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Discussion Starter #81
I do carry the toys around or I act like I have them but they don't get them tell the end of the day :)
I liked your entire reply but this portion above kind of made me smile a bit because of something I used to do, basically what you described above. One of my mentors who knows more about dog training than I'll ever know, told me something about this practice of pretending/acting when it comes to what you might have in your possession. He gave me the good news and the bad news version; bad news for me was, I was never fooling my dog because she knew exactly what was or wasn't on my person and the good news was, I had learned to act very convincingly because I thought I was so clever and that I should take this "skill" and apply it beneficially in other areas of the dog's training. Plus he added, that all this time you thought you were baiting your dog to comply because you thought the dog knew there was pending reward in your jacket pocket when there really wasn't, the dog still minded properly but not for the reason you thought. It all made perfect sense.
 

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@DriveDog I think I had my huskies fooled :):) I should give them a treat just because I played them :) It will be an apology for playing them :) LOL ?? just kidding but that would be funny to see :):)
 

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all the hard-wired stuff

...
When the behavior itself is the reward, that's probably the real jackpot.
I think that's what @Markie describes with her Huskies sledding. Huskies were bred to do that, so of course they love it!

...I think you get into the Premack principle a bit, because when you add control (i-e, go the direction I say, stop when I say, etc.) the reward [for compliance] is... to continue doing what the dog loves - sledding.

I'm not much of a hunter, but I imagine it would be much the same for my very driven working Cocker.
He'd hunt birds all day, & the action would be a reward in itself.
yup - those are self-rewarding behaviors, a subset of instinctive or breed-specific behaviors that are intrinsically satisfying.
Some - hunting, herding, harness work, guarding, scent work - are highly desirable.
Others - barking, chasing, opportunistic eating, escaping, etc - are problematic, & preventing them via Mgmt is important.

For some years, the U-S Customs service 'employed' shelter staff & volunteers to alert them to potential working dogs.
Eager to avoid killing any more dogs than they absolutely had to, they'd tip off Customs that they had a likely dog -
& a Customs rep would come by to assess the dog. // They set an incredibly high bar; these are untrained, often neglected young dogs, over 6-MO & under 3-YO.
One Chessie was a fetching fool, & the Customs rep worked that dog in chest-deep mud at low tide, on a 90'F day with 90% humidity, for 45-minutes straight. He refused her b/c she sat down to get her breath, her lungs working like bellows, her tongue purple & spooning, & covered in flaking gobs of muck from her chin to her tail.
I thot he was a prize jerk; he let a workaholic dog with great potential slip away, plus he risked her collapsing - she had a core-temp of 103.5'F when we brought her back in.
We hosed her off with tepid water, then gave her small amounts of water to drink while she slowly cooled-out in the AC. // We didn't dare let her lie down for long, 'cuz after all that crazy aerobic demand, she'd stiffen & be unable to rise.

Dog-aggro & subsequent fighting are powerfully self-rewarding, too -
an intact-M GSP who came with his owners to the local quarry was a Major Problem, this dog was so fight-crazy, given a choice among his fave-food, a F in heat, & any M dog to fight, desexed or intact, he'd choose fight every time. :headshake:
My GSD/Kees X never so much as lifted a lip at another dog, OTHER THAN dogs harassing our stock; however, he wasn't allowed to so much as step on the blanket at the quarry, to keep mud & sand off, & when the GSP barreled across it, nearly running me over bodily, flinging dirty slop everywhere, & crushing the insulated lunch-bag, Wolf lost it.
I had to BODILY pick-up & carry my 90# dog to the car, trying to avoid being clawed, as he struggled to get down & nail that rude #@$%!

After the GSP badly-hurt one dog & killed another [he bled-out in the car, on the way to the vet's], a group of us got together & confronted the owners of the dog-aggro GSP & his sidekick, an uncontrolled 180# Great Dane, that their dogs were not welcome; the next time they came to the quarry, they'd come dogless, or we'd call the cops.

Trained / taught behaviors might be overridden by instinctive behaviors under intense stress, or can pop-up when triggered, such as a predatory reflex response when a bunny unexpectedly launches practically under the nose of a dog who's off-leash at heel, & s/he takes off after the cottontail.
Shorthand, 'Pavlov trumps Skinner'.

- terry


 

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Discussion Starter #85
yup - those are self-rewarding behaviors, a subset of instinctive or breed-specific behaviors that are intrinsically satisfying.
Some - hunting, herding, harness work, guarding, scent work - are highly desirable.
Others - barking, chasing, opportunistic eating, escaping, etc - are problematic, & preventing them via Mgmt is important.


- terry



I appreciate your observation and opinion but an important note to be added to this self-rewarding tendency in dogs is to also appreciate when the dog is self-regulating its very own self-rewarding behavior via the lessons learned through handler guidance. In my case, dog aggression/reactivity, it was like a drug addiction to my dog when she was younger but we worked through it to the greater degree. Your mention of undesirable self-rewarding behavior is probably more difficult to modify than making acceptable behaviors self-rewarding if they are not innately present, both are work but one is generally easier than the other. Running down a decoy and putting a bite on is easy for certain breeds with the proper nerve and training but getting the same dog to self-regulate itself and not partake in the same desire is generally much more difficult but certainly doable. I have had to work much harder to get a dog to self-regulate and exhibit impulse control than I have had to indulge the desirable self-rewarding behaviors. Thinking that a dog's nature finds it self-rewarding to run out 50 yards from me and then hit the dirt on my command seems difficult for me to assume but yet the dog will eagerly do it.

What I am truly trying to get at, is how we might actually make a behavior
"intrinsically satisfying." when it isn't innate, no baiting and bribing allowed once the dog knows what we want.
 

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Mostly for pet behaviors as that would be more the focus of this forum. However, "sports related behaviors" or other tasks above and beyond standard pet behaviors which I train my dog in because it is practical as well as beneficial to the overall "product". This type of behavior cannot be rewarded always as you well know and also described in an earlier post. Mondio and French ring as well as IPO competitions allow for no material reward being present as you cited. So, I assume you meant when training sports-related behaviors you pretty much always reward. Hopefully, I have that correct.

My overall curiosity was regarding the methods some in here might use to fade material reward above and beyond randomness. I appreciate that many have dogs which work for food, most certainly will, and many have dogs which will work for ball/tug rewards, again many a dog certainly will. I know what I have done to try and create my current dog's skill set to be motivated in the absence of any food/toy reward because it seems to make everything better but more work to get there. I think it was Kmes who might have said earlier that the actual commanded behavior might become the reward in itself. I like that viewpoint and I believe this is what I am probably seeing in my dog. I build the anticipation up front, as much as the dog can handle without breaking discipline and have had good results by using this building of anticipation and getting the dog in the proper mode, no material reward is needed. I hope you understand what I am trying to say. I try and train/play everyday with my dog. Sometimes I might have the tug, most times I have nothing except praise and a slap on the ribs for her. Send outs/returns with a crisp platz at high speed, position changes at a distance (no creep), tight finishes on return, parking, covers, focused heels, prancing ( as I call it, dog high steps), weaving through my legs, jumping over obstacles etc.. these are the exercises I work on with no food/toy rewards. I suppose I could and originally I did when I taught the behavior but that isn't my goal. I just don't want the dog to work for food/toys because of the obvious.
Yes, no material rewards during a trial. I do reward very heavily during training.

You know I am going to ask for a video of you and your dog training, right? :p

Would love to see a video of a dog that can perform without material rewards, especially session after session. I've yet to see one in any of the clubs I've been to.

Went to a Bart Bellon seminar several years ago, the result of a NePoPo trained dog is one that can perform without rewards, command=reward. However, I really haven't seen one in a trial.
 

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NePoPo: not on my menu.

...
Went to a Bart Bellon seminar several years ago; the result of a NePoPo trained dog is one that can perform without rewards, command = reward.
However, I really haven't seen one in a trial.
_____________________________________________
QUOTE,
"NePoPo®:
A method developed by renowned trainer Bart Bellon, using negative reinforcement together with positive reinforcement. It is an extremely effective method of training, & uses very low levels of electric collar stimulation applied as a command is given (-ve / NE), the stimulation is continued until the dog performs the behavior (+ve / PO), once the behavior is performed, the dog is rewarded (+ve / PO).
The dog is essentially reinforced twice for the behavior, once by the cessation of the stimulation, & again by the reward."


see one trainer's brief description of their adapted version of NePoPo at
Working Dog Forum - View Single Post - Nepopo

In fact, the process as described is Pos-P [apply shock], Neg-R [shock ceases when behavior is performed], Pos-R [reward]. // 'Positive' in learning theory / quadrants is actually maths, it's not "good / nice", it's ADD. We add something. Similarly, 'negative' deducts something.
So "Neg/Pos/Pos" isn't a very accurate label. Of course, Punish/Stop/Reward doesn't lend itself to nifty acronyms.
[PuStRew?]

Pos-P adds a punisher - something the learner will work to avoid.
Pos-R adds a reinforcer - something the learner will gladly work to earn.
Neg-R deducts a punisher; we remove something the learner will work to avoid.
Neg-P deducts a reinforcer; we remove something the learner would gladly work to earn.

Trainers who use reward-based methods overwhelmingly use Pos-R & a minimum of Neg-P;
Neg-R is always problematic; it almost invariably involves applying an aversive in order to 'deduct' it.

Traditional trainers use Pos-P // add punishment via choke / prong / shock / other, & possibly verbal praise.

Balanced trainers use Pos-P [apply punishers], neg-R [deduct punishers], plus pos-R [rewards], with or w/o neg-R.

- terry

 

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Discussion Starter #88
You know I am going to ask for a video of you and your dog training, right? :p

Would love to see a video of a dog that can perform without material rewards, especially session after session. I've yet to see one in any of the clubs I've been to.
I'll send you a PM.

I will not disagree with anything you have said. I am simply trying to get a dog to do more for less of what many of us believe is the only way to get a dog to execute.
 

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While I have not taken the time to read this whole thread, I just wanted to remind everyone that this is a positive reinforcement forum only. While I understand the mention or discussion of other methods is sometimes important to add to conversation, this forum focuses only on methods of positive reinforcement.
 

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What I am truly trying to get at, is how we might actually make a behavior
"intrinsically satisfying." when it isn't innate, no baiting and bribing allowed once the dog knows what we want.
By repeated pairing of the behavior with something the dog does find intrinsically satisfying. When you train, Pavlov is always on your shoulder.

From the article I linked earlier,
Indeed, one key reason rewards work is that they facilitate what psychologist Alan Kazdin, director of the Yale Parenting Center and author of The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child, calls “repeated practice.” The more your child does the good things you reward him for—tidying up, using a fork, stifling a tantrum—the more routine that behavior becomes. And, eventually, it just becomes part of who he is.
 

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Discussion Starter #91
I know I have beaten this thread into the ground and I will bring it somewhat full circle with this video from a year or two ago where I started this process of getting a dog to do what we train for with no material reward present. I know it's basic but I had to start somewhere, we have progressed since and until I am convinced I have hit a brick wall, I will continue training with a minimum of material reward. I sent a different version to San, this one is only edited to remove some gibberish on my behalf and an individual's name out of respect. San suggested I should post some videos hence I comply because of my respect for San's handler abilities. I'm not much of a broadcast myself person for personal reasons but I appreciate the merit in it at times as I have learned so much from others via this medium. I'd like to believe my dog is enjoying herself enough to execute as she exhibits. Obviously, I am not competing with any distractions and setting her up for success.

 

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I guess I don't see any reason to eliminate food rewards. I have treats with me almost all the time. You never know when the dog will react correctly and spontaneously to something you want. A reward will help solidify that event better than you can ever teach it.

Occasionally we will go out for a walk without treats usually if it is extremely hot or cold and we aren't going Far. Just out to go potty. I have a little hand wave that signifys this.

My Aussie will do all of her known commands without treats and often responds to one time requests without treats. A good one is going down the steps to our underground appt garage. It's hard to get the door open as it opens towards the steps and there is very little room. As I open the door I say" back one step" Samantha will backup one step so her rear feet are on the bottom step. Then I can get the door open and call her to come around the door. She did this the very first time I commanded it. We do have an obedience command to backup so I think she put this together herself. I rewarded this the next time and it's standard now usually with no command or treat.

Byron
 

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My last dog loved "helping me" with my 2 horses and on his own started watching them and trying to help me train my younger horse who was born a few months after I got the dog at 10 months of age. The dog particularly loved jumping horse jumps. He would jump any jump around no matter how high. When I started training the young horse to be led by me and start going for walks around the property and walk by scary objects or through water puddles or little ditches, things horses are instinctively afraid of, the horse wold naturally balk. The dog would immediately bark at him, lightly nip him and run back and forth through the obstacle repeatedly to show the horse that it wasn't so bad.after all. The horse would usually follow him through just as if he had a lead horse. The dog taught him to jump his first jump that way.
When i taught the horse to stand still while tied so he could be brushed and worked on for his feet to be cleaned and saddle and other equipment to be put on and taken off, he was fidgety as many young horses are. I taught him a stand command just like stay for dogs. He became good at standing still when I was there but would fidget the second I left his side to get something. The dog had on his own learned the stand command for the horse and would bark at him to get my attention and "tell on him" the second he disobeyed and moved. The times the horse was high spirited and broke loose the dog would fly after him and catch him. He'd bark and jump and nip and corner him and hold him where he was until I caught up. The only thing he didn't do was lead him back on his own.
Perfect farm dog who independently figured out how to be most helpful to whatever I was doing. Never got any treats. I'd praise him but never make a fuss over him as I was always focused on the horses.
He loved jumping and even broke loose from my mom when she was holding him once at a horse show. I had jumped a couple of courses at a schooling show with my older horse, this was years ago. He broke free, ran into the arena where I still was but was standing with the horse and just started jumping the jumps. Everyone laughed and he got applause just as I and the other riders had.
He truly jumped for the joy of it. I'd point at one jump and say go jump! And he'd jump it back and forth 6 or 7 times then run to the other jumps and look at me eagerly.
So I believe a dog or any animal can love what they do and that can be its own reward.
My older horse is too old to be ridden now but she loved jumping more than anything. If I was riding in an arena with jumps and not jumping she'd literally pull me towards the fences and speed up. I never had to do anything riding towards a fence but aim her at it and hold on and stay out of her way. I have many pictures and videos of our showing days and her face and demeanor looks happy in every one. She felt happy every time I let her jump, more so than just regular tiding.

My younger horse is good at jumping but he really loves dressage and was naturally stretching his head and neck in that way before he was ever ridden.
Just like some people love dancing and music and some love art.
My current dog loves other dogs and playing and wrestling but I haven't figured out what he likes for a job yet. That's probably our problem. He's a great jumper too but he used to jump fences and run away so I don't think I want to encourage that. He loves protecting and patrolling. He patrols the dog park as soon as it gets dark. He protects me, puppies, small dogs from big dogs the car, the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #94
I guess I don't see any reason to eliminate food rewards. I have treats with me almost all the time. You never know when the dog will react correctly and spontaneously to something you want. A reward will help solidify that event better than you can ever teach it.



Byron

We all go about our training in different fashions. I most certainly agree with your "never know when" thought. I also appreciate the use of a dog's various drives during the training process and supporting reinforcement. I'm not suggesting to "eliminate food rewards" but to the greater degree not to become dependent on them as a crutch to get your dog to become reliable with food based reward only. I believe you know what I mean based on your description "My Aussie will do all of her known commands without treats and often responds to one time requests without treats."

I guess there have been times where my dog has offered behavior which wasn't commanded or being actively trained and capturing the behavior, marking and rewarding certainly does have its benefit.

Since I'm on this video trip, here's an example of capturing behavior, creating an association to the behavior verbally and it becomes part of the dog's skill set. It's a stupid pet trick and serves no purpose but what the heck, the dog enjoys performing. I didn't need a food reward and would like to think my verbal communication was reward enough and of course the action itself. The dog will "tuck and roll" when commanded since then and doesn't need to be wet. It's just taking normal dog behavior and taking advantage of the moment.

 

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That's cool much like my Aussie operates. You communicate very much the same as I do. I think this loose and fun communication with the dog relaxes them and let's them think for themselves. I think a reward for a desired natural behavior imprints it in the dog's mind much easier.

Your tuck and roll is a complex thing to teach but the dog uses natural behavior and certainly didn't get corrected, instead you rewarded with praise so the dog is comfortable. Nice.

Byron
 

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I taught my current dog to roll from one side to the other and back, but I broke it down. He already had a solid "roll over" command where he'd roll on his back and put his paws over his face. He does that naturally all the time begging for chest and belly rubs so I just used lots of praise and treats.
Then we tried rolling to one side with new command "roll all the way over" then back to original side "all the way back". He knows and does all 3 but sometimes just walks away and won't do any, or shows his teeth when asked so I wonder if it hurts his spine somehow? Thats the only time hes ever showed teeth at me so something must hurt him or stress him somehow. I stopped asking when he's on the floor, even carpeted and only ask when he's on a soft bed. Treats and praise work for that though.
Same principle I taught him to bow. He already play bowed all the time with other dogs and always stretches first his front legs then his back legs. So I caught him in a bow and clickered him with praise and a treat for good bow and he learned after a few times. He's very smart when he's motivated.
 

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Discussion Starter #97
Bent and Shadow,

It's fun capturing uncommanded behavior and turning it into cued behavior many times it's the opposite. I don't think my dog's "tuck and roll" is so much a "complex thing to teach" but more just my lucky day that the dog chose to exhibit the behavior and I just rolled with it and made the cued association. I'm not sure I could have taught the dog to do the same if she never offered the quirky behavior however a good trainer could have, I'm fairly confident.

Shadowmom, the showing of teeth and reluctance might simply be that the dog's original offering of the behavior took on a different meaning in the dog's mind as you asked for more. I don't know if that makes sense but maybe what was offered originally by your dog was a level of subordination or absolutely none at all but still your dog was comfortable with and when pressed to embellish on the behavior, the dog took a different "opinion" of the task at hand as in it wasn't as freely offered. Yes, the dog might capitulate but with some protest of sorts.

Catching a dog's behavior and making an association at the proper moment which can be replicated per a cue is a teachable moment, something which can lead to an increase in the overall communication between handler and dog, even if the captured behavior is of no significance such as a "tuck and roll". We're just all understanding each other better.
 

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I don't really know how I got my German Shepherd off of rewards he just kind of did it I guess. He loves to play around so maybe that's how :) Alla followed Frodo she did whatever he did I gave her some treats at first when she did it now she just kind of does it :) I don't know if that's good or bad though... I was just happy they did it...
 

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Drive dog that does make sense. I just worried with the teeth showing since he's never done that to me before and I don't want him to feel so pressured that I'm provoking him into aggression with me. Or ignoring it if he's trying to tell me that rolling over hurts his back in some way. I don't want him thinking he can show threatening body language as a way to intimidate me and get out of having to do something I ask him to in a positive tone and with treats because I think that's a dangerous lesson for him to learn and he's very smart. I'm not necessarily ttying to be alpha but I do want him to respect and listen to me since sometimes I'll give a command that's life preserving like heel when we're crossing a busy city street. And I don't want to pick fights with him but it's never ok for him to threaten me. Protesting is fine as long as it's not a threat or actual aggression.

He anticipates commands and once he gets one of his favorite treats starts doing every trick he knows before asked. If you ask for a paw he'll be throwing both paws at you, rolling over a bunch of times the minute you say down, bowing when you ask for sit and vice versa, etc.
 

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Sure, I go on a holiday and miss a nice long juicy discussion. I'm looking forward to catch up when I can watch the video's too.
I use plenty of scraps of food, but they are often symbolic of 'you did that right' and less important than the social aspect of working together.
Shared experience, getting things right, being in synch, I don't know how to describe it, but with or without food rewards, this is when things feel really good for beasts of all kinds furred or two legged.
My cats understand this when I play flirt games, I'm sure my dog understands this too, hard to describe though.
 
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