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Old 07-07-2014, 09:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Reinforce fear and stuff

So, last night I was at the park and they were shooting fireworks so every time one went off i'd mark and treat. He didn't look scared but I wanted to go a step further and associate it with something positive.

So a trainer saw me do it and he said that I shouldn't, that this just rewards something unpleasant. I know that you can't reinforce fear but the way he explained it also makes sense. Confused now

He said, imagine there's a song that's associated with something bad in your life, so every time you hear it you will get an unpleasant feeling. So it's the same with fireworks, let's assume he's scared, you're rewarding that state of mind.

What did I do wrong? I shouldn't've marked? Just treated? Shouldn't've treated and just redirected?
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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How about just ignore the fireworks? If your dog is not affected by them, why draw attention to them?
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How about just ignore the fireworks? If your dog is not affected by them, why draw attention to them?

The fireworks are over lol, I'm just wondering about the concept. He shies away from loud buses and trucks so i'd like to understand what to do
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The trainer was in the wrong. There's nothing wrong with what you did. You didn't need to actually mark. Just treat as soon as there's a pop. The pop becomes a conditioned reinforcer.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The trainer was in the wrong. There's nothing wrong with what you did.

But what about his example? I read the reinforce fear article and it made sense but his example also made sense
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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what I generally see with dogs that are fearful, say of fireworks, they stress, they aren't going to take a 'treat' at the time of stress, if he was taking those 'treats', than I wouldn't consider him 'stressed' or 'afraid'..but that's just my opinion
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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He probably wasn't. I'm hoping he wasn't)))))
But now I'm curious about the concept of it. When giving food after something unpleasant happened (let's assume it was unpleasant) am I rewarding his feelings of unpleasantness?

Should I stop reading into my dog lol? I want to understand everything about him)))))
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What about you can't reinforce fear did you not get? Let me ask you a question. Let's say you're afraid of spiders. Every time you see a spider someone threw a hundred dollar bill at you. Chances are you're going to feel better about seeing spiders because getting 100 bucks alters your mood rather freaking quickly.

There's a whole system of training by Bart Bellon called nepopo where unpleasant feelings signal reward. Kind of disproves his theory.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JakodaCD OA View Post
what I generally see with dogs that are fearful, say of fireworks, they stress, they aren't going to take a 'treat' at the time of stress, if he was taking those 'treats', than I wouldn't consider him 'stressed' or 'afraid'..but that's just my opinion
Plus this. If they eat then they're fine.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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There's another thread about this (nepopo). What a coincidence. I will read about this.

Yes, i'd like spiders after a while a little more)))))
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