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A lot of people I work with have Dogs ,and today we were talking about Training. The discussion ended up being about the
difference between "Training" and "Teaching".

Training : Improving on desired skills..Correcting and eliminating unwanted behahior.
Example: "Do this..Dont do that"

Teaching : Sharing knowledge and making the dog think for itself.
Example: "Go get your ball..Its in the Living Room behind the sofa"

Its just something we talked about at work today.
 

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I never realized it but I use it differently. For example -I was training in the yard with Tank today, freshing up on some skills. I was Teaching Bentley "heel" today.
 

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I do think there's a difference, but it's hard to explain fully. I think "training" implies some level of control/coercion, and teaching means to show the subject how to do something. For instance, I taught my mom's dog how to use the dog door by holding it open and throwing a treat through it. I certainly didn't train her to do it, because I'm sure she wouldn't do it on demand. I just showed her how the thing worked.
 

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Just like training to sit, stay, down, back, ... all basic functions I personally consider training skills. But I taught names of toys and ask for them by name ... to me that is "Teaching" ...... ?
 

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I agree that there are two concepts:
1. Training a behavior
2. Teaching to learn and to think

I believe that behavioral methods are best for training a young puppy that words (and gestures) have meaning, and that behaviors can have consequences.

But... in contrast to conventional wisdom, I believe that a well-trained dog can be "taught" to generalize. For example, my dog understands the concept of Sit. He may not Sit under all circumstances that I would like, but he quickly learns the variety of signals and voice cues for Sit. ... Extending that significantly, I can quickly shape him to perform a new behavior. If I want that to be a shaped behavior on cue, then I'll have to repeat it with a cue word.

In addition, if it is to his benefit, he will self-shape some behaviors, which I can then 'capture' if desired.
1. When I walked him off-leash as a puppy, he would wander around. I'd run up to him and 'punish' him by saying Sit. Then, I'd put him back on the path. Saying "back," never worked, but he learned a uniquely contexted Sit, and can distinguish between "back to the path" vs. "butt on the ground" .... I assume based on my tone and body language.
2. Ditto for "Up" (onto the bed); "Out" ( time for potty); and "Bed" (bedtime ... in your bed). When I let him in the house, if I say "Up" he self-shaped to run into the bedroom to jump onto the bed for an evening nap :) If only training him as a puppy had been so easy. If I tell him Out, roughly the same in reverse. But, I 'faded' it, where I could stand and nod towards the door, and now I've gotten it to the point that I can glance to the door [I have other 'glance' cues, so it wasn't new]. And, if I glance, then say bed, he'll run to bed rather than to go outside. I believe that these were 'taught', rather than 'trained' behaviors....
 

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Well I did the training but the dogs taught me what worked and what didn't I just had to be smart enough to understand what they were teaching me.

Sometimes I passed with flying colors, other times not so much.
 

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But... in contrast to conventional wisdom, I believe that a well-trained dog can be "taught" to generalize. For example, my dog understands the concept of Sit. He may not Sit under all circumstances that I would like, but he quickly learns the variety of signals and voice cues for Sit. ... Extending that significantly, I can quickly shape him to perform a new behavior. If I want that to be a shaped behavior on cue, then I'll have to repeat it with a cue word.
Isn't conventional wisdom that dogs do NOT generalize well and must be taught to generalize? That seems like what you're saying in your opening sentence here? I don't disagree with anything you're saying - just that I thought it was assumed that dogs, by nature, do not generalize (it's not a good survival strategy in the wild), so they have to learn to do it.

In addition, if it is to his benefit, he will self-shape some behaviors, which I can then 'capture' if desired.
1. When I walked him off-leash as a puppy, he would wander around. I'd run up to him and 'punish' him by saying Sit. Then, I'd put him back on the path. Saying "back," never worked, but he learned a uniquely contexted Sit, and can distinguish between "back to the path" vs. "butt on the ground" .... I assume based on my tone and body language.
2. Ditto for "Up" (onto the bed); "Out" ( time for potty); and "Bed" (bedtime ... in your bed). When I let him in the house, if I say "Up" he self-shaped to run into the bedroom to jump onto the bed for an evening nap :) If only training him as a puppy had been so easy. If I tell him Out, roughly the same in reverse. But, I 'faded' it, where I could stand and nod towards the door, and now I've gotten it to the point that I can glance to the door [I have other 'glance' cues, so it wasn't new]. And, if I glance, then say bed, he'll run to bed rather than to go outside. I believe that these were 'taught', rather than 'trained' behaviors....
I think it's a combination of both in addition to creativity, especially with the self-shaping that you captured.

With glance - I see it like this: You taught the glancing and trained his ability to understand and recognize your glances, and then you taught him what glancing means in various situations. I think it's a combination of both and continues to be.


I see it as:

Teaching - the first exposure to a behavior of context.
Training - refining an existing behavior.

Really, I think both go on. I can refine one behavior while teaching a new context. Teaching a new context, but at the same time, he's getting more experience at a behavior. And so on.

It is two separate concepts, I think I mix and meld both of them along with some creativity from the 'student' (i.e. Wally) along the way, we get things done and uncover other things in the process. I think that applies to pretty much anyone, even without thinking about it. Just my view.
 

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During my dog trainer course I was taught that there are 3 phases of training: Teaching phase, training phase and proofing phase.

Teaching phase is when you teach the dog this new behaviour you want him to do, he has no idea what to do and no word association. As soon as the behaviour is on command you're in the training phase and start to generalise the behaviour. And then lastly you proof the behaviour in all environments and situations.
 

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I think it's all symatics....the end result is all that matters, is the dog learning. Learning is all that matters. The word we call however we communicate what we intend the dog to learn is of no consequence.
 

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To me teaching is to teach a new concept and training is when the concept is taught, but not fully learned yet. I'm a teacher and first I teach my students calculus ... when they understand the concept I let them train their new skills until the techniques are fully understood and memorized. Same thing with dogs. I first teach ... then come the training stage to solidify the learning.
 

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What would be called if you wanted to "de-generalize" a behavior?

For example, let's say there's some behavior Wally wants to do all the time because he's a "take what I just learned and run with it" kind of dog, but I only want it in some contexts but not others?

Would that be teaching, training, or proofing?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Im kinda hijacking my own post, but I found this quote that I kinda like.

“Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I may remember, Involve me and I learn.” Ben Franklin
 

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Well ... today we try to teach by involving rather than lecturing like they did during Franklin's era so teaching IS involving nowadays.

I'm not sure that I understand what you're meaning KB lover? Do you mean he's running with it like ... you teach him to paw in a specific setting and he suddenly offers that every time you ask for something else? You ask for a sit and he'll sit but also paw? (That was my dog. sigh. lol) Like the kid who learns to write letters and does it with a marker on the walls?
If so it's non of the above ... you haven't taught him that it's a skill only used in a certain setting. Like the kid who learned how to do cartwheels you have to remind them everything has a time and place ... and that cartwheels never should be practiced on the zebra crossing. LOL
 

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Im kinda hijacking my own post, but I found this quote that I kinda like.

“Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I may remember, Involve me and I learn.” Ben Franklin
I'm gonna have to print that out. Sounds like the concept of shaping in a sentence.
 

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I'm not sure that I understand what you're meaning KB lover? Do you mean he's running with it like ... you teach him to paw in a specific setting and he suddenly offers that every time you ask for something else? You ask for a sit and he'll sit but also paw? (That was my dog. sigh. lol) Like the kid who learns to write letters and does it with a marker on the walls?
If so it's non of the above ... you haven't taught him that it's a skill only used in a certain setting. Like the kid who learned how to do cartwheels you have to remind them everything has a time and place ... and that cartwheels never should be practiced on the zebra crossing. LOL
LOL writing letters on the wall - that's a good way to put it. That's about it. He'll just try it in every situation, every problem, if he doesn't know what to do, he'll do it.

When I taught him to sit, he thought sitting was the answer to life. 'When in doubt, sit." 'I don't know what to do, I'll just sit." "What does he mean? I don't know, I'll just try sitting." "I don't want to touch that...I'll just sit and look at it." "I can't find it, so I'll sit and maybe we'll do something else." "I need something, maybe if I sit here, he'll get it."

Then when I taught him pawing - oh man. It was like the dog never knew he had paws all this time. "I can't reach it, I'll paw it." "I don't know, I'll just stick out a paw." "Oh, I see it! Wait...why won't my paw reach?" "I need something, I'll hold my paw out (and sit)." "Touch it with my nose? Why? I can use my paws. See?" "This thing is too flat on the ground to pick up, maybe if I claw it, it will somehow get up so I can pick it up."

The sit-pretty, once he got over hating it, is now his "go to" trick LOL. "When in doubt, sit pretty and look cute. If that doesn't work, wave the paws around, looking even cuter." If that doesn't work, he'll be like "Why didn't that work?" And sit (see a theme?) and then...sit-pretty again. "Maybe I'm wearing him down with my cuteness."
 

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During my dog trainer course I was taught that there are 3 phases of training: Teaching phase, training phase and proofing phase.

Teaching phase is when you teach the dog this new behaviour you want him to do, he has no idea what to do and no word association. As soon as the behaviour is on command you're in the training phase and start to generalise the behaviour. And then lastly you proof the behaviour in all environments and situations.
Well put. [well put was all I wanted to say but the message was too short so I added this :)]
 

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During my dog trainer course I was taught that there are 3 phases of training: Teaching phase, training phase and proofing phase.

Teaching phase is when you teach the dog this new behaviour you want him to do, he has no idea what to do and no word association. As soon as the behaviour is on command you're in the training phase and start to generalise the behaviour. And then lastly you proof the behaviour in all environments and situations.
Ok ... so here's a bit of a twist.

GENERALIZING or PROOFING ... is there a difference ?


When dog trainers speak of generalizing a behavior, their goal is to teach the dog that a cue and its associated behavior apply in more than one environment.
http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2003/generalization.htm



(hoping the OP won't see this as a threadjack, but rather as a similar extension of the topic)
 

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Ok ... so here's a bit of a twist.

GENERALIZING or PROOFING ... is there a difference ?


http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2003/generalization.htm



(hoping the OP won't see this as a threadjack, but rather as a similar extension of the topic)

My view:

Generalizing: Teaching the dog what applies in one place applies in all other places.
Proofing: Conditioning the behavior so strongly that he does it even I hold a raw steak under his nose the whole time. (i.e. regardless of the distraction).
 

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I agree with the above [I think those are standard definitions, not opinion].

Wanted to remark about a different Wally behavior - when he learns a behavior, such as Sit, he tries it everywhere. Despite what we might say, that is a Generalizing behavior. I believe, with no evidence [yet], that puppies and dogs indeed do not generalize when they are first learning their initial cues and behaviors, such as Sit, Down, Come, etc. However, once they've learned a few behaviors, they begin to learn how to learn ... and may learn how to generalize more fluidly. I would guess that this trait would be more noticeable in a puppy who had enriched, early learning experiences...
 

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My view:

Generalizing: Teaching the dog what applies in one place applies in all other places.
Proofing: Conditioning the behavior so strongly that he does it even I hold a raw steak under his nose the whole time. (i.e. regardless of the distraction).
Indeed.

However, for complex behaviors there is really no significant difference in what you do. A distraction is a distraction - whether it is food,, a new scent, a new location, unusual noises, crowds of people, crowds of dogs, whatever. Whether you call it proofing or generalizing, you couldn't possibly cover every potential distraction in your training, so you must train through as many as you can.
 
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