Praise or Correction? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Praise or Correction?

Hello all,

Here's the situation. I have both Cody and Mandi off lead (like I always do) for about 30 minutes of fetch, sniffing around, rough houseing etc. I go to an empty lot on my street. Traffic is not a concern, but I'm always keeping a look out for other dogs.

Anyhow, they both have like a 95% recall. Even with distractions most of the time they listen right away.

Last night another guy had his dog (cattle sort of dog) off leash. I saw him from a distance, but didn't notice his dog up ahead of him. So Cody and Mandi both go running up to say hi. then the fun begins and all 3 are chasing each other. the owner and i say hi and laugh as the dogs are romping in the snow.

the dogs started to run too close to the street/too far from us for my comfort. So I yelled "come". I got nothing. I tried again. Nothing. eventually..like after another couple "comes" and probably 30 seconds Cody and Manid reluctantly came back from playing.

At that point, Should I have praised them for coming? even though they ignored it at 1st. Or should I have corrected them (both wearing prongs) for blowing off my command. I didn't want them to think they were getting popped for coming, but rather because they came when they wanted not when I said.

I didn't praise or correct since I wasn't sure what to do...

Thank you!!!

A tired puppy is a good puppy

CODY - Sable GSD Born 11/15/09
MANDI - GSD/Husky/Lab Mix Born 6/3/06
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 01:33 PM
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Gotta praise when they come. As much as we want to beat them for scaring us to death, gotta praise when they finally get it right.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 01:45 PM
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Corrections are only fair if delivered when the dog is being disobedient. They are never fair, nor understood by the dog, when given at any other time.

If you could have corrected when they were not listening to you, that would have been fair. But once they finally do come, you must praise to reinforce the behavior you want. Failure to praise when they get it right is almost as poor of a training choice as giving inappropriate corrections.

I might rethink having dogs off lead with only a 95% recall as described. They shouldn't be off lead until it's 100%... or at least 99.9% as with animals I don't believe anything is ever fully 100%. Most importantly for the success of recall training, they should never be placed in a situation where they can practice *not* coming when you call. If they are in a situation where they aren't going to come, and you cannot enforce the command and make them come, then do not give the command because otherwise you are effectively teaching them that the command is optional and it is ok to ignore it when they feel like it.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 01:47 PM
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IMO, if you correct once they get to you, you are correcting them FOR coming to you. However, it would be different if they were dragging a long lead and you could correct them immediately when they ignored you the first time.

Edit: Sorry posted the same time as above : )

Kaya (GSD) - May 9th, 2010

Kobi (Aussie) - April 1st, 2009

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 02:09 PM
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Wouldn't it be great though, if we could sit them down and say, "If I told you once, I've told you a thousand times....."

Hondo Von Dopplet L Bauernhof "Hondo"- GSD
Lilie's Tug McGraw "Tug" - Golden Retriever
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmiller05 View Post
IMO, if you correct once they get to you, you are correcting them FOR coming to you. However, it would be different if they were dragging a long lead and you could correct them immediately when they ignored you the first time.
Exactly. The dog will associate the correction with what he is doing at that precise moment. Not what he did even a few seconds before. So to correct when the dog finally comes is essentially to correct FOR coming, the opposite of what we want to do.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilie View Post
Wouldn't it be great though, if we could sit them down and say, "If I told you once, I've told you a thousand times....."

I've found a cookie to be more effective.

hmmmm...maybe I should try that with my daughter!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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thanks all, i'm glad i didn't do any corrections then. they've been praised thousands of time coming, so the one i missed shouldn't be that detrimental.

usually even when spotting another dog they do come. i think in this case they were already in full on sprints to say hi/play so my command was not received as usual. lil punks.

I hear you Chris. I live in a small condo / no backyard, so I feel bad that they are basically leashed up all the time we are outside. I just like to let them be dogs at least for 30 min a day. But despite this one unsuccessful recall I've had a ton of great one's even with doggies around so be be totally honest i plan on continuing this daily play session since the slip ups on their part is very rare.

thank you all

A tired puppy is a good puppy

CODY - Sable GSD Born 11/15/09
MANDI - GSD/Husky/Lab Mix Born 6/3/06
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilie View Post
Wouldn't it be great though, if we could sit them down and say, "If I told you once, I've told you a thousand times....."
lol, i do catch myself talking to them like they're kids sometimes

A tired puppy is a good puppy

CODY - Sable GSD Born 11/15/09
MANDI - GSD/Husky/Lab Mix Born 6/3/06
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 09:43 PM
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That's the kind of situation where having an e-collar to issue a correction when the dog chooses not to listen would come in real handy. (Actually, that's exactly why I own an e-collar, to proof off-leas behaviors.) Once they come, it NEEDS to be positive and they need to be praised and rewarded for coming.

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

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