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  #21  
Old 07-31-2006, 10:28 AM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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First of all, kudos for you! I know a lot of people out there who don't do any training at all with they small dogs. *applause*

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Originally Posted by GSDlover_4ever
Scientifically, Doberluv, operant conditioning involves BOTH positive and negative reinforcers.
I agree 100%. If animals (humans included) did not learn from negative associations, then they would not be born with the ability to feel pain, both physical and mental. And if they did not learn from the negative, all those trainers who rely almost entirely on correction/punishment (Leerbug comes to mind) would not be able to teach their dogs a thing.

That being said, I am all for positive reinforcement. I honestly feel that there are times correction is a valid option, but I don't see you needing it to teach a 4-month-old puppy. I think that your Petsmart trainer is just not well-versed on the subject. Petsmart is a mixed bag when it comes to trainers: sometimes you get a good one, sometimes you get an okay one, and sometimes you get an utter moron.

I am glad to hear that your pup is learning through this new training! But I wouldn't give up on positive training yet. Perhaps down the road, you can try to find a trainer that is well-versed on the subject.
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Last edited by Gempress; 07-31-2006 at 10:45 AM.
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  #22  
Old 07-31-2006, 12:35 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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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 am not opposed to something like that either. You do what you have to do. But if the dog, all along was not reinforced for making incorrect responses, they wouldn't be happening now. Somewhere in his training he was reinforced somehow for non-compliance.

In other words, I have a very solid recall with my Doberman. He HAS come when called on several occasions where he was chasing a deer, a group of deer, a dog (a few times) and squirrels. He comes when called. He was never given an option. It became an ingrained habit to come when called from very early on. Training without corrections does not mean giving a dog options. I practiced him in all kinds of situations to proof him. It still doesn't mean that he's 100% reliable. They never can be. But he's close.

The fact is that if they don't obey because of an environmental motivator, punishing them with harshness doesn't really mean much to them. They don't possess the morals that we do and so they don't understand that they did "wrong." All they know is that their owner is angry and scary and all the more reason to not be too sure about coming. I'm not talking about mild corrections, but then I'm not so sure what they're suppose to convey either. I'm talking about harshness which is done a lot. I don't see what the benefit is with corrections when training.

I've got a very obedient dog and I train without collar yanks or roughness. But I've always given him a better reason to comply than not to. There's no question in his mind, no option as to what to do. It's always been much better to come than not to. The way a dog's brain pathways work is once something becomes habit from a sufficient volume of training, there aren't too many options left. The pathways for those behaviors and neurons get pretty well formed.

Once when Lyric was in mid chase (aggressive looking) after a dog in our pasture, I was quite some distance away. I hollered out so he could hear me, "Halt!" then "down." He stopped at once and dropped to a down. He stayed there watching that dog (so intently, like he'd love to go after him) until I got to him with a leash. I practiced these things without corrections. It was all reward or nothing.

Dogs do what works. If it works better to comply than not to, they will. When training is sufficient and there's a strong history of reinforcements for a given behavior, corrections; yanks, scoldings, harshness are not needed at all.

This has been shown and tested and researched and done by lots of trainers, researchers and scientists. Do you think a dolphin gets corrected if he doesn't obey? How? You can't put a choke collar on a dolphin. And half the time they're way down deep in the water. No, it's all done with motivation and reward. Period. Dolphins are also social animals. Dogs are no different. They're trained in many, many venues without yanking on their collar or other aversives.
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  #23  
Old 07-31-2006, 12:50 PM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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Yes, but every dog is different. Purely positive may work for some (and it seems like it has for your dog) but it may not for others. I've worked with a few dogs that would give you the doggie version of the finger if you didn't correct for no response. They'd be outta there and flying down the road after that squirrel, screw the reward. Some dogs are just like that plain and simple and I'd rather correct if needed then end up with a pancake dog.

I'm a big believer in using only the least amount of force needed, I don't yank dogs around and I don't get harsh with them. Corrections if given are unemotional and simply another way of conveying information to the dog. Do this and you'll get rewarded, don't do this and you'll get corrected. Very black and white and so far that's been working for me and has produced some very happy, well-trained dogs.

Doesn't mean it works for everyone or for every dog, but as of right now I'm sticking with it. If you're getting success with your way then good for you and by all means keep at it.

Last edited by silverpawz; 07-31-2006 at 01:45 PM.
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  #24  
Old 07-31-2006, 04:09 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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That "every dog is different" cliche doesn't pan out though because trainers all over the world now use the methods I describe with all kinds of dogs as well as other animals....exotic animals. If it isn't working, there's something being left out...some factor.

Quote:
I've worked with a few dogs that would give you the doggie version of the finger if you didn't correct for no response. They'd be outta there and flying down the road after that squirrel, screw the reward. Some dogs are just like that plain and simple
See....dogs aren't like that. That is really anthropomorphizing them. They don't do things to spite you.

And I am for sure not accusing you of using harsh corrections and I realize that certain corrections are not the same as making a dog miserable. I'm just saying that the science of learning theory and the practice of training dogs using motivation and reward, showing them what you do want and handling in other ways the behaviors you don't want does work on all sorts of temperaments...when it is done correctly.
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  #25  
Old 07-31-2006, 04:26 PM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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See....dogs aren't like that. That is really anthropomorphizing them. They don't do things to spite you.
LOL, I know they don't do things to spite us. I didn't mean it like that, I was simply being creative with my description.
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  #26  
Old 07-31-2006, 05:33 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Quote:
LOL, I know they don't do things to spite us. I didn't mean it like that, I was simply being creative with my description.
LOL. Don't tease me like that. I believe anything anyone tells me when they're joking. LOL. This gets me into trouble all the time with men.

Actually, I make jokes all the time about what they might be thinking if they were a little closer yet to humans. It's fun.
edited to add: (Dogs, not men)

Quote:
Some dogs are just like that plain and simple and I'd rather correct if needed then end up with a pancake dog.
Hey, I don't fault you with that at all. I wouldn't like a pancake for a dog either. LOL. You should have heard me a couple of summers ago when Jose ran a bear off my property. That bear was freaked. They could have heard me miles away. That dog isn't so well trained like Lyric (don't work with him as much) and I was really yelling, "JOSE!!! NO!!!!! COME!!!!" Actually, I'm probably the one who scared the livin' ****** out of that poor bear.


I know what you mean though and we, being primates....well, we're different. I don't use any corrections when training specifically, I have all kinds of patience then and other ways to get what I want.... but with certain behavior type stuff around the house. I'll be the first one to admit that I let them know.."Hey! Quit!" if they're getting too roudy or whatever. This new addition of a dog and Lyric....whew! What a combination. So, I open the door and tell them, "Be gone! Make haste!" LOL. Or I'll take the cotton pickin time to show them what I want...."you lie down here with your toy. You lie down there and chill for a minute." Then I'll let them out.

I use my trained singing voice and tell them to knock it off or chill. So, I don't want anyone to think I'm some kind of wussy. I'm just like Clint Eastwood...."make my day." LOL. But, I wouldn't have to if I followed what I do when training skills and applied it to everything. But I have old school habits and I'm a human and you put those together and you've got one big walking correction.

But no....like you, I don't do anything more than their sensativity level will take. I do not want them nervous, startled out of their wits, afraid, distrustful in any way shape or form. And I definitely don't use corrections, collar yanks or the like when walking with them, training obedience skills etc. If they don't get it or they get distracted, I figure it's something I need to do better or differently.

So, while I do act plenty bossy, I don't think I'd have to if I followed through with everything the way I do with regular training. I just don't take the time always.
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  #27  
Old 08-01-2006, 08:46 AM
stags14
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Quote:
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.
How do dogs learn from their mothers? Don't the mothers correct them?
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  #28  
Old 08-01-2006, 10:41 AM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Quote:
How do dogs learn from their mothers? Don't the mothers correct them?
Yes, but their mothers are dogs and we're humans. We can't IMO emulate closely enough dog to dog communication. We have other tools to teach our dogs based on human-dog relationships, not dog to dog relationships.
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  #29  
Old 08-01-2006, 11:49 AM
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GSDlover_4ever GSDlover_4ever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doberluv
Yes, but their mothers are dogs and we're humans. We can't IMO emulate closely enough dog to dog communication. We have other tools to teach our dogs based on human-dog relationships, not dog to dog relationships.

But the point being dogs are equipped to handle and deal with a correction.

Again, I go back to the WHOLE idea of operant conditioning. And if all these "positive" trainers do not use negative reinforcers then yall need to find a new word for that kind of training because operant conditioning aint it.
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  #30  
Old 08-01-2006, 12:08 PM
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dr2little dr2little is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDlover_4ever
But the point being dogs are equipped to handle and deal with a correction.

Again, I go back to the WHOLE idea of operant conditioning. And if all these "positive" trainers do not use negative reinforcers then yall need to find a new word for that kind of training because operant conditioning aint it.
Why, if positive methods work, do some still hang on "for dear life" to positive punishment?
Yes, it (operant conditioning) does by definintion include punishment (both positive and negative), and reinforcement (both positive and negative), BUT does not require all 4 elements in order to exist. Operant conditioning CAN and IS successfully done every day but many educated professionals VOID of POSITIVE PUNISHMENT. A new born human baby is also equipped to handle physical pain...doesn't make it right for a human, capable of reasoning and higher intelligence, to resort to such acts.
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