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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry, in a other thread I wrote the below (which I've nowe removed, because I didn't want to hijack that thread when it was a brilliant result from Suz! It was rude to start this up (or probably finish it dead actually... grin) there - so starting a new thread for my random wafflings...


John wrote on that thread (sorry to pick on your John its just a useful quote!)

" Not sure what to say about the noise thing - see what your trainer has to say, but as a plan B, I would be assembling a metaphoric ton of bricks, just in case it happens again and possibly set-up those circumstances? Just a thought. "


John,

I seem to have run into the only trainers in the world through the years, who have given me a clear understanding about whining and that you can 'ton of bricks' it, increasing the stress and adrenaline level in a dog already, patently at his adrenaline management ceiling, or you can try and reduce the adrenaline level by making nothing of it and realising you need a whole lot more experience in certain situations with that dog to reduce the tension level. taking the heat OUT rather than piling the heat ON. After all its an involentary reaction and a dog gains nothing from whining, unlike running in or something like that so I don't believe dogs 'choose' to do it... myself. Therefore can they 'choose' not too through fear of a whack or a spray etc etc? I'm not sure they can myself.

Sounds fluffy I know. But then most whiners get sold on as you know, which is a inditement as to how 'incureable' most find it.... and I wonder if that is because they fight it with fire, rather than taking the heat out of the kitchen.

Random musings, but I find it a really interesting area of 'traditional training' to whack (or whatever, give some negative punishment of some form) a dog for whining. Its such a widespread way of dealing with it, and so few people ever really cure it, I wonder if its a time for a bit of a different approach to it? Anyway.... whatever Di, I know!

Di
 

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Well I guess some might have noticed (because I bang on a bit about it :oops: ) that I think a lot of the problem comes from upbringing. I am talking about folk with a pup who start thinking I'd like to do a bit of gundog work with this. Rather than someone who specifically buys in a pup to work.

I feel that crates, child gates etc. are encouraging whining, and because the owners are newcomers they don't even realise that it is a problem until it has escalated and become very difficult to cure.

I well remember Boots arriving here and standing the other side of the baby gate and screaming the house down. I honestly had never heard a noise like it 8O 8O 8O . He was eight weeks old and so easy to distract and the problem was solved within a week. He is a fantastic quiet little chap now. But I was fully aware of the danger of what was happening and sorted it straight away. I can assure you nothing physical was involved at all.

I maintain that you can solve an awful lot by taking your young dogs along to all sorts of exciting situations right from the very start and getting them to just sit or lie quietly at your side while all is mad and chaotic around them. If you do that from a young age, attending a test will not be as exciting. An awful lot of people seem to back away from situations rather than saturating if that makes sense. This is why all my young pups and dogs go out on the shoot with me (there is nothing quite so exciting as that) and learn that it is just another day out.

But you need ears that pick up on the slightest little noise (some people seem totally unaware that there dog has actually made a noise 8O ).

Sorry I've rambled on a bit :oops: .

Edited to add: I think saturation of exciting activities and distraction at the very start is the key!
 

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I agree Di, that it is involuntary. A tense dog is tense in his throat as well as the rest of his body (if you think about when you get tense, quite often you can feel it in your throat, or at the very least the clenched teeth :wink: ).
The rapid slightly more forced than usual breathing, combined with the tense throat produced the whine.

Rosie whines in the car on the way to hydrotherapy, I ignore it largely, although there have been occasions when I can see her and she gets herself into a sort of 'zone' and by just saying her name, I snap her out of it and she stops! She looks all surprised and sort returns from planet Rosie :wink:

Strangely enough, she doesn't do it when we are doing a bit of work with retrieving and steadiness. She sits like a little rock.

I'm not sure that a dog punished for whining would know what he was being punished for, leading to increased stress and anxiety, waiting for the next 'unprovoked' attack from their owner.

Those are my feelings, I have of course, never had to train a dog to work in the field, and so have no idea what I would do if it was a problem, as Jill said, a thorough education from an early age is ideal.
 

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Jill - would you mind going into a bit more detail please, as I'm interested in what you are saying, and can see the logic to it, and am wondering if you think there is a difference in types of whining, for instance, excitement, frustration, boredom, anxiety etc, and if you react differently to each type?

Zorro 'hums' when anxious, and I find the thing that mostly works is to tell him to down and settle, as that has always been his cue to switch-off.

Mouse whines if bored, and what I'm doing at the moment is walking her around, scattering some tiny bits of kibble in the long grass and letting her sniff about for them, or playing 'touch' with her with my hand, but I'm wondering if this mightn't be rewarding her whinging?

And how would you go about saturating a dog to shoots and working tests etc, if you aren't in those circles but may want to be one day?

Lots of questions - sorry!

Becs
 

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and am wondering if you think there is a difference in types of whining,
Oh I'm 100% convinced of that! My Amy is one of the world's great conversations, as was her dad Dusk. She has the most descriptive language of any dog I've ever had! But she is also totally quiet when working, again as was her dad. She just likes to talk to you! But the thing is, it's not an involuntary squeak, she knows and intends to do it because she wants to converse.

Regards, John
 

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I agree with Di, that maybe the softer approach is better. Barney does a random 'gruff' when sent on 1 in every 200 or so retrieves. It really is random. I ignore it. My take is that if i chastised him for it/or recognised it in some way it would happen far more regularly. As it is I have been very lucky for it not to happen in Tests (touch wood). When it does happen, and I can probaby count the number of times on one hand, it's usually when we are doing something 'new' and 'exciting'. Such as the very first time he went to gundog training or the very first shoot day he went on, or even the very first retrieve to a dummy launcher, or having to wait his turn for a retrieve for a long time with strange dogs etc etc. So new things trigger it off. Thus the more we do of them the better. Just as Di says in fact, for us it's getting more experience in scenarios that get the adrenaline going, which is key.
 

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Becs, I tried the playing touch and feeding trick with Pasco and really it was delaying the squeak coming back.

I agree with Jill, get them exsposed to everything as pups. That was the one thing that Pasco missed being stuck in a crate from age 15 weeks to 5 and a half months :(
 

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JohnW said:
Oh I'm 100% convinced of that! My Amy is one of the world's great conversations, as was her dad Dusk. She has the most descriptive language of any dog I've ever had! But she is also totally quiet when working, again as was her dad. She just likes to talk to you! But the thing is, it's not an involuntary squeak, she knows and intends to do it because she wants to converse.

Regards, John
me too John.
 

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Luna is like John's Amy, she will use whining, growling, barking occasionally to talk to you. When she thinks you're forgetting she's there when you eat! When she really needs a wee (7am in morning usually!) or as yesterday when bottom is about to be squitty!!!

She will also though seem to do an involuntary whine after half an hour or so when sitting and supposedly relaxing while lots goes on around her. Usually when she's tired though. It's almost like she's saying I either need to go to sleep or go and hooly around! This middle ground is too much hard work now!
 

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Brooke will whine if she watches dummies being thrown around and others retrieving them, but she is easily distracted with a little training so I move her back a few steps and do a little watching, sits, downs etc for a reward and she forgets the other dogs. However she is absolutely silent at home.

Jenson chats and talks at home, yet he is silent when watching other dogs retrieving, he doesn't really show any interest in what they are doing. I really quite enjoy our conversations we have at home :)
 

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I will come back to this Becs - I'm mowing at the moment......................................................................... its endless 8O .
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I also rather tend to agree. the whining behind the baby gate or in the kennel tends in my own experience, and Jills is obviously different, seperate to whether they make a noise out working. I do agree that persistent 'home whiners' are certainly more pronbe to have that response when faced with adrenaline. But I do think there are a million issues involved including experience of handler to read when the dog IS at its ceiling and potentially ABOUT to whine. To then reduce the heat immediately.

What tends to happen is a dog is watching another dog go, usually in water, and the handler is watching that dog too, then suddenly their dog whines. They didn't see it start to shake, get fidgety, ears so far forward they are about to fall off etc etc, the warning signs.... I think a lot of new handlers and 'pet/working dogs' whine because their handlers maybe haven;'t quite the experience to know how to not let it start out at training classes, rather than because of how they are raised at home? Maybe... maybe there is a link. Its all just opinion... ;-)

The thing being I am no expert and wouldn't argue with anyone with a different view on whining as we all have our own thoughts, but I believe because its SUCH an incrediable, sell on instantly type 'no no', those at the higher end tend to come down with punishment because its something they desperately don't want the dog to do. They tend not to think about why it happened and more think about 'oh jesus christ no not this good dog!'.... It a 'bad thing' along with running in, getting ahead at heel, not giving up a bird willingly etc etc, the sort of things again, punishment is always is a traditional response. To me, punishment is the worst thing anyone could do in response to whining under adrenaline out training/working. But I know thats a utterly crazy view to some.

Di
 

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Jill's already 'touched' on the subject re different 'types' of whining. In my experience, I feel that there are two types of whiners:

1. Dogs that have 'taught' themselves to whine because they had 'success' whining at some point (this is also seen with some barking dogs - they bark, owner gives them attention).

2. Dogs that are in exiting situation/stressful situation and 'need' to release steam/pressure. I find that these dogs will always have a tendency to whine for the rest of their lives - something that can suddenly be triggered by some situations.

If I should try and describe the type of dogs that falls into the 2nd category, I would say that most of these dogs keen and very often hard hunting dogs and keen retrievers. You can 'improve' their stress level by introducing them to stressful situations without them having to do anything but to keep calm. A lot of marked retrieves can set off the whining especially if they have to watch other dogs retrieving for a longish time. I find it really useful to do blinds or memory with this type of dog and hardly any marks. Take it out training on it's own and only do a few (but regular), short group sessions of no more than an hour or so.

Natasha
 

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Di, thank you for this thread :)

You gave me alot to think about last night, and I am in agreement with everything you said, as it makes sense to me, and in particular, with my dog. He has always been as quiet as a mouse.

He goes to group training every week... we always do a walk up, and yes, he is excited, ears pricked, ready to go, but he never makes a noise. We have recently started working on game, and watches others work around him, no problems, no noise, and he loves the real thing! but still no noise.

Yesterday, when he squeaked, there were two situations, one was the walk up, now normally at tests, we do not see it. We may hear the shot in the distance, but our dogs do not normally 'see it' as well. Yesterday, was the first time we were positioned where we could spectate, literally 40 yards or so away.... now, with hindsight, I would have moved away, gone for a little walk etc, but I didn't, we sat, and we watched, and the pressure and excitement must have been building before we were called up for out turn.

The other time the judge heard it make a noise (I didn't hear him) was at the water, Chesters favourate thing is water and water with shot is just heaven for him! Again, we were positioned close, and could hear the shot, and the splash etc.. so again, this gives me reason to think that if I had taken ourselves off for a little wonder, the tension and excitment would not have got so high.

Chester as a pup was very quiet, never concerned when alone, behind a baby gate, or anything else for that matter. He has never made a noise at a test before, never made a noise at training classes etc etc.. so after a lot of thinking last night (thanks Di), I have come to the conclusion that the only thing different yesterday, to any other test, or walk up training, was that we were sat watching first!

I won't be punishing him for making a noise, as I agree he has no control over it, I do not beleive he chooses to do it, as Di has explained above, so what I will be doing, is taking the heat out the kitchen! :wink: and calming myself down, making a point of being unsocialable and taking ourselves off away from the excitement until its our turn, and certainly not sitting and watching a walk up! That just seemed to be the thing that did it yesterday. So, next time, I will try it this way, and see what happens, and then re access, depending on his reactions.

Most of the time Chester will lay down whilst other dogs are working around him, and he doesn't batter an eye lid, he minds his own business until its his turn, so not sure what was different with yesterday, other than being so close, watching, seeing the gun, hearing the gun etc etc group after group after group.

Of course every dog is different, every dog has a different upbringing, different trainer, etc etc, so for me, my dog, my dogs upbringing, the fact that he is normally as quiet as a mouse, I will be doing as Di suggested, and knowing my boy, I think this will work :) as I beleive, and hope, that yesterdays noise was, and will be a one off
 

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Ok I am in for a cuppa, as its thirsty work this mowing :roll: .

I am going to put some disclaimers on this post because I don't want to upset anyone and this is purely my way of dealing with things and I know my dogs very well. Firstly your breeder will always know there pups better than me. Secondly this is for dogs that live in the house as pets not "proper kennelled working dogs". It has probably come about from having a bit of an assistance dog background. I do hate whining with a passion anyway, even if dogs do not work. I would also add my dogs are not perfect they do still do it occasionally, and one thing that I find hard to deal with is how an entire dog will have a squeak when an in season bitch is around 8O .

I will keep it simplistic Becs and just talk whining. (I do think there are different sorts but I am going to deal with it in the same way).

I will also add because its a very big part of my training, and I sometimes forget to explain it fully to people that a big part of what I do with my dogs is "acting" and not "for real". So if I do hear the tiniest sqeak I will immediately turn and glare at wherever I think the noise came from and probably have a damn good mumble in my beard about it but not really aimed at anyone just showing my displeasure. The instant it stops I flip the switch back to happy happy aren't you wonderful doggies with a big smile on my face. My dogs are very very aware of my facial expressions and I use that to my advantage at all times.

You must remember that this is coming from a relatively quiet house. My dogs do not make a lot of noise. If you already have a house with other dogs that are noisy you have a much bigger problem to solve, and because dogs copy each other you may not be able to solve it at all.

So I will distract the instant I hear a noise. I will use my nasty/nice face. I stop crating if they whine in there. I will not treat for stopping whining but I will treat for a nice sit when I have distracted and asked for something else. Distractions could be anything really, a bit of training, a sit, a recall, something that I know they can do so I can smile and treat.

I realise that I am lucky in that I have a shoot to go along to. You cannot go along to a Working Test it is against the rules. You can go along to training classes and just sit at the sidelines with all the shot going off, people shouting, dummies being thrown. Spice has been doing this since tiny with never a thought to squeaking. She just sits and watches what goes on. She is 8 months old now and has not actually joined in a class but has watched loads. I am fairly certain I could now join in (I will start a few with her in October), without any thought of making a noise or getting too excited, she is just so used to them already. Other alternatives well a childrens football match is a very good one - really exciting lots of squealing from the kids. Just sit on a bench at the side getting the pup to sit. I will treat for lying quietly(my dogs are not always treat orientated), and to stop boredom I will take along a "special" chew (whatever is there favourite) at the time.

Even when you just go out for a walk. Say you have just got a few doors away from home (with super excited pup as you are on the way out and not yet at the park) and a neighbour comes out for a chat. I will use it as a training exercise and expect the pup to sit and wait patiently while I have a chat.

That's it really. I am a simple sole, but it seems to work.

Edited to add: And it is certainly nothing to do with an adult dog in a test situation.
 

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Interesting thread.

Basil isn't a vocal dog, he's had oodles of exciting situations and never been a whiner or barker. I laothe noise. But the first time he watched other dogs retrieve (when he was already an adult) he joined in with other dogs whining and was just sooo excited and so it began.

I went to a few group sessions but with other whiners there it wasn't ideal. I did find if I stood back from the line or said 'leave' when it wasn't his retrieve his excitement dropped and the whine went. I also found a 'look' command nipped it as a distraction.
I signed up for a gundog club course as I felt being more 'pet' orientated I wouldn't be ruining others dogs. After a few weeks of learning to wait his turn the situations must have just become less exciting, the penny dropped and the whining ceased.
When we went along to the CLA game fair Basil was hovering on the edge of his bum watching and waiting his turn but still quiet.

As Suzy says I think taking the heat out of a situation can really help a new whiner stop a habit forming.
 

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Just thought I would add, it wasn't me Sarah, it was Di, I just agree! It was her words of wisdom :wink:

Chester's noise wasn't whining as such, not whining like you would imagine a puppy or dog whining because its on its own, or stuck behind a baby gate, or in the boot of the car etc.. its a very quiet, very accidental, teeth chattering, adrenaline pumping, oops, little squeak in his breath.. so quiet, I didn't hear him! but I wasn't listening out for it, as he hasn't done it before, but of course, the judge was listening out for it :wink: Its very different from a whining dog for example, he wants to get up on the sofa :wink: or, he doesn't want to sit behind the baby gate watching everyone moving around elsewhere etc, its not a 'oh please, mum, please, let me out, whimpering whine, which of course is completely different, and would be dealt with differently :)
 

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Diana said:
John wrote on that thread (sorry to pick on your John its just a useful quote!)

" Not sure what to say about the noise thing - see what your trainer has to say, but as a plan B, I would be assembling a metaphoric ton of bricks, just in case it happens again and possibly set-up those circumstances? Just a thought. "
Hmmmmmm.

I don’t post many replies on training related matters but on that one I did. I find some of the comments made have been absolutely spot-on, particularly to do with bringing on a pup and keeping the noise down.

I think the case in point was a more mature dog that had not done this before. My only experience is of working bred bitches, which tend to be sensitive and intelligent. If I see behaviour that I don’t want, that comes out of the blue, I want to quietly take my dog away from what is causing it and slowly put her back into a situation where I have total control and where the problem may manifest itself again. My “ton of bricks”, is generally a raised finger and an “AH!!” I don’t know how to spell the sound I make, but it’s sharp and takes the dog back to where she was as a puppy and was getting everything wrong.

This has nothing to do with punishment, cruelty or hard handling, but the type of dogs I’m used to, in my experience and I can only talk from my experience, will start to escalate a new behaviour unless it is clear that you don’t want it.

That’s all.

John
 

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Oops sorry for the misquote.

.. its a very quiet, very accidental, teeth chattering, adrenaline pumping, oops, little squeak in his breath.. so quiet, I didn't hear him!
I know the noise you mean because that's basils adrenalin 'whine' too. It's high pitched but quiet - not disimilar to the frequency noise a TV makes sometimes when just switched off (is it only me who hears those?)
At times I find it hard to tell if it's Basil making the noise or not....but a quick 'Basil look' usually stops it and tells me it was him.

It's still a fairly new thing for Chester isn't it the test situation? - so as he doesn't do it in other situations I think you'll overcome it with the extra foucs your now giving it :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
" My “ton of bricks”, is generally a raised finger and an “AH!!” I don’t know how to spell the sound I make, but it’s sharp and takes the dog back to where she was as a puppy and was getting everything wrong. "


.... oh ;-) Ton of bricks made me not think of a raised finger and a 'ah' I have to say. Sorry. The traditional and frequently given advice for dogs that whine is to come down hard the first time it happens. That doesn't mean what you mean, sorry.

Di
 
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