Praise only training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Praise only training

Recently there has been an uprise here locally of praise only training. I know I have my opinions on it however I would LOVE to get others views especially those reay knowledgeable in training methods.

I think it strikes me so bad because this person feels the need to bad mouth any other training such as treat, clicker, negative reinforcement etc.. talking about how uneducated people are and these methods aren't reliable and of course hes also a board and train so in my mind the poor uneducated owner will leave their dog with him and he'll lock it in a crate/kennel all day long except for the little bit of time hes working with the dog (if that) and of course it will want attention/praise because it's being ignored the rest of the time. We all know the issues of board and train but to know how hes getting the dogs to work makes me seriously question whats going on behind the scene.

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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 09:36 AM
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In the 'olden' days, the only way we knew how to train was to set our dogs up to FAIL, because only then could we 'correct' them to show them that was 'wrong'.

So our dogs learned by being wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong, correction correction correction correction, and eventually would figure out what to do that would STOP getting them yanked/cranked and corrected.

So the entire basis of that training was our dogs had to be 'wrong' so we could show them that was bad with the correction.

The newer type of training is much harder FOR THE HANDLER. Because instead of easily having a 'bad' dog we correct correct correct, we had to instead use our brains to figure out how we can CATCH our dogs being 'right' then SHOW them that was 'right' by an instant reward. So we reward the 'right' instead of correcting the wrong.

This makes our dogs have to THINK also and be a part of the training because they start to want to figure out HOW to get the rewards. The are excited and wanting to engage and be with us.

Rather than the 'old' training where the dogs are just desperately trying to figure out how to AVOID the pain/correction no matter what (leave the area, run home, STOP TRAINING WITH MOM/DAD?).

For trainers that refuse to learn anything new (though they sure have high expectations for their dogs to learn fast ) and know that MOST of the dogs do learn with their method cause they want to avoid the consequences, they have continued to be closed minded and not use any of the new methods THAT DO WORK. But the human needs to learn something new, NOT just the dog, and it's much harder to train us than a dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Positive training isn't permissive training. And though some people really only use 100% positive and it may work for them, many of us use a blend and it works for us. I find I can use a clicker/treats/toys AND a prong collar and my dog comes thru it well in the end!




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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holmeshx2 View Post
Recently there has been an uprise here locally of praise only training. I know I have my opinions on it however I would LOVE to get others views especially those reay knowledgeable in training methods.

I think it strikes me so bad because this person feels the need to bad mouth any other training such as treat, clicker, negative reinforcement etc.. talking about how uneducated people are and these methods aren't reliable and of course hes also a board and train so in my mind the poor uneducated owner will leave their dog with him and he'll lock it in a crate/kennel all day long except for the little bit of time hes working with the dog (if that) and of course it will want attention/praise because it's being ignored the rest of the time. We all know the issues of board and train but to know how hes getting the dogs to work makes me seriously question whats going on behind the scene.

I always challange the person asking about "praise only" methods to go out and observe the person doing/teaching this training. I'd be willing to bet that in fact, it is based in compulsion.
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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Holmeshx2 View Post
Recently there has been an uprise here locally of praise only training.
I read your post initial as positive only training... glad I reread

Would you work everyday if all you ever got was a pat on the head? Some people might but I also think it depends on the job you are doing. No way would I work my day job for just praise (not even a cookie?!).

Any trainer that thinks their way is the only way automatically loses points in my book. Generally, I find that the people who screech the loudest about how bad things like corrections and prong collars are, are the people who know the least about how to properly use them. Balance in everything is the way to go.
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 09:49 AM
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I don't mind the praise only training as I am starting to get into the obedience ring and praise is really the only reward we can use in there. I did clicker training when he was a puppy, but that gets old fast as you always have to have a clicker on you for whenever your dog does anything good. We also still train with treats as sometimes that is the only way to motivate him. I believe some dogs, like mine, don't always respond to praise. I do believe if he had gone through his whole life without being pet, he would be just fine. Sometime when we coddle him he looks like he is just putting up with it because we like it lol.

I just don't like when trainers try to sell their craft by putting down other people's craft. Lets face it, the praise only helps to develop a dog that wants to do good because it likes the outcome, not a dog that doesn't want to do bad due to the outcome. I don't think that this is always possible as a puppy or in a young age because at some point I see my dog not caring that he won't get praise and just doing what he wants to do.

I have kind of figured out from the forum that people that truly work their dogs in SAR, Schutzhund, and other jobs/sports like that don't correct when their dog is a puppy and let them get away with a lot more than the average pet owner. In the end they end up with a very obedient dog 2 or 3 years down the line. But for many people they can't afford that first 2 year period of a dog that isn't very obedient. After dealing with my first dog (this one) I promised myself that I would try more of the "praise only" on the next one and see what the difference is like, then I might understand what is better in the long run.
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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mthurston0001 View Post
I always challange the person asking about "praise only" methods to go out and observe the person doing/teaching this training. I'd be willing to bet that in fact, it is based in compulsion.
That would be my guess too.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MaggieRoseLee View Post
In the 'olden' days, the only way we knew how to train was to set our dogs up to FAIL, because only then could we 'correct' them to show them that was 'wrong'.

So our dogs learned by being wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong, correction correction correction correction, and eventually would figure out what to do that would STOP getting them yanked/cranked and corrected.

So the entire basis of that training was our dogs had to be 'wrong' so we could show them that was bad with the correction.
Exactly, and other than the obvious problem with method, that MRL points out - dogs can shut down and stop trying after awhile, it's much more efficient to show your dog what you DO what from them than what you DON'T want. For any command you want to teach your dog there is one right response and any number of incorrect ones. Doesn't it make sense to reinforce the right one than to correct all the wrong ones? I don't want my dog to learn all the various things that AREN'T a sit, I want him to know what IS a sit! Or a down, or heel, or a recall....

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 10:13 AM
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I too dislike trainers when they bash the other methods. If your methods are so much better than others then tell me about them, not how bad the other method is.

There are times when I only use praise, usually becasue she does something totally amazing and I was not "training" but it was real life. When I do this I become so animated and playful that she does respond. But if I were to reach down and scratch her chest and say good girl in a boring voice it's going in one ear and out the other.

In the class I'm in now, the trainer doesn't really use treats, but wants us to praise the dogs. I see very little praise going on. I'm the most "happy, sappy, animated praiser" in the group and I consider myself tame and boring compared to the good dog trainers.

When I was working towards going obedience ring I would practice a small section of the trial without treats and at the end praise her and then run towards the treat container to give her one. This way she knew it was coming after we completed a few sections. Build up upon that and make the time longer and longer. It was working.
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 10:36 AM
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Edit: Nevermind, I didn't realize this was praise only! So no treats or anything?

ADCH Mikko (USDAA) SCH-B; (NADAC) EAC, EJC, TN-E, TG-E, VerO; (AKC) NAJ, CGC; (NACSW) NW1 - 9 year old GSD

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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 11:46 AM
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Wolfie's obedience classes were praise only. I found that it works just as well as training with treats, which is what I was doing at home.

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Chases Wolfgang Heinrich Von Ryan aka Wolfie born 12/20/09
Waiting for us at the bridge is Chases Chieftain aka Chiefy Left this earth and left a hole in our hearts July 2000
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