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  #21  
Old 09-28-2006, 06:05 PM
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I agree, the "new" concepts are much safer for both dog and handler. I never said that people who use aversive methods are always uneducated. I just personally do not see any great reason to use them when I get the results I want with more positive methods. I do consider them better, though. If I can train my dog without hurting him, that's a BETTER alternative.
Trish McConnell and Ian Dunbar know how to use aversives correctly. Most professional trainers are skilled enough to know how to properly time and apply an effective correction. Most novice trainers are not. It really does come back to safety. Giving a novice trainer a choke chain and telling them to yank on it whenever the dog does something "bad" is not safe for the dog, nor is it safe for the handler if the seemingly random corrections trigger an aggressive response.

I'm sure that positive training, when done poorly, can mess up a dog too. It'll just take a lot more mistakes from the handler in order to get the dog in a neurotic or stressful state.
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  #22  
Old 09-28-2006, 06:25 PM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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Giving a novice trainer a choke chain and telling them to yank on it whenever the dog does something "bad" is not safe for the dog,
(let me preface this by saying that I'm not being sarcastic, upset or trying to provoke you RD. I'm just responded to your post. I hope you don't take offense to anything, because that is not my intention. /end disclaimer )

Is that what you think we're talking about? Yanking dogs around? No. Not even close.

You can provide a dog with clear communication, on both sides of the coin without ever needing to 'yank'. If someone is yanking, they aren't being productive, they're taking their own frustrations out on the dog.

It's been my experience that mild aversives, properly applied make it much clearer for the dog.
You do X, this will happen. You don't do X, this will happen.

Fair corrections used to help training progress are not going to wilt the average dog.

I don't think anyone is suggesting we give novice owners a choke collar and tell them to have at it. But novices can learn to apply proper corrections. We were all novices once, it is possible. And when I say corrections, pelase note, that I mean "placing", mild collar pops to get attention when appropriate and the like, not yanking dogs.

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using positive only can cause stress in an animal too. I've seen my share of animals that have some interesting displacement behaviors thru the misapplication of "positive" methods.
I have as well. Seen dogs trained with PP who were always allowed to choose to obey, simply crumble when a command was actually enforced. By that I mean, placing a dog into a sit, if they choose not too for example. Should be no big deal, but not so for a dog that was always given the choice and no consequenses provided should they choose wrong...
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  #23  
Old 09-28-2006, 07:08 PM
IliamnasQuest IliamnasQuest is offline
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Ahh, one of these "punishment vs. positive" threads again .. *L* .. they happen so often!

I don't like Margolis's methods, personally. Reminds me of my first trainer who told me "only wimps use treats and toys to train".

As far as the punishment vs. positive goes .. what I've said before still goes. People who promote positive reinforcement as the primary means for training are not necessarily saying "zero aversives". A simple "no" can be considered an aversive. What most of them seem to be saying is that use of pain in training is not something that is necessary. And I, personally, have to agree with that. Pain is not necessary. It's a short-cut that we humans take in order to get what we want. (And I know people will object to my use of the word "pain" .. but that's exactly why corrective collars and many other corrective methods work - they provide a certain level of pain that the dog wants to avoid).

Having said that - I am not a purely positive trainer. I will admit that I take those short-cuts on occasion for whatever reason I choose at the time. But I don't use them much at all, by choice and because I do believe that training by reinforcement is kinder and more reasonable than use of aversives such as choke chains (which I will never use again). Those who can train using purely positive are to be admired, because it takes a level of patience and dedication that I can't say I have.

But I will say something about the use of corrective collars and other aversive methods. People (and I'm generalizing here) tend to lean towards corrections more than rewards overall. Our society is set up that way - we get punished for misdeeds, but the only reward we usually get is the lack of punishment. I've had thousands of dogs/handlers come through my classes and lessons and I can say without ANY doubt that people overall find it easier to yank on a leash than to watch their dogs and reward appropriately for the "right" behavior. This goes back to the same thing I've said before - aversives are used because we are lazy creatures and want to take the short-cuts. I don't think we use aversives because it's RIGHT .. we do it because it's EASY.

But you hand those aversives tools to someone who doesn't know any better, and you'll find that soon they're yanking their dogs around and swatting them on the butts to get them to sit - and maybe muttering "good dog" when the dog finally sits. But you hand them the proper tools to train in a positive way, and soon you find the dog eagerly watching the owner and the owner going beyond what is required and teaching their dogs to do all sorts of cute tricks. It's a matter of attitude, and those promoting primarily positive training will help build an attitude in the owners that encourages them to be happy with their dogs. That's a wonderful thing.

By the way - silverpawz, you do seem to follow dr2little around just to criticize. I've seen you do it time and time again .. makes no sense to me, and you may be a decent trainer, but if you treat your students like you do dr2little then you use a tremendous number of aversives. I don't agree with everything dr2little says in here (and I obviously train a bit differently from her) but sheesh .. you might think about giving it a break.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
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  #24  
Old 09-28-2006, 07:23 PM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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Quote:
By the way - silverpawz, you do seem to follow dr2little around just to criticize. I've seen you do it time and time again .. makes no sense to me, and you may be a decent trainer, but if you treat your students like you do dr2little then you use a tremendous number of aversives. I don't agree with everything dr2little says in here (and I obviously train a bit differently from her) but sheesh .. you might think about giving it a break.
I take offence when someone implys that all people who use aversives are uneducated. I can't help that she implies that a lot. I won't simply sit back and not respond when that happens. I'm sorry. If that makes me a a bad person because I'm "picking on her", then I'm not sure what to say to that.

I'm not trying to pick a fight about methods, I just don't think it's nessessary to say someone else "doesn't know better" as a way of implying their own method must be better.

I'm sure she's a perfectly nice person in real life, and probably capable of having a decent conversation about methods without implying other people are dense if they don't agree with her....
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  #25  
Old 09-28-2006, 07:27 PM
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nevermind

said something i would had regreted, so i edited it ALLLL out of the post
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  #26  
Old 09-28-2006, 07:42 PM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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Please, if you have something to say feel free.

I have pretty thick skin.
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  #27  
Old 09-28-2006, 07:44 PM
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no,i have no buisness saying what i was going to say. I dont know you well enough to judge you. Nevermind
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  #28  
Old 09-28-2006, 09:55 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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I teach my dog to get his attention on me a different way than a collor pop. It gets his attention every time. But instead of giving me his attention in order that he doesn't get an unpleasant feeling on his neck, he gives his attention because he has been conditioned all along to, in order to get a high value treat and some fun. I don't always give treats for that now. He's in the habit because he has a strong history of having something very good happen when he pays attention, regardless of distractions. So, he looks at me with eagerness, anticipation, enthusiasm, very spirited. This is what I want to maintain in my dog.

I like training without aversives (mild or harsh) because I like how my dogs respond better. (I've trained both ways) I like how enthusiastic they are in comparrison to my past dogs. I like how much smarter they seem to be when they are participants rather than being forced into something. It does, albeit take some creativity at times to make sure that I set them up so they WILL choose the correct response. It takes more imagination to come up with a motivator which out competes environmental motivators. It is more difficult to train this way in some ways, but easier in others. It means changing the way we look at things, it means noticing behavior in general more. I've become much more intuned with my dogs I have now I think than the past dogs and I think they're more interested in learning.

They have more brain cells too. Seriously. The more the dog has to think and choose, the smarter he becomes and the better at learning HOW to learn he gets. Its like a child putting together a puzzle. You can put the puzzle together for him, but he doesn't learn to figure it out. What happens on the next puzzle? Or you can set him up, put a few corner pieces in to get him started the first time so he doesn't get discouraged and quit. That way he will do most all the work and figure it out....how it works. Then the next time he gets a puzzle, he'll know better what to do, even if it's a different picture. So, to me, that's the analogy between forceful methods (mild or harsh) and setting the dog up to figure it out himself. Setting him up so he will succeed. Not the same thing as asking for something and if he doesn't do it, oh well...let it go. Not at all. I never give a command I can't get the dog to do... hardly ever anyhow. Positive methods are not permissive methods. Where do people get that?
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  #29  
Old 09-28-2006, 10:32 PM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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Quote:
I teach my dog to get his attention on me a different way than a collor pop. It gets his attention every time. But instead of giving me his attention in order that he doesn't get an unpleasant feeling on his neck, he gives his attention because he has been conditioned all along to, in order to get a high value treat and some fun.
Then the question becomes, what happens when a competing distraction is more appealing to the dog? What then?

The answer I often see is, "don't give the command unless your 100% sure the dog will respond" or "if the dog didn't respond, you used the command too soon in the training process"

By that train of thought you can never use a cue since I'm not sure it's possible to be 100% sure of another living beings reactions in every situation.

I too, have a focus command that I use with my dogs and my client dogs. I'm not talking about using a collar pop for general attention, I'm talking about the situation where a deer runs across your path and the dog is WAAAY more interested in that deer, you give a command....dog says "but there's a DEER!, don't you see it? I can't possibly sit!" then I'd use a quick pop as a way to say "hey, pay attention to ME, not Mr. Deer, sit is not optional" The dog knows what sit means, he chose not to do it, I'm telling him his choice was wrong, and then praising him when he makes the correct one. Very clear.

Depending on the dog I might even use gentle placement instead. I don't see the problem with that at all.

I'm not talking about teaching commands, which I think you are reffering to (correct me if I'm wrong) I'm talking about making sure commands are not optional in a firm but calm way. Giving the dog both pieces of the picture is neither lazy nor uninformed and it can produce a very happily trained dog.

I honestly believe that it is easier and less stressful for the dog if I'm simply upfront about what I expect.
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  #30  
Old 09-29-2006, 01:38 AM
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Angelique Angelique is offline
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Ah Silverpawz,

You make so much sense I cast my popcorn in your general direction from the lurking zone! And, I mean that most sincerely!

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