- 1 year, 6 months ago Ricky BruceSpectator
Hi guys, working through phase one with my pup and had a query around the easy command.i have seen it used in puppy massage as a relax type command and also have seen it in a bite training clip almost like an anti-bite or non aggression command.my question is are these linked and is there steps taken in between these?also could it be used as a command around other dogs or people for non aggression if the dog isn’t bite trained?
- 1 year, 5 months ago Davis TranSpectator
So glad you brought this up Rick! I don’t have an answer but I have also been very interested about this topic as well.
Sorry, I don’t mean to hijack your question, just wanted to add to it since you are bringing up this topic.
I have seen/heard trainers use “easy” during dog-dog socialization. A lot of time it just seem instinctual for someone to just call out “easy!” and of course the dogs respond, maybe due to the distraction and the tone of voice more so than actually understanding the command “easy”. But I also know some people teach it systematically. Some use a harness/leash to reinforce the command by not allowing the dog to continue playing/rough housing until they are calmer while saying “easy”, and some use low level e collar to reinforce the command as well.
Like Rick said, I’m also very interested in knowing the steps in teaching this from start to finish as well as how to reinforce it fairly and effectively so that the dog actually understand the command. Thanks 🙂
- 1 year, 5 months ago Michael D’AbruzzoKeymaster
Hi guys sorry for the late response on this. This is the way that I currently use the word “easy”. I don’t use it so much as a command as I do to anticipate a non-aggressive action to make conditioning and counter-conditioning easier. If it were a command, I would want the dog to obey and follow some action or rule until told otherwise. In this case, it just means that something will happen that you may not like, but it will usually result in something desirable. So, in this old video I introduce it to a puppy during puppy massage, and then it eventually could be used for other invasive things such as someone else touching her while I say easy before she is touched, then I would give her praise, and the reward with affection, treat, etc..
Note in the video, that the leg pressure (technically positive punishment and negative reinforcement) is not necessary for teaching what “easy” means. I am doing that just to discourage struggling during restraint. The exercise can be done without the restraint on an older dog.
After, I used to introduce punishment if the dog mouthed or tried to bite someone after I said “easy”. Then, it became more of a command. So, easy would mean to the dog that something was going to happen that you may not like that would be followed by one of two consequences depending on the dog’s behavior. If the dog accepted it, the dog would be rewarded. If the dog tried to bite the dog would receive some form of correction (a basic three term contigency). I haven’t personally taught it to a new dog in few years because it became somewhat redundant for the exercises I was doing. For instance, in protection training I usually have the dog follow a simple command such as sit, heel, etc.. if I am interacting with someone. No biting is implied if the dog is in command, and I do not force the dogs to be pet by someone that the dog has no interest in. I work on the owner preventing someone who shouldn’t pet the dog, from petting the dog. With dog on dog aggression, I usually diffuse situations by having an aggressor “leave-it” which is to disengage.
With all that being said, there may still be some uses for adding the consequence of punishment to the command if the dog bites. From a practical and respectful point of view, almost all incidents where easy would also imply no-biting there is something going on that is best managed. For instance, I do not allow owners of people aggressive dogs to let strangers pet their dogs if the dog clearly has no interest in them just like I wouldn’t force my children to hug and kiss someone they didn’t know. I generally, have the owners read the dog’s body language and wait until it is mutual in these cases.
It is a subject that can be open to much discussion. If you have more questions please ask.
- 1 year, 2 months ago Mack CookParticipant
<p style=”text-align: left;”>we used the word softy, softy=easy, great topic</p>
- 1 year, 5 months ago Sharon Blakeney-McDonaldParticipant
So glad this question was asked… I never thought to do this exercise with Tazer in the vid when he was a pup so when it came to medical treatments he was aggressive towards the vet and had to be sedated. I will for sure be doing it with my next pup. I also made the mistake of allowing people to pat him when he was a pup thinking I was socialising him – when he didn’t want them to. The positive side to me making these mistakes is I’m learning not to make the same mistakes with my future pup.
- 1 year, 5 months ago Ricky BruceSpectator
Thanks Mike! That’s cleared up what I wanted to know.Going through phase 1 with 4month old German shepherd and just looking for the odd commands/techniques to introduce while he’s still young.Also heard that radio interview you did which was very informative and would recommend to anyone
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