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How do you get your dog to "work for you not a scrap of food etc."

This is a discussion on How do you get your dog to "work for you not a scrap of food etc." within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; leashedForLife, You have a lot of stories about other people's dogs but I'm more curious what you have done to fade your dog off of ...

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Old 09-13-2017, 11:51 AM
  #21
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leashedForLife,

You have a lot of stories about other people's dogs but I'm more curious what you have done to fade your dog off of material rewards but still maintain proper execution by the dog? It doesn't really matter if you have chosen to do this but having a dog work more for the handler than a treat most every time the dog executes properly is more the goal I have pursued.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:05 PM
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So, as we're kinda talking about performing without material rewards as in competition settings, how is everyone transitioning away from toy play/rewards in the ring? Or what rewards do you offer instead of food and toy rewards do you offer? After all many if not most sports and venues do not allow toys inside the ring....

For non toy and food rewards in the ring, I spend time working on personal play (play without toys - just person and dog). I also have multiple behaviors and games my dogs LOVE such as jumping up to a hand target or jumping into my arms (jumping in general for many terriers = AWESOME) that I can utilize.

I guess I just don't see how we can say a dog is really working for their person (to please them) unless toys are also out of the picture completely (something fwiw I would never do as I will not remove toy play or food from my toolbox). Maybe, just maybe, I would buy it if the dog only recieves praise, petting, affection, personal play... No food, toys, environmental rewards/premack, etc. But then still, is the dog working to please the owner? Or is the dog working to gain something it enjoys from the owner?
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:11 PM
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Rewards are allowed in the ring for flyball but if we do agility, I don't think toys are allowed. There I would use personal play. Aspen likes when I talk to her in a high pitched voice and let her jump all over me haha
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:35 PM
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I wish more sports/organizations would allow toy and even food rewards. Not neccessarily during the performance, but after. Like NACSW allowing handlers to reward at odor after alert has been called. Or I believe (don't hold me to it as I am a Rally FrEe person, not yet freestyle) one of the freestyle orgs allows a handler to have someone toss them a toy to play with with their dog after completing their performance.
I can't use food or toys inside the ring at all (exception NATE prenovice, no food or toys novice and up, and Dex is now in advanced) for either of our main sports.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:39 PM
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I agree. I think it should totally be allowed.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:35 PM
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Honestly I don't think most dogs work just for a human. I think they work because they are finding something about what they are doing rewarding, OR they are working because if they do not then something bad (correction) may happen. I also think finding praise rewarding is dog dependent, some dog will simply never find praise an ample enough reward to only work for it.

Shadow, my terrier, was highly independent. He could be taught but near as I could tell he'd think to himself what's in it for me if I obey and act accordingly. I had taught him to sit and wait at corners, no treats involved, he was very reliable about the behavior and would trot up to the corner and sit without being cued by me to do so. His reward was continuing the walk, the consequence for not sitting was we stayed at that corner till he sat. I could not let him off leash unless I had the time to wait around till he was ready to come back, no reward I could come up with trumped the reward of exploring on his own off leash.

Jersey was a Chow Chow x some kind of herding dog, she was very obedient and seemed to live for praise and love. I could let her off leash and 99% of the time she'd come back when I called even though I offered nothing better then lots of praise and allowing her to continue exploring.

Zody, my Chi x Dach loves treats and I most often use those with him when I train, but he also loves playing and I'll use that, and finds praise O.K., he'll also work for things like being allowed to continue going the way he wanted. I use treats with him because he finds them highly motivating, but I'm not trapped using them.

I think herding dogs, some hunting dogs, and sports dogs work for the human for the love of the job, they simply love what they are doing, sort of like a ball addicted dog. Any other reward is just that much more reinforcing.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kmes View Post
how is everyone transitioning away from toy play/rewards in the ring? Or what rewards do you offer instead of food and toy rewards do you offer? After all many if not most sports and venues do not allow toys inside the ring....
Much of life with our dogs also does not "allow" for toys or material reward being present. As far as the transition goes for strict venues like the ring, I like Aspen's response and utilizing focus motivating rewards, Aspen has harnessed the " behavior is the reward " with the dog and it's a win/win. At most anytime, if I need to keep my dog tight, I use motion as the bribe or building anticipation, one thing leads to another and the dog has learned to not overamp as the chain of rewards dictates otherwise. "Motion" in this case was built on a game we have played since she was a pup.


On a different note not related to your post, regarding the use of treats. I took a look at my life with my current dog and she probably gets more food "treats" than most dogs but not as a reward for any specific reason. The dog gets small cubes of raw beef as I enjoy a cold beer on the deck, just cuz. I know she'll work for food but I have treated food rewards as a nonevent in many ways. However, where I still use material rewards at certain times is the recall, it's too significant.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:14 PM
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@drivedog my dogs get those kinds of treats they get them as we are hanging out in the yard for no reason what so ever. The puppies under six months don't get them because they are in transition and that would totally mess them up but my other dogs that work for me do. Just for no reason at all. They get fruit as their treat they love it especially strawberries and oranges :-):-)
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:59 AM
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Arrow self-rewarding behaviors - Desirable, or in many cases, Despicable

Self-rewarding behaviors include some of the most-difficult to reduce / retrain / extinguish, problem behaviors.

- escaping:
every time the dog bolts thru the open door & romps around the neighborhood, or chases horses on nearby pasture, s/he is massively reinforced for bolting.

- chasing wildlife / livestock:
when the dog rips the leash outta yer hand & flies after the bounding deer / paddling duck / backyard chickens at a friend's house / squirrel in the park, it's wonderfully exciting & rewarding.

- mounting Fs / sex:
escaping to find the estrus F he's been whining & teeth-chattering over for 3 days is a monster-sized reward - that genie's not going back in the bottle.

- catching / killing:
for predatory dogs, snagging & killing the critter they're chasing is the Ultimate Thrill; if the animal's too big to kill, grabbing it is next best [dairy heifers in a pen, horses, sheep, etc], so large animals often end-up with lacerated legs.
Small animals like cats, rabbits, ducks, etc, are often killed outright, many by a sharp head-shake that snaps the neck or spine.
Siberians, JRTs, & GSDs are, as breeds, notorious cat-killers - individual dogs may make friends with the FAMILY cats, but don't bet that they won't chase & quite-possibly kill strays, feral cats, or the neighbors' cats -- any stranger-feline that crosses their path might become a target.

It can be really difficult, in some cases practically impossible, to entirely quash these self-rewarding behaviors; sometimes strict Mgmt is all that prevents them, & Mgmt, sooner or later, usually fails.
The visitor leaves the storm-door unlatched, & the dog knows how to nose the handle upward & push thru it; the garden gate isn't locked, & the dog pounces on it repeatedly in frustration, then the latch rattles open, & poof!...


the instinctive behaviors that we like as working behaviors are also self-rewarding:
fetch the bumper for many retrieving breeds; moving stock or chasing wildlife for herding breeds [harassing resident geese as an alternate career for BCs who bite fleeces], trailing or finding scents for scent-hounds [Bloodhounds finding lost persons; Beagles working airports for the USDA], & similar.

Sometimes we can incorporate those self-rewarding behaviors into training:
a bringsel on the collar of a SAR k9 who happens to be a Lab is just a modified version of "fetch the bumper".

Cutting short a herding session for an overexcited Aussie who refused to drop is a great way to teach self-control - drop, & U can keep playing. Chase when U've been told to drop? - Game's over.

- terry


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Old 09-14-2017, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leashedForLife View Post
- mounting Fs / sex:
escaping to find the estrus F he's been whining & teeth-chattering over for 3 days is a monster-sized reward - that genie's not going back in the bottle.
Teeth chattering - since you mentioned it. What does this mean? I've seen Mira do it several times but under different circumstances so I haven't been able to figure out what it means.

-----

Another self rewarding behavior: barking. Mira is a very talkative dog and seems to think everything needs to be shouted very loudly, and it seems to make her very happy and pleased with herself to do so. Now that the weather is cooler, I have my windows open and there's all sorts of new sounds (and smells, probably) for her to bark at.

So we've been practicing our indoor voices; lower volume huffs and grrrruffs and moans and even a soft awoo woo now and then are all perfectly acceptable for indoor conversation. I'm sure it's not as self rewarding for her to talk at a moderate volume, but I'm hoping I can convince her that it's an acceptable trade off since she can talk to her heart's content if she keeps her voice down, but if she barks I have to cut her off after one or two. I share a wall with a neighbor who goes to bed early and wakes up at the crack of dawn. A bark or two if she seems someone outside is over quickly and not that big a deal, but the loud ongoing WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF is no bueno.

Does teaching bark on command as reward for good behavior work, or would that just encourage the behavior I want to minimize?
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