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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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No rewards?

We had some new people come out to the club today, one being a former "schH person" (like going back 50 years or so) to watch us all work the dogs.

When I was working Zefra in obedience, using her ball (on string/rope) the older gentleman commented that I was going to break Zefra's teeth with that ball and rope. She 99.9% of the time grabs the ball only and will occasionally (like hardly) grab the actual string. I have never heard this concern before... anyone else?

When another member was working her dog in obedience and I was watching from the sidelines with these people (happened to be near them) he came over and was talking to me about Zefra. Then he says, "no bite work in obedience" which I was confused about until I realized he was talking about this member rewarding her dog with the tug.

I asked him what he used as a reward during obedience and he said nothing (I understand that older methods are different, but I have worked along side many "older schH folks" whom are quiet accomplished and 99% of them use a reward of some sort while training.

Just curious as to other's opinions on these topics. We discussed it as a club later on but I thought I would bring these topics here for some discussion.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 08:14 PM
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Did you ask him what he does to build/cap drive?
I did some sessions with Karlo of praise only just before we did the BH and it back-fired. I knew that the ball/tug/food was not going to help us in the heeling pattern so got Karlo use to praise only and endurance heeling. He isn't a drivey over the top flashy head up eye constantly on me heeling dog. He'd rather check in with me, but watch what is going on around him when we train.
After we did the B I went back to ball reward and he was much more animated, focused on me and pleasing to get to the reward.
I would have liked to ask the old timer how he trained without rewards...as long as you aren't over tugging to the point of losing the reason for the reward, I don't see a ball/tug or treat as a problem?

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Last edited by onyx'girl; 12-01-2011 at 08:16 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
Did you ask him what he does to build/cap drive?
I did some sessions with Karlo of praise only just before we did the BH and it back-fired. I knew that the ball/tug/food was not going to help us in the heeling pattern so got Karlo use to praise only and endurance heeling. He isn't a drivey over the top flashy head up eye constantly on me heeling dog. He'd rather check in with me, but watch what is going on around him when we train.
After we did the B I went back to ball reward and he was much more animated, focused on me and pleasing to get to the reward.
I would have liked to ask the old timer how he trained without rewards...as long as you aren't over tugging to the point of losing the reason for the reward, I don't see a ball/tug or treat as a problem?
Jane, there was a bit of a language barrier (he spoke mostly German) so I couldn't really get into much of a discussion with him even though I would of liked too. Our German speaking member was not here today (working).

I have taken the reward away from Stark because he is not really "into anything" like a ball or tug, he is more animated with praise and if I break into a play/wrestle match with him a bit. Throw him back, allow some jumping on me, really rough house with him.

Stark is also the same with his heeling, although getting MUCH better. He tends to like to look around and I will get burst of eye contact for about 10-20 paces and then he needs to give a look about then comes back to me. He is ready for his BH but to me, I don't like this aspect of his heeling so we are continuing to work on it. I know, I am picky! Especially with how far he has come.... I think I just need to suck it up and do it.

As for the rewards, I am assuming - just my opinion of what was discussed - he uses corrections and praise to get the dog to comply. He himself admitted to using "old German ways" while working the dogs. Who knows.

I have never had any issues with using a toy/ball/tug to reward and never even considered them breaking a tooth from these things. I mean, look at these dogs bite into the sleeve for goodness sake, a french linen tug or ball on a rope ain't the thing that is going to cause damage in my opinion.

G Wild Winds Zephyr of Cognac BH, HIC, NTD, ITD, CGN, TT
Wild Winds Archangel Raphael HIC, TT
XX z Weberhaus
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 09:35 PM
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My dog is the type that if she becomes over-rewarded, I've noticed over the last two years that her attention shifts to attempting to 'shortcut' to get the reward. She becomes anticipatory, or will sometimes even outright lie (in the case of tracking) in pursuit of the tug (she's never really been a ball fan). Before the introduction of the reward and before the oversaturation of it, she works well and she works happily. She works for the sake of working. I've personally began to substitute energy and a bit of 'revving' the dog up before the routine for the presence of a reward. Lots of rigorous motion, asking her if she's ready, and side-taps.

I would see something like this as sound reasoning for someone not advocating the use of rewards in obedience. I've never been afraid of breaking my dog's teeth, particularly on a hemp tug

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 12:14 PM
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Well I think there has to be SOME reward. I don't like the excessive use of lures to not only initially train but maintain behaviors like heeling. It really depends on how you train though. My dogs get a bit of pressure so that they understand when it is time to work, when I praise and correct a certain way that means work mode and the drive level goes up, but at the same time they are getting praise and verbal cues from me while we are working. When the pressure (and drive) builds to the level I like and the dog can show me some work at that level, then I release. I use the ball and tug more of a release, like they had to take some pressure from me at a higher state of drive and now the reward is exploding into that object and then playing tug, or even just sitting there and holding it calmly for a minute. I just look at it as the dog working for two reasons (and often it's a combination of both) 1) because we are partners and it is fun (or maybe not even "fun" but it is in their nature) and 2) because they know the behavior and I said so. The toys are the release and the way I can interact with a dog that is fun for the dog, but not THE reason the dog is offering the behavior or THE reason the dog is loading up in drive. Maybe that is what he meant?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 02:46 PM
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People didn't always train the way many do today....rewards in his day were praise oriented and soft touches from the hand, and the dog reading us for approval....this is all that was needed, not seen often today in Sch....but it worked.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 04:17 PM
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I didn't think anything of it... Hunter loves his tug as a reward for all our training.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 12:32 PM
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Have you seen obedience from "50 years ago or so" ????? HORRIBLE, head down walking next to handler....Boring........Just because someone did this 50 years ago doesn't mean they know what they are talking about.... keep doing what you are doing if it makes sense to you....


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2011, 12:35 PM
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Thanks Frank!

Leesa~

Chaos v. Wildhaus, SchH2, OB3 (HOT) Forever in my heart ~ Bismark v. Wildhaus, SchH1 (HOT) ~ Kougar v. Wolfstraum, IPO 1, CGC (HOT)... Oberon v. Wildhaus, BH (HOT)
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