General obedience question

Discussion in 'Obedience & Sports' started by Browniebits, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Browniebits

    Browniebits Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone. Going to start "official" obedience training with my Malachai (15 week old black CC) in about a week. We looked into enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer from a company called Sit Means Sit. If you are unfamiliar, they use an electronic pulse collar (not to be confused with a "shock" collar, this is more like a tingle you get from a chiropractor using pulsar therapy) and guide you in the training of your dog. The gentleman I talked to is a former marine, that, when in the service, trained many of their Belgian Malinois, so he knows a little about high drive dogs. Anyone have any experiences with this company? How about using a pulse collar on a large, pain-tolerant breed like a CC? Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks for your time everyone
     
  2. Heads.up.Penny

    Heads.up.Penny Well-Known Member

    Does positive reinforcement not work on Malachai? Jw
     
  3. musicdeb

    musicdeb Well-Known Member

  4. irina

    irina Well-Known Member

    EPC is the same thing as the "shock" collar, as I understand it. "Shock collar" is just a layman's term for the technical terminology. We have considered it, and even went for a meeting with the trainer to try the collar on Ajax to see how he would react. It was not the same company, but the same idea.
    He was OK with it, but since it was not cheap, I decided to exhaust all other methods of training before I invested in an EPC. He seems to be doing OK at the moment, but I will always have this in my back pocket.
    Malinois are very different from mastiffs. Obviously, each individual dog is different, but as a breed I would not call them high drive dogs. We had a "fancy" trainer for a brief period of time, who trained German Shepherds all her life. I did not like her methods, I could see Ajax was not happy working, so we changed trainers. This does not mean that she is a bad trainer, but she had no experience with mastiffs, and you can not train them the same way as GS or Malinois for that matter.
    In conclusion… I do not have anything against EPCs. There are a lot of high drive hunting working breeds that need this type of collar to succeed. I do not think it is necessary for every dog. What I would recommend instead is trying to find a trainer with mastiff experience.
     
  5. Browniebits

    Browniebits Well-Known Member

    Positive reinforcement works ok, I hadn't considered it as painful, I held it as it was cranked on, and they're was no pain, but I can see the sensation as being something to be fearful I guess. The training, I suppose, if I'm being honest, is more for me than for him. Learning the right way to train him. I guess I got caught up in the hype that if they're not trained correctly, then CC's can get wicked aggressive. I just want to do the right thing to give my baby the best possible life. I guess hearing him talk about the military dogs made me assume that he could handle a big athletic breed (which is why he does it, I'm sure). He sits listen for the basic commands, sure, stay, and such. But I don't know how to train for like "heel" or to teach him to go to his place when company comes over. Maybe I'll keep that in my back pocket and find start with someone that will help me first
     
  6. musicdeb

    musicdeb Well-Known Member

    Let us know how it goes with your training. :) I believe you made the right decision with waiting on this trainer. :)
     
  7. Browniebits

    Browniebits Well-Known Member

    I hit the link you provided and searched out quite a few certified trainers I contacted. They do group classes, as well as one on one, so the socialization is going to be great. This one that I'm quite interested in fits from puppy classes, all the way to CGC Certification, and on to agility, rally, dock diving, etc. Hopefully they impress me when they call me back, because they seem really good. I'll keep you updated.
     
  8. Browniebits

    Browniebits Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input. This is why I love this forum. I see some people complaining about the bluntness of some users, but I find the honesty refreshing. No time for bs
     
  9. musicdeb

    musicdeb Well-Known Member

    Very cool, Browniebits. Keep us posted.
     
  10. Browniebits

    Browniebits Well-Known Member

    For sure. He's got a stubborn steak in him, but that's part of what I like about him. I wouldn't call him "hard", but he definitely knows his own mind. I feel like he will be fine in the long run. He's still little, and it's been really hot here most of the summer, so he hasn't had the exercise he could, and that makes him a little more rambunctious as well.

    Also, the obedience place called me back, and the trainer did indeed impress me. He seemed knowledgeable in the breed, and actually has a Presa in one of his advanced classes that he's had since she was a 12 week old puppy. We start on August 18th, and I'm working with him until then. He knows the basics of sit, stay, lie down. I need them to show me how to teach him to heel with me, and we are working on "go to your place" at home. The class is more for me, a stated above, to make sure I'm doing things correctly, and for socialization. Living out in the country, we don't have many people around, so the socialization needs to cone from there and we will need to make concentrated efforts to go venture out to the city.
     
  11. musicdeb

    musicdeb Well-Known Member

    Yes, mastiffs can be very stubborn and very independent. Find his motivator and work with that to train him.

    Good to hear that you found a trainer! :) Keep us posted on Malachi's progress.
     
  12. Browniebits

    Browniebits Well-Known Member

    Well, turns out so far I was wrong about him being hard headed. We are working on the basics still, mostly sit, lie down, wait, stands, focus... etc., and he has blown me away with how well he responds to small treats as rewards. So far, amidst the distraction of all the other dogs in the house, yelling children and pre-teens, and general chaos, he listens almost perfectly. Which is more than I could have realistically expected after one class. He actually waited while I left the room with his treats, walked down the hallway, and called him to me. That one is still off and on, but for him to do that basically on his own, really makes me happy. And he seems happy that he makes me happy. I think, overall, he's going to be just fine. Thanks for the advice everyone. Especially Deb. So far, your advice and knowledge had been so valuable to me. It's already helped me from making a few stupid mistakes that could have set back Malachai's development
     
  13. musicdeb

    musicdeb Well-Known Member

    BOOYAH!!!! Great news, Malachai is learning what you want him to do!
     
  14. Browniebits

    Browniebits Well-Known Member

    Yes he is. And loving learning too. Couldn't ask for a better experience so far.
     
  15. Tosa

    Tosa Well-Known Member

    Belgian Malinois are generally very hard dogs and they do not mind if being treated a bit different than other, milder breeds. I have a mastiff mix, and she is stubborn but not hard at all, just the opposite - i think any kind of harsher way of training her would not help at all.

    I believe there are different types of mastiffs as well, so maybe some of them also wouldn't mind EPC. At the end, the person who knows best is you, your dog may be just fine with it :)
     

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