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Thread: Support for reward based training (+/- R)

  1. #1
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    Default Support for reward based training (+/- R)

    Hi all

    Victoria Stillwell shared a link about reward based training (training based on giving or withholding a reward like a treat or praise) compared with aversive based training (training based on punishing undesirable behaviour with something unpleasant - like a yank on a neck chain - and encouraging desirable behaviour by releasing the pressure on the neck)...

    which one is better for the dog's stress levels and the dog-owner bond?
    Companion Animal Psychology: Dog Training, Animal Welfare, and the Human-Canine Relationship

    I've been told often and long by some dog trainers who like to use all four quadrants in their training - which I respect for trainers with excellent mechanics and timing - but not for beginners or unco people like me...
    that using tools like e-collar and prong collar has less stress (stress chemicals in the blood) than reward based training.

    I think an inconsistent trainer is stressful for a dog - because it's harder for them to figure out what to do. But I'm sure we've all seen the depressed looking dogs with their heads down at some dog clubs vs the happy heads and tails up excited dogs that have been reward trained (praise, games, toys and food).

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    wait what... less stress from e-collar or prong... vs reward....
    like to see that study... since when does good things bring on stress?
    basic reward training is good things come when do it right, when not... nothing happens?

    simple test hyacinth, use a e-collar or prong collar on yourself , then try giving a treat to yourself... easy to know which one going to stress you out more.
    especially if you give the control to someone else that don't speak same language as you...

    but i guess you could be right for inconsistent trainer.. but stress would come from frustration from not being able to work out what the handler wants. but i don't believe it would cause more stress than a electric shock or chocking a pinching of skin all around neck. if both where inconsistent trainers. then i'm sure the E-collar and prong collar would be far worse.
    and in the link you gave, i read hole thing.. some bits more than once, and nothing in there about group R+ (positive method) having any stress, and would look at owners much more... than group R- (negative group) and most in group R- from owner saying Sit, because that's where the neg reinforcement came when they didn't do it at start of test. and must of had good timing to make the word Sit seem so bad and cause stress.
    its like going to a pub and looking at someone and they take it the wrong way and hurt you.. you would be less likely to look at them again because of outcome previously.
    Humans might be the top of food chain and smart... but we are all slaves to conditioning from day 1. takes a lot of experience and understanding to snap out of it and get some freedom in life. same go's for dogs.
    but they have a lot more trouble given there lives are controlled by there owners to a much higher degree than human lives are.

    want to know the best way to raise a great dog that will love and respect you for life?
    well not going to give you the answer, that wouldn't be fun.... but i'll give you a clue to get you thinking.
    what would you do..... if you where the dog, and they where the human that control's every aspect of your life?
    lets say dog loooves to use negative only... so put a e-collar (shock collar for thos who dont know) on you.
    dog says jump... you have to jump no questions asked when they say it, first time or suffer the zap every time you don't.

    rest is upto you... good luck...

  3. #3
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    I must admit, that i struggle to read non psychologists loose interpretations of applied behavioural analysis. Including Victoria Stockwell.
    Its littered with errors.
    It takes no account of the human on the other end of the lead's agenda, thinking errors, motivations, avoidance, self unawareness.

    eg. a long time ago, i ran a GSD obedience class. A well attended class of 20 dog/human pairs.
    What i observed.
    Folks tended to come along at the moment their gorgeous well training puppy, became a teenager.
    Often, the human was male
    Often the male was larger framed than your average bear
    Often the dog was highly reactive on entering training
    Over reacting was being strongly reinforced by human
    The human was over reacting too
    When the children of the human attended club days, similar erroneous behavioural management skills were applied to the children.

    Above is a list of variables, that require a skilled training to re educate. I never managed this in a class situation. This i found had to be done 1:1.
    These variables need addressing, before a training the dog class begins in a ideal world.

    But how many of us come along stating, i have a dog, who ive trained to behave badly really well. Because i am unable to cope with stress, i am a couch potatoe who wont put in the exercise element of animal husbandry because i have a full time job, 2 kids, a demanding partner, and a home to run. ?

    So much of dog training is human training. The dog is friggin way smarter than i or you are skilled at training dogs. As dogs are mindful, paying attention in a particular way, here and now. Humans are not naturally capable of the same mindfulness.

    I just cant do this thread on popcorn psychology from Victoria or other guru's, who know very little regarding behaviour change, operant conditioning and all 4 quadrants of, biopsychosocial model of animal behavioural change process. Neurotransmission in behavioural change, the list goes on and on and on.

    You may have the best animal behaviourist in the world, but all you give her to work with, is you.
    With all your foiboils and ignorance, and predjudice, and unhelpful behaviours, another list that goes on and on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    I must admit, that i struggle to read non psychologists loose interpretations of applied behavioural analysis. Including Victoria Stockwell.
    So much of dog training is human training. The dog is friggin way smarter than i or you are skilled at training dogs. As dogs are mindful, paying attention in a particular way, here and now. Humans are not naturally capable of the same mindfulness.
    nailed it in one bernie.
    everyone is generally conditioned to think they are way smarter than a dog... cause we are humans the smartest things on earth..... ha... dumbest more like it.
    you try teaching a puppy class... 2 seconds dog knows it. 30min later the human still scratching there head... how did u do that.. what.. how... errrr.....

    everyone generally thinks bigger brain means there smarter..... must be its what we all been told....
    yeah well if i was to say at a whim.. name smartest person in history.. most would say "albert einstein" , well do some reading, i read somewhere that after he died scientists examined his brain.... what did they find.. WOW its was fare bit smaller than average...
    so traditional thinking that bigger brain means smarter... well guess its wrong... cause the dog out smarts most people most of the time!
    how did humans get so far... well we got hands so can build things.... dogs haven't so lucky to evolve a pair of hands to be able to do much, but hey they got the dumb humans giving them everything they need most of the time.... just give them the sad puppy look and watch them melt in your paw!!!.....
    Also most people wont take the time out to learn a different language.. let alone an animals...

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    Reading through the study is pretty much what I have observed with my dogs. I switched to reward based training some years ago and my dogs love it. They love training. I think the most important thing as the article suggests is the ability to establish eye contact with your dog and the development of trust based on mutual enjoyment of working together. My dogs understand that good things will be rewarded and things I dont want will not be rewarded. They work very hard to give me the behaviours I want.

    I do on occassion use postive punishment although never when training for dog sports. My dogs understand though I only do this when they are very naughty (like chasing kangaroos) so they take it on the chin. They also understand the word no.

    I generally train without a collar and have never felt the need to use an aversive one. I have been told by people who understand their use that yanking and cranking with these collars is a totally innapropriate use of them and a happy dog can be achieved if they are used correctly.

    Humans I agree are a big variable in training. I take a really big interest now in technique because I compete with my dogs so need to really try and understand how to try and get the best performance out of my dogs as you need dogs that are willing to give their all for you under stressful conditions.

    Before I was even aware about all this training technique, the best way of having a well behaved dog was to enjoy the dog and build a relationship, spend plenty of time interacting with the dog. Teach the dog basic commands and establishing ground rules. I dont really remember how I did all this it just seemed to happen. Mind you I always had super intellegent herding breeds that seemed born to thrive when you expended the effort to interact with them in a positive way.

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    Kalacreek - Very true you need to spend time and bring them up to trust you through time spent building that trust and friendship. to many people just get a dog spend no time to understand them on any kind of level other than... its an animal, i'm way smarter and it will just do everything i say when i want it too... only to sit there dumb founded when this non-intelligent robot like thing isn't doing anything and is expressing free will and doing its own thing... and the human gets frustrated and angry when they don't have a conditioned response to how to deal with it..... poor monkey

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    The only reason I have for owning a dog is because I love the relationship I have with my dogs. I love how smart, expressive and fun they are to have around. I love spending time with my dogs and the rewards it brings when at the end of the day they want nothing more than to stretch out close to you or the huge welcome when you have been gone for the day. The absolute joy they have for going on a long walk with you. I cant think why else you would own a dog if it were not to spend time and enjoy tbuilding the relationship with your dog. I have multiple dogs and I enjoy each one. Even as a kid in a busy family the dogs were always spent time with and included in as many activities as possible.

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    totally agree Kalacreek.
    as the old saying go's, "A dog is for life"
    not many people understand that or respect the fact they hold there dogs entire life in there hands from day one to the end.
    If all humans where made to put themselves in there paws for a week... how many would change for the better and learn a thing or two about respecting another life than there own, and might not take them for granted.
    As a race all humans have rights and freedoms, where animals are stripped of such things being seen as lesser life form and a commodity or possession of sorts.
    even some of the biggest organisations claim to love and care for animals, when behind the scenes and rules of many are opposite.
    take some animal extremest's who claim to understand animals and go on a crusade to "save" them or "help", and can generally spot a mile away they have no clue or even understand a thing about what they claim to care for.
    heck i've met people who claim to understand animals ect who work for certain groups.. but you watch them, and its clearly personally motivated and don't really care to give anyone the time of day, cause they are so hell bent on a power trip they refuse to understand anything other than doing a job and get paid with heart of stone with no empathy for the animals or the people who care for them.

    end rant..

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    couch potato - with badly behaved dog?

    I do most of my training from the couch in front of the tv... gawd I'm slack.

    She's fairly good. Best dog at our local park. 2nd best behaved at the beach except when the chicken is being handed out and then she and the other obedience titled dog - are the worst behaved - because the chicken lady rewards the naughty behaviour...

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    Ive seen some awesome clicker training on youtube from a guy that's wheelchair bound. I meant lazy shit, rather than literally on a sofa.

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