A thought on training approaches! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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A thought on training approaches!

Here is a quote I found on another forum about finding a behaviorist if you have an aggressive dog to rehabilitate!


"If the name Koehler has the person grimace and the names Pryor and Donaldson make them smile in delight...run for the hills."

From my own recent personal experience with finding a helpful behaviorist, it has some real merit!

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 10:57 PM
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Well, Koehler makes me grimace--I'm thankful that training methods have advanced greatly in the last 30 years. I believe in good training....

You might like this blog post: Undue Temperance Spot Check

Christine

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Well, Koehler makes me grimace--I'm thankful that training methods have advanced greatly in the last 30 years. I believe in good training....

You might like this blog post: Undue Temperance Spot Check
I will say that that site/article is "interesting"!

A quote from it =

"the potential adverse effects of punishment [include] but are not limited to: inhibition of learning, increased fear-related and aggressive behaviors, and injury to animals and people.."

Course I didn't see a good clear definition of either "aversive" or "punishment'.

They never (that I saw) ever used the word "correction", wonder if because "correction" doesn't have nearly the impact or emotional whack of "punishment".

I would love to see one of these devotees handle (fix?) a truly aggressive DA and/or HA dog - if they could I would have a lot more respect for their extreme approach. Esp.if they can retrain/modify the dogs behavior in a reasonable amount od time and not just recommend to "take away the temptation". As a couple of like sounding local "pro" trainers have said to me.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BlackthornGSD View Post
Well, Koehler makes me grimace--I'm thankful that training methods have advanced greatly in the last 30 years. I believe in good training....

You might like this blog post: Undue Temperance Spot Check

Have you read much of Koehler books and other stuff? Most of the people that I find that "hate" him and think of him as the very devil of dog training and a curse to all dogs everywhere have not actually much knowledge of him and his approach at all.

BTW, he also believed in "good" dog training just as much as you and I do.

But he also had to deal with many truly aggressive dogs of whom he was the last possible step before the needle.

I would admit that I have not had to do so, as the worst I have had are a couple of truly independent low threshhold, VERY self confident GSD's.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 11:56 PM
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I have Koehler's main training book, and I read it years ago. I remember his methods of teaching a dog not to dig holes in the yard and how he recommends teaching a dog to walk on leash.

I also grimace when I hear the Monks of New Skete mentioned as a training book....

One of my favorite training books was Playtraining Your Dog--by a woman who did AKC obedience with her greyhounds.

I was fortunate in that I attended a 3-day Ian Dunbar seminar back in 1992, a month before I got my first GSD. In 1995, I went to a seminar for dog trainers that was held at SeaWorld Ohio--that was a fantastic learning experience with a lot of information about learning theory and creative thinking/training.

I prefer teaching motivationally--whether with marker training or luring or with toy or food. But I have prong collars and electric in my training kit and will use the tool best suited for the task and the dog. Shaping a behavior isn't always the right choice--some dogs hate it and find it demotivational or stressful, some purposes are antithetical (you don't want your service dog offering random behaviors out in public and you don't want your schutzhund dog guessing what might bring a faster reward on the stand stays)

Having seen it happen too many times, I most hate the "bigger hammer" approach to training--that is, just escalating the force level when something isn't working.

Christine

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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I have Koehler's main training book, and I read it years ago. I remember his methods of teaching a dog not to dig holes in the yard and how he recommends teaching a dog to walk on leash.

I also grimace when I hear the Monks of New Skete mentioned as a training book....

One of my favorite training books was Playtraining Your Dog--by a woman who did AKC obedience with her greyhounds.

I was fortunate in that I attended a 3-day Ian Dunbar seminar back in 1992, a month before I got my first GSD. In 1995, I went to a seminar for dog trainers that was held at SeaWorld Ohio--that was a fantastic learning experience with a lot of information about learning theory and creative thinking/training.

I prefer teaching motivationally--whether with marker training or luring or with toy or food. But I have prong collars and electric in my training kit and will use the tool best suited for the task and the dog. Shaping a behavior isn't always the right choice--some dogs hate it and find it demotivational or stressful, some purposes are antithetical (you don't want your service dog offering random behaviors out in public and you don't want your schutzhund dog guessing what might bring a faster reward on the stand stays)

Having seen it happen too many times, I most hate the "bigger hammer" approach to training--that is, just escalating the force level when something isn't working.
Koehler only advocated using any force whatsoever after the trainer was sure that the dog knew and understood the command! Used properly this approach works very well and also results in a very happy working dog.

And the dog WILL work correctly under heavy distraction unlike a LOT (not all but a LOT) of the PO trained obedience dogs from many folks including some of the instructors in our local obedience club. They are famous for saying things at a show like "Don't touch or even talk to my dog - we are going into the ring soon!". Great trained dog, heh?


Wasn't Seaworld one of the places that many many positive only trainer advocates used to cite as a great example of PO training approach and say things like "see you can even teach a wild animal to obey using PO and treats and a clicker and the like" including even a Killer Whale!

Wonder what those same people say now that the killer whale didn't obey very well when he attacked one of his regular handlers and killed her?
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
I will say that that site/article is "interesting"!

A quote from it =

"the potential adverse effects of punishment [include] but are not limited to: inhibition of learning, increased fear-related and aggressive behaviors, and injury to animals and people.."

Course I didn't see a good clear definition of either "aversive" or "punishment'.

They never (that I saw) ever used the word "correction", wonder if because "correction" doesn't have nearly the impact or emotional whack of "punishment".

I would love to see one of these devotees handle (fix?) a truly aggressive DA and/or HA dog - if they could I would have a lot more respect for their extreme approach. Esp.if they can retrain/modify the dogs behavior in a reasonable amount od time and not just recommend to "take away the temptation". As a couple of like sounding local "pro" trainers have said to me.
From what I understand, Patricia McConnell has also handled truly aggressive dogs who were one step away from the needle also, while using positive reinforcement.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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From what I understand, Patricia McConnell has also handled truly aggressive dogs who were one step away from the needle also, while using positive reinforcement.

Would you happen to have a reference where she has written about handling truly aggressivebig dogs? I have never seen anything at all about this work of hers and would be really interested in reading about what she did and how she did it and the final results.

I have read some of her books but never saw anything about handling big HA and DA dogs, so it would be very good to find out where you saw it.

Do you have any of the details - i.e. breeds or how long it took and whether she did the training and handling, or had her clients do the handling?
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 12:28 AM
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Koehler only advocated using any force whatsoever after the trainer was sure that the dog knew and understood the command! Used properly this approach works very well and also results in a very happy working dog.
Uhh... Well, in theory, he might have said that, but his methods don't follow that in actuality. For example, put your dog on a long line, when the dog looks away, run the opposite direction and let your dog hit the end of the leash full speed. I'd say that's force before the dog knows what's going on....

There are way too many people with untrained dogs because of the positive-only training proponents who are not able to solve problems or help owners solve their problems. And yeah, most of them can't work their dogs around distractions or if the situation is less than perfect. No argument from me there.

SeaWorld has certainly got its problems, but it was one of the first organizations introducing training for all of its animals, using positive reinforcement methods to facilitate environmental enrichment and general healthcare for their animals. A lot of good learning and good training has gone on in their facilities and it was a treat to talk with all the different handlers and learn about how they problem solved--especially back in 1995 when this wasn't old hat and on the TV all the time....

Christine

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
I will say that that site/article is "interesting"!

A quote from it =

"the potential adverse effects of punishment [include] but are not limited to: inhibition of learning, increased fear-related and aggressive behaviors, and injury to animals and people.."

Course I didn't see a good clear definition of either "aversive" or "punishment'.

They never (that I saw) ever used the word "correction", wonder if because "correction" doesn't have nearly the impact or emotional whack of "punishment".
.
Were you under the impression that that blog writer was a positive only trainer?

Christine

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