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Thread: Victoria Stillwell on positive reinforcement training

  1. #21
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    I like working dogs....dogs with purpose and dogs that i can train to do things. like water rescue, stock work, tracking and such......I love to work with my dogs. My dogs will give me their paw and wait for me to fix it. I like calm and no yappy/barking. And most of all I like my dogs to be friendly dogs....You need friendly dogs to do water rescue and tracking (finding people). No use if they do not like people. And I like my dogs to be polite friendly with other dogs
    Pets are forever

  2. #22
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    I once trained a very messed up JRT in recall as I was walking her every day. I didn't know a thing about dog training and just followed my instincts and ended up using a mix of R+ and P-. And it worked I think purely for the fact that I was the first person in this dog's life who had ever shown her any consistency and after a short period of confusion and downright fear (she did not recognise the usual non-food 'rewards' as such), she so rapidly gained confidence.

    Within 2 days she came bounding up to me when I called and her recall always remained pretty reliable in most situations after that. That dog is now 16 and she still loves me more than any other person in the world - though she can only recognise me by smell now.

  3. #23
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    Newfsie, It sounds like you work with dogs that have to be around people/other dogs most of the time, however I normally find that the majority of dogs that have so called issues with other dogs/ people have usually been totally messed up by people/not socialised early on etc. and I am always happy to take on these types of dogs and rehabilitate them : )

    Luckily, none of my dogs are yappy/barky, when I say Scrappy was vocal he used to make murmering noises and pleasure noises when I came home, that kind of stuff, i guess I like dogs that are vocally responsive. Dogs that are verbally or physically non responsive just leave me cold. I like my dogs to be able to 'talk" as much as possible : )

    Beloz I know exactly where you are coming from, sounds like you did a great rehab job : )

  4. #24
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    Come to think of it, my cat Rosie years ago was very vocal, I think I picked her for the same reason : ) : )

  5. #25
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    I really struggle with cats meowing for food, attention or to be let out! But our foster failure does 'talk'. She'll give us an almost inaudible little meow when we pat her in passing. Very cute!

    And with the jrt, after I managed to teach her some basics, fortunately her owners got their shit together and started treating her more kindly and consistently. She has had a pretty happy life since.

  6. #26
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    I can never remember the 4 quadrants. However I completely changed a lot of the way I train dogs when I once owned a very fear aggressive dog. It was a huge learning experience and I found what she really responded to was the whole counter conditioning, desensitisation approach and lots of obedience training with the clicker and I am not a clicker person, but with her it was gold.

    Any form of positive punishment at all made her worse and seemed to send her into a zone of no return. She was geneticlally unsound I think but I got her to the stage that I could at least take her out in public and she wouldnt become a screaming mess. She even was able to out of sight stays at our local obedience club and handle a stand for examination. She was always going to need some form of management but she was perhaps the most obedient dog I have ever owned.

    With my current dogs I generally find that positive reinforcement works best. It does however depend on the dog. I will at times use a correction if I think it is appropriate. It really is all about the timing. I would never use a correction when training Agility or obedience. I find capturing behaviour I want and rewarding much more productive in this setting.

    I have warmed my cattle dogs butt for chasing roos which is highly dangerous and she is not so inclined to do that anymore and will recall. She knows how angry it would make me if she chased. I have also used a mix of mild correction and positive reinforcement when my confident male was inclined to get over excited a trials and want to chase.

    I also have a rescue dog that I would never use a correction on. He simply doesnt respond as I think he has had the shit kicked out of him. He really responds to positive reinforcement in spades and is a lovely dog to train and will try his hardest to earn his reward, which could be a good boy from me or a food reward, he doesnt care. He works really well if I let him figure stuff out and capture what I want which how I started working with him. He is very smart and it doesnt take him long. His confidence has grown in spades since I adopted this shy, very timid boy that panicked easily. He knows all he has to do is to figure out what I want and that is what he strives for.

    Purely positive I think can be done, but it takes real knowledge of how to use it.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 10-13-2012 at 09:44 AM.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bella44 View Post
    Newfsie, It sounds like you work with dogs that have to be around people/other dogs most of the time, however I normally find that the majority of dogs that have so called issues with other dogs/ people have usually been totally messed up by people/not socialised early on etc. and I am always happy to take on these types of dogs and rehabilitate them : )

    Luckily, none of my dogs are yappy/barky, when I say Scrappy was vocal he used to make murmering noises and pleasure noises when I came home, that kind of stuff, i guess I like dogs that are vocally responsive. Dogs that are verbally or physically non responsive just leave me cold. I like my dogs to be able to 'talk" as much as possible : )

    Beloz I know exactly where you are coming from, sounds like you did a great rehab job : )
    My rescue newfie's and other breeds are a mess when i get them..Annabelle was very people and dog aggressive and Lukey was terrified of people, but not aggressive...I work with a lot of messed up dogs. i have two puppy farm dogs here right now, Koolies, they were really messed up too. I rehab dogs, that is what i do. But I want dogs to be social and live a normal happy life. I do not expect them to be "super happy off leash love every other dog" dogs.
    I want my dogs to be able to be taken anywhere on leash and behave. they know that I will be there for them and I will not let them down. And I will pass some of them on to people who are reliable and good leaders too. I also deal with a lot of Handler/owners with dog problems. Be it aggression, anxiety or fear aggression.

    And as to talking, LOL..I am sure I have the only talking newfie. Katy has huge discussions with us and we encourage it when we want it. And Tessa has made a exercise out of talking when she does her therapy work. She loves to chat to people. I like my dogs to think for themselves...they have to when they do Water-Rescue work, tracking and Therapy work. They have to adjust to environments and think. But I do not humanise my dogs, they are dogs and I love them dearly. They are our best friends, but ultimately I am in charge and they know that and I think dogs love a good leader, it gives them a peaceful life where they do not have to worry and be anxious. Most anxiety in dogs stems from the dogs thinking they have to be in charge and that makes them worry about every little thing. Some people might disagree and I am fine with that. I know what is working with all the dogs I deal with.
    Like I said i look at the dog, observe him in his environment and how he deals with me and/or his handler.........After that, I see what suits the particular dog
    Last edited by newfsie; 10-13-2012 at 08:36 PM.
    Pets are forever

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfsie View Post
    I work with a lot of messed up dogs. i have two puppy farm dogs here right now, Koolies, they were really messed up too.
    I also have a rescue Koolie, such a sweet clever dog but with baggage from a rough start. I didnt know they puppy farmed koolies!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalacreek View Post
    I also have a rescue Koolie, such a sweet clever dog but with baggage from a rough start. I didnt know they puppy farmed koolies!

    Yes..koolie rescue landed with at least 32 puppies, i only have two. have only just been able to get them together with two of my newfie. Katy and Lukey, because the Koolies were aggressive to my newf's. So Annabelle is not with them, unless on lead...tessa was never an issue, because she is smaller. We are getting there. no longer food aggressive and they have a great recall now.
    Pets are forever

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by margoo View Post
    Negative punishment and positive reinforcement go together anyway as I understand it. I'm no expert by any means but how I understandt he four aspects of operant conditioning is... Good behaviour + treat = positive reinforcement. Negative behaviour + no treat = negative punishment.
    I like this idea, especially for puppies. I think there is a place for some more negative punishment in older dogs that know better! But puppies being trained should never be smacked, yanked, yelled at etc, they just don't understand and it's not their fault. I was very very against any sort of negative punishment for a long time but my 7 yo dog kept jumping up and nipping my horses noses and one day I was mixing feed buckets up with a wooden spoon and he did it right in front of me so I gave him a good smack on the bum with that wooden spoon, gosh I felt guilty, I almost cried but I was so mad and you know he has never done it again. After a couple of years or rewarding and treating him when he sits calmly near the horses, it never fixed it like that smack did. Hopefully I never have to do it again. But he knew he wasn't allowed and it taught him the best lesson.

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