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Gregor

Germany
19 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2005 :  11:32:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
would be curious to get your point in what makes a good dog driver?
Is the most effort done by pressure or by trust
to gain most of the dogs performance?
Of course there are differnces in the breeds so
lets say about hound crosses!
thanks
Gregor

Margaret

Canada
441 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2005 :  07:44:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay, I'll start the ball rolling !
A good dog driver spends time building a bond with his/her team, so that s/he knows what motivates each dog, and how to get the most from each dog and from the team as a pack.
But, some folks just seem to have a "gift" for working with all dogs. They are adept at getting results from every team in their yard or anyone elses'. Why ? Because they have taken the time to get to know dogs in general, to understand the canine mind, and to be able to become "alpha" with all dogs, some through pressure (fear ?), some through trust (instinct ?).
I think the best ones work on instinct.
Did you catch the "dog whisperer" on TV, yet ? Oprah (hate to admit I've seen a show or 2) had him on, teaching her how to deal with her dog. It was amazing to see how many things he could point out to her (and her audience) that totally baffled her. As though 80% of the nation's population do NOT understand dogs at ALL. He wasn't professing any magical powers, just simple, useful insights into dog psychology (my spelling sucks this morning).
I guess he was the US answer to Canada's Dr. Stanely Cohren (the "Good Dog" dude).

Margaret
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Gregor

Germany
19 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2005 :  10:28:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought this topic was dying before it even started.THANKS
I go even one step further as I believe that
hound crosses will not run on fear or at least
not for long and surly not on high level.
So for me there is only one way of beeing a good dog driver:Gaining the trust of the team
and having responsive dogs any time.
Would be nice to get some more thoughts from
abroad.
thanks
Gregor

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Kurt S

Norway
311 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2005 :  4:15:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gregor: No dogs runs with fear as fuel!!! You always need that bond. As Robert Sørlie use to say "You can't push a rope in front of the sled..."

Kurt & his maniac athletes.

Happy trail out there...
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Ron

USA
116 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2005 :  5:10:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Margeret - I've seen several episodes of the "Dog Whisperer" on the Animal Planet channel. The guy's name is Cesar Milan. He naturally exudes "alpha" and implicitly understands the dog's need for guidance. A simple slip leash and more patience than Job. One of my favorite episodes is where he helps a mother and her two daughters learn how to handle their 1 1/2 year old female pit bull. A herculean task made deceptively simple.

Ron.


southern fried mush

Edited by - Ron on 09/09/2005 5:19:09 PM
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Margaret

Canada
441 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2005 :  7:59:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Ron !
That was his name all right. I didn't realize he had his own show. I'll have to check it out. He really was good, and I'd like to see more of his work.

Margaret
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SKIJOR#1

USA
700 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2005 :  9:11:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit SKIJOR#1's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi all, This topic could generate some lengthy exchanges. To put it at it's most basic levels, the great dog drivers have that instinct to be able to choose the right pup at 10 weeks old, know just how much each pup is ready for while training, is totally committed to training (willing to do all that is nessasarry) and has that magic communication with his or her animals that seperates them from most other dog drivers. . I feel I have been blessed with those qualities. I can remember being at Laconia one year when my sister Debbie was running second to Harris Dunlap and when Harris crossed the parking lot after the run I went over to my dad and told him Harris was done as his leader was hurt.

Dad went over to harris and told him of my observation and Harris and Ginger looked and looked and could not see what I had seen. The dog did not race the next day and My sister won her first Laconia w/C the next day. Will dogs run on fear? You bet. Not all dogs and most will never win. The hounds that are growing in popularity today WILL NOT run of fear but they will run on love, which is cool because that's how I spend all my time with the dogs. They do it because they love to. There is not a winning team today that is not filled with "Happy" dogs that love what they do and they love their master for bringing out the best in them. Johnn Molburg

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Gregor

Germany
19 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2005 :  9:44:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
@ Kurt S
I know that but I still think that there are mushers arround who still believe in the old school or let me put it different I know that.

Coming up with my topic has a backround a short little story saying that if a real dogdriver (old school)would have driven the winning ONAC team he/she would have topped the time because the dogs didnīt loook exausted really.You have to get the sh.. out of the dogs.
This is absolute bollox in my eyes so I was curious to find out more about it.
Even if this topic is avoided I think itīs worthile discussing it.
Isnīt the whip legally in use still at least I was told so.

Gregor

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Fast E

USA
2238 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2005 :  06:08:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
G--at the Open North American and some other famous races the 'signal' whip is still allowed.The dreaded four letter word "whip' scares some that don't understand its just a 'signal' whip that can be used, and its so short you can't reach any dogs with it. Anybody caught touching a dog with it in those races is kicked out.

People have accepted watching jockies pounding away on horses in races but shudder to let mushers use one in races for a signal. I think its the word itself that freaks people out?

When i first raced the Fur Rondy in 84' i was shocked when i heard Roxy Wright ask the race Boss what the whip legth was that was legal to use,he said "50 feet". I would like to see someone that could use a 50 ft whip effectivly off a moving sled. Back then also anybody that did use a whip to make a big sound got a huge cheer from the crowd,not any more.

www.fastestreeperkennel.com
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RSmith

USA
3105 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2005 :  06:32:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit RSmith's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think the idea is, WHY should one HAVE to even THINK of using a whip!?
When, one can simply 'call' the dogs up on command because the dog WANTS to please his owner and the 'consequences' 'associated' with a whip (HOW does the dog EVEN KNOW what that sounds means?) is more of the question to ME.??
With that said, I got questioned at two races last year for 'possibly using an illegal signaling device"
My response was "If you considering slaping your hands on your pants then I am guilty"
It DOES make SOME dogs take off for a 'bit' of time, but generally most of my dogs of mine dont respond to that.



Roy Smith
Adirondack Kennel
Skandinavian Hounds


BIO FUELS
No War Required
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Fast E

USA
2238 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2005 :  07:20:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
RS--just like slapping your pants or clapping your hands the signal whip is just that,a louder noise that the dogs can hear.If there was a different word used other than 'whip' i think it would be accepted by more people in general.Whips in races is a thing of the past at most races and can be done without.Some races will continue to allow them and thats their choice to make.

www.fastestreeperkennel.com
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Susan Evenden

Canada
677 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2005 :  08:22:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit Susan Evenden's Homepage  Reply with Quote
During training I have taken to using a poplar switch and I hit the ground on the opposite side I want the dog to go e.g. I saw "haw" and hit the ground on the right side so the dog turns away from the sound. Initially I say "haw" and hit at the same time, gradually I increase the time in between "haw" and using the switch on the ground, to see if they are getting the idea. They seem to be.

The switch is awkward to carry where would I purchase a whip signal.

http://www.kmts.ca/~lhunt/Elemental_Fitness/Index.htm
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david poitras

Canada
474 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2005 :  11:44:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Up here, when a person is seen to be very good with dogs, we call them 'dog men' I guess that would be the equivalent to dog whisperer. There are many 'dog mushers, but very few 'dog men'. Some people are good dog trainers, but are not good 'dog drivers' when they attempt to race a team. A good dog driver can pick out all the 'little things' in a team that will make it a better team. Like picking out a tug line that bounces so little that most people would never see it. Or a gait that does not fully compliment the team. Or a half inch movement of a point dogs ear while running. Or a dog that barely looks back but they are. Or a tail that barely moves upward. Or a dog that barely pulls out on his neckline when it is having difficulty keeping the speed up. The ears tell you when a dog is experiencing some sort of difficulty, or if there is something on the trail that you can't see. There are other observations that a dog driver will need to pick-up on, but you get the idea.

By the way, My best dog attempted to eat snow while running last year and I stopped and popped my signal whip over her and after two times she stopped. She is too valuable to for me not to correct her when she needs it. This was the only correction I had to make all winter with her. My voice alone is all I need to speedup my team.

A good dog driver always looks at the team as a team, and what is each individual contributing. Never this dog , or that dog, always team, team, team.

david poitras
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david poitras

Canada
474 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2005 :  11:53:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
P.S Lots of kindness and consistency, ALWAYS. The dogs need to trust the trainer. Since you are the only judge of what you want in a team, you need to know what your finished team will look like. My dogs love me as much as I love them, or my style couldn't work for me and the team.

david poitras
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Gregor

Germany
19 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2005 :  8:57:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The question is what for using the show whip.
It depends what the dogs conjoin with the noise
and thats done at home.
It doesnīt scare me to hear about it just make me sad.I wish some more people would experience the outcome of a deep bond between human and dog which of course exels more time and beeing able to try things differnt.
Isnīt the fuel still running on FEAR when used a show whip? More harm can be done mentally then bodily this wounds heal easier.
Have you ever experienced that for exampel you fell of the sled and your team just stops
because they felt something is wrong.
I think having the show whip in your hand the dogs will refuse the lift once they have you on the ground because there is missing something and beeing replaced differnt.

@D.P.:I like your post indeed!!!

Gregor

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ondfly

10 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2005 :  2:36:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Seems like most people out there think the best way to improve their dogs is by feeding the right brand dog food.

This topic is very interesting. I think there is different treatments for different situations. Every dog is different. This is all just my personal view. I think the extended hand (the bad word: whip) has its place with some dogs. Some lines are pretty rough with each other, no matter the upbringing. As far as I'm concerned it is more humane, if that is what we're after, to handel a situation right once rather than doing the half-a#? thing over and over. Do it once right and they will remember. Sure, with some dogs (Pointer crosses - what is the correct semantic these days?) all you need to do is raise your voice and they feel bad.

Then again, most people I see doing good or the ones winning the races I think have the best feeling for their dogs. There's gotta be love and trust, maybe a healthy little dose of respect or fear.

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