Research article -- frequency of training sessions - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Research article -- frequency of training sessions

ScienceDirect - Applied Animal Behaviour Science : The effect of frequency and duration of training sessions on acquisition and long-term memory in dogs

The effect of frequency and duration of training sessions on acquisition and long-term memory in dogs
Helle Demant, Jan Ladewig, Thorsten J.S. Balsby and Torben Dabelsteen
Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 133, Issues 3-4, September 2011, Pages 228-234
Abstract

Most domestic dogs are subjected to some kind of obedience training, often on a frequent basis, but the question of how often and for how long a dog should be trained has not been fully investigated. Optimizing the training as much as possible is not only an advantage in the training of working dogs such as guide dogs and police dogs, also the training of family dogs can benefit from this knowledge. We studied the effect of frequency and duration of training sessions on acquisition and on long-term memory. Forty-four laboratory Beagles were divided into 4 groups and trained by means of operant conditioning and shaping to perform a traditional obedience task, each dog having a total of 18 training sessions. The training schedules of the 4 groups differentiated in frequency (1–2 times per week vs. daily) and duration (1 training session vs. 3 training sessions in a row). Acquisition was measured as achieved training level at a certain time. The dogs’ retention of the task was tested four weeks post-acquisition. Results demonstrated that dogs trained 1–2 times per week had significantly better acquisition than daily trained dogs, and that dogs trained only 1 session a day had significantly better acquisition than dogs trained 3 sessions in a row. The interaction between frequency and duration of training sessions was also significant, suggesting that the two affect acquisition differently depending on the combination of these. The combination of weekly training and one session resulted in the highest level of acquisition, whereas the combination of daily training and three sessions in a row resulted in the lowest level of acquisition. Daily training in one session produced similar results as weekly training combined with three sessions in a row. Training schedule did not affect retention of the learned task; all groups had a high level of retention after 4 weeks. The results of the study can be used to optimize training in dogs, which is important since the number of training sessions often is a limiting factor in practical dog training. The results also suggest that, once a task is learned, it is likely to be remembered for a period of at least four weeks after last practice, regardless of frequency and duration of the training sessions.

Christine

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 06:55 AM
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Good news for us lazy people.

Leah
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 07:51 AM
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Good news for us lazy people.
There is another thread on this topic.
We aren't lazy, we are energy-efficient.
Or low-drive .... ya, ya, THAT's it.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 08:03 AM
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I would be very intersted in seeing the results of this done on several different breeds. I'm not really convinced that this is not a highly breed-specific issue. Beagels are not exactly known to have a high desire to work with and for people...whereas the opposite is true of GSD's. So, I wonder if that desire to DO SOMETHING for you and use their mind has an effect on how frequent the sessions should be.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 08:20 AM
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by GSDElsa View Post
I would be very intersted in seeing the results of this done on several different breeds. I'm not really convinced that this is not a highly breed-specific issue. Beagels are not exactly known to have a high desire to work with and for people...whereas the opposite is true of GSD's. So, I wonder if that desire to DO SOMETHING for you and use their mind has an effect on how frequent the sessions should be.
I think breed could make a big difference too, they need to do the same study with GSD's or Border collies, breeds that want to work.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 09:24 AM
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I would be very intersted in seeing the results of this done on several different breeds. I'm not really convinced that this is not a highly breed-specific issue. Beagels are not exactly known to have a high desire to work with and for people...whereas the opposite is true of GSD's. So, I wonder if that desire to DO SOMETHING for you and use their mind has an effect on how frequent the sessions should be.
That was my first thought when I saw that they used Beagles. MHO is that GSDs would have even better results, which is to say that they can be taught even less frequently. I am not saying that they should, however. Another thing is that they should be able to be taught more different things because individual tasks/tricks/words don't have be repeated as often as thought (by some).
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Oops! I looked around before posting--didn't think to look under current news!

Christine

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 12:08 AM
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My Dad thinks it may be related to the idea of why random reinforcement scheduleS work so well. I have been training infrequently. If the dogs like to do the activity they might bring more drive to infrequent sessions and perform better?
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