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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I understand the principle of premack in relation to a bush - dog wants to get to bush, dog has to behave to get to bush. How can I apply this to Ginny who just wants to pull with no reward in sight. It's like she just wants to get the walk over with as quickly as possible, though I know that's not the case, what she actually wants is to be let off the lead, and that can't happen. Or am I misunderstanding premack? Or can it be applied in a different way that I'm missing?
A second point, I've tried to apply it to Raffles, who wants to drag me over a cliff face (well, a steep bank) to sniff something. By the time we've reached an agreement that I'm not going there, he's lost interest in the original enticement.
I'm sure I must be missing something!
 

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Zoe, Phoenix, Alice - ACDx
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I have not had any luck applying premack to leash work and believe me, I've tried! What I've found that worked the best was to go back to the very beginning and reward the dogs for being near my leg then take a step and reward for that one step. Then slowly increase steps.

Leash pulling is so difficult to work with because pulling is so easily reinforced. Being a tree sucks and takes forever, too but I've used it. The most important part is to make sure they are not reinforced for pulling. So when my dogs pull we stop and they don't get to go where they wanted to go.

I've also had a lot of luck turning around when they pull and changing directions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I think there's no alternative but to turn our 45 min walk into a 3 hour one! But thanks for your reponse :)
 

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Zoe, Phoenix, Alice - ACDx
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Yeah, I totally know what you mean. Leash walking is such a pain in the butt to train! LOL! I actually wrote an entire blog post dedicated to how much I hate training it.
 

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As far as premack goes, I agree. Difficult for polite walking. I've have had success with Dexter. He's very into the environment (sniffing, exploring, even digging...).

Trick was getting the sniffing/exploring on cue. (I started by saying ''go sniff'' and then physically touching the ground or where I wanted him to sniff. At this point I can just casually cue it and he goes off exploring on his own. If I want a higher value ''go sniff'' I still point out stuff. He's funny and really gets into it. Often starts snorting and digging... ) I also needed some sort of trained cue to get him back and working. And it is incredibly helpful to use your high value food rewards especially initially to reward as they are walking nicely.

If going this route you still need to build it piece by piece, step by step. Teach each piece (sniff/explore and a recall or something) individually. Then you start putting it together with some basics. Perhaps stationary (Reward with food at first) attention followed by cuing the sniffing/exploring. Call back (I generally reward heavily with food at first). Require more attention and then cue the sniffing/exploring. Call back and perhaps a well known behavior like a sit. The cue the exploring. Once the stationary stuff is in place (dog is quickly returning, focused when with you, and enjoying the exploring) you would start gradually building it on the move. Rewarding just one step with you at first.

I know this is more food for thought than answering your question (has actually been on my mind this week) but, no matter if using premack, food, toys, etc.(food honestly normally is easiest for most people) I think polite walking tends to fall apart for several reasons...

-Consistency is often not there. Sometimes the dog is rewarded for pulling by being allowed to get to where they want to go. Sometimes not. The occasional rewarding reinforces and makes pulling more likely.

-The 3 D's (duration, distance, distractions) aren't being trained correctly or at all!

It's just super common for distractions not being actively trained for and worked on. Often people do not know how to train for it! Honestly it's an area my personal dogs are lacking in as it is just hard sometimes without a helper and when distraction in real life are normally unpredictable! Lol. Intentional setup/sessions are important!

Games like ''cheese on a plate" (distraction set out, reward polite walking towards, address pulling via be a tree or gentle penalty yards, all the way to the distraction. Once there give the dog the distraction as a reward - premack) are helpful for training for distractions and if learned can be used irl. The ''cheese on a plate'' out and about is just whatever the dog is trying to pull towards.

Duration/distance often isn't built/trained correctly. Most people just continually increase distance for a reward. At some point it's too hard and/or people try to progress to quickly so the dog quits. Best ime to ''ping pong'' the distance for a reward. You may start with 1 step as your minimum and 3 as your maximum. You would ping pong back and forth within your min and max as you work. One step and reward. 3 steps and reward. 1 step, reward. 2 steps, reward. 1 step, reward. 3 steps, reward. Etc. Keeps the dog focused and pushes the upper boundary at an achievable level. Once reliable there, you can increase both the min and max. So the min. may become 2 steps and the max 4-5. You would ping pong in the new bracket as you work.

-And common for people not to lower criteria/expectations in a new location. For example, my dogs are very good through my neighborhood on our regular walk with the exception of some difficult distractions that are a work in progress. Also other locations we frequent. Not good in a place they've never visited. So I have to drop my expectations way down and basically retrain in the new setting.
 
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