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  #1  
Old 07-30-2006, 09:58 PM
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Default Correctional Training

I have been going to puppy behavorial classes at Petsmart and they teach "reward" training. HOWEVER mostly class is 8 other dogs with playtime and lots of listening to the trainer. My 4 month old shih tzu is a little on the difficult side to train and it didn't seem to be working, so I hired an IN HOME dog training company that does "correctional" training instead. So far so good. It's all on leash right now but it's alot of "lightly tugging on the leash and using No with it. I have to say it's working. We no longer use treats as praise, just high pitched exciting "good Lovie"

Anyone else use this method of training?
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2006, 10:07 PM
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You won't find many people here that praise correctional training.

I used it. I hated it. I educated myself on dog training, now I use the better methods.
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:10 PM
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Ditto Tessa...
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:19 PM
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Motivation and reward methods based on operant and classical conditioning have been shown through science and practical experience of most trainers and researchers to be the most effective, while keeping the dog happier and better at learning HOW to learn.

Most trainers today are using operant conditioning based methods, from exotic animals; dolphins and other sea mammals, like at Sea World, zoo animals who need to be moved from one pen to another, fed etc to movie actor dogs, circus dogs, service dogs of all kinds.

The old school correctional/punishment based training methods are being left behind more and more as clicker training and emphasising what the dog is doing right, reinforcing correct responses and not so much correcting incorrect responses are being used. Punishment will stop behaviors if they're harsh enough, but they are stopping behaviors because the dog wants to avoid an unpleasant consequence rather than complying in order to earn a reward. That's how I want my dog learning....enthusiastic for learning instead of making it a drugery. Correctional based training tends to stop not only the behavior you're wanting to stop, but any other behavior which is happening at the same time. In other words, the dog tends to shut down, tone down and lose a lot of his spirit and desire to learn. I'm not talking about an occasional "correction." I'm talking about correction based training....where the emphasis is placed on what the dog is doing "wrong." He probably doesn't have a clue what he's doing wrong anyhow.

If a dog has not had a strong history of reinforcements for a behavior, he will not likely repeat the behavior because this is how dogs learn, how all mammals learn. It is a law of learning behavior. Also, cues/commands are not what drives behavior. Dogs are not obedient to cues. They merely learn to associate them with a certain response. Reinforcement is what drives behavior. So, when the dog doesn't do a behavior you want and he gets a collar correction, he may be confused, still in the guessing stage. It isn't fair to punish a dog for a trainer's mistake for not giving the dog ample reinforcements and expecting results.

There are some side effects of punishment techniques and too many corrections; collar yanks etc... and that's why most of today's top trainers are not using these methods.
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:21 PM
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Never on a four-month-old puppy. Reason being, the puppy's still a baby. They haven't learned anything that needs to be proofed yet. There's really no need to be tugging on a puppy's leash... they're so malleable at that age that it's easier (to me) to encourage the behavior I want instead of the behavior being offered, rather than just correcting the "bad" behavior being offered.

That said, I do use corrections, and I believe in a balanced approach to training. Not just 100% positive, and not that traditional "let's jerk the dog into compliance" either. I've worked with both styles of trainer, and my personal preference is for the middle ground between the two. In my experience, doing 100% positive in the learning stages and proofing with appropriate corrections later on works the best for my dogs. "Later on" could be two months, could be two years, depending on the behavior and how well the dog comprehends what I want. Obviously, I'm not going to start giving even a light correction if the dog doesn't fully understand what I'm asking. That's not fair at all. Other people have wonderful success with pure positive, other people don't.

I'd encourage you to try positive training again. It's hard for a dog of any age to learn around a bunch of new dogs, in the middle of a store with every kind of distraction possible, let alone a little puppy. But if what you're doing is working, that's great also. Just make sure learning is still fun for your pup, no matter how you train. If it stops being fun, try something else.
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:29 PM
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I don't understand what is meant by "balanced" training. Scientifically, operant conditioning is how all mammals learn. This excludes yanking on a collar. There's nothing balanced about confusing a dog with punishing him for something he isn't responsible for. If a dog is not giving a correct response, it is the trainer's or owner's fault, not his. He has not been reinforced enough for the wanted behavior. If he had not been reinforced for the unwanted behavior, (inadvertantly though it may be) the unwanted behavior wouldn't exist in the first place. Incorrect responses are not the fault of the dog...not ever. So, yanking on a collar is not rational.

The reason operant conditioning, motivation/reward works so well is in part, because dogs are opportunists, scavengers, hunters, predators. They do what works. They don't do things to please their owner unless there's something in it for them, either directly or indirectly. Rewarding directly works better. Getting a payoff, getting reinforced with something they like a lot really makes them want to do it again. We all work that way. What behavior can you think of that you repeat where there's not one thing in it for you? Not much, I bet. What boss would you rather work for, one who is noticing all your faults and punishing you in some way, not giving you a paycheck... or one who notices and praises your attributes and gives you a fat paycheck? What would you do? I bet you'd try really hard to do just those things which he liked, which brought you the paycheck. And you'd stop doing the things which did not bring you anything good.

A young puppy should never be "corrected" with a collar.

I started my Doberman with no collar or leash, other than to get him accustom to wearing it. That's how he began his basic training; heel, sit, stay, come, down. All enticement, fun, encouragement, luring, showing and rewarding. He is very well trained and well mannered and has been for quite some time.

Last edited by Doberluv; 07-30-2006 at 10:46 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-30-2006, 10:38 PM
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Corrections have no place in training, IMO. What is the point of training if it's all about avoiding a yank on the leash? The dog doesn't learn easily that way.

If corrections are to be used, they are best used as proofing for commands that the dog already knows.
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:54 PM
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Yes, it does work.. But you'll run into problems down the road...

My trainer is all about "balanced training". Leash correction/praise.

It did work! Fast! Roxy breezed through basic obedience. And now, we're having issues with motivation, Roxy shuts down...

Don't do it!

I wish I wouldn't have from the get go but am happy I know now. The difference that motivational training makes in your dog. How enthusiastic they are about the tasks at hand. THEIR enjoyment out of it, which is what its' all about!

Really, from someone that's done it and is now paying the price ditch corrections, purely motivational training IS the way to go.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2006, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
If corrections are to be used, they are best used as proofing for commands that the dog already knows.
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But, if a dog already knows a command and has been rewarded and reinforced amply, why wouldn't he do it? If he's not doing it, it's because there is a competing motivator in the environment. Something else is making it better for him to not do it than to do it. So, it's still up to the trainer to find something which out performs whatever motivator the dog is getting elsewhere....a higher value treat, a somewhat hungry dog who isn't given his meal in it's entirety in one sitting, but where it is doled out by smaller amounts as the dog performs. If a dog has some deprivation, it increases the value of the reward. So, when practicing skills to get more reliability, it is good to have a dog who wants....who wants treats, who wants affection etc. So, if he's not given everything for free, he will appreciate those things more when used as reward. We waste a lot of chances for reinforcing behaviors. And some rewards are not just food. If a dog wants you to let him outside, that can be a reward. If a dog wants to cuddle, that can be a reward, something he earns. When a strong enough history of reinforcments have been given, the behavior will be proofed. If it is not, then it's back to more practice....not a good reason for punishment. (imo)

That does't mean I don't get cross with my dogs sometimes. But not when training "skills" persay. That's because I'm a primate. That's a whole other story. LOL

Roxy...I edited this. You had already typed your good testimonial post while I was still typing this. I've used both ways too...back in the olden days. Yes, you're right....a big difference!
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2006, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doberluv
I don't understand what is meant by "balanced" training. Scientifically, operant conditioning is how all mammals learn. This excludes yanking on a collar.
operant conditioning very much includes yanking on a collar. it's called positive punishment.

operant conditioning in and of itself doesn't put these value judgements on aversives. it looks at what increases or decreases the likelihood of a behavior to repeat itself.

i'm not huge into aversives for training- i'd never leash pop a puppy certainly- and i don't use them when teaching new behaviors, because, like roxy said, i want training to be FUN!

but i absolutely use punishment in life with my dogs, and it's recommended in these behavior forums all the time. dog puts teeth on human during play, stop the game in walk away. dog barks at you for attention, withdraw attention, walk away. dog jumps up, withdraw attention, turn away. negative punishment all. at least in operant conditioning speak.
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