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Old March 23rd, 2011, 03:15 PM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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What is "positive" training anyway?

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.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 03:51 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Interesting. Thanks for sharing.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 05:12 PM
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Stinkycat Stinkycat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamIam View Post

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.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 05:20 PM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinkycat View Post

Dogs do what is most rewarding to THEM!
Exactly! As do humans.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 05:24 PM
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Common sense goes a long way too. Oh yeah - you told me no one has any anymore.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 05:36 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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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!
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 06:43 PM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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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.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 07:41 PM
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Stinkycat Stinkycat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
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.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 12:54 PM
GalaxiesKuklos GalaxiesKuklos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamIam View Post

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. We all know that 'positive' trainers are using the word in a non-technical manner.
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