Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by StephyMei1112, Aug 6, 2012.
there is a whole lotta truth to that & applies equally to dogs
That's a great quote.
Thats why I included the 4 quadrants after the part you bolded. All animals respond to stimulus. If its rewarding enough, they do it again, if its negative enough, they dont (very simplistic explanation but that was my point)
It's just that attitude, "You must be the alpha (boss) and have a "firm" (translation:heavy hand) to show him who's boss" that sets the stage for a dog to become defensive and dangerous.
I hate that "real" dog thing too. I remember that nonsense from years back on Chaz. How stupid is that?!
Every organism with a brain, (from a fish to a human and every animal with in between) operates under the same behavioral laws of learning. A sparrow might not find a bone as enjoyable or motivating as a dog would. He would prefer some bird seed. A fish wouldn't like being scratched behind the ears. He'd rather swim freely in clean water.
Every dog operates under the laws of learning. Reinforcement for a behavior greatly increases the odds of that behavior reoccurring. Lack of reinforcement or no pay-off decreases the occurrence of a particular behavior in the future. Punishment also can stop a behavior. But punishment, especially harsh punishment carries with it some serious and detrimental baggage in training dogs and runs a great risk of causing aggression. This has been a major source of my training & behavior consulting business. Lots of Cesar Milan followers found themselves in trouble.
A lot of people don't keep their mind on what they're doing. Count the number of times a day your dog gets reinforced for a behavior you don't like. Maybe he doesn't get reinforced by you...maybe all by himself. Or something in the environment gives him a pay-off. Maybe the behavior itself is enjoyable and he's permitted to engage in it, even for a short time. And by the time you notice, he's already been reinforced for it a number of times. It's a full time job to stay on top of every little thing. Just reinforcing one or two behaviors out of a whole day's worth isn't going to guarantee flawless behavior. So take the average dog owner who is even less on top of it than we are, who doesn't have a clue about behavior and training, it's amazing how well most dogs turn out anyway. But those who rely on punishment; threats, scare tactics, harsh voices, pain are opening their dogs up for a lot of potential problems and not a very good bond. A lot of people too, only notice rotten behavior and punish it without giving an alternative and rewarding behavior choice. My dogs might do a few things I don't like, but their day is also filled with and I emphasize reinforcing behaviors, so they tend to do those more which squeezes out the time remaining for unwanted behaviors. A lot of people don't do this and think positive reinforcement training is ignoring unwanted behaviors, bribing with cookies, letting their dog do what it wants. That's IGNORANCE for you...Pure, unadulterated ignorance.
Learning to set a dog's environment up so he's less apt to fail (thus inexperienced owner/trainer feels a need to punish) prevents failure and increases success for which more reinforcement can be added. Preventing unwanted behavior in the first place lessens the chance of the dog being reinforced for it and the behavior will not develop. Or...if it's just in it's infancy, being unable to practice it and be reinforced for it anymore....will cause the behavior to extinguish. Replacing or displacing unwanted behavior with incompatible and desired behaviors will fill the dog's repertoire (or gas tank, if you will) with wanted behaviors. The fuller the "gas tank" is with reinforcement for wanted behavior, the less room there is for unwanted behaviors.
Scoldings, forcefulness, intimidation, threats, coercion, physical discomfort runs great risk of eroding the relationship between owner and dog, creating a dog who lacks confidence and therefore raising the odds of fearfulness and distrust. Obviously those things aren't compatible with a rock solid, trustworthy and safe animal. It also creates a situation where the dog behaves well in the presence of the owner because it's unsafe to do otherwise. And increases the likelihood of the dog misbehaving in the absence of the owner....because it is safe. Dogs, in fact all living creatures do things because they're safe and don't do things because they're dangerous. Dogs are amoral. So, they're not doing the no no because they're sneaky and conniving and rationalizing it all out. They do things because it works. Period. They're animals.
If they can train wild animals, which they do in zoos and wild life farms where they have to be able to handle them for veterinary reasons and moving them etc, with clicker training, without punishment (It's pretty hard to punish a large sea animal at Sea World) you must know that you can train the most biddable domestic animal, the dog, designed by nature to work with humans without intimidation, physical punishment, force and so forth. In fact, it's done ALL THE TIME.
No, not every dog has the same set of motivators exactly or the same drives. But every dog can be trained using proper and correct methods without the use of pain, threats, intimidation, scary things. I have trained a lot of dogs and all I ever really need is adding the good thing, preventing or removing the good thing, removing a bad thing that's already happening naturally in the environment. But I don't need to add a bad thing.
Every dog works the same way. Different motivators, different temperaments, various degrees of distraction toward things, various drives.... so naturally there are some variations with the details. But the basics, the concepts and laws of learning work the same way on all animals. It is up to the owner or trainer to discover the dog's motivations, what excites him, what he doesn't like, his fears, at what distance is he fearful of something and a whole lot more. But the laws of learning behavior are like the laws of physics. Gravity causes an apple to fall from the tree. Consequences... or lack thereof....cause and effect....creates or extinguishes a behavior in all living organisms with a brain.
So yeah...I get weary of people saying positive reinforcement training methods don't work on "all" dogs. If they follow the laws of learning, they do. You wouldn't say the laws of physics, gravity in particular doesn't apply to one kind of apple, but not the other, would you?
Once again....3rd time now, I think? I never said positive reinforcement doesn't work. I never even insinuated that. IMO, that is what everyone should start out with, and then go from there. It is possible to train a dog entirely using only R+. And then you have some dogs that require the use of R-, P+, or P-. I never once said that R+ didn't work, I said that there are other ways to approach training a dog and not everyone has to use purely R+.
It is true. Some breeds need copious amounts of socialization and very early. Some breeds, you have to really be super consistent with, more so than with some other breeds or you can get into a situation where you can't handle the dog. Some breeds aren't as forgiving or tolerant of mistakes or inconsistencies. You may have to do more with some of the less biddable breeds or breeds not selected to work as closely along side their owner as some others. Some of these breeds take more training work than others. But I don't equate all that with being more firm or more bossy. The training concepts that work on all dogs may need to be employed more neatly or without sloppiness if you will. These are beautiful and impressive dogs and I bet they'd make a person feel safe and protected. They wouldn't be the right breed for me...I have no need for something like that. I guess if I had a large working farm or something....
I don't know if your post is in response to mine. But I wasn't referring to you. My post was very general and just explaining my take on the whole thing about the misconception that these big dogs need to be shown who's boss. (about the guy described by the OP) and how there are a lot of people on the Internet and in the real world... who make claims about PR with no knowledge base of what it entails.
I apologize then.
Ok, but then you go on to say...
... Which comes across as you saying they need R-, P+, and/or P- because P+ doesn't work for them. That's what people are disagreeing with, the idea that it "just doesn't work for some dogs".
Again, people here are saying use what you want to use, but saying that P+ doesn't work for some dogs is not accurate. Yes there are other ways - but claiming P+ doesn't work because some dogs are "special" is spreading misinformation.
Using ONLY (as in, without anything else) R+ for everything doesn't always work for every single dog. Sometimes you have to incorporate in other methods. THAT is what I was saying.
Positive reinforcement isn't really a "method." It refers to one part, one quadrant of operant conditioning, which IS the way all animals with a brain learn and operate. So, it does work on all dogs. When someone thinks it doesn't work, it's because they don't have a full enough understanding of the laws of learning. You do not have to punish a dog...any dog in order for it to learn. In fact, it can have the opposite effect and a whole lot of other negative results. You can if you want. You also can take away privileges or not give a reinforcer. But you don't have to add in a punisher. If they don't get something they like out of some behavior they do and they never ever get something good from it, that behavior will not continue. You don't have to punish to keep them from engaging in and getting a pay off for a behavior you don't like.
I don't really know how to describe methods. Methods, I guess are little variations with timing perhaps, or some people are clever in choosing good motivators for their dog. Some people know how to keep their dog in non-distracting environments at first so they're more likely to succeed and thus get more reinforcement which breeds more success. Some people are very good at this and some aren't as savvy. But whatever the small details, the concepts of what they call positive reinforcement training work on all dogs. Positive reinforcement training, as a method is probably not the best or most accurate terminology. I think method might refer more to little idiosyncrasies or other small details.
But that is what is untrue. It may be faster or even appropriate for different reasons to use other" methods" but its never because it doesnt work. There is nothing that a dog MUST get punished for to learn, but sometimes its worth it because of the situation.
example - one of my trainer friends switched to R+. She has since used a shock collar on one dog. Big dog, old frail handler. Dog was starting to lunge at cars and they lived in the city. Not at all a safe situation so she used it. Did the dog NEED the shock collar to learn? No, but the trainer felt in that particular situation it was worth it.
Well explained. *like example* Don't like shock collars. lol. But I will concede in this case.
To say PR doesn't work on all dogs is simply inaccurate. I don't know Barbara what your education is in animal behavior. But most behaviorists with PhDs and veterinary behaviorists, people like me who have taken lots of animal behavior in school, specialize in dog behavior, and gone on to work with dogs professionally in training and behavior modification will tell you the same thing.
This is really getting annoying. Once again, I never said that PR doesn't work. (4th time I've said this.) Not once. I said using ONLY PR doesn't work on all dogs. As in PR alone without any of the other quadrants. You don't have to commit to only one quadrant...you can use them with each other. You can use one of them, two of them, all of them...all at the same time. Does using PR alone without any of the quadrants work? Sure, for some dogs. Other dogs require more than one quadrant to better grasp what you are trying to teach them. Hence my "all dogs are different" post. As an example, I, myself, have two dogs that respond solely to positive reinforcement. I have a dog that responds to positive reinforcement, but required a little positive punishment, and another dog that needed positive reinforcement along with positive punishment and negative punishment.
We all get this. Nobody has said that you did say it didn't work.
This is what is wrong. It DOES and CAN work on all dogs, it is the individual trainer who might not like the method---but ALL dogs can be trained positively.
This is what people are rebutting. They're not claiming you said PR doesn't work. They're saying that with the proper motivators, all the time in the world, and no other concerns (such as safety, e.g. the old gentlemen with the large lunging dog), then using only PR WOULD work on all dogs.
i'll say it again ALL training is a MIX of positive reinforcement of desireable behavior & aversive consequences for undesirable behavior. even if ALL you do is ignore your dog, it is still an adverse or negative experience the dog "suffers" that is intended to deter a repeat of the undesirable action. there is NO SUCH thing as 100% aversive or 100% positive reinforcement training. and some dogs (generally the very smart & stubborn) need stronger aversives than others especially to achieve fast, long lasting, reliability of avoidance of HIGHLY undesirable behavior. for example hotshots, or knotted ropes to break up fighting between hounds or curs, not stopping it immediately & permanently can have disaterous results. so the aversive applied is extreme. however a GAME dog will NOT respond to such aversives & will in fact react as though recieving PR. some dogs will react just like a game dog and require a different method of training. tell me again how all brains work the same.
There is no such thing as purely positive training.
And sorry, but not only does my mentors experience disagree with you, but my own experience as well.
What do fighting dogs find reinforcing???? Fighting, right? So, if they've already been reinforced in some way for fighting or they're in the middle of a fight, doing what they like to do, you're light years too late in trying to stop that behavior. Of course, fighting dogs isn't something you are trying to avoid altogether, so there is inconsistency. With this or other kinds of fighting behavior, dogs that are selectively bred to fight, training of any kind isn't likely to compensate wholly for that instinct. That's where management comes in. You are managing a situation when you club your dogs when they're fighting. You are not training them.
Yes, it is a fact that all organisms with a brain operate under a basic set of laws of behavior. I will not argue something that is a fact, only something that is a matter of opinion. Positive punishment...adding something that stops a behavior is not the same thing as removing something from the dog that the dog likes. Adding something aversive which is on the harsh side is not needed for any dog to learn new behaviors or to modify behavior.