New mom to Kharma Discussions

Discussion in 'Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)' started by JenAlexander, Mar 22, 2022.

  1. JenAlexander

    JenAlexander New Member

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    New mom to Kharma

    I have. 15 week female who seems to be a bit undecided on what she wants to be when she grows up. One day she wants to learn and focus and reallly get that praise and the other day she just wants to be lazy and not listen and sleep. She is the first of this breed I have owned so I am a little unsure on what to do with her. I would love some tips on good training videos or books I could use and any tips on crate training. She will NOT stop crying.

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  3. tundraman

    tundraman New Member

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  4. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    Keep training sessions really short so that they are fun and she wants more

    At 15 weeks, she will test boundaries.

    She's gorgeous by the way x
  5. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Stay away from "balanced" training techniques and aversive tools - these are based on the outdated dominance theory, and create obedience through pain and fear.

    Kikopup on youtube is a positive based trainer who provides a lot of help with how to train.

    Malinois are not easy dogs to work with, so do not hesitate to enlist the help of a positive based trainer if you feel you aren't making progress.

    You really want to build trust with your puppy. As said keep training sessions short. But remember that training isn't just a formal teaching period - it's in everything you do with the dog. Incorporate training into every day situations like having her sit before getting a treat or meal. For the meal, you can develop a release word and hand signal. Leave it and drop it are great things to practice with toys. Remember that coming to you should ALWAYS be a positive thing. If you call her and she doesn't come, never reprimand her - that just makes her believe you calling her is a bad thing.

    As for the crate, I would first suggest you work out how long she is actually being crated. Often, people don't realize how long their dog is actually being confined. For instance, "I only crate her at night and when I'm working and when we eat dinner" can easily add up to 14+ hours a day. Realistically, you don't want to crate her for more than 10-12 hours a day. You can use baby gates to limit her access when she's not in the crate.

    Malinois are very very energetic dogs and need not just a TON of physical exercise, but mental exercise too. I very much recommend getting involved in things like agility - even if it's just casually done in your backyard.

    In regards to the crying. Puppies are very much in need of being WITH their families. They are born into a litter of siblings and spend ALL their time with warm bodies curled up next to them and constant companionship. We bring them home and expect them to spend a lot of time alone. They aren't ready for that. It can take 1-2 years for a puppy to become comfortable being alone. So don't isolate her a lot. If you are working at home, let her be in the room with you. Have a bunch of toys and chews that you can give her to occupy her, but let her be near you. At bedtime, if the crate is in your bedroom, you can put it next to the bed so you can reach down and touch her when she cries. Often that touch/nearness is all they need.
  6. rheel287

    rheel287 New Member

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    What other dogs have you owned before? What have you trained and how?

    BMs are called Maligators for a reason.

    Tune into Michael Ellis on YouTube and Leerburg. He's enlightened. (Don't listen to Ed Frawley on Leerburg.)

    LEARN marker training. Michael Ellis vids if you don't already know how it works (why use it, the importance of timing, etc.)
  7. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    Toedtoes likes this.
    Please avoid the above. Punishment is a very poor way to train any dog
  8. rheel287

    rheel287 New Member

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    @chrisb: Why avoid what I said? Nothing involves punishment. It's marker training. All positive reinforcement. I never punish and would never advise it. Please explain you remark.
  9. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Michael Ellis uses aversive tools and is NOT a positive based trainer. He believes in setting up the dog for failure and then punishing the dog when it does fail. He does not believe that you can train a dog without punishment.
  10. rheel287

    rheel287 New Member

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    In the old days, yes. I haven't seen any of that in him in at least 12 years, which is why I called him enlightened. Frawley, on the other hand, remains a miserable beast of a man.

    Is there any current aversive methods he uses you could cite for me, just so I know.
  11. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    The OP has not been back to read her replies, at least not yet.
  12. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    He still uses prong collars and e-collars. He still uses the threat of fear and pain to get compliance from his dogs.

    He has attempted to minimize his aversive methods by talking more about positive training, but at the same time, he bashes positive trainers. And when all is said and done, he says that positive training cannot be effective without punishment.

    He is a hypocrite. He gains popularity by minimizing his reliance on aversive tools and methods, but HE cannot get the job done without using those methods.
  13. rheel287

    rheel287 New Member

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    Got it. I've seen him work, for example, with client's dogs/work beside clients with their dogs, and it was all marker training.

    I honestly have never seen him use his old tactics. Very disappointing. Sigh.

    Thanks.
  14. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Yeah, it is.

    I like kipopup on you tube.

    And Jill Breitner of dogdecoder has a great attitude about giving your dogs actual choices: This https://www.dogdecoder.com/train-your-dog-to-go-away/ article talks about teaching your dog "go away" instead of putting the dog in "place".

    And another https://www.dogdecoder.com/watch-check-eyes-look-cues-teaching-dogs-focus-say-nonsense/ about the need to have the dog focus on just you.

    I like Jill because her attitude is very much about letting your dog be a dog AND a member of your family. She doesn't stifle a dog's natural behaviors or desires in the name of training, yet her results are dogs who are well behaved and obedient.
  15. Chris B

    Chris B Member

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    Toedtoes likes this.
    Toadtoes has said all that needs to be said

    It can be a nightmare finding the right trainer. My advice is to go along to classes to observe before letting your dog anywhere near them.

    Don't get me wrong, there are many excellent trainers out there and you will find them if you observe classes first to make sure that you are comfortable with both the trainer and their methods.
  16. rheel287

    rheel287 New Member

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    Toedtoes likes this.
    To piggy-back on Chris B: If you haven't been up-to-date on training methods (i.e., what is old-school, what is ethical, can you get by with cookie-cutter training or do you need something deeper), you won't necessarily know what makes a good trainer or program.

    There's a local trainer here who is wildly popular, and recommended by a lot of vets and past clients. He talks a good story, gets tons of business, but his methods are not only incredibly out-dated, he sees no difference between training a hard-breed dog or a traumatized dog rescued from Katrina (back in the day). Anyway....if you know what methods separate a good trainer from a poor one, visiting classes, like ChrisB said, is a sound suggestion.
  17. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Definitely. And really watch how they handle other dogs in the class and watch other owners. I went to one training and there was a hyper happy 6-8 month old puppy attending. The puppy was getting hyper aroused in class and couldn't follow her owner's cues. The trainer put a prong collar on her. As soon as the collar went on, the puppy collapsed into herself. She cringed into the ground. When the trainer simply lifted the leash - no pressure or pulling - the puppy cried out and froze. He saw the look on my face (which was one of complete disgust) and immediatedly recommended the owner change to a "plastic prong collar". It was obvious that he didn't care about the dog's reaction, but didn't like MY reaction.

    All that puppy needed was more time to adjust to all the new stimuli going on around her. She was very eager to please and quick to learn, she was just overstimulated.
  18. rheel287

    rheel287 New Member

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    Old-school AND cookie-cutter. Beautiful.
  19. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    If you haven't checked it out, look at the dogdecoder app. It is really great to help owners (and trainers) read doggy body language.
  20. rheel287

    rheel287 New Member

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    Chris B likes this.
    Who was the woman who was known for dog body language work--she had something like a Scandanavian name. Wonder if she's still relevant.
  21. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    I know that Alexandra Horowitz did a study that has been quoted as proving dogs don't feel guilt. However, that was an incorrect conclusion. She actually studied how well owners read their dog's body language and determined that what humans read as "a guilty look" is simply the dog reacting to an expected behavior by the owner.

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