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post #1 of 96 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Positive only versus a Balanced approach

A great video discussion of PO training versus a balanced approach to training by an expert.

‪Positive Reinforcement Vs. Corrections Part 1‬‏ - YouTube
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post #2 of 96 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 01:21 PM
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I watched parts 1 & 2 and they reflect my views and what I did with my present dog. He is very stable and happy. In my dogs case I think his genetics had a lot to do with him being pretty easy.

The guy said something very important about the middle of the first part. That is about dogs in real life situations. When we train in class or at home it is not the same as out in the world with many distractions. Regardless of the training approach if my dog can't do the same thing in public that he does at home he is not really trained.
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post #3 of 96 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 01:33 PM
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Good video. Thanks for posting. A balanced approach has always been my prefered method of training.

I get kinda tired of people telling me over the internet that if my dog is loose in a field and I have a hot dog, that my dog will choose the hot dog over a sprinting rabbit, that there is no need to proof his recall with anything other than "positive only" training.

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post #4 of 96 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 02:05 PM
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A quote from the video clip:
Quote:
But the majority of dogs out there, realistically speaking, unless you spend a year and a day, doing 'sitting' for rewards over and over again- for literally, like a year straight- most dogs are not going to consistently get the behavior.
I think it's unfair to knock the method because you aren't interested in putting in the time. That's not a valid argument at all.

This guy has some good things to say, in general though. My issue is that (at least as far as I can tell) people who argue against positive reinforcement training think that the method ends at "positive reinforcement." In reality, that's not accurate. Just like this guy says (I am pretty sure he said it), there needs to be a balance. All PP trainers know this. That's why they aren't really "pure positive" trainers. They use both positive reinforcement and negative punishment. They simply choose not to employ positive punishment in their training techniques.

When a "Pure Positive" trainer needs to address a problem behavior, they do so by using negative punishment, i.e., they remove the stimulus. They don't ignore it (well, the good ones don't). I would posit that the owners who choose to ignore a behavior in hopes that it will go away simply don't understand the training technique. They don't understand how to apply negative punishment in all situations. Sure, PP trainers will choose to ignore some minor behaviors in hopes that the lack of reinforcement will decrease the behavior. However, problem behaviors are not, and cannot be ignored. It is required that the reinforcement be redirected or removed. It is not ignored. I think this guy has "missed the boat" in his example of asking guest to ignore a dog jumping on them as an illustration of PP training techniques.

I do agree with this guy- there should be a balance. Not everyone can train in PP techniques. I, for one, have very little patience and often stray from the techniques out of frustration. But that's my fault, not the fault of the training technique.

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Last edited by wildo; 08-08-2011 at 02:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #5 of 96 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 02:22 PM
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Wildo.

How would you keep a dog from jumping on guests?
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post #6 of 96 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildo View Post
A quote from the video clip:
I think it's unfair to knock the method because you aren't interested in putting in the time. That's not a valid argument at all.
Who said it was an argument? Just a fact! Even fanatical PO trainers (some at least that I have met) will agree that it can take a lot longer to train a dog with their method.

This guy has some good things to say, in general though. My issue is that (at least as far as I can tell) people who argue against positive reinforcement training think that the method ends at "positive reinforcement." In reality, that's not accurate. Just like this guy says (I am pretty sure he said it), there needs to be a balance. All PP trainers know this. That's why they aren't really "pure positive" trainers. They use both positive reinforcement and negative punishment. They simply choose not to employ positive punishment in their training techniques. The author said that this often doesn't work and I have proof positive that it doesn't!

When a "Pure Positive" trainer needs to address a problem behavior, they do so by using negative punishment, i.e., they remove the stimulus. They don't ignore it (well, the good ones don't). I would posit that the owners who choose to ignore a behavior in hopes that it will go away simply don't understand the training technique. They don't understand how to apply negative punishment in all situations. Sure, PP trainers will choose to ignore some minor behaviors in hopes that the lack of reinforcement will decrease the behavior. However, problem behaviors are not, and cannot be ignored. It is required that the reinforcement be redirected or removed. It is not ignored. I think this guy has "missed the boat" in his example of asking guest to ignore a dog jumping on them as an illustration of PP training techniques.
Why include your guests (who may not all even like dogs!) in your training of your dog? Teach him he can't jump on any guests! You can always teach him "UP" if you want to do so.

ALSO, what do you do when the ACT itself is the reinforcement - i.e. what he said about some dogs just liking the jumping whether you pet them or not? Or chasing a cat or rabbit or ...
They don't need or expect any reinforcement from the owner, just the act is enough (or "fence fighting" as well. What would a PO trainer do - remove the cat - that doesn't do a thing to teach him not to chase - just stops him from chasing it this time - next time - chase is on again. He hasn't learned anything about that he is not allowed to chase the cat whether he wants to or not! We don't leave it up to him to decide whether it is more rewarding to chase the cat or get a treat or a click or even a pat on the head. We decide what is ok behavior, not the dog.

I do agree with this guy- there should be a balance. Not everyone can train in PP techniques. I, for one, have very little patience and often stray from the techniques out of frustration. But that's my fault, not the fault of the training technique.
Just like with all training methods, you will run into good trainers and also bad (ineffective!) ones.

When I told this one trainer I used to use about my dog counter surfing for things to eat, you know what she told me? "Keep the counters clean of anything he might like to eat!!!" Great training advice, right?

And the time it takes to train a dog to do something (or probably more so to NOT do something) is a factor - some behaviors it won't make too much difference, but some behaviors are much more important and need to be corrected as soon as possible and thus the time it takes (and the reliability one achieves) are important.
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post #7 of 96 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 03:06 PM
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What is negative punishment? Is that the opposite of positive punishment?
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post #8 of 96 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
A great video discussion of PO training versus a balanced approach to training by an expert.

‪Positive Reinforcement Vs. Corrections Part 1‬‏ - YouTube
This guy actually says that dogs will not continue to obey unless they "are getting paid" to do it. Or they will only stop jumping on you if you either "pay" them to stop or use negative reinforcement. He says if you stop "paying' them they will stop working for you. I think we all know that is false. Once my dog knew how to sit she didn't forget and she no longer needed treats. The same with COME and other actions. As for jumping, once she got to the age where it pleased her to obey me and/or she understood and responded to NO (without a treat or negative reinforcement), the jumping stopped.
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post #9 of 96 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Hunter Jack View Post
Wildo.

How would you keep a dog from jumping on guests?

Hmmm... well I am just learning the training techniques myself. What I would likely do is:

  1. Start buy employing the concepts of "Ruff Love" in order to make it clear that ALL good things come from me.
  2. When I got to stage 2 of the program (the proofing stage), I would start having a friend come over and knock on my door. I'd expect the dog to bark, but I'd immediately recall them and reward for leaving it. I'd work this for a while until the dog was able to disregard the knock at the door (after alerting, of course) and come to my reinforcement zone. If the dog did not make the choice to stop barking and come to my reinforcement zone- then I would understand that I am not the most rewarding thing in the environment in that situation. I would remove the reinforcement (the person knocking) by sending the dog into the crate for a time-out. I would also move back to stage one of the program where I would be building value for me.
  3. Repeat step #2 until passing...
  4. Once passing, I'd move to opening the door and perhaps greeting the person with a handshake. If the dog fails- I'd got back to step #2.
  5. I'd continue to shape the behavior until I got what I was wanting.

It wouldn't be easy especially for a dog that likes to jump. But it's hardly impossible. When I come to grips with the reality that my dog (in this hypothetical situation) is finding more reinforcement in jumping than in me- then I am able to work on my reinforcement and build a better relationship with the dog. In the end, I would want to be the single most reinforcing thing- always.

I'll end that by saying- dogs aren't machines. Can I always be the most reinforcing? Of course not. But I can set a foundation of being incredibly rewarding. When my dog makes a poor choice, they could be handled appropriately by modifying the reinforcement, e.g., "Yo dog, I'm over here... and I am full of reinforcement!"

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post #10 of 96 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaddyD View Post
What is negative punishment? Is that the opposite of positive punishment?
  1. Positive reinforcement (Reinforcement): occurs when a behavior (response) is followed by a stimulus that is appetitive or rewarding, increasing the frequency of that behavior. In the Skinner box experiment, a stimulus such as food or sugar solution can be delivered when the rat engages in a target behavior, such as pressing a lever.
  2. Negative reinforcement (Escape): occurs when a behavior (response) is followed by the removal of an aversive stimulus, thereby increasing that behavior's frequency. In the Skinner box experiment, negative reinforcement can be a loud noise continuously sounding inside the rat's cage until it engages in the target behavior, such as pressing a lever, upon which the loud noise is removed.
  3. Positive punishment (Punishment) (also called "Punishment by contingent stimulation"): occurs when a behavior (response) is followed by a stimulus, such as introducing a shock or loud noise, resulting in a decrease in that behavior.
  4. Negative punishment (Penalty) (also called "Punishment by contingent withdrawal"): occurs when a behavior (response) is followed by the removal of a stimulus, such as taking away a child's toy following an undesired behavior, resulting in a decrease in that behavior.
Operant conditioning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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