[nagdu] [nagdu' new dog, sniffing, and scavenging

Raven Tolliver ravend729 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 28 01:46:50 UTC 2014

Understand that positive is always a possibility, not just sometimes.
Now whether a person is willing to think of or research which positive
methods can be used in different situations is a different story.
I'm not Danielle, but I'll tell you why positive methods are
preferable for many people.
1. A positive environment is a learning environment. Positive
reinforcement allows a dog to explore and gain understanding of what's
acceptable and inappropriate without the threat of correction or
disappointing their handler.
2. Working at the dog's pace. Positive reinforcement training involves
breaking things up into baby steps and moving lessons along according
to what the dog is able to understand and perform.
3. Effective communication: effective communication involves
discipline, not punishment. Discipline is more about teaching
self-control. Punishment is more about shaming and expressing
disappointment, frustration, and/or anger. Punishment tells you you
did something wrong, but it doesn't show the alternative or desired
behavior. Reward-based training aims to extinct inappropriate
behaviors by focusing on acceptable ones, and thereby showing that
inappropriate behaviors are not rewarding or as rewarding.
4. Rewards encourage learning. Using compulsive or correction-based
training instills fear in dogs; basically, dogs listen ultimately to
avoid correction, not to obtain an award. With positive methods, both
dog and handler are upbeat and the dog is eager to learn because it is
5. Positive training acknowledges that the dog has desires, and those
desires are used to achieve a goal, or what the handler wants.
There are more reasons, but those are the ones most commonly expressed.

Work on food refusal at home. Do it by yourself and with different
people offering food or dropping it on the floor. You can use kibble
or just any food. You need to work with something high value because
while your dog might avoid kibble, let me assure you, the stuff on the
sidewalk or the floor of the mall food court is way more smelly and
When your dog goes for the food, redirect him. Tell him what you want
him to do, whether it is to sit or continue moving forward. Reward him
right away when he obeys. If he continues going for the food, make it
your job to get his attention with verbal or sound cues. When you have
it, reward him.
Implement the techniques you use during these sessions while working
your dog. If you can, get someone to practice in public with you.
Try using a Halti as well. It might not be necessary all the time, but
in certain situations. For instance, after I first got the Golden Guy,
I definitely put his halti on him whenever we walked through certain
neighborhoods or visit the vet because dogs are such a distraction and
I didn't have a handle on other ways to work with it. You might find
that the Halti is necessary at the mall, or in certain areas of the
Do not force your dog to wear the halti. Most dogs don't appreciate
the halti because it's placed over one of the most sensitive parts of
their body, so your job is to make it a good thing. Expose him to it
for minutes at a time. Attach the leash, and walk with him.  As long
as he behaves like a self-composed gentleman, treat him  every few
steps to show him that behaving while wearing the halti is what you
want. If he starts acting silly, wait for him to settle before trying
to move forward with him. If you can get several sets of steps in and
a few treats, stop! Stop while you're ahead, and do another training
session later. End the training session on a positive note.

On 7/27/14, Danielle Burton via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi Danielle, I use leash corrections for Willa, but as soon as she stops
> doing the undesired behavoir I praise treat espeially for food distraction.
> This way it tell her that she doesn't need to go for that morsel on the
> ground because I have treats. This works really well with obedience
> training. droping pieces of kibble in front of her and when she doesn't go
> for it praise and treat. I find this to be a very positive way of doing food
> refusal. It teaches her that it's easier to get a treat from me than to get
> that thing on the floor. And no I don't have problems with begging either so
> this works for us.
> Danielle and Willa
>> On Jul 27, 2014, at 12:51 PM, Danielle Sykora via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org>
>> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I returned home from GDF on Friday with my new dog, a male lab/golden
>> cross named Thai. Since we have gotten home, I have begun to avoid
>> using corrections, especially leash corrections. He tends to be quite
>> sniffy, especially in places with a lot of food. A firm "leave it"
>> usually is sufficient but it can be difficult to quickly get his
>> attention. Also, he will scavenge for food and pick up dropped items
>> which he really should not be eating. This behavior mostly occurs out
>> of harness, but it is still undesirable. Any thoughts on decreasing
>> sniffing and strengthening food refusal skills using positive methods?
>> Danielle
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