Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A forum member suggested I use Nothing in Life is Free for my dogs and I had some questions about the practical implementation. Namely, what makes a trick/task "enough"? The post suggests making the dog lie down before throwing, is that before each throw or the start of the game? If it's between each throw, what if the dog does another trick like dropping the ball in the throwers hand? If a dog brings a rope to play tug, is that enough of a task or should I insist she sits first? And does it count if a dog responds to a command given to another dog?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,977 Posts
A forum member suggested I use Nothing in Life is Free for my dogs and I had some questions about the practical implementation. Namely, what makes a trick/task "enough"?
Whatever you want. The idea is just to have the dog offer/do something before getting something he'll find rewarding/wants to do at that moment.

The post suggests making the dog lie down before throwing, is that before each throw or the start of the game? If it's between each throw, what if the dog does another trick like dropping the ball in the throwers hand?
Personally, I'd do the lie down before the game starts. If the dog puts the ball in my hand, and I'm not training a "give" cue, then I'm taking that, praising it and throwing him the ball again.

If a dog brings a rope to play tug, is that enough of a task or should I insist she sits first? And does it count if a dog responds to a command given to another dog?
It would be enough for me, but I like a more independent "I want to play tug so I need to get this object so we can play" mindset out of Wally.

If you've trained that, even indirectly, and the dog offers that behavior, to me it's enough. You didn't just go get the toy and played. The dog put out effort, so, to me, it's no longer "free". If you'd like a sit to go with it, nothing wrong with having her sit. Maybe a little while later, she'll get the toy, come to you, and add a sit at the end.

Basically, it's a protocol that's up to you what's "enough". There's no pat answer, imo.

As far as the multiple dog - I haven't been graced with taking care of another dog, but my gut would say, probably not. If you want Dog B to do something and your interaction is with Dog B alone - what Dog A does isn't a factor, unless you want BOTH dogs to do it. Then I would reward/give Dog A whatever. Might even teach Dog B what to do (dogs can learn this way).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,927 Posts
I agree with KB, it is very much up to you, and it depends on your dog.
Caeda has had a hard time with "give" in the past (and still a little bit now). If she will give the ball freely with at least minimal chewing, drop it into my hand, we'll play more fetch. Same with tug, if she gives the tug toy fairly easily I'll tug again (though in tug I usually make her sit otherwise she stays ramped up and is more likely to nip my hand by accident).
Some people don't allow tIheir dog on the couch. We do. The NILIF rule is no jumping on people. If she wanders over to a free spot on the couch, hops up and doesn't romp and stomp on us....cool, she can stay. If she romps she doesn't get to be on the couch. If she wants to climb on us (or jump on us) it is invite only (she knows the command "up"). In some cases all I want out of her is polite behaviour (especially if it is something she's really excited about, being polite can be hard!).
We make her "talk" for her kong, but until she knew that one fairly well we only asked her to sit. If I've got something really awesome and she isn't too hyper she has to lay on her side for it (that one is harder for her).
See what I mean....no distinct answer, depends on what your dog can do and what you want. I had the same questions and issues as you when I started NILIF then I realized that I kind of make my own rules and it went well from there :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
I'm just starting Mercy on NILIF and have already started to notice a difference. I've never tried it before, because I always thought of it as "too strict", but you do have a lot of leeway. At the moment, I'm just requiring a sit/stay before she gets her food or goes outside. I've also implemented an "invitation only" policy for the couch and bed.

Good luck, it's not as hard as you probably think it is!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
A forum member suggested I use Nothing in Life is Free for my dogs and I had some questions about the practical implementation. Namely, what makes a trick/task "enough"?
The principle behind NILIF is that a dog must work before getting what it wants. So what you are asking is "How much work is enough work?". And that obviously depends on the dog and the circumstances.

For example, a very food motivated dog may be required to wait for a time in a sit or in a down in sight of his or her full food bowl. That might be enough 'work' for that particular dog. On the other hand, for a dog that isn't as food motivated, it would not be.

The post suggests making the dog lie down before throwing, is that before each throw or the start of the game?
Before you start any activitiy with your dog (not only a fetching game) he/she should be waiting quietly - generally in a sit or a down position - while you assemble all the activity "utensils". Not jumping around out of control or making a pest of himself. That is NILIF.

The other behavior - between fetches - seems to me to be more in the way of training the activity rather than in the category of NILIF.

Admittedly, there is often no bright line between the two, but that is my impression.

If it's between each throw, what if the dog does another trick like dropping the ball in the throwers hand?
This is training. One of the keys in training is that you generally don't reward behavior that you don't want or expect.

However, a 'give in hand' behavior is actually something that you probably do want to teach eventually, so if your dog is offering it on his own, you might want to adjust your expectations.


If a dog brings a rope to play tug, is that enough of a task or should I insist she sits first?
Generally speaking, I would require a 'position' first - such as a sit or a down.

And does it count if a dog responds to a command given to another dog?
if the command was clearly for another dog - say, it was prefaced by another dog's name or given by another person to their dog - I would not reward this. A dog should be able to settle and wait his turn while another dog is working. That is a form of NILIF.

However, if you think there may have been some confusion involved, this would probably be the time to review the whole training situation. Confusion is never a good thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,977 Posts
Before you start any activitiy with your dog (not only a fetching game) he/she should be waiting quietly - generally in a sit or a down position - while you assemble all the activity "utensils". Not jumping around out of control or making a pest of himself. That is NILIF.

The other behavior - between fetches - seems to me to be more in the way of training the activity rather than in the category of NILIF.

Admittedly, there is often no bright line between the two, but that is my impression.
NILIF is training. It uses operant conditioning. You are conditioning a calm behavior and showing him that's what get him the game (+R). Rowdy/wild/unwanted activity causes the game/objects to go away (-P).

Just like you are teaching that food-lover dog that sitting in front of the bowl for a minute gets him the food (+R). Diving at it even before you put it down or jumping around at it, etc, makes the food go away (-P).

If you're creating/reinforcing/punishing/modifying/redirecting/honing behavior, you're training, and you're doing at least some of those with NILIF.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
NILIF is training. It uses operant conditioning. You are conditioning a calm behavior and showing him that's what get him the game (+R). Rowdy/wild/unwanted activity causes the game/objects to go away (-P).

.
Learning is learning - it all uses learning theory.

I agree that NILIF is a form of learning, so it would of course use the same learning theory as any other form. I just prefer to use the term training more for teaching (and learning) a specifically defined activity, rather than a generalized behavior. It's just a distinction to keep things straight and non-confusing. If you don't like the distinction, don't use it.


And as I said, there may not be a bright line difference in some cases. When we use the term "pet training" - a pretty common expression in the dog training world - are we talking about teaching generalized behaviors or are we training specific activities? Probably a bit of both.

In any case, the OP seemed to be just beginning in all of this - so I didn't want to start throwing around learning theory terminology and jargon in a thread with someone who was just starting out. Just everyday terms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the answers, you've given me a lot to think about. There's quite a bit I've already been doing - sitting and waiting before eating, sitting calmly before getting the leash or collar, etc - but there's still more I can do.

I am still wondering how to do some things with my new dog who has barely any training. I'm not sure she fully understands sit just yet, though she is getting better at it.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top