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What constitutes punishment

This is a discussion on What constitutes punishment within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; . "No" as a concept is problematic for dogs, who do not generalize quickly nor well. 'No' isn't a cue, as it tells the dog ...

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Old 01-16-2018, 10:46 AM
  #51
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Talking Why delay what i want [different action] to teach a vague slippery concept?

.

"No" as a concept is problematic for dogs, who do not generalize quickly nor well.
'No' isn't a cue, as it tells the dog NOTHING about what to do - humans understand it as "stop what yer doing", but humans generalize all too readily & very, very easily. // For example, U meet an Italian person for the 1st time: a man, who is a little shorter than the average American male, with dark hair & eyes, a nearly-permanent smile, & a fast-talking, impulsive manner.
A year later, when U meet a northern Italian, who is blonde & tall, U are astonished - as they don't fit the pattern U had created for "Italians" in that 1st encounter.


So 'No' for dogs is automatically confusing, & takes quite a long time to become understandable to a dog - as it takes many, many exposures to get across this weird, broad idea, "Whatever U're doing, stop it right now."
Plus, the dog still doesn't know what TO DO - a behavioral vacuum won't stay empty for long, & who's to say that the next behavior the dog chooses won't be worse than the one that was just short-stopped?

Why should i waste my time faffing about, & confuse the dog, struggling to teach a weird concept that is highly confusing & difficult for dogs to grasp, only to have the dog - once they finally understand it! - left at loose ends, & uncertain what to do next?
It's pointless, frustrates the dog, frustrates me, & serves no immediate end whatever.


'No' IMO & IME only delays what we'd prefer: A DIFFERENT BEHAVIOR. Cue one!
Ask for something incompatible with the current un-wanted behavior, & reward it heavily. A jackpot is a good idea, if it's a frequent behavior or an unwanted habit.
Also, if it's frequent, MANAGE to reduce the frequency - what's repeated only becomes more fluent.

Remember that no matter what U are teaching, it takes approx a month for a new habit to begin to form.
Stomping yer feet & steam coming out yer ears won't shorten that time; it's as true of humans as it is of dogs. Habits aren't instantaneous; they require repetition.

- terry

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Old 01-16-2018, 11:24 AM
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Thats exactly what I mean by extremist thinking. Trying to be positive based and not train by hitting or shocking a dog to teach it commands, or beating or choking it using choke collars I understand and agree with overall. Never verbally reprimanding a dog or saying no or using a stronger training tool with large rambunctious dogs for safety is too extreme and doesn't take into account safety or realistic boundaries of what people can do.
I'lle an example. My dog eats things. All kinds of toxic, gross, dangerous potentially fatal things. He chews up and destroys the most indestructible toys in seconds. Pica. Anxiety. Boredom. Whatever.
His food will be untouched for literally days unless I stand there with him and nag and order and praise him to eat it, sometimes even have to literally put it in his mouth to get him started. He hates his prescription ibd food. Too bad it's not as restricted as a better diet will be but this current diet is the only one he will grudgingly eat. Yesterday I was tired and lazy so didn't "force-feed" him. No nagging and forgot his meds for one day. He ate one cup of dry food on his own for an 82 pound dog. Not nearly enough. He'll inhale Alpo and other junk dog food but the diarrhea will be out of control.

At the dog park and a field we went to this morning, he ate or tried to eat every non food item he could. Grass, sticks, dirt, ice, a ball, toys, tried some dog poop. On a leash in public he'll start chewing the leg of the chair I'm sitting on. Took one bite out of a bar we were in a few weeks ago and left a bite sized mark in the wood lol. Grabs anything off the floor, paper, napkins, nails(!), Drinks any spilled liquid, alcohol, coffee, anything bad or toxic. Eats glue sticks, sunscreen sticks, antibiotics metal tubes, rocks, sticks, chews up toys and eats the squeakies, ate Kong toys, no not just the peanut butter but the actual Kong too!
I'm not bringing him everywhere in a muzzle he frantically flipped out with a gentle lead and a head harness and took them off. He's anxious enough.
I tell him no sharply to get his attention and immediately follow up with a command like leave it or drop it depending on how fast I was at catching him.
He's seriously like a toddler bent on self destruction. I literally have to watch him every second whenever we're anywhere out of the house which is impossible. My one friend starts picking up all kinds of gross things off floors everywhere I go that were both at whenever we arrive.

It's much better to tell him no than let him kill himself. His separation anxiety makes it too dangerous to leave him home too much and honestly I feel better watching him myself as much as possible because people think he's so easy and laid-back and don't realize how fast, smart and sneaky he really is.

He'll literally in public go up to a person acting all friendly and charm them as a decoy to have gotten close enough to grab something he's been eyeing on the floor that I won't let him near. He knows I'll let him say hi to a person so that's his "in" to grab and eat the forbidden object.

Can't call that anything but defiant and sneaky. And he needs to be startled into stopping what he's doing so a loud NO followed immediately by me telling him what he should do is absolutely necessary for his continued survival and longevity. He's not at all traumatized by it since nothing terrible happens to him.

Dogs can be sneaky and manipulating. Nothing judgmental or bad about it, just an observation. This morning he'd stolen a ball from another dog and was trying to get the dog to chase him and play keep away. The other dog wanted HIS ball back and wasn't having it but wasn't going to fight or directly confront my dog. They shared the ball nicely for a while. My dog saw the other dog wanted the ball so pawed it to him. Then he had it a little too long so the other dog did a play bow and acted like he wanted to wrestle which my dog LOVES. So my dog dropped the ball and ran to wrestle. Quickly the other dog dashed in, stole his ball back and ran off. The look on my dogs face when he realized that he the ultimate trickster and thief had been played a trick on and fooled was comical. Lmao.

The behaviorist just said muzzle him everywhere so he can't eat random objects. Nope useless advice. He needs to learn to listen and respect me better and with his anxiety muzzling him will just ruin his trust in me. No offense at all to good behaviorists out there but she's an idiot with that advice.
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:35 PM
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Talking Anyone can do as they like; for myself, i can't be arsed to teach 'no'.

.

Dogs aren't Machiavellian plotters. They're not stoopid, but they're not out to overthrow the Govt & form a global dogs-rule autocracy, either.

I merely pointed out that 'No' demands a LOT of generalization - which, as we all know, is something dogs do very poorly.
So why waste time & effort teaching 'No', rather then manage [to reduce the frequency], AND cue an incompatible behavior?

The latter is direct & simple; there's no wondering on the dog's part, no vacuum where s/he doesn't know what to do, & is thus free to CHOOSE any activity possible.

If my dog is a habitual jumper, why waste time on every walk, saying 'No'... 'No'... 'no'... , 20-times in as many minutes, when i can pull the dog slightly off-balance so they *miss* the human, get them a half-step to one side, say 'Sit', & STAND ON the leash, so they can't get off the ground?
If they sit, i reward that - AND, the passing stranger can pet the dog, if that's what both want. // Then we move on.
The 20 potential jumpees become 20 training opportunities, & by #10, most dogs will stand on all 4s rather than jump, & some will already sit w/o a cue, in order to be petted, & possibly get a tidbit.

It's far-more efficient & a lot less frustration. I just get on with an incompatible behavior, & make that the new default.

- terry

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Old 01-16-2018, 02:44 PM
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I agree with premise of teach what u do want. Not what you dont. For me when dog is clicker learning new behaiour sequence. Say search 5 blinds for helper. I need to send the dog out left or right. Dog is trained left/right/forward/back directional commands. 5 blinds are spaced out around edge of football ground sized area. If the dog goes off, to search the wrong blind - and i say 'no' it will stop mid gallop and look to see whats wrong. I can then redirect to correct blind to search. Saves dogs energy so that when i send him to the final blind where he has to hold and bark (keep the bad guy in the blind by thteatening him) then to attack as the helper pretends to hit me. Exhausting work for a dog! I want to save it running too much n dropping in energy. As theres a lot more work to do. Also when marker training something new, and the dog starts throwing all sorts of previously trained behaviours ro get me to click/reward; i may use "no" or "try again". And if dog wants to herd evil goose - as she notices ill say no. She is as others have suggested given a new command. Which in that scenario needs to be a liked command, say "spin" as she loves to spin more than getting her prey drive fix from a goose.
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:49 PM
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No followed by a clear command of what to do instead works for me, especially for safety as I described above. My pup can generalize just fine.
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowmom View Post
I tell him no sharply to get his attention and immediately follow up with a command like leave it or drop it depending on how fast I was at catching him.
To me, though, this seems more like an interrupter rather than an outright command.

"No" as a command means "stop what you are doing," and as Leashed said, is nearly impossible to generalize. Sometimes people will shout "No" at me and I don't know what they mean!

Interrupters can be helpful - just used to get a dog's attention before giving a command. I tend to just use the dog's name, but you can use really anything as long as the dog doesn't find it aversive.
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by leashedForLife View Post
.



If my dog is a habitual jumper, why waste time on every walk, saying 'No'... 'No'... 'no'... , 20-times in as many minutes,


.
For the exact same reason you don't command a dog to do anything repeatedly, it's entirely counterproductive.
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:35 PM
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I'd love it if he took no as a command for stop what you're doing right now!!! I'm settling for the interrupter at this point since he's still very stubborn and defiant at this point.

Since it's such a dangerous and life threatening habit and he's so determined at it and stubbornly insistent everywhere we go except home, I don't care if he finds it aversive or positive. I'd rather he be alive to resent me than cuddly and positive and dead. And I have no money for more vet bills. So with this particular issue I'm in the camp of whatever works and works now.
People in my area used to flip out and actually tried to take off his gentle lead when he did wear one because every idiot had to tell me how cruel and abusive it was to "muzzle" my dog and force his mouth shut. They wanted a cause not to be educated on what a gentle lead actually was. That and the fact that he hated it and used to frantically paw at it, acting stressed and adding fuel to their argument that he was unhappy was why I won't use one. So he'd hate a muzzle and would find it aversive.
If he finds a verbal command aversive, too bad. It's better than poison, illness, a hospital stay or death. I find verbal reprimands from my boss aversive too but I suck it up and deal with them.
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:40 PM
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Withholding rewards as a punishment......
I know humans and dogs are different, but......think of how often we use withholding something a child or even adult wants as a form of punishment.
My dog ( gsd )will offer every behavior he knows to get something he wants. So he goes through his routine trying to give me what I want so I'll give him what he wants. If he doesnt get it right and doesnt get his toy or treat or whatever as reward, at this point he's just confused, and gets obviously irritated with me. He's willing to do what I want but doesnt know how. I cant punish him for trying his hardest. I feel that for this dog, walking away from him without letting him get it right would be a form of punishment. He wants the reward, and he also really wants to get it right. I think he takes pride and loves the accomplishment in getting it right. So I give him something he knows how to do and he gets rewarded. But but the first part would not be to stop a behavior.......so not really punishment, just bad training.
Now my last dog, a bullmastiff was totally different. She wanted to do her own thing. She was not very motivated to follow orders. Low pack drive, this one. She would do what was asked of her, but the enthusiasm wasnt there. She was also the ten week old pup that would wander off on her own, didnt follow like the other pups, was like that the whole time we had her. She was sort of her own master in a way.
Training that dog, she never acted like she really wanted what you had to offer. There were times when she'd just drift off into lala land during training ( why do I need to "sit" again? I already did it once. This is stupid. The yard needs watching. I have work to do. ) I swear that was her thought process lol. BUT as funny as it was, if you had a treat to reward her with and she didnt get it, she really seemed to take offense. She didnt seem to want it, but she didnt want to NOT get it either. To the point that she would go pout about it. But she learned that losing focus would immediately cause the treat in my hand to go back in my pocket, and she'd have to do it right to get the treat. So for her, withholding the treat to stop her losing focus seemed to work as punishment. Does that even make sense to yall? Hard to put into words. Getting a treat did not seem to motivate her, but not losing the treat did seem to motivate her. Silliness. Im probably not putting it into words very well. It was almost like a competitive thing with her. So I guess for some dogs I would say that withholding rewards can be a punishment. Just my 2 cents!
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:03 PM
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@Sthelena

Makes perfect sense to me.

This thread has enforced my opinion that dependent upon the dog, we might actually be punishing a dog when we had no idea we were. I can think of other ways a dog might take a seemingly innocuous training method and feel punished without the human ever thinking twice about it.
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