The "trick" to "going Amish..."

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The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby Rick Hall » Sat May 13, 2017 8:24 am

buckmeister wrote:I have actually considered going amish, the only reason in my mind to collar condition the new beast is for the here command.

the few times I might be on water where a cripple could lead the beast away on a chase that could endager him. I am not convinced that I (myself, not others more skillful) can get that kind of obedience from operant conditioning.

I am going to much effort to socialize this Chessie so I hopefully will not have to have a collar on him to keep him out of mischief/ fights etc. The last Chessie was a pain in the arse at times because of my lack of effort.

But it is a possibility that I will go amish through this upcoming hunting season and see how it goes, maybe by the time he is almost a year old I will have an idea if I can go without.


Rather than hijack a "bark collar" thread, I've moved the above quote here for context.

Buck, the key to "going Amish" (IE: without electricity) is not good tennis shoes, a good slingshot or any of that other good crap those who weren't much good at it claim it requires. It is forming good habits and using those habits as your primary form of force.

Think of training as a balance beam scale with good habits on one side and bad habits on the other. Every time Pup performs a correct response, a weight goes in the "good" side of its habitual behavior scale, and every time Pup gets away with an incorrect response, a weight goes in the "bad" side. Which way and how strongly each of those two forces have tipped that scale determines Pup's propensity for good or bad response.

If we follow the common version of "letting Pup be a pup," and take a laissez faire attitude toward early obedience such as "come," the bad habit side of Pup's recall scale is going to be heavily weighted down with all the times we've said "come" without him doing so, whether individually before repeating with a treat or other reward that is, in essence, it's own more compelling command or nagging "come...come...come..." without success. Pup's only coming when it dang well suits him, and we'll eventually have to counter all of that bad habit weight with checkcords and CC or other bad habit breaking tactics.

Much, much better and easier on all involved, I think, to "treat Pup as a pup" and help that little mind sponge up good habits while avoiding the formation of bad ones. Again using "come" as example, begin by only using it when Pup is already doing so or overwhelmingly inclined to, like when we're in the act of sitting or bending to play with him, reaching for the feed bowl or heading to the door. Every time he gets it right, another little weight goes in the "good" side of his habitual response scale, and the heavier that side becomes, the more apt he is to get it right out of habit and the more we can work toward getting it right when he's indifferent or mildly distracted - and so on until "come" will stop a cat chase toward the road.

When Pup gets it wrong, which he most certainly will at times, it's up to us to maintain our own good habit of either using the infraction as a teaching opportunity or, at worst, minimizing the damage. If we're not certain "come" was heard, we'll repeat it once, and if Pup's still not coming, go get him (which is easy to do with the wee ones), bring him to where we wanted him and then praise or play with him to show him what he was missing out on and remind him that coming when called is rewarding. Over time, we can introduce "the stick" by fussing him at the point of infraction, while still giving the carrot of praise when he's where he should have been. But we don't ever, not never, want to let him get the notion that running from us is a viable option. Only that if we say "come," he's going to one way or another. And when the two of us have had an "another," we'll want to set up an easier opportunity or two for Pup to get it right on his own to counteract it.

It's not really practical, or likely even possible, to follow the old saw about never giving a command we can't enforce, but we can minimize the damage of blown off commands we can't enforce by building our own habit of not repeating an ignored command we are certain was heard. Far better to bite our tongues until we can better control the situation than to add weight to the notion that the command is optional. Then, when and where we've better control of its outcome, we'll want to make a point of revisiting the command more often to counter whatever ground may have been lost to the infraction on our habitual behavior scale.

If someone given the clean slate of a new pup applies that approach to the cornerstones of "come," "sit," "good" and "bad" from the onset, he can easily bring the pup on within a framework of habitual compliance that won't find it weighing its options, much less factoring in whether or not its on a checkcord or wearing an e-collar, but simply tending to do the right thing through force of habit and readily corrected with a harsh word when it errors, because that's the way it's always been. Pup has not learned any options.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby Alaska_Skeeter » Sat May 13, 2017 8:56 am

Excellent post!
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby buckmeister » Sat May 13, 2017 9:14 am

Rick:

Thank you for the clearly explained and logical post. Your pictures of the coyote sitting on command with gators in the canal before him are the reason I know this can be done. I am going to proceed with the goal of going amish. I cause myself more problems with e-collars and just find them a hassle and not fun to train with. Maybe its a moment of delusion for me but I actually think I can pull it off, so far I am off to a good start.

I am going to re-read your post several times. Thanks again. By the way I notice Cabelas did not totally get rid of their neoprene vest. they just changed the name to Northern flight and they should be in stock ths fall, I just bought an XL from them on sale a month ago anticipating my pups size by fall. They are hands down the best.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby Rick Hall » Sat May 13, 2017 10:16 am

Thanks for the Cabela's heads up. Indaswamp got me a couple in the old camo and packaging on clearance at their Gonzales store, and I've already bought another with the new packaging and camo "just in case".
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby 5 stand » Sat May 13, 2017 10:20 am

Good Trick !
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby HNTFSH » Sat May 13, 2017 12:06 pm

buckmeister wrote:I cause myself more problems with e-collars and just find them a hassle and not fun to train with. Maybe its a moment of delusion for me but I actually think I can pull it off, so far I am off to a good start.


That's why I mentioned it. You've always seemed to have 1 foot in both camps. :thumbsup: Good luck, it's not rocket science but it is paying attention.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby Rick Hall » Sat May 13, 2017 12:10 pm

HNTFSH wrote:
buckmeister wrote:...but it is paying attention.


That's the "trick" to life in general.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby RShockley » Sat May 13, 2017 1:42 pm

Really a great way to handle raising a pup regardless of someones decision to go Amish or not. Great post. Something I will be paying more attention to myself.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby Redwing » Sat May 13, 2017 1:55 pm

Great post, Rick. Many thanks!

I'm a first time pup owner with a 7 1/2 week old GRM and I feel like I have no clue what I'm doing. This post was immensely helpful. I want to let him be a pup, but I also don't want to let him get away with bad behavior and form undesirable habits. I haven't decided yet whether to go amish, but I am leaning that way. I find it difficult to be patient with his mental development while still being firm in correcting bad behavior. I find it difficult to be the pack leader but not be viewed as an adversary.

Your balance scale is a great metaphor and one I'll keep in mind. Thanks.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby gonehuntin' » Sat May 13, 2017 3:17 pm

Let me know Buck how that Amish deals goes when the dog refuses whistles and casts 100-200 yards out in cold water.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby HNTFSH » Sat May 13, 2017 5:09 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:Let me know Buck how that Amish deals goes when the dog refuses whistles and casts 100-200 yards out in cold water.


I hear you gone but I don't think Buck trains that far. If that's a goal for this pup, I'd definitely suggest collar too.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby gonehuntin' » Sat May 13, 2017 5:17 pm

I didn't realize that. To each their own. I'm too damned old to consider becoming Amish. No beard either.

I would also caution you Buck, if you're going Amish to have that pup on a leash or CC for the first year so he is nearly always under control and commands are promptly and easily enforced. Remember also that pups train very quickly using treats as long as they aren't over done. Up to 8 months or so, treats are your best friend.
Last edited by gonehuntin' on Sat May 13, 2017 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby HNTFSH » Sat May 13, 2017 5:19 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:I didn't realize that. To each their own. I'm too damned old to consider becoming Amish. No beard either.


I'm at least fairly certain Buck would want a recall at 150 yards however.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby gonehuntin' » Sat May 13, 2017 5:22 pm

He said he'd use the collar for that. Diluting the Amish system already. :smile:
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby Rick Hall » Sat May 13, 2017 7:38 pm

I love Gone. He's actually the one who suggested this forum and foisted me on you fine folks when I got the boot from Versatile Dogs for telling its owner, Christie, she was "acting like a girl". And I've great respect for his knowledge of the mainstream Carr based training of his time. Plainly works for him and a lot of others.

But the notion that a dog can't be taught to take corrections at distance and/or under adverse conditions is incorrect. It's done the same way as I've suggested for the OB cornerstones above by building the good habit of getting it right while avoiding letting Pup know there's any viable option. And please, please don't tell me how much longer that will take, because the great bulk of the necessary conditioning can be done before Pup's old enough for FF.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby gonehuntin' » Sun May 14, 2017 6:11 am

I think what many people don't understand about Amish training, which is how I trained for many years, is that there is virtually no difference between that and an electric program for the first 10 months to a year. You train the pup with repetition and treats. Then the program's separate. It's not that a dog CAN'T be trained without a collar, they most certainly can and a very few even run in field trials that aren't e collar dog's. It's that it's more work, takes longer, and is more time intensive. I'm lazy and old. Hence I'm an inconvertible button junkie.

I personally feel that no person can really understand dog training unless they have trained several dogs using the Amish method. It should be required for anyone training a dog. The Amish method will give you an new appreciation for Thomas Edison. :lol3: :lol3:
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby HNTFSH » Sun May 14, 2017 6:41 am

gonehuntin' wrote:I personally feel that no person can really understand dog training unless they have trained several dogs using the Amish method.


At least one good one. Which all rolls up to why a mentor or hands-on help is so often suggested to a new trainer. Books, DVD's and articles can help but they miss as much as they hit. I find the least experienced push the button the most often and wrongly so. And so many can't put the dog above their own goal of what they "want to see" out of Rover cause they think Rover knows what they "want".

Talked to a work associate Friday that has a new family pup. Not dog people. It was scary what his wife and he had "heard" or "learned" about handling puppy behavior. Up to and including the guy that suggested an e-collar to zap the pup for unwanted behavior like puppy biting while in the same breath saying they were told to never "hurt the dog" when I suggested rolling the lip on a tooth after making sure they are not creating the nipping play with their own wrong behavior in playing with the pup. I don't think the recommendation to "yelp" and alarm pup when being bit sunk in at all. Nor did all the methods they can take to accelerate housebreaking.

I digress from the topic at hand. Rick is absolutely right and so is gonehuntin'. It's step by step, day by day, building of the dogs belief system whether a pet or a gun dog. And anticipating what the pup or dog is going to do before the dog even knows what it's going to do.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby Flatsmaster23 » Sun May 14, 2017 6:53 am

I am a newbie and hadn't even heard the word Amish used with dog training until the other post ..... I'm sure u can train that way and have a fabulous dog but my question is why would u want ur dog 150-200 yards away from you with the only correction being a whistle .... I have had a few dangerous situations happen while training and hunting where I was glad I had some re enforcement weather needed or not ... when she was running a big mark and some yotes popped out of the woods and in Mississippi walking back to my truck from a buckbrush slough she's airing and out pops some neighbors pit bulls .... I not contesting anyone's way of training I'm just not sure why u wouldn't have a collar on and hopefully never use it but u could ... none of us are perfect everyday especially me so I'm not counting on my dog being when she might need me the most ....


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Re: The

Postby HNTFSH » Sun May 14, 2017 7:26 am

Flatsmaster23 wrote:I am a newbie and hadn't even heard the word Amish used with dog training until the other post ..... I'm sure u can train that way and have a fabulous dog but my question is why would u want ur dog 150-200 yards away from you with the only correction being a whistle .... I have had a few dangerous situations happen while training and hunting where I was glad I had some re enforcement weather needed or not ... when she was running a big mark and some yotes popped out of the woods and in Mississippi walking back to my truck from a buckbrush slough she's airing and out pops some neighbors pit bulls .... I not contesting anyone's way of training I'm just not sure why u wouldn't have a collar on and hopefully never use it but u could ... none of us are perfect everyday especially me so I'm not counting on my dog being when she might need me the most ....


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Think what's be said is you can develop the reliable response either way. The situations you mention are those that should be default obedience whether the dog has the collar on or not. It's the collar training and regular collar reinforcement that provides the response, not the burn because you see the dog is in peril. When you collar train, you use the collar regularly through the life of the dog
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby Indaswamp » Sun May 14, 2017 9:28 am

Rick Hall wrote:Thanks for the Cabela's heads up. Indaswamp got me a couple in the old camo and packaging on clearance at their Gonzales store, and I've already bought another with the new packaging and camo "just in case".

Those work out for you Rick? BTW, great post....
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby Rick Hall » Sun May 14, 2017 9:41 am

Indaswamp wrote:
Rick Hall wrote:Thanks for the Cabela's heads up. Indaswamp got me a couple in the old camo and packaging on clearance at their Gonzales store, and I've already bought another with the new packaging and camo "just in case".

Those work out for you Rick? BTW, great post....


You may remember that having not been sure where Marsh would end up, I got both large and XL, and he required the XL chest - and a lot of tailoring to his otherwise slim frame. So I've still a new large here somewhere, should someone need one.
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Re: The

Postby Rick Hall » Sun May 14, 2017 10:12 am

HNTFSH wrote:
Flatsmaster23 wrote:I am a newbie and hadn't even heard the word Amish used with dog training until the other post ..... I'm sure u can train that way and have a fabulous dog but my question is why would u want ur dog 150-200 yards away from you with the only correction being a whistle .... I have had a few dangerous situations happen while training and hunting where I was glad I had some re enforcement weather needed or not ... when she was running a big mark and some yotes popped out of the woods and in Mississippi walking back to my truck from a buckbrush slough she's airing and out pops some neighbors pit bulls .... I not contesting anyone's way of training I'm just not sure why u wouldn't have a collar on and hopefully never use it but u could ... none of us are perfect everyday especially me so I'm not counting on my dog being when she might need me the most ....


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Think what's be said is you can develop the reliable response either way. The situations you mention are those that should be default obedience whether the dog has the collar on or not. It's the collar training and regular collar reinforcement that provides the response, not the burn because you see the dog is in peril. When you collar train, you use the collar regularly through the life of the dog


HNTFSH has pretty much pegged it. I've pointing dog buddy who's gone so far as to suggest that, given the ready availability of e-collars, it might be irresponsible to hunt without one. But guess which of our Brittany's was once lost to a deer chase for much of the morning when we hunted them together? Was, thankfully, found by other hunters, but the collar didn't save it from something that my dog's training prevented.

Since you've mentioned coyotes, I'll illustrate the point with a coyote example for a bit of fun:



But the real everyday utility of solid e-less training is right out my front door, where my oaks and yard are full of squirrels without the sense or training not to dash across the busy state highway.
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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby Flatsmaster23 » Sun May 14, 2017 10:42 am

Very cool on the yote .... my lab thinks all animals are long lost buddies and she needs to visit unless told to sit and then prays for me to release her weather in the neighborhood or not ... I'm sure I'm overly protective at least that's what my kids tell me ... ur chessie appeared to care less about that barking yote .... kudos


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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby crackerd » Tue May 16, 2017 8:21 am

Correction, Rick - "The 'trick' to going [or coming] Amish..." is to make sure they come back by the same route they go out, whether through the water or over terra firma. My Amish "almost-blind" training would be indicative of such a route

Image

and completing the blind through water, and at great distance is really rewarding

Image

though there is also the disclaimer that I "see orange" very well...

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Re: The "trick" to "going Amish..."

Postby Rick Hall » Tue May 16, 2017 9:57 am

Why does that hood ornament not surprise me?
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