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Donald McCaig

Life is full of corrections

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You do realize that most people here use reinforcement based training, right? Just because some of us mix in a few corrections here and there doesn't mean that we don't see value in it...

 

I suspect most do with the obedience type commands. I would imgine though, that stockwork requires an entirely different repertoire?? I don't really know, not knowing much about sheepdoggin'.

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Probably stating the obvious here, but there simply is no reinforcement topping "getting my sheep". Therefor I regard stockwork impossible without corrections. The only "exception" would be an uninterested talentless dog trained to a push button level. No handler would want such a dog.

 

Amazing how people seem to enjoy going to war over their training methods.

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I suspect most do with the obedience type commands. I would imgine though, that stockwork requires an entirely different repertoire?? I don't really know, not knowing much about sheepdoggin'.

Yep, exactly, and I think this is why there's so much disconnect for some of us during these discussions. In the future I plan to remind myself that essentially all of the folks discussing positive-only methods and comparing those to correction-based methods are talking about pet dog/sport training and not stockdog training. That alone would probably eliminate a great deal of misunderstanding and aggravation. And for that reason, I'll do my best to stay out of these conversations in the future (unless they specifically address stockdog training). Over the years they all are pretty much the same--just with new people doing the talking.

 

I will say this, though it's been said before in these types of threads from the POV of a stockdog trainer--just so perhaps it's clear to others why corrections are part of the repertoire of a stockdog trainer. Many of us do use positive methods for training basic obedience, etc., but we also use corrections because the ability of the dog to accept and understand a correction is *crucial* for stockdog training. This is also why I've emphasized *verbal* and *body pressure* (vs. physically punishing a dog) corrections in this thread and others like it, because when the dog is at a distance from the human and engaging in behavior that is self-rewarding (like slicing flanks and grabbing sheep butts/pulling wool) the main tool a stockdog trainer has in her tool box is a verbal correction, followed by body pressure (but the latter requires one to get in between the action, which ain't always easy or practical) to get the dog to stop the behavior that is rewarding to it but potentially injurious to the stock. A dog that doesn't even know what a correction word is certainly isn't going to stop what it's doing when it hears "ah ah" or "hey!" for the first time when it's already engaged in improper behavior. A dog that has been raised correctly to understand a correction will understand that the word means "I don't like what you're doing, so stop it" and will stop what it's doing and try something else--all while the livestock are "luring" different behaviors--some good and some not--from the dog moment-by-moment.

 

But I do understand that for most dog trainers (non-stockdog trainers), these differences are subtle and generally don't have to apply to the world of pet ownership.

 

I also recognize (and I've said this before in the gazillion other threads like this) that teaching positive-only training to the average pet owner is certainly the best way to ensure that dogs are not being inadvertently mistreated by folks who have poor timing and don't understand proper corrections anyway. So, I would say, that for the sake of most pet dogs, advocating positive-only training is, well, a positive thing.

 

Perhaps in these discussions someone should simply state up front that the methods under discussion are related only to pet/sport dog training and not stockdog training and then those of us who train stock dogs wouldn't feel like our methods are being called cruel, unimaginative, unfair, etc. ;)

 

J.

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Thanks Smalahundur,

 

 

 

Spock would be proud!

 

 

 

'Vulan salute'

 

 

What I would say is this. If we could follow each other around for a day and see how the other person lives and works we would have greater understanding.

 

 

Right on, Julie!

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If you're going to use your dog for stockwork, you must be able to recognize and work with the complete spectrum of aversives, including mental as well as physical dominance. Because in stockwork you're not merely training a dog to respond to your guidance. You're training the dog to train sheep according to your guidance. Stockwork by definition includes handler, dog, and a third species. (Sheep being the classic exemplar.) Dogs don't use sheep cookies to pass your commands along and get their job done. The ideal relationship between dog and sheep is one of minimum pressure and stress. It's great to have a "kind" dog, but even a mild mannered dog has teeth, and if the dog is an effective worker, both the dog and the sheep know it. Generally the most positive reward the sheep receive (from the dog) is the release of pressure. Freedom to go back to grazing doesn't seem like much of a reward, as compared to a liver jackpot for a brilliant freestyle move. But that's about the best the sheep can expect from the dog. The spectrum of the dog's tools ranges from the removal of immediate pressure (as when a dog turns its head away from a worried ewe in order for her to feel safe enough to move on) to the sharp violence of a hard bite on the nose. Sometimes all a dog has to do is hold its ground and create a zone where the livestock prefers not to go; other times, the dog has to press hard and actively. It behooves the handler to be fluent in all of the often subtle vocabulary of pressures shared by the other two species involved. The more clearly you understand that dynamic, the easier it is to accomplish your goal with small, low stress adjustments. Most of the best stockwork involves no punishment at all; but almost no stockwork involves outright reward, either.

 

Liz S in foggy icebound south central PA

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I don't think ANYONE on here is a "Correction based" trainer...meaning they use corrections mainly to teach behaviors...

 

Again, the way I train my dogs is %98 positive and I should not be labelled because I choose to use a correction here and again.

 

The people who don't agree with using corrections I believe don't understand what a correction REALLY is...as Julie stated, it's NOT a punishment. It's information to the dog, that what they are doing is in-correct. Whenever I give any kind of correction, it's immedietly followed by showing the dog what I DO want. It gives the dog more information and since I've taught my dog what each correction means, it gives them a chance to fix things and be succesful.

 

Corrections are a "natural" part of the animal and therefore dog world. It's part of THERE language. Now I know RB classicly says, "well i'm not a dog so I won't communicate like a dog"...but I feel that's being un-fair to the dog. Why wouldn't you incorporate a language they understand into training??

 

My opinion is backed up by the fact that stockwork is one of the most natural things you can do with your dog. And it involved corrections. Some of the best relationships I've seen, and most amazing work hands down(above any sports) would be to see the top handlers run there dogs. Surely there relationship is not damaged by the fact that they use corrections in life and in training there dogs...

 

And on the notion that you are somehow a MORE skilled trainer because you do not use corrections...well, someone else said it best..."The proof is in the pudding". Anybody can claim to be a trainer, and it's nothing special to be able to train Pet Behaviors with positive methods. If you think your methods are so awesome, prove it. All we can go by on these forums is what people SAY, people need to make there own minds about who they think is full of shit or not. And whether ther methods actually work.

 

I see competitions as a way for trainers to SHOW that what they say has some meaning, otherwise people just take your word for it that what you're saying works. Obedience trials, in my opinion, are the ultimate test of your RELATIONSHIP with your dog. There is no treats, barely any talking...no reinforcers other than yourself and your dogs desire to work for you. In order to get a high score and excel your dog needs to heel well, focus on you, not pay attention to distractions, stay with there handler out of site, and the list goes on and on....I don't think it's any coincidence that the people who are "positive only" trainers have never set foot in an obedience ring.

 

Again, "positive only" people that I know tend to control the environment that there dogs are in, so that they are succesful. That's why I don't usually see those type of trainers ever leave the Rally ring. And that's FINE..I totally encourage people to get out and have fun with there dogs no matter what. But when you say that your methods of training work better, and give you a better relationship with your dog, etc....then prove it. I have YET to meet a "positive only" dog trainer who has....and I don't believe that to be a coincidence.

 

 

 

T

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We've recently covered breeding (a couple of times) and now we are on to training (thanks to the OP for the stir).

 

Next up, feeding. Shall I start? I think feeding raw meat to my dogs is abusive since it is certain to give them worms, E.Coli and a bad disposition. Plus, it's just gross.

 

You're up. ;)

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Well you know Robin, there has recently been a discussion on Tick-L about the risks of feeding raw pork, which apparently has been found to carry antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria (like MRSA). Oh, and don't think pasture-raised pork is better for your dog, since if there's any chance that the pasture-raised animals could come into contact with feral hogs, then they could carry pseudorabies, which is fatal to dogs and kills within 48 hours. (Dammit, pork is one of the cheapest raw meats you can get, and neckbones are great for cleaning teeth. And now I have to worry about killing my dog?)

 

How's that? (Seriously, though, this is real information I'm passing along, for anyone who cares.)

 

J.

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you know, I've always wondered about pork. I haven't seen it in commercial dry or canned food, and figured there was some reason. Raw pork has a fixed trichinosis connection for me. Pig's ears and feet are the only pork treats I've seen - and I've steered away from those, too animate!

 

Susan

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I want to discuss Mr Spock.

 

 

And how he would train a dog.

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Susan,

Most people who feed raw pork make sure to deep freeze it for a period of time to deal with the trichinosis issue. And antibiotic resistant bacteria shouldn't be a surprising find on any raw meat product, really. But how to ensure you're not exposing your dogs to pseudorabies? Well, that one worries me.

 

J.

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Freezing below 0 degrees for 30 days will kill trichinosis :)

And, fortunately for my dogs, no feral hogs around here!

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So Laura do you feed raw pork after freezing?

 

forgot to add...

Live long and prosper!!

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Now that we've gone off topic...

 

The CDC recommends that freezing pork less than 6" thick for 30 days at below 0F can kill trichinosis. Wild game, like bear, can carry species of trichinosis that are not killed by freezing, but I don't know anyone feeding their dogs bear.

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I do feed pork (not bear, though!). But luckily it's never more than 6 inches thick--thanks for that info, Ben! I usually feed pork necks and pork organs, though I will also feed other parts of the pig when available.

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I eat bear, much to the complete disgust of my Blackfeet cronies. But I cook it very well done!

 

And the lard I heat to 165 then cool and freeze.

 

 

 

The lard makes the best sugar cookies in the world- Thanks to Granny's recipe.

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Again, the way I train my dogs is %98 positive and I should not be labelled because I choose to use a correction here and again.

 

 

The people who don't agree with using corrections I believe don't understand what a correction REALLY is...

 

*twitch twitch*

 

I believe the thread (and your first post, Sista) STARTED with you guys labeling other trainers and then telling them how they are harming their dogs (via lack of self and by confusing them). Then we get jumped on for labeling them.

 

Sista, I know EXACTLY what a correction is. I used them for years and I know very well what the difference between a correction and punishment is. I am not discussing stockwork and have already stated as such and that I will defer to your greater knowledge. I have worked very hard to do the opposite of what and you and Julie are accusing me of and somehow its the "positive trainers" who are name callers and ignorant.

 

bang-head-on-desk.gif

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(Dammit, pork is one of the cheapest raw meats you can get, and neckbones are great for cleaning teeth. And now I have to worry about killing my dog?)

 

How's that? (Seriously, though, this is real information I'm passing along, for anyone who cares.)

 

 

Well, hell. It is the cheapest non poultry meat I can by usually under $2 a pound.

 

You can get psuedorabies by eating the meat? It wouldn't be killed in the digestive tract?

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The people who don't agree with using corrections I believe don't understand what a correction REALLY is...as Julie stated, it's NOT a punishment. It's information to the dog, that what they are doing is in-correct.

 

Actually, I do understand what a correction is. I understand that corrections vary in degree.

 

And, yes, I understand that a correction is communication to the dog that he or she is incorrect.

 

And with that understanding, I choose, instead, to communicate to the dog, clearly, and usually quickly, how he or she can be correct. There actually is no requirement of any kind of "you are incorrect" communication to achieve that end, so I do not incorporate that into training.

 

Granted, I don't always do it perfectly. Nobody does anything perfectly every single time. And there is a learning curve. I'm a heck of a lot better at it now than I was 10 years ago, and I hope I will be much, much better at it 10 years from now.

 

Corrections are a "natural" part of the animal and therefore dog world. It's part of THERE language. Now I know RB classicly says, "well i'm not a dog so I won't communicate like a dog"...but I feel that's being un-fair to the dog. Why wouldn't you incorporate a language they understand into training??

 

I don't sniff dog's butts when I meet them. I don't curve and turn and move my body in the way the dog moves when he or she greets another dog. I don't growl at dogs, I don't bark at dogs, I don't roll over on my back to show a dog that "I come in peace" as dogs often do.

 

The truth is, I'm not a dog. I don't communicate with dogs as if I were a dog, I communicate with them as a human with a dog.

 

Whether that is "classical" or not, it is simply the truth.

 

Personally, I am grateful that I am not limited to the way that dogs communicate with one another to train. As humans, we have quite a spectrum of ways of interacting and communicating with our dogs that are unique to us as humans.

 

So, the argument that "dogs correct each other" really doesn't make the use of correction any more attractive, nor even sensible, to me.

 

. . . and it's nothing special to be able to train Pet Behaviors with positive methods.

 

Actually, the trainers that I admire most are the ones who work with everyday people, usually people who have little or no experience with training, or who think they do because they "saw it on TV". Those trainers have to figure out how to educate the person and help the dog, often when much of what the person is doing is not helping the situation but the person does not see that.

 

When those trainers help those owners help those dogs learn to exercise self control and interface with the world in a safe and healthy way, that is worth far more to me than any prestigious title that anyone has ever earned in artificial rings doing made up activities. And I enjoy those very activities, myself, and I consider them to be of very great value. And I know that many have overcome great odds to even be there and I certainly respect that.

 

But if you think it's nothing to work with ordinary people teaching ordinary behaviors, my guess is that you haven't really seen a lot of what's out there.

 

If you think your methods are so awesome, prove it.

 

That's the irony. Many of us aren't interesting in proving it to people who have no interest in taking an objective look at it, anyway. We are too busy actually working with our dogs, and with people who are working with their dogs, to bother.

 

I don't think it's any coincidence that the people who are "positive only" trainers have never set foot in an obedience ring.

 

Actually, I am of the opinion that there are reasons for that of which you are completely unaware.

 

Ms. Fezi did a nice job of expressing some of that in the blog post that rushdoggie posted in this thread. It was very interesting to me to hear someone from the Obedience world express those very things.

 

Again, "positive only" people that I know tend to control the environment that there dogs are in, so that they are succesful. That's why I don't usually see those type of trainers ever leave the Rally ring. And that's FINE..I totally encourage people to get out and have fun with there dogs no matter what. But when you say that your methods of training work better, and give you a better relationship with your dog, etc....then prove it.

 

The proof is out there. One must move beyond the tiny world of traditional Obedience to find it, but it is out there. It does require an open mind to see it, but it is out there.

 

But, again, why should anyone try to prove anything to those who are dead set against it at all costs? To my way of thinking, I have much better things to do. Like working toward my own training goals in the manner that I see fit for my dogs and for myself.

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Next up, feeding. Shall I start? I think feeding raw meat to my dogs is abusive since it is certain to give them worms, E.Coli and a bad disposition. Plus, it's just gross.

 

Actually, I guess I am making a blanket accusation toward all who feed their dogs foods with grains since I feed a grain free diet. The reason I don't feed a grain free diet is because dogs do not need grains, and I have found my own dogs to be healthier on a grain free diet.

 

Therefore, I must be accusing all of you who are feed grains of abuse. Obviously, if I didn't consider it abuse, I would feed grains.

 

:D :D :D (Yes, that's sarcasm - said in jest, and this time I really am kicking the hornet's nest!!)

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Ok Rootbeer, I am comin' over dere wit a coupla of da boys and we are gonna have a little talk....Cappesh?

 

Ya gotta feed da dogs da pasta.....

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Aw crap I gotta go milk....

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Ok Rootbeer, I am comin' over dere wit a coupla of da boys and we are gonna have a little talk....Cappesh?

 

Ya gotta feed da dogs da pasta.....

 

OK, DOOOOGS! We're goin' out for pasta tonight!!! :D :D :D

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Well, hell. It is the cheapest non poultry meat I can by usually under $2 a pound.

 

You can get psuedorabies by eating the meat? It wouldn't be killed in the digestive tract?

People can't get pseudorabies, but DOGS can get it and to them it's fatal.

 

Here's a report from Iowa State University regarding pseudorabies.

 

Key points are that although it has been eradicated in domestic swine in the US, there is the possibility of the disease being transmitted by feral pigs, which exist at least in the south and perhaps elsewhere. This would be of concern for pasture-raised pigs that might come into contact with feral pigs. Note that the report doesn't claim that all pork in the US is safe:

In the United States, all states are now considered to be free of the virus in domesticated swine, and a surveillance program is ongoing. The presence of the virus in feral pigs remains a concern.

 

and this about what species are affected:

Pigs are the natural host for Aujeszky’s disease virus and the only animals to be-come latent carriers. However, the virus can infect nearly all domesticated and wild mammals including cattle, sheep, goats, cats and dogs. It does not infect humans or the tailless apes, and infections in horses are rare.

 

Carnivores or omnivores have been infected after ingesting contaminated raw meat.

 

Also:

Aujeszky’s disease can be found in parts of Europe, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America including Mexico. The virus has also been reported from Cuba, Samoa and Rwanda. Aujeszky’s disease was endemic in the United States; however, a successful eradication campaign has eliminated the virus from domesticated swine. A surveillance program is now ongoing, and as of June 2007, all states are classified as status V (free). Aujeszky’s disease virus remains present in feral pigs in the U.S., which is a concern for transmission to domesticated herds. [emphasis added]

 

This article also notes that pseudorabies virus is present in Mexico. I have seen meats in US supermarkets sourced from Mexico, so at least be sure that the pork you buy is from the US or other countries where the virus has been eradicated in domestic pigs.

 

And finally:

Aujeszky’s disease is usually introduced into a herd when it is exposed to infected pigs. Protective measures in an endemic region include isolation and testing of new breeding animals, and biosecurity measures to prevent entry on contaminated fomites [objects that can carry the disease], people and roaming animals including rodents and birds. [emphasis added]In addition, domesticated herds must be kept separate from feral swine. One study suggests that the virus carried in feral swine is mainly spread by venereal transmission [though elsewhere in the report oral and respiratory transmission are mentioned], and measures such as a “double fence” may be sufficient to protect a herd from this source. Vaccination can also aid in disease control. The currently available vaccines protect pigs from clinical signs and decrease virus shedding, but do not provide sterile immunity or prevent latent infections. Attenuated, inactivated and gene-deleted marker vaccines are available; the gene-deleted vaccines allow vaccinated pigs to be distinguished from pigs infected with field vi-ruses. DNA vaccines are in development.

 

I'm not trying to scare people, and I have fed a lot of raw pork to my dogs, but it is something to be aware of and is intermittently discussed on another list I'm on, so I'm just sharing.

 

J.

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