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Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking over what we've trained and how, and what state these things are in. There are a couple of behaviors that just aren't anywhere near where we want them and we've been questioning why.

There are things we've made mistakes on, in a variety of ways. Perhaps faded a lure too quickly, before she completely caught on to what we wanted, so she might still be guessing; not giving treats for as long as we should have for particular behaviors; not been consistent enough, no matter how hard we try I know we've slipped up on stuff, and she's smart enough to try playing us like a slot machine; moved on to a new behavior too quickly.

So, how does one "fix" a behavior that isn't what it needs to be? Start training the behavior again from the very beginning? Including lures (which should fade VERY quickly)? I ask this because it is very hard to tell at what point or why a particular command isn't being followed through. Is backing up and treating/marking every right behavior the way to go? Should a new name be given to the "problem" commands so there isn't confusion over what it really means....who knows maybe she doesn't understand for whatever reason exactly what is wanted.

This all kind of falls into a second question. How long does it take to consider a particular command truly learned/conditioned. I don't mean the dog knows what you want when you give a command, I mean when the dog will dependably do the action when the command is given with or without treats and distractions. I'm trying to determine whether some commands take longer to become conditioned than others. Caeda is only 7 months, still a puppy, but I'm sure she could do better and our training is likely the reason she isn't. For first timers we're doing great, but we could be better too!

I'm trying to avoid examples here so I don't just get pointers on training one particular behavior, and I'm hoping if anybody else has a similar issue that they might find some benefit in it too, but if any of you have examples that can apply in general terms I would love to hear them.
 

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I know you're trying not to give examples, but I'm not sure I'm completely understanding your first question without one... If I'm reading it correctly, I would think that for any behavior training, if there is something off about the product of your training you should go back to the point where the results were solid. If the results were never solid, you should start from scratch, but otherwise there is usually a middle ground.
To use recall as a random example, if recall training has been going well but over the last few days the dog has been lagging a bit coming back ("But he still comes back eventually!" the owner might say), the person should decrease distance and steadily build up again.

As to your second question, I don't think there is a set answer. It might take a month to condition a command in the backyard, two weeks for it to 'work' on a running trail... But very few people get to the point where they can let their dogs off leash anywhere and know "My dog WILLl (insert command here)."
Soro is five and a half and his recall's pretty solid. But I STILL carry treats and will randomly reward him for simply sitting at times. Will he sit without the treats? Absolutely. I know that. I never ask him to sit in a situation where I'm not sure if he will. But training is something that happens for the lifetime of the dog and whereas you can be confident that a certain behavior is solid in a specific environment, you can never apply it across the board.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, Canyx lack of examples makes it hard, it was hard to explain without them. I've just used some on occasion and the whole thread becomes about an example (sometimes just a "what if"), not the question. I will give some though, one of the more important ones that isn't too bad, but definitely needs work.

"Give" Sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't, and if it is something she considers edible (ie; dead mouse), GULP no give (how on EARTH do you prepare for that! I'm not planning on getting a dead mouse just for practice lol). Shoes, no problem (usually), a towel....sometimes. Tug toy, sometimes, ONLY guaranteed if there is food handy or it is "training time" and she knows she might get a treat. This is anywhere in the house, or anywhere in the yard. I think it depends on her mood/drive level honestly. So in the give, do I go back to the beginning? Lure for the give? Call it something else?

A more basic example: Sit. I want her to sit when I tell her to, not wait for 10 seconds then decide to sit. Some days her butt smacks to the ground instantly, no treats or toys necessary (though I try to still give one for this when possible). Rare cases she'll look at me turn around and go grab a chew toy and lay down with it elsewhere. Most times she'll look at me, pause for maybe a second, and sit (is she unsure? is she considering grabbing that chew toy?). I don't think this requires going all the way back, but perhaps closer to the beginning than I think.

Her down is pretty awesome. I've used it several times in the house (though it hasn't always worked) to stop her in mid chase of a cat, or the laser. I've seen her skid as she starts her down from mid run. For some unknown reason, sit just isn't as good. NO idea why. A few other things have the same kinds of discrepancies, which is why I wonder if I should retrain for some.

Perhaps it all goes back to where her attention and focus is, and perhaps I should be training that. Does that start from the beginning? Is it done differently if its already been trained once before? This is just a couple of examples, I'm not satisfied with her "off", "up", "leave it" etc. None are horrible, but not quite solid, and this is just in and around the house. Her stay and self control in some situations is shockingly solid for her age though, and we didn't work that hard on it, though we did use R- (if I got it straight lol).

How old was Soro when you had NO doubt that when you said sit, it would happen?
 

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Oh gee.... I don't think there was ever a moment in time that I thought, "Eureka! Soro's sit is as good as it's gonna get!" I know it took months (maybe years) because when he was Caeda's age he had a jumping problem... Then we worked on proofing it during walks and around other dogs... Then we worked on emergency Sits when he's chasing something (that one is actually not "as good as I'd like" either so there you go :D). And really, we worked on all of those at once, up till this day. Typing this up RIGHT NOW made me realize I should probably work on emergency Sits. So I guess the answer is we're still at it! :D

I think the answers to all of the examples you gave follow the same two principles:
-Don't ask for a behavior if you're not sure you're going to get it
-If you NEED for a behavior to happen, change the situation so that the chances of it happening are higher

I don't mean for this thread to focus on examples either, but I'm going to use one here ;)
For "Give," let's assume the dog knows the gist of it... You've shoved treats under it's nose and it knows "Give" = 'drop thing in mouth and I get treat.' But realistically, the dog's probably going to grab something it's not supposed to one day... A chicken bone, a sock...
Let's say the dog grabs a chicken bone. You shout "GIVE!" and because this theoretical dog hasn't been trained up to that level yet, it instead bolts the bone down as fast as it can. Let's say you don't say anything and instead grab the dog and attempt to pry its mouth open. It bolts down the bone. Let's say you bring out the liver treats and wave it in front of the dog's face. It bolts down the bone as fast as it can so it can get to the treats.
"Don't ask for a behavior if you're not sure you're gong to get it" applies here because the in this situation, chances are the bone was going to go down no matter what. The best thing to do would be to let the dog take its time crunching it, and not 'ruining' the Give command, because that's what happens each time you ask the dog to do something and it doesn't.

To use socks as an example for my second point "If you NEED for a behavior to happen, change the situation so that the chances of it happening are higher"...
Dog has sock. In the current situation, the owner might not be sure if the dog will listen to Give. The situation needs to change so that the owner KNOWS the dog will Give the sock. Solution: shove a high value treat under its nose, reward for Give, get the sock. Because in this case, the lure is not ready to be phased out yet. If the dog Gives perfectly during training sessions, but not in 'real life,' that's because the situation has changed (outside of training session) and the chances of the behavior changing has suddenly decreased. So maybe outside of training sessions the owner needs to go back to using lures.

The same theory applies to anything. For all of the examples you listed, it might be the case that you need to go back to lures *in certain situations* to get those immediate Sits, to get her to give you whatever is in her mouth, whatever the behavior you're trying to get is. Or it might be the case that you shouldn't be asking certain commands from her in certain situations.

I hope this sort-of answers your question? I got sidetracked while writing this so let me know if it doesn't :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, sort of answers my question. You got sidetracked but in a very useful way so I thought about things in a particular perspective.
I think I know what is going on.

In some circumstances and with some commands she is doing far better than we have had any right to expect.....driving up our expectations for other things. For example I just took her out to go to the bathroom, brought her in, told her to sit on the mat inside. Told her to stay while I went to the counter and grabbed some treats. I had the treats and a towel, I crouched down and she stuck her right paw out automatically, chewed a treat while I wiped her foot, I said "left paw" she stuck it out and I continued on cleaning her muddy paws. She didn't move until I released her. And speaking of potty stuff, she hasn't had an accident in months and she has free roam of the livingroom/kitchen most of the time now, including when we are out or sleeping. Nothing has been destroyed other than one of her chew toys. She will sit in a stay while the door is open, the cat is wandering in front of her and we're shining the laser dot in front of her, or wiggling her tug rope. Pretty good for 7 months I think. Hard to get through my head that if she'll do that I can't expect the same commands to come so easily in other situations, even if they seem very similar, they aren't from a puppy point of view.

On the other hand, step out the door and she is WAY more difficult (though improving). We've given commands outside that she has done TONS of times inside and she doesn't, then we repeat it, a tiny bit louder and she does it. She honestly doesn't hear us sometimes. FOCUS! She has SO little focus on us outside, even in our yard, and beyond that it is worse. We need to use WAY more high value treats outside and work on her focus on us outside a lot more so she might actually hear us. The high value treats are a bit of an issue, a lot of the time outside she doesn't care for treats at ALL, the only thing that works outside is the laser, and it only works in the dark :p. It might actually mean literal baby steps out from the front door. Attention and commands every couple of feet, plus some mindbogglingly good treats for those times that the neighbor's dog saunters over.

There it is, back to some luring, and excessive reinforcement for some of the "problem" commands plus some major focus exercises outside.
Thank you, very much helped me wrap my head around things :D I'm off to cook up another batch of treats so we don't run out...
 

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If you give the sit command and the dog just looks at you and then lies down with a toy and ignores you, you are allowing her to reinforce herself for disobedience. If you're going to give a command and the dog isn't yet 99% reliable (which is all you can hope for) you need to be in a position to enforce it. So you don't ask a dog with a sloppy sit to sit from 20 metres away. The dog can then do whatever it wants, and you just lost a point.

If you're going to give a command, you need to be able to stop the dog from wandering off and ignoring you. This can mean having a leash on her, and not letting her leave until she has sat, then when she does sit, release her to go and do what she wanted, such as lying down with a toy. Or it can mean being really close to her when you ask her, and if she doesn't do it you grab her collar so she can't leave. Wait her out until she sits, then release her to go and play.

If she sits quickly, release her quickly and reward quickly. If she takes 10 seconds to sit, make her sit for at least 10 seconds before releasing her. It's ok to hold her in the sit to prevent her getting up. No reward for slow sits, other than the release for sitting for 10 seconds.

And as for the 'give', you don't ask her to give things you know she usually won't. If you go back to basics and work on the behaviour a lot until it's a reflex whenever you say 'give' she just does it, then you can ask her to give something of higher value. If you've always rewarded her either with something of higher value, or by giving back the object, she will assume the same rule applies to a dead mouse. And don't ask her to give unless you're prepared to pry it out of her mouth if she doesn't do it. I've had to pry dead fish out of Obi's mouth. I was planning on giving it back to him, because it was just a little dried up one, but when he refused to drop it on cue he lost it, and didn't get to have it at all.
 

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That's what I do, I never ask mine any command unless I am sure I can make it happen, about 90% of the time it does happen, but if it doesn't I make sure im always in a position to make it happen.
 

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That's what I do, I never ask mine any command unless I am sure I can make it happen, about 90% of the time it does happen, but if it doesn't I make sure im always in a position to make it happen.
This is almost exactly what I was going to say, with only a couple differences. To me, it's not important that I am capable of "making" it happen, but I don't (okay, fine, try not to) ask for any behavior unless I'm fairly certain that the dog will comply, or I've got a plan ready for what to do if the dog doesn't. Sometimes it's in a training session and I have to go "huh, why didn't that work?" and there's no penalty. Sometimes it's a "quiet" command that gets a plaintive bark and I have to be prepared to tell the dog "sorry, not good enough" and institute a time out or some other way to remove reinforcement. So, for me, it's not about "making it happen" if the dog doesn't do it, it's about making sure the dog doesn't get reinforced for not doing it.

That doesn't always happen, though, especially with fledgling leave-its, when the dog has not yet learned or developed the self-control to know that leaving the deadest, smelliest, rotting-est thing EVER alone can get something better, and it's really hard to teach those things in the moment.

When a dog doesn't respond in the way you want, you learn really valuable training information. Either the dog is receiving greater reinforcement for doing something other than what you want, or the dog is not understanding the criteria you've set for the behavior you want. Or both.

One of the things that I, personally, have struggled the most with (and honestly still do) is naming behaviors too early. I name imperfect sits or downs or nose touches, and then it is MUCH harder to convince the dog that no, sit doesn't mean walk to the front of me and sit, it actually means wherever you are, put your butt on the ground. I name things before a dog has a reliable and tested understanding of the behavior, which comes back to bite me.

As far as fixing imperfect behaviors goes, that depends on how "poisoned" the cue is, I think. If "come" now means "run away, because your fun is about to end" to the dog, and it's been continually reinforced by a rousing game of chase, it's much easier to start over from the beginning with a different word. If it doesn't have as strong of a reinforcement history, it's probably a lot easier to go back to the point of time where you were getting what you wanted (i.e. lower expectations).

As far as how long it takes for a behavior to become learned... I have no idea! From experience, I know it's a different amount time for different behaviors for different dogs. I don't think my training methods have changed substantially in the last few months, and I've taught basic behaviors to 4 dogs in that time. One learned sit like a pro but was really confused about down and "sit pretty". One was like, "sorry, you want my butt to go where?" but got the "LOOK I CAN PUT MY BELLY ON THE GRASS" way faster than that first dog. Overall, I thought the first dog was smarter, but down just didn't click with him. He was also very, very overstimulated outside (like, I think, Caeda), and I didn't have him long enough to get perfect leash manners. I got him to be excellent on a gentle leader, and he heeled/loose leash walked really well in the backyard and the house, but as soon as the front door/back gate opened... boom. All self control vanished, and out came the dog that MUST. SMELL. ALL THE THINGS.

I wish I'd been able to keep him longer, because I think he would have taught me many valuable training lessons, but a family was interested in him and it probably would have been selfish to keep him... plus I was getting really attached.

Not that I ever go off on tangents or anything.
 

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Exactly, that's what I do when mine are barking, I think "why are they barking?" we just moved to a new more "urbanized" place next to a busy rd with neighbors, Izze is used to very rual places with no neighbors for miles so when she sees/hears them she precives them as a threat & thus barks, letting me know, I know some ppl... OH included wouldn't understand why im letting my dog "be bad" but its better I let het figure it out for herself then repremanding her or commanding her for it & either A) having the command fail & thus command loses its value or B) having her feel bad about herself & not warn-bark at ALL.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's what I do, I never ask mine any command unless I am sure I can make it happen, about 90% of the time it does happen, but if it doesn't I make sure im always in a position to make it happen.
ah hah, and here we go....this starts verging on the issue of corrections now doesn't it? Something that always turns into a hot topic. Of course it is up to the individual owner/trainer to decide how to "make it happen"? Does it mean, in the example of a sit, pushing the butt down? A pop on a prong, a stim on an e collar? She doesn't care that I've removed the opportunity for a treat unless she sees the treat ahead of time. Does it mean stepping back to luring? Caeda has already started pulling the "Show me the treats!" routine for some things. I've discovered with SOME things I can clear my throat or say "Excuse me" in a particular tone and she will correct, like if she goes into a down instead of a sit, or if she doesn't "off" when she is sniffing the counter. I still make her to something a little extra for the treat, but for some unknown reason she seems to get it when I give her "the tone" or the throat clearing. Of course it doesn't work for everything!

Cricketloops, I think we have fallen into the same trap as you: naming it too early and poisoning the cue. Most specifically with the "give" a VERY poisoned cue I think. This is the one I'm thinking would be the most beneficial to go back to the beginning and rename (perhaps "out" or "drop it") It has far too often turned into a tugging match or opening her jaws to get something that I don't think the meaning is clear. Maybe just back up a bit on leave it though. It occurs to me that my cat brings SO many mice in and kills them, that I probably could train "leave it" with an actual dead mouse, inside and out! Kinda gross and bizarre, but the resources are there lol, at least until winter really kicks in.

Yes, Caeda is like the dog you mention she HAS to smell EVERY blade of grass every time we step out lol. It makes a bit difficult to train ANYTHING outside, our biggest fault there is that we've spent more time training commands outside (with some success mind you) instead of training for focus and attention on us outside first. There is somewhere we have to go back to the beginning with as well and I am positive it will result in improving all commands outside, especially loose leash walking. She can heel at a trot or a turtles pace walk inside, outside it starts as a brisk walk and as she slowly loses her control she increases her pace then starts bolting willy-nilly to sniff. I'm thinking for that I'll need to time how long it takes for her to start losing her control and knock a couple of minutes off. We do need to spend some time socializing her some more, but to do that we need a bit better general control over her.

Great stuff in your post cricketloops, and everybody else! I'm identifying lots of problems that we have had thanks to this thread, and I'm starting to narrow down how to fix some of them. Some of it is Caeda, and some of it is us. Actually, all of it is us if you include us mis-reading Caeda, overestimating her on some commands, forgetting that she IS a teenager and prone to be a brat lol.
 

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ah hah, and here we go....this starts verging on the issue of corrections now doesn't it? Something that always turns into a hot topic. Of course it is up to the individual owner/trainer to decide how to "make it happen"? Does it mean, in the example of a sit, pushing the butt down? A pop on a prong, a stim on an e collar? She doesn't care that I've removed the opportunity for a treat unless she sees the treat ahead of time. Does it mean stepping back to luring? Caeda has already started pulling the "Show me the treats!" routine for some things.
Actually, I don't think this has anything to do with corrections at all. Corrections are more for behaviors you don't want. Whereas when you're trying to teach a command, there really shouldn't be anything to correct because you're building up from nothing.
For your Sit example here, I would say that you shouldn't even ask for a sit if you have to push her butt down or resort to other physical means. Similarly, in situations where you have to use "Excuse Me" or clear your throat for the behavior to work, you are sort of 'poisoning' your command because what she is learning is "I don't have to sit when she says "Sit".... But I'll do it if she says "SitExcuseMe" or "Sit*ahem*"
If she's only working for treats, then you still need the lure in some cases. When fading out the lure, you need to move back a few steps and start in the place where she was responding best WITH treats. Don't fade out the lure in a place where she wasn't already reliable with the treats, because it probably won't work without treats.
 

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I agree with Canyx in practice. However, 'correction' gets into semantic issues. I think the 'instructive reprimand' as Ian Dunbar has called it, is a form of non-aversive correction ... just like repeatedly telling your teenager to pick up their clothes (without making a threat).

For the most part, I believe that behaviors can fade or get sloppy over time. So, without using a specific example, yes, you start at the beginning, but make progress quickly, rewarding only for more precise behavior.

On the other hand, my dog is 11 yo and has a soft mouth. Sometimes, I feed him some kibble by hand, as I prepare the other ingredients (carrots...). Every once in a while, he'll chomp my fingernail, rather than lipping the food. I will yelp very softly, and he'll be careful. What's interesting is that there are no repercussions - I don't stop feeding him, I don't threaten him, no aversive P+ as far as I can see - but he chooses to be careful. So by strict definition, I believe that the advisement feedback or instructive reprimand 'yelp' is really P+, because it stops the behavior.
 

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Yes, Caeda is like the dog you mention she HAS to smell EVERY blade of grass every time we step out lol.
I don't have time to read through the whole thread BUT I would be using this to my advantage.

Put sniffing on cue. Kaki has 'sniff, sniff' as a release specifically for sniffing. She has other context specific releases as well.
Work on that focus in the house and then take it to the porch and not a step farther. Practice for 10-15 seconds before releasing her to sniff on a line. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
 

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ah hah, and here we go....this starts verging on the issue of corrections now doesn't it? Something that always turns into a hot topic. Of course it is up to the individual owner/trainer to decide how to "make it happen"? Does it mean, in the example of a sit, pushing the butt down? A pop on a prong, a stim on an e collar? She doesn't care that I've removed the opportunity for a treat unless she sees the treat ahead of time. Does it mean stepping back to luring? Caeda has already started pulling the "Show me the treats!" routine for some things. l.
If I am pretty sure the dog understands the behavior and I don't get the response, I show the dog the treat. THEN I eat it (or pretend to if it is something gross,) or feed it to another dog. The thing about pups (or any dog for that matter) is that they will try different things to see what your criteria is. You could look at this in a negative way (stubborn or defiant) or you can look at it as asking a question. "What, exactly, are you reinforcing? Will this work for ya?" On most behaviors I do an 80% test. Count out ten treats. Feed for each correct response. Put the treat on the counter or in a pocket for an incorrect response. I ask for the behavior from different positions - standing, sitting, turned away, in front, next to the dog, with my face covered, so I am sure the dog is responding to the verbal, not something I'm unintentionally doing with my body or face. At the end of 10 reps, how many treats do you have left? If it is three or more, you need more work. If it is two or less, you can be reasonably sure that the dog understands the behavior IN THAT ENVIRONMENT. My dog may be at 100% compliance in the kitchen, 70% walking through the neighborhood and 30% at Petsmart on a Saturday afternoon. If your dog can only give you 30% in a situation, it's hardly fair to expect 100% just because she can do that in a completely different, easier situation.
 

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I agree with Canyx in practice. However, 'correction' gets into semantic issues. I think the 'instructive reprimand' as Ian Dunbar has called it, is a form of non-aversive correction ... just like repeatedly telling your teenager to pick up their clothes (without making a threat).
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Repeatedly telling a teenager to pick up their clothes is generally a pretty ineffective strategy. I've seen Dunbar do his "instructive reprimand" thing in person, and I can guarantee you that my dogs (and probably most dogs who aren't used to being yelled at) would take it as an aversive or threat. And a dog who was used to being yelled at or nagged would probably pay it about as much mind as that teenager you are nagging about the dirty socks.
 

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Repeatedly telling a teenager to pick up their clothes is generally a pretty ineffective strategy. I've seen Dunbar do his "instructive reprimand" thing in person, and I can guarantee you that my dogs (and probably most dogs who aren't used to being yelled at) would take it as an aversive or threat. And a dog who was used to being yelled at or nagged would probably pay it about as much mind as that teenager you are nagging about the dirty socks.
Agreed. I remember reading it or something along these lines in his book and it struck me because I don't plenty of dogs that would find it aversive.
Caeda might not. I don't know her and the only swissie I've ever worked with was anything but sensitive.
 

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Greater Swiss, this is a good post and good thread!
My thoughts:
Your pup is seven months old. Knows the stuff inside with some distraction (providing no toys around etc) and "kinda" responds outside. I think a small part of this is expectations on your part..that in certain situations, where Caeda has difficulty focusing, your expectations are too high for the amount of proofing/generalizing that has been done. This is a really common thing...they do something "perfectly" under some situations so we have an assumption that they will do so in every situation. Sadly, this sets the dog up to fail and the owner up to blame the dog (not saying you are doing this though! I mean "generally".)

I think where people get messed up in their training protocols is in working the three D's. Distance, Duration and Distractions. The general rule, especially for young or "green" dogs is that if you increase ONE of the three D's that the other two must drop in difficulty. For example: Stays. You teach duration with handler not moving. Then when you start to build distance (ie handler moves away from dog one foot) the time (say you had ten seconds) drops back down to two seconds and is built back up. You don't increase more than one of the D's at a time. When you go from inside the house "sit" to outside of the house "sit" you have increased your distractions and so your expectation on how quickly that sit happens needs to drop until you are at least getting a consistent sit on cue..THEN you start only rewarding the FAST ones.

Another example of handler error: One of mine, in fact, that I use as an example for TIMING errors. I was doing the lat game with Cracker inside and then started using it at the park on walks. She reacts to sudden environmental changes, especially people "appearing' suddenly..she looks, runs up and barks at them. My timing issue came into play when I was late on the click, she ended up learning a behaviour chain...run up to man, BARK, turn and run back to me, get a treat. The only good thing about this is that the run up and bark thing CHANGED from a frightened bark to a much less stressed bark...pavlov is always on your shoulder..lol. As soon as I realized the issue with the training was ME and not my dog not getting it, I worked more on my timing and the behaviour chain (and the stranger barking) happens way way less than it did.
 

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I see nothing wrong with using a MILD aversive in training, such as positioning the dog if it refused to sit. For a puppy I probably wouldn't, because I would strive to keep training as fun as possible, and I wouldn't trust that a puppy really knows what 'sit' and 'down' means. For a puppy I would just prevent self-reinforcement if it doesn't listen.

But for my dogs that are know 15 months and 2.5 years, I know they know what these things means, and especially Obi tends to struggle with impulse control and is very nose driven, and "forgets" what sit means if he's following a scent. For him I'm going to physically stop him from following the scent either with the leash or by grabbing him if he doesn't stop and sit. I will then ask him to sit again, and he then usually will. He knows what sit means. He's been trained pretty much every day for his whole life, and I know that a bush trail with no other people or dogs around is not too distracting for him. If he still doesn't sit, I will apply upwards pressure on the collar to make him sit.

And if I have to do that, he has to sit for a while before I'll release him to go and sniff again. If he sat quickly I'll release him quickly.

Trial and error learning is the least effective way to train a dog. You want errorless learning, which means setting the dog up so he can't possibly fail. It's the fastest way to train a dog. For me that means I make him sit if he doesn't do it. He can't fail, he will sit no matter what.

Also, I used to be all hands-off and thought hands-on training is old-fashioned and silly etc. But after seeing the studies and seeing it in practice, I now realise that hands-on learning has a lot going for it. Firstly, it incorporates handling exercises into training, meaning the dog gets more used to being handled and you have to less of the separate handling exercises to get the same result. They learn "relaxed compliance". Secondly, a dog that never experiences anything aversive in its life will be psychologically stunted. Seriously. It's like a kid who grows up never experiencing any stress or difficult situations at all, and never learns to deal with anything stressful. Then at 18-19 real life hits them and takes them down, because they can't handle it. Teaching dogs to deal with stress is part of their development.
 

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For me that means I make him sit if he doesn't do it. He can't fail, he will sit no matter what.
All well and fine if you have little bitty dogs. What do you suggest someone do if they have a big dog they can't physically MAKE sit?

Aslo, how do you teach the dog to deal with stress? Just doing stressful things isn't going to teach them how to deal with it. . .how do you teach a dog coping skills?
 

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Also, I used to be all hands-off and thought hands-on training is old-fashioned and silly etc. But after seeing the studies and seeing it in practice, I now realise that hands-on learning has a lot going for it. Firstly, it incorporates handling exercises into training, meaning the dog gets more used to being handled and you have to less of the separate handling exercises to get the same result. They learn "relaxed compliance". Secondly, a dog that never experiences anything aversive in its life will be psychologically stunted. Seriously. It's like a kid who grows up never experiencing any stress or difficult situations at all, and never learns to deal with anything stressful. Then at 18-19 real life hits them and takes them down, because they can't handle it. Teaching dogs to deal with stress is part of their development.
Wow. Really? It incorporates handling exercises into training? That, my friend is disingenous. It is also IMPOSSIBLE to never experience stress, to imply that we need to add more to teach the dog to "handle it" better by using an aversive for something as freakin simple as a SIT is BS. That's just making excuses.
 
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