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    Thread: Tough Question

    1. #1
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Tough Question

      Does your Lab do what you ask because he wants to, or has been trained to?

    2. #2
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      For me I have one of each. I think this very much depends on the dog itself.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    3. #3
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      That's an easy question. He's been trained to want to do what I want. If I ask him to do what I want there's generally a reward for doing it, thus he wants to do it. Previous Lab, Jet, was one of those dogs who wants so much to please she seemed to actually ask, "What do you want me to do now?" Oban is much more the type who asks, "Yeah? What's in it for me?" Training for Oban was much more me showing him how doing what I wanted benefitted him. It varies too, by the thing being trained. Since Oban likes to run away from me and jump over things (he's the only dog I know who would naturally jump over instead of going around or under, even if they were easier) certain things in RAlly were very easy to teach.

    4. #4
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      Probably some of each. First they have to understand the command, that's where the training comes in to begin with. Then they have to want to do it, and that's where it gets more hazy. If they're certain food is involved, they always want to do it. I can call them in from almost anything they're doing outside by "asking" if they want some cheese or peanut butter. They come running for those. If they're not certain food is involved, they will usually do it, just in case there's food involved that I failed to mention. If they're pretty certain there's no other reward than the dog equivalent of a hearty handshake, maybe not so much. Then some negative feedback will come into play, whether it is verbal or me going out to escort them personally back to where I've called them or a tug on their collar with a verbal correction. We don't do competitive obedience and they're not as well trained as they might be to ignore distractions or do things without a food reward. They are trained to e-collars so that if they are off leash at the beach, for example, they have their collars on, I take a bunch of yummy treats, and should they not respond to the tone telling them to come back to me, I have a way to give them a little negative feedback "reminder" that they need to obey the tone. They rarely need anything more than the tone.

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    6. #5
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      Not sure of the distinction? My dogs want to please me, both naturally and because I’ve reinforced it with rewards (these 3 are more oriented toward pleasing me just because than any I’ve had previously, but we also use plenty of rewards for reinforcement of that basic desire). Training is what shows them HOW to please me.
      Annette

      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde, BN) 6/4/2015
      Sassy (Jamrah’s Blonde Ambition, BN) 6/4/2015

      Chloe (HIT HC Windsong’s Femme Fatale, UDX2, OM4) 6/7/2009


      Remembering:
      Scully (Coventry's Truth Is Out There, UD, RN) 4/4/1996 - 6/30/2011
      Our foster Jolie (UCh Windsong’s Genuine Risk, CDX, WC) 5/26/1999 - 3/2/2014
      and Mulder (Coventry’s I Want to Believe, UD, VER, WC, RN) 5/26/1999 - 4/20/2015

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    8. #6
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      Both honestly, many times he just does things for me because he wants to.

      Many know the stories of Hemi from long ago, but a lot of those were lost in the forum crash a couple years ago. However take laundry for example, which if you didn't know one of the many things Hemi does to help around the house is laundry. It started when he was young. The previous time I did sheets, I did the comforter as well. This time I threw the comforter on the floor, took the sheets and walked down to the washing machine. I put the sheets in and get going and there was Hemi with the comforter in his mouth like here dad you forgot this. So I gave him lots of praise told him thank you and a treat for helping. After that I would always give him something to carry down to the laundry, a t-shirt, jeans etc. He was always more than happy to help. Then I took a rope toy and put it through a laundry basket. This allows him to drag the laundry basket around. I did have to teach him that he could drag the laundry basket. Now I load the laundry basket up and then I carry a load and he takes a load from the bedroom to the laundry. We also use the laundry basket to pick up toys, so when it is time to clean up I set the laundry basket down and ask him to pick up his toys. He is actually extremely excited to do this. He will pick them up and put them in the basket, then we drag the basket out to his toybox and I dump them in. He gets a treat and then of course one or two toys come right back out but well the majority are put away.

      There are a lot of things he does just because I ask him and some things I do not need to even ask him to to. Hemi has been trained I guess to hand me things I ask for. Which he gets a treat for doing, but he will often do this even without me asking and for no more reward than some praise and pets. Like last night for example, I was watching TV and the remote was on the arm of the chair, i reached over and accidentally knocked it off. Hemi was laying right there. He hopped up grabbed the remote gently and handed it to me. Which I told him thank you very much and scratched his neck and head until the back feet were kicking gave him a kiss and went back to watching TV. So did he pick the remote up because I trained him to hand me things when I ask, yes. However, I didn't ask for him to pick up the remote for me, he just did it.

    9. #7
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      I agree with Annette, although I think I understand what you're getting at. There are a couple of commands that thor knows that I think are a little different. Something like 'Leave it' has been trained and reinforced over and over again. You can tell he really wants to mess around with whatever he's into, but he'll leave it when I tell him to. Reluctantly. That one has been trained and trained and trained with treats and praise. But other, more informal commands, have come out of his velcro dog attachment to me. For example, when I ask "wanna cuddle?" he'll curl up next to me and put his head on my lap. It's something he's always done naturally because he wants to be with/on me, and i just said 'cuddle' enough that it's a term that is familiar and attached to the behavior.
      Mighty Thor, "So Much Dog", born 1/6/2014

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    10. #8
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      Only my opinions and experiences:
      Recently started thinking on this question.
      I’ve had four other dogs in my life, two breed and two mixed, none of them had formal training,
      All of them would go with me off leash, (I live in a rural area) all would run off in the woods and fields, return when called, the only exception was my last male when he’d found a wild critter, he would be barking to let me know where was, no problem, even when he had a raccoon up a tree and I drove by in the truck he’d run out in the road to tell me where he was, then go right back to the tree, found that amusing.
      Enough of the old days.
      Setting aside those owners that are showing or hunting; why is it that Labs require so much training to become a good pet? right on this forum it goes on all the time; “get your pup in training”. Is it because they been overly bred? When you look into their eyes do you see a dog that has a sense of entitlement and expects everything his way?
      I do.
      They’re able to train animals for the circus too.
      Understanding the bias that will be here (it’s a lab forum, lol), I’ve been wondering if the most appreciative dogs are to be found at the local shelter.

    11. #9
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      Actually, I think training just enhances the relationship, and therefore, that desire to please. Some Labs really DO need more training just to curb some of the natural desires to "help". Kanzi, for instance, takes my cue nearly every morning that I'm ready to put on my shoes or slippers. So instead of just letting her do her own thing, I made it into a handling exercise. She'd make a fantastic service dog really, because she's one that just really needs to have a job because as others have said, she LOVES the added attention she gets when she does something for me. It's better than having the dog that bumps your hand, elbow, etc and insists on attention that way. Hope that makes sense but training puts a balance into the relationship.
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      Annette47 (02-14-2017)

    13. #10
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      It's like this with all intelligent breeds. The mind is going to work, if the mind is not guided in the right direction then it will make it's own direction. You have this with Border Collies, Golden Retriever, German Shepard and so on. They are highly intelligent dogs and the mind needs stimulation. You really see this more with border collies if their mind isn't stimulated they really seem to develop a lot of weird ticks. The poorer bred dogs or shelter dogs, do not need as much mental stimulation and are quite happy with whatever. They do not have a need to advance their own mental knowledge and understanding. When I look into Hemi's eyes I see extreme intelligent. I never see a sense of entitlement. This might be because I have since the day he came home nurtured his mind.

      It is comparative to humans as well, you take an incredibly intelligent child and you put them in regular school they are more often than not disruptive, the class clown, quite simply their mind is not stimulated enough. You take that same child and challenge his mind and suddenly you have a perfect student excelling at life. However if not noticed or addressed this mind will find it's own path. Many well known and high profile criminals are genius level. Take Ted Kaczynski for example, the Unibomber. IQ of 167, entered harvard at age 16. Quite often it is very hard for the extremely intelligent to adapt to normal life as the mind needs to be under constant stimulation. Where those with lower IQ can simply watch reruns of I love Lucy and that's more than enough stimulation for their mind to keep them happy.

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      windycanyon (02-14-2017)

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