Setting them up to Fail? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Setting them up to Fail?

is there anything we do when training where
we're not setting our dogs up to fail?

when we train our dogs to walk nicely when leashed.
we have to leash them in order to train them. they're
not going to walk nicely in the beginning.

when we teach our dogs not to snatch food out
of our hands. we have to hand feed them in order to teach
them not to snatch. when we first start hand feeding they're going to snatch.

when we teach "leave it". you have to have something
they're attracted to to teach them "leave it".

when we teach "stay". at some point you have to move away
from the dog in order to teach them to stay.

so, what do we teach our dogs that we're not setting
them up to fail? i don't see how it can be avoided.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 09:56 PM
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The trick is the reward for doing as asked, be it a treat a toy or attention.

Look at it this way....

We go to work to earn a paycheck. With that paycheck we get things we want or need; food, cars, houses, etc. To do the job, someone teaches us, and we climb the ladder to be better for bigger 'rewards' or paychecks.

Dogs work for what they love best such as their favorite toy-it is their paycheck. The attention is their paycheck, the treat is their paycheck. They learn by being taught, just as we learn the job by someone showing or teaching us to do it.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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this isn't answering being set up to fail. people are always saying don't
that or this because you're setting them up to fail. i taught
my dog not to counter surf by leaving things on the edge
of the counter. when he went for the things on the counter
i simply said "no". i also taught him not to take things off
the table by making things available to him. if i'm sitting
on the floor eating a sandwhich and i move away and leave
the sandwhich on the floor my dog doesn't go for the sandwhich.
i taught him not to eat a sandwhich left on the floor by
leaving a sandwhich on the floor.

the treat/reward is after the fact of the set up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zisso View Post
The trick is the reward for doing as asked, be it a treat a toy or attention.

Look at it this way....

We go to work to earn a paycheck. With that paycheck we get things we want or need; food, cars, houses, etc. To do the job, someone teaches us, and we climb the ladder to be better for bigger 'rewards' or paychecks.

Dogs work for what they love best such as their favorite toy-it is their paycheck. The attention is their paycheck, the treat is their paycheck. They learn by being taught, just as we learn the job by someone showing or teaching us to do it.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 10:12 PM
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Erm...most of my training involves setting the dog up to succeed, not fail. I guess if the training is all -R and +P it might involve intentionally setting the dog up to fail but I don't know anyone that trains that way.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 10:15 PM
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You are a human
The dog is a dog
If the dog behaved by instinct
In your house, he would not live
So we are training a dog
to live by human rules.

So, no matter how you chop it up
The dog, is being trained to do something
It probably would not do naturally at that point.
Which may mean training the dog
NOT to do something he would do naturally
at that point.

We train the SIT.
We set up the dog to succeed.
We hold the treat above the level of his nose
and bring it up so that he must raise his head
to continue to see the treat.
Head goes up, butt goes down
Praise and say GOOD SIT.

Now, you have just set up your dog to succeed
And praised him for it.

There is nothing wrong with correcting your dog.
Some prefer to redirect.
But if you drop a bottle of IB profin all over the floor
a giant chewie may not be available.
a solid STAY command, or LEAVE IT command
can save your dog's life.

When a one-year-old child goes for the extension cords,
You can run around behind the child redirecting
Or you can can shift your voice to Blood-Curdling and say NO!
It's called training, and sometimes it means correcting
unwanted behaviors as well as training desired behaviors.

I do not see it as setting the dog up to fail.
But when the dog does commit an undesireable behavior
in your presence it is an opportunity
An opportunity for learning to take place
And a big FAIL on our parts if we see that opportunity
And fail to make use of it.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 10:19 PM
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I'll just respond to each one how I train...

Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
when we train our dogs to walk nicely when leashed.
we have to leash them in order to train them. they're
not going to walk nicely in the beginning.
I actually start training heeling and manners off leash. They can't "fail" since they have no idea what we're working on and a leash is not involved.

Quote:
when we teach our dogs not to snatch food out
of our hands. we have to hand feed them in order to teach
them not to snatch. when we first start hand feeding they're going to snatch.
How does this indicate failure? I give treats flat on the palm and the dog licks them off. This way they *can't* fail because I'm not holding the treat in such a way that the dog can nip my hand.

Quote:
when we teach "leave it". you have to have something
they're attracted to to teach them "leave it".
Can't comment on this as I don't train "leave it" (I just say the dog's name to redirect their attention back to me).

Quote:
when we teach "stay". at some point you have to move away
from the dog in order to teach them to stay.
Again, how does this indicate failure? Failure would be you move too far too soon and expect the dog to break the stay. I set the dog up for success, I don't move farther away than what the dog can handle and constantly step back to the dog and reward.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I don't move farther away than what the dog can handle and constantly step back to the dog and reward.
The above is how I think of setting the dog up to succeed or fail. When I was training Sasha to stay, if I had started off putting her in a sit and expecting her to stay while I walked 50yards off that would have been setting her up for failure as she didn't know what stay even meant. If I start off just a step or so in front of her it is much much more likely she'll succeed. So I guess I just view it as setting them up to fail if you are giving them a task that is very unrealistic. The same way with Leave it. I started off with something of lower value, something she might want but not as intensely as she would want other things. Some correction may be necessary but to me that's not really a failure, it's a learning experience.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 10:32 PM
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What Leis said about treats, and STAY.

Sometimes when I am training a puppy in a basic class, I will not go as far, and I will go back to my dog before the trainer gives the command.

A lot o trainers DO want the dog to fail so that you can correct the dog and learning can occur. But if you build up to a long stay, the dog can learn this without breaking it. I do not correct a dog for a broken stay, because I figure it was at least partly on me that it happened. I just take the dog back and start the exercise again, maybe not going so far, or for so long this time.

I think that when you catch your puppy doing a gator on your coffee table leg, there is no reason not to say EH! or No MINE! and then give them something that is appropriate.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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how do you teach heel without a leash?

when i give my dog a treat i'm holding it between my thumb,
first finger and middle finger. duh. i didn't think about the palm method.

with the stay when you move backwards the dog is going
to follow in the beginning. you have to do something to
reinforce the stay. so, the moving away from the dog is setting
them up to fail, isn't it?

i agree with the "you're not setting them up to fail
your setting them up to succeed when we train".

i should have titled my thread "give me examples of setting your
dog up to fail".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I'll just respond to each one how I train...



I actually start training heeling and manners off leash. They can't "fail" since they have no idea what we're working on and a leash is not involved.



How does this indicate failure? I give treats flat on the palm and the dog licks them off. This way they *can't* fail because I'm not holding the treat in such a way that the dog can nip my hand.



Can't comment on this as I don't train "leave it" (I just say the dog's name to redirect their attention back to me).



Again, how does this indicate failure? Failure would be you move too far too soon and expect the dog to break the stay. I set the dog up for success, I don't move farther away than what the dog can handle and constantly step back to the dog and reward.

Last edited by doggiedad; 05-26-2012 at 11:07 PM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 11:34 PM
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I think I have an example but it's not as indepth as the others.

Most may already know...but I notice at the dog park...when playing fetch or games of the sort.

Owners will toss something and expect/want the dog to bring it back. And negatively say to the dog or comment that they didn't succeed.

The dog may have lost it or cannot locate it and they look and look and come back empty "mouthed" (lol i suppose is the correct term).

The owner won't help the dog find it or will grab it themselves and toss it again. I believe that is a set up for failure.

When Bear misses the object and looks at me "mama i can't find it", I go to him and help him and show it to him and allow him to find it and give praise. I believe that is a set up for success.

Jen


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