Marker/Clicker/Positive Reinforcement Training Myths and Misconceptions

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Linds, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,722
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    One husband of 15 years
    Location:
    Southeast
    LOL magic recall :)
    I think it goes something like this:
    - You’ll never get a reliable recall with R+
    - I have a reliable recall with R+
    - Sure, with no distractions, but can you call your dog away from a squirrel?
    - My dog doesn’t chase squirrels, squirrels climb trees and he knows that. He chases rabbits though, and yes, I can call him off a live chase.
    - He must not have high prey drive. If he had a real prey drive you couldn’t use R+
    - Actually his high drive makes him easier to train R+
    - Well you have a biddable breed.
    - He’s a mutt.
    etc. etc. etc.

    Its the “yeah but†argument. “Yeah but†your dog is a herding breed with magic recall. “Yeah but†your dog is food driven. “Yeah but†you have a biddable breed.

    A friend of mine once said “I could teach my dog to ride my horse side saddle while smoking a cigar and it still wouldn’t be enough for these folks.†And you know what? She was right!
     
  2. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    My favorite is the 'it's ok to reward with anything but food. But training with food = bribery.'

    What?
     
  3. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Mine is the basic, you can't get totally reliable behavior with +R, but you can with force.

    Really?

    No method of training is going to instill absolutely 100% never fail compliance. Because they are dogs, not robots. But the +R comes closer than most.

    You really encounter this among formal obedience trainers, many of whom are still wedded to the force fetch, and don't believe you can have a reliable retrieve without one. I shape my dogs' retrieves, and it gives you a flashy, very motivated retrieve, which is less likely to break down under stress than a forced retrieve because it doesn't add any stress to an already stressful situation.
     
  4. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    7,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    Another one I read again this morning and was reminded of:

    "You're rewarding bad behavior" mostly paired to others that are working on reactive dogs
     
  5. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    22,036
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs
    Location:
    western Wa
    Everything already mentioned as far as the idea of bribery, dog "should" want to work for owner because of "love." Won't work without treats etc....

    The one from the other thread that astounded me was that it won't work for hard core aggression-related issues or other problem behavior...manners etc. That is so not true. As a trainer, I've worked successfully with with a lot with dogs that had bitten people and some other serious problem behaviors, as well as regular puppy silliness, mischief/manners, obedience etc.

    Marker training merely means identifying the behavior you like to the dog. PR, as opposed to punishment based training includes very much so....preventing the unwanted behavior while emphasizing the wanted behavior. If you prevent the unwanted behavior in the first place by setting the dog up for success and hurrying to reward before the dog messes up, you just eliminated the feeling of the "need" to punish because the dog didn't do the "bad" thing.

    What is this bit about PR and off leash success? How crazy is that? That's mostly all my dogs and I did when I lived in Idaho. Off leash every day with all kinds of distractions.

    With my own dog, Lyric, he had a rock solid and reliable stay, recall, even off of mid-chase after 4 or 5 deer once on a hike. He was very obedient. I could leave him in a stay behind my garage and walk down into the pasture, about 200 ft away, out of sight and he'd stay put for several minutes until I came back to him, even with distractions like other animals in the pasture. I worked on this a lot, using a clicker and building on it. I think only once or twice did I have to replace him in a stay because the vast majority of the time, I prevented a situation where he'd break the stay....almost invariably. I called to him from 2-300 feet away when he was chasing a dog in my pasture. I told him, "halt" which he did promptly and then "down" which he did while I went to him. All this off leash, all without punishment training. So, what are these people talking about?

    My Chi's aren't that well trained at all. I don't need that from them. But they have very nice manners, walk well on a leash, and have their basics plus a few tricks...nothing out of this world mind you. They're well socialized and sweet.

    I am not interested in competition other than competing with myself, so when people ask how many titles someone has, as if it takes titles to show that you have a satisfactorily trained dog, I have to roll my eyes at that. (see that in other threads a lot) My dogs were trained and obedient for MY purposes....to suit my life style. Hiking in the wilderness required some very strict rules to be safe and those things were what I needed and I like a dog with nice house manners...not to compare to other dogs and their training purposes. Competition is great and fun if that's what you're interested in. I use to compete with my horse. But because someone doesn't have titles doesn't mean they don't have a well trained dog. You should have seen some of the hunting dogs my Dad's friends had. Stupendously well trained and guess what.... no ribbons or titles.
     
  6. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    22,036
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs
    Location:
    western Wa

    Oh yes. I hear that a lot too. They don't realize that the association of good things with the bad, scary things takes precedence over the idea of rewarding their behavior because the dog isn't even very aware of his own behavior in connection with the trigger....not that early on. And that the pairing the two things together is a very strong learning influence to the dog.

    But I can understand that confusion from people more than some of the other myths.
     
  7. speedydogs

    speedydogs Allons-y!

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 1 cat
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Home Page:
    This! I hear it pretty often too. I was out with Newton a few weeks ago and someone was trying to take a picture of him. He was majorly distracted (he's still a baby) so I asked him for a sit and gave him a treat. The photographer's friend sniffed and said "Oh. I see he needs to be bribed." What? People get it into their heads that rewarding with food is totally different than rewarding with anything else...
     
  8. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I HATE it when people say "Oh, of course they are well behaved, they'll do anything for a treat!"

    I also reply with, "Yup! Easier to work with them when they are like that."

    I just don't get it, they are admitting my dogs are well behaved but discount it because I reward them when they behave the way I want? Oh I forgot, my dogs should be mindless drones who just do what I want every second of the day.
     
  9. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    22,036
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs
    Location:
    western Wa
    Well they should because they 'lurve you. I get so sick of that...they should because of love or because you're the alpha. Hello people....how 'bout trying to get it into your heads the way dogs are...the way they work, not the way you imagine or wish them to be?:rolleyes: As Jean Donaldson puts it, the "love thy owner myth."
     
  10. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    I think most people don't know how to wean dogs off the treats, so they see it as a life sentence of having to keep hot dogs in their pocket on walks forever.

    I also think most people see it as bribery--they don't realize that it's not intended to be "LOOK, I HAVE COOKIES, do this for me", it's supposed to be "Do this for me--good dog, here's a cookie"

    In agility 1, I see new students trying to use the clicker as a remote control. *click* "sit!" instead of the reverse. I also see them thinking that the clicker is somehow a reward in and of itself--that if they click 20 times it's better than clicking once, or that they don't have to give them a treat because they clicked extra.
     
  11. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 dog, 1 guinea pig, 1 hamster, 1 American toad, 1
    Location:
    Illinois
    oh, my favorite... "It doesn't work on high drive or hard dogs." LOL Let's break that down:

    A "high drive" dog is highly motivated by certain things - typically things we can access and use as R+, such as treats and toys.

    A "hard dog" is one who is insensitive or resistant to correction, physical or otherwise.

    So, you're going to tell me that a dog who is easily motivated and doesn't respond well to correction won't flourish under a system that allows them to work for the rewards they place extreme value in, and doesn't place any importance on physical punishment? Positive training is practically designed with those kind of dogs in mind.
     
  12. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    I think a lot of people don't fully understand what "high drive" is when they use that. I think they only use it to mean "hyper crazy energetic likes to chase cats and squirrels". They don't realize that you can have drive for food or toys too.
     
  13. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 dog, 1 guinea pig, 1 hamster, 1 American toad, 1
    Location:
    Illinois
    Yeah, that's very true, and that also drives me nuts because hyper =/= drive.

    Most high drive dogs are high energy but not all high energy dogs are high drive!

    ETA: However, I have heard people who definitely know what those terms mean still say something like that.
     
  14. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    22,036
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs
    Location:
    western Wa
    Exactly this^^^:hail:
     

Share This Page