This is something I've thought a lot about and since I haven't been getting out to work sheep a lot lately/we've only been drilling on boring driving I'm going to post about it.
Soda is a wholly different dog to train than my other two dogs, a malamute mix and a little black spaniely thing of dubious lineage. The primary difference I've gleaned, is that Soda is biddable and very smart.
Now, I love Cash (the malamute) but he is not the sharpest tool in the shed. He's just not. He wants to make me happy--to a certain point-- but it's his nature to think a little more independently. It takes him many more repetitions to get things and he's very very sensitive and can't take any corrections. In fact, I'm pretty much 100% positive with him. He just stops thinking, learning, trying if he gets any sort of correction and acts all sad and butthurt then walks off because the situation no longer benefits him.
LT is smart as a whip but about as biddable as a rock. She couldn't give one hoot about what I think. I have to be 100% positive with her because if she gets a correction she just says "F you, I'm out" and will shut down, lay down and refuse to work. It has to directly benefit her or she has no interest in it at all. To go with this, she's not a very affectionate dog and rarely wants physical contact with us. (She likes to hang out in the same vicinity and likes a few pets when we wake up/get home).
Soda is smart as a whip AND is very biddable. She learns new tasks in a just a few repetitions and is regularly looking for approval from me. She is a thinking dog and can understand why she's getting a firm "EH EH!" or why I'm taking her by her collar to stop her from doing something obnoxious. My favorite example of Soda thinking (though she was being naughty) was once in my office she was in there with my coworkers pit bull (who was a bit scared of mean ol' Soda) and he was playing with his toy and Soda came to steal it and I told her NO, leave it, and gave her her own toy and not one minute later I catch her sneaking under my chair (where I can't see her) trying to steal his toy again! This time she really got in trouble and she finally stopped. I just have found with her smarts and biddability that a small correction goes a long way to helping her understand that she cannot do what she was doing and she doesn't shut down, or quit, or get devastated by it. She just takes that information and moves on. It's pretty interesting to see how differently she takes things and how differently she learns.
Totally Chilled Out
1 hour ago