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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
I do not have any objection to whether the OP uses the same technique I use.

My objection is to an entire method of training being mischaracterized by someone with a misunderstanding or incomplete understanding of what it even is. Lurkers read these threads, and I want it to be clear just what PR training is and isn't - eg, it's not bribery when done properly and there's no reason to think a properly PR trained dog is going to blow you off if you don't have a treat right then and there.

:)
Obviously you haven't read through all of my threads. I did explain my over all view how my thoughts on treat training. I do know that treat training works, but I don't think it works with ALL dogs in ALL extreme situations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
@BullyGirl80 : For the sake of everyone--READ ABOUT THE FOUR QUADRANTS OF OPERANT CONDITIONING. This will literally explain all the things that you don't understand but continue to argue about and take personally.
Sorry, I'm trying to read and answer to everyone's comments and did not see the link in reference to the quadrants until after I had posted some of my last comments. I do not claim to be an expert trainer, but I know a bit, and I know what works for my past and present dogs. I also know others who use the same methods as I do and are successful. I'm not intending to down one method or the other, because I use a number of different methods, depending on the dog.
 

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Obviously you haven't read through all of my threads. I did explain my over all view how my thoughts on treat training. I do know that treat training works, but I don't think it works with ALL dogs in ALL extreme situations.
We may just be having some miscommunication issues, but the fact that you keep stating that you don't think it works with ALL dogs kind of suggests to me that you really don't understand or know how it works in more complicated situations with dogs that might be harder to handle...Obviously for dogs that aren't food motivated, it doesn't, but for the sake of argument I'm including other forms of reinforcement under "treats". You seem to know the basics, you know how to train your dog to perform things like sit and roll over, and how to phase the treats out so you no longer need them. But you don't seem to know how to apply it to every day life for dogs that require rehabilitation from fear or aggression.

What sort of "extreme" situation do you have in mind, where you feel reward based training is useless? And what alternative solution would you propose?
 

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This will be my final comment on this subject because we aren't getting anywhere....what I'm saying is I know that treat training works, I use treat training with my shi tzu, I also use treat training during command training with my bulldog however she is not very "food driven" in certain situations. I don't think that treat training works with ALL dogs in ALL situations. Being assertive does NOT mean that I hit or alpha roll my dog, which I have NEVER done! It means that I can give firm commands and can be confident that my dog will respond without treats, that's all. I do know people who use treats as bribes and have to have them on hand at ALL times to "control" their dogs, so I may have been a tad unfamiliar with some of you alls treat training methods.
That is a fundamental misunderstanding of the principles underlying positive reinforcement-based training. It's not "treat training" as you like to call it. By definition, positive reinforcement is the addition of something that causes an increase in the immediately prior behavior. So, if my dog sits and I give her a treat (and she likes the treat), odds are she'll sit more often. The key is that the something being added must be something the organism (in this case a dog) likes and will want more of. It can be treats, it could be a game of tug or fetch, or it could be an opportunity to chase a squirrel, jump a bar, or take a walk.

It sounds as though you've seen plenty of people implement a positive reinforcement training protocol incorrectly. I urge you to read the links provided.

Others have addressed the issue of reliability. Also, I believe one of the links I shared addressed the misconception that positive reinforcement-based training methods are permissive or lack reliability. If not, I can find sources for you.

Not on this particular thread, but on another forum I have been called an abuser and a few other names, none of which I am.
You can't blame folks here for things that have happened elsewhere.
 

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Unfortunately the word "punishment" has come to carry a lot of negative baggage in some people's minds. In this context it is (or should be) a judgement-free, neutral term that simply means something that will reduce the frequency of a behavior.

For my dog Pip, a stern "no" absolutely is a punishment. For my dog Squash, it doesn't even register at best and at worst sometimes I think he considers it reinforcing, the mischievous little bugger. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
It seems like you think that treat training is the "cure all" magic training trick. Do you think that there are dogs who are too dangerous and too much of a liability to be rehabbed? I'm just asking this question out of curiosity.
 

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I used to think that 'No' and 'Stop it' were the most effective thing out there until I applied what I have learned about managing behaviour in children to managing behaviour in dogs:

It is far easier to convince any social animal to do something than not to do something.

From the training and experience I received over the years as a camp counsellor over the years this lesson came up over and over again: Kids will listen to "Get your feet on the ground" over "Don't stand on that chair , "Sit on your hands" over "Stop poking that kid", and "Eyes on me" over "Stop zoning out". That is just how intelligent creatures work.

And for a dog that instruction that you give in place of your discouragement can be as simple as 'sit' or 'leave it' or 'off'.

You can tell a dog 'no no no' but to them it is...

a) Unclear: They have to figure out what the undesired behaviour is.
b) Unrewarding: Dogs are logical creatures, and they know a good deal from a bad one. They're not going to be happy settling for 'not biting' (the boring thing) over 'rough play' (the fun thing). Trading up the rough play for a fun non-contact thing like fetch, on the other hand… they might consider that!
c) Pesky: When a behaviour is unclear and unrewarding… it becomes useless to the animal. So… what do they do? They become desensitized to it! They learn to tune it out in the same way that a horse might learn to tune out traffic if it's not of any consequence to him. Of course you can keep turning up the volume… but each 'No' is a step closer to a dog that you need a megaphone and some cymbals to communicate with. And when you're continually having to so strengthen your aversives, you're creeping onto fearful dog territory.

So for that reason, I dropped 'No' altogether from my vocabulary. If a dog ain't impressing me, my response is to give them an opportunity to do so. I don't play the stuffy librarian game with kids, and I certainly don't do it with dogs. On the contrary, I want them to be alert and listening for my instructions, whether they're at speaking level, or even quieter and subtler than that.
 

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It seems like you think that treat training is the "cure all" magic training trick. Do you think that there are dogs who are too dangerous and too much of a liability to be rehabbed? I'm just asking this question out of curiosity.
Ask inkii, or some of our positive trainers that foster difficult and problematic dogs all the time. OR flip on a show like Pitbulls and Parolees where clickers and treats come out quite often.
 

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It seems like you think that treat training is the "cure all" magic training trick. Do you think that there are dogs who are too dangerous and too much of a liability to be rehabbed? I'm just asking this question out of curiosity.
It's not a magic training trick. Heck, there's nothing magical about it lol. It's basic psychology and principles of learning. It's classical and operant conditioning. It dates all the way back to Skinner and Pavlov. Positive reinforcement has been used in combination with negative reinforcement to train wild animals for decades, because if you use a punishment on them or get a little too stern, you might just lose your face.

I do believe that there are dogs that are too emotionally damaged to be rehabbed. Genetics obviously play a large part in a dogs temperament, and they cannot be controlled. You can sometimes only get so far with a genetically fearful dog that ended up in an unfortunate situation of abuse and/or neglect, no matter what method you employ.
 

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Aggression begets aggression. So no, I do not think that some dogs are so dangerous that I must stop using psoitive reinforcement and start using positive punishment. At best, it will supress the behavior temporarily and do nothjng to solve the underlying issue. At worst, there will be all sorts of fall out.
 

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It seems like you think that treat training is the "cure all" magic training trick. Do you think that there are dogs who are too dangerous and too much of a liability to be rehabbed? I'm just asking this question out of curiosity.
Absolutely there are some dogs that cannot be rehabilitated. Some dogs may have incurable medical conditions that makes them aggressive or unpredictable, some may have unstable temperaments, and some may have been subject to abusive treatment; in the end, the result is the same: a dog who cannot be trusted. But I'm not sure what that has to do with the correct implementation of operant conditioning.

If you are suggesting that dogs who cannot be rehabilitated are a case for positive punishment, "dominance" strategies, or other methods based in either aversive or rank reduction techniques, they have the potential to make matters far, far worse.
 

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It seems like you think that treat training is the "cure all" magic training trick. Do you think that there are dogs who are too dangerous and too much of a liability to be rehabbed? I'm just asking this question out of curiosity.

Personally I think that the dogs that are dangerous to be rehabbed are those who are mentally damaged. The rest I think if a person wants to take extra precautions and are willing to take on the life long commitment of a dog that will always require precautions to be taken then I do think the dog can be worked with and have the dangerous behavior lowered enough that the dog can enjoy it's life. I do not think that can be accomplished using any aversive methods.

Please read the operant conditioning sticky, I do not think you really understand how it is that those of us who clicker train, and use positive reinforcement, train our dogs, or maybe it's that we are speaking of the same thing and just using different terms.

Do you know that nearly all of us use punishment on our dogs. *gasp* yes punishment, whether we realize it or choose to acknowledge it or not. What we do not do is use positive punishment on them, we do not give leash corrections, electronic collars, shaker cans, and stuff like that, instead we use negative punishment. An example of negative punishment would be denying attention to a dog that is jumping all over us to decrease the jumping behavior, now once the dog has all four on the floor we will likely click and treat, or we may just give the dog what it was after in the first place and play with it or pet it.

I'm fixing to start loose leash walking training with Zody, and I can guarantee you I will be punishing him. I will not be hollering no, I won't be giving leash pops, instead I will be a tree. His punishment will be that he will not be able to go towards what he wants when he pulls. His reward for stopping pulling will be a few things, maybe I'll let him go and see what he was interested in, maybe I'll click and give him a jackpot reward for coming back to me. My goal is to teach him that pulling is punished by his not getting what he wants, and that not pulling is rewarded by getting him what he wants or something even better.
 

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There is absolutely no reason at all why PR wouldn't work for a dangerous dog. These techniques are the leading techniques in the animal training world. If I can train a lion with a clicker I can sure as heck train a dog lol :)

I wouldn't call PR a 'cure all' or 'magic' but I wouldn't call any other approach to training that either... Being 'assertive' (as you call your approach) most definitely shows no evidence (scientific or otherwise) of being more of a 'cure all' or any more 'magic'. Quite the opposite.

As far as rehabilitation, I think some dogs require a much more knowledgeable hand. That doesn't mean firmer or harder. But someone who understand the laws of learning extremely well and has experience with dangerous dogs. If the dog makes huge steps forwards (which I believe that it would under the right circumstances) it will still need continued education and the right handler for the rest of its life. This is not about type of training. This is about keeping a dangerous dog in the right environment
 

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It seems like you think that treat training is the "cure all" magic training trick. Do you think that there are dogs who are too dangerous and too much of a liability to be rehabbed? I'm just asking this question out of curiosity.

Why do you think positive reinforcement can only be used to teach tricks? Are you completely ignoring what everyone is telling you? I refuse to believe that you're this dense.



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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Aggression begets aggression. So no, I do not think that some dogs are so dangerous that I must stop using psoitive reinforcement and start using positive punishment. At best, it will supress the behavior temporarily and do nothjng to solve the underlying issue. At worst, there will be all sorts of fall out.
Lol....that was NOT my question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
My reason for the question is because I was wondering if everyone thinks that treat training or any type of training for that matter works in ALL situations, just out of curiosity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Why do you think positive reinforcement can only be used to teach tricks? Are you completely ignoring what everyone is telling you? I refuse to believe that you're this dense.



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I'm not implying that...i just asked a question. And resorting to name calling doesn't help or solve anything, it only shows your character, or lack of.
 
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