Misconceptions of what Sch/Protection etc Trainers....

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by adojrts, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Hopefully some of the good folks on here that can clear up a question that I have.
    We all know what guys like Richling/Morrison etc think of Clicker Training and Positive methods, so they don't count imo lol. But for those who compete and/or train for Sch, Ring Sport and Protection what is the general opinion from Trainers/Handlers on Positive Methods/Clicker Training? And not how these methods work or don't work as they would pretain to their sport or job but in general or for other sports etc.
    Do most of these trainers think it is bribing a dog by using food/toy rewards? Do most of them feel the methods are ineffective in general or just not for what they do with the dogs?

    I think sometimes those of us that use these methods get too defensive because of the belittling that comes from such guys as Richling. And that it is a misconception that we are all veiwed as bribers, lurers and too soft and generally useless at training a dog lol. At least I would like to believe that it is a misconception.......

    NOTE!! I DO NOT WANT THIS TO END UP AS A DEBATE OR ARGUEMENT ABOUT WHICH METHODS ARE BETTER OR WORSE THAN THE OTHERS!!!!!!
     
  2. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    8,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    4 dogs
    Location:
    here
    It's been my experience that quite a lot of people training for schutzhund and ring sports use a lot of positive motivation training. Whether or not they use clickers I don't know - the ones I work with don't actively use clickers but some do. The dogs have a huge amount of drive for toys, tugs, food and the majority of trainers absolutely harness that into training them.

    The ultimate reward to use is the helper. When the dog accomplishes the obedience exercise he's being asked for, he gets rewarded with a bite on the helper.
     
  3. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,854
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Environmental Science
    Location:
    Vermont
    Well I certainly don't know about the majority, but I house-sat once for a woman with GSDs that did Schutzhund. One of her males qualified for World's.

    I was really worried about housesitting for her, because I wasn't sure how she was going to expect the dogs to be handled. Imagine my relief when she brought them out on martingale collars, and told me how she had turned her male from a shutdown, overtrained failure to a World qualifier by training with food.

    Only one of her dogs actually stayed behind with me, a female from super working lines who was "not serious" enough for schutzhund work. I'm not normally a shepherd person, but WOW. I was madly in love with her, and if there was any chance I could have had a second dog, I would have begged for her.
     
  4. SisMorphine

    SisMorphine Your Mom

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,993
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In my experience most people doing bitework train through compulsion. There are a handful of trainers who incorporate food into their training and are looked down upon. It has been near impossible for me to find a bitework trainer who doesn't use e-collars.


    Personally I'm trying to find a way to train my dog for PSA in the most positive way possible. I know it can be done.
     
  5. DanL

    DanL Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    3,932
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    All of the people I train with use a combo of positive methods and compulsion but compulsion isn't the default method. No one looks down on positive methods, it's preferred in our group. One guy calls it "compliance". Meaning, when the dog does what the handler wants, the dog gets his reward of a bite. They learn pretty quickly to do what the handler wants. The only time compulsion is used is when a dog doesn't do something that he's been trained and proofed on. This guy has titled 2 dogs at PSA nationals. He had a 3rd on the way but she jumped his 6' fence and got hit by a car. She had immaculate obedience and looked to him for everything she did. She wanted to bite so bad, she'd be quivering, but whatever he said, she would do, and fast. Then she'd hit like a freight train on the bite.

    There isn't much room on the protection field for treats. It's very fast, hectic, and the dog is in such high drive, that if you tried to feed him for doing something right, you will probably get bit. One of the primary rules on the protection field is to keep your hands away from in front of the dog. If he's just released a bite and you reach down in front of him to pick up a sleeve or something, he see's that motion while in high drive, he's probably going to bite you. It happened to me with Gunnar, I was circling around him to keep him perpendicular to the decoy who was on the ground, my leg got in front of him, he saw movement, and bit.

    A dog's reward on the field is the bite itself. A lot of us use food for the learning process but not in bite work. Some young dogs who are on 2 meals a day work for their entire 2nd meal- recalls, general obedience stuff.

    Some of the things we do where the bite is the reward- dog is placed in a down. Decoy approaches to within a few feet of the dog. The dog cannot move. Decoy retreats, and repeats the action a couple times. At a predesignated number of approaches, the bite command is given. The dog gets to bite because he showed discipline by not going after the decoy until commanded by the handler.

    Another situation is the dog is in a down. The decoy is about 20 yards away. The handler walks 1/3 of the way to the decoy and returns to the dog, praising for a good down/stay. Repeat to half way and return. Then 2/3 the way. The all the way to the decoy, and touch the decoy and return. Then all the way out again, but this time the decoy does a fake attack on the handler. The dog immediately runs to the decoy and engages, to protect the handler. We train a lot of these exercises with a 2nd handler outside the fence, on a long line attached to a prong collar. If the dog moves he gets a correction. It doesn't take long before the dog realizes if he wants the bite, he must comply with the handlers command.

    I know some people use the E collar for training certain things- remote outs is one, but generally, an out off of a bite is trained like anything else- start up close, once the dog does the task reliably, increase the distance, etc.
     
  6. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Most protection sport trainers know that positive training methods produce happy, willing workers and in some of the protection sports attitude is heavily factored into the points. Positive methods also makes training more fun for the handlers and most people in the protection sports are there to have fun. So, most people that I have trained with are trying to work many or all of the exercises for rewards. Most are not doing clicker training however. It is much more common that they are working the dog for a toy more as a lure or bribe, at least in the beginning phases. They then polish the behaviors with correction. But, there certainly are lots of good trainers using markers, just not too many with clickers.

    Reliability is the name of the game in the protection sports. Happy is great, but for a dog to win at the world championships they need to perform for about 25 minutes over the course of three phases at a high level of arousal and without making any significant mistakes. The tracking is totally different from AKC tracking in that it is heavily scored based on "style". As is the obedience, making it pretty similar to a UD type routine, but with the added demand that the dog show a high level of speed and animation throughout. The protection phase requires tons of power and total control. Most high level dogs aren't trialed more than 5 times in a year and many of these trials are across the country and costs lots of money to attend, so there aren't a lot of chances to "get it right next time" as is so common in the AKC obedience world. And, the dogs that are capable of succeeding at a high level have been bred for pretty extreme drive and aggression, so maintaining control in the protection especially can be a real challenge. All of these factors favor the judicious use of punishment and I don't know any serious competitors who are not using punishment to polish behaviors and create a very high level of reliability. I do suspect that some Swedes are using very little, but I don't know enough to say that for sure.

    In most other dog sports, the dog is only working for the handler. In the protection sports it is quite a job to convince the dog that the handler is the pathway to the helper (who is his real goal). And, if you do too good a job, the dog usually lacks power and has a tendency to look for the handler which is heavily penalized in the points. The dog needs to be listening for commands from behind while maintaining 100% focus on the dangerous guy in front of him. Most people err on the side of making the dog too independent and powerful and then pound some of the control in. There is an added effect here which is increasing the stress levels in the dog which causes "good" dogs to get more aggressive and show more power. So, even if you could train all of the protection without correction, some people would still decide to use the correction bc the picture in the end is different.

    I think the thing that is hard for most people to understand about the protection sports is this idea of working dogs "in aggression". Aggression is a really different physiological state than simple drive. Animals in aggression do not think and learn in the same way as dogs in "prey drive" and "food drive". Once you push a dog into aggression, he is not going to think or learn well with reward-based training. My approach is to teach with very positive methods and spend lots of time letting the dog think through the exercises. I only incorporate behaviors into the protection once my dogs are really clear on them in a lower "drive state". Once I add them into the protection, I anticipate needing to add correction as the dog gets aggressive and is inclined to focus solely on the helper and forget the control exercises. The other option is to not allow the dog to get into the aggressive state. But that to me is missing the spirit of the sport.

    Are there any people on here who hunt or herd? I'm not sure how much control is generally exercised in hunting. I know herding is all about the control. Are there any people using only positive methods in either of these two disciplines? Any pointers that don't get corrected for breaking point? Herding people who don't use staffs?

    I think you would be surprised at how many protection people want to learn about more positive methods. The problem I have seen is that many positive trainers want to make it an all or nothing proposition. When people come into the Schutzhund club saying they can train their dog without correction and the people who are correcting just don't know how to train, the dialog ends. The extreme positive view pushes everyone else into the "other", "bad" category of training. And this alienates the others and prevents the positive trainer from spreading their message. This happens all the time and it's really a shame for all the people involved. The best tactic is to become a part of the group, don't judge the others, but lead by example. Show the positive methods, make a good result, and people crawl out of the woodwork wanting to learn more.
     
  7. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    40,739
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    RD will be better able to explain this than I, but the staffs that are used in herding are not actually used ON the dog. They might be inserted between the dog and the flock to get them to stay back, a lot have ball bearings to make a sound when the staff is struck on the ground and yet others just use a long wooden pole with plastic bottles on the ends (both to protect the dog if it forgets what it's doing and runs into the pole) and for another noise. Most dogs are started off on a long-line and helped into position, given a slight check to keep them from moving forward too quickly and just basically teaching them how to find and hold balance points, depending on the breed and herding style of the dog. An Aussie has a different style from a BC from an ACD, etc.

    Like with most other training, it's about starting easy to build confidence and hone the instincts, then add in more difficult stock as the dog becomes more reliable.
     
  8. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks everyone these are the kinds of answers that I was looking for and needless to say I am pleased that not everyone views positive trainers or methods in a negative light.
    I think there are some serious misconceptions all across the board on each side. Which is why I asked the question :)
    I can only speak about the hunting I have done with my Terriers and what we need the dogs to do, is call off, be stockbroke (ignore livestock) and have a very solid recall. And no DA is tolerated in the working field, considering we often have several dogs loose at once, including intact males. I remember the first time out hunting and my dog took off, cya later, my recall was gone. The seasoned terrierman that had agreed to take us out, turned to me and snapped 'Get that f........dog, put him on the truck and DON'T bring him back until you have a solid recall on him!'. I went home, trained my dog better and never had a problem again with any of my dogs. Embarrassment can be such a motivator.
    I absolutey agree that there are extremists on both sides and they don't help the issue.

    Thanks
    Lynn
     
  9. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    :lol-sign: Embarrassment is punishment enough for me, too. Nothing worse than being ill-behaved at the party and having it pointed out in front of everyone!
     
  10. boxerdog44

    boxerdog44 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    nova scotia
    one of my dogs was also shut down ,no pay check toy or food to motovate ,trained with a pack leadership method ,had to bring drive up with food and toys , totally different dog . I took her to an animal behavoralist who said 80 percent of most dogs thought process is food and how they will get some ,fed her from my hand , removed free feeding , to operational conditioning , dog more happy willing to work no more avoidance with pay check of going to get something
     
  11. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    8,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    4 dogs
    Location:
    here
    Just to add to the misconception pot, I know several people who train in protection using quite a bit of positive motivation and if you bring up the topic of AKC obedience they believe that those doing AKC obedience don't know how to utilize drive and do nothing but correction based training with a few bribes thrown in.

    Having participated in AKC obedience quite a bit myself, I know that such generalizations are very much untrue.
     
  12. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    corgipower makes a really good point. People tend to draw their conclusions about other groups from a very limited amount of exposure to a few people in the other group.

    Last night I asked a friend of mine why so many non-Schutzhund people think that Schutzhund trainers are more compulsive than other types of trainers. He responded that there is a less shame about the corrections among this group, so people make the corrections out in the open with no apology. He brought up all the agility people he sees now with special bandanas to hide their pinches and e-collars. I had forgotten about that and it did make me laugh. I guess if you train in that kind of culture you are less likely to admit to your corrections and much more likely to do them in private when no one is watching. I know of one top level agility trainer who claimed to train with all positive methods. While at her house, my friend said he saw several e-collars in her equipment room. I don't suppose she spent $500 to have a remote control tone button :D
     
  13. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Where does anyone say that all agility trainers train with only positive methods? It would be foolish to think that, no matter what discipline or sport there are people out there willing to do whatever it takes to win.
    Absolutey corrections in the way of e-collars and such are considered to be not acceptable and most trials (at least up here) do not allow people on the grounds with them on the dogs. And people are asked to leave for a harsh correction, that depends on who saw it and who's trial it is. Corrections are not allowed in the ring, nor should they be. People can also be suppended from trialing.
    I don't find it laughable in the least, it goes against everything that agility is suppose to be. But it doesn't mean that the rest of us are so stupid to not know there are people doing it.
     
  14. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wasn't suggesting that all agility trainers train in one way or another. I'm just suggesting that bandanas for hiding pinch collars from view are not a hot selling item at schutzhund trials. Probably not so big at hunting dog events either. That sort of thing being popular suggests to me that correction (at least with that particular piece of equipment) isn't viewed kindly in the places those people are going with their dogs. I've only personally seen them at agility events. I'm sure that there are plenty of other groups that use them.

    Electric collars and pinch collars are also forbidden at most big Schutzhund events. Correction is not allowed in the ring and so on. Same rules as in agility or AKC obedience or any other dog sports I can think of. In French ring, the dogs are not allowed to wear a collar of any sort.

    I also would not find it laughable if people were using the bandanas to disguise training equipment while at a trial. Is this what is happening :confused:
     
  15. Brandyb

    Brandyb New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs and tonnes of fish and some chams
    Location:
    Ontario
    Home Page:
    Well, I can say that out of those I know who are involved in schutzhund, most are starting training off as purely positive, only adding in correction once the dog knows the command and has been proofed. I do know a couple that use purely compulsion methods, and they say they get the results, however, I do really believe that there is more positive then negative. What looks like just a job in this sport, is actually the reward itself, lending further towards positive motivational training. The bite, the sleeve, the chase, the fight etc. can and are all highly rewarding to high drive dogs. Much more so then a tidbit of food. But I see where correction must be implimented in training as some of these dogs drives are through the roof and their competing motivations are so much higher that the positive approach can compare with, that corrections must be thrown in so that control can be maintained.
    I have not heard of a purely positive trainer in this venue (and I really don't know much about the other venues - PP and ring), but I do know a behaviourist/trainer (my very first one who got me involved in training) who is trying to impliment the clicker into her schutzhund training. She has started this on her new shepherd pup, and I'm am very curious to hear the results. I don't think that the clicker will ever be mainstream in this type of sport, however, I commend her for trying it out. I know there are those in the sport who will laugh at her, but it's its better to keep an open mind in dog training - it gives you more options, and affords you more knowledge.
    Lynn, I will try and get an update for you on how she's progressing, and what her results are. :)
     
  16. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I have never seen any bandanas used as such and have never seen them sold either. I have also never heard of anyone using one. Our dogs have to compete naked as well, most people just have slip leashes on their dogs.
    But I am going to watch and I am going to put out a few questions to the agility world, should be interesting as to what the replies are. In what region did you see these bandanas?
     
  17. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've seen the bandanas in California, but only for training, never for trial.
     
  18. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Mario Verslype with the malinois Yagus van der Duvetorre won the 2003 FCI World Championships. I have heard that he trained the obedience with the clicker. I do not know to what extent that is accurate, but it is not uncommon to find people using clickers. I just think it is more common to find people using verbal markers.

    When my dog Marco was a pup I did tons of typical clicker type training with him. I just didn't use a clicker for very long, preferring to keep hands free and use a marker.
     
  19. DanL

    DanL Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    3,932
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I can see the ob part being done with a clicker. Doing protection, the bite is the reward, so do you click/bite instead of click/treat? :) I like marker words too for that, and general praise when the dog is complying with your command, and then a release for the reward.
     
  20. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I teach the protection exercises like typical clicker training, with the marker word releasing the dog to the bite and poor performance causing loss of opportunity to bite.
     

Share This Page