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What is "positive" training anyway?

SamIam
March 23rd, 2011, 03:15 PM
Yes there are actual official definitions to training terms:

Using the 4 words "positive" (=add something) "negative" (=take something away) "reinforcement" (=encourage to repeat same or similar behaviour) and "punishment" (=discourage a certain behaviour) there are 4 ways to respond to your dog's behaviour.

Positive Reinforcement
Add something the dog likes, praise, treats, toy, attention, etc.

Positive Punishment
Add something the dog dislikes, harsh/growly speech, leash jerk, display of dominance anywhere from just direct eye contact to physical contact

Negative Reinforcement
Taking something away that your dog dislikes, for instance, on leash every time the dog moves closer to the handler the pressure from the leash is automatically released.

Negative Punishment
Oh, from the name this one sounds nasty! But what is it? Taking away something the dog likes in order to discourage a behaviour. So time outs, or when you jump up on me and I turn away and ignore you until you settle down, THAT is is negative punishment. Is it cruel? Maybe! In many situations it is extremely effective!

These are just examples, there are an endless selection of positive reinforcement, positive punishment, negative reinforcement and negative punishments that can be used, and certain ones will be most appropriate for certain situations, certain dogs, certain handlers, but I would consider a trainer more likely to be good if they use a combination of all 4 reactions.

Someone claiming to be a "positive" or "positive reinforcement" trainer? To me, they either don't know what positive means (and therefore have missed out on on the teachings of the very people who coined the term positive reinforcement in the first place) or are expressing a very narrow-minded approach that it is never appropriate to punish a dog, or to take anything away from them as a part of behaviour management.

BenMax
March 23rd, 2011, 03:51 PM
Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Stinkycat
March 23rd, 2011, 05:12 PM
Someone claiming to be a "positive" or "positive reinforcement" trainer? To me, they either don't know what positive means (and therefore have missed out on on the teachings of the very people who coined the term positive reinforcement in the first place) or are expressing a very narrow-minded approach that it is never appropriate to punish a dog, or to take anything away from them as a part of behaviour management.

It's a very complicated debate on what trainers exactly are. If every trainer was to say I'm a positive trainer mixed with negative punishment, people would #1 get confused cause they have no idea what that is and #2 go elsewhere because the training seems to complicated and most people want the "quick fix".

I am a positive reinforcement trainer and by no means am I narrow minded, I've used almost all forms of training, I work at a shelter with trainers who have been training over 20 years and involved with dog training clubs, all of them know positive reinforcement (rewarding good behaviours and ignoring or not allowing bad behaviours to occur) works every single time with all dogs. I have seen abusive methods (hitting, yelling, spanking, leash correcting, shock collars, prong collars, intimidation methods) being used and the more hard headed dogs take to this type of training much better then soft dogs.

Now the problem with aversive methods is you have a shy dog and you scream and yell at it, it may do the behaviour but not because it's voluntarily doing it for you/to please you. As if you found something that is reinforcing to the dog and using that to reward the dog for performing the behaviour, soon having a positive association to doing what the owner wants the dog will more often willingly listen to you because good things come when he does!

Dogs do what is most rewarding to THEM! It's been proven so many times! Why do you think dogs counter surf? They are rewarded by finding food up there! Or if they are lacking social interaction, any attention is rewarding to them.

With positive reinforcement training you don't ever need to correct your dog. The punishment is not getting the reinforcement/reward and not ALLOWING your dog to fail in the first place, if your dog can't exhibit bad behaviours how will he practice them?

This means if your dog doesn't know how to come when called and YOU let him off the leash and then doesn't come back, who's fault is that? Certainly not your dogs fault, he's doing what is rewarding, sniffing and running. The appropriate way to teach recall is to be MORE reinforcing then the environment, then of course your dog will come back to you all the time because you're better then whats out there.

Love4himies
March 23rd, 2011, 05:20 PM
Dogs do what is most rewarding to THEM!

Exactly! :thumbs up As do humans.

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2011, 05:24 PM
Common sense goes a long way too. Oh yeah - you told me no one has any anymore. :headslap:

BenMax
March 23rd, 2011, 05:36 PM
Though I agree with you on some points StinkyCats..let me run this by you and let me tell you my remedy (I am certain I will not win any popularity with this one..)

I placed a very large doberman recently. He was fine as long as he knew that he was not running the household..at the beat of his drum. Fast forward...dog went into the new home. Almost immediately he started mouthing which escalated to grabbing which escalated to actually puncturing. Not happy people to say the least...but partially their fault... All the while they had a positive reinforcement trainer who suggested to 'ignore' the behaviour by turning their back on the dog. So what does one do with their arms then? Hold them in the air so that the dog jumps up to grab them?

Sorry - I totally 100% disagree with ignoring such behaviour as one can see the escalation process. Not effective.

My suggestion was to walk INTO the dog. Look ahead of the dog and keep walking right into him. He will normally back up or get out of the way. No words used...the silent head on walk.

Results - it has been 3 weeks and the dog no longer reacts in such a manner. It took 3 times of walking into him, now a click of the fingers, pointing to the mat...and the issue is resolved. Voila!

SamIam
March 23rd, 2011, 06:43 PM
An excellent example BenMax. Because the dog found the behaviour itself to be rewarding, ignoring didn't work - with another dog it might have, but their +R trainer wasn't equipped for the possibility that a stronger reaction was needed.

BenMax
March 23rd, 2011, 07:00 PM
An excellent example BenMax. Because the dog found the behaviour itself to be rewarding, ignoring didn't work - with another dog it might have, but their +R trainer wasn't equipped for the possibility that a stronger reaction was needed.

That's because this trainer did not initially evaluate the dog before making recommendations. This is a problem with alot of trainers. Assessing behaviour is the first formost important thing to do. Without doing so..everyone fails..and sets the dog up for failure as well. That is why I say not to be generic in your training. Mix and match.

Stinkycat
March 23rd, 2011, 07:41 PM
Though I agree with you on some points StinkyCats..let me run this by you and let me tell you my remedy (I am certain I will not win any popularity with this one..)

I placed a very large doberman recently. He was fine as long as he knew that he was not running the household..at the beat of his drum. Fast forward...dog went into the new home. Almost immediately he started mouthing which escalated to grabbing which escalated to actually puncturing. Not happy people to say the least...but partially their fault... All the while they had a positive reinforcement trainer who suggested to 'ignore' the behaviour by turning their back on the dog. So what does one do with their arms then? Hold them in the air so that the dog jumps up to grab them?

Sorry - I totally 100% disagree with ignoring such behaviour as one can see the escalation process. Not effective.

My suggestion was to walk INTO the dog. Look ahead of the dog and keep walking right into him. He will normally back up or get out of the way. No words used...the silent head on walk.

Results - it has been 3 weeks and the dog no longer reacts in such a manner. It took 3 times of walking into him, now a click of the fingers, pointing to the mat...and the issue is resolved. Voila!

I totally agree that trainer was an idiot! They should've managed the dogs nipping by not allowing it to happen in the first place, you can only ignore minor annoying behaviours such as a dog pawing at you for attention or barking in the crate cause the dog wants out.

In that scenerio they should've found out why the dog was mouthing them in the first place. was it a pushy behaviour to manipulate the owners? Or was it play? If it was play, they should avoid any activities that trigger the mouthing and slowly reintroducing the play and work on redirecting the mouthing onto appropriate chewing objects. You have to manage the dog in order to train another behaviour in its place, the trainer should've figured out why the dog was mouthing.

And the problem would be solved, I've worked with dogs who mouth to the point of scarring my arms. You have to redirect the behaviour, not ignore it.

I think alot of people take "ignore bad behaviours" wrong. If you can't ignore a behaviour you're going to manage it so it doesn't happen.

millitntanimist
March 24th, 2011, 12:38 AM
I agree with Stinkycat.
Positive training (to me) is more about avoiding the use of P+ (and to a lesser extent R-) than it is about only using R+ (I have certainly utilized P- in situations where it was warranted, to good and lasting effect).

It is my experience that P+ creates more behavioral problems than it solves - even if this is years down the line. We know that animals can be very effectively trained without positive punishment, and that it has the potential to do physical or psychological damage when it is improperly performed, so why use it?

We only train very large/wild/intelligent animals with R+ and P- (cats, bears, whales, dolphins, apes, birds, elephants, . . . wolves ;)). I find it highly dubious that dogs are somehow more difficult (and therefore requiring of P+) to train than these.

SamIam
March 24th, 2011, 03:03 AM
We only train very large/wild/intelligent animals with R+ and P- (cats, bears, whales, dolphins, apes, birds, elephants, . . . wolves ;)). I find it highly dubious that dogs are somehow more difficult (and therefore requiring of P+) to train than these.

The difficulty with dogs versus zoo animals is that they are kept in a rich environment, form a closer social relationship with people, and are allowed privileges to the point that many are under the impression they run the household and can therefore do whatever they want. Some, sadly, are often even today, trained behind the scenes using harsher P+ than any of us could tolerate watching, though!

Many of the most effective P+ for dogs are actually displays of dominance that they can easily understand. When BenMax walked directly INTO the dog, the dog was not physically or mentally harmed in any way, but what she did still qualifies as P+.

If you allow a bear, ape, elephant, etc. the run of your house, permission to sniff your kitchen cupboards and sleep on your bed and so forth, you will find some very difficult problems. If you confine your dog to a cage, bring food and water twice a day and let him out a couple times to do tricks, you will find him only slightly more likely to challenge you as an equal than those other species.

Cats, of course, do believe in P+ and will use it on a misbehaved human.

BenMax
March 24th, 2011, 05:26 AM
Many of the most effective P+ for dogs are actually displays of dominance that they can easily understand. When BenMax walked directly INTO the dog, the dog was not physically or mentally harmed in any way, but what she did still qualifies as P+.




I don't know what you call it..but I call it - it works!

pbpatti
March 24th, 2011, 09:09 AM
I have a perfect example of Positive Reinforcement and Positive Punishment.

The Positive reinforcement did not work in this instance, Buddy was mouthing my slippers (while on my feet:eek:) and the first thing I tried was to redirect him and then treat him...well you can figure out what happened with this...he continued to want my slippers 'cause he was going to get a treat for it.

The Positive Punishment was to send him to his bed :eek:, of course he did not want to be moved away from me and now if he grabs my slippers or my hands I calmly ask him to go to bed, he very rarely grabs either anymore. Hope this makes sense....patti

BenMax
March 24th, 2011, 09:27 AM
I have a perfect example of Positive Reinforcement and Positive Punishment.

The Positive reinforcement did not work in this instance, Buddy was mouthing my slippers (while on my feet:eek:) and the first thing I tried was to redirect him and then treat him...well you can figure out what happened with this...he continued to want my slippers 'cause he was going to get a treat for it.

The Positive Punishment was to send him to his bed :eek:, of course he did not want to be moved away from me and now if he grabs my slippers or my hands I calmly ask him to go to bed, he very rarely grabs either anymore. Hope this makes sense....patti

Makes perfect sense pbpatti!:thumbs up

millitntanimist
March 24th, 2011, 10:06 AM
Some, sadly, are often even today, trained behind the scenes using harsher P+ than any of us could tolerate watching, though!

This is true, but not legally in North America (I know legality can be a bit of a paper tiger, but the point remains). Any animal you have seen on television (barring the obvious :rolleyes:), in movies, at (reputable) animal shows and zoos have all been trained without the use of P+

Many of the most effective P+ for dogs are actually displays of dominance that they can easily understand.

I do not subscribe to dominance theory. I believe dogs do what works and that it is our job as trainers to teach them to behave in a way that works for both of us.
I find dominance theory a little egocentric for my taste (I am NOT saying that I feel people who use it egocentric, only the theory itself - though it can attract that type of personality). The idea that a dog is constantly scheming for ways to take my authority is just too self-important. It is true that dogs are dependent on us for many of their resources, but they have their own interests that have nothing to do with us.

I also find dominance theory somewhat erroneous because dogs don't think like we do. Dogs don't have forethought or the same ideas of ownership.
Dogs live in the moment, they don't think on the future or ruminate on the past. This is why P+ is useless if improperly timed. If you punish before the transgression the dog will have no idea what you are punishing, and if you punish more than a few seconds too late the results are the same. Therefore, the idea that a dog is actively attempting to supplant you, trying to take away all of your resources for itself , is . . . well, a impossible to me.
In regards to ownership, a resource only belongs to a dog when it is directly in a dogs perceived possession, which only translates to a radius of about a few feet. Once a dog leaves the bone it is chewing on (for example), it no longer belongs to that dog. Any other dog can take it. That does not mean that dogs do not try to take resources from others, but it is not a planned or co-ordinated "hey, that's mine" it's more of an "oh, I want that."


When BenMax walked directly INTO the dog, the dog was not physically or mentally harmed in any way, but what she did still qualifies as P+.

Sorry but I disagree. Forcing yourself into a dog's personal space is a threatening gesture (the same way a bouncer in a pub getting into your face would make you weak in the knees . . . at least I would be ;)) It is an implied escalation of violence, even if you have no intention of escalating it yourself.
Harm would be a strong word, but intimidated? Maybe. And on some dogs that could mean behavioral problems down the line. One of our rescues came to us with broken ribs and afraid anything being raised above her head - there is no way we could have used any type of P+ for her behavioral problems - which included fear aggression to men.
Note: BenMax, you sound like a good, responsible trainer. It is not my intention to criticize your methods, I am only trying to explain why I feel that P+ is not a tool I will ever take out of my toolbox :)

If you confine your dog to a cage, bring food and water twice a day and let him out a couple times to do tricks, you will find him only slightly more likely to challenge you as an equal than those other species.

I'm sorry but I find it hard to believe a dog would challenge me more than a tiger in any situation :D.

Cats, of course, do believe in P+ and will use it on a misbehaved human.

Ok, that's pretty funny

BenMax
March 24th, 2011, 10:27 AM
Note: BenMax, you sound like a good, responsible trainer. It is not my intention to criticize your methods, I am only trying to explain why I feel that P+ is not a tool I will ever take out of my toolbox :)





That is perfectly ok millitntanimist. :thumbs up. I did say some woud not like it. I am comfortable with critism and I am ok with that. And listen..I am old school in many ways. I am totally open to new ideas and suggestions.
It is very very true that it is removing the dog from his space...but let's not forget that he invaded a human's space which is a more 'important' space than his. That's just my take on it.
It's all healthy discussion and the exchange of approach is very welcomed. Hey I am not perfect and always willing to consider options. In the case I provided..what would have been a better more positive approach. I would like to try it.

Criosphynx
March 24th, 2011, 11:34 AM
I agree with Stinkycat.
Positive training (to me) is more about avoiding the use of P+ (and to a lesser extent R-) than it is about only using R+ (I have certainly utilized P- in situations where it was warranted, to good and lasting effect).

It is my experience that P+ creates more behavioral problems than it solves - even if this is years down the line. We know that animals can be very effectively trained without positive punishment, and that it has the potential to do physical or psychological damage when it is improperly performed, so why use it?

We only train very large/wild/intelligent animals with R+ and P- (cats, bears, whales, dolphins, apes, birds, elephants, . . . wolves ;)). I find it highly dubious that dogs are somehow more difficult (and therefore requiring of P+) to train than these.



Ditto this


I also agree with the label of "positive trainer" being used simply because the public would be confused otherwise :)



And with the dobe, yes you cant ignore self reinforcing behaviors. You need to actively teach an incompatible behavior while preventing as much as possible :)

Ill try and comment more when im off this stupid tiny keypad :p

BenMax
March 24th, 2011, 11:49 AM
Ditto this


I also agree with the label of "positive trainer" being used simply because the public would be confused otherwise :)



And with the dobe, yes you cant ignore self reinforcing behaviors. You need to actively teach an incompatible behavior while preventing as much as possible :)

Ill try and comment more when im off this stupid tiny keypad :p

On a personal level, I am curious as to how you and others would remedy the dobie situation without using my rather invasive method.:o.
I ask as this weekend I have to work on a shelter dog with similiar issue. I would really like to try your suggestion(s) for my own observation and possible 'change of ways'.:)

GalaxiesKuklos
March 24th, 2011, 12:54 PM
Someone claiming to be a "positive" or "positive reinforcement" trainer? To me, they either don't know what positive means (and therefore have missed out on on the teachings of the very people who coined the term positive reinforcement in the first place) or are expressing a very narrow-minded approach that it is never appropriate to punish a dog, or to take anything away from them as a part of behaviour management.

That's really cute and wrong Too bad the whole argument is based on EQUIVOCATION (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivocation). We all know that 'positive' trainers are using the word in a non-technical manner.

SamIam
March 24th, 2011, 02:44 PM
I don't know what you call it..but I call it - it works!

I would rather go with a trainer who uses the methods and not the names rather than vice versa! I too am interested how these other trainers would respond to a personal space issue without responding to the dog in kind.

Longblades
March 24th, 2011, 03:14 PM
http://www.wagntrain.com/OC/

I thought the correct terminology was operant conditioning. Vesus classic conditioning, as explained in the link above.

Thus, to go back to the OP, I understand positive punishment to be stronger that negative punishment. To use the Dobie example, turning their backs was negative punishment. The thing lost was the human involvement of the facing human. BenMax's example of walking into the Dobe was positive punishment, it delivered an unexpected and unwelcome consequence to the dog.

For myself I believe each has value and a place in training. I should also say that I think those who are uncomfortable with their ability to judge when a positive punishment is merited might do well to shy away from using it. Some dogs may never need a positive correction or punishment. (Correction is a nicer term I think) Some might and not all owners are experienced enough to know the difference.

Then, if they end up calling in a trainer or so-called behaviourist in to help them they can ask if the trainer is familiar with operant conditioning and ask which of the four he/she employs. It's nice to know your trainer has training and experience and knows more than you do and I find just a little bit of knowledge on our part can help determine this.

Criosphynx
March 24th, 2011, 08:49 PM
On a personal level, I am curious as to how you and others would remedy the dobie situation without using my rather invasive method.:o.
I ask as this weekend I have to work on a shelter dog with similiar issue. I would really like to try your suggestion(s) for my own observation and possible 'change of ways'.:)


No worries. :) I assume your familiar with marking and rewarding behavior? Like if you want the dog to sit, you say "yes" and treat...etc etc


what most people do not realize, is you can mark and reward for the ABSENCE of behavior. So you would reward moments where you trigger the dog on a low level and then build on it

For example, my pit bull was the same way as you describe the dobie...except it wasn't mouthing. It was licking. Obsessive, pushy licking. Removing attention did not work. So I sat her in a room and sat on the floor and did my normal "deflect the dog" routine. IN the small instant she pulled away/paused/gave up/whatever I marked and treated. Within 5 minutes of doing this, the pushy behavior disapeared. So I uped the ante slowly...leaning into her, waving my arms, standing and resitting, etc etc (one criteria at a time of course) and each time she didn't lick me/be pushy I clicked and treated (throwing threats AWAY from me (reward for position, always reward space invader dogs AWAY from you))


here is the same idea, but mouthy/bitey version. Works for adults, even tho its a "puppy" video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c77--cCHPyU

you break down the trigger (what causes the dog to mouth/push) into tiny steps where the dogs chance to succeed is high, and then reward success :)


[For myself I believe each has value and a place in training. I should also say that I think those who are uncomfortable with their ability to judge when a positive punishment is merited might do well to shy away from using it. Some dogs may never need a positive correction or punishment. (Correction is a nicer term I think) Some might and not all owners are experienced enough to know the difference.

Then, if they end up calling in a trainer or so-called behaviourist in to help them they can ask if the trainer is familiar with operant conditioning and ask which of the four he/she employs. It's nice to know your trainer has training and experience and knows more than you do and I find just a little bit of knowledge on our part can help determine this.


THIS THIS THIS. You'd be surprised how many trainers will say "huh" and not even know what OC is...run far far away... Thats like a mechanic that can fix your broken car, yet not being able to explain how an engine works...

SamIam
March 24th, 2011, 08:58 PM
So you would reward moments where you trigger the dog on a low level and then build on it

Smart dog learns when he doesn't have treats on him, I can still bite, which is fun in and of itself. If he does have treats, and I bite him, we get to play the treat toss game.

Extinction will not occur for self-rewarding behaviours. I like to employ a combination of discourage the undesired behaviour with reward an alternate appropriate behaviour.

Criosphynx
March 24th, 2011, 09:06 PM
Smart dog learns when he doesn't have treats on him, I can still bite, which is fun in and of itself. If he does have treats, and I bite him, we get to play the treat toss game.

Extinction will not occur for self-rewarding behaviours. I like to employ a combination of discourage the undesired behaviour with reward an alternate appropriate behaviour.

??

what? where did I say that?


firstly, if the dog learns when you have treats and when you don't. You are not training with food correctly. Thats a totally separate issue


you are rewarding an incompatible behavior. In theory the reward used with be of higher value than the intristic biting behavior... :) We aren't waiting around of it to extinguish...

Rewarding the alternate behavior IS discouraging the unwanted behavior :)


Plus, the dog has already shown that attention removal is NOT aversive to the dog. Or aversive enough, so no reason to keep using it if its not working.


kids pee in diapers. We reward them for peeing in toilets. Its self reinforcing to urinate without waiting. The behavior goes away because your making the NEW behavior MORE reinforcing...its not about extinction...extinction would just be ignoring the dog...which I already said would not work for self reinforcing behavior...

SamIam
March 24th, 2011, 09:37 PM
Dog pees on the corner of the couch. He's been neutered, we reward him for peeing outside, reward him for a variety of indoor behaviours that he can't do at the same time as peeing on the couch, problem has not diminished. No positive punishment, no harsh words, no spanking, no grabbing his collar. What would you do?

Criosphynx
March 24th, 2011, 09:41 PM
Dog pees on the corner of the couch. He's been neutered, we reward him for peeing outside, reward him for a variety of indoor behaviours that he can't do at the same time as peeing on the couch, problem has not diminished. No positive punishment, no harsh words, no spanking, no grabbing his collar. What would you do?

am I on trial or som'thing here? Are you going to explain what you meant in your other post?


what does that have to do with the OP or benmaxs question?


I'd belly band the dog while I have him checked for a UTI. Owners need to be talked to about supervision that is obviously lacking . Couch may need to be replaced. Peeing in the same spot is indicative of the scent not being cleaned out all the way...common with furniture.


any other scenarios while Im being quized?

SamIam
March 24th, 2011, 10:24 PM
what does that have to do with the OP or benmaxs question?
I am the OP :laughing: It is about whether a good trainer can solve behaviour problems without bringing all 4 +/- R/P into a situation as needed.
I'd belly band the dog while I have him checked for a UTI.
He's healthy. He's marking. He's a rescue who was neutered later in life, had a chance to develop some bad habits.
Owners need to be talked to about supervision that is obviously lacking.
What does supervision mean if you are not allowed to punish?
Couch may need to be replaced.
Very dangerous suggestion. Right now he's marking an old couch. You would risk him starting a new one?

any other scenarios while Im being quized?

One at a time.:)

SamIam
March 24th, 2011, 10:42 PM
Okay, two at a time...
what? where did I say that?
I am telling you how the dog might react to your training.

firstly, if the dog learns when you have treats and when you don't. You are not training with food correctly. Thats a totally separate issue
Some dogs have very good noses. Should I plug his nose?

you are rewarding an incompatible behavior. In theory the reward used with be of higher value than the intristic biting behavior... :) We aren't waiting around of it to extinguish...
Rewarding the alternate behavior IS discouraging the unwanted behavior :)
While you are treating, the aab might be rewarding. When you stop, the dog has to make a choice. Behaving now has a reward history, but biting is still a lot of fun and it feels good on the teeth and sometimes they squeal when you do it. We need to extinguish the biting/mouthing/jumping completely, before someone gets hurt.

Plus, the dog has already shown that attention removal is NOT aversive to the dog. Or aversive enough, so no reason to keep using it if its not working.
That's right. -P didn't work, I want to use a non-abusive +P, but you say you can do it without. Maybe I just have more experience with persistent big bouncy rude dogs, but I've met some who enjoy themselves way too much for anything to work without me stepping in and saying "Hey! Back off and mind your manners! This behaviour is not acceptable!"

kids pee in diapers. We reward them for peeing in toilets. Its self reinforcing to urinate without waiting. The behavior goes away because your making the NEW behavior MORE reinforcing...its not about extinction...extinction would just be ignoring the dog...which I already said would not work for self reinforcing behavior...
Some kids are tough, too! Especially with the fancy new "dry" diapers. Punishment that may me necessary in this case might be mom/dad saying they're disappointed, trust me they usually do this at least once, or switching to big kid pants, which feel icky when wet.

Criosphynx
March 25th, 2011, 01:33 AM
op stands for "original post" which i did address

Supervision is needed to interupt and redirect the dog. You can redirect and not use PP

If the dog is ONLY marking in one spot. It is the scent hes marking over you cannot get the scent out of the couch. Its not happening.

What is your objection to the belly band? Very effective for markers



Your post in response to mine earlier still makes no sense. I will repeat if the dog knows you have food you are bribing and not using food correctly. Basig the idea that my method would not work because of a flawed execution is silly. Thats like saying cars dont work but your trying to start it with a pretzel. Its a non sequiter

Do you train dogs? :)

Criosphynx
March 25th, 2011, 01:49 AM
I just reread the thread and see your a dominance theorist. So i already know what kind of circle this will go in...

If you genuinely want help with your problem dog. Feel free to pm me :) otherwise i must assume this will go like most other discussions i have with dominance theorists, and dont care to participate in such silliness


My dogs have dealt with far more severe and complicated issues than "marking a couch" or being a "big pushy dog" which were fixed without PP. I do not need to defend my lack of use of it, to som'one who is so adament its necesary

Once again if you genuinely want help feel free to contact me

Otherwise good day :)

SamIam
March 25th, 2011, 01:59 AM
What is your objection to the belly band? Very effective for markers
Nothing. May or may not have an effect on the behavior, but definitely protects the couch. :thumbs up *I* would scold him as well, and in addition recommend a strict leadership program.


Do you train dogs? :)
Yes. Not as much as I used to.

SamIam
March 25th, 2011, 03:18 AM
I just reread the thread and see your a dominance theorist.
Nope! I take a little of this, a little of that, never settle on knowing everything about anything, because there is always something new to learn tomorrow.

If you genuinely want help with your problem dog.
My dogs are good, I'll keep you in mind but I think if something came up I would probably just post publicly, get a few opinions, and toss back and forth the what-ifs until I had a solid basis to work from.

Thanks for the offer, though!

BenMax
March 25th, 2011, 06:05 AM
No worries. :) I assume your familiar with marking and rewarding behavior? Like if you want the dog to sit, you say "yes" and treat...etc etc




I must be honest with you, I do not reward the dogs unless I had the time to follow through. In my case the majority of the dogs I work with are shelter dogs and I only volunteer on Saturdays to evaluate and work with difficult dogs. Had I had the time, then maybe this would help me...unfortunately it's not the case as there are many dogs that come in that have absolutely no manners...and to start - leash manners. That is my #1 focus for dogs that require quick remedies to get them ready for adoption. There is however an employee there that works on other issues throughout the week and what you describe is exactly what she does. Though I disagree with rewarding as a sole method...I must admit that I have seen a difference in some of the dogs that she took on. So in other words I would not toss this out of my utility bag.:)

You make alot of sense however.

I also get called upon many times to re-evaluate shelter dogs that did not make it up for adoption. These dogs I must evaluate for 'potential'. Those dogs that do not make it are euthanized sadly. I feel a huge weight on my shoulders as to what lives...and what does not. Guilt is my middle name.

If I find that a dog has potential and I find out what motivates them, I will approach the rescues that can assist who possess the ability to train or modify behaviours. Unfortunately there are not many rescues that can take on all these dogs at the same time to prepare them for adoption. So again I go back to square one and 'yeah or nah' the dog in question.

The #1 problem with alot of the dogs I see is food aggression or resource guarding (leash issues of course but this is certainly not a huge problem for rescues). Depending on the level of aggression, I will consult with the rescues to see if they can take. Majority sadly say no.

With your theory of rewarding...how would you use this method for dogs with food aggression? I personally do take on many dogs with this type of aggression and I am curious to know how you handle it using this method.

millitntanimist
March 25th, 2011, 08:36 AM
Maybe I'll give this one a go.

I would stop feeding the dog regular meals in a bowl and start hand feeding for good behaviors - the dog is only fed during training sessions (this can include walks) or when they offer you good behavior, like sitting politely for your attention. If the aggression is severe enough that you cannot have the dog eat from your hand then toss the food a little ways away from you. The dog will learn that you mean food, not the removal of it, and that it will get to eat for good behavior - here you can work up to hand feeding.

Resource guarding of food especially is a type of fear aggression - the dog is afraid that you are taking away its food so it postures and says "back off." What you need to do here is change the dog's emotional response. That's what opperant conditioning is all about :thumbs up

As part of your training sessions I would recommend a 'drop' command (anything that means "give me what you have in your mouth, or what is right beside you"). Work with low value objects and do the exchange system (trade object A with object B, but object B comes with food as well) - the dog will learn that when you ask for something, it does not mean they are losing it and that something even better will happen. Gradually work up to an empty bowel, then one with non-food objects in it, then one with very low value food items etc.
Get multiple people in the shelter to do this with you to proof the behavior.

The dog will be conditioned to associate good behavior and the presence of people with being fed and to accept people tampering with their food and their food-bowl.

If you were to use P+ to curb the aggression, you would run the risk of either an escalation of their aggression, or a masking of the behavior. Maybe the dog would stop being food aggressive around you, but what about when they go to their new family? Because they are still afraid of their food being removed (and were only curbing their aggression because they were afraid of your punishment) they may start that behavior all over - but escalate it from the start to try to keep them away.

BenMax
March 25th, 2011, 08:55 AM
millitntanimist. :thumbs up. I do exactly this when I have my own fosters with food issues. I feed by hand only. The basic command that I do instill in the dog is sit, stay and focus on me rather than an empty bowl. The dog soon learns that I am the provider and will deliver when gentle. After a period of time, I will add kibble to the bowl and will invite the dog to approach, sit and then use my hand into the bowl and will feed manually by hand. Then as time passes with this, I will put food in the bowl, invite the dog to the bowl with a very small amount of food, and also feed by hand. Days to weeks later, I will put kibble in the bowl, touch the dog during feeding, ask the dog to back up, sit and then invite him back to the bowl.
Great routine if you have the dog in your home...not so great if dogs are in the shelter.

Thanks for you input!.:thumbs up

Any other takers? Don't be afraid to knock holes into my method..:laughing:..but I must warn you...it does work.

millitntanimist
March 25th, 2011, 09:25 AM
I know it's a problem of consistency (and getting other people to follow through as well) but you mentioned wanting to work on other behaviors like loose leash walking and basic obedience - this method allows you to work on multiple behaviors at once - all of them strengthening one another and encouraging the dog to offer new behaviors.
You'd be surprised by how much of a dog's daily diet you can go through (if you are rewarding heavily) in a half hour training session . . at least I was :eek:

I know you mentioned something about your method earlier (walking forward into the dog?) but I can't remember. Could you go into it in more detail, I am curious :)

Criosphynx
March 25th, 2011, 10:08 AM
:)


Benmax, you are in a unque situation, and so what I'd say is apropriate for you to do vs an average owners might be different. I am very pro rescue and see no issue using corrections IF is will save the dogs life. That doesn't mean I think its the best choice or more effective...but if it boils down to "trying" som'thing aversive physically, and euthanizing the dog. I'd use the physical aversive...

Same thing goes for rattlesnake avoidance training, I see no issue using an aversive, correctly, to save the dogs life.

That does not mean that I don't think it can be done with PR. It can. But the average owner can barely teach a sit, so I would not trust them with proofing around a deadly animal.

anyway...so resource guarding...millitntanimist :)hit up most of the points I would have made. :)Trading works very well. I had/have? lol a severe resource guarder, who now will bring me the item on cue for an exchange. Happily so. He started showing RG behavior at 5 weeks, which was alarming.


the point I did want to hit on, is (I forget the exact stat so forgive me) som'thing like 80% of dogs that exhibit RG in a shelter situation, that are placed anyway, NEVER show the behavior again....In other words, the stress and anxiety of the shelter is what is causing the behavior...also the stress of being placed can cause it, but its only temporary. Thats why its such a shame you can't get more support from rescues...RG is a common and normal behavior!

My Pit especially is a good example of this. She lived in the shelter a year, was very comfortable (a staff fav) had ZERO RG issues with people/dogs. I adopt her. Two days in she RG'd a kong and subsequently jumped on and attacked my blind/dumb/old pomeranian (who toddled into her space before I could stop her). My fault.

That was three years ago. She never did it again, or anything close to it. I can pour a pile of food on the floor and all the dogs can share...no issues
It was the stress of the wierd people/place/dogs that made her do it.

I do exactly this when I have my own fosters with food issues. I feed by hand only. The basic command that I do instill in the dog is sit, stay and focus on me rather than an empty bowl. The dog soon learns that I am the provider and will deliver when gentle. After a period of time, I will add kibble to the bowl and will invite the dog to approach, sit and then use my hand into the bowl and will feed manually by hand. Then as time passes with this, I will put food in the bowl, invite the dog to the bowl with a very small amount of food, and also feed by hand. Days to weeks later, I will put kibble in the bowl, touch the dog during feeding, ask the dog to back up, sit and then invite him back to the bowl.
Great routine if you have the dog in your home...not so great if dogs are in the shelter.


I see no issues with this :) Granted you could add steps to that, in theory that would break it down into smaller steps, so the dog could learn faster...most RG protocols do not intro the bowl for a while, thats more towards the last step. Have you read Jean Donaldsons "mine"? Great RG book and it actually has step by step instructions for guarding. I also wrote a long article on it, but its a sticky on my other forum, and I don't think its ok to link to it here :)

BenMax
March 25th, 2011, 10:17 AM
:)


the point I did want to hit on, is (I forget the exact stat so forgive me) som'thing like 80% of dogs that exhibit RG in a shelter situation, that are placed anyway, NEVER show the behavior again....In other words, the stress and anxiety of the shelter is what is causing the behavior...also the stress of being placed can cause it, but its only temporary



Absolutely. Not only pits show badly, but rottweilers, dobermans and GSDs as well. When I evalute or re-evaluate the dogs before testing for any food aggression or resource guarding is to try and establish a 'relationship' with them outside of a shelter environment..either going for a walk first, or just removing them from areas that are high dog concentrations (again time is a factor). Once I establish a level of trust with them, only then will I attempt. Also, the dogs I see have already been evaluated. I get called in to re-evaluate to see for potential for rescue. The evaluation is not shared with me, and once my evaluation is compete, we then exchange notes or initial evaluation. I am pleasantly surprised that we normally come up with almost exact reports.
Once I network and get these dogs into rescues I will get calls saying that what we reported has not been seen since in foster homes. :thumbs up. Regardless, we advise all rescues on what was seen at the shelter so it gives them a heads up.
There are obvious issues however that we know will not be remedied by simply removing them from shelter to rescue homes. These are the dogs that require alittle more effort and more evaluation to determine whether a rescue can handle or not.

Yes ...quick fixes are not ideal, but necessary. When shelters or pounds have a high turn over rate, we must do whatever necessary. It could very well be frawned apon, but I will take that critism if it means saving the dogs life.

Criosphynx
March 25th, 2011, 10:27 AM
Absolutely. Not only pits show badly, but rottweilers, dobermans and GSDs as well. When I evalute or re-evaluate the dogs before testing for any food aggression or resource guarding is to try and establish a 'relationship' with them outside of a shelter environment..either going for a walk first, or just removing them from areas that are high dog concentrations (again time is a factor). Once I establish a level of trust with them, only then will I attempt. Also, the dogs I see have already been evaluated. I get called in to re-evaluate to see for potential for rescue. The evaluation is not shared with me, and once my evaluation is compete, we then exchange notes or initial evaluation. I am pleasantly surprised that we normally come up with almost exact reports.
Once I network and get these dogs into rescues I will get calls saying that what we reported has not been seen since in foster homes. :thumbs up. Regardless, we advise all rescues on what was seen at the shelter so it gives them a heads up.
There are obvious issues however that we know will not be remedied by simply removing them from shelter to rescue homes. These are the dogs that require alittle more effort and more evaluation to determine whether a rescue can handle or not.

Yes ...quick fixes are not ideal, but necessary. When shelters or pounds have a high turn over rate, we must do whatever necessary. It could very well be frawned apon, but I will take that critism if it means saving the dogs life.



I agree that your stuck between an rock and a hard place. I commend you for the job you do... I don't have the time to volunteer, and have tremendous guilt about it.

I do think that RG is one of those things that needs to be handled in a positive manner...since its anxiety based, most dogs would react poorly to a correction in reguards to it. RG is actually one of my favorite things to work with with people. Hey, you could always Ship these dogs you find to me:lightbulb: right? :p

BenMax
March 25th, 2011, 10:46 AM
Hey, you could always Ship these dogs you find to me:lightbulb: right? :p

Be very careful what you wish for..:laughing:

Thanks for your input.:):thumbs up Everything considered and well taken. I appreciate it.

millitntanimist..thank you as well.:) Excellent advice and something I can build on.