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Ben Mcfuzzylugs
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26-07-2011, 08:26 PM
Originally Posted by Wysiwyg View Post
Just did a post re. the VS example of distracting and it went Pete Tong

I wanted to say that VS was no doubt using "classical conditioning" method, it can appear strange but is a good way of altering a dog's emotion. It's different to "operant" training, which is about "rewarding"...

Wys
x
(just said in 2 sentences what I had previously typed in about 20 ).
yes exactly and its great - eating makes the dog happy, if something yummy happens whenever the thing the dog is scared of happens then over time the thing will make the dog happy and not scared

I started using positive reward and a little negative punishment but tbh I find it more fun and more of a challange to try and train with no punishment at all (not counting not rewarding as a punishment because I dont use it to stop a behaviour)

I really dont see the media as being too reward biased - really there has been so much punishemnt and alpha stuff in the media for so long that it is going to take a very long time for the GP to realise there is an alternative
unfortunatly even the repeats of 'its me or the dog' are far more punishing than the USA episodes


One thing I think should be pushed in every training thing - positive or negative - it Ian Dunbars thing about teaching english as a 2nd laungage
People just dont realise that their dogs cant speak English
I went to see a lady this weekend who wanted help because her dog wouldnt stay - I asked how she had trained it - she said 'we say stay in a really firm tone but even then she dosent do it'
The light came on when she realised her dog had no idea what the word ment and was getting stressed with angry voice and creeping towards her for a hug
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Meg
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26-07-2011, 09:20 PM
Originally Posted by waggytail View Post
I regulary pick up a copy of one of the many Dog magazines available. I have noticed that increasingly these magazines appear to be filled with articles to promote "purely positive" training methods. a typical example is the recent issue of "Dog today" which has a 2 page spread from Victoria Stillwell on this subject.

My concern is that Dog training appears to be going from one extreme to another, Of course it is unacceptable for a dog to be beaten but is it really any better to exessively reward a dog to the overall detriment of their learning[/B]?

If the media continue to represent only one side of the debate then it will make it increasingly difficult for owners and trainers to have a balanced view on this issue. even organisations such as APDT are now taking this line, banning their members from using a number of techniques and products.

As a trainer and Behaviourist myself, I have seen both ends of the spectrum and I feel what is missing is a balanced approach. in order to teach fairly, surely dogs they need a mixture of both postive and negative consequences? I also feel that certain aspects of Dog psychology have been pushed aside to suit this new regime, Watch any pack of dogs and then ask yourself wether "leadership" is important or not.

I am interested to know what others feel about the representation of Dog training/trainers in the media? Have TV shows and magazines warped our sense of reality? is there now an increasing pressure on how we train our dogs? The methods we use, even the words we use (Don't say "Dominance!!")

As people are becoming more aware there are more questions being asked, more expectation of trainers and clubs and divided opinion on what is the right way to train a dog. I feel people have the right to learn from both sides of the camp but more importantly to find the acceptable middle ground.
Hi Waggytail I am not sure what you mean by 'excessive reward', it sounds like 'being a little bit pregnant' . I don't know what the 'middle ground' is either.
I have seen 'new regimes' come and go and what I have learnt after 50 years of working with and training dogs (and children) is..
..the carrot gives better results than the stick , this is partly because the carrot doesn't destroy trust, the stick does,
..fear is a detriment to learning,
..each dog is different due to it's ancestry and previous experience of life , this should be taken into consideration when training,
.. I am not part of any 'dog pack' and dogs knows this. I don't try to be a pack leader. Instead I want my dogs to regard me as a trusted human and a resource provider,
.. I don't try to force a dog to fit the model of what some humans perceive a dog to be. Instead I allow the dog to 'be a dog' when I can and I try to understand its behaviour and needs and use common sense and compromise to achieve required results.

I don't read magazines and from what I have seen of dog training in the media there is the good, the acceptable and the downright cruel to be avoided at all costs.
The APDTs stance on banning certain techniques and products is fine by me, they should be setting an example to others.
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Lotsadogs
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26-07-2011, 10:48 PM
Originally Posted by waggytail View Post
I regulary pick up a copy of one of the many Dog magazines available. I have noticed that increasingly these magazines appear to be filled with articles to promote "purely positive" training methods. a typical example is the recent issue of "Dog today" which has a 2 page spread from Victoria Stillwell on this subject.

My concern is that Dog training appears to be going from one extreme to another, Of course it is unacceptable for a dog to be beaten but is it really any better to exessively reward a dog to the overall detriment of their learning?

If the media continue to represent only one side of the debate then it will make it increasingly difficult for owners and trainers to have a balanced view on this issue. even organisations such as APDT are now taking this line, banning their members from using a number of techniques and products.

As a trainer and Behaviourist myself, I have seen both ends of the spectrum and I feel what is missing is a balanced approach. in order to teach fairly, surely dogs they need a mixture of both postive and negative consequences? I also feel that certain aspects of Dog psychology have been pushed aside to suit this new regime, Watch any pack of dogs and then ask yourself wether "leadership" is important or not.

I am interested to know what others feel about the representation of Dog training/trainers in the media? Have TV shows and magazines warped our sense of reality? is there now an increasing pressure on how we train our dogs? The methods we use, even the words we use (Don't say "Dominance!!")

As people are becoming more aware there are more questions being asked, more expectation of trainers and clubs and divided opinion on what is the right way to train a dog. I feel people have the right to learn from both sides of the camp but more importantly to find the acceptable middle ground.
Again, an excellent post full of very astute observations.

I am too tired now to write fully, but I do believe that this is a subject worthy of greater understanding. That we might all benefit.

Excellent post. Do you want a job?
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smokeybear
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26-07-2011, 11:00 PM
I find it interesting that some organisations are seen as somehow being opposite in ethos to that of the APDT!

Especially when I know trainers and behaviourists who belong to organisations other than the APDT apply positive reinforcement in their schools/classes/consultations!

I wonder why this is?

I wonder if the people who believe this have any personal experience? Or if they TOO are guilty of being "unprofessional"?

Because I have experienced the good, bad, ugly and indifferent in members of ALL organisations, without exception.

I also know some fantastic trainers who left the APDT as they began to feel bullied by some members!

And of course there are fantastic trainers who belong to NO organisation at all as they do not want or need others approbation, nor would they dream of being assessed by those with far less skills, knowledge, ability, training and experience than themselves!
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Chris
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26-07-2011, 11:16 PM
As I see it, whether or not to join a group is a personal choice. In my experience, it brings little in the way of business, but does give the opportunity to discuss and share experiences of various aspects of training and behaviour with like-minded people all with similar, but yet varied approaches. Saves a lot of heated (and often point-scoring) debate
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smokeybear
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27-07-2011, 06:02 AM
Originally Posted by Brierley View Post
As I see it, whether or not to join a group is a personal choice. In my experience, it brings little in the way of business, but does give the opportunity to discuss and share experiences of various aspects of training and behaviour with like-minded people all with similar, but yet varied approaches. Saves a lot of heated (and often point-scoring) debate
Very true!
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Lotsadogs
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27-07-2011, 09:18 AM
Please read this post...... It may take some getting your head around, but I really feel that at a very basic level, there is a great misunderstanding about what dog "training" actually is....and therefore what the need for and consequences of different methods of training are.

In my view there are basically two types of things that you can train a dog to do or not to do.

1 Unnatural behaviours. Sit, spin, heel, drop it, watch me, go over the Aframe, recall on command, leave the dead rabbit. etc. etc.

2 Natural or genetically based behaviours. Barking, digging, rolling, eating poo, growling, snarling, resource guarding, scavanging, chasing, attacking, killing, biting, howling...

In my view the majority of the Unnatural behaviours NEED a positive association to train or perfect them. If I want my dog to twirl on command (an unnatural behaviour) then I need to provide a motivation to make the dog want to do it and repeat it.

In my view, the majority (though not all) of the naturally occuring behaviours are UNDESIRABLE and even dangerous in the pet dog. To cease these behaviours, it is often far more appropriate to provide a negative association. And that remember ,can be a very very mild, even barely perceivable, negative association.

If I find my puppy tipping over the kitchen bin, then with a sharp "Hey, You" I can stop the puppy doing what it is doing and with most sensitive dogs discourage them from ever doing it again. Simple. Done. Dog no longer at risk from contents of bin. For life.

I think that any well behaved, well mannered dog you encounter will at some stage have encountered some "negative association" based training at some point in its life, probably a few "A-HA"s or effective "no's" or perhaps they where trained by other dogs......... In which case they will commonly have been trained LARGELY by negative reenforcement. Because that is what dogs do when they train one another.

I am all for positive training methods, we teach clicker, hand feeding, lure, reward and toy and play based techniques both in classes and at home.

But there are some things that occur naturally that need to be stopped quickly (for the dogs benefit),
which are definately best "trained" with negative associations. Because if you don't want a dog to do it then you must make the dog not want to do it.
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Lotsadogs
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27-07-2011, 09:27 AM
Originally Posted by Brierley View Post
As I see it, whether or not to join a group is a personal choice. In my experience, it brings little in the way of business, but does give the opportunity to discuss and share experiences of various aspects of training and behaviour with like-minded people all with similar, but yet varied approaches. Saves a lot of heated (and often point-scoring) debate

I agree. Discussion among peers is hugely beneficial in most cases. The question is, do you want a discussion with a group of people who already have a pre ordained mindset, solution and answer to everything, or do you want a discussion with people who have open minds, very diverse views, and massively varied backgrounds? Chosign your discussion group, is hugely important to your personal development.

Having a paper qualification, in my experience, as yours, usually makes no difference to the general public seeking dog training or behaviour help - unless that is, they are on a forum, reading a specific magazine, or already entrenched in some kind of "group", which promotes one approach only. Then, it seems, a couple of "magical letters" or a certain "method" immediately make them "reputable" "experienced", "safe" etc. Which I find worrying. Very worrying.
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Wysiwyg
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27-07-2011, 10:09 AM
Originally Posted by smokeybear View Post
...I know trainers and behaviourists who belong to organisations other than the APDT apply positive reinforcement in their schools/classes/consultations!
I think many of us who are trainers/behaviourists would agree with this, and also of course some people are members of several different organisations ...
I wonder if the people who believe this have any personal experience? Or if they TOO are guilty of being "unprofessional"?
I think one can speak openly without being personal - unless of course it's CM in which case his name will be mentioned, but it's better to discuss his methods rather than his -erm, teeth

However, you then get situations in which dog welfare is paramount, and then what does one do?

For example, one organisations (as well as many individuals!) spoke out against the ghastly Dog Borstal - was that a good decision or not? Certainly they were speaking up for the dogs. But the DB trainers, some of whom were members of various organisations, were furious! It's not always clear cut.

You also get situations where people from an organisation will use their position (eg in a magazine) to push their views. For example one organisation is constantly lambasted by another. No names are put forth, but it is clear what is going on. I think some of this relates to stances about the dominance debate, personal gripes, etc but it gets boring after a while...

Because I have experienced the good, bad, ugly and indifferent in members of ALL organisations, without exception.
You are not alone in that.

I also know some fantastic trainers who left the APDT as they began to feel bullied by some members!
Why?
Were they wanting to use aversives, (in which case why were they members?) or was it more of a personality clash situation?

In most organisations that have passion, there will be a breaking of many eggs to make an omelette (or whatever the expression is). It's normal human nature. Not saying it's good, or right, but it does tend to occur.

You also get good and bad apples in most organisations, I think most of us know that, too

And of course there are fantastic trainers who belong to NO organisation at all as they do not want or need others approbation, nor would they dream of being assessed by those with far less skills, knowledge, ability, training and experience than themselves!
I don't think anyone would disagree with the fact that there are some very good trainers out there who are not members - Kay Lawrence springs to mind.

I do hope they are not overly arrogant, though! I think to be a good trainer, one does need to keep some ability to be humble. One never knows everything, and one keeps learning ...

It's hard for dog owners to know who to go to, this is the problem. Yes someone can be non APDT, but is that person going to use harsh methods or even use p.punishment where it is not necessary. Are they going to be up to date with behaviour?

Personally I believe that an ongoing education, theory and practical experience is the way to go. The more one is educated, the less one is likely to want to (or have to) use spray collars, shocks, lead jerks etc on pet dogs.

Wys
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Chris
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27-07-2011, 10:14 AM
Originally Posted by Lotsadogs View Post
I agree. Discussion among peers is hugely beneficial in most cases. The question is, do you want a discussion with a group of people who already have a pre ordained mindset, solution and answer to everything, or do you want a discussion with people who have open minds, very diverse views, and massively varied backgrounds? Chosign your discussion group, is hugely important to your personal development.
There is never only one solution and that applies whether or not you consider physical aversives . Just think how many ways there are to teach something like loose lead walking, down, stay etc without using physically uncomfortable methods. You can learn an awful lot and pick up many new ideas from discussions about techniques within a method. Also with a very big membership comes massively varied backgrounds and diverse views albeit diverse views about a type of training shared by all within the group.

Having a paper qualification, in my experience, as yours, usually makes no difference to the general public seeking dog training or behaviour help - unless that is, they are on a forum, reading a specific magazine, or already entrenched in some kind of "group", which promotes one approach only. Then, it seems, a couple of "magical letters" or a certain "method" immediately make them "reputable" "experienced", "safe" etc. Which I find worrying. Very worrying.
Where I found the paper qualification beneficial was with vets who I found more and more discerning in who they would recommend. It also opened other avenues for me that I hadn't considered previously and which I enjoyed immensely.

If any organisation has built up a good reputation, then I don't find it worrying at all that people take it as a good starting point for looking for what they need. However, I tended to find that when people look for a trainer they go on location, price and word of mouth recommendation or recommendation from their vet for someone local rather than someone who belonged to an association.
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