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Trying to wrap my head around +R or positive reinforcement "curing" dogs.

This is a discussion on Trying to wrap my head around +R or positive reinforcement "curing" dogs. within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Originally Posted by Gnostic Dog I started reading his blog and his information on pushing so decided to give it a go. At first, my ...

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Old 05-04-2016, 10:33 AM
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I started reading his blog and his information on pushing so decided to give it a go. At first, my dog had no clue what was expected of him. But gradually over the space of a couple of weeks he started to get what I wanted and starting pushing, at first not that hard, but gradually he increased the pressure. Now he pushes like crazy, to the extent he will almost lift his front legs off the floor, and he is a heavy dog.

What started to happen as he began to push harder and harder was he stopped pulling on the leash, stopped reacting to his triggers (bikes, skateboards, strollers) and even began to be less interested in other dogs. It has reached the point now where I can walk him on a busy street, he will ignore bikes, skateboards, strollers, joggers, people in general people and even other dogs, even if they are barking like crazy at him behind a chainlink fence. Before, if someone stopped and talked to us he would be barrelling into them, now he will sit and be calm, only interacting with them if asked.
Thanks so much for your reply. I'm intrigued. I'd like to read more about your own experiences.

Do you have a link to a video that shows how this pushing exercise is actually done? Are you pushing on the dog? How? Is the dog pushing back? I'm trying to envision what all this entails.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:48 AM
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Do you have a link to a video that shows how this pushing exercise is actually done? Are you pushing on the dog? How? Is the dog pushing back? I'm trying to envision what all this entails.
Videos also read the pdf link above videos for a written how to.

Why we push

How I Developed The "Pushing Technique"
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:53 AM
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Thanks for the links. Heading to work now. I'll check them out later.
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:13 AM
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Honestly @jagger when you suggest not listening to a dog that is uncomfortable it sounds like you don't trust dogs to know their own limits. I can't speak for any other dog but Echo would be a mess if I treated her that way, and I'd have some serious injuries. Different dogs require different treatment sometime.

NDT is intriguing, I have to admit the terminology really puts me off though. I'd like to build focus on me, Echo seems similarly reactive, so I'll have to try pushing.
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:22 AM
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As far as I can tell, pushing is just a fancy way of saying "use oppositional reflex to build drive and focus on the handler."
It's nothing new or unique. Trainers of all philosophies use oppositional reflex to their advantage all the time.
And of course people accidentally create oppositional reflex and fight against it all the time too....
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:28 AM
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Yep! But it's always good to find a good exercise to create focus and drive, right?
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:39 AM
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Honestly @jagger when you suggest not listening to a dog that is uncomfortable it sounds like you don't trust dogs to know their own limits. I can't speak for any other dog but Echo would be a mess if I treated her that way, and I'd have some serious injuries. Different dogs require different treatment sometime.
Define limits for me? Why should dogs have limits? Do dogs have limitations or are the owners putting limitations on the dog? If you don't trust your dog, then by definition, you are creating limitations are you not?

There's seems to be this monumental shift in society that I can't wrap my head around - and it deals with both dogs and children. It seems today, children today are not allowed to experience failure in many ways. Look at Ontario, they have stopped keeping score, try to put ever child in the "win" category, nobody loses. What happens to the adult when they face the real "dog eat dog" world - pardon the pun.

When one looks at the history of positive training techniques, it seems to date back to the early 80's. Seems to be when the shift happened. But when one looks at the statistics of dogs - the number of bites, injuries and death, they seem to be on the rise. Ontario statistics show dog bites and injury on the rise, even tho the pitbull is near extinct - how does one explain that? Is it the training techniques? The owners? Is there more dogs?

I take my dog for a walk, he's got 100% trust from us - situation doesn't matter. I will only rescue if there is a serious issue. I trust him to be a dog - if he decides to hump a dog, chances are very good he's going to get a correction from that dog. If he gets up in a dogs face, that's not something I can control - he gets corrected by a dog. At the same time, he gives corrections for bad behavior. It's dogs learning from dogs.

This male dog always squat to pee, never lifted his leg for the first year and a half of his life. First time off leash at the dog park, I'll never forget it. Good meet and greet with a GSD, GSD proceeded to lift his leg and pee on a tree. Funniest thing happened, our pup watched this and he proceeded to try it. I near laughed my arse off watching him trying to lift his leg, it was a foreign thing to him, trying to keep balance on 3 legs and pee at the same time. That simple thing is a learned behavior for him, it came from another dog. Dog's need to learn how to be a dog from other dogs - we can't teach them dog social behavior.
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:44 AM
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As far as I can tell, pushing is just a fancy way of saying "use oppositional reflex to build drive and focus on the handler."
It's nothing new or unique. Trainers of all philosophies use oppositional reflex to their advantage all the time.
And of course people accidentally create oppositional reflex and fight against it all the time too....
So why don't all trainers using the opposition reflex to "cure" dogs of reactivity, aggression, RG, SA etc, etc? Why are pullers not "cured" by the opposition reflex??? Does opposition reflex even exist, this is from Eileen Anderson who's blog is often linked to on this forum.

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Normal activity, positive experiences and physical exercise cannot resolve the deeper levels of unresolved emotion because they cannot trigger this energy. Therefore I train a dog to “PUSH” – i.e. to overcome resistance in order to get something I want the dog to have – for two reasons. First, I want to access the energy held in the dog’s emotional battery, particularly the deepest layers. This teaches the dog to tune in to me no-matter-what. Secondly, I want to be the means of its resolution. This teaches the dog to attune to me, no-matter-what.
https://naturaldogtraining.com/blog/why-we-push/
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:46 AM
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Quoting myself as I can't edit. I was referring to NDT trainers working with companion puppies, not the German police dog trainers, of course, they want dogs to bike down on flesh!
I guess that is where my confusion is. Earlier you posted " Kevin Behan learned from German police dog trainers in the 1970s." That is why I am curious about your following statements regarding my example of teaching bite inhibition. Maybe Behan is like many trainers, picking and choosing from a multitude of methods rather than an exact copying of any one method.
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:53 AM
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I am sure he has picked and chose from methods that he has found work with his theories of how dogs function. His father was the first celebrity dog trainer in the US in the 1950s and 60s. The Monks of Skete came to him for advice on dog training. Kevin completely rejected his father's dominance based methods in the 1970s when he started working with the Germans. He started to develop his own methods based on the theory of flow and thermodynamics in the early 80s and wrote his book Natural Dog Training in early 1990s. His theories were further honed over the years and explained fully in his follow up book "Your Dog is Your Mirror" in 2011.
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