a month before I got my puppy. And though you don't NEED classes, it does help to have a that bonding and socialization time built in. It does seem like a lot of work, but if you do it up front, then you should have a great friend and partner for years to come. Those classes also work as a sort of "group therapy" for handlers/owners/trainers. Good luck!
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  • kai_528kai_528
    Posts: 25
    I will check out all your suggestions. Thanks again!!
  • I wanted to bump this thread to discuss "Board and Train".

    I am starting to get frustrated walking my 5 month old male dog (yelling NO every time a leaf is blowing in the wind and he wants to chase it. Followed by "good boy" when he ignores it.. continued ALL THE TIME). I started giving him things to hold on the walk (a ball, a bone, etc) and he loses interest after 10 minutes (I try to make all of his 5 walks a day over 30 minutes). Or worse, he will lie in the grass/snow and start chewing on the toy. He also has selective recall like most other shibas.

    Since geese poop is both highly attractive to my dog, and highly dangerous, this isn't something I want to risk in the spring when the birds come back. There simply isn't a place in my area that geese WON'T come.

    I live in a highly stimulative environment (right outside of Manhattan. Very dense area with plenty of dogs, kids, animals, etc) to distract him.

    I am researching board and trainers who will NOT use aversive (i.e. shock collar) training. I am also averse to "clicker" training since the more I see it, the more I notice pavlovian responses such as coming for a treat. I know many people use clickers, but for that reason and the "oops I forgot the clicker" or "someone else is walking him and doesn't know what to do with the clicker" problems I am avoiding those (instead, the positive reinforcement he gets is a "good boy").

    The other reason is my friend down the street has an english bulldog puppy who Banjo likes but plays rough with. They need to understand that we want them to be friends, but can't always monitor play time. If we let them play non-stop, it is literally 5 hours long (with the cutest water breaks.. we leave them each a full bowl of water and they drink from the same one until its done, then together go to the other bowl). I would like to visit my best friend without monitoring my dog every second to make sure he isn't being too rough. The bulldog simply doesn't react to banjo pinching her skin with his teeth. Banjo also gets frequent timeouts at puppy play for this behavior. The hope is the trainer (we will both send our dogs at the same time with the explicit instructions) will make this work. And teach Banjo to headbutt/use his hips to play, and not his mouth/teeth.

    I am a single male, so right now I am in charge of discipline, training, and play time with my dog so I don't get a break. This would allow me to relax a little on the training (meaning reinforce commands, not teach them anew). The cost of puppy classes and the like make this seem "cost nuetral" and the trainer offers lifetime free group classes after board and train so there is value.

    I was wondering what pitfalls/advice/things to look out for when interviewing a board and trainer.

    Or, if there is a better method? Please keep in mind I am a working professional and my buddy is a stay-at-home day trader. If our dogs can get along "safely" I can bring him over to his house in the morning and save plenty of $ on walkers/day camp. (my buddy is fine with it provided I buy him things like ice cream or pick up the cost of dinner when we order and he can feel safe the dogs won't constantly play or can play without using teeth and will nap).

    Yes, this seems like the lazy way out, but to me it is both fiscally responsible, and better for the dog since someone for 2 weeks will CONSTANTLY be training this and when I get him back the commands will be reinforced instead of getting the "daddy, wtf are you talking about" looks.

  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I would not suggest board and train for any pet, much less a Shiba. The breed is smart enough to know there is a difference in trainers, and will resume previous behaviors once back in your care unless you really put the time into learning about training as well. If you haven't seriously put the time into learning about science based training and reinforcements, than the dog has no reason to want to work with you. And yes, board and train is the lazy way out.

    Verbal praise isn't gonna cut it with Shibas in the baby stages of learning. Have you tried any focus exercises with increasing levels of distraction to proof the leaf chasing? That's a highly rewarding behavior to a dog and very ingrained in Shibas.

    And about your theory on clicker training, seriously? How do you think marine mammals are trained? Because they find value in verbal praise? I know very highly trained Shibas and multitudes of other dogs trained to perform very complex tasks using clickers and well timed rewards, reliably, time after time. There is no reason to be afraid of a clicker and rewards (not bribes) the dog finds rewarding. If they chose not to participate, reduce distractions, increase your rate of reinforcement and value of the reinforcer. If verbal praise isn't getting the result you want, think outside the box and try a toy or a good treat, or a fun game.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2014-02-17 12:48:36
  • lindsayt,

    I have seen clicker training work and illicit pavlovian responses, and I have seen it work well. I also don't want to/have the time to train my parents/friends on how to use a clicker in the event they want to walk him, and god forbid i forget the clicker. I think the concept is fine, I just don't think the situation my dog is in it will work. and like I said, i don't want my dog to hear the click and run to my hand to get a treat as I saw all throughout the class I went to on Saturday. I think that's a terrible habit.

    While you can call it lazy, the fact that I get free classes for life also makes it cost effective. So while a trainer/classes is always recommended regardless of age of dog, isn't this a good way to save money on that? Also, are you a "single parent" of a dog?

    I am going to google focus exercises, thanks!

  • Updates: I just spoke with a board and trainer who wants to use a shock collar. That was a no no to me and a complete deal breaker.

    Also, I stumbled upon this site.

    I am going to work on these with a treat (like I said, avoiding the clicker!) until its ingrained in him.

    If this fails, i will let you know, but these seem like "sound" logic.

    Thoughts on getting the two dogs to exist in peace?
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495

    Getting off topic but...

    Since the board idea has been squished, I just wanted to say clicker training isn't that bad. I started off with clicker training as a base so they can get use to my verbal commands. Once they got that down, I stopped using the clicker. I do understand what you mean about somebody using a clicker and the dog runs over, But this might be because the owners are using the clicker wrong.

    My friends have tested using the clicker while they are a distance away from me, but my dogs only glanced over, they did not rush over for a treat. Why? Because I was right in front of them, so they know the person who's using the clicker is not me. Note: I did not have any treats in my hands either, so its not like i bribed them.

    The reason why we recommended dog classes to shiba owners, is because these classes teach you how to read your dogs body language as well as how to train your dogs. It seems to me this is something you should consider since you are having difficulties with your shiba puppy.

    As far as getting the two dogs to get along, we have many threads about that. Please invest some time to read through our threads to learn what has and has not worked for others.

    If you're planning to practice what that website says, keep in mind, Do not bribe your dogs with treats, you reward them with treats.
  • Bootz, I am not having trouble EXCEPT on the walk where there are LOTS of things for him to be stimulated by. Leaves, people, other dogs, children, and geese poop. He is actually a pretty good dog 90% of the time. the 10% he isn't he isn't bad like dangerous, just bad like disobedient.

    Its really him choosing not to listen when he thinks something else better is going on, and that is quite annoying when I NEED him to behave.

    Focus exercises seem good. Every class I have taken him too is clicker based and I see all these dogs jumping around when they hear the clicker and it drives me nuts to hear the trainer go "good good"... I'm sorry, but I don't think its a GOOD thing when your dog jumps up not on command. I don't want to create that habit, and almost everyone who used a clicker got that response (at the class I was at Saturday), I am looking for a training class that encompasses more than "Pavlovian responses". If you are clicker training and it works, great, I am not going that route because more people handle my dog than just me on a given day (friends who walk him, dog walker, friends who play with him, etc), and I don't care to deal with people doing it wrong.

    Like I said, I don't think the clicker training is a bad thing in general, I just wouldn't want it for my pup.

    and please don't take any offense to that whoever reads it.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    A click is just a marker. Family or friends can use a verbal marker instead, like "yes" and that can also replace a click in all training, although timing and responses will be poorer. Proper clicker use is very good at helping humans get the timing right. The initial click-treat-click-treat phase of high payouts is just a beginning step of establishing the rules and introducing the dog to the concept (and the human). A good clicker session with your dog after the concept is understood, could establish focus on you in just a few short minutes.

    Dogs releasing themselves in class is largely a training issue, and it takes self control on the dogs part and patience on the humans part to proof the wait to be released. Puppies and young dogs understandably don't always find this easy. This is where impulse control games like Susan Garrett's Crate Games comes in handy. I use "ok" as my release word.

    By the way, what's the logic behind asking me if I am a single dog parent?
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2014-02-17 15:09:26
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495

    I don't take offense. Just offering you my opinion. Maybe that particular class is using clicker training the way YOU don't want them to. That whole jumping thing? Yeah won't fly in my book. But don't let one class mess up your whole idea with clicker training, maybe you can try a different facility?

    Many people handle Bootz, my shiba, as well. My husband (who isn't considered a caretaker in my book), my housemate, my parents, my shiba-sitter. All of which she take verbal cues with. She walks great with all of them.

    Quick question, is the 90% of the time he's good in an environment he is use to? Keep in mind, you have a Shiba. They are KNOWN to have selective hearing.
  • If you think clicker training doesn't work, than you either don't know enough about it and how to do it correctly, or you haven't done it right. It is very easy, and it is NOT pavlovian response. Might need to read up on the theory behind it and why it works. It's very easy, and very forgiving, and you don't need to have a clicker with you all the time. You can just as easily use a reward marker like "Yes!" or make a clicking sound yourself. And once the dog knows the behavior, you don't keep clicking! Clicking is about capturing a behavior til a dog knows the behavior. You also eventually start phasing out treats (or not using them all the time, though frankly, I have no idea why people think giving a dog a treat for performance is a bad thing, but I've seen that criticism of the method too).

    If you don't want to use a clicker, don't, but you are totally misrepresenting what it is and how it works, and from what I've seen of your comments here, you either haven't seen it done correctly, or don't understand what it is supposed to do.

    Bottom line is in training, you can use aversive methods that are cruel to the dog, and will ruin a relationship with the dog. Or you can use positive training methods that work well, and open a whole new relationship with the dog (what fun it is to see a dog volunteering a variety of behaviors when they are learning!) Your dog is a puppy--that is why he isn't focused. You can't expect a dog to know what you want it to do without giving it direction, but you also can't expect a 5 month old do to have the focus of an adult dog.

    I don't really understand what you do want from your pup, except for perhaps an instant obedience that you're not going to get from a five month old puppy, or, probably, from a Shiba at all. There are good positive reinforcement methods to training a dog. Or you can go with the old aversive ways, which you will certainly not get support for here. But you do need to actually research a method, learn how to do it correctly from a good trainer, and use it consistently over a period of time. It's not going to happen instantly.

    eta: and all those tips on the kindred spirit website are basic training methods, which are usually done with a clicker (simply because it speeds the learning along). Of course you can do them without a clicker though.

    Post edited by shibamistress at 2014-02-17 15:26:31
  • Lindsay, I asked because if you aren't responsible for EVERY part of the dog's well being, things become a bit easier (i.e, you aren't responsible for play time, training time, etc.) I love when my sister comes over because Banjo will play with her while I do the basics around the house... laundry, dishes, sit down and exhale in peace. It sounds lazy to send the dog away, but I promise it isn't lazy so much as sounds effective. I think everyone who has ever raised a dog alone has had this cross their mind. I would love to walk my dog without saying no. He is slowly understanding "heel" means come wait by my side, but again, he isn't interested if something else has tickled his fancy.

    If I can get his attention, he will stay (the length of stay depends on distractions... high stimulus environment, 30 seconds. at home, he will literally wait 8 minutes for me to say "release" before continuing to be his Royal Shiba-dog). This isn't an issue of not wanting to train him, its an issue of can I train him effectively while working full time AND handling everything else he needs and what I need (time to wash dishes and vaccuum). Yes, I can crate him when I am at home but that only compresses the amount of time I have in a day to work with him.

    Bootz, I have literally gone to a different facility each of the last three weeks. I am going to keep trying until I find one that I feel comfortable with. I think positive reinforcement works. I've started clicking my tongue and giving him cheese when I do it so when I click my tongue he looks at me. Problem is when he sees an empty hand, he is RIGHT back to whatever he was doing. Same concept as a clicker, just requires bribery =/.

    the 90%... i'd say of that 90%... 1/2 is in the house, 1/4 is in completely new places where he looks to me for guidance on what to do/what not to do, and 1/4 is on walks where I may as well not exist.

    I know a 5 month old won't listen. It seems as if you guys all had that problem. When did he/she start "getting it"? I don't mind that he is distractable, I mind that we go over the same thing EVERY walk (ignore the leaves for example) and by the end of the walk he gets t, but is back at square 1 for the next walk.

    Part of my love of the shiba is he has no inclination to do "busy work", I think he thinks calling his name and having him come is "busy work".

    I don't believe in averse training (i.e. hurting/harming/causing pain) to the dog.

    I just don't want to miss the "his brain is pliable and he learns best now" period so I am trying to make sure whatever we do is going to work.

  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I'm the wrong person to complain to about being a single dog parent :) Shibas are my lifestyle choice.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Biggest issue with "board and train" is that you can't see what is being done to your dog, they can say that they are reward based but are actually smacking the dog around. I know a few people who have been duped by "board and train" trainers, sure there was some positive training use but the majority was prong collars and smacks, ending with a neurotic dog that's only response is to cower in a corner and pee itself. You have to put more effort in research a "board and train" trainer than any group or private trainer.

    You also have to consider how long you will realistically be using those life-time lessons, and really read the fine print. Sometimes they will say lifetime, but the fine print may say something like: "lifetime is equal to no more than 5 years with attendance of no less than 4 classes per month. If absence is longer than 3 months, future free classes are voided and the dog must be taken in for paid refresher courses before they can continue attending group classes." In most pet cases, the owner will often stop taking the dog to classes after about a year of attending. The trainer is aware of this as why else would they make an offer that won't earn them much of a living. Do you really see yourself attending group classes for the rest of your dog's life, especially since you would like to "get a break" in your puppies care?

    With a little research you will find that every kind of positive reinforcement training will have some form of clicker training, so unless you rely on aversives your dog will be taught using clicker-style training.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @lindsayt lol!

    @BanjoTheBetaDog As I mentioned before, the treats should be a reward, not a bribe. I think that is why your Shiba turns away from you when she sees you empty handed. My Shiba and even my shihtzu mix will do tricks for me, or listen to my commands even if i'm empty handed.

    As @shibamistress mentioned, you have to "research a method, learn how to do it correctly from a good trainer, and use it consistently over a period of time."

    In regards to the single dog parent thing, yeah, I'm married. But my husband doesn't do anything for my two dogs. I am the only person who walks, feeds and bathes them. Just a FYI, the two dogs weren't mine to begin with, they were my husband + my mom, and I ended up being the caretaker/owner for both. Keep in mind i have a full time job + commute 2 hours a day. PLUS I have to prepare dinner for my husband when I get home, AND I have to take care of two dogs. So yes, if I can take care, train and properly raise TWO dogs, then you can do it with one.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1589
    Training is a process that takes lots of time and commitment. Progress should be measured, and never forced or expected. High expectations only lead to frustration and possible failure.

    Not to beat clicker training to the ground but I believe it's the most efficient method. It keeps your pup focused on the task at hand and is extremely rewarding. There was a time that I didn't buy into the method, but having used it to train a Sibe and a Shiba, there is no other method I'd even consider.

    Having family and friends to help you out is great. But I would not expect them to be responsible for any real training. Yes, they can reinforce proper behaviour with voice or even treats, but I wouldn't expect them to work a clicker. Training is your responsibility. And learning to train properly is crucial.

    I think it's vital for you to settle on a method and then find a trainer. If you are not 100% committed to the method, then even the best trainer will do you no good(if you are not buying into what they are teaching you).

    I'm glad you are not into aversive methods. And PRT can be taught w/o a clicker, however, I will restate that I think clicker training is the most efficient. Of course, the choice is yours.

    Good luck!

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    You might want to put more effort into 'leave it' training if you want to get your pup to stop chasing or picking up things during walks:

    Tbh, at this age of your puppies development pick your "battles" wisely and don't expect too much from him. No one would expect a human toddler to be able to handle calculus and long division, so why expect a puppy to act like an adult? Enjoy your puppy while he is still at this cute stage, heck even join him in chasing leaves as you may enjoy it. Once those hormones hit and he becomes an annoying teenager, you're going to miss these minor problems and wish that he would go back to just trying to chase leaves.
  • Fair point(s). My expectations are high. This is my first exposure to a dog, and I guess my expectations are quite unrealistic.

    I am going to two more classes this week to see if the trainer "gets" what I am looking for. Again, I am not a fan of the clicker because 50% I haven't seen it work PROPERLY (I don't think anyone here actually encourages their dog to jump up when they hear a click, but since I see it at the class without it being "no marked" i don't trust it.) and the other 50% because I don't want a tool that other people don't get to be required on a walk.

    Board and train is out of the question for more than one night. I have my best friend's wedding this weekend so my daily trainer (who walks him and socializes him with other dogs) is boarding him from Friday morning to Saturday afternoon for me (Indian wedding. Multiple days/events)

    PS. I wasn't being demeaning saying raising a puppy is easier with help, rather that every "single" dog parent I know considered boarding at least once. The only one who did it has a GREAT rotty who also doubles as a guard dog at his house. Unless you know the "secret phrase" that dog will attack you if you step foot on the premises, but when I go there with banjo, he plays and plays and plays without ever using his mouth (lots of headbutts and hip checks).

    So I guess the moral of the story is set proper expectations for yourself and the dog will come around.


  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8587
    @BanjoTheBetaDog - I think you are missing a huge point that others have been trying to get across to you regarding clicker training. The clicker gets phased out, pretty quickly actually. All of my dogs were trained using the clicker method. However, I quickly transitioned to using a verbal marker (with treat, toy, or praise) instead of the click. After a while, I was able to phase out the treat/toy/phrase for the most part. My dogs listen to pretty much anyone that knows the proper command/hand signal. And yes, I am a single dog parent (who works a full time public safety job in addition to working on a graduate degree and having a pretty full training schedule myself) to two amazingly well behaved Shibas (not that THAT has anything to do with anything).

    Keep in mind that training is a life long adventure, so I still use treats/toys/praise to reward good behaviour quite often. Consider the reward like a paycheck. The dog is working (doing something that you ask him to do that he may not otherwise want to do); therefore, he deserves a reward for his work. You would feel pretty shitty if you had to work for free, right? So would your dog.

    Another thing to remember about Shibas (and I am not sure how much research you actually did on the breed before you got your pup) is that they are all about what is in it for them. They do not care one bit about making you happy. THEY want to be happy. So you are going to have to use rewards in some form or another in order to reliably train him, make the dog think that doing to command is his idea.

    At this point, I honestly think you just need to get your boy into a positive reinforcement class (even one that does clicker training - you will need to go to more than one class to see the effects) that will show you proper training methods and how to work on focus, since that seems to be YOUR big issue (not necessarily your dog's).
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • Sunyata, I am only looking at positive classes (after hearing about "averse" training, I cringe. The most he gets is the "cesar milan poke" which has a pretty good effect on explaining to him that a behavior is a no-no. It doesn't need to be repeated thereafter). Yesterday's class was "clicker optional" and the dogs seemed responsive. This woman actually put dogs in time-out who were jumping at the clicker so I think I am going to go to her class unless something about Saturday's class is significantly better!

    I am now convinced until I need guard dogs (when the new house is done being built) that "board and train" is just not right for a companion pet.

    It may have taken 7 different class visits to find one that looks "ok" but I think I did!!!

  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I think everybody have pretty much covered what I wanted to say, the only thing left unaddressed is the question about how to leave your pup and the bulldog unsupervised. And I believe the answer is simply: no, you can't leave a 5 month old Shiba pup and a bulldog unattended. You can't expect them to behave at that age, I'm not sure how a boarding trainer would teach them that either. If you want your buddy to look after him, he literally has to look after him.

    Look, the puppy stage is hard, it has been for us all, but he will outgrow a lot of the naughtiness eventually. It varies from dog to dog exactly how long it takes. For now, just try and have fun and bond with him. I actually found it quite relieving to go to puppy classes because there were always puppies that behaved much worse than Juni so I was like "Oh, yeah at least she doesn't do that"...
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664

    This woman actually put dogs in time-out who were jumping at the clicker...

    Personally, I find this to be worse than the dogs bouncing. It's like saying "Yay, let's pay you for your hard work, on second thought let's put you in time out because I didn't like what you just did." I see this as a bad use of time out, souring the clicker as the dog is being punished for something that isn't their fault for doing. Bouncing around is the handlers fault, they didn't show the dog how to properly act between click and treat, and punishing the dog in this manor isn't going to show them either.

    There are several reasons and remedies to a dog bouncing around between click and treat, all of which are pretty much handler errors and not really the dog's fault. The dog should be excited to hear the click and receive the treat, but that doesn't mean they have to be rude about it. In the beginning, the treat must be given before the dog even has a chance to change position so that they get the gist that staying in that position is what you want. Some people will make their dog sit between click and treat, especially with moving and uncomfortable behaviors.

    The dog shouldn't have to go to the treat, the treat must go to him. If the dog has to move towards you or bounce up to get the treat, then they wind up learning that that is what they have to do.

    A really, try not to do the "cesar poke", it really isn't very nice and you may wind up getting bit in the butt (possibly literally) later on. That sort of thing can make a shiba very sensitive to being touched, especially in the area that's poked, and could shy away if you ever need to examine him there. It's easier to do such things to a puppy since they don't generally fight back, but once he is older he may do more to show his displeasure.
  • Humm....can't say about the time out method....depends. I would not use it initially. Nor would I use the CM poking dominance methodology for the reasons Caila mentioned.

    Commenting below on the initial post by Banjo....Sorry for the length of this as I wanted to address multiple points.

    From a trainer stand point, the younger any dog the more time and $ you/yourself have to put in if you want decent results (discounting primary socialization issues if there are any). Based on your thread post, there are several components to develop and that is best addressed via incremental training . It takes building in layers to get to your objectives, as well as maturity of mind to get some of these tasks you speak of. Developmentally 5 months of age is pushing it for everything you want right now.

    As I understand it from your first comment, to scale for economy and time you would like someone to complete obedience training for you so that in the end you don’t have to watch or attend to your dog on the daily basis and your Shiba can run with your friends dog i.e. everyone else can handle and babysit the dog so you won’t have to. (Sounds great in theory….Maybe in a beautiful world and butterflies fart rainbows lol. You’ve got a Shiba!!! Management should be balanced with training by you.)

    I caution against board and train. Avoid putting your dog in unfair situations or danger with training and socialization events. I know that most any trainer that take a dog to board and train away from owners promising results in a set time frame most likely are using aversives. A “do it my way or else approach” eventually will cause fall out in one way or another down the road behaviorally. (even a minor "poke" or prod as you mention above is an aversive)

    Something to also keep in mind, behavior is not static. Each dog will respond to each person differently and although the dog is trained with the “board and train” individual (who btw gets easy top dollar client for life usually), it does not mean you will get the same responses or offers of behavior that are truly genuine with some intrinsic desire to do xyz once the dog is home.

    Yes it is true dogs mature a varying rates. In the case of Shibas training some behaviors may take longer for a few. In particular, not jumping up and loose leash walking are two that ALL dogs struggle with in their youth. Most puppies have trouble with leave it, if normal. So, yes expectations need to be altered on your part given your dog’s age and your personal training experience.

    Contrary to what people think about training “older” dogs (beyond 18 months or more of age), older dogs can actually learn a bit faster in some cases if socialization needs have been met during development. So not worries…. Learning does not end after 16 weeks of age it is ongoing in life! It is a complete misnomer that old dogs can not learn new tricks

    As far as socialization….Also to note, even with all training under the dog’s belt (board and train or whatever) there is no guarantee with socialization that your dog will get along or remain socially friendly with your friends dog nor play nicer. Obedience training does not alter play style! Only proper dog to dog socialization does that. This is an area you as owner and the other dog owner must understand and be on the same page about to remain proactive, ( i.e.providing intervention with puppies and dogs so each learns self control). It should not be a free for all unsupervised all day run of apt(s) etc etc.

    As as a suggestion, how about some crate training and a dog walker instead, with incremental managed play sessions including both dogs. Surely you can work this out to split costs.

    You mention the word “bribe” and your abhorrer to it for training. In this regard I feel some clarification is in order in understanding the subtle difference between luring and bribes… It would be wise to take some a look at a few behaviorists info such as Karen Pryor, Kathy Sdao, and Suzanne Clothier (forum link provided below).

    Something to note when beginning….Praise is a weak initial motivator for most dogs (particularly distracted Shibas). Praise itself must be followed by other “good” stuff to remain potent. There is a difference between what you describe as bribe and the training world uses as reinforcers.

    Yes, a “bribe” can also be described as a lure or prompt initially (the enticement of something good in return for the correct behavior). However, used effectively, prompts are faded and the behavior is performed the reinforcement given later in time. Behavior is also built via the VALUE you have built for the dog in performing the behavior over time. (value is not just food is can be developed to be somewhat intrinisc good or bad. You would want good associations in this regard). *See Clothier link below.

    Therefore prompting is very critical at points where owners are learning timing, body language, and dog learning cues thus experimenting with offering behaviors (clicker or not). As such, I suspect what you see in all those early classes with all the treats (i.e. dogs jumping up etc etc) is just the beginning before owner and dog has worked out their skill repertoire and begun fading. That comes somewhat later.

    Unfortunately parenting anything takes time and you get out of it what you put into it yourself. Even if you are into efficiencies and economics, there are elements that will go beyond scale for the best management of your dog. You may have to layer bits of the elements over time as an alternative to address scale.

    If you happen to live in the U.S. here is a link that might be helpful to find some decent trainers. You don’t necessarily have to use a clicker tool itself for training.


    Ref and Resources:

    Books, resources and DVDs etc for Dog Training:

    Clothier, S. (2007- 2013) Relationship Based Training. Rewards, Lures and Bribes. Retrieved from

    Heidi Steinbeck, CPDT-KA, Owner/Trainer, Great Shakes Dog Training retrieved from

    Vandarendo, L. (2/4/2013) Don’t Socialize the Dog! Retrieved from Karen Pryor

  • “Really Reliable Recall” is a great DVD, I agree. Thanks for bringing that up. I believe I left that title off the list. Love the promote picture Knnwang ! Also on the same line is “Lassie Come” by Patricia McConnell.

    Another, although, Not training directly, “Dissecting the Dynamics of Dog Play” by Nichole Wilde is a worthy review.

    As far as training if one is nowhere near a dog center there is the DVD “Basic Good manners” by Pat Miller. A bit dry but will get the job done and covers what some centers would offer after puppy-k. Before demanding too much though make sure the dog is able to focus more on tasks at hand and has some mental focus to build on.

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2014-02-18 17:24:10
  • Snf,

    Thanks for the long (but interesting read). I am going to stop the poke and instead just yell progressively louder when he chews on something he knows he shouldn't (new phenomenon. Up until yesterday he really didn't chew the things he knew were off limits. Now, he is in the "middle school stage" and chews what he likes)? I usually redirect and that works great, but occasionally he feels "ignored" and does it for the sole purpose of getting my attention. ( I also ordered the DVD on recall a few minutes ago. I will post a review when we're done)

    He is getting better since i started "good boy" praise on walks for simply doing what I consider to be an expectation. I've found that "Banjo, this way" gets him to follow me without tension on the leash (i.e. if we come to a cross roads or something), and he returns from the walks exhausted ( I think he now sees them as training sessions). I am going to replace the clicker with praise and the occasional treat and see what comes of it using the aforementioned methods (to each his own. The more I read about the clicker the more it seems right when done properly. Now its just finding a class I think does it right).

    I currently have a dog walker/trainer/behaviorist. The trainer is good, but only does 1-1 training and not "classes". He is simply trying to fix behavior issues in adult dogs. He doesn't see behavior issues in banjo, but when he does, he corrects it with a "uh-uh" (i.e. not sharing toys) and sends me an instructional video on how he did it ( I have one on Banjo's toy possession issues. Not possessive with humans, just other dogs). I use him so banjo can "tag along" and meet plenty of other dogs every day and can learn proper canine manners (he only uses well adjusted dogs as banjo's mentors, and I have met most of the dogs/owners through encounters in the neighborhood). While I can do this myself, there is no guarantee on a walk I will encounter new dogs who Banjo doesn't know (I usually see the same dogs every day and every time, Banjo plays with his friends, and ignores the ones who don't like him/he doesn't like). This trainer is purely to teach banjo canine manners and he doesn't do classes since his logic is the $$ is in fixing problem dogs, not repeating what is available for new owners on the internet. He took on Banjo as a client because he knows how important it is for me to have a well adjusted dog around other dogs, and he is hoping that banjo "gets it" and can use him as a mentor down the road for other dogs. That being said, he thinks I am nuts for not using treats on walks except as distractions/training around children. Good news is banjo now learns "tricks" simply for praise and his "least favorite" treat.

    Thanks for the advice. I will post a review in the future!
  • Oh, and his "bad habits with other dogs" usually are just rough play with puppies. I am taking him to puppy class once a week, trying for twice a week but the time isn't there =(

  • TrishTrish
    Posts: 271
    @knnwang @StaticnFuzz I just ordered the DVD today! Thank you for your suggestion.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    "I am going to stop the poke and instead just yell progressively louder when he chews on something he knows he shouldn't"


    You might try offering him an appropriate chew item instead of yelling. This can help with any emerging resource issues and with retrieving.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • I give him his toys that he loves to chew (deer antlers) but it doesn't help.

    Chewing on wood is literally a new thing for him. He was told not to and offered a chew toy on the first day and he happily obliged for the next two months... then one day I go in the shower, come back, and there are teeth marks on the TV stand and window moldings. I redirect but I don't think the chew options I have simulate wood well enough =(
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Bitter apple spray :)
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • jennjenn
    Posts: 856
    And if not bitter apple spray, the brown Listerine works great too! Rigby went through a wood chewing phase also, and I applied a bit of the listerine to chewed areas with a q-tip.
    Jenn, Shiba Slave to Rigby /
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Dogs are very irritated by citrus because the scent is so strong, you could also take a lemon and cut in half, then rub on the area of wood that he is attracted to. Or spray with a lemon juice/water mixture.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
    Kira the Cream Shiba Inu 吉良 - Facebook Page
    Follow Kira on Instagram! Kira_the_cream_shiba_inu
    Kira's Life Story & Photo Thread - Chronicles of Kira

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8587
    I am going to stop the poke and instead just yell progressively louder when he chews on something he knows he shouldn't

    He was told not to and offered a chew toy on the first day and he happily obliged for the next two months...

    *shakes head*

    You have to understand that this is a puppy, a baby dog. You have to TEACH them what is and is not appropriate behaviour. Telling a puppy not to do something once is not teaching them. You need to stop with the aversives (yes, yelling is an aversive) and redirect him. If you are unable to give him 100% of your attention (such as when leaving the room to shower), you need to set him up for success and crate him or put him in an ex-pen.

    Bitter apple, pepper, and Listerine may deter him from the wood, it may not. But either way, YOU need to take responsibility for his actions and pay attention to what he is doing. Do not let him chew on the inappropriate stuff. If you catch him, redirect him. Praise him (with treats, play time, whatever) when he chews on appropriate things.

    The point is to set your puppy up for success. Had you gone through an appropriate puppy training course, you would have learned this (or if you had actually listened to some of the advice given on the forum). Make sure he has all the tools needed for him to succeed and make sure that you do not have unrealistic expectations. Be patient, as he is a puppy and proper training and building a relationship takes time.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    It sounds like he might be teething, or has he already lost his puppy teeth? I think there are plenty of threads here on how to help your pup through it.
    And I wouldn't assume that he knows what is off limits and what is, it is not that eady for a little pup to understand. And again I belive there is lots of info here on how to teach "leave it" in a nice easy way without having to scream at your dog.
  • I think they get their last set of teeth in at about 6-7 months, right? My 6 month old Akita is suddenly got her mouth on everything again, because she's teething. Give him something appropriate to chew on. I give my girl frozen carrots when she's teething, or bully sticks. (antlers are pretty hard and none of my dogs are crazy about them, and they've broken teeth on them, so I don't do those anymore).

    And yeah, I pretty much second everything Sunyata had to say.
  • Like I said, he wasn't chewing on it before and started now. I redirect him, but as I mentioned, I don't have something to "simulate" wood to chew on.

    His baby teeth are coming out for the most part. I see some "empty spaces" in his gums but those look to be fewer and further between.

    When he chews on the couch, I redirect him to a toy that has a similar make-up. He then doesn't chew on the couch. (soft)

    When he chews on the metal handles of the drawers in the kitchen, I give him deer antlers (which he likes).

    I generally purchase things based on the consistency of what he likes chewing figuring that there must be a reason he wants that particular material. That logic has worked pretty well as he really doesn't chew on anything he shouldn't, and when he does, a simple no gets him to walk to the "right" toy. I have no such toy that simulates wood, nor can I find one.

    Of late I have started crating him when I do "little things" such as the dishes. This is new because up until the last week, he would leave me alone when I was doing these things. Now he gets into trouble. Its probably just the phase in his development, but this is new. I liked him not being in the crate when I am home since he spends a fair amount of time in there during the day.

    I have tampered my expectations, but don't assume I ignore the advice on here. Just like everything on the internet I read, I run it through my own filter. The amount of puppy classes I have gone to simply to find one I like should show that I do take this quite seriously and heed your advice. Everyone's circumstances are different: you won't tug a leash and I respect that, but when tugging is the only thing that will stop him from eating geese poop (very bad for him), you better believe I will stop him immediately for his own health. If you consider that bad ownership, that's entirely your prerogative, but if you have a method that will stop him without it getting in his system at all that doesn't require literal force, I'm all ears. But, lets face it, if he doesn't listen the FIRST time that may be all it takes for him to get incredibly sick. Since nothing will "instantaneously" work and some errors aren't ok (eating things that make him sick), yes I will stop him. Do we do "leave it" on things like a leaf in the wind? yes. Does it work? yes.... most of the time. Sometimes it doesn't and it does need to be reinforced and it is getting better. Do I treat the leave it command on a leaf different than a leave it command on poop? yes.

    Sunyata, while I will defer to you and other moderators as experts on many topics, saying "go to a puppy class because clearly you don't listen when we tell you things" (or however you phrased it) shows just as little listening to what I am saying as you accuse me of. Puppy class is good. Its helpful, but I am not going to take just any class and if it doesn't make me comfortable, I won't use it. If I see a teacher reinforce undesirable behavior, why would I possibly take it? If I see dogs jumping at clickers, someone is doing something wrong and I should avoid that scenario.

    We're on 7 different classes now. The one I settled on is almost an hour away. Please don't accuse me of not listening when I most certainly am finding a puppy class because it was recommended by other people.

    Raising an urban dog has different challenges than raising a farm dog, just as raising a dog in the southwest has a set of challenges different from raising a dog in the northeast. In NJ we have geese poop everywhere. The only way to avoid it is to not go outside. Surely you aren't going to say "keep your dog indoors".

  • Regarding things like goose poop: Especially with little puppies, your full attention should be on your puppy and what he's doing on walks. While you're probably not going to catch every little thing, you should be paying enough attention on your walks that you should be able to see things like goose poop and simply keep your puppy from getting to them in the first place.

    My own opinion on the leash tug is this: do I pull my dog away from things that I don't want him to get to? Yes, I do. I tell him to "leave it" and "come on" (the latter being a command to keep/start walking in whatever direction I'm going) and if he doesn't listen, I keep going (and then so does he, although always under his own walking power---I have never nor will I ever drag him). So, yes, I think you can pull a dog away from something, but if what you mean is leash corrections, then, no, that's not the way to go. There are better ways to do things. Beyond that, if you're going to be using your leash to pull your dog away from something, then you shouldn't be using a collar but rather a harness, because a lot of pressure on the neck can be very harmful. Frankly, I'm not really a big fan of walking dogs on collars at all (I personally will never use one) but I definitely think they should not be used on dogs who pull or otherwise have any pressure placed on them via the leash at all (which is not every dog, but is probably most, if not all, puppies).
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Everyone's circumstances are different: you won't tug a leash and I respect that, but when tugging is the only thing that will stop him from eating geese poop (very bad for him), you better believe I will stop him immediately for his own health.

    One thing I can recommend is to bring treats with you when you go outside and redirect him when you see him even eyeing geese poop, or anything that's "bad". Sagan used to try and pick up everything on walks. It got tiring, and yes, I even did a few leash pops because I was frustrated.

    After a few days of bringing treats out on our walks and purposely setting him up for success, he stopped. I would go to parks with things that would most likely be on the ground for him to want like poop, trash, and leaves. I would casually walk him, and if I saw him even slightly tugging a certain direction, or looking at something that wasn't good, I'd say "look at me!" in a soft voice.

    He looked, made him sit, and gave him treats. I'd do this repeatedly for days and weeks. It was long, and obviously tiring, but it worked. It's kind of incredible seeing him ignore things that he was once completely enamored with.
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
    Post edited by Rikka at 2014-02-20 22:02:38
  • If I see a teacher reinforce undesirable behavior, why would I possibly take it?

    --What did the observed teacher reinforce? Did you ask the reasons why? Out of context sometimes it’s hard to really know and one can only speculate. Speculations do not increase precision.

    If I see dogs jumping at clickers, someone is doing something wrong and I should avoid that scenario.

    --This is not necessarily true, it depends. Often when shaping dogs will do just that.

    It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.
    ~John Wooden

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2014-02-23 14:11:17

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