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Firstlight
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27-01-2013, 11:22 PM

Let's discuss my training methods

This is a spin-off of the thread "Disappointed with a training class". I would like to start by addressing a couple of posts in that thread; unfortunately I do not know how to move a quote from one thread to another, so I will just note poster name and post number.

Wysiwyg, in post # 20 (which quotes my original post): You posted that "negative punishment", (I believe you meant negative reinforcement?) is "usually withholding something the dog wants". What other types of NR do you use?

Punishment vs. correction: Semantics here. To me, "punishment" aims to stop an unwanted behavior, right now. "Correction" occurs when a dog willfully disobeys a command installed via the first two stages of training.

Gun dog trainers: From what I understand, trainers in the US are dealing with a different sort of dog than those of you in Britain, the differences being due to the requirements of the field events in each country. If this is a mis-perception, on my part please correct it.

Shock collars: Yes I use them, (as do a lot of my clients), and there is nothing "sad" about it, when done properly. It is a tool, nothing more, and like all tools is only as good/bad as the person holding the transmitter.

Response reliability: Dogs are animals, governed by instinct and drives, and they have minds of their own. I would never expect 100% reliability from any animal.

Physical correction: Semantics again, and my fault for not being clear. I do not use any correction in the first two stages of training, where it is inappropriate and harmful. I do not introduce (proper) correction until I am sure the dog understands the command.

I don't think you and I are as far apart in our methods as it may seem. Let me ask you this: How do you handle a dog which willfully disobeys a thoroughly trained command?
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smokeybear
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27-01-2013, 11:32 PM
Why would a dog WILFULLY disobey a thoroughly trained command?
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Firstlight
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27-01-2013, 11:47 PM
The first reason that comes to mind is that the dog would prefer to keep doing whatever it was engaged in at the time the command was given. See my comment above re: what a dog is.
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daisylynn
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27-01-2013, 11:55 PM
1. Shock collars are disgusting. If you need to hurt your dog with a shock to the neck to get it to follow your directions, you shouldn't have a dog. Would you do that to your children? Would you want it done to you? No? Then don't do it to your dog. I bet I can get the same dog to do the same things WITHOUT shocking it. There are thousands of videos on youtube with step by step instructions on clicker training and positive reinforcement, please educate yourself.
2. " How do you handle a dog which willfully disobeys a thoroughly trained command?"
If your dog "willfully" disobeys a command, it is not thoroughly trained. If you think your dog is thoroughly trained and is still disobeying commands, maybe a vet trip is called for. Is he feeling well? Does something hurt? And even if your dog doesn't follow EVERY command you give it, your dog is a living being and has a mind of it's own. Your dog will NEVER be perfect, you won't be either.
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Firstlight
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28-01-2013, 12:06 AM
To continue, this is in response to post number 22 by Shane on the "Disappointed with a training class" thread:

Force methods in this country were developed by military dog trainers, and carried over into the businesses they started when the war ended (see William Kohler's resume as an example). The methods worked for them in their particular circumstances, which were far different from what most pet owners' deal with. They are obviously outdated and not appropriate for today's world. And as an aside, I have seen plenty of damage done by "caring people who love their dogs", but refuse to acknowledge what a dog actually is.

I completely agree with you that motivation to "want to" is the way to go in the first two stages of training. What do you do down the road with the "trained" dog who decides one day that he doesn't "want to"?
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Firstlight
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28-01-2013, 12:20 AM
Originally Posted by daisylynn View Post
1. Shock collars are disgusting. If you need to hurt your dog with a shock to the neck to get it to follow your directions, you shouldn't have a dog. Would you do that to your children? Would you want it done to you? No? Then don't do it to your dog. I bet I can get the same dog to do the same things WITHOUT shocking it. There are thousands of videos on youtube with step by step instructions on clicker training and positive reinforcement, please educate yourself.
2. " How do you handle a dog which willfully disobeys a thoroughly trained command?"
If your dog "willfully" disobeys a command, it is not thoroughly trained. If you think your dog is thoroughly trained and is still disobeying commands, maybe a vet trip is called for. Is he feeling well? Does something hurt? And even if your dog doesn't follow EVERY command you give it, your dog is a living being and has a mind of it's own. Your dog will NEVER be perfect, you won't be either.
Thank you for making my point for me with your last sentence, which is a reiteration of what I said in my initial post. Of course they are not perfect, and I certainly do not expect them to be. The only "perfect" dogs are those with perfect trainers, and none of us will ever be that.

Your experience with shock collars is obviously very different from mine; I find that the e-collar is far easier on the dog than methods that people consider "more humane". Perhaps you have never seen one used properly?

And finally, in the interest of educating myself, how do you deal with a disobedient "imperfect" dog?
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daisylynn
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28-01-2013, 12:32 AM
And finally, in the interest of educating myself, how do you deal with a disobedient "imperfect" dog?

Positive reinforcement, redirection, removing them from the stimulation. Since I assume you already know what positive reinforcement is, I'll explain the others.

Say your puppy/adult dog is chewing on something it shouldn't, pull it away and re direct it with a toy that it should have. Fill a kong toy with peanut butter, play tug of war with a rope... Make their toys more interesting then your possessions.

Your dog refuses to stop barking when outside and looking at the kids playing in the pool. Remove them from the situation. Don't just throw them inside for the rest of the day, it won't work as well. Put a leash on them and when they start barking obsessively, lead them inside for a minute or two, then take them back outside. If they bark again, lead them back inside. They'll get the connection that barking isn't going to let them be outside where they want to be. Your dog won't be perfect the first day, but I promise, they'll pick up on this if you keep up with it.

Could you give me examples of the behavior that you want to stop with the e-collars so that I can offer an alternative?
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Firstlight
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28-01-2013, 01:30 AM
Originally Posted by daisylynn View Post
And finally, in the interest of educating myself, how do you deal with a disobedient "imperfect" dog?

Positive reinforcement, redirection, removing them from the stimulation. Since I assume you already know what positive reinforcement is, I'll explain the others.

Say your puppy/adult dog is chewing on something it shouldn't, pull it away and re direct it with a toy that it should have. Fill a kong toy with peanut butter, play tug of war with a rope... Make their toys more interesting then your possessions.

Your dog refuses to stop barking when outside and looking at the kids playing in the pool. Remove them from the situation. Don't just throw them inside for the rest of the day, it won't work as well. Put a leash on them and when they start barking obsessively, lead them inside for a minute or two, then take them back outside. If they bark again, lead them back inside. They'll get the connection that barking isn't going to let them be outside where they want to be. Your dog won't be perfect the first day, but I promise, they'll pick up on this if you keep up with it.

Could you give me examples of the behavior that you want to stop with the e-collars so that I can offer an alternative?
Excellent reply Daisy, thank you.

Inappropriate chewing: I don't seem to have this problem with my own dogs, and I don't have "toys" in the traditional sense. I puppy-proof the house, and I teach them from day one that bringing me stuff is a really good deal; in fact, the other night I carelessly left a half stick of pepperoni on the counter with the wrapper hanging over the edge. I left the room and a few minutes later my 10 year old male happily brought it to me, intact.How's that for a conditioned response, LOL! In the situation you described, I would also redirect, but not in the manner you describe, which IME could provoke an undesirable response from the pup.

Inappropriate barking: My response would depend upon the dog's motivation, but in general I would probably use a trained command to counter the behavior, and would not necessarily remove the stimulation.

I cannot provide your request for an example of a behavior I would wish to stop with an e-collar, because I do not use the collar that way, nor does anyone else who knows what they are doing. If you view the collar as a punishment tool, I can understand why you think they are "disgusting". You are not the only one with this mistaken idea, believe me.
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youngstevie
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28-01-2013, 08:26 AM
Interesting....

can I ask by ''wilfully disobey' .... and.....disobedient 'imperfect dog'
are you suggesting a dog should react 'all the time' 'everytime'... 'first time to a command'. like the dog should be programmed rather than the dog has a mind/brain...which OK maybe we don't want it doing the same 'bad habit' thing over and over......but no dog is perfect, personally I don't make such a big deal about it, there are ways round it more often than not.

I've owned Border Collies for 50 years and the rescues have learnt bad habits which is nigh on impossible to break so I have to work with the bad habit to swing it round to an acceptable habit (never perfect)
and some BC's are bred as workers...then someone buys them as a pet ...and the problems begin.....again the 'habit' has to be worked with rather than it being broken.

As someone once said to me....don't moan about the problem....find a solution.

E collars IMO are a horrid form of punishment. Negative punishment is no good IMO either/
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Jackie
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28-01-2013, 08:51 AM
Originally Posted by Firstlight View Post

Shock collars: Yes I use them, (as do a lot of my clients), and there is nothing "sad" about it, when done properly. It is a tool, nothing more, and like all tools is only as good/bad as the person holding the transmitter.
Why am not surprised..........

You will find on this forum (as its mainly UK based) that you are not going to make many friends or have any members agree with due to your use of e.collars.......... they are barbaric.

''wilfully disobey' .... and.....disobedient 'imperfect dog'
Wilfully disobedient and disobedient imperfect
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