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Old June 18th, 2011, 08:52 PM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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Question Positive or Aversive - What to do?!!!!!

I'm so confused about what type of training to do with my dogs.

I have been taking them to positive reinforcement training. So for example..teaching them to walk...soon as the leash is loose...click and treat...repeat repeat repeat...

I've read Tamar Geller, Ian Dunbar, etc etc. I don't remember who wrote it but the idea of using clicker training with killer whales - you cant' punish a killer whale to get it to obey...therefore positive reinforcement is superior way to train. Gets dog excited to offer behaviour to receive a reward.

I've taken my dog to positive training for a year now.

I have a friend who is a total Cesar Millan fan so we often have debates and often have agreed to disagree about which method should be used.

So for example when we walk our dogs..she will "chh" and jerk leash to keep her dog from directing attention to a bike...i will pull mine to the side of the trail and give them treats while attempting to keep them from chasing the bike. Trying to condition them to look to me instead of chasing moving objects creating positive associations.

However, i have reached a point where it is impossible to walk my dogs. My oldest one has taken to biting people who come to the house, biting people who get too close on the trail, attacking other dogs who get too close when walking. They go into a frenzy of barking and lunging when seeing bikes, skateboards, children etc etc. She does not allow one of the cats to get off the counter and stares fixedly at her or chases her.

I realize that i do not do everything as well or as much as i should but at this point i am afraid my dog will hurt some. Yes she is a dachshund and is small but I do not want her to think she can bite people!!!!!

So i called another trainer. She came to the house, slipped some martingale collars on them and in about 5 minutes, they no longer jumped up on her, barked when she knocked on the door or acknowledged the presence of the cats. My scaredist cat actually came down off the counter for the first time in months and walked by the dogs with no one making a move.

She explained it like this- put the dogs on a leash in the house. Greet the dogs - if they jump..you snap the leash, and say NO! then you greet the dogs again, if they jump - you snap again, and if they dont you praise or treat them. and maybe repeat one more time. The idea is to have more and more treating and praising and less and less leash snapping....

She said the problem in my house was that I wasn't assertive enough and my oldest dog thought she needed to be the boss.

As i said, by the time she left - dogs were not even LOOKING at the cats and were not jumping etc etc...

This is going to be a long post I see..because i am torn..the dogs get what she wants them to do really really quickly with the aversive techniques. And they do it.
On the other hand, one kept trying to get away, they kept doing all the dog passifying things like avoiding gazes, lifting paws, licking lips...they were NOT having fun..by the end..yes, they weren't chasing the cats, they were just standing there with their heads down..doing nothing.

I don't want to have super obedient LUMPS! But i also don't want to have a biter!! And i would like to get the cats off the counters.

At this point i am torn, because if this will solve the biting, cat chasing and crazy on leash behaviour pretty much immediately then things will be much more peaceful.

On the other hand, i dont' want to psychologically damage my dogs and i really hate seeing them just standing there unsure and basically afraid to move.

Is there a happy medium somewhere? Could i use the aversive techniques for big things like leaving the cats alone and not biting people?? and leave totally positive reinforcement for things that are not imperitive? like barking..i thought i was making progress with the positive way of getting them to stop...it is slow true but they never basically cower away from me when i do it.

On one hand i am thinking..ok so maybe what i am doing just isnt' goign to work and i should try something else. On the other hand i think ok so i havent' been 100% with the training and i don't do everything exactly like the notes say to..would it work if i did? Do i have the time to make it work now that i am afraid my dog will bite someone? if i put the same amount of time into training the positive way as she wants me to do the other way - would i get same/better results???

As I am typing this i am sitting here with dog on left and cats on right that haven't been around me in months. Dog doesn't look happy, she is avoiding looking anywhere near the cats, but cats are ecstatic. Scully has come down off the counter and is wanting to be petted and is wandering around on the floor.

i just don't feel good about that method of training, but i'm not sure i have the option to feel good anymore. I don't know what to do.
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Old June 19th, 2011, 03:21 AM
pattymac pattymac is offline
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I'll try to offer some help here. Sounds like you had a Brad Pattison person come in. It certainly comes across as an Oh Look an hour and you fixed my dogs! That's the biggest problem with it..they're really not fixed. they're just avoiding.

Positive training takes more work and sometimes takes longer but the effects are longer lasting. The whole thing that alot of people miss is you have to fade the food rewards and start off with few to no distractions and build up from there. You can try tethering them to you in the house to keep them from chasing the cats.

With the bike chasing thing, how close are you to the bikes before they start reacting? Do they just react from 20 ft, closer, further? Start from a distance, get them to look at you, reward, closer, no reaction reward..work up to where you can get relatively close say 10 20 feet. Do the same with people.

I know it's easier to do the old yank and crank routine, I've done it, heck I've even used an e-collar, not for long mind you.

How much exercise do these guys get? How about mind games? I've discovered you can run a dog for an hour, then 1/2 hour later they're ready to go again but get them really thinking and they're out for an hour or more. Teach them that playing games with you is more fun than chasing that silly cat. I have 4 cats and Bayley (Husky/Shep) only really chases when she's playing with her kitten, they pretty much chase each other and she's careful not to run over her kitty. Shaping behaviours is an awesome way to go and really gets the dog using their brain and since you're already using a clicker, it's not hard to do and when they learn something pretty much on their own, they retain it alot longer.
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Old June 19th, 2011, 05:38 AM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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I'm still thinking about it but this morning i walked the dogs around the house like she did yesterday, only i didn't drag them or yank on them. They walked loose leash with me and seemed happy to do it.

I think I have been negligent in the training anyway, so I'm going to start spending the time I should have been spending individually with the dogs (which i would have had to do in either training scenario) and see if i can get them turned around that way without resorting to violence.
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Old June 19th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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millitntanimist millitntanimist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violagirl View Post
However, i have reached a point where it is impossible to walk my dogs. My oldest one has taken to biting people who come to the house, biting people who get too close on the trail, attacking other dogs who get too close when walking. They go into a frenzy of barking and lunging when seeing bikes, skateboards, children etc etc.
Aggressive displays are distancing signals - meaning the dog is trying to tell those things to stay away from them. It sounds like you need to do some counter conditioning. Your dog is afraid of people coming into the house, bicycles, and strangers on the trail. Positive reinforcement is the best way to solve fear-aggressive reactions because it actually changes the dog's emotional response. When the dog is no longer afraid, it no longer feels the need to react.
When you correct distancing signals, you do not change why that dog was reacting in the first place, you only suppress that reaction (and you give the dog even more reason to be afraid).

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Originally Posted by violagirl View Post
She said the problem in my house was that I wasn't assertive enough and my oldest dog thought she needed to be the boss.
Dogs do not do anything to "be the boss". Dog's either work towards something they want (cat chasing = fun) or try to avoid something they don't (people on bikes = scary).

Changing behavior positively will mean that:
chasing cats = less fun than X
people on bikes = not scary after all

Conversely, changing behavior with aversives means:
chasing cats = too scary, not fun (when you're around)
people on bikes = even scarier (now I also have to worry about my person becoming dangerous)

Quote:
Originally Posted by violagirl View Post
by the end..yes, they weren't chasing the cats, they were just standing there with their heads down..doing nothing.
This is called learned helplessness. When the dog cannot avoid a correction for a certain behavior (often, they are not even sure exactly what behavior it was either because corrections are not specific enough - is it running after the cat, looking at the cat, being within x number of feet of the cat?) so they just stop offering all behavior to forestall that correction.


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Originally Posted by violagirl View Post
At this point i am torn, because if this will solve the biting, cat chasing and crazy on leash behavior pretty much immediately then things will be much more peaceful.
It may solve your problems in the short term, but you risk creating more and unpredictable behaviors in the future. That's the problem with suppression. Maybe the dogs stop chasing the cats, but maybe they become so afraid of receiving a correction around them that you actually create aggression (remember, aggression is about telling something to "keep away from me"). Maybe the dog stops snapping at people coming in the door, but one day, unpredictably (because you have suppressed their other signals) they deliver a really serious bite when someone gets too close.


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Originally Posted by violagirl View Post
Is there a happy medium somewhere? Could i use the aversive techniques for big things like leaving the cats alone and not biting people??
The problem with aversives is that they're kindof like carpet bombing. Yes, they stop some problem behaviors quickly, but there are a whole slew of consequences that you are unable to predict or control. There isn't really a happy medium - any aversives you use will weaken the dog's ability to trust you and slow their ability to learn the things you are trying to teach positively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by violagirl View Post
if i put the same amount of time into training the positive way as she wants me to do the other way - would i get same/better results???
Bingo
A huge part of successful positive training is timing. Positive training classes are great, but in my experience there is not much individual time or attention to polish your techniques. I would suggest one or two lessons with a certified animal behaviorist or positive trainer that specializes in aggression. I think you'll be surprised how quickly positive training can work under a skilled practitioner.

In the mean time, here are some videos that might be of help
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI13v9JgJu0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp_l9C1yT1g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muJDkV_KPEU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipT5k...eature=related

Aaaand some reading
http://ahimsadogtraining.com/blog/bat/
http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTB825
http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTB943
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Old June 19th, 2011, 12:12 PM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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Thanks for the videos and books. I am convinced that positive reinforcement is the best way to train - i feel like I am sometimes swimming against the current because my husband and friend i mentioned basically say do what works.

What kind of ticked me off about the trainer was she called it "treat training" in a dismissive way, well its is NOT treat training and my friend thinks that when my dogs are barking and i'm giving them treats that i am "treating" the barking...when to me that isnt' what i'm doing at all. And it makes complete sense to use encouragement rather than punishment.

As a former piano teacher you hear the stories - "I used to take piano lessons from the Nuns and everytime i made a mistake i got rapped with a ruler" well, that may work technically, but will not make a person WANT to play piano and besides, who doesnt' learn from mistakes? Would that not make you afraid to do anything for fear of making a mistake? Wouldn't a dog have a similar reaction?

I would rather my dogs obey my instructions because they want to, or they prefer to rather than obey for fear of consequences. When i explained this to my husband he was like..they are dogs!! A short tug on the neck isn't going to hurt them. He wants me to sign up for this trainer's course. But i just do NOT feel comfortable using her methods and i dont' think i can do it halfheartedly.

There are a few things i have worked on with the dogs today already. For example..they are used to jumping up on the couch willy nilly. She advocated getting them to wait to be invited. I'm pretty easy going so i don't mind willy nilly, but i can see her point because my dogs do surprise visitors by jumping up on their laps...so her method is to do this..dogs go to jump on couch..snap...and repeat. My method i tried is...i sit down, if dogs jump on couch i remove them...i sit down..get them to sit on floor...when they sit on the floor..i praise and invite them up on couch as a reward...seemed to make everyone happy. Didnt' involve the dreaded "treat" at all...AND no violence was needed.

Now I have a crusade (like my CORN in pet food rants i have exposed my friends to) i want to prove them wrong. I want to prove that i can have well behaved dogs without corrective leash tugging. Sometimes it is overwhelming though. i have to develop a method of attack.
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Old June 19th, 2011, 10:56 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Originally Posted by violagirl View Post
I would rather my dogs obey my instructions because they want to, or they prefer to rather than obey for fear of consequences.


Another link you might want to check out: http://drsophiayin.com/philosophy/dominance/
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Old June 20th, 2011, 04:09 PM
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les les is offline
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Just wanted to give you another opinion from another trainers stand point.

I do believe what you're doing is treat training and I dismiss it pretty quickly myself.

Your dog barks, you give a treat and reward. Your dog bites you, you give a treat and reward. Not sure when that started to sound reasonable to anybody!

I believe in using treats to first teach a behaviour but once they know it, I expect them to obey it whether I have a treat or not. No excuses. And if you don't, you get a correction and a quick repitition. Just like that trainer did with you. You need to repeat, repeat, repeat to get your dog to learn what it is you want.

Not only is licking, yawning etc a sign of stress - it can also be the dog figuring out what it is you want. They're learning .... if they've chased the cats for years now they're like ... hmmm, wait, you want me to what?

Something else I always ponder ... have you ever noticed it seems all "positive" trainers are the ones with the out of control dogs? How positive is that really?

Personally I have 4 dogs. 2 are powerhouse breeds - a german shepherd and a south african mastiff. The others 2 are a lab and a border collie mix. They weigh in at about 300 lbs combined - I walk them all together past people, dogs, cars etc and they all behave. They've been trained with corrections and they listen and they aren't afraid of me or the leash or anything.

I would argue my dogs are much happier than those positive trained dogs. My dogs get to come every place with me - because they behave. They're not like the dogs who have never felt a correction and get to spend all day long isolated because they have no idea how to behave!!

Just my opinion =)
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Old June 20th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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millitntanimist millitntanimist is offline
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Originally Posted by les View Post
Your dog barks, you give a treat and reward. Your dog bites you, you give a treat and reward. Not sure when that started to sound reasonable to anybody!
I don't think you have a reasonable perception of reward based training
1. Positive training does not = food. Positive training is finding what is most motivational to your dog and using that to sculpt behavior. The reason food is used most frequently in this scenario is that food is a primary reinforcer (primary reinforcers are things a dog needs no conditioning to find rewarding). Any good trainer will use primary reinforcers to condition secondary reinforcers (like toys, sniffing a tree, even other obedience behaviors) and fade the food rewards once the dog has learned the behavior.
2. What I think you are describing (no trainer rewards actions like that) is called classical conditioning - separate from general training. This is where you are changing the dog's emotional response to something that frightens or agitates them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI13v...layer_embedded


Quote:
Originally Posted by les View Post
I believe in using treats to first teach a behavior but once they know it, I expect them to obey it whether I have a treat or not. No excuses. And if you don't, you get a correction and a quick repitition.
It's been proven in laboratory experiments that dogs learn fastest and release the fewest measurable stress hormones when they are trained with positive reinforcement and not exposed to negative reinforcement or positive punishment. These slow the learning process because the dog is afraid to make mistakes. Dogs are proven to offer fewer behaviors when trained with aversives and show more signs of stress directed at their handlers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by les View Post
Something else I always ponder ... have you ever noticed it seems all "positive" trainers are the ones with the out of control dogs? How positive is that really?
I would argue my dogs are much happier than those positive trained dogs. My dogs get to come every place with me - because they behave. They're not like the dogs who have never felt a correction and get to spend all day long isolated because they have no idea how to behave!!
I think my dogs are rather well behaved and that you have a really skewed perception of positively trained dogs.
My dogs go everywhere with me and offer good behavior for all privileges. We walk daily off leash in designated areas (including busy city parks) and on forest trails. I can recall my dogs off of anything without force, instantly (examples: deer, bears, squirrels, rabbits, other dogs). I have put my dogs in a 5 minute down-stay in the middle of a park while I walked away. I can do an entire training session outside, in areas full of distractions without my dogs breaking eye contact. I can do these things without ever resorting to corrections.

In fact, it has been my experience that it is aversively trained dogs who are out of control or unhappy.
When we go walking in the park, there is always at least one example of each of the following:
Dog A is running off leash wearing a choke or an e-collar whose owners are screaming at it to come back. This dog will follow us because we have a toy or will jump on us if we are carrying our own snacks (our dogs no longer need food rewards). Our record is 35 minutes (dog following while owner tries to retrieve).
Dog B is always walking on leash with their tail tucked and ears pinned back curving their body away from their person, or straining on leash while their owner offers continuous and ineffectual leash pops.

You seem to equate reward based training with dogs who are out of control, but it is my experience that dogs who are trained with rewards have an expectation of needing to work for them. Ergo, they have a much higher level of self control (especially off leash when they know they cannot be corrected) then dogs who are infrequently rewarded - these dogs are used to having to find their own rewards.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 06:09 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Hmmmm, think I will weigh in. First, I am reassured the OP knows a good bit because of the term "positive reinforcement." So many times I hear and read it said the dog owner or trainer espouses positive training. It takes only a wee bit of reading on operant conditioning to learn that positive can mean reinforcement or punishment.

That said, I'm all for positive reinforcement but I'm not averse ( ) to a well timed correction. Particularly when all else has failed, or is justly deserved OR there is a time factor. To that latter end I submit, perhaps the cats might wish the darn dogs would learn this faster? And the kids they want to chase? And those kids parents?

To wit, my Lab, my 90 year old mother and jumping. I tried the benign methods like be a tree, turn your back and reward for sitting. Let me tell you, a tree might have impressed my boy two months later when they were peeable, I had footprints really high up on my back and sitting is beyond the ability of a 6 month old Lab when he visits his Grandma. A trainer showed us the "yank "em down" method and it worked. Yay, no more worries about a Grandma with a broken hip. It's also pretty hard to "psychologically damage" a big, happy, goofy sporting dog breed like my Lab for whom the best play involves body contact.

Yes, I have to repeat it every once in a blue moon. I do refreshers on most things, even a basic SIT, every once in a blue moon.

I understand such action might traumatize some dogs, even big dogs. I think I'd be afraid to use this method on a wee little thing like a Dachsie. So my point is I think you have to weigh how important it is to you to allow the cats to have their own house. My cats were here before the dog and the dog darn well better be polite to them.

I think you also have to know your own dog and if this will "damage" their little psychies then of course you need to be careful. If not though, I fail to see a problem with using one aspect of operant conditioning for most training and it's opposite for a few things. I also understand if someone doesn't feel right about positive punishment. It can be overdone and it can be misused on a sensitive dog. If you don't feel comfortable yourself, or don't know what is too much then I agree you probably shouldn't do it. However if you simply don't like it then I feel you owe it to the dogs and the cats and the kids to at least learn more about it before you discard it. Which it sounds like you did by getting in the trainer.

One last note. I agree with whoever said the getting on the couch method you use is not right. I feel it is confusing for your dogs. I would never do that, as a matter of fact I would not let your dogs up on my couch at all. They think too highly of themselves already, sorry, but that's the impression I get. And to put them down when they jump up unasked and then to turm right around and ask them up I think is confusing. You sound well read on dog training, I'm sure you know what NILIF is. I would be strict with it and if they jump on the couch they would not get asked back up in my house.

Hope I didn't ramble too much. To sum up I don't think you need to decide to be all positive reinforcement and no positive punishment. There are four levels in operant conditioning and they include the two I just mentionned as well as negative reinforcement and negative punishment. If you are able to distinguish when each is warranted I see no reason not to use them. It doesn't have to be all one way.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 06:34 PM
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millitntanimist millitntanimist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violagirl View Post
Sometimes it is overwhelming though. i have to develop a method of attack.
Sometimes the best offense is a good defense.
The best thing you can do is get educated about training. Understand how learning theory works and get a good handle on dog behavior and perception.
I have a few book suggestions, but read as much as you can. The more you know, the less you'll worry about what other people are telling you because you will be making an informed decision.

I'm sorry if any of these are redundant, it sounds like you already have a basic working knowledge
http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Shoot-Dog...ref=pd_sim_b_4
http://www.amazon.com/Power-Positive...8612482&sr=8-1
http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Clash-...ref=pd_sim_b_1
http://www.amazon.com/Talking-Terms-...ref=pd_sim_b_3
http://www.amazon.com/When-Pigs-Fly-...ef=pd_sim_b_16
http://www.amazon.com/Control-Unleas...ref=pd_sim_b_6
http://www.amazon.com/How-Behave-You...8612785&sr=1-1
http://www.amazon.com/Dogs-Understan...8612806&sr=1-1
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Old June 21st, 2011, 09:53 AM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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To put things in perspective - I love my dogs but I do not regard them as humans. I understand they are animals and think and act like animals. It's not like I've never raised my voice or done the leash jerk before to them.

From the sounds of it:

Aversive techniques - leash popping etc can work.
Positive reinforcement - can work.

Both would involve a considerable amount of time and effort and both require good timing.

From my reading I have discovered this:
1. The whole "alpha" dominant wolf thing is debunked. Wolves operate as families. So our relationship with our domestic dogs is more parent/child. Still requires a certain amount of authority. Maybe the terms are just semantic. I would just view a parent/child relationship as gentler than an alpha dominant/submissive type of relationship. I haven't resorted to muzzle biting or mounting my dogs yet.
2. If dolphins, killer whales and grizzlies are trained using positive reinforcement, how would you do a leash tug to a killer whale? why shouldn't dogs be trained similarly? Should i treat them differently just because I am bigger and stronger?
3. My oldest dog yes, has taken to biting. It is definitely out of fear - she is not an overly aggressive dog. She is generally extremely submissive particularly to men. As to why she is suddenly afraid enough to bite - I'm still figuring that one out. I dont' believe she is trying to usurp my authority in some kind of doggie coup.
4. I have seen both types of trainers - all positive reinforcement and the averse leash correction Alpha type trainer.

This is the reaction to both types of training that I have observed from my dogs - i think i'm goign to have to do another post...
to be continued...
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Old June 21st, 2011, 10:28 AM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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OK so at positive training class:
The scene: a park - there are about 10 other dogs there, lots of people, kids, ducks waddling through, bikes, joggers, motorbikes...you name it they were there last night.

First thing my puppy does upon getting out of the car is commence barking. I can see how it would be overwhelming for him..so whenever he barked, i'd get his attention, get him to sit and reward. In about 10 minutes, he stopped barking at everything and was actively interested in his surroundings - still a bit apprehensive but I could work with him on going to his bed, come, sit and grab collar, loose leash walking, greeting people without jumping.
The whole time his tail was up, he was alert. Whenever i could see him thinking about barking at a duck or another dog, i'd call his name and he would immediatley turn to me.

It was a lot for him to take in, much more activity than usual at the park and he hadn't been there before. He was tired but not too tired to play afterwards.

The other training session went like this:
Trainer said not to do anything when she came in. So there was general pandemonium. Jumping, barking etc.
So she worked on barking..so she knocked on the wall, the dogs barked, she yanked their necks. Knocked on the wall, the dogs barked, yank. Knocked on the wall - dogs didn't react and then she gave them a treat. Same type of idea for walking with a loose leash. As soon as the leash was straight, give them a pop.

Dog body language at the end was: tense, no eye contact, lifing paws in apeasement, trying to get away (but she stepped on the leash), heads low, ears drooping, licking lips, yawning, falling asleep.

She said they were doing this because they were learning. I've never seen dogs act like that when I was teachign them and they were learning. I think they were terrified.

The method seemed a bit extreme for a bit of barking when someone knocks. I can get them quiet in about 30 seconds using positive methods..and positive methods would associate "person coming to door= fun, good things instead of person coming to door = fear"

It leaves me a bit confused because I assume someone who trains dogs does it because they love them, and love workign with animals. There is a lot of current research on how positive reinforcement works really well with animals - is there similar research i can read about the other methods?

One person posted about their position against "positive reinforcement" training. How did you come to prefer your current method? Have you tried positive reinforcement? Are there any studies i can read about the punishment method? You can probably tell I'm a tax analyst by my needing documentation to back up any position.

I see them as 2 ways to approach same problem..just coming from opposite directions. Do what I want = reward and Do what i don't want = punish..

CLicker training does seem to require a whole lot more thought and time.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 12:58 PM
Choochi Choochi is offline
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I prefer a mixture of both, I don't like the two extremes of all positives or (especially) all aversives. Both methods have pros and cons and I think work best when you take advantage of the pros of both.

What you describe below sounds like a very poor excuse for a "trainer". Just yanking a dog around in response to an undesired behaviour without even giving the dog a chance to understand what is going on generally teaches nothing by itself and only causes confusion and conflict within the dog. A lot of people think that is a typical picture of a trainer who uses aversives and it is not, it's just an unqualified person calling themselves a "trainer" (unfortunately there are a lot of them). Sounds like she applied a cookie cutter approach using the methods she knows without taking the dog's personality into consideration. I wouldn't let some one yank my dog around like that for no reason through an entire training session just to try to prove a point that they know what they are doing. When aversives are applied correctly in balance with rewards, the dog should maintains his happy go lucky attitude, if your aversive training is creating a sad looking dog, you're doing it all wrong.

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Originally Posted by violagirl View Post
The other training session went like this:
Trainer said not to do anything when she came in. So there was general pandemonium. Jumping, barking etc.
So she worked on barking..so she knocked on the wall, the dogs barked, she yanked their necks. Knocked on the wall, the dogs barked, yank. Knocked on the wall - dogs didn't react and then she gave them a treat. Same type of idea for walking with a loose leash. As soon as the leash was straight, give them a pop.

Dog body language at the end was: tense, no eye contact, lifing paws in apeasement, trying to get away (but she stepped on the leash), heads low, ears drooping, licking lips, yawning, falling asleep.

She said they were doing this because they were learning. I've never seen dogs act like that when I was teachign them and they were learning. I think they were terrified.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 01:03 PM
2Greatbulldogs 2Greatbulldogs is offline
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Just a quick comment on the Cesar Millan reference. I get the impression most people think Cesar Millan uses oppression, intimidation and punishment to "train" dogs. They must be waching a different show than I am. I have read several of his books, watched every episode (several times) and seen him in person demonstrating his techniques. He does advocate "leadership", he does believe in the 'pack' and he does believe in 'communicating to your dog that you disagree with a certain behaviour', but he also OFTEN uses rewards and praise to encourage behaviour. He states all the time that each case is different. I really dont think I have ever heard him use the term "alpha" and only sometimes depending on the case faces a dog straight on looking at them in the eyes (to project dominence). Lets face it, people on his show usually have extreme cases, but he treats the people and dogs extremely respectfully with 100% emphasize on doing whats right for the particular dog, usually with an emphasize on Exercise (mentally and physically), Discipline (clearly and humanely communicating that its not ok to eat the carpet; usually just with a sound "Ahh" or "Shst"), and Affection. Its been a great help to me and I do not put him in the same category as Brad Pattison style training or punishment based.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 01:49 PM
GalaxiesKuklos GalaxiesKuklos is offline
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Originally Posted by violagirl View Post

One person posted about their position against "positive reinforcement" training. How did you come to prefer your current method? Have you tried positive reinforcement? Are there any studies i can read about the punishment method? You can probably tell I'm a tax analyst by my needing documentation to back up any position.
.
That was a patently false statement and the incorrect characterization of PR methods tells you just how much this person knows about. It was something out of Kids say the darnedest things. There are many obedience clubs in all majors cities using PR methods and they have the Obedience titles to prove it. It is also the method used by Seeing Eye Dog and other Assistance and Therapy dog trainers as well as the RCMP.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 04:07 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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CLicker training does seem to require a whole lot more thought and time.
I love clickers. I like the very quick way they allow you to "mark" the correct behaviour. Personally I had more success luring and clicking than shaping and clicking though a recent training session using shaping went very, very quickly.

I'm not sure what you mean by the statement I quoted. I've actually never heard anyone say clickers take more thought and time. Do you mean for YOU to learn about clickers? Can you clarify for me?


You know, one thing I don't believe has been addressed yet is the needs of the dogs. I don't think it is reasonable to expect every dog to respond to a one and only training method. If I am paying a trainer to work with me and my dog that trainer better have more than one training method up his or her sleeve. Especially in a group class where dogs have different ways of learning just as we humans do.

So, yes it is admirable to have a plan and stick to it but if it isn't working for the pups (and cats) then it's up to the trainer to determine how long they try before investigating another method.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 04:48 PM
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Stinkycat Stinkycat is offline
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The training you have been doing has most likely been inconsistent, you're rewarding at the wrong time and actually rewarding undesirable behaviours.

IE: bike. If the dog is lunging, put a treat BY the dogs nose so the dog can sniff and nibble but do NOT release the treat until the bike is GONE and your dog has been sitting the whole time. If the dog cannot sit being that close, you've gone over the dog's threshold and need to back off to a spot where the dog doesn't lunge and work your way closer and closer.
You were most likely rewarding the dog when the bike went by (if the dog is thinking "HOLY bike! you just reinforced that"

Loose leash walking is easy, people over complicate it.
REWARD (click) when the leash is LOOSE. Anytime that leash is taught/tight you STOP and go the other way. This means if you have to click 8 times in 4 steps, do it, use HIGH value treats like real chicken or beef, the higher the distraction the higher the reward....right.

I've seen alot of dogs who have been training traditionally (do it because I tell you), cesar millan, (dominance & submission) and some dogs are fine with the training but I see TONS of dogs who become extremely aggressive from this type of training because if you don't administer the correction at the exact time of the behaviour you're correcting something else and can suppress a behaviour (which is NOT fixing it).

HEre's a link to my blog -following a rehabilitation case on a rescue dog who had cesar millan's training.
http://moderncaninetraining.blogspot...tion-case.html

She was 'labelled' dominant aggressive. I did a 2 hour assessment on her and she is completely fearful of people (very very sad). Watch the problem and Session #1. Then watch Session #6 and SEE her body language changed.

Session #1 her tail was low, paw up (nervous anxiety) ears back (agitated and uncomfortable) and very weary of people passing (wouldn't take her eyes off). Then see #6 she's curious, tails half mass (confident) and doesn't even CARE about the passing people.

I urge you to reconsider positive training, it's WONDERFUL when used correctly, here's a link to a trainer which I highly admire http://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup she explains everything! FOR FREE!

Cheers
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 05:11 PM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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It just seems to me that using clickers (actually I use my voice to "mark") I found balancing 3 dogs and leashes and treats AND a clicker to be too much.

What i meant about it taking more time and thought, is that if you want to shape the dog to do one thing, you may have to start clicking farther out..so click for a head turn, click for a small movement toward something etc...so i could shape my dog into a down by clicking every movement that gets me closer..or i could just yank it down so it had better go down when i say so.

I haven't solved the biting problem yet, but i have solved most of the walking problem for now. I realized i was perhaps asking too much of my puppies to all walk together and not pull and not get excited AND learn to be loose leashed at all times. So i started walking them separately so i can concentrate on the needs of each one.

So the girl puppy now prances along loose leash 95% of the time, her only foible is that she is quick to bark at new things. But we walk down a busy street where every day we meet bikes, motorcycles, loud trucks, men, children etc etc..But i've gotten her down from totally uncontrolled barking to maybe 2 quick barks before i can get her attention. I think she is progressing nicely. She also figured out "down" the other day and it is fun to watch her try all the tricks in her repertoire to get a treat from me. I like the down and backing up like a worm that she now tries, i could make that into a trick.

Boy puppy, he's the nervous one. He pulls a bit more on the leash but in general is also very good when walking alone. He will shy away from loud cars but his barking has toned down and like other can be controlled. He is not as quick to bark as she is. But once again..the other night he only barked twice. I think it is a great achievement for him.

The positive trainer is supposed to start working one on one with me, in addition to the group classes for puppies and another class for the older dog, we are going to address the biting issue. At this point I am just trying to get her happy to see people coming in the house. Some propane tank installers were here today so i used them to help train her, i can get her calmed down but still needs to be restrained on leash on other side of room from them. i could have put her in her crate but i know she would have gone nuts in the crate and them just outside it...I have to replenish my supply of liver treats.

Since i got the puppies in December, she has regressed some in her leash walking and reaction to other animals on leash. We were not able to walk much this winter becasue of the snow, so that didn't help. And also she is not the "only child" anymore, so the division of attention affected her.

Surprisingly, of the 3 she is the one that has had the most training and yet is the one that pulls the hardest on the leash.

I know i must have missed something along the way, i just have to figure out why she feels the need to bite and help desensitize her to what triggers her fear. Thus the professional help.

In addition to 2+ hours of dog walking and training per day, I am trying to work full time and finish my B. Comm. I do get a bit overwhelmed occasionally, and my house can get pretty dusty, but I want to curb problems now before they get worse and I want the puppies to stay as friendly as they are with strangers.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 05:40 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Quote:
It just seems to me that using clickers (actually I use my voice to "mark") I found balancing 3 dogs and leashes and treats AND a clicker to be too much.
LOL, I guess so, that is a lot to handle.

Seriously though, If I am the only one to say the dogs should be getting their leash training separately I'll be very surprised. There's a whole other thread on sibling puppies and lots of folks have emphasized you need to train them separately. Siblings is not the point, the point is each dog needs individual training. Until they behave as you want singly it's an exercise in frustration to expect them to do it together. Apologies if you have progressed to that point, but if you have, sounds like a step back is in order.

Have another suggestion. Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt. Great book and has numerous "games" as she calls them that might help you convince the dogs to focus on you. Strictly positive reinforcement. Worked wonders to help me get my boy past two dogs who charge their fence at us.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 07:20 PM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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I get the whole training separately thing. I was getting frustrated because they CAN walk nicely alone..but put them together and it is absolute mayhem. I just would LIKE to be able to take them all for a walk together. It is a bit more convenient and tiring for all of them to have an hour or 2 hour walk than everyone getting 30 min.

This morning i walked the puppies together on a back road that i knew would have minimal distractions. They did very well. They are not ready to walk together in a high distraction area yet. I took oldest alone but there was a person with a husky walking in front of me and i got dizzy going in circles trying to stop the pulling.

I do find that positive reinforcement type training can feel like you aren't getting anywhere. But then all of a sudden the light goes on and they GET it just when you think they never will. I did discover 2 things that have really helped my dogs:
1. Dogs dont' care what size the treat is..but they can count.

2. Jackpot! if they do exactly what i want..i give them a whole WHACK of treats. When i do that they respond MUCH quicker. For example, the boy puppy would pull and we'd stop, pull and stop, it took 2 jackpots when he was in the correct position for him to figure out..hmm, if i hang back here..i get a ton of treats...so i'll stay here and see what happens..now i dont' have to give as many or as often.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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Stinkycat Stinkycat is offline
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So since taking one dog out is fine and taking all 3 is chaos.

Start with taking 1 for a 5 min walk, go grab dog #2 and walk for 2-5 mins, see how that goes.
Go drop off dog #1 and walk dog #2 alone for 5 mins. Go pick up dog #3 and walk together for 2-5 mins, see how that goes.
Go drop off dog #2 and walk dog #3 alone for 5 mins. Go pick up dog #1 and walk together for 2-5 mins, see how that goes.

What you're seeing here is what works with what dog. If all goes well with these, try after your 2-3 min walk with the last 2 dogs, go pick up dog #2 and walk all 3 for 5 mins. If it's bad, go back and repeat the steps. If it goes well stop after the 5 mins. And repeat later that evening.
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  #22  
Old June 28th, 2011, 11:03 AM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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Update on dog training.

My current trainer is going to give me some one on one training, so I think i can get this back on track.

I have been walking everyone separately. Which, when you live in the country, is not easy because i have to put one in the car - drive into town - walk him - drive home - get another and repeat 3 times. It takes me 2 hours to do 3 30 min walks.

On the walking w/o pulling scene - they do very well, even going down the main street with all the cars and distractions. We discovered this weekend though that we are NOT ready for the trail with bicycles and dogs etc. I had a friend over so we though great - each person can walk a dog..yeah..it was the normal chaos. So it appears that even if they are in proximity to each other, they cause craziness.

Why I got 3 terriers instead of a lab I'll never know!

The biting situation: I had several friends over this weekend, we practiced door manners. The oldest did jump a bit, but there was no biting. Every person that came over ended up either playing ball with or walking her so I tried to give her the impression that company = fun times. Granted, everyone that came over were "dog" people so when they came in they did not immediately bend down and pet her and get in her face. They waited for everyone to calm down and THEN gave them attention.

Also thanks to the video someone posted and to more reading I finally get the whole conditioning thing. I forget what the correct terminology is but i was not getting the delineation between when you are trying to get them to associate the object with good things, and when you wait til they look to you to give them a treat.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 11:26 AM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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On the same note, maybe this needs its own thread, I could see how a person who does not know how positive reinforcement works would only see a person feeding treats to a crazy dog and think that the dog is being rewarded for bad behaviour or that it is just being distracted by treats.

What I am now seeing at home is - doorbell rings, crazy barking, I say quiet in a normal voice - my little guy immediately stops barking, turns away from the door and comes to me. I do not always give him a treat but he automatically knows to turn to me. The girls don't respond quite as quickly but if they see him getting attention, and potentially a goodie...they decide to stop barking and come see me.

I can see the difference between the goals of the different types of training. Each endeavour to bring about a desired behaviour - say not barking at dogs when you are on a walk. But the manner in which they do that is different. If a dog only knows - if I bark i will get a correction - then they will not bark, but it doesn't really change their emotional reaction to seeing another dog, and could make them really not LIKE other dogs but for the fear of a correction suppress their instinct. But if you change the emotional response toward other dogs - into happy to see another dog - then a) there is no need for a correction and b) if you are in an unexpected situation where an offleash dog approaches, your dog is less likely to go berserk.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 11:43 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violagirl View Post
On the same note, maybe this needs its own thread, I could see how a person who does not know how positive reinforcement works would only see a person feeding treats to a crazy dog and think that the dog is being rewarded for bad behaviour or that it is just being distracted by treats.

What I am now seeing at home is - doorbell rings, crazy barking, I say quiet in a normal voice - my little guy immediately stops barking, turns away from the door and comes to me. I do not always give him a treat but he automatically knows to turn to me. The girls don't respond quite as quickly but if they see him getting attention, and potentially a goodie...they decide to stop barking and come see me.

I can see the difference between the goals of the different types of training. Each endeavour to bring about a desired behaviour - say not barking at dogs when you are on a walk. But the manner in which they do that is different. If a dog only knows - if I bark i will get a correction - then they will not bark, but it doesn't really change their emotional reaction to seeing another dog, and could make them really not LIKE other dogs but for the fear of a correction suppress their instinct. But if you change the emotional response toward other dogs - into happy to see another dog - then a) there is no need for a correction and b) if you are in an unexpected situation where an offleash dog approaches, your dog is less likely to go berserk.
I'll say it again, your last paragraph has me thinking you would really like Leslie McDevitt's book Control Unleashed.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 03:39 PM
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I have a mini dachshund and if you have never had one before you need to know they are typically master manipulators and drama queens. They will make a mountain out of a mole hill which usually has owners thinking they are "delicate" or "sensitive" in reality they typically know that they can get their way. For example you may notice if you get cross and yell at a doxie it is THE END OF THE WORLD you might as well have just beat the poor thing for 10 min. As soon as you feel bad an try and comfort them they are all happy again = just got their way. I figured this out pretty quick so my guy doesn't get away with much. Just remember to follow through on your commands and don't fall prey to dramatics. Start in the house getting her to listen to you and it will be easier to get her to listen outside as well.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 08:28 PM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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I totally get the drama - even though they are only part dachshund (other half is Jack Russell), one in particular has the flare for the dramatic.

We named him Kirk (after William Shatner) for his over-acting abilities. He got his name at about 8 weeks old and has consistently lived up to it.

The other puppy, I'd say takes after the JRT side, she does not have short legs, she is very intelligent and can she ever jump!! Straight up to my waist! And she definitely has a mind of her own, but she is also the friendliest one. Very sweet tempered.

Oldest is somewhere right in the middle.

One reason I wanted a mixed breed was the never quite knowing what I would get part of it. I'm surprised I ended up with dachshunds. The only other dachshunds I have ever known were a couple of fat snappy ones I met as a child.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 10:33 PM
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pbpatti pbpatti is offline
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Violagirl, thank you so much for this thread. The information here is going to help me so much with the troubles I am having with Buddy. To all of you that have responded to this thread thank you. I will be doing lots of reading. patti
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  #28  
Old July 1st, 2011, 06:37 AM
violagirl violagirl is offline
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Positive trainer came over last night. I will try to remember exactly what we did. First she could see that my dog is half friendly/half nervous when strangers come so that is why she will bite some people sometimes and not others. She is just kind of on the fence.

My biggest problem is that all 3 whip themselves up into a frenzy of excitement and that is when she would be more likely to bite and not listen to me at all.

So we started conditioning them to like people coming in the house. First she had me treat them as they saw her walking up to the house and coming in. Then after a few times of that, she came in and sat down.

They are just too crazy when someone comes at this point to get them to go to their bed and stay until people come in.

So i will be working on having people over this week and then when they like seeing people come in, we will start raising the bar. Person knocking and coming in, person ringing doorbell and coming in, person coming in animatedly
etc.

Of course they are only really excited the FIRST time she came in. After that they were just more concerned with stuffing their faces. It went from HEY! there's someone here!!! bark bark bark bark to ..bark, yeah whatever there's someone here...gimmee my food.

My homework also includes increasing their sit/stay times.

We also went over every time she has bitten and it was always on occasions of high excitement. Unfortunately at this time there are a LOT of things that make her highly excited. It is MUCH easier to control the excitement level when i only have one of them.

My ultimate goal is to be able to go on walks with all 3 with my friend and her dogs and be confident there will be no craziness and sleddog pulling. Or random biting. And ok, if my dogs are better behaved than hers...I wouldn't be displeased. (I make most things in life into competitions whether the other person participates or not plus i have a point to make. I was a vegetarian for 15 years just to prove a point so I think i can take the dog training on to another level)
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