A question for the all positive trainers

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by GoingNowhere, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. GoingNowhere

    GoingNowhere Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,793
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    USA
    How do you deal with self-rewarded undesirable behaviors?


    I ask this because I'm genuinely interested. For our dogs we've always used mainly positive training. We'd never lay a hand on any dog (as correction or punishment... obviously petting and belly rubs aren't what I'm getting at!) Boo is never corrected when she's learning a new trick or practicing tricks. But she gets an 'uh uh' if she does something naughty and we catch it in the act. (Think trying to dart out the door, etc) She's a sensitive dog, so usually a reprimand of that degree (just one 'epp epp' or 'uh uh') and she gets it. Obviously followed by reward when she does it right.

    But I know that some out there are all for ignoring bad behavior and 'replacing' it with good. For example, ignore jumping up, reward 4 paws on the floor. That makes complete sense. I was wondering what these trainers do when confronted with self rewarded unwanted behaviors. For example, your dog sees a loaf of bread on the counter, and while you aren't paying a bit of attention, the loaf is devoured. Rover has just been self-rewarded. He jumps, he gets yummy food. Now he likes this game. You clean up the mess, don't say anything (that's what I would do), but now Rover is getting brave so he decides that the steak on the counter looks good. You turn around and catch him with his paws on the table. What would an all positive dog trainer do? Is there a place and time for correction (not physical, just verbal) in your books or are you truly all positive?

    Same idea goes for things such as escaping a yard, trash digging, barking at the mailman, door bolting, counter surfing (as mentioned), and jumping on furniture if not allowed.

    I was just pondering that, and of course wondering what the general consensus is. :) Obviously not trying to be the least bit "challenging" , just wondering. And if you managed to correct these behaviors with no corrections (forgive the wording!), how'd you do it?

    Luckily for us, we haven't had an issue with Boo *knocks on wood*, but I'm interested in learning anyway.

    -GoingNowhere
     
  2. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    One thing we have taught him since he was a puppy, is to "wait". To me, it is one of the most important commands you can teach because it teaches the dog impulse control. Doggie zen. In order to get the steak, I must not want the steak. He waits for his kibble, treats, going through doors, everything until we give him a release word. It doesn't matter if the food is on the floor between his front paws with his nose on top of it and I am in the bathroom for five minutes, he will not take it until Robert or I says "Strider ok"

    One of the reasons we taught this, is to prevent him from stealing food from children. I work as a nanny and he comes to work with me, plus we have an 11 month old daughter of our own so it's really important. He's not allowed to take food our daughter offers him (yet) and won't be until she is old enough to say the release word to him.

    Anyway, for self rewarding behaviors, you set up their environment so that they cannot engage in the self rewarding behavior during the retraining period. At the same time you train an opposite behavior, and reward heavily for that. After a while, they drop the old one because they are no longer practicing it and being rewarded for it, and adopt the new behavior because they are being rewarded for it.

    To go with your example of a counter surfing dog, you simply never ever give the dog a chance to counter surf. You keep all food put away, wipe the counters, and have the dog crated or on a leash during meal preparation. At the same time you would work on "leave it" or "wait" commands, gradually building up to where the dog is leaving high value food alone, even when you are not in the room. Strider can and has been trusted alone in the kitchen with raw steaks on the counter because of this method. And his head is even at counter height. It's more work than a scat mat or an indoor electric barrier, but the results are so much more consistent than some of the alternatives.

    Lastly, I think "wait" worked so well for Strider because it meant "you will get this, but when I say so. If you take it too soon, it disappears." "Leave it" means "This is not yours. It will never in a million years be yours. I will throw it in the trash rather than give it to you." There is a difference. And we always made sure to give the most awesome treats for "leave its". Like if he was leaving a peanut butter sandwich, he got a beef baby back rib for a reward.

    ETA: The same basic method works with most of the problems you presented:

    Door bolting- sit before going through doors, keep a lunge line on the dog to prevent bolting during retraining. Have little training sessions with the doors. It's very polite for a dog to sit and wait for the humans to go through the doorway first.

    Furniture jumping Keep your dog on a leash in the house. If it gets on the furniture say "ah ah!" pick up the leash and tell the dog "off" as you lead it off the couch. Put it in a down on a comfortable dog bed with some treats as an alternative. He'll get the idea. We went a little further and also taught Strider "up", so that he knows he can come up if he is invited.

    For escaping a yard and digging, I think that is more a matter of a dog not getting enough mental/physical stimulation than a training issue. A tired dog won't do those things. You could get a sandbox or something, and teach it to dig in there if it absolutely must dig though.

    We never had a problem with trash. Then again, we have lidded garbage cans because of the baby. Prevention right there.

    Don't know much about barking because Strider doesn't do it. :confused:
     
  3. mjb

    mjb New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Florida
    I'm not a trainer and don't know the answer to this, but I was wondering if, with the example of paws on the table sniffing at the steak, a lure might work. A lure and a 'leave it' command with a click/treat, if the dog has been taught leave it?
     
  4. elegy

    elegy overdogged

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    7,720
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    I agree with Romy's post- a lot of it is simply prevention and control of the dog's environment combined with appropriate amounts of exercise so that the dog isn't looking for ways to amuse himself.
     
  5. GoingNowhere

    GoingNowhere Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,793
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    USA
    Those are some interesting suggestions! As I was reading them, I realized that we actually do a lot of those things already, and I never realized that maybe that is helping to keep Boo's manners in check! She's so good. :) She waits before we let her out for a walk and before we feed her, and has her 'leave it' down pat.

    It's interesting to think that those simple commands could work to curb problem behavior in some dogs.
     
  6. Ohm

    Ohm A Unit of Resistance

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Between Ohm and a Hard Place.
    self rewarding behaviors can be tricky and i've found training in alternate behaviors and management don't always modify the self rewarded behavior. in fact, if the behavior is classically conditioned, trying to operantly condition another behavior can almost be impossible. so i actually like to put the problem behavior on cue. that way when you start to train an incompatible behavior you can have some control over the problem behavior. and using the premack principle, reinforce the incompatible behavior with the problem behavior. this approach is not always necessary, but it's worth a try for those especially difficult behaviors you're trying to modify.
     
  7. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two dogs, three cats
    Location:
    Central Texas
    A lure only works when you're right there next to your dog. Most dogs learn very quickly that they're never going to get the stuff on the counter if you're right there, that's very easy for them to understand. Plus, a lure is a promise of a treat, so it's almost a reward itself.... so you'd basically be telling your dog "since you're on the counter, I'll give you this treat if you get off", and your dog will learn to get on the counter, so that you will have to tell him to get off and give him a treat. This is one problem with lures, and a reason why trainers should not rely too heavily on lures.

    I think Romy had some awesome suggestions.

    Management and preventing bad behaviors are equally important as rewarding the good behaviors in positive reinforcement training, but unfortunately that's one aspect of training most people (even often trainers) forget about.
     
  8. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    8,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    4 dogs
    Location:
    here
    So very true. It's a lot easier to prevent a problem behavior than it is to fix it later.
     
  9. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Amen to that!!!!!!!!!^^^^^
     
  10. Kayla

    Kayla New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Northern Alberta
    Ah your not being challenging:p.

    I'm rather embarressed to admit my otherwise outstanding dog has quite a bit of counter surfing in him. While I agree with everyone that prevention and managment are key, i.e like everyone has mentioned, lead on in house, no food on counter etc. I think it's still important to help along the extinction period. You have a few options, as someone mentioned you could put jumping up on cue.

    Meaning that you would initially reward the dog for jumping up, Begin adding the cue of your choice ( maybe jump or whatever you want), right before they offer the behaviour and reward. Repeat for a few sessions and then start to only reward the behaviour when you give the cue before the behaviour occurs. Then add distance, distraction one at a time and bring the whole behaviour under stimulus control.

    When a behaviour is truley under stimulus control it satisfies these four conditions:

    - The behaviour occurs immediatly when asked for
    - The behaviour never occurs in the absence of the cue (stimulus)
    - No other behaviour occurs when the cue ( stimulus) is given
    - The behaviour does not occur in response to any other cue (stimulus)


    Another way, and this is the way I'm approaching the problem is to shape my dog not to steal food off the counter. My end shaping goal is to have a piece of cake on the counter with me 30 feet away, and duke off leash and for him to leave it. Obviously this is not my starting point my actual shaping plan from easiest to most complex is as follows:

    Leaves food in my closed palm alone​
    Leaves food in open palm alone​
    Leaves food on floor covered by my foot alone​
    Leaves food dropped one inch from hand near foot alone​
    Leaves food dropped one foot from hand near foot alone​
    Leaves food dropped from standing position near foot alone​
    Leaves food tossed one inch away from foot alone​
    Leaves food tossed two inch's away from foot alone​
    Leaves food tossed 6 inch's away from foot alone.​
    Leaves food tossed one foot away from foot alone.​
    Leaves food on stool with me standing right there alone.​
    Leaves food on stool with me standing 6 inchs away alone.​
    Leaves food on stool with me standing one foot away alone.​
    Leaves food on stool with me standing two feet away.​
    Leaves food on stool with me standing five feet away.​
    Leaves food on counter with me standing right there alone.​

    Repeat as before until you can stand 10-20 feet away with your dog offleash.

    I am keeping sessions short about 3 miniutes at a time. Keep in mind dogs excel at this type of learning, I'm a clicker trainer so if you've never used a clicker with your dog but would like to try, make sure before you start training you "charge" your clicker ( i.e give it relevance to your dog) by clicking and then giving a treat 10-12 times, and repeat later in two more sessions before begining.

    Also remember to keep your shaping plan in mind incase your dog makes sudden progress ( as they usually will at one point) so that you know what your going to reinforce next.

    In all of these excersises take the collar off if you feel you might be tempted to yank them, if a mishap occurs, just go back a step and spend a bit more time on it, or break the behaviour down into simpiler steps to suit your dog's pace. No verbal corrections either, it's okay for your dog to make mistakes, we are rewarding him for TRYING! No click or mark for a mistake, go back a step. Also regardless of the length of your session end on a high note or when you make some progress, don't drill.

    The same can be applied to all of the other problems you mentioned as well, though to me barking at the mailman is perfectly acceptable but again you can train your dog to suit your lifestyle preferences.

    Hope that's helpful:).

    P.s- anyone fancy an online competition to see who can get their dog on video, leaving, on cue, a fully garnished hotdog sitting on a counter with you across the room and the dog offleash?
    Kayla
     
  11. katnine20

    katnine20 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    utah
    Spousal Training Tactics Differ.....

    we just got a pit puppy not too long ago and already we are having "conflicts" of interest when it comes to his training. I have a quite a bit more experience than my husband when it comes to training but he insists on doing things his way. For example, when it comes to horsing around with the pup, they play extremly rough to the point that the "play" growl is no longer a play growl. Its scary. Now the pup is starting to bite, and my husband will correct him by yelling and sending him to his "bed". I dont know how to express to him that its his fault that the puppy is biting cause of the rough play. another issue is when going down stairs the puppy will STOP on every stair in hopes of grabbing a pant leg, ankle, toe....anything. I am at a loss on how to break him of these issues....Any suggestions or ideas please...
     
  12. GoingNowhere

    GoingNowhere Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,793
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    USA
    It's interesting in the way the tactics all differ even though they are all grouped into the category of what would be referred to as positive dog training. It's cool too see how so many different positive methods get good results... maybe this'll encourage people to be positive with their dogs!

    And Kayla, I don't have a video with a hot dog, but here's Boo with a piece of a hamburger on her foot! LOL! :rofl1:

    [​IMG]

    and, actually, not that anyone cares, but here's a whole slideshow of her leave it:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=iLni2IMlgKY :p

    As for the post above me, I hope that some qualified trainers will be able to help you, but all I feel comfortable saying is that it seems that your puppy is doing normal puppy things and seeing what he can and can't do, just being a puppy... it's up to you to train your husband! And then move on to working with the puppy on basic behaviors... right now it could be confusing for him to be getting mixed signals on the rules of the household. ;)
     
  13. dr2little

    dr2little Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,402
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5 dogs
    Home Page:
    I find myself repeating this in every class and private training session - 'you can't teach what you're unable to practice' and being realistic is so important. Behaviours that have been reinforced, especially those as powerful as ones involving food, can be tricky. You can set a dog up and practice busting him as he moves towards the food item 'before' he's actually rewarded...but that's a bit unfair and can have unpredictable results.

    If I leave a steak on the coffee table where all 5 of my dogs can reach it and I ask them to LEAVE IT, I know that it will still be there even if I leave the house for a long period. Take the same circumstance and simply leave it there without asking them to LEAVE IT....maybe not. Although I'm fairly certain that they wouldn't touch it, if they did...it'd be on me.

    Like the others have said, maintenance is the key. Self reinforced behaviours become habitual mighty quickly, removing the opportunity for reinforcement will eventually extinguish the behaviour.
     
  14. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Kayla;
    I can put any kind of food (hot dog, steak etc) on a plate, ask Petie to down, put the plate and food right under his nose, say 'leave it' and leave the building............:D
    I done this countless times for demo's etc, so far he hasn't touched it lol.
     
  15. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    9,419
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Georgia
    lol.. I was just thinking about the hotdog thing, and that really isn't much of a challenge for dogs who well and truly know "leave it"


    And I have left the house for thirty minutes, to stand in the driveway and yammer with the neighbors, with Ozzy in the house and a medium rare, just cooked steak, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn on the cob sitting on the table. Oz never touched, despite the fact that I know he can jump onto the table from a standstill. He was laying under my chair, looking very put upon, but still being good.

    It took awhile to get there, but that was one of the most important things I ever taught him, since people like to throw chicken bones, half eaten sandwiches and the like all over the place here. Plus, I would worry about him eating something that's been poisoned or something. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I'm glad to know he won't eat anything in the backyard unless I say he can have it.
     
  16. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
     
  17. dr2little

    dr2little Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,402
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5 dogs
    Home Page:
     
  18. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    8,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    4 dogs
    Location:
    here
    I once heard of someone who had trained their dog to retrieve a hot dog - without eating any of it. :D
     
  19. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    9,419
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Georgia
    I don't believe a word of that! I demand a video! :D :p ;)
     
  20. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Dekka's (Kerri) jrt Dekka (lol) will do it.
     

Share This Page