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  #31  
Old 09-29-2006, 05:12 AM
britney britney is offline
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Originally Posted by silverpawz View Post
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.
I just use my voice to do that. And it works just fine. But then I only train my own dogs coz I can't train other people to treat their dogs properly. If I socialise my dog to want what I want, I don't need treats or a choker. And I got to say that I think the dog is much happier to be a successful part of the team under manners. Working for pride seems to me to be more satisfying to them than hoping that this time will be a treat time. Or fearing the consequences of not obeying.
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  #32  
Old 09-29-2006, 08:52 AM
silverpawz silverpawz 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!
Thanks. I'm glad someone thinks I make sense.
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  #33  
Old 09-29-2006, 09:26 AM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Then the question becomes, what happens when a competing distraction is more appealing to the dog? What then?
There's always a chance that there will be a competing motivator in the environment. You can never be 100% sure about reliability. The goal is to practice, practice, practice all along in a systematic way to condition the dog the best you can from the time he's a puppy. You practice in as many different contexts with a variety of distractions, starting small and working up. You may use a long line and if the dog is not motivated to give the correct response, you prevent him from chasing the squirrel by restraining him. Preventing him from chasing the squirrel eliminates the payoff. Then you have a very high value reward for not chasing the squirrel. You condition, you proof the best you can. Using aversives stops behavior, granted. I just steer clear of them for the most part. I can see in an emergency....to manage a unique situation using whatever you have to to stop a certain behavior.

There's even a better way to condition improved reliability with prey drive issues. I didn't know about it when I was training. But if you read Culture Clash, she describes it well. Next time, I'll do that.

I do a lot of hiking with my dogs....pretty much every day, as I live in the midst of a wilderness area. I have acreage and thousands of acres of forest surrounding me. I allow my dogs to chase squirrels because it's great fun for them and it's a good outlet for their predatory motor patterns. They could never catch one in a million years. LOL. But deer? No way. Several times while hiking, we see deer....sometimes just one, sometimes a 3 or 4. My dogs are off leash when we hike. All three of them have begun to chase deer on a few different occasions. All three have broken off in mid chase upon my calling out to them, "Hey! No! Let's go!" Yes, I sounded loud, as it was a distance away from me. And I sounded serious. The only thing where one dog didn't obey was when Jose ran a black bear off my property. That time he was making so much noise, there was no way he could hear me. I don't know how popping a collar in the past would improve that situation. He was in full chase mode. So, yes, there is no way to be 100% reliable when you're talking prey drive. But I'm pretty happy so far with my dogs.

Lyric has also stopped while in mid chase of other dogs on my property a few times. I had him "halt" and "down." Then called him to come. This was at quite a distance...maybe 200 feet. Of course, he wasn't on a leash or anything. Anyhow....I don't train with leash pops.

I also think it's of vital importance that the dog be given an ample outlet for these predatory drives. And not that the dog has that store bottled up, filled up inside him.
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  #34  
Old 09-29-2006, 09:45 AM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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You may use a long line and if the dog is not motivated to give the correct response, you prevent him from chasing the squirrel by restraining him.
I just wonder how that is teaching the dog anything? Restraining is not teaching, it's putting a band-aid on the problem. Yes you are preventing the major payoff, but for many dogs, the act of straining at the end of the leash, trying despretly to get at whatever they are chaseing is a rewarding behavior in itself.

I don't like to simply restrain. What better chance to actually teach the dog what's expected in that situation...than IN the situation! I'd be thrilled to have a deer cross my path so I can tweak any training that may need tweaking right then and there. Then next time, if by some strange chance of fate another deer crosses our path, the dog would be equipt to handle it better. You can't get reliable obedience around distractions, unless you work around the distractions.

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Then you have a very high value reward for not chasing the squirrel.
What if there is nothing higher value for that particular dog? I've worked with plenty of high drive dogs that want nothing to do with food or toys when they're in prey mode. You have to have another form of getting on their raydar at that point in time.

You can condition till the cows come home (and I do as well), but in the end, if the distraction is more tempting to the dog than whatever reward you may offer...the dog is gone. Unless, you have some way to enforce commands, and dog knows they are not optional.

Having said that, I use food a LOT in the teaching phase. Nothing wrong with rewarding for the right behavior.
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  #35  
Old 09-29-2006, 11:00 AM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Well, that's what I've done and I think that my dogs' track record speaks for itself.

Simply restraining and letting the dog strain and be miserable over the motivator he's interested in is not the whole story. Preventing, distracting, (BEFORE he's in a full alert) giving alternatives and rewarding helps. Giving outlets regularily helps. Teaching the dog to resist a "faux" prey animal on cue in order to GET the faux prey as reward, as a conditioning exercise from early on helps, (as explained in the book I mentioned) starting out easy and working up. In other words, putting off the chase produces better results for the dog, the dog is redirected and gets a prey outlet for his effort to redirect. Its not an easy thing to over come, for sure.

I don't see why punishing a dog for normal drives which are driven from a neurological origin, not a cortex origin is fair or relevant to a dog. And I don't see what that teaches him any better than showing him that it behooves him to obey. Neither way is 100% reliable when we're talking about messages in the brain which tend to go between synapses and basically skip the thinking and reasoning part of the brain.

We all have our ways. I just don't have the stomach for using a lot of aversives when teaching a dog, an animal to adjust so drastically to my ideas of right and wrong. I don't see any scientific reasons for this to be more effective in teaching than what I have studied and practiced. And I have dogs who obey me 98% of the time. Why on earth would I change from what works for me using gentler methods to something that I consider unnecessary harshness, unfairness and/or something I consider less effective? I don't believe dogs think like we do or can relate to our sense of morals, right or wrong or our value system. So pain, discomfort, punishment IMO is not understood in the way we think it might be from dogs. It will stop a behavior for the time being, to be sure. But there's more to training than just stopping a behavior in its tracks for me. Theres a lot more to my relationship with dogs.

Last edited by Doberluv; 09-29-2006 at 11:15 AM.
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  #36  
Old 09-29-2006, 11:27 AM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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I just don't have the stomach for using a lot of aversives when teaching a dog,
Neither do I. I don't ever reccommend using a LOT of aversives. And I certainly never reccomend using ANY aversives when teaching the dog a command.

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Why on earth would I change from what works for me using gentler methods to something that I consider unnecessary harshness, unfairness and/or something I consider less effective?
I'm not asking you to change. I thought we were just having a good discussion. And, who's talking about being harsh? A quick pop on the collar, coupled with praise for the right behavior is not the end of the world, and it shouldn't be to a dog either.

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I don't believe dogs think like we do or can relate to our sense of morals, right or wrong or our value system.
I don't either. Using a fair correction paired with plenty of positives, is not asking the dog to relate to our sense of morals or to know right from wrong the way we do. It's simply giving the dog information. Showing him that a certain behavior or lack there of will earn a certain response from the handler. No sense of morals required for the dog to 'get' this.


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It will stop a behavior for the time being, to be sure. But there's more to training than just stopping a behavior in its tracks for me.
Of course there is. A correction is only one part of the training process, it should never be the ONLY part.

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Theres a lot more to my relationship with dogs.
And I believe there should be more to everyone's relationship with their dogs than being their pez dispenser.
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  #37  
Old 09-29-2006, 11:33 AM
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dr2little dr2little is offline
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Originally Posted by Doberluv View Post
Well, that's what I've done and I think that my dogs' track record speaks for itself.

Simply restraining and letting the dog strain and be miserable over the motivator he's interested in is not the whole story. Preventing, distracting, (BEFORE he's in a full alert) giving alternatives and rewarding helps. Giving outlets regularily helps. Teaching the dog to resist a "faux" prey animal on cue in order to GET the faux prey as reward, as a conditioning exercise from early on helps, (as explained in the book I mentioned) starting out easy and working up. In other words, putting off the chase produces better results for the dog, the dog is redirected and gets a prey outlet for his effort to redirect. Its not an easy thing to over come, for sure.

I don't see why punishing a dog for normal drives which are driven from a neurological origin, not a cortex origin is fair or relevant to a dog. And I don't see what that teaches him any better than showing him that it behooves him to obey. Neither way is 100% reliable when we're talking about messages in the brain which tend to go between synapses and basically skip the thinking and reasoning part of the brain.

We all have our ways. I just don't have the stomach for using a lot of aversives when teaching a dog, an animal to adjust so drastically to my ideas of right and wrong. I don't see any scientific reasons for this to be more effective in teaching than what I have studied and practiced. And I have dogs who obey me 98% of the time. Why on earth would I change from what works for me using gentler methods to something that I consider unnecessary harshness, unfairness and/or something I consider less effective? I don't believe dogs think like we do or can relate to our sense of morals, right or wrong or our value system. So pain, discomfort, punishment IMO is not understood in the way we think it might be from dogs. It will stop a behavior for the time being, to be sure. But there's more to training than just stopping a behavior in its tracks for me. Theres a lot more to my relationship with dogs.

Exactly! What seems to be so misunderstood is that we're talking about consequences and desensitizing to avoid using physical intervention. Consequences do not have to be placing a dog in a sit, which takes his thought process out of the equation..as do leash pops. The fact that those are used proves that the behavior is not proofed, just as it would with a non-physical aversive trainer who constantly has to reward...also not exceptable. Leash pops are used by some, while others expect compliance and get it using non physical means. Adding duration, distance and distraction slowly and with positive reinforcement is IMO proofs behaviors for much higher predictablilty...the results long term are not even comparable to physical placement and leash pops, and I have done both.
Training using physical punishment or interventionis is no more effective than training without it. The fact that it's used at all is proof of that. I guess it comes down to the type of consequences used and I truly like to watch a dog think rather than to physically make him do anything.
As for dogs with high prey drive, that's a terrific instance when desensitization is very effective, you just have to be creative and very patient.
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  #38  
Old 09-29-2006, 11:48 AM
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DanL DanL is offline
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Doberluv, it sounds like your dogs are extremely well conditioned for your house/yard/area where they are used to the distractions around them. What happens if you had to take your dog into a completely foreign environment, one where you couldn't spend time desensitizing them to the new distractions and surroundings?
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  #39  
Old 09-29-2006, 11:51 AM
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Neither do I. I don't ever reccommend using a LOT of aversives. And I certainly never reccomend using ANY aversives when teaching the dog a command.
What do you do when your dog has been heeling very nicely for a long time and then one day he sucks. He lags, he forges, he wavers. What would you do then...when he's having an "off" day?

What would you do if your dog has, for the most part been giving you an automatic sit, promptly each time you stop walking and once in a while, he is distracted by something and doesn't sit right away or doesn't sit at all?

What would you do if your dog has always, for the most part given you a nice down/stay and here comes a time where he breaks the stay because he sees a mouse skitter across his line of vision?

What would you do if your dog, who is normally pretty reliable on the recall, takes his sweet time and mozies on over, stopping to pee on a bush without the promptness he usually shows?

What would you do if your dog is overly interested in another dog while out on a leash....he's straining to get to the dog?

In what other (if there are other) situations would you feel it necessary to use a leash correction, a pop of the choke collar and stern voice in order to get the dog more reliable?
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  #40  
Old 09-29-2006, 11:56 AM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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Adding duration, distance and distraction slowly and with positive reinforcement is IMO proofs behaviors for much higher predictablilty...the results long term are not even comparable to physical placement and leash pops, and I have done both.
Obviously I'm going to have to disaggree with that statement. As I haven't ever met a dog trained using NO aversives at all, ever, be truly reliable around high distractions. Knows how to respond in predictable enviroments? Yes. Quite well. Taken out of that enviroment and out into a situation where there are tons of competing distractions...no.

Was at a class with a friend with this past week who wanted me to come sit in with her. The trainer was demoing with her own dog, very PP, dog did great. We went outside, dog did fine untill the leash came off, and then he wandered off, sniffing the ground...totally oblivious to the owner calling his name. And this was a "trained" dog. The trainers own dog for heaven sake. If he's not able to perform reliably off leash and even a spec of grass gets more attention than his owner...what hope does the rest of the class have?

He was always allowed to choose. He chose the grass instead. Trainer grabed him and hauled him back inside, muttering about how this was a good example of how dogs can be unpredictable....I tried not to laugh.

Training using a combonation of rewards and fair aversives produces a more reliable dog. Long term as well.


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I guess it comes down to the type of consequences used and I truly like to watch a dog think rather than to physically make him do anything.
And that is someone projecting their own feelings into the trainging rather than useing what works better for the dog. You don't like using any aversives, so you assume your dog wouldn't respond the way you want...your dog may not think the same way. Have you seen the way dogs interact with each toher? They're very physical. A quick leash pop or proper placement won't crush their spirit....but it may crush yours if it bothers you that much.

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As for dogs with high prey drive, that's a terrific instance when desensitization is very effective, you just have to be creative and very patient.
So I'd still like an answer to what is done when your reward is not better than the distraction. Surely you'll admit that there are dogs who have no interest in treats, or toys...or they do but not enough to rip their attention away from the other dog passing them...when you only have one tool in the tool box, you're not equipt to deal with those situations when they arise. And they do arise.

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Consequences do not have to be placing a dog in a sit, which takes his thought process out of the equation..
How in the world is placing a dog into a sit, teaching him not to think? If anything it is HELPING the dog to succeed. It's showing him exactly what you want and exactly how to get the reward.

Think of it this way, if you were deaf, and someone wanted you to sit in a chair, would you rather they force you to figure it out on your own, or would you be greatful if they simply lead you to the chair and pointed? Personally, I rather have someone show me.

I'd much rather be clear about it, then force the dog to get frustrated trying to figure out what I want.
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