Victoria Stilwell training? It's me or the dog

(11 Posts)
JackReacherReader Fri 31-Aug-18 01:16:58

So I'm bingeing on it's me or the dog... and she's working with some old English sheep dogs and playing in the garden and she's '*yelped*' screeched to say don't bite..

Is this still good training? Trying to work with our dog- he doesn't bark or bite but my mums dog does a lot! He's a chi and will be staying with us for a few months whilst Mum has surgery. He more mouthes


Is her advice on screeching still good or is it not so much anymore? I know the pack idea is pretty much non existent now and it's all a bit confusing!!

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BiteyShark Fri 31-Aug-18 07:40:51

Some dogs react to the screeching but that just made mine even more excited and bitey. The only thing that worked for me was to remove either myself or him from the room for a few minutes to calm down.

So like everything in life it depends on the dog. I really do hate the model of one training method fits all and personally no matter how respected they are I avoid anyone that has that approach.

adaline Fri 31-Aug-18 08:00:24

It depends on the dog.

Yelping just made it worse for ours and he got over-excited as a puppy so we just turned our back and ignored him. He's a bit older now and still a bit bitey as his teeth are still coming through, and I find the yelp is more effective now.

pigsDOfly Fri 31-Aug-18 10:08:04

A single yelp when her puppy teeth got a bit too close for comfort seemed to work with my dog combined with offering a toy as an alternative to skin.

Shouting at any dog on the other hand really isn't good. Calm and controlled is far more effective.

Nesssie Fri 31-Aug-18 10:14:44

Victoria Stilwell is a very well respected trainer (unlike Caesar Milan) who uses proven kind methods to get results. However, what works for one dog won't necessarily work for others.

The 'yelp' is suppose to simulate how littermates would let their siblings know that play was too rough. It teaches them bite inhibition from a young age.
For older dogs, it may not work the same, but the noise may surprise them into stopping the unwanted behaviour.

A good idea is to swap your hand/arm/clothing/whatever he is mouthing to a suitable toy. If he continues to mouth, then just stop the interaction until he has calmed down, then introduce the toy again.

Make sure the dog is getting the right amount of mental and physical exercise - just because he's a chi doesn't mean he doesn't need a nice stimulating walk. A puzzle feeder instead of feeding from a bowl with help mentally tire him out too.

missbattenburg Fri 31-Aug-18 10:32:50

As a puppy, Battendog couldn't give two hoots for yelping. Apart from the first couple of times where it made him look (strange noise) he just ignored it and kept playing. What worked for him was having teeth on skin = end of game. This is a method that you have to have faith in because you don't get an immediate 'reward' of the dog suddenly not biting. It's more that he learns over time and so one day you realise he's not bitten in a while so must be using self control. I totally agree, though, that what works can be individual to the puppy.

Now he is older (a year) yelping does work - but then his empathy chip seems to have kicked in. He obviously no longer deliberately bites to play but occasionally has caught one of my fingers when playing tug etc. He knows not to apply any pressure and backs out of the bite as soon as he feels my fingers in there without prompting, but a yelp now has the effect of him stopping play completely and fussing over me with appeasement gestures until it's clear we are still friends.

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Fri 31-Aug-18 16:23:30

Early Victoria Stillwell is an adversive trainer and has some really really really dodgy advice. The yelping at dogs is on example! she also used to throw saucepan lids on the floor etc.

However she is what we call a changeover trainer and in recent years has changed her trainer methods to positive force free training.

SO if you are looking at an old series take no notice of her advice she herself admits that she was wrong Why I changed my training methods


Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Fri 31-Aug-18 16:25:34

Re dealing with the mouthing. Only interact with the dog with something they can mouth eg a tuggy toy, a t towel with knots in it etc.

Let them mouth dogs need to mouth, so it is better to let them do it as a game. Do teach a release and this is easy just put smelly treat by the dogs noise and when they drop the toy give them the treat.

JackReacherReader Fri 31-Aug-18 16:35:59

@Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten yes! I thought she changed her advice! It's season 3 so probably early. I'll have a read of that smile

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JackReacherReader Fri 31-Aug-18 16:37:22

My mum uses Cesar Milans methods and I hate it. It just seems abusive. I don't like his methods

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pigsDOfly Sat 01-Sep-18 09:38:08

JackReacherReader Yes, Cesar Milan is a bully and many of his methods are extremely abusive.

Might be an idea to try to bring your mum up to date with modern positive training methods. They're much pleasanter for the trainer and for the dog, much kinder, and much more effective.

Training a dog by fear can be done but it's not nearly as effective as positive reinforcement. Does your mum really want the bond between her and her dog to be based on fear and obedience rather than on cooperation and obedience and a desire on the part of the dog to please her, the owner, because the rewards for it are good rather than because the dog fears the penalties.

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