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View Poll Results: Who do you prefer, Brad or Cesar?
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  #181  
Old March 11th, 2009, 10:58 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
Downtown,
BenMax,

I respectfully disagree. I do think that treats "work" for some people and their dogs. However, I believe that behavioral training is the core training for all dogs, and that if one never starts with the treat training they never need it in the future.
That would be my experience, anyway.
I do not dispute as I do not use treats as the FIRST method. I will however resort to this if I am not getting the required results. Through my travels and through my experience I have come to realize that whatever will motivate by which I receive the required results - I will use them. Every dog is different - some respond and others require more creative thinking in order to accomplish the task at hand.

I have grown tremendously by being open to new ideas and concepts. I do however resort (by habit) to the old school way of thinking which is not always the best way.

I think that living in a box is not the best policy for us that are faced with certain behaviours to correct...and them (the dogs and the owners)who rely on getting a safe and satisfied result in the end.
  #182  
Old March 11th, 2009, 12:19 PM
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I do not dispute as I do not use treats as the FIRST method. I will however resort to this if I am not getting the required results.
I can respect that choice. I agree that there are often situations or individual dogs that may need to have the training 'changed up' in order to be successful at it. In my experience, I have never had a client tell me that they are leaving clinical and developmental behaviorism to train their dogs through treats; but I have had MANY clients come to me after treat-training has failed them.

To me, that says more than I ever could speak for behavioral training. And the reason is simple: behavioral training speaks to a dog. Treat training is a negotiation. And now, please don't get me wrong. I do NOT think that treat training is "bad" or "wrong". I just don't think it's the *best*, and while I respect your personal choice to offer a dog treats if you find that your methods of behavioral training are not working for the dog; I would rather refer the owner & pet to *another* behavioral trainer who may be able to broach the subject with the client in a light that I may personally not see. If the dog is not responding, it's not because it wants a treat - but rather because I'm doing something wrong.

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Originally Posted by BenMax View Post

I think that living in a box is not the best policy for us that are faced with certain behaviours to correct...and them (the dogs and the owners)who rely on getting a safe and satisfied result in the end.
Absolutley. I am always open to sharing new ideas and thoughts, and if I have questions about a certain situation I will always ask and seek out the needed help. However just because I believe that behavioral training is the best way to correctly put a dog on the path that the owner wants, does not make me closed-minded.
I like to think that my searching through all training techniques, my intense study about the canine and about different training methods over the years, has led me to this place I am in now.
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  #183  
Old March 11th, 2009, 12:37 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
I can respect that choice. I agree that there are often situations or individual dogs that may need to have the training 'changed up' in order to be successful at it. In my experience, I have never had a client tell me that they are leaving clinical and developmental behaviorism to train their dogs through treats; but I have had MANY clients come to me after treat-training has failed them.

To me, that says more than I ever could speak for behavioral training. And the reason is simple: behavioral training speaks to a dog. Treat training is a negotiation. And now, please don't get me wrong. I do NOT think that treat training is "bad" or "wrong". I just don't think it's the *best*, and while I respect your personal choice to offer a dog treats if you find that your methods of behavioral training are not working for the dog; I would rather refer the owner & pet to *another* behavioral trainer who may be able to broach the subject with the client in a light that I may personally not see. If the dog is not responding, it's not because it wants a treat - but rather because I'm doing something wrong.



Absolutley. I am always open to sharing new ideas and thoughts, and if I have questions about a certain situation I will always ask and seek out the needed help. However just because I believe that behavioral training is the best way to correctly put a dog on the path that the owner wants, does not make me closed-minded.
I like to think that my searching through all training techniques, my intense study about the canine and about different training methods over the years, has led me to this place I am in now.
Points very well taken. I must tell you Bailey that in whole I agree with you. What I find is that treat training has hindered my progess when treats are given for every little thing the dog does or is asked to do. To undo this spoiled behaviour is not much of a chore but it is frustrating.

Bailey - how do you feel about rewarding with a favourite toy? I would like to have your input. (Again - not a toy reward for peeing outside or for sitting every 10 minutes).
  #184  
Old March 11th, 2009, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackdog22 View Post
Bailey what do you use for rewards?

This is an interesting convo...
BenMax & Blackdog, (Sorry BD, I didn't see your question. ) : I absolutley believe in rewards and positive reinforcement. However as you stated Blackdog, treat training is constantly handing the dog something whenever it does something well.

My honest opinion (and I'm sure I'll get some interesting comments after posting this) is that a dog should be expected to be on good behavior at all times. So when it sits - why reward that? You asked it, so it SHOULD sit. When it heels, why reward that? Again, you asked it and that should be followed through.
I've actually just had an interesting conversation with a woman who just recently started taking her two year old bichon nuetered male to treat-training classes. (Indoor setting). She relayed that after the trainer explained to the class how to get the dogs to heel, her own bichon crouched against the floor - lying down and refusing to follow her. She told me that she was dragging her dog around like a mop. And when she asked the trainer why her dog, who normally walked fine on the leash was doing this, her trainer replied:
"Well, I'm not really sure. Probably because of the rubber mat on the floor."

....

I then asked this woman to put her dog on the leash in the house. She did so (putting me on speakerphone) and told me that when she walked forward, her dog did the same thing. Laid down, and even though she continued to walk, he would refuse to get up.
I explained to her that this situation was all about control. It had nothing to do with the rubber mat. So I asked her if she could run through the house, around her kitchen table or up some stairs. She did so, and her dog immediatley began to respect her lead and follow her. It gave him the needed wake-up call that he could NOT control his owner and the situation. By the end of the conversation, she was walking around her house and her dog was following easily.

I asked this woman why she considered treat training in the first place, and she explained that her dog was incredibly food motivated. She and her husband had thought it would be a fun experience, and great for their dog. It turns out that this kind of training was only fortifying this particulars dog need for control. The constant treats were simply bribing the dog to do something and he wasn't actually learning to respect his owner.

I give this recent example because this is exactly the kind of result I see all the time with this particular form of training. (Sorry I got off topic a bit.)

Anyway, as I was saying, many of my clients at first want to shower their dog with kisses and pets and cuddles after accomplishing a certain goal; and I can't help but tease them. I think being affectionate with your dog is great, but where along the line did society lead us to believe that coddling our pet at every small achievement is the RIGHT way to show affection?
At the end of a nice long training session, whether or not we've had some stumbling blocks with the dogs preformance, I always encourage the owner to get down on the dogs level and play with it. (Be it a game of fetch or tug of war.)

What do you both prefer?
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  #185  
Old March 11th, 2009, 02:28 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Actually Bailey what you say makes perfect sense - it does. Infact I am faced with the same.

If I am given a 'fresh' dog (no training at all) then I will try different techniques or methods to help facilitate the training. If I cannot do as you have indicated and treats are the way to get results - then I guess I am guilty - but I do get what I want.

For long term I do not do this however nor do I advocate to do so. After a few days the dog understands that what I ask - is what I get and it's free (no treats). They get it and they do not bug for the goodies.

I am not a treat giver - but if the situation requires so as everything else is exhausted I will do it...as much as I don't like it. It's like pee pads..(but that is another thread...hate them but I have used them as last resorts).
  #186  
Old March 11th, 2009, 02:31 PM
lia12 lia12 is offline
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I don't like either one...their methods just don't hold weight with me. I find Brad screams too much and I find Ceasar is on some kind of ego trip, and I don't get the feeling he even likes dogs, he just loves to impose his will on them and too forcefully for my taste.
  #187  
Old March 11th, 2009, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
Actually Bailey what you say makes perfect sense - it does. Infact I am faced with the same.

If I am given a 'fresh' dog (no training at all) then I will try different techniques or methods to help facilitate the training. If I cannot do as you have indicated and treats are the way to get results - then I guess I am guilty - but I do get what I want.

For long term I do not do this however nor do I advocate to do so. After a few days the dog understands that what I ask - is what I get and it's free (no treats). They get it and they do not bug for the goodies.

I am not a treat giver - but if the situation requires so as everything else is exhausted I will do it...as much as I don't like it. It's like pee pads..(but that is another thread...hate them but I have used them as last resorts).
I totally understand and can respect your choice, BenMax! Sounds like you know how to get results, which by and large is certainly the most important point.

ps: I HATE pee pads too.
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  #188  
Old March 11th, 2009, 02:42 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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ps: I HATE pee pads too.
don't get me started with those. I can kick myself but I have had to do it.......(OMG - can't believe I am actually putting this in writing).
  #189  
Old March 11th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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ps: I HATE pee pads too.

Me three!!
  #190  
Old March 11th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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I'm going to ask what some may say is a stupid question but what exactly is a 'behavioural trainer?' Other than not using treats as a reward.
  #191  
Old March 11th, 2009, 03:20 PM
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I find the easiest way to train a dog is to work with only it's inherent drives.
To train effectively using drives you MUST have both consequence and reward. Training without one or the other will result in half-hearted performances and training that may be effective, but definately won't reach it's potential. I don't ever use any kind of method without both of these aspects. For me it's the golden rule and the easiest for the dog to understand.

That being said, I use a variety of methods, according to each individual. I don't think there is one way to train, not at all.

For my dogs specifically I use a ball or tug. They are high prey drive dogs, whom would do backflips for a chase. I don't reward all the time, just a few times a session to keep them motivated and intense. My dogs will work well with no reward, but I preffer them being extra ampped up doing the routine with gusto and enthusiasm....anticipating the prey item.

I don't use food on my dogs, simple because the food drive is very low.....so why would that motivate them. I will however use food on dogs with a high food drive and low everything else. I don't think it matters what you use to motivate the dog as long as you have enough common sense to use moderation. If you have a keen eye and are famliar with dog behavior, it doesnt take much to realize that the dog is a little bit too eager for the treat and nothing else....in which case, more commands, less treats, less often, yet still enough to motivate.


You have to remember that regardless of the method, the goal is to promote consistent behavior in one way or another, this can be acheived so many ways, more easily with consequence AND reward.

Bailey, form what I have gathered you are strictly against the use of food in training. I'm curious how you would go about teaching a dog to track without the use of food.
  #192  
Old March 11th, 2009, 03:25 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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You see we all have different methods and philosophies and I enjoy reading about all of them. Mostly I agree but I am very flexible in my training.

One thing I never ever do is something that I read some of you do do. That is playing tug of war with your dogs are a reward either during or after training. Personally for me, any dog with prey drive - I will do whatever I can to try and curb this. Tug of war for me is something that I say NO to ...unless you tell me otherwise.

In reality, we deal with people that just want the basics in training - most importantly to be calm when walking and will listen to the basic of commands. A dog with prey drive and encouraged - how do you train them what is acceptable to chase and what is not? (I ask this question because I am a huge cat lover and all round rodent lover as well).
  #193  
Old March 11th, 2009, 03:36 PM
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Well BenMax, I train very differently then what is reccomended.
I support and encourage prey drive in my dogs , because of the medium I am training in.
This sport is all about control, you would be suprised how easy it is to teach a dog to 'out' wait'...etc. all in high drive.
Look at your local police k9's for instance....all very high drive dogs, trained to be high drive. That being said, it takes many years of trainng to successfully have a dog trained in sport and you can't do it alone. Most of the serious stuff is all done under the guidance of a qualified proffessional. High drive dogs are IMO some of the easiest to teach control to, and some of the most safe, stable dogs you have ever met.

All of that being said, I also do not condone games of dominance with pets. Nor do I condone increasing prey for any reason other then practical competition for pets (flyball, for instance).
  #194  
Old March 11th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackdog22 View Post
Bailey, form what I have gathered you are strictly against the use of food in training. I'm curious how you would go about teaching a dog to track without the use of food.

Yes, that's correct Blackdog. I am a firm believer that treats are a tool that society has led us to believe is the correct way to treat a dog. In my opinion, training a dogs brain over it's stomach is a far more effective. (Not to mention can be much more difficult, which is why I believe so many stray away from it, or are of the opinion that it 'doesn't work for their dog'.)

I understand that some people on here train with treats and if thats what they like, then I'm all for supporting that choice. What I personally do believe, is that treats CAN be completley removed from the picture; whether a dog is motivated by food or not. (In fact, like the example I gave above, even IF a dog is motivated by food - often treats or food training can do more damage than good.)

When someone tells me that they had to train a dog with treats because thats what motivates the dog, I'm happy for that person if they found something they believe works. But I don't believe that treats are the ONLY motivating factor for that dog, regardless of what that person may say. I have yet to meet a canine that cannot be trained through *correct* behavioral methods, good timing, and proper reinforcement; regardless of it's 'motivating factors'. Communicating to a dog on a strictly canine level, is completley different than offering it a treat in order to have it focus on it's handler.

And to be honest, maybe I just really haven't had good experiences with treat-trainers. If I did meet one that actually had knowledge of dog behavior, and not just the knowledge of when to give that dog a piece of food, maybe I'd have a better view of the style?

As far as tracking is concerned; I absolutley believe that a dog would not need to use treats in order to track. In fact, simply using word association and scent imprinting combined with positive reinforcement I would think would work great. Of course I've never actually trained a tracking dog, so don't quote me. But that's what I would do!
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  #195  
Old March 11th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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Bailey, I am curious to know what you define as "behavioural training methods" and how you deal with a dog who is only food motivated.

I am a working trainer, I have an education in learning theory, and animal behaviour as well. Food is a primary reinforcer for animals. It works for over 90% of dogs as an excellent motivator for training. I don't really understand what your method of behavioural training is, and why you do not like to use food. Here is how I use food in training:

When learning a new behaviour, let's say sit, the dog is rewarded with a very small treat ONLY while they are learning. Once they get the game well enough to be sitting reliably (80%, takes not very long at all usually) a voice cue is added. The reward is continued only for the dog sitting on cue about 6 times. Then, we start on a variable rate reward schedule, where the dog gets a treat every third or fourth time lets say, which increases the intenstiy of the behaviour, in other words they respond quicker. Do this for a few reps then decrease even more. Instead of offering food all the time, switch to a praise reward or a pet. Very quickly the dog is weaned off of getting a food reward or even a reward all the time.

You will also want to switch to using what I call life rewards, which is using things in the dogs everyday life that they enjoy to reinforce the cues you have taught. So your dog sits before feeding, going for a walk, getting a chewie or toy, being petted, and before being let offleash.

So you see, treats are a very small part of it, and in the odd case the dog is not motivated by food, I will find what does motivate them and use that instead. Whenever a new variable is added into the mix (back into learning phase) the treat rewards can be added in for a short period while the dog is learning. So if you move to training in a more distracting environment, or teach a hand signal, or add distance or duration to the cue, you will want to use a food reward for a bit when you add these new factors into training.

The very fact that you say clicker training is a waste of time makes me wary. You may not like to use an actual clicker, but it is a method that is based on learning theory foundations which can apply to all living species. Dogs, cats, dolphins, chickens, mice, and even fish can be trained using clicker training. It works, and it works well.
  #196  
Old March 11th, 2009, 06:56 PM
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Do you happen to know of anyone who has used clicker training while training the track?

Sorry for all the tracking questions guys, it just happens to be my new fascination at the moment and I am interesting in learning all the different methods

Tracking is REALLY fun and rewarding. It could be the coolest dog activity ever.
  #197  
Old March 11th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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Maui : if you look back on my previous posts, especially my first few comments in this thread, you will see my past history and experience in training and the education I've recieved to get there. (Sorry, I just get tired of typing it ALL over again.)

What you say about needing food to train a dog that is introduced to distractions: is completley misleading. Have you ever tried doing so without using food?
I currently have a young puppy group in training, all under six months old and various breeds/sizes. I train only outdoors, and not only are these puppies obeying voice commands and non-verbal hand signals, sitting and staying until they are released out of the sit, trusted enough to sit on a busy down-town bench (while I literally CALL the dogs and run back and forth encouraging them to leave the bench - the pup does not come to me until the OWNER releases them), showing wonderful patience, learning cues like "stop" - "back up" - "release" - "down" - and have excellent recall that shows up most adult dogs at the off-leash park : I have helped their owners do all of this without on ounce of food.

You asked how I define my behavioral training methods, and the answer would be that I train according to the language that canines understand. I still use positive reinforcement, just like you use treats; except my reinforcement is by playing with the dog. Offering it different challenges in an every day situation that work it's mind instead of it's stomach.
When I train, I watch the dogs body - where is it looking? Are the front legs quivering? What position is the tail in? What stimuli is the dog reacting too? What are the ears doing? A dogs body speaks wonders to its owners, and not many know how to read it at all. Sure, it's one thing to tell if a dog is displaying submission or dominance; and another thing entirely to predict what will happen BEFORE it happens.

I don't use treats because I don't feel that they give my clients or the dogs the absolute best form of training that I can offer. And thats why, through correction, timing, and training in the real world in real everyday conditions; I am positive that behavioral training yields the kind of results I want to see.

Blackdog, I'm not sure if there have any been clicker trained dogs? Possibly! Let me know what you find. Are you putting your dogs into tracking? How cool!
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  #198  
Old March 11th, 2009, 09:33 PM
maui_blue_eyes maui_blue_eyes is offline
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Yes but, can you describe to me how you actually train these dogs to do things? I recall reading about your education previously. I am asking you to describe your technique. Play is good to use as a motivator, if the dog is motivated by it. But what if you have a dog who is independent, and not toy or play motivated? Play can be an excellent motivator, for the right dog. It's been my experience that most dogs are food motivated, and not motivated enough by play and praise to focus at first. I find that using food during to first stage of training gets them motivated enough to learn, and they very quickly can be phased out. Most of the dogs I have trained are not motivated enough by play and affection to learn in a distracting environment in a manner that does not involve intimidating or physically forcing them to comply. My point is that food is a primary reinforcer for animals, and I would like to know why you have a problem with using it?

It is good that you watch the dog's body language, this is important.

In what scenarios do you use corrections? I don't really believe corrections are generally necessary during training especially with puppies. Dogs learn through direct association, and using corrections can often just lead to them having negative associations to different stimuli, or the owner.
  #199  
Old March 11th, 2009, 09:39 PM
maui_blue_eyes maui_blue_eyes is offline
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Blackdog, clicker training is simply a method of marking the correct behaviour. It is very effective when training things that involved working at a distance. You do not have to use food as a reward either. As far as I am aware it is used in all sorts of different areas, tracking, search and rescue, police dog training etc.

Instead of using a clicker, you can mark with your voice. Most people will use "yes". I've just found that the clicker is faster, more consistent, and is a unique sound that means one thing to the dog: you've done the right thing, and a reward is on the way. It's been my experience also that most dogs really respond well to the sound of the clicker, compared to using your voice as a bridge/marker.

This website has a good little description of how clicker training works and where it has been used http://www.teachingdogsllc.com/
  #200  
Old March 11th, 2009, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackdog22 View Post
Do you happen to know of anyone who has used clicker training while training the track?

Sorry for all the tracking questions guys, it just happens to be my new fascination at the moment and I am interesting in learning all the different methods

Tracking is REALLY fun and rewarding. It could be the coolest dog activity ever.
While I agree that treat training is overused I agree that it is a great tool in teaching new behaviours. Once the behaviour is learned then they should definately be weaned away from imo. My dog Riley had some teenage "moments" that were heading down a bad direction and my trainer worked with me to learn better leadership behaviors, recognize dog body language and learn effective correction techniques for MY dog. Basically when he got overstimulated I could have waved a slab of raw beef in front of him and it would barely compute so treat training was very ineffective. By learning to correct and prevent the behaviours instead of "bribing" to get his attention I got some amazing results and my dog definately is not "shut down" in any way. I do still use lots of treats (or a tug ball) but only when we are already in a positive working mode.

I have done tracking with my black lab Riley and he absolutely loves it! We were taught using treats but I think that is more to actually teach them to learn about scent work. We were encouraged to use smelly, yummy treats but that was quickly phased out unless learning a new phase (ie article finding). My Riley is not the most food motivated dog although enjoys his treats. I doubt I could have taught this using a ball as it is his ultimate reward and basically shuts his brain down to most of the rest of the world (slowly getting better with this). I think in the case of tracking that treats are extremely valuable.
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  #201  
Old March 11th, 2009, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by maui_blue_eyes View Post
Yes but, can you describe to me how you actually train these dogs to do things? I recall reading about your education previously. I am asking you to describe your technique. Play is good to use as a motivator, if the dog is motivated by it. But what if you have a dog who is independent, and not toy or play motivated? Play can be an excellent motivator, for the right dog. It's been my experience that most dogs are food motivated, and not motivated enough by play and praise to focus at first. I find that using food during to first stage of training gets them motivated enough to learn, and they very quickly can be phased out. Most of the dogs I have trained are not motivated enough by play and affection to learn in a distracting environment in a manner that does not involve intimidating or physically forcing them to comply. My point is that food is a primary reinforcer for animals, and I would like to know why you have a problem with using it?

It is good that you watch the dog's body language, this is important.

In what scenarios do you use corrections? I don't really believe corrections are generally necessary during training especially with puppies. Dogs learn through direct association, and using corrections can often just lead to them having negative associations to different stimuli, or the owner.
Maui: I have YET to meet a dog that does not enjoy engaging with its owner. Show me a dog that does not like to play, and I will show you a cat.

When I say "play" I don't just mean grabbing the nearest toy and shoving it in the dogs mouth. In that case, you are right, some dogs are just not interested in a certain (or all) types of toys or balls. What I mean is running with the dog, jumping up and down, getting down on the dogs level and engaging it.
I'm not sure how much experience you must have training if you say that more dogs are responsive to food than they are praise. Any dog I know gets quite happy when their owner bends down and acknowledges their hard work. If they are taught to LOOK for the treat, then yes. A person will get a faster response. However my dogs, and those of my clients, watch for direction from their handler because they are respecting the owner - not expecting a treat.

When I train, I do so outside at all times. I do not believe in indoor training in a fixed environment as I do not believe that this is 'real' for the dog. I begin training at eight weeks, and ensure that all lessons are fun and new for the dog. Because my training is outside, there are hundreds of different types of distractions, which is great because it offers us all different opportunities to see how our dogs will react in any given situation.
When you ask me how specifically I train, I can't really give you an answer that will fit in this comment box. I train a wide variety of different dogs in different situations; if I'm faced with a client that has a certain behavior they want fixed, then obviously my initial stages of training would be different than say, a client with an 8 week old puppy.
I use innteruption to discourage unwanted behavior, simply using a voice command (I'm sure you're familiar with Ceasers famous 'Shh') and occasionally tapping the dog lightly on the flank or behind the ear (just like dogs do to warn one another) gets the dogs attention. Other than that my lessons are full of challenges, and helping the owner establish themselves as the dogs pack leader.

I believe that dogs absolutley need corrections. In the canine world, when one dog is bothering another, they let eachother know it. Usually by the flattening of the ears, occasionally the snarl of the lips, and eventually by striking (but not biting) the other dog behind the ear, near it's neck, or near its tail.
I don't believe in humanizing a dog. That's where people run into problems, where they suddenly need 'treats' to get the dogs attention in a busy downtown scenario.
I have my clients take their dogs into malls, hotels, up escalators, onto C-Trains, over benches, etc. I eventually (assessing the dogs personal success, some take longer than others, but all achieve the same goal) do this all off-leash.
My goal with all the dogs I train is to achieve a dog that the client can trust in all situations, love, and have a strong bond with.

You asked when I would use corrections? When a dog is having a strong, aggressive reaction. I also know from experience and can assure you that correcting a dog at the proper time, does not create a negative response. If someone was to start attempting to correct a certain behavior, not knowing how to properly carry this out - or even with the wrong timing - then yes, I can see that being a bad situation. Which is why I always reccomend those having issues with their dogs, to seek proffesional help.

As far as treats are concerned, I have a problem with using them because I have seen MORE dogs fail at treat-training than they are successful at it. I have seen dogs become beggars, counter-surfers, and hand grabbers. I have seen treat-trained dogs with absolutley zero patience, who are even less at peace with their surroundings than those who have not had treats. I just don't like treats in conjuction with training, and that's just a personal opinion. Nothing against those who do.
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  #202  
Old March 12th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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TulipRoxy TulipRoxy is offline
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I can see what you're trying to say with the clicker training, but to put my two cents in (again, lol) - I'm a dog trainer. I don't attempt to train orca's, as I have not studied their behavior or their language or their mating cycles or their instinct. ALL animals will respond to food. To go deeper than that, in my opinion, is what really makes someone the best rehabilitator for that species; someone who can take food out of the picture, and look at the animal one-on-one and help it's situation for the better. It's much harder to do, takes a lot more effort on the part of the trainer, and from what I have seen with behavioral training in dogs - has incredibly long lasting results.[/QUOTE]

The point is not training orca's, the point is that with reinforcement methods you can easily and reliably train ANY animal any behaviour without using force or without even touching them! They work because they want to. The notion that that people have in dog training that dogs work "to please you" is rediculous. The dog is either working to gain a reward or avoid a punishment all the time, period.
Take food out of the picture? Why? Its a powerful rehabilitory tool, notice I said tool, not crutch.

What in your mind is behavioural training? You seem to have a different definition for it than I do.
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  #203  
Old March 12th, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TulipRoxy View Post
The point is not training orca's, the point is that with reinforcement methods you can easily and reliably train ANY animal any behaviour without using force or without even touching them! They work because they want to. The notion that that people have in dog training that dogs work "to please you" is rediculous. The dog is either working to gain a reward or avoid a punishment all the time, period.
Take food out of the picture? Why? Its a powerful rehabilitory tool, notice I said tool, not crutch.

What in your mind is behavioural training? You seem to have a different definition for it than I do.
Tulip, yes - animals respond to food. But not ALL individual animals will. When you say that you can "easily" and "reliably" train any animal without touching them, I would certainly like to see that done. How would you then approach a situation with an aggressive american bulldog that has *no* desire to look for a treat when another dog passes?
My point is that in the canine world, there are many dogs that are not food motivated - especially when stimuli triggers their instinct. And even those that are food motivated don't always respond well to treat-training, period.
Like I've said countless times, I don't think treat-training is for everyone or for every dog. And I haven't learned that from just study; but rather my experience in both the treat and clicker training world.
As a behavioral trainer, people who don't find treats work for their situation come to me and we work with their dog strictly through body language.

Most problems lie with the owner not understanding what their dog is plainly saying to them, which is why I love what I do. It's a matter of teaching the owner to understand how to properly be a dynamic leader for their dog, to give it a better quality of life, to ensure that they can achieve those results without having food in the picture.

I'm very sad that you have made the comment "the notion the dog works to please you is ridiculous". It really does show me that there are people out there who have not experienced true respect and a true bond from their dog; believing that stuffing them with treats is the absolute and only great connection that they can achieve with their dog.

Behavioral training to me, is teaching the dog through it's natural element. Working its mind, and using my body language (a step towards it's hindquarters, a quick snap of my fingers, no eye contact in some situations and lots in others) to allow the dog to really know what I'm asking. It has nothing to do with the dog avoiding punishment, as you put it.
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  #204  
Old March 12th, 2009, 11:11 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
Tulip, yes - animals respond to food. But not ALL individual animals will. When you say that you can "easily" and "reliably" train any animal without touching them, I would certainly like to see that done. How would you then approach a situation with an aggressive american bulldog that has *no* desire to look for a treat when another dog passes?
My point is that in the canine world, there are many dogs that are not food motivated - especially when stimuli triggers their instinct. And even those that are food motivated don't always respond well to treat-training, period.
Like I've said countless times, I don't think treat-training is for everyone or for every dog. And I haven't learned that from just study; but rather my experience in both the treat and clicker training world.
As a behavioral trainer, people who don't find treats work for their situation come to me and we work with their dog strictly through body language.

Most problems lie with the owner not understanding what their dog is plainly saying to them, which is why I love what I do. It's a matter of teaching the owner to understand how to properly be a dynamic leader for their dog, to give it a better quality of life, to ensure that they can achieve those results without having food in the picture.

I'm very sad that you have made the comment "the notion the dog works to please you is ridiculous". It really does show me that there are people out there who have not experienced true respect and a true bond from their dog; believing that stuffing them with treats is the absolute and only great connection that they can achieve with their dog.

Behavioral training to me, is teaching the dog through it's natural element. Working its mind, and using my body language (a step towards it's hindquarters, a quick snap of my fingers, no eye contact in some situations and lots in others) to allow the dog to really know what I'm asking. It has nothing to do with the dog avoiding punishment, as you put it.
Bailey I agree 100%. Well written and well expressed. As I said before, every dog is different and responds differently. Also to be taken into account which both you and Blackdog22 have noted is that training techniques and methods are used for purposes other than for just basic commands and having a nicely trained house pet. Thanks to both for reminding us of that.
  #205  
Old March 12th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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TulipRoxy TulipRoxy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
Tulip, yes - animals respond to food. But not ALL individual animals will. When you say that you can "easily" and "reliably" train any animal without touching them, I would certainly like to see that done. How would you then approach a situation with an aggressive american bulldog that has *no* desire to look for a treat when another dog passes?
I would capture the dogs attention before he got into the obsessive state that he would not respond to a command or take food. If I saw another dog coming I would say the dog's name and when the dog responded to me I would click and reward for attention. If I did not get the attention I would turn and go the other way until the dog was calm enough to again give me his attention when I said his name. If it was not possible to go the other way I would move into the dog until I captured the dogs atttention.

Also for a leash aggressive dog I would set up situations with another dog on leash in the distance not moving. I would click and reward the dog for remaining calm ( counterconditioning). This would start to change his attitude from one of aggression to actually looking forward to seeing other dogs
Quote:
My point is that in the canine world, there are many dogs that are not food motivated - especially when stimuli triggers their instinct. And even those that are food motivated don't always respond well to treat-training, period.
Every dog on this planet is food motivated or else they would starve. However I would agree that in certain situations dogs are not motivated by food when the environment is too stimulating. Dogs are also motivated by play, chasing and the opportunity to get resources. So This is when I would realize that I was competing with too many other stimuli and I should back off and train in a calmer environment or not in the presence of the stimulus.

Quote:
As a behavioral trainer, people who don't find treats work for their situation come to me and we work with their dog strictly through body language.
I agree understanding dogs body language is another powerful tool in addition to reinforcement training. You don't use treats in your training but you definately use reinforcement such as playing with the dog, praise, and eye contact. These are powerful reinforcers that I use as well in my training.

Quote:
I'm very sad that you have made the comment "the notion the dog works to please you is ridiculous". It really does show me that there are people out there who have not experienced true respect and a true bond from their dog; believing that stuffing them with treats is the absolute and only great connection that they can achieve with their dog.
Every animal and indeed person on this planet are motivated by reinforcement or punishment. In day to day life dogs are working to make good things happen and bad things stop. I do not believe my dogs are at all interested in my internal state, except as to how that may affect them. I beleive my dogs respect me and we have an excellent bond but I do not believe that they work just to please me. I am not god to them nor do I want to be. They listen to me and perform behaviour because they have learned that that is the most predictable way to get what they want ( to go out side, to play with other dogs, to play with a toy..... and even, yes, to get food)

I am sure your training methods work very well as dogs are intellegent animals and are very adaptable. I know that I will never change your mind about using treats in training. I definately agree that there are bad treat trainers out there who never wean the dog off the food and let the dog get away with anything. I just wish you would be able to see a good postive reinforcement trainer so you could see that the methods do work.
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  #206  
Old March 12th, 2009, 12:57 PM
pattymac pattymac is offline
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Hey I'm interested in taking some courses in dog behaviour and just wondering about the course you took Bailey..is it still available? I tried googling Everest College and couldn't find anything about dog behaviour or dog training or animal behaviour. I prefer online for now as I have to work fulltime right now. Or if they have part time classes that might work for me.
  #207  
Old March 12th, 2009, 02:13 PM
maui_blue_eyes maui_blue_eyes is offline
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TulipRoxy,

My training methods are very similiar to how you described. Now i don't have to post them!

I also wanted to say, my dog is a very free spirit siberian husky, who is very catlike, and often does not want to do things for me. So I think I am biased that way, however I've trained her very well with positive reinforcement, can't force this dog into anything! I am planning on getting her CD in May.

I also wanted to comment that when a dog displays what we view as aggression, really what they are doing is displaying conflict resolution behaviour. They are using their body language to show that they are uncomfortable for whatever reason (aggression has many causes) and are asking for space. Correcting this, in my opinion, is not a valid option. You WANT the dog to show these signs, otherwise you get a dog who will strike without warning. When you correct a dog who is displaying aggression you are either creating more negative associations with whatever the dog has issues with, or towards the handler, OR punishing the dog for using their natural language. You are not addressing the root of the problem, which is probably that the dog is afraid, uncomfortable, guarding, or perhaps doesn't know how to communicate properly. In my opinion, a better technique than correcting the "aggressive" behaviour, is to figure out why the dog is displaying this language, and correct the root of the dog's issues by counter-conditioning (changing the association of the stimulus from negtive to positive) and desensitizing (getting the dog slowly used to the stimulus, gradually, starting from a point they feel comfortable).
  #208  
Old March 12th, 2009, 02:32 PM
pattymac pattymac is offline
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Maui, I know first hand what it's like to encounter a dog that has been trained or made not to show any outward warnings of what it's going to do. Well actually my dog knows...we were at the dog park one day and there was another dog there, known for being aggressive to other dogs. Now my dog doesn't like other dogs she doesn't know well getting too close to me (something we're working on, she likes to protect me) This dog was getting into my space and hers. Now my dog gave a warning growl and most dogs respect this and will move away. This dog didn't give any warning back and went after my dog. Before I knew what happened, she had my dog down on the ground by the neck. Fortunately no damage done and it's a good thing my dog didn't get a hold of the other dog..very short coated dog and I'm sure she would've have done some damage. I think she was too surprized to have a chance to do anything. I was right there and from my view, there was no warning from the other dog. I rarely stop my dog from growling and think it's a stupid thing that a dog should not be allowed to warn. Obessive barking is one thing but a warning growl is important.
  #209  
Old March 12th, 2009, 03:36 PM
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PattyMac,

Theres quite a variety of different training courses you can take online to become certified, but I highly reccomend that you seek out something 'hands on' that you can take wherever you live. Experience is honestly the best teacher, and while head-knowledge and understanding dog behavior is essential - it's still best to learn this type of training by watching and doing, so that the proffessional can pinpoint any mistakes you may be making without even realizing it.
If you can find a behavioral trainer who either teaches others, or would be interested in teaching you, even better.
(Be careful about who teaches you, there are many people out there who claim to be 'trainers' and yet don't really know canine language; but they're easy to weed out.)
If you private message me your city I can see if there's anyone I could refer you too.
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  #210  
Old March 12th, 2009, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maui_blue_eyes View Post

I also wanted to comment that when a dog displays what we view as aggression, really what they are doing is displaying conflict resolution behaviour. They are using their body language to show that they are uncomfortable for whatever reason (aggression has many causes) and are asking for space. Correcting this, in my opinion, is not a valid option. You WANT the dog to show these signs, otherwise you get a dog who will strike without warning. When you correct a dog who is displaying aggression you are either creating more negative associations with whatever the dog has issues with, or towards the handler, OR punishing the dog for using their natural language. You are not addressing the root of the problem, which is probably that the dog is afraid, uncomfortable, guarding, or perhaps doesn't know how to communicate properly. In my opinion, a better technique than correcting the "aggressive" behaviour, is to figure out why the dog is displaying this language, and correct the root of the dog's issues by counter-conditioning (changing the association of the stimulus from negtive to positive) and desensitizing (getting the dog slowly used to the stimulus, gradually, starting from a point they feel comfortable).
Maui: Absolutley. I agree with this, especially desensitization. I very much believe that changing something negative into something positive for the dog is incredibly important, and yet with that said; in MY vocabulary - that IS correcting the behavior.
Correcting bad behavior does not have to be accomplished in a negative light, which I'm getting the impression that some here believe the term is used to imply.
When I am viewed with a dog displaying (lets say insecure aggression) I'm going to innterupt the behavior shown before it escalates into a dangerous situation. Watching the dogs body language allows me to anticipate it's actions before it carrys through with something. Dogs are constantly uttering warnings, like you said. Their brain signals sends their body into various poses which tell us so much.
By innteruption, I will step into the dog, occasionally making vocal sounds to get the dogs attention back on me. The goal is to keep the dogs brain from being unable to stay focused on whatever stimuli will trigger it's actions; to keep the mind and body calm. You do not need treats or constant rewards to accomplish that, or keep the dogs focus on you.
A dog does not naturally WANT to be in control of situations. And theres a difference between a dog being naturally more dominant than others, and being the leader of a pack (feeling the need to lead, or control). A dog that feels it needs to remain in control of the situation all the time, is completley stressed out - high energy - rarely calm or at peace - constantly buzzing. Aggression many times comes from this place as well; when the owners have lacked leadership and control, failing to understand what the dog is really telling them.

For those of you that treat train, could I hear some experiences of you successfully training a red-zone aggression from a dog? I'm honestly quite curious and would like to know how you carry out your methods.
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