Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 388 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have noticed that when I search around on the Internet, most of the people on various boards advocate the clicker type of training.

I belong to our local Kennel Club which is affiliated to the Canadian Kennel Club. We have many trainers with many, many years of experience and many of them have had clicker training. Some years ago Sue Ailsby came to the club to teach a clicker class.

But the fact remains, that the philosphy of our club is reward AND correction. That does not mean beating a dog with a stick. But it does mean that if the dog is told to sit and the dog gets up, the dog is put down in a sit again, often by tucking their bum under or else if its the down - by pushing on the shoulders. Treats can be anything: food, toy, or just saying "good dog".

I am of, I guess, the old school and I believe that you need both rewards and corrections, in the form of "no" or time outs in a crate or something if the dog is, for the want of a better word "bad" i.e. the behaviour is unwanted. But it seems nowadays lots of people believe in no corrections.

Maybe it has nothing to do with dogs, but I wonder if the "no correction" attitude has something to do with the lack of respect of authority/other people's property etc. etc, in youth nowadays.

So, I just wonder what others on this board think of the reward good behaviour and ignore the bad - type of training.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
I use a clicker in my training, but I wouldn't say I'm a "clicker training" -- I don't know what I am. I don't use physical or verbal corrections in my training, because I personally find it more valuable to have a dog who does what I ask because the dog loves doing what I ask as opposed to a dog who does what I ask because he knows if he doesn't, there will be a penalty that involves pain (or, if that's too strong of a word, discomfort). There's more to it than that, but that's the basic idea.

I haven't trained as many dogs as some people (I am up to 14). I foster for a local humane society, and each dog leaves knowing basic commands (sit, down, stay, loose leash walking) as well as general house rules, like potty training, waiting at open doors, being calm in the house, not jumping up, etc. I have never found it necessary to use corrections, or that the dogs are less well trained because they haven't had them. Because they're not necessary, I don't know why I would ever use them.

Purley said:
But it does mean that if the dog is told to sit and the dog gets up, the dog is put down in a sit again, often by tucking their bum under or else if its the down - by pushing on the shoulders.
This I personally choose not to use because I believe I remember reading a study or a book somewhere that indicated that an animal who learns by being physically manipulated (responding to pressure) learns slower than an animal who's asked to work through the problem themselves and chooses the correct position on its own. If I'm working with a dog, I ask for a sit, and the dog breaks the sit-stay, I've just received some valuable information about my training -- the dog doesn't understand what's being asked of him, the dog is in an environment that has too many distractions for him to deal with currently, or the dog doesn't find doing what I ask to be more rewarding than his other choices.

Maybe it has nothing to do with dogs, but I wonder if the "no correction" attitude has something to do with the lack of respect of authority/other people's property etc. etc, in youth nowadays.
This is just silly. A lot of trainers who choose to train without physical and verbal corrections are older. Susan Garrett is in her 50's. Susan Ailsby, Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, Jean Donaldson, and Karen Pryor are all (I believe, although I'm not positive and didn't want to google everyone's age) somewhere in their 40's+. The point is that I wouldn't really call them "youth." The "no correction attitude" likely has more to do with the fact that people are learning that it works and that, and this is a personal opinion, training without corrections is WAY more enjoyable than training with corrections.

So, I just wonder what others on this board think of the reward good behaviour and ignore the bad - type of training.
And this is a common misconception. Sometimes you "ignore the bad behavior" -- but this ONLY works if the bad behavior is happening because the dog wants your attention. Then, you're taking away the reward for the behavior, which will cause it to extinguish. If you ignore a dog who chases squirrels (you're not the source of reinforcement for that behavior), you're a bad trainer. If you ignore a dog who barks at other dogs on walks (you're not the source of reinforcement for that behavior), you're a bad trainer. If you ignore a dog who is pawing at you for attention (you ARE the source of reinforcement for that behavior), then you'll get a decrease in the behavior.

Susan Garrett is one of my favorite "clicker" or "positive reinforcement" trainers, largely due to how she deals with behaviors she doesn't want without correction. I really like this blog post for explaining her concept: http://susangarrettdogagility.com/2011/08/the-possibilities-in-dog-training/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,761 Posts
Maybe it has nothing to do with dogs, but I wonder if the "no correction" attitude has something to do with the lack of respect of authority/other people's property etc. etc, in youth nowadays.

So, I just wonder what others on this board think of the reward good behaviour and ignore the bad - type of training.
There are, essentially, two ways to correct a behavior...1) communicate to the being they've done something wrong, or 2) communicate to the being what behavior you want instead. There is no such thing as "no correction", unless you're inadvertently reinforcing the incorrect behavior. I, like others, do prefer to not rely on aversion, or be as minimally aversive as possible. I also feel if you communicate to the being too much about what they've done wrong, they think about not making the error, instead of figure out the right behavior (my opinion only).

The lack of respect in children has more to do with the lack of attention in parenting. It has little to do with the form of correction IMO.

Now, you can only get behavior through reinforcement, so, I don't see an argument as to why I should choose aversion when it isn't necessary. I have the time, patience, and creativity, why do I need aversion, is my question in training.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,851 Posts
Maybe it has nothing to do with dogs, but I wonder if the "no correction" attitude has something to do with the lack of respect of authority/other people's property etc. etc, in youth nowadays.
Now you went and done it! I wouldn't necessarily make that leap (I try to be careful about linking correlation to causation) but I will admit I've had my suspicions. I will say that is perversely amusing that so many of the "never inconvenience the dog/child" camp are so ready, willing, and eager to use social disapprobation and/or the police power of the state against anyone who doesn't share their ethos.

Talk amongst yourselves.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,851 Posts
I don't use physical or verbal corrections in my training, because I personally find it more valuable to have a dog who does what I ask because the dog loves doing what I ask as opposed to a dog who does what I ask because he knows if he doesn't, there will be a penalty that involves pain (or, if that's too strong of a word, discomfort).
The choice the dog makes is not exclusively between one or the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,766 Posts
Older people have been whining about the "lack of respect, etc." in the youth of their times at least since Socrates. I don't think that has anything to do with anything. I guarantee you my parents (who were beaten regularly) had absolutely zero respect for other peoples' property, the police, or their parents, they just tried harder not to get caught. The stories they tell of their youth are really very shocking to me. I guess I was raised to have some respect.

Anyhoo, when one's position is based on misconceptions, I don't really know how to respond. Positive training (of children or dogs) is not permissive. Permissive "training" (or lack thereof) is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
With respect to the previous post, I guess this is my thread so we are allowed to sort of get off topic. I grew up in the UK in the 50s and 60s and in those days parents were the boss. We were not consulted about things such as shall we move house etc? We were not ASKED if we wanted to move. We were TOLD - we are moving! We were brought up to respect the cops, our grandparents, teachers etc. If I went home and told my Mom that I got in trouble at school, I would get it again at home!! At school we had Miss Rendell, who used the wood ruler on the forearm. We had Mr Campbell who used the wood ruler on the back of the leg. It hurt. It wasn't torture. But honestly, at the time I bore no resentment towards them. I just figured I better shut my mouth the next time! The host on my local talk radio station commented sort of the same thing growing up. He said if they were up to mischief, one look from an "old guy" made them think twice and slink off home, whereas nowadays if an "old guy" gave a mischief maker "the look", the best they could expect was a stream of abuse -- the worst would be getting beaten up.

I just wonder whether the same thing might relate to a dog. If you ASK a dog to do something, does he respect you less than if you TELL him he has to do it? I honestly think I respected my parents More for their strictness and when I did get the odd "backhander" as my Dad called it, again, I just thought I had better smarten up and stop the back answers! Being a "friend" to your child or your dog, rather than "the boss" maybe is not such a good idea.

Luring a dog who constantly yaps might, eventually, get the dog to stop yapping. But, as my friend says, a squirt in the face with a stream of water does the job much quicker. And I tend to agree with her that water in the face never hurt anyone - child or dog!

I have taken clicker classes. I really enjoyed them. But I have to admit that it took a lot longer to achieve certain things. We were told "no corrections" - a couple of us had taken the non-clicker classes before. I just wonder - if one quick snap of the leash gets the dog to stop charging after another dog, is that preferable to weeks and weeks of luring the dog back and giving it a treat??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,761 Posts
Water in the face may not hurt physically, but what about the emotional effect it could have on the dog? Is this not weighed? Or is it only a time factor that concerns you? And what about your humanity? Certainly you chose not to use a brick across the dog's head to effect a down, why not? It could have the most lasting effect on down.

I guess I don't see the point in weighing the time factor so much, more than you CAN get the behavior you want. Efficiency is relative to the handler after all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
Marsh Muppet said:
The choice the dog makes is not exclusively between one or the other.
Yeah, you’re right. I was thinking about that after I wrote it a little, and especially after you pointed this out. I think a better description of my philosophy is that I don’t want fear of physical or verbal corrections to ever be a motivation for the dogs I train. I definitely don’t believe that a dog trained with corrections will never demonstrate a desire to work with its trainer or enjoyment of following commands, especially when rewards are also incorporated into the training.


I just wonder whether the same thing might relate to a dog. If you ASK a dog to do something, does he respect you less than if you TELL him he has to do it? I honestly think I respected my parents More for their strictness and when I did get the odd "backhander" as my Dad called it, again, I just thought I had better smarten up and stop the back answers! Being a "friend" to your child or your dog, rather than "the boss" maybe is not such a good idea.

Woah! This is some pretty severe anthropomorphizing you've got going on here. You're basically making the argument that as a child, you "respected" strict authority figures more than less strict ones, therefore dogs will also respect authority figures who are strict. Do you see the holes that are in your logic? You’re missing the stuff in the middle, where you need to make the case that dogs and humans are motivated by the same things, that they learn in the same ways, that they “respect” other beings in the same way that humans “respect” them. You’re making the argument that dogs are capable of interpreting and internalizing punishment for behavior in the same way that humans are, and I don’t think we can know that.


Being backhanded worked on you and didn’t, you feel, damage your relationship with your father likely because (and I’m making assumptions) you knew you’d done something wrong, you were likely completely aware of the consequences when you made the choice, and you felt as though it was fair – as though you deserved the punishment you got for your bad behavior. And if you resented your father at the time of the punishment, or at any time associated his presence with pain, you were able to interpret the situation at a later date when you were more mature and realize that you agreed with his punishment, or at least thought it was appropriate. How would you feel if you’d been punished if you didn’t know you did something wrong, you weren’t aware there would be consequences to your choice, or you had no concept of “deserving” punishment, or guilt to evaluate your actions and take responsibility for your incorrect behavior?


I, personally, don’t like using the term “respect” when talking about dog training. It’s not something I think about when I’m training dogs (I never worry about whether or not the dog respects me). What does it even mean, anyway? The important thing is evaluating whatever behavioral goal you’ve set for your training, like – does the dog sit every time you ask him to? If not, why? Is it because of a lack of respect? How would you determine that? If it is, does that affect how you deal with the situation? What does a dog without respect for his owner look like? Can you create the same respect by showing the dog that the only way to access all of the reinforcing things in life is through you? Are corrections necessary for this nebulous “respect”?


Luring a dog who constantly yaps might, eventually, get the dog to stop yapping. But, as my friend says, a squirt in the face with a stream of water does the job much quicker. And I tend to agree with her that water in the face never hurt anyone - child or dog!

Again, if you have a trainer who tells you to lure a yapping dog with treats, fire the trainer. The trainer is a bad trainer. The only time I use luring (or the affectionately termed “waving treats in a dog’s face”) is if I’m counter-conditioning from a distance with a dog who isn’t reacting to the stimulus. Luring a dog who constantly yaps will not eventually get the dog to stop yapping.


I have taken clicker classes. I really enjoyed them. But I have to admit that it took a lot longer to achieve certain things. We were told "no corrections" - a couple of us had taken the non-clicker classes before. I just wonder - if one quick snap of the leash gets the dog to stop charging after another dog, is that preferable to weeks and weeks of luring the dog back and giving it a treat??

First, luring the dog back and giving the dog a treat to teach it not to charge after another dog is, for lack of a more educated way to say it, really stupid. It’s likely to teach a behavior chain of Charge – See treat – Come back for treat – Get treat.


For training alternate responses or fixing behavior problems, clicker training often does take longer. For others, like teaching new behaviors, clicker training is MUCH faster. If you believe that the only difference between using corrections to fix bad behavior and using reinforcement to fix bad behavior is the time in which it takes to accomplish this, it’s easy to see why someone would use corrections. The difference in opinion is when you believe there’s something great that happens when you train with positive reinforcement that doesn’t happen when you correct (I do) or that there’s something terrible that happens when you correct that doesn’t happen when you train with positive reinforcement (I sometimes do, depending on the type and severity of the correction).


I believe that, for a dog, making a choice between two rewarding options is a lot more difficult than making a choice between a reward and a punishment – hence the increased learning time! When you take the time to develop those ideas in a dog (“I’m not going to chase the squirrel because I like tugging more” or “I’m not going to chase the squirrel because if I wait to be told to chase the squirrel, I can chase the squirrel AND tug”) develops a “smarter” dog, or a dog that’s a better learner, or a dog with amazing impulse control. If I take the time as a trainer to master the environmental motivator (the squirrel), I believe it creates a LOT more value for me and for working with me than other options, like using corrections, even if it takes longer. It creates enthusiasm that a water bottle in the face doesn’t. I like a dog who’s enthusiastic about not yapping and enthusiastic about doing other things instead of yapping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,307 Posts
With respect to the previous post, I guess this is my thread so we are allowed to sort of get off topic. I grew up in the UK in the 50s and 60s and in those days parents were the b oss. We were not consulted about things such as shall we move house etc? We were not ASKED if we wanted to move. We were TOLD - we are moving! We were brought up to respect the cops, our grandparents, teachers etc. If I went home and told my Mom that I got in trouble at school, I would get it again at home!! At school we had Miss Rendell, who used the wood ruler on the forearm. We had Mr Campbell who used the wood ruler on the back of the leg. It hurt. It wasn't torture. But honestly, at the time I bore no resentment towards them. I just figured I better shut my mouth the next time! The host on my local talk radio station commented sort of the same thing growing up. He said if they were up to mischief, one look from an "old guy" made them think twice and slink off home, whereas nowadays if an "old guy" gave a mischief maker "the look", the best they could expect was a stream of abuse -- the worst would be getting beaten up.

I just wonder whether the same thing might relate to a dog. If you ASK a dog to do something, does he respect you less than if you TELL him he has to do it? I honestly think I respected my parents More for their strictness and when I did get the odd "backhander" as my Dad called it, again, I just thought I had better smarten up and stop the back answers! Being a "friend" to your child or your dog, rather than "the boss" maybe is not such a good idea.

Luring a dog who constantly yaps might, eventually, get the dog to stop yapping. But, as my friend says, a squirt in the face with a stream of water does the job much quicker. And I tend to agree with her that water in the face never hurt anyone - child or dog!

I have taken clicker classes. I really enjoyed them. But I have to admit that it took a lot longer to achieve certain things. We were told "no corrections" - a couple of us had taken the non-clicker classes before. I just wonder - if one quick snap of the leash gets the dog to stop charging after another dog, is that preferable to weeks and weeks of luring the dog back and giving it a treat??
Way to go Purley, I got one up on you I spent 8 years Catholic grade school with the nuns. I survived and knew right from wrong. Years later when our son was in a public grade school we got a call from teacher who said our son and a friend decided that bullying/picking on kids was cool, We went to school and when talking to the teacher she told us it was all she could do to not smack our kid, at that time I said no problem if she wanted I would hold him so he couldn't run a way. Anyway the bullying stopped.

It's a different world now, we just had a 17 yr old who beat his parents to death (Chicago area) allegedly because he was growing pot in the parents home (in the basement) and he got caught. I know it's very popular to raise a child and never say no and give the child whatever he/she wants eventually reality will step in and it's possible when the 1st no arrives strange things can happen.

Now is it possible that the same program with dogs could have strange things happening, I wonder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
So, I just wonder what others on this board think of the reward good behaviour and ignore the bad - type of training.
I don't know anyone who is effective who "ignores" unwanted behavior. I know many who will address unwanted behavior in ways that keep it from being reinforcing to the dog (i.e., manage it so it cannot be self-reinforcing, give an alternate incompatable behavior that WILL be reinforced, make it clear to the dog that it will not be reinforced). Frequently in an attempt to punish unwanted behavior, people actually reinforce it by giving their energy/attention to it.

I suspect that the children who don't respect authority and the dogs who don't have decent manners has less to do with people believing in "no corrections" (whatever that means) and more to do with the fact that no effective learning has taken place. Some people use the excuse of "purely positive" (which doesn't actually exist) because they don't want to have to make or reinforce rules. That's not training. I assure you that the good clicker trainer has just as much idea of what they want as any other effective trainer - except maybe if they are free shaping, and even then they intelligently build something useful.

As far as giving reward (reinforcement) and corrections (whatever that means), one of the great powers of clicker training is that the dog uses his own initiative to discover what will be reinforced. If I do that work for him, he'll never learn to do for himself, never develop self-control, never think of things he can try. Shaping is a powerful method, and can get me stuff I can't get by physically manipulating the dog.


And worse, if I encourage him to offer up stuff, and then I punish some of what he does offer (however non-abusively) he becomes leery of offering me things, because he now has a reason to be concerned that he might make a mistake. If you have to push your dog into a sit or down, chances are you never actually taught him the behavior. It is a short cut, and a sloppy one at that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,250 Posts
With respect to the previous post, I guess this is my thread so we are allowed to sort of get off topic. I grew up in the UK in the 50s and 60s and in those days parents were the boss. We were not consulted about things such as shall we move house etc? We were not ASKED if we wanted to move. We were TOLD - we are moving! We were brought up to respect the cops, our grandparents, teachers etc. If I went home and told my Mom that I got in trouble at school, I would get it again at home!! At school we had Miss Rendell, who used the wood ruler on the forearm. We had Mr Campbell who used the wood ruler on the back of the leg. It hurt. It wasn't torture. But honestly, at the time I bore no resentment towards them. I just figured I better shut my mouth the next time! The host on my local talk radio station commented sort of the same thing growing up. He said if they were up to mischief, one look from an "old guy" made them think twice and slink off home, whereas nowadays if an "old guy" gave a mischief maker "the look", the best they could expect was a stream of abuse -- the worst would be getting beaten up.

I just wonder whether the same thing might relate to a dog. If you ASK a dog to do something, does he respect you less than if you TELL him he has to do it? I honestly think I respected my parents More for their strictness and when I did get the odd "backhander" as my Dad called it, again, I just thought I had better smarten up and stop the back answers! Being a "friend" to your child or your dog, rather than "the boss" maybe is not such a good idea.

Luring a dog who constantly yaps might, eventually, get the dog to stop yapping. But, as my friend says, a squirt in the face with a stream of water does the job much quicker. And I tend to agree with her that water in the face never hurt anyone - child or dog!

I have taken clicker classes. I really enjoyed them. But I have to admit that it took a lot longer to achieve certain things. We were told "no corrections" - a couple of us had taken the non-clicker classes before. I just wonder - if one quick snap of the leash gets the dog to stop charging after another dog, is that preferable to weeks and weeks of luring the dog back and giving it a treat??
You don't think that treatment you received absolutely destroys some people? We only have to look the military and its massive drop out rates for dogs to realize that that kind of training ruins a huge amount of dogs. Why anyone would take that risk when there are plenty of other ways that take the dog into consideration and not just your ideals is beyond me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
With respect to the previous post, I guess this is my thread so we are allowed to sort of get off topic. I grew up in the UK in the 50s and 60s and in those days parents were the boss. We were not consulted about things such as shall we move house etc? We were not ASKED if we wanted to move. We were TOLD - we are moving! We were brought up to respect the cops, our grandparents, teachers etc. If I went home and told my Mom that I got in trouble at school, I would get it again at home!! At school we had Miss Rendell, who used the wood ruler on the forearm. We had Mr Campbell who used the wood ruler on the back of the leg. It hurt. It wasn't torture. But honestly, at the time I bore no resentment towards them. I just figured I better shut my mouth the next time! The host on my local talk radio station commented sort of the same thing growing up. He said if they were up to mischief, one look from an "old guy" made them think twice and slink off home, whereas nowadays if an "old guy" gave a mischief maker "the look", the best they could expect was a stream of abuse -- the worst would be getting beaten up.

I/QUOTE]

I also grew up in the 50s and 60s. My grandmother swatted me with a switch. My parents spanked me. None of which I would consider abusive. They were good and loving family, doing the best that they knew how to do. But, also none of which made that much of an impression. In school, teachers were allowed to paddle and use other forms of corporal punishment. It was sort of a badge of honor if you could provoke some of them into a swat (negative attention). I don't think any of that made me a better person. I was a wild, wild teenager. Am lucky to have survived the drugs and not gotten accidently pregnant. I knew there was punishment if I got caught. I just made it a point not to get caught. (I'm much better and have learned to be responsible for myself now). Some kids will respect corporal punishment. Others will make it a game to avoid it. Depends on the kid. And again, aversives work better for some dogs than others. If you pop a dog and reel him in for a recall, some dogs will learn a recall. Others will learn to take notice when the leash is not on. If a dog has a strong reinforcement history for a recall, it won't matter if he has a leash on or not, because you've never used the leash that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
I just wonder - if one quick snap of the leash gets the dog to stop charging after another dog, is that preferable to weeks and weeks of luring the dog back and giving it a treat??
If this is what you got that clicker training is, I'm not surprised you think it is probably not effective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
I know it's very popular to raise a child and never say no and give the child whatever he/she wants eventually reality will step in and it's possible when the 1st no arrives strange things can happen.

Now is it possible that the same program with dogs could have strange things happening, I wonder.
I'm probably misunderstanding your intentions in saying this, but if you're relating that to the use of clicker training or training without physical/verbal corrections, I don't think it applies. A good trainer, no matter what strategy they choose to employ, does not allow the dog to have uncontrolled access to reinforcement if they're trying to change a behavior, and good "clicker training" isn't about giving them whatever they want. Impulse control is a huge part of successful training.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
With respect to the previous post, I guess this is my thread so we are allowed to sort of get off topic. I grew up in the UK in the 50s and 60s and in those days parents were the boss. We were not consulted about things such as shall we move house etc? We were not ASKED if we wanted to move. We were TOLD - we are moving! We were brought up to respect the cops, our grandparents, teachers etc. If I went home and told my Mom that I got in trouble at school, I would get it again at home!! At school we had Miss Rendell, who used the wood ruler on the forearm. We had Mr Campbell who used the wood ruler on the back of the leg. It hurt. It wasn't torture. But honestly, at the time I bore no resentment towards them. I just figured I better shut my mouth the next time! The host on my local talk radio station commented sort of the same thing growing up. He said if they were up to mischief, one look from an "old guy" made them think twice and slink off home, whereas nowadays if an "old guy" gave a mischief maker "the look", the best they could expect was a stream of abuse -- the worst would be getting beaten up.

I just wonder whether the same thing might relate to a dog. If you ASK a dog to do something, does he respect you less than if you TELL him he has to do it? I honestly think I respected my parents More for their strictness and when I did get the odd "backhander" as my Dad called it, again, I just thought I had better smarten up and stop the back answers! Being a "friend" to your child or your dog, rather than "the boss" maybe is not such a good idea.

Luring a dog who constantly yaps might, eventually, get the dog to stop yapping. But, as my friend says, a squirt in the face with a stream of water does the job much quicker. And I tend to agree with her that water in the face never hurt anyone - child or dog!

I have taken clicker classes. I really enjoyed them. But I have to admit that it took a lot longer to achieve certain things. We were told "no corrections" - a couple of us had taken the non-clicker classes before. I just wonder - if one quick snap of the leash gets the dog to stop charging after another dog, is that preferable to weeks and weeks of luring the dog back and giving it a treat??
I grew up in the 80s/90s and was raised in such a manner at home, and it had a very negative psychological effect. I was always viewed as a "good" kid, did well in school, respected elders, and as an adult there are very few people who I don't get along well with, however psychologically the effects of my upbringing are pretty severe. Until 2-3 years ago (when I sought treatment) I was constantly living in a state of anxiety regarding "disappointing" other people to the extreme that I would do things that were detrimental to me in order to keep others happy and avoid confrontation. I had/have little to no self esteem. The thought of doing something wrong and the fear of consequences will make me physically ill, even though I know my supervisor can't hit me and my husband won't hit me. Some children are absolutely fine with being raised using "harsher" methods (most of my siblings turned out just fine) but with some children there are severe after effects that will follow them throughout their life. The same can definitely be said about dogs as well. This is why one size fits all methods of child and dog rearing are absolutely wrong.

My relationship with my parents is viewed as "good" from the outside. I talk to them on the phone daily, visit them every weekend, and generally am a good child. I don't trust my parents, especially my mom who was the main disciplinarian. I will not seek out her advice or discuss problems with her. There is no real intimate relationship between us, it is more of a "I am doing this because you are my parents and I love you unconditionally and want you in my life, however I do not have a deep emotional bond with you." How does this relate to my life with my dogs? I want my dogs to go to me when they feel threatened or have a problem rather than feel they have to deal with it themselves. A dog's way of dealing with it themselves involves teeth on flesh 99% of the time. I want them to come to me when they feel uncertain about a new situation/person/dog so I can show them how I want them to react instead of letting them make their own, usually bad decisions. I think you can bond with a dog that you use punishment based methods on, however like in my relationship with my parents, there may not be 100% trust between you and the dog if there is an element of fear to your relationship.

A squirt in the face may not send a kid or dog to the hospital, however let's say you have a child who is afraid of needles. If you squirted the child in the face every time they had to have blood drawn or get a shot, do you think the child will be more or less afraid of going for procedures with needles? Some children may stop crying when they go to the doctor's because they do not want to be sprayed in the face. They will still be terrified, probably more than before the water was introduced however they will not express it. You are never addressing the true issue and you are not teaching any real ways of coping with a stressful situation for the child. Do you think the situation might become so stressful for some other children, they'll escalate their reaction so where they originally cried (yapped) when going to the doctor's that they will physically fight you now when they are in the parking lot. A good amount of yapping in dogs is fear based. If you punish the yapping hoping that it will suppress the behavior, sometimes you will get that result however you are not addressing the true issue and it may manifest itself in other ways. Best case scenario, you get a neurotic shut down dog that doesn't yap. Worst case scenario, you get a dog who is so terrified of the consequences of yapping but has no idea how to deal with the fearful stimuli that they need to physically act out to voice their displeasure. Once again, most of the time dogs decide to solve their problems by putting flesh to teeth when not shown what else to do. Now you have turned an annoying habit into a big problem. Quicker is not always better. Would you rather your surgeon do an operation quicker because he's terrified of being reprimanded for tying up the operating room (fewer surgeries = less money for hospital = less money for surgeon), or would you rather he take his time and make sure everything is done properly, which he can do if he doesn't have pressure from the higher ups to get a certain number of cases in per day?

Also.. I have never worked with a trainer who said "reward the good ignore the bad." This is a common misconception of people who do not fully understand the principles behind non-adversive training. You want to reward the behaviors that you want the dog to display and interrupt undesirable behaviors so you can show the dog what you wish for them to do instead.

As an example, One of my dogs came to me with a great deal of reactivity towards men of a certain description. When we would see these men on a walk, he would turn from a happy goofy puppy into a snarling lunging monster. First thing I wanted to do was change the emotional association with these men. We started at a distance where I knew he saw the man, but he didn't feel pressured to react. Whenever he calmly looked at the men he got a reward. Eventually, whatever negative association he had with seeing these men turned into a positive association where he expected something good to happen when he saw the men instead of something bad. This allowed us to progressively get closer to the men without a reaction, however he would not allow these men to interact with him. He would approach them for petting, then he would quickly become uncomfortable and not know how to escape so he would begin to growl. Instead of "correcting" the dog for growling by giving him a leash pop, I learned how to read his signals so I could interrupt the behavior before it turned into a growl. At the first sign of him becoming uncomfortable, I called him back to me and rewarded him heavily. Coming to me is incompatible with continuing to be petted and escalating to the growl, so the undesirable behavior was interrupted (growling) and a "good" behavior was replaced (coming back to me.) Eventually, he began turning away from the attention and coming to me on his own without any cue when he became uncomfortable. This stopped the growling and allowed him to have more completely positive encounters with the men he was afraid of and now, after a year he is 100% comfortable with every single human he comes into contact with. I can't think of a way to get these results (dog actually loving and seeking out petting from the types of men he was afraid of) using correction based methods. I think this is preferable to a quick snap of the leash to get the dog to stop charging at the men, but he doesn't know what to do after that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Older people have been whining about the "lack of respect, etc." in the youth of their times at least since Socrates. I don't think that has anything to do with anything. I guarantee you my parents (who were beaten regularly) had absolutely zero respect for other peoples' property, the police, or their parents, they just tried harder not to get caught. The stories they tell of their youth are really very shocking to me. I guess I was raised to have some respect.

Anyhoo, when one's position is based on misconceptions, I don't really know how to respond. Positive training (of children or dogs) is not permissive. Permissive "training" (or lack thereof) is.
I'm in agreement. My wife talks a lot about how 'bad things have gotten', as compared to our youth. We disagree on this. Since I'm only 40 this isn't too long ago, but with the introduction of the Internet, a lot has happened in the last 20 years. My wife talks about how you never used to hear about this or that, and so the world has gone downhill. My response is that you never used to hear about it because we didn't have access to near real-time updates from around the world. I don't believe things have gotten worse - we just know more about it now.

Fear of consequence is a necessary part of society, but only as the very last resort. I say that because it's the least effective manner in which to control behavior (long-term that is, it's the quickest in the short-term). To support this claim, I recall working as a data-entry clerk while working through college. The owners of the company were very controlling. Start of work was at 8:00 a.m. At 8:01 they were upset if you weren't in the door. I couldn't stop by a coworker's desk and ask how they were doing, couldn't have drinks at my desk, had to take breaks at very specific times, etc. They were constantly having to hassle people to improve productivity, and weren't ever successful at it. Why? Because people didn't like being treated as if they were irresponsible children, and resented this environment. I now work as a programmer in a company that is far more permissive. I can show up at 6:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m., can take lunch whenever I want, leave when I want, and talk when I want. Interestingly, we don't have productivity problems here. People get their work done, and often will work longer hours if necessary (we're on salary, so no over-time).

The point is that, whenever possible, I believe that the best way to get the behaviors you want is to motivate the dog (or person) to also want to offer this behavior. As a next step, you can take away certain things if necessary, like not paying attention to a dog that's jumping up, and as a very last resort you can use some form of punishment. I view punishing my dogs in the same way I view firing an employee or locking someone up in prison. It's only for when things have gone seriously wrong. If I come home and my dogs have dug through the trash can, the only thing I smack is my forehead, because I should not have left the trash where they could get to it. If I'm doing training and my dog doesn't sit when I want them to, I reflect if there's a reason this might be happening, and adjust what I'm doing. I never force my dogs into any position, partly for fear that I could do them some harm, and partly from concern that I'd set up a cycle of fear in them. I should add, however, that I'm not an expert trainer and my dogs aren't perfectly trained. They're very good, but still do funky things. This is just my opinion on the subject.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
I'm in agreement. My wife talks a lot about how 'bad things have gotten', as compared to our youth. We disagree on this. Since I'm only 40 this isn't too long ago, but with the introduction of the Internet, a lot has happened in the last 20 years. My wife talks about how you never used to hear about this or that, and so the world has gone downhill. My response is that you never used to hear about it because we didn't have access to near real-time updates from around the world. I don't believe things have gotten worse - we just know more about it now.

Fear of consequence is a necessary part of society, but only as the very last resort. I say that because it's the least effective manner in which to control behavior (long-term that is, it's the quickest in the short-term). To support this claim, I recall working as a data-entry clerk while working through college. The owners of the company were very controlling. Start of work was at 8:00 a.m. At 8:01 they were upset if you weren't in the door. I couldn't stop by a coworker's desk and ask how they were doing, couldn't have drinks at my desk, had to take breaks at very specific times, etc. They were constantly having to hassle people to improve productivity, and weren't ever successful at it. Why? Because people didn't like being treated as if they were irresponsible children, and resented this environment. I now work as a programmer in a company that is far more permissive. I can show up at 6:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m., can take lunch whenever I want, leave when I want, and talk when I want. Interestingly, we don't have productivity problems here. People get their work done, and often will work longer hours if necessary (we're on salary, so no over-time).

The point is that, whenever possible, I believe that the best way to get the behaviors you want is to motivate the dog (or person) to also want to offer this behavior. As a next step, you can take away certain things if necessary, like not paying attention to a dog that's jumping up, and as a very last resort you can use some form of punishment. I view punishing my dogs in the same way I view firing an employee or locking someone up in prison. It's only for when things have gone seriously wrong. If I come home and my dogs have dug through the trash can, the only thing I smack is my forehead, because I should not have left the trash where they could get to it. If I'm doing training and my dog doesn't sit when I want them to, I reflect if there's a reason this might be happening, and adjust what I'm doing. I never force my dogs into any position, partly for fear that I could do them some harm, and partly from concern that I'd set up a cycle of fear in them. I should add, however, that I'm not an expert trainer and my dogs aren't perfectly trained. They're very good, but still do funky things. This is just my opinion on the subject.
I really like this post. Out of personal curiosity, in what sort of situation would you choose to use punishment with your dogs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
With respect to the previous post, I guess this is my thread so we are allowed to sort of get off topic. I grew up in the UK in the 50s and 60s and in those days parents were the boss. We were not consulted about things such as shall we move house etc? We were not ASKED if we wanted to move. We were TOLD - we are moving! We were brought up to respect the cops, our grandparents, teachers etc. If I went home and told my Mom that I got in trouble at school, I would get it again at home!! At school we had Miss Rendell, who used the wood ruler on the forearm. We had Mr Campbell who used the wood ruler on the back of the leg. It hurt. It wasn't torture. But honestly, at the time I bore no resentment towards them. I just figured I better shut my mouth the next time! The host on my local talk radio station commented sort of the same thing growing up. He said if they were up to mischief, one look from an "old guy" made them think twice and slink off home, whereas nowadays if an "old guy" gave a mischief maker "the look", the best they could expect was a stream of abuse -- the worst would be getting beaten up.

I just wonder whether the same thing might relate to a dog. If you ASK a dog to do something, does he respect you less than if you TELL him he has to do it? I honestly think I respected my parents More for their strictness and when I did get the odd "backhander" as my Dad called it, again, I just thought I had better smarten up and stop the back answers! Being a "friend" to your child or your dog, rather than "the boss" maybe is not such a good idea.

Luring a dog who constantly yaps might, eventually, get the dog to stop yapping. But, as my friend says, a squirt in the face with a stream of water does the job much quicker. And I tend to agree with her that water in the face never hurt anyone - child or dog!

I have taken clicker classes. I really enjoyed them. But I have to admit that it took a lot longer to achieve certain things. We were told "no corrections" - a couple of us had taken the non-clicker classes before. I just wonder - if one quick snap of the leash gets the dog to stop charging after another dog, is that preferable to weeks and weeks of luring the dog back and giving it a treat??
This was much the way my father raised me. Actually, not to lug out a sob story, but screaming and hitting were a regular part of my childhood. It did NOT create a system of respect. It only showed me that my opinions didn't matter and that I wasn't a part of the family. I was an object that was moved around at whim. I don't talk to my father anymore, as he never seemed to grow out of this behavior. I don't believe that refusing to discuss things with kids, and instead just 'telling them how it is' promotes respect in any way. I also don't believe that getting slapped around does much for respect or behavior modification (in a good way).

This part isn't merely my opinion. Many studies have been done on how to achieve higher levels of productivity out of workers. What was found is that workers who felt that their opinion mattered and their contributions were appreciated far exceeded those who were "told how it is". People that were strictly controlled produced at the lowest end of the scale.

I remember leather belt strappings to the backs of my legs, slaps to the face, and being treated as if my opinions didn't matter. I was never 'injured', never had to go for treatment or anything, but it destroyed my sense of 'home'. There was no safe haven where I belonged. I hated the environment of fear and complete lack of respect for me because I was a child and they were the adults, and found every possible way around every restriction my parents put on me. None of this was necessary.

Now I know that dogs aren't people. There are fundamental differences in the way our minds and instinct work. But there are a lot of similarities in the way we learn and adapt. It's true that I can stop a dog from doing something quicker with a smack on their nose than I can with positive reinforcement. I don't deny this. But it doesn't last. The behavior will come back, and have to be addressed again. Due to the fact that humans and dogs both adapt to fear and pain, it usually requires a harsher response the next time. And the next time.

My dogs are my best friends. They never turn away from me and are always overjoyed when I come home. Like kids, dogs need boundaries to be set, but then so do adults. I sure don't have my friends over and slap one of them across the face because they said something I don't like. I won't go on anymore. I just think it's very sad when people feel that it's not only necessary, but correct to cause fear or pain in order to gain compliance from creatures that depend on us and want to please us anyway.
 
1 - 20 of 388 Posts
Top