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  #11  
Old 07-30-2006, 10:32 PM
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Scientifically, Doberluv, operant conditioning involves BOTH positive and negative reinforcers.

I agree with lastkid about the balanced "diet", lol. I use the WHOLE idea of operant conditioning, rather than ONE element. My dogs get corrected and praised. Learn from both negative and positive experiences. Personally, I wouldnt pop a leash on a dog of that size, too much stress on the neck, but a 100lb GSD is a different story, .

Never TEACH a dog through compulsion. You want a happy and energetic dog. The time will come when it is appropriate to give a correction but a dog so young has not built enough confidence in itself to accept a correction and move on. Correcting at this learning stage will create a fearful, standoffish dog.
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  #12  
Old 07-30-2006, 10:33 PM
lastkid lastkid is offline
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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.
By 'balanced' I meant, not Koehler but also not relying entirely on positive. Balanced to me is like, 99.9% positive, and 0.1% corrections for proofing purposes only. Which isn't really (literally) balanced at all, lol. I really believe that positive reinforcement is the best way to train behaviors, but I also believe there's a point where, for some dogs, it's useful to use the other three parts of OC, including positive punishment. Not all of the time, not for every dog, and certainly NEVER during the learning phase.

If a dog has been taught to sit in a room with no distractions at all, and has been rewarded for responding correctly 10,000 times, but doesn't respond on the 10,001st time, it's not irrational to me to give a verbal or light leash correction. Because, and maybe I'm not thinking through this all the way, it doesn't make sense to me that a dog hasn't learned something after 10,000 repetitions, in a room with zero distractions.

Like I said, my personal preference is corrections during proofing ONLY. They're not "yanking the dog's head off" corrections, they're very light - more attention-getters than anything. Like a tap on the shoulder. "Nope, not that, try something else" or "Hey, would you please do what I just told you to, instead of staring off in the distance? I know that's really interesting, but if you do it, something even MORE interesting will happen." I never correct and end the behavior there. It's always, "Nope, not that." and when the dog does what I wanted, there's an immediate "YES!!!!!!" I've never, ever had a problem with motivation or a dog shutting down/getting aggro on me. If I did, I sure as heck would back off corrections for that dog immediately.

To me, it really depends on the dog, on the behavior, on the response. Using corrections in the (very) limited way that I do is a preference, that not everyone shares (nor do I expect them to). I've done a lot of reading, a lot of hands-on research, and a lot of talking to every trainer I can get my hands on from as many disciplines as possible. It works for my dog, with no ill effects to her or to our relationship, which is the most important thing to me.
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  #13  
Old 07-30-2006, 10:35 PM
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all on leash right now but it's alot of "lightly tugging on the leash and using No with it
Elegy, your right. Corrections are important. Well, I find verbal is good to give them "guidelines". Ah ah, wrong etc.

But this seems based on leash corrections than the verbal...

Which is exactly what I did, and EXACTLY why we're having problems now with the activities that were trained with these methods.

Ex) I can go from doing a retrieve. (Roxy's tail is wagging, couldn't be happier) to some heeling work. (She shuts down. Tail stops wagging, her bounce in her step disappears... nothing could motivate her)
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2006, 10:36 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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I'd say try positive training again... with someone a little more qualified than a Pets Mart trainer
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2006, 10:47 PM
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Technically, of course, you're right Elegy. I understand about positive punishment and that punishment can be as simple as stopping a game if the teeth hit you. Actually, it can be that you're removing something good rather than adding something bad. Four consequences: good thing starts (positive reinforcement), good thing ends (negative reinforcement), bad thing starts (positive punishment), bad thing ends (negative reinforcement)

However, my point is that with most trainers these days who advocate the use of as little punishment as possible for the reasons I mentioned. For example, trainers like Karen Pryor. I agree with her ideas and those of Jean Donaldson. They explain why punishment, aversives often will produce undesireable side effects. And they explain why a dog doesn't do something and it's not because he's being stubborn or defiant or rebellious.

I use "eh, eh" as a no reward marker, quite different from a collar yank.

So, perhaps it's a matter of a difference in interpretation of ideas.

At any rate, to get back closer to the topic....my recommendation is that you don't rely on collar corrections and other aversives to train your dog. And instead rely on rewarding and reinforcing with something the dog loves for behaviors or approximations of behaviors you want. Ignoring in certain cases, distracting and giving alternative, incompatible behaviors which can be rewarded, rather than punishing with aversives unwanted behaviors is most effective.

I recommend the books, Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson, Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor, The Power of Positive Training by Pat Miller. These will explain in detail how it all works.

Last edited by Doberluv; 07-30-2006 at 11:00 PM.
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2006, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RD
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.
I'm not trying to be smart, but didn't you have a recent experience where your training methods didn't work with one of your dogs when it was placed in a new environment? Wasn't his behavior something that is normally in control in his usual environment, but you were forced to have him in a new situation and he was acting out? This would have been an ideal place to use corrections. You were proofing an already learned behavior.

In this situation, with a young pup, then I agree, unless the pup knows what is expected of him when he is given a command, then correcting him is not doing a lot of good. That's not to say that using a leash and directing him to the behavior you want can't work, but you have to be careful.
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  #17  
Old 07-31-2006, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanL
I'm not trying to be smart, but didn't you have a recent experience where your training methods didn't work with one of your dogs when it was placed in a new environment? Wasn't his behavior something that is normally in control in his usual environment, but you were forced to have him in a new situation and he was acting out? This would have been an ideal place to use corrections. You were proofing an already learned behavior.

In this situation, with a young pup, then I agree, unless the pup knows what is expected of him when he is given a command, then correcting him is not doing a lot of good. That's not to say that using a leash and directing him to the behavior you want can't work, but you have to be careful.
Physical correction would absolutely not be appropriate for a dog who does not comply in a new environment. Behaviors don't automatically transfer seamlessly, they do have to be trained first in new environments before one can assume that the dog is choosing not to comply, especially in a young dog such as the one RD was talking about.

I agree that leash corrections are totally inappropriate for a pup.(although I don't use physical "stuff" for any dog with any issues)
Not only is it ineffective but can cause life long problems for a dog during a fear period not to mention with the particular breed you're talking about (Shih Tzu).

I'd ditch the trainer and find someone who knows what they're doing. Ask for not only their background but where they learned how to train dogs. It sounds like this trainer needs some education...a little compassion for your pup from the trainer wouldn't hurt either.

I have to add, I just came home from teaching class 4 of a 6 session puppy class. The behaviors learned and demonstrated by ALL puppies reliably tonight were: Watch me, Sit, Down, Leave it, Stand for Vet exam, Hold (muzzle) for Vet exam, Stay, Drop it, By me (loose leash walking), Wait, Go to place, and all problem issues such as jumping up (off), bite inhibition (no nipping)...I know I'm missing some... without "leash pops". Pups in this class range from toy breeds to large working breeds.
All of these were done WITHOUT physical correction and I don't allow any correction collars in any level of class. We are also fading lures, rewards and clickers for the first 6 behaviors with great success.
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  #18  
Old 07-31-2006, 02:22 AM
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Thank you Dr2Little. My point exactly.
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  #19  
Old 07-31-2006, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Roxy's CD
Really, from someone that's done it and is now paying the price ditch corrections, purely motivational training IS the way to go.
Really Roxy knows what she is talking about........she is now having problems with Roxy and needing to go through alot more training to get her where she needs to be.

Please listen to someone that thought along the same route your going.
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  #20  
Old 07-31-2006, 10:11 AM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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I agree with lastkid about the balanced "diet", lol. I use the WHOLE idea of operant conditioning, rather than ONE element. My dogs get corrected and praised.
I very much agree with this. I trained my own dogs and client dogs the same way. In the learning phase there is no corrections at all, once the dog knows a command and has shown consistantly that he understands then I will correct for not responding.

I don't care if there's a competing factor in the enviroment. Sit means sit, and come means come. A lot of obedience training is life saving skills for the dog. For example, let's say a dog gets out of the house and refuses to come when called and instead goes after that squirrel crossing the road. Dead dog.

I'd rather make it absolutly clear that obedience is not optional even if they're distracted. But that's just me. If someone doesn't want to train that way and they're having success their own way then go for it. I'll do what works for me, and everyone else can do what works for them.

For a puppy just learning? Nope. Wouldn't correct at this stage, not fair to the dog and possibly damaging to the relationship. I'd find another trainer that has more experience working with young puppies.
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