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Training treats considered as detrimental

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Wow...why is it that this reminds me a lot of a game of whose dog is more bonded and why?

 

I have not trained thousands of dogs. I have played with a few. Some are more bonded to me than others and for the life of me I don't treat them all the same and the one that adores me the most...well, lets just say I don't feel the same about her.

 

I have seen tons of great trained dogs (including a service dog) that would just as soon leave their person as they don't give a darn. Seen dogs who have had the hell terrorized out of them all for the sake of sport who would jump through fire for their people. Never has made sense to me. And every shade of of bond in between.

 

Would it not be fair to say that no matter which way, it all is about two entities finding what works for them and to have the commitment to stick with it?

 

My pup is bonded to me I hope! My understanding and yes, control of her, is at this age deeper than any other dog before. That certainly makes me more bonded to her at just over a year old. I credit this to the fact that with a lot of luck I picked the right blob out of the litter and that every single dog I have ever owned, fostered or worked with has helped me achieve a much deeper understanding about what is possible and what I can expect. This includes the dog that I rescue that was supposed to be a foster. Can you say bully? She still tries with other. Not me. And, no, I did not use food or treats to solve this. And why this dogs won't get off my rear, don't ask me. She would not take one single treat for the longest time. Yet, with her, I will go as far as saying she adores me. She would work for me until I drop. Unfortunately.

 

Others certainly are easier convinced to "talk" to me by using food. It just so happens that treat have never worked so well for me. But I have come to the conclusion that it is really helpful and I have sharpened my skill in using it even with dogs that care little about. One more way to balance. So yeah, for most of my guys it is the lower value treat. Lower than toys or maybe a personal interaction. But it is still a way that I can reward something in an appropriate manner and make progress. Which is why I will repeat it again....I find the exclusive and improper way of using treats not as much detrimental but as very limiting.

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I have a spaniel (papillon) that pretty much hates the world and everyone in it except for a very select few people, including me. I have personally never had a more complex and interesting relationship with a dog than her. The dog is brilliant. You have to earn everything from her. She doesn't give it freely. I have never seen a dog harbor a grudge like her either... Just had to throw that out there for the spaniels.They're not all overly friendly and not bright. My other one is stereotypical and would probably go home happily with any human being. She's also not that bright (but very sweet).

 

I do think there is just a difference in agility training vs stock work. I've seen a person try to transition from stockwork to agility and I just think there's a different language so to speak. One is very instinctual work where the work is the reward and the other is a manmade game. With the right dog it can become self-rewarding but it's not instinct and ingrained. Every sport or work seems to have its own culture based on what works for the task in question and people are always more accepting of their 'native language' so to speak. I have always wanted to branch out and learn from some other types of trainers. I believe there is a lot to learn from each other- even if you don't use it in your own training.

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I find the exclusive and improper way of using treats not as much detrimental but as very limiting.

 

I think this is very true. I know many people who never even consider using any other technique. Sometimes they seem to think that their only other option is heavy-handed corrections.

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My dog came to me already trained in basic obedience and she is solid. Her recalls are perfect, her downs and stays and waits are perfect. She's completely trustworthy off lead and if not for leash laws, she would rarely have one on. I frequently get comments from folks in my neighborhood about how smart she is and requests to train their dogs, haha, at which point I have to concede I had nothing to do with it. Of course, she doesn't get treats (or really much praise) for doing these things. She does them because I ask her to. I think that's just her nature, to want to please her owner.



The folks I adopted her from were shepherd responsible for moving 1000 head of cattle. I don't know how harsh or aversive based their training was, but I suspect no clickers were involved. I don't think my dog was treated with too heavy a hand, but I'm sure she was scolded and reprimanded at least. I can't really argue with the results. She's much more obedient than any other dog I've had.



Since I've owned her, I've trained her to play a few games (fetch) and taught her some 'tricks' using treats and verbal praise. She's picked these things up quickly and enjoyed the training, but really, the treats seem more like a way to help her understand what it is I want from her (and to get her excited about an unfamiliar task that she has no intrinsic motivation to perform ) vs. being 'a bribe'.



For example, I taught her to fetch using treats and praise (she has no natural drive for retrieving). I used the treats and praise to sort of steer her in the right direction, so she'd understand what I wanted her to do. Once she knew what I wanted her to do, her own internal motivation to do work for me took over and I do not need to treat her for those things anymore. Once she knows a task, she's gung-ho, with or without treats.



So, fwiw, I have a dog who's been trained with treats and with more traditional means and she's learned both ways. So, I don't think treats are necessary, at least with her and dogs with her temperament - dogs who really want to please their owner more than anything. The treats are fun though and it's an easy way to get her excited to do some new task that she's not familiar with as well as communicate with her.



We also to herding with her and, like others have said, that really requires no incentive other than being able to do it more, as she has that internal drive for that specific work.





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Since I've owned her, I've trained her to play a few games (fetch) and taught her some 'tricks' using treats and verbal praise. She's picked these things up quickly and enjoyed the training, but really, the treats seem more like a way to help her understand what it is I want from her (and to get her excited about an unfamiliar task that she has no intrinsic motivation to perform ) vs. being 'a bribe'.

For example, I taught her to fetch using treats and praise (she has no natural drive for retrieving). I used the treats and praise to sort of steer her in the right direction, so she'd understand what I wanted her to do. Once she knew what I wanted her to do, her own internal motivation to do work for me took over and I do not need to treat her for those things anymore. Once she knows a task, she's gung-ho, with or without treats.

 

Of course, but some no treaters don't seem to understand that.

 

We have done very little training with our BC that involved treats - much less than with other types of dog we have had with less of a work ethic. We have used the clicker less too, not because we don't think it works but because this particular dog rarely needs the precision of information it gives, partly because of his nature and partly because he hasn't been taught as much, but when it is used learning is pretty much instant.

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I don't understand why anyone cares how other people train. I haven't always understood my friends' choices, but I always hoped they would be successful and have some fun while they were at it.

 

 

In my personal capacity I don't care as long as the dog doesn't come to any harm, either physically or mentally, and as long as if it's a failure it doesn't impact on me or anyone else.

 

However, I'm in a position where people come to us to learn how to teach their dogs primarily to do agility but also often it strays into basic behaviour. If we see someone training ineffectively we are going to try and get them to use a method that has a high record of success. That doesn't mean we are one trick ponies though. We do what works for the dog in question and we are able to do that because we have a wide range of experience of different dogs and their owners. In fact the choice of an approach can depend more on the owner than the dog. We will go for an approach that is likely to work for that owner with that dog.

 

What I do care about though is misrepresentation and misunderstanding of how different methods work. To make an informed choice you need to know about the pros and cons of a wide range of methods, even those you may disapprove of on ethical grounds.

 

If you (generic you) are going to criticise, do it on the basis of fact and do not exaggerate as it can have the reverse effect on the recipient.

 

Basic facts -

 

All training methods work to some extent, even beating your dog to a pulp if it steps out of line.

 

People have different ethical considerations when it comes to how to treat their dog.

 

Some methods work better than others.

 

Some methods work better for some dogs than others.

 

Some methods work better for some owners than others.

 

Some methods work better for some activities than others.

 

The success of any method depends on the skill and application of the handler.

 

The person who claims that their way of training is the only right way is wrong.

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Wow...why is it that this reminds me a lot of a game of whose dog is more bonded and why?

Because it has been proposed in the discussion that use of food in training may (or perhaps even "does") inhibit the depth of the bond that one may have with his or her dog.

 

And that is going to get a response from those who have incorporated food into their training in ways that actually deepen the bond between themselves and the dog. Those who just plain know different.

 

Excellent positive reinforcement training is not primarily about the reinforcer (or, in this case, the food). The end result of the training process is that the dog has actually learned something, has truly internalized the information/concept/behavior, and is able to behave in a certain matter, carry out certain tasks when and where indicated, or to simply act on that knowledge in some way. This is a mutual experience between dog and handler that builds mutual understanding, trust, respect, joy, familiarity, patience, and wherewithal that leads to desire to be together more, work together more, and adds a new dimension to their lives together. In short, the shared experience can, and typically does, deepen the bond between dog and handler.

 

I know I can say this a billion times and there will still be those who are convinced that dogs trained with food will never - no way, no how - perform without food directly present. But that is, plain and simple, a misconception.

 

I get why it might seem to some that food can be a "detriment" - especially if the only result of training with food that they have seen has been that of training with food done in an incomplete way.

 

If one has never had the experience of starting out with the dog working for the food and then watched the lightbulb snap on in the dog's eyes as understanding begins to grow and then seen, firsthand, the dog move from dependence on the food to really owning the concept/behavior, and then watched the dog's competence and confidence blossom as the behavior/concept is generalized to a larger context, to reach the point where the dog knows it in his or her "knower" and is fully trained, reliable, and no longer requires any external reinforcers because he or she knows, understands, and can draw on the training, it may be difficult to really get how sharing in this work together bears fruit in the relationship between dog and handler that I personally find impossible to put into words. Especially as the dog and handler team move into more difficult and complex tasks than basic manners (which are important, but extremely basic).

 

No, food is not the only reinforcer and of course there are huge benefits to expanding one's training out to the use of reinforcers other than food. There are times when an environmental reinforcer, especially, will be far more effective than food. That does not somehow equate with a "detriment" to training with food - it is simply smart use of a limitless range of training options.

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Once she knew what I wanted her to do, her own internal motivation to do work for me took over and I do not need to treat her for those things anymore.

... or alternatively, just:

Once she knew what I wanted her to do, her own internal motivation to do work for me took over. So, our task boils down to communicating to our dogs what is wanted. The mark and reward style works on a vast number of creatures -- dogs included. Working with a breed that is known to be highly biddable and self-motivated, I have found that treats are not necessarily an advantage. They can even get in the way. Disclaimer: YMMV.

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No, food is not the only reinforcer and of course there are huge benefits to expanding one's training out to the use of reinforcers other than food. There are times when an environmental reinforcer, especially, will be far more effective than food. That does not somehow equate with a "detriment" to training with food - it is simply smart use of a limitless range of training options.

 

 

This.

 

I taught my dogs to lie down close to me reliably on cue in a couple of minutes with a clicker and treats but I didn't train them to do it 50 yards away which they will. They are perfectly capable of extrapolating a behaviour from firm foundations. I don't recall making any effort to generalise the down in different places or at increasing distances and you can be sure they don't get a cookie so far away. Sometimes their reward is that I throw a ball, sometimes just to be released to run - whatever is on offer, if anything, doesn't affect whether they do it.

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I thought of this thread recently. I was working on a Level 3 Cyber Rally course with Dean and Tessa and we came upon an exercise I had never done with either of them, but I didn't realize it until we went to do it.

 

The dog started with a wait at heel or side (this course had it in two exercises, each starting from a different side). The dog weaves under the far leg and then comes around to center (front) position to wait there before finishing back to the starting position.

 

Both dogs have done a fair amount of leg weaves, and I have used leg weaves as a transition from center to heel or side, and as a transition from heel to side or side to heel, but I had never once used a leg weave to transition the dog from heel or side to front. Both were confused at first and popped out of center position, immediately presuming they were to be somewhere else! Dean tried to pivot back to heel and Tessa stepped out of position and looked at me like "huh?"

 

With Tessa all I had to do was have her do the exercise once where I met her in front with my hands forming a kind of channel and I told her "right there" and praised her when she lined up straight in front of me. Concept communicated. This is now something we do, lesson complete.

 

That didn't work with Dean because he simply moves too fast. He had pivoted back to position before he would even notice any words or gestures. So, for him I pulled out the food. As he weaved around, I used it to lure him into position and fed when he was lined up straight in front of me. Concept communicated. This is now something we do, lesson complete. I did not have to go through a process of fading the lure in this case because Dean is advanced enough in his training to generalize immediately in this situation. IOW, once he did it once with food, he could immediately do it without food.

 

That brought this thread to mind, as I can honestly say that I did not find the fact that Dean needed a piece of food to get the point to be detrimental to his learning. He and Tessa performed it the same in the end. Dean has enough experience with the process of food being used to introduce something that he will do without it later on that the use of food with him in this exercise was perfectly equivalent to the use of the gesture and the word with Tessa. Both the food and the gesture/word were information. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

I would say that in both cases, our mutual sense of satisfaction and enjoyment of mastering this new idea was equivalent. I did not walk away thinking, "oh no, Dean needed for me to use a piece of food, there is something lacking in our relationship". Nor did I walk away thinking that what I had done with Tessa was somehow better. In both cases, I used the means of conveying the information to the dog that was fastest, clearest, and most suited to the learning style of the dog. If anything, I would say that my use of food with Dean was indicative of more regard for him as an individual. I used what I knew, through long experience, would be best for him, instead of trying to fit my round Dean Dog into a square hole by insisting that he must learn the way Tessa did.

 

In the end, both understood what was desired. It literally took the same amount of time. Bond that I share with each of them as individuals still very much alive and well, and deepened, as it truly is every time we train together. (Not to imply our bond only deepens through training - that's just one piece, but it is the piece in question in this particular discussion).

 

Yes, JohnLloydJones, my experience with training with food varies significantly from what you describe. I can honestly say after training for over 10 years with four different performance dogs, in the context of four sports, that I have yet to find food to be detrimental. I've made mistakes with my use of food (and mistakes that didn't involve food) that have been temporarily detrimental to the training process, but when my understanding and skills in the use of food (and other reinforcers) in training grew and improved, the resulting progress far outweighed the temporary "detriment" of my mistakes. It's like anything - as I learn better, I do better.

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Wow, this discussion has been quite an eye-opener for me! I am very embarrassed to say that I am one of those inexperienced trainers who has been using treats but not phasing them out properly. I only became aware of it upon reading this thread. Live and learn, right?? :wacko:

 

Since this topic was posted I have cut in half the number of treats I throw in my pocket before a walk. He's young and there are still a LOT of impulse control behaviors I want to rewards on walks, hence not phasing them out entirely. Admittedly, I think I have a mild treat dependency with my dog, but he has still performed well as I begin to phase them out. However, there's no mistaking the look of disappointment on his face when a treat doesn't fall into his mouth. I'm hoping he's still young enough, and the phase out can be gradual enough, that I haven't created a treat monster... I guess we'll see.

 

I appreciated Eileen's post about being open to trying new things, so I figured I'd ask the non-treaters what methods work best for them. I am not afraid to use a correction on occasion (when it's appropriate) but want to continue with positive training techniques. He's extremely sensitive. Once, without thinking, I laughed AT him when he did something clumsy and he practically shut down... another lesson learned. Needless to say I'll avoid harsh or adverse techniques with him.

 

Do the "non treaters" on this thread recommend any books, literature, trainers or techniques that a newbie could try out? I'd be interested to see how he does without treats but don't want to go into it "flying blind".

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Dear Doggers,

 

Ms Mum24dogs writes (in part): "Donald McCaig is fond of suggesting that those who favour modern and scientifically backed methods are doing so out of quasi religious and magical beliefs in their methods but I have the same reaction to those who espouse the "no treats" approach as the only true way to mystical communion with their dogs."

 

I first noticed how much doggy speech is quasi religious when Dog Fanciers argued "proper form is necessary for proper function" and "Registries don't ruin dog breeds, breeders ruin dogs". You can read Karen Pryor, Bill Koehler or the ecollar trainers at Sitmeanssit for similar mantras.

 

No dog training theory is more "modern" or "scientific" or "kind" or "mystical" than the others. I have seen happy, mannerly dogs trained by ecollar, Koehler, clicker, drive and combinations of the foregoing.

 

I do think some methods are more likely to produce success for particular needs than others and that it is wise to defer to trainers who've achieved the best results: ecollars for retrieving, clickers and treats for agility, Koehler for the obedience ring etc.

 

If I'm right - and Ms mum24dogs may well disagree -that quasi-religious speech is a core part of dog talk, how come? I don't hear much quasi religious speech from my gearhead pals. When I'm with other writers, we're more likely to talk about contracts than "the sublime".

 

But doggers do talk that talk.

 

Whatever our preferred method, we seek to interact with, understand and direct to our needs a mind which is very like and very unlike our own. Religious speech is appropriate when training a creature as alien as the Angel Gabriel.

 

Donald McCaig

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Wow, this discussion has been quite an eye-opener for me! I am very embarrassed to say that I am one of those inexperienced trainers who has been using treats but not phasing them out properly. I only became aware of it upon reading this thread. Live and learn, right?? :wacko:

 

Since this topic was posted I have cut in half the number of treats I throw in my pocket before a walk. He's young and there are still a LOT of impulse control behaviors I want to rewards on walks, hence not phasing them out entirely. Admittedly, I think I have a mild treat dependency with my dog, but he has still performed well as I begin to phase them out. However, there's no mistaking the look of disappointment on his face when a treat doesn't fall into his mouth. I'm hoping he's still young enough, and the phase out can be gradual enough, that I haven't created a treat monster... I guess we'll see.

 

Absolutely! That's exactly where I started.

 

There are two +R training books I would LOVE to see written. There is not, to my knowledge, a good book out there that explains in very understandable detail, how to fade lures and diminish the use of reinforcers on the handler. Something that those just getting started could really use as a guide. There are a lot of training books that detail the process of getting behavior using food, but not on how to take the next steps and finish the training off to fluency.

 

There is also not, to my knowledge, a good consideration of the use of environmental reinforcers. I'd love to see something like this on a more advanced level.

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Wow, this discussion has been quite an eye-opener for me! I am very embarrassed to say that I am one of those inexperienced trainers who has been using treats but not phasing them out properly. I only became aware of it upon reading this thread. Live and learn, right?? :wacko:

 

Since this topic was posted I have cut in half the number of treats I throw in my pocket before a walk. He's young and there are still a LOT of impulse control behaviors I want to rewards on walks, hence not phasing them out entirely. Admittedly, I think I have a mild treat dependency with my dog, but he has still performed well as I begin to phase them out. However, there's no mistaking the look of disappointment on his face when a treat doesn't fall into his mouth. I'm hoping he's still young enough, and the phase out can be gradual enough, that I haven't created a treat monster... I guess we'll see.

 

I appreciated Eileen's post about being open to trying new things, so I figured I'd ask the non-treaters what methods work best for them. I am not afraid to use a correction on occasion (when it's appropriate) but want to continue with positive training techniques. He's extremely sensitive. Once, without thinking, I laughed AT him when he did something clumsy and he practically shut down... another lesson learned. Needless to say I'll avoid harsh or adverse techniques with him.

 

Do the "non treaters" on this thread recommend any books, literature, trainers or techniques that a newbie could try out? I'd be interested to see how he does without treats but don't want to go into it "flying blind".

 

Denise Fenzi has a lot of information on relationship as a reward (which is a lovely way to transition out cookies but still work in the positive reinforcement realm) on her blog and website. Really good stuff.

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No dog training theory is more "modern" or "scientific" or "kind" or "mystical" than the others. I have seen happy, mannerly dogs trained by ecollar, Koehler, clicker, drive and combinations of the foregoing.

 

This baffles me.

Do you honestly think that jerking a puppy around on a metal choke collar is as kind as training with positive reinforcement and no physical corrections?

I think the puppy would disagree with you.

 

 

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rushdoggie: I had never heard of Denise Fenzi, but after your comment I checked out her website and her Youtube videos. Really good stuff. Thanks for sharing. I really love some of her videos on heeling.

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rushdoggie: I had never heard of Denise Fenzi, but after your comment I checked out her website and her Youtube videos. Really good stuff. Thanks for sharing. I really love some of her videos on heeling.

 

Shes really fun and I enjoy her stuff.

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I like her as well. Took one of her classes and time is the only reason why I have not done more.

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I like her as well. Took one of her classes and time is the only reason why I have not done more.

 

I'm finishing up her play class right now. It's excellent. There is nothing like it out there.

 

We covered toy play, personal play, and food play, but the heart of it really is being more in tune with the dog and bringing out his or her playful side.

 

It has been more of a challenge than I would have expected - I really thought we were just going to learn how to play games!! But Tessa and I have both grown a lot even just in these 5 weeks of class.

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This baffles me.

Do you honestly think that jerking a puppy around on a metal choke collar is as kind as training with positive reinforcement and no physical corrections?

I think the puppy would disagree with you.

 

 

Clearly some of us have a very different understanding of what "kind" means.

 

I'm pretty sure it's not a term that would spring to my mind if someone were zapping me with an electric shock, yanking me on a chain or jabbing me in the neck with metal prongs.

 

Such aversive methods work because they are unpleasant, or even painful. Imposing an unpleasant physical experience on another living creature is by no stretch of the imagination "kind".

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I'm with you on this, Mum24. Pretty hard for me to understand how anyone could call that "kind". Especially as it is so thoroughly and completely unnecessary to inflict pain on a dog in order to train it.

 

But then, I never said I understood human beings or the things that many of them believe. Never have, never will.

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I was thinking about this topic the other day as I was watching the movie Hachi: A Dog's Tale.

 

My TV watching lurcher is dog reactive, and seeing a dog on TV would set her off into frenzies of barking and snarking.

 

We were able to watch this movie and also a recent rash of new TV commercials involving dogs because I've been using treats to desensitize and counter-condition her. It's been slow going because I had a several month long flare of my fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue symptoms that's extended from early spring through just recently, so I haven't been able to take her out to places here we'd encounter other dogs very much. So TV has been our main opportunity for a while.

 

The point is that I don't know how I'd have accomplished as much as I have without using treats. Scolding her or worse would have made her even more concerned about seeing other dogs and thus even more reactive. She's toy motivated but not at all in the presence of other dogs she doesn't know.

 

What I've done is take a "look at that" approach. She's allowed, encouraged even, to look at the dog that's causing her anxiety and then she's rewarded with food for looking back at me, even if she growled or barked at the other dog first. It's taken time, but most of the time now, unless the dog is barking in a threatening manner, she'll take a look at it and maybe even a step or 2 in it's direction, then come running back to me for her treat. Even if the other dog is barky, she'll quickly refocus her attention on me.

 

Training with treats has certainly not been detrimental with this dog. B)

 

Now it's time to take the show out on the road again. :o

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What I've done is take a "look at that" approach. She's allowed, encouraged even, to look at the dog that's causing her anxiety and then she's rewarded with food for looking back at me, even if she growled or barked at the other dog first. It's taken time, but most of the time now, unless the dog is barking in a threatening manner, she'll take a look at it and maybe even a step or 2 in it's direction, then come running back to me for her treat. Even if the other dog is barky, she'll quickly refocus her attention on me.

 

 

I'd decided that "look at that" was a better approach than trying to get a dog to focus on the handler and ignore whatever worries it before "Click to Calm" was published. It just makes so much sense if you put yourself in the dog's position. It's not essential to know that it's a combination of classical and operant conditioning.

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I just finished reading the book about Chaser the BC that knows over a 1000 words http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=33687 she was trained using play as a reward. When she was learning a new word, or got the correct toy she got to play with the toy.

I was also interested that he used the name from the very beginning, as well as names for behaviours not once she was doing the behaviour which is what seems to be the current way of naming a behaviour.

 

And I will also throw in and say I can not understand why anyone would use a technique to train a dog that would hurt it, if you don't want to use treats fine, there is play and praise as a reward, pressure as a negative. These boards are generally against ecollars especially in stock work so why use them at all, if it shuts them down in that situation what is it doing to the average pet dog.

 

I do understand how force free can seem over the top, I belong to a couple of force free groups on Facebook and some of those conversations make my head spin, I belong because I find it informative and adds to my understanding of training. I am though at a loss as to how a poke or using no (if the dog understands the word) can possibly harm a dog, yet some feel all stress is bad in dog training. I will never again use a choke chain, but I will continue to verbally correct any dog who puts their paws on my counters, or thinks that food on the coffee table might be for them, to me it's no different than correcting my husband for hanging his coat on the dinning chair, or putting his feet on the coffee table while still wearing boots, it's usually similar words and a similar tone :) (I don't use corrections when teaching a new silly dog behaviour, I use them for what could be called simple good manners)

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I do understand how force free can seem over the top, I belong to a couple of force free groups on Facebook and some of those conversations make my head spin, I belong because I find it informative and adds to my understanding of training. I am though at a loss as to how a poke or using no (if the dog understands the word) can possibly harm a dog, yet some feel all stress is bad in dog training. I will never again use a choke chain, but I will continue to verbally correct any dog who puts their paws on my counters, or thinks that food on the coffee table might be for them, to me it's no different than correcting my husband for hanging his coat on the dinning chair, or putting his feet on the coffee table while still wearing boots, it's usually similar words and a similar tone :) (I don't use corrections when teaching a new silly dog behaviour, I use them for what could be called simple good manners)

 

 

I agree, but too many people have negativity as their default setting. They'd rather correct or punish a dog for not doing as they wish than make sure it understands first and reward for doing the right thing. I do feel that if positively inclined trainers seem rather OTT sometimes it's just an attempt to counteract that attitude that can be so ingrained. Many people are simply not aware of what they are doing.

 

"How do I stop my dog XYZ?" is a completely different mind set from "How can I teach my do to ABC?"

 

Most positive trainers will object to the description "purely positive" because it simply isn't true in the real world. I don't think those who are possessed of such crusading zeal that they have lost all grip on reality are a very good advertisement for the cause.

 

As for stress, simply learning something new is stressful, but not necessarily excessively so. However, if I plug away insisting that my dog gets the point to the extent that it starts to pant, lick its lips, turn its head away or shuts down I have gone too far. You can get to that point using positive as well as aversive training methods.

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