When does positive reinforcement become permissiveness? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-20-2013, 10:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default When does positive reinforcement become permissiveness?

I saw this question posed on a dog training site as a topic covered in a seminar they are offering. I thought it was a good question. I certainly feel like a vending machine a lot of the time. At what point is giving treats detrimental to training, if ever? And do corrections have a place even to those who follow positive reinforcement?
I am very confused by all the different training methods. That may be a reason that Stella isn't progressing like I feel she should be. I am too back and forth with my methods???
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you are rewarding for behavior that isn't wanted or asked for, then yes, it is detrimental. If you are teaching sit and rewarding every time the dog sits, well after they understand what is required, it is detrimental. The idea to rewarding is to teach the behavior and then you should be weaning the treats by expanding on the original. Heal? Two steps - treats. 4 steps - treat. Not every step.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by katdog5911 View Post
I saw this question posed on a dog training site as a topic covered in a seminar they are offering. I thought it was a good question. I certainly feel like a vending machine a lot of the time. At what point is giving treats detrimental to training, if ever? And do corrections have a place even to those who follow positive reinforcement?
I am very confused by all the different training methods. That may be a reason that Stella isn't progressing like I feel she should be. I am too back and forth with my methods???
When using treats as a reward, there is a time when the treats dwindle down to none. After a dog learns something, then treats are given whenever you feel like giving them. My dogs were all trained with treats/positive and now they rarely get treats, unless I want to give it to them. I rarely correct my dogs, but I will redirect them. For example if the GSD is chasing the cats, I don't say no..I will use leave it or call her to me and praise her for coming.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So what do you do in this scenario?

Stella KNOWS sit. No doubt about it. I say sit. She does not sit.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When using treats as a reward, there is a time when the treats dwindle down to none. After a dog learns something, then treats are given whenever you feel like giving them. My dogs were all trained with treats/positive and now they rarely get treats, unless I want to give it to them. I rarely correct my dogs, but I will redirect them. For example if the GSD is chasing the cats, I don't say no..I will use leave it or call her to me and praise her for coming.
The question for POS training then might become - what do you do if the dog doesn't stop chasing the cat? I.E. the self reward for that behavior is greater than whatever reward that the owner can give the dog (at that moment).

How does the dog learn that he/she is not allowed (by the owner) to make his own mind up about some of his behavior? How will the dog learn what is incorrect/bad behavior if the owner doesn't tell/indicate what is "bad" or unallowed behavior?
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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So what do you do in this scenario?

Stella KNOWS sit. No doubt about it. I say sit. She does not sit.
Once you are sure that she "knows" SIT, maybe from the fact tha she will do it when undistracted; then you train in an environment with small distractions.

And at least to me, you MAKE her sit with a correction (at a level appropriate to your dog to insure that sheknows what she is doing is wrong - i.e. to get her attention). Could be nothing more than a mild verbal one (i.e. AAAHHH!) up to a hard one wih a prong collar, or such.


I think that we owe it to a dog to let them know when they are misbehaving (BUT only after we are sure that they understand the command and sometimes this is tough to do).
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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So what do you do in this scenario?

Stella KNOWS sit. No doubt about it. I say sit. She does not sit.
How old is Stella? Does she really know sit or do you think she knows sit? Do you have a problem getting her to sit in certain situations or all the time? How did you train her to sit, what method?
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Stella is 19 months. She absolutely KNOWS sit. She does it with distractions or not. Sometimes she is spot on and sometimes she just takes her sweet time. She learned using positive training. Lots of treats and praise when she was young. BUT she doesn't always sit right away. And sometimes she just takes her sweet time to get her butt down. Or she will turn around in another direction before sitting. Or she will grumble before she complies.
If she is focusing on me when I say sit and she doesn't, sometimes just a raised eyebrow will do it. Or I clear my throat and she does me a favor and sits. I am thinking she should sit when I say sit....
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I"m making the assumption that this is happening when you are training and not just every day life? She should just sit. Are you rewarding her when she's slow? Or decides that turning around first is the best way to sit? If so, then yes you are being permissive.

Sit means Sit, not mosey around the table first. At that point, I stop treating. I'll give her another chance. Sit and if she responds quickly she'll get a reward (usually a toy). If not, game over. Do you have her in a higher drive when training? That often helps to increase their response time. Is the treat high value enough?
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by katdog5911 View Post
Stella is 19 months. She absolutely KNOWS sit. She does it with distractions or not. Sometimes she is spot on and sometimes she just takes her sweet time. She learned using positive training. Lots of treats and praise when she was young. BUT she doesn't always sit right away. And sometimes she just takes her sweet time to get her butt down. Or she will turn around in another direction before sitting. Or she will grumble before she complies.
If she is focusing on me when I say sit and she doesn't, sometimes just a raised eyebrow will do it. Or I clear my throat and she does me a favor and sits. I am thinking she should sit when I say sit....
I don't think that this is a big issue. Mine sometimes tries cheating when I tell her to sit...she doesn't put her butt all the way down I think that you should keep moving forward and be consistent. I have also seen some dogs do this that were having a problem with the surface...concrete floors, carpet..all of these things feel different to the dogs and maybe make them feel uncomfortable. I seen dogs in class that wouldn't sit on concrete, but when a mat was put down, they sat immediately. Just a thought
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