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Treat Training Seminar

Bailey_
April 15th, 2009, 01:29 PM
I just thought I would write a post to let everybody know that I, the behavioral trainer (who wouldn't ever use a treat to train for as long as I live) was convinced to accompany another friend/trainer to a treat-training seminar yesterday.

And I just want to announce that I HAD AN AWESOME TIME.

http://photos-e.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-snc1/v2715/229/48/685520530/n685520530_6490116_2105305.jpg

(Me using TREATS, oh my god. Practicing the command, 'Get In' with my handsome co-part 'Humphrey'.)

I previously have never really met a treat-trainer that I felt knew what they were doing aside from training a dog to 'sit', 'stay', 'down' (no offence to the treat-trainers here) and can say that I have finally met someone who has changed my mind completley with regards to treat training.
While I personally will still not follow treat training in my every day-to-day practicing, I do understand that there are benefits and may use it when unavoidable - which is a huge step for what I've previously believed in. And this is truly humbling for me to finally admit. I'm really appreciative that I have met a treat trainer who was able to sit down with me and go over all of my questions and concerns; and even though I caught myself biting my tounge a few times :laughing:, I really - really see it in a different light.

Just thought I would let everyone know who I may have previously argued these points with. I DO see the benefits!

Promethean
April 15th, 2009, 02:16 PM
That's great that you picked up something new but I have to laugh at your terminology; everyone is a behavioral trainer.

BenMax
April 15th, 2009, 02:26 PM
What I like about you Baily is your honesty. We may not agree at times with training but you are open minded and always admit if you were wrong or incorrect. You will go far.

You be good people Baily.

(ok now you need to sell me on the treat training....:laughing:)

Bailey_
April 15th, 2009, 03:04 PM
BenMax,

:laughing: You crack me up woman! And thankyou, it really was an eye-opening experience for me. True, it was quite difficult for me to listen to some of the things that this particular trainer was explaining (like, when she advised using a spray bottle to stop a dog from barking out the window of the house:yuck:) however I tried to keep an open mind and remember that certain methods or beliefs that I don't exactly *agree* with - may work for certain dogs in certain situations.

I can't really sell you on the treat training BenMax, because I'm also not what I would call 'sold'. However I can personally say now that I have actually met a treat-trainer who worked on getting to the root of a dogs problem first without treats - and then rewarded when neccessary. It was really great AND fun.


Promethean, not sure why that's funny? Maybe I just don't understand your humour...:shrug:

Chris21711
April 15th, 2009, 04:06 PM
I've never used treats for training our guys...I guess that's why they blow me off all the time and think that I'm not worth listening to :laughing:

pattymac
April 15th, 2009, 04:17 PM
Cool! My new trainer stated last night that the reason alot of people fail with their training is they're too cheap or stingy with the rewards and praise. Mind you, he isn't against using a correction when necessary. He suggested a prong collar for Bayley as with her pulling when she gets worked up around other dogs, chances are she's going to hurt her neck. So I'm bringing my prong next week and he'll get it fitted properly for me and show me what to do. He figures she won't need it for very long.

breeze
April 15th, 2009, 04:23 PM
I use treat training, praise training, and play time training.. I find that all work very well. it's always good to have a back up training method , and that they don't get use to one kind of training

:D:thumbs up:thumbs up

Blackdog22
April 15th, 2009, 04:33 PM
Great to hear you're keeping an open mind about training!

I have a question regarding treat training.

Wouldn't treat training technically be the direct manipulation of the dogs drive to eat, therefore making it without a doubt 'behavioral training'? Are not all behaviors a result of drive (basic instinct)?

Of course, there is a big difference between working with the drives presented and bribary...

Promethean
April 15th, 2009, 04:55 PM
Promethean, not sure why that's funny? Maybe I just don't understand your humour...:shrug:

I found it funny because all dog training involves changing/obtaining behaviors. This makes all trainers 'behavioural'... it's a bit like finding an 'electrical electrician.'

Bailey_
April 15th, 2009, 04:57 PM
Great question BD, and I think you've nailed it on the head with your own comment:

there is a big difference between working with the drives presented and bribary

And I think the real difference with strictly behavior training and treat-training is that treat based training is not directly communicating a dog through behavior or body language. An alpha dog in a pack maintains it's heiarchy through certain levels of physical aggression, which is why treat-training is the opposite of what a dog is born to understand.

Bailey_
April 15th, 2009, 05:00 PM
I found it funny because all dog training involves changing/obtaining behaviors. This makes all trainers 'behavioural'... it's a bit like finding an 'electrical electrician.'

Oh I see what you meant. Sorry, I'm slow on the up-take.

I agree, dog training does involve changing behavior and reaching a goal; but the term 'Behavioral Training' refers to the types of methods that don't involve treats or clickers to achieve a certain 'behavior'. That's why they are differentiated through the term 'Clicker' or 'Treat trainer'.

Bailey_
April 15th, 2009, 05:05 PM
I use treat training, praise training, and play time training.. I find that all work very well. it's always good to have a back up training method , and that they don't get use to one kind of training

:D:thumbs up:thumbs up

Very true, Breeze. Switching things up is never a bad thing, as long as the results are desireable.

(I also am not a fan of indoor training, so that was something I would've suggested to change.)

breeze
April 15th, 2009, 05:16 PM
Very true, Breeze. Switching things up is never a bad thing, as long as the results are desireable.

(I also am not a fan of indoor training, so that was something I would've suggested to change.)


do you mean in the house??

Bailey_
April 15th, 2009, 05:21 PM
do you mean in the house??

No, I think training in the house is great! :) I was referring to the trainers that do the majority of their training in a warehouse or a similiar building; with no distractions like people/bikes/joggers/cars, etc. I just don't think that's a real scenario for the pooches, and in this particular class it was very warehouse-ish, as you can see from the picture. :thumbs up

breeze
April 15th, 2009, 05:24 PM
No, I think training in the house is great! :) I was referring to the trainers that do the majority of their training in a warehouse or a similiar building; with no distractions like people/bikes/joggers/cars, etc. I just don't think that's a real scenario for the pooches, and in this particular class it was very warehouse-ish, as you can see from the picture. :thumbs up

yes but don't you think you have to start somewhere?? and then you as the owner/trainer taking it outside?? and teaching/training when you fully understand what the training is all about??
then you can have distractions..

Bailey_
April 15th, 2009, 05:27 PM
yes but don't you think you have to start somewhere?? and then you as the owner/trainer taking it outside?? and teaching/training when you fully understand what the training is all about??
then you can have distractions..

Absolutley, I agree that ground work needs to be established first. However if there are no behavioral issues, or anything the owner/handler specifically needs fixed or worked on, then I see no need to keep the dog secluded from real life situations. A lot of behavioral problems that I see in dogs today are because the owners have kept the dogs secluded (or have done puppy classes indoors with no real success long-term, which is not the trainer's fault persay - but owners tend to KEEP training in their home) and not the opposite.
Not to forget that a dog who is perfectly behaved in home, will be a completley different dog outside. I can't even count how many times people tell me, "My dog is SO well behaved at home, but as soon as we go outside....."

breeze
April 15th, 2009, 05:33 PM
Absolutley, I agree that ground work needs to be established first. However if there is no behavioral issues, or anything the owner/handler specifically needs fixed or worked on, then I see no need to keep the dog secluded from real life situations. A lot of behavioral problems that I see in dogs today are because the owners have kept the dogs secluded (or have done puppy classes indoors with no real success long-term) and not the opposite.

when I had my first dog and went to training school I was happy it was indoors, but as time went by and I tried to do the training outdoors I would have loved a course or two to show me what to expect and how to deal with that situation.

Bailey_
April 15th, 2009, 05:37 PM
when I had my first dog and went to training school I was happy it was indoors, but as time went by and I tried to do the training outdoors I would have loved a course or two to show me what to expect and how to deal with that situation.

I hear ya. :thumbs up That's what a lot of people tell me too, which I think has confirmed my belief that training should start outside (if the owners are comfortable with it and the dog has no previous issues that needs to be worked on). I just truly believe it's real for the dog, it's more fun/exciting for them and their owners, and then the owners don't walk away going - "Okay, now how are we supposed to react when my dog wants to chase that bike, or pull on the leash after that jogger?"

Plus it's always great to have everyone meet in front of Starbucks. :D:laughing:

breeze
April 15th, 2009, 05:44 PM
(if the owners are comfortable with it and the dog has no previous issues that needs to be worked on).
Plus it's always great to have everyone meet in front of Starbucks. :D:laughing:

this is the operative sentence here..:thumbs up:thumbs up

can you imagine all the puppies getting tangled under the tables??:laughing::laughing:

I have to say I would say start off inside just to get the confidence of owning a pooch and what to expect in a room full of pooches, then bringing them outside for what ever training you decide on :thumbs up:thumbs up

luckypenny
April 15th, 2009, 09:36 PM
Fantastic Bailey_ :thumbs up. If you really want a thorough understanding of "positive dog training" (sorry, I'm not familiar with the term "treat training" :o), there are some wonderful certified applied animal behaviorists you may want to research: Patricia McConnell Ph.D, or Pat Miller, or Jean Donaldson to name just a few.

In addition, as with any trainer/behaviorist, even those that practice the modern approach, it's important to look into their credentials and related experiences.

Promethean
April 15th, 2009, 11:47 PM
The term behavioral training is over 40 years old and it does exclude food rewards nor markers and bridges. A more honest label to describe would be dominance, traditional trainer even motivational. Or less flattering 'yank and crank'

It's also false that the breeding pair (alpha is soooooo outdated) maintain order through aggression. I don't recall which famous wolf biologist said the breeding pair lead through benevolent example. And Mech has also mentioned the lack on aggressive interactions in his many books (try Wolves: Behavior, Ecology and Conservation)

Finally training should be done in a non distracting to start for the same reason math classes aren't held in middle of rock concerts and you don't go to a night club on Saturday night to study for an exam.

pattymac
April 16th, 2009, 12:00 AM
I prefer to start training in a controlled environment, then by all means start working in different locations, where practical of course. Like right now, we're training indoors and that's enough of a difference already where Bayley really has to think..not at all like her kitchen or backyard.

Bailey_
April 16th, 2009, 12:38 AM
Thanks LP. I'll def. have to look into them and their beliefs/practices.

Promethean, interesting point, however I think one needs to be careful before saying that firstly "alpha" is outdated. (Not where I'm from, nor in the circles I run, nor with the hundreds of other trainers/dog owners I talk too). I understand that by calling the alpha the breeding pair you are giving the animal a designation which emphasizes not the animal's dominant status, but its role as pack progenitor, am I correct?
With that in mind, let us not forget that the non-breeding individuals or low-ranking wolves, will not breed in captivity UNLESS removed from the pack. Which tells me that there is true respect for the heiarchy and the "breeding pair". But I need to also point out that you are referring to the term alpha within a wolf pack, not canine.

When I was talking about 'alpha' dog, I was talking about the canine and not wolves. There is a HUGE misconception about canine pack vs wolf pack, and that it is the same as wolf packs and that their heiarchy or the way they carry out order is the same, which is very generic at the least.
Here was an interesting quote from Wikipedia.

Despite being genetically the same species as the grey wolf, it is unclear what the similarities are between the pack behaviour of the dog and the gray wolf. Domesticated dogs have had humans as part of dog social structure for at least 12,000 years, and human behaviour is not the same as wolf behaviour. Studies of dog behaviour include studies of dogs and their interactions with humans (example [6]), "dumped" or "road" dogs that were raised by humans and then left to fend for themselves (The Tuscany Dog Project[7]), feral dogs not attached to humans (Carolina Dog), and feral dog packs that live in association with human villages or camps (New Guinea Singing Dog). Pack structure and behaviour varies greatly.


Also, here's an article that I think may be of great interest to you. http://www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/pdfs/dogs/DogAggression.pdf

You say that training should be done inside to start with, but I don't see how beginning outdoor training would be so successful if it were not "supposed" to be done that way.

Promethean
April 16th, 2009, 03:42 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNtFgdwTsbU

I think when one of the guys that was responsible for giving us and popularizing the concept tells us it's outdated, then it probably is.

LD Mech writes

"For example, 19 prominent wolf biologists from both Europe and North America never mentioned the term alpha in a long
article on breeding pairs of wolves. The article, titled “The Effects of Breeder Loss on Wolves,” was published in a 2008 issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management."

and

"In the 448-page, 2003 book Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, edited by Luigi Boitani and myself and written by 23 authors, alpha is mentioned in only six places and then only to explain why the term is outdated."

Since the alpha/pack trainers lifted the term from them, applied it without significant modification, and generally rely on wolf examples and analogies to support their use of the term; I would say 'outdated' is a fair description. The resistance of some people to adopt more accurate language doesn't make it any less outdated

And since you mention domestication, that too is another reason why the model is flawed. As E.Price (1984) writes in the Quarterly Review of Biology, Behavioral Aspects of Animal Domestication, "man's control over the breeding process have reduced competition for important resources, and thus have permitted selection for the retention of juvenile characteristics (neotony)" Putting the alpha concept into question and this is echoed by Frank and Frank in 1982. They noted that social behavior patters of dominace/submission were incomplete, a breakdown in ritualized aggression and that in dogs the strict social behavior of the wolf has disintegrated into "an assortment of independent behavioral fragments." This is why many people compare dogs to wolf pups, we've selected all the neotonous behaviors that made pups easy to handle, and why the alpha model is not the best approach.

I read the link. Take for example the first paragraph on aggresson "dogs threaten aggression without needing to follow through. The reason is that dogs who are properly socialized understand and respect the pack hierarchy." This is far too presumptuous because it implies the author knows what the dog is thinking. A more reasonable and logical explanation that is widely accepted is that real conflict is evolutionarily disadvantageous. The price for real combat, even for the winner is far too high. This is an idea that is explored in by Dawkins in The Selfish Gene before that Konrad showed that ritualization of aggressive behavior was genetically influenced. The mathematics do not favour actual combat.

I use should, only in as far as it results in the most efficient environment for learning. Teaching in distracting environments makes as much sense as teaching a soldier to operate his weapon during a war game. They are taught in a range where they can focus on the task. Because all animals learn in essentially the same way it makes sense to minimize distractions during the acquistion phase.

Mat&Murph
April 16th, 2009, 11:01 AM
I do alot of praise when working with my boys but I also use their fav toy as release. I have done treats too I admit but not too much as I am scared the boys will become fat instead of filled out. But Every dog is different Murphy does great with just a little lovein but Matt needs that toy for the extra. I also do some training excersis in the house and outside. Matt need work outside cause he gets too distracted but with his toy he is doing better on a daily basis,. Just what works for me and my boys

Bailey_
April 16th, 2009, 12:08 PM
Since the alpha/pack trainers lifted the term from them, applied it without significant modification, and generally rely on wolf examples and analogies to support their use of the term; I would say 'outdated' is a fair description.

Okay, yes, I agree with this statement. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what you are doing, just in another way? Using wolf heiarchy examples to support your description that a canine pack does not have alpha members? I quoted that important paragraph about the danger of comparing wolves to canines, because we can't.

As we both mentioned, dogs have been under human direction for too long - to really understand exactly how they would run in the natural world without us in the picture.

And to quote your guy, Mech: He stated: "in the heiarchy of wolf packs, dominance is respected both in terms of priviledge (eg. "pecking order") and inititive (eg. travelling, hunting, territorial defence, reproduction, etc). Mech and Botani 2003) which I find very interesting, as 'alpha members' and 'dominant heiarchy' speak large simliarities to me.
And Per Jensen in the novel 'The Behavioral Biology of Dogs' gave a wonderful description of the living feral dog - and noted that they do NOT have social control of reproducing individuals which would mean that dogs would need another way to have pack order, and went on through all the reasons we cannot compare dog heiarchy to wolves.

Promethean
April 16th, 2009, 02:13 PM
Can you be more specific about what you found appealing about this "treat training" seminar? What was different about it? And is that really how they advertised it - Treat Training?

Bailey_
April 16th, 2009, 03:22 PM
I do alot of praise when working with my boys but I also use their fav toy as release. I have done treats too I admit but not too much as I am scared the boys will become fat instead of filled out. But Every dog is different Murphy does great with just a little lovein but Matt needs that toy for the extra. I also do some training excersis in the house and outside. Matt need work outside cause he gets too distracted but with his toy he is doing better on a daily basis,. Just what works for me and my boys

That's great M&M! It is such an interesting thing to disect what each dog reacts too and enjoys, vs what they don't. Your dogs are aaaadorable, btw. :D

Can you be more specific about what you found appealing about this "treat training" seminar? What was different about it? And is that really how they advertised it - Treat Training?

I'm not sure how it was advertised as I went with another trainer/friend who trains through positive reward system (specifically, treats). I previously have never had great experiences when attending these sorts of classes and seminars, nor when I have gotten into discussions with other trainers that specifically use food motivation as reward systems. That has just been my experience, so I was pleasantly surprised when I attended this seminar and met the trainer and others who believe in this system; who still had many of the same ideals as I do when it comes to dog behavior/language.

I think I had a very...close-minded view of what food motivation presented and made the judgement call that all food motivators jumped at the chance to reward with treats, when in fact I can see now this is not always the case.

Promethean, I'm also very interested in your background. Do you train? You have a great knowledge of wolves, I love discussing them (even though we may not always agree at some points. ) :)

Gail P
April 16th, 2009, 05:55 PM
But I need to also point out that you are referring to the term alpha within a wolf pack, not canine.

When I was talking about 'alpha' dog, I was talking about the canine and not wolves. There is a HUGE misconception about canine pack vs wolf pack, ...


I've been reading through this thread, and I know this is :offtopic: :sorry: but there's something I just had to say. Sorry Bailey, this isn't personal but it's driving me bonkers (I'm a Fish & Wildlife Tech graduate, so things like this bug me, sorry :o). They're both canines. Dogs are dogs, wolves are wolves, but both are canines. In fact, they's both Canis lupus. Domestic dogs are Canis lupus familiaris and wolves can be Canis lupus (grey wolf) Canis lupus lycaon (timber wolf), and there are others.

Bailey_
April 16th, 2009, 07:09 PM
:laughing: awh, sorry, thanks Gail.