Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by dogsarebetter, Sep 29, 2006.
That's what I thought. Thanks for clarifying.
In either case, I stand by my post. And the reason is that if the dog has had some training and has walked on a leash, he is undertrained if he is balking. Somewhere for whatever reason, something has not been motivating to him at some situations during his walking. Like any other skill or behavior, if the dog is not giving a correct resonse, then the trainer needs to go back to the point where he was comfortable and successful and then work back up. So, while it may not be necessary to accustom him entirely to the leash (the dragging it around the house), it is necessary to create a situation for him where walking along side his owner is desireable to him and rewardable. He needs motivation, not punishment. Dragging will get him to come along, whether on his own feet or on his belly, but it will not motivate him other than by avoidance.
You may not have to go through as detailed a program as I described but nevertheless, he needs to be motivated and reinforced for a correct response.
Its just like when your dog stays for 30 seconds and then you ask him to stay for 2 minutes. If he breaks it, a lot of traditional trainers will punish the dog, or give a correction. My idea is that the owner/trainer has jumped ahead too soon. He stayed at 30 seconds so go back to that and then go for 35 seconds, then 38 seconds, not moving ahead until he has mastered the previous level.
I play the piano and have since I was very young. I started out playing Mary had a little Lamb. Now I play concertos and Bach fugues. I couldn't have started with the kid stuff and in one year been able to play the music I do now. I had to get the simpler things mastered and gradually move to more difficult pieces. I had to be motivated in order to continue and like it.
It is the same thing with this walking problem. He is not ready to walk steadily without balking for some reason. So, go back and this time, make walking with you pleasurable for him and rewarding.
Who knows how he was trained before which made him balk? Probably some aversive was used or something frightened him. Something discouraged him. Maybe he has a pain or something medically wrong. There's a reason that he doesn't want to continue. Its hard to know what. Force and corrections may get you your own way and you can say that you're the boss, but the dog is only going to do it to avoid corrections. Wouldn't you rather have a dog who gives the correct resonse because he wants to? Its a whole lot easier and more fun for both...no struggle and no confusion to the dog when he doesn't understand why hes being dragged, forced, spoken to sternly, given a collar correction, whatever. He's probably just undertrained and undermotivated.
I'm getting so darn good at biting my tongue. I'm proud of me. LOL
Or....he just doesn't want to go somewhere and has trained his owner to stop.... Really, it could be as simple as that.
Not wanting to go somewhere and balking is undertrained. It is simple. I'm sure there are plenty of things my dogs may not want to do but if I can manage to motivate them so they do want to do them, and they do them reliably on account of my creating a history of ample reinforcement, then I can say they're adequately trained.
I've trained lots of dogs and they had their fair share of things they didn't want to do. Eventually, I made it so they learned that it was worth it to do those things. I set them up so their only choice would be "my way." They are, after all opportunists and they do what works to please themselves. So being opportunistic scavengers, we have the perfect opportunity to manipulate their environment so that they will learn and work for what they want.
I use to train my earlier dogs and some neighbors' dogs (with them) using these traditional techniques but since I've had an education in behavior and learned how dogs learn, how we tend to anthropomorphize them, I have learned that they don't "disobey" because they're being stubborn or because they are flipping us off. (the way people would do when they don't want to do something) Dogs are not that complex. They are simply easily distracted by competing motivators and they go for whatever works best for them, not because they're being "bad, naughty, stubborn" but because they're who they are....dogs, animals.
We are soooooo bonded to our domestic dogs, such a close relationship, nothing else like it. Most people know this relationship we have with them is phenomenal. They just don't realize HOW phenomenal. But while we coexist with these animals so very closely, we forget sometimes that they are not thinking like we do. We almost think they're smarter than they are. We want them to mirror us, reflect back on ourselves.
So, one has to leave out the part about stubborn, just not wanting to do something and being defiant. Dogs learn by reinforcement as do all living organisms with a brain stem. Cues do not drive behavior as many people think. The dog learns what certain cues mean and knows what to do. But that is not what drives behavior. Reinforcement drives behavior. That's a law of scientific learning behavior. If you get caught up too much like many do, with relying on commands to drive behavior, this is what you get.....balking for instance.
Yes, we learn the same way they do and we can be trained by them....definitely. LOL. But here, I think the dog stopped for some reason....and the owner reinforced it somehow and that perpetuated.
Thanks for the lesson.
Seriously, I'm not in the mood to debate with you. If you want to believe that someone who keeps walking when their dog puts on the breaks is going to damage that dog's mental well being and scar him for life. Go for it. You have your mind made up already, nothing I can say to change it.
I think you all know where I stand in regards to corrections so there's no need to repeat myself.
You're preaching to the choir sister. I didn't just fall off the training turnip truck yesterday, ya know.
Why the sarcasm and hostility? I thought we were having a nice discussion. I find it interesting to read others' points, take it into consideration, discard some of it, see what I think about other parts of it and then relay my ideas into the mix. Isn't that what a forum is about???? Somewhere I must have missed something. If you're tired, you are under no obligation to participate here.
I had no idea. There was no way for me to know. My posts are not meant for your eyes alone. They are here for the original poster. It isn't about debating with you, ya know.
Hmmm, maybe I missed something. I'm not used to having a nice discussion here on methods and training, from what I've seen that just doesn't appear to be how it works here, so I automatically assumed you were trying to debate and that's where my response came from.
I'm sorry. Perhaps I read your words wrong and that's my mistake. I'm not tired, I just felt I was being baited into another "debate" about why corrections are evil. If that's not what you were doing please accept my apology for the misunderstanding. (I'm not being sarcastic)
Animal behavior is my passion. I find it fascinating. I use to train using more corrections than I have been in later years. I see a remarkable difference in my dogs. I am not opposed to mild corrections and I don't think they're evil. I use my fair share of verbal corrections, but not so much when I'm training skills. I get frustrated sometimes with certain things my dogs may be doing in the house, such as wild horse play. Instead of taking the time to train them properly at every instance, I tell them to knock it off. So, its not that I think anyone is evil for using mild corrections. Its that I find that in most cases, if not all (theoretically) it works better if I take the time to think, and set the environment up for the dog to choose what I want. I find it to be interesting. And that is why I share my thoughts and what I have learned and am still learning. I have no alterior motives other than I like talking "dogs." And I like it when some of my ideas help others. I like feed back which I get sometimes in the form of a p.m. That way, I know that something I said worked for someone else too and its not just my particular dogs.
Like any subject....religion, politics, child rearing, hunting, money management, I don't care what it is, people vary in their opinions. This is just another topic and not everyone agrees. That's the nature of the beast. Sometimes things do get a little rambunctious, but as long as no one is attacking someone else in a personal way, I think a lively discussion or debate is stimulating mentally. It causes people to think and dissect. And that is good for the brain.
So, I have no hard feelings about anyone here. I may not like certain training methods or philosophies and may, at times not approve of those, and may even speak my mind with a little too much gusto, but its still nothing against the person himself.....as a person. Its just my personality. I'm exciteable and have a little excess energy sometimes. So, sorry if I came across badly.