Stubbornness or inability to work? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Jarkko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Finland
Posts: 71
Send a message via Skype™ to Jarkko
Stubbornness or inability to work?

Hello folks!

I've been thinking quite a lot a very simple but difficult question. Let us think a dog that knows how to do something, for example down-stay in a low-distraction environment (backyard, for example), and he knows it 100%. When the same dog is moved to a an environment with a little distraction, for example a public park, he doesn't stay still anymore. When he knows how to do this, we can increase distraction, an extreme distraction being SchH bitework or moose running by. And eventually, he knows what to do anytime.

Now the question is this: 1) is the dog being stubborn, so he knows how to do this, but decides not to do it, and he demands for a correction? 2) Or is the dog just not knowing it anymore because he needs to adapt to increased drive and re-learn?

There seems to be two schools here, but who is right? Is it even possible to know the answer, does it depend on situation?

I can explain easily why the re-learning would work in case 2) if corrections are applied, even if the dog doesn't know what to do. When the dog appears to be stubborn and gets correction, his drive level drops and he then remembers how to act when the command is reissued. This might seem to be irrelevant distinction, but from the dogs point of view, there's a huge difference. This causes conflict in the dogs head, and of course best of the dogs can handle it.
Jarkko is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-15-2014, 12:53 AM
Elite Member
 
Pax8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: TX
Posts: 1,428
I don't think I understand how you think drive works into it. I'll give my take on it.

Dogs do not generalize well. They do not realize that a taught behavior is the same in all environments and if taught without distractions, they are not used to performing the behaviors in the face of distractions. It doesn't matter what the dog's drive is. I have taught crazy high drive dogs and crazy low drive dogs. Either one has to practice behaviors in new environments because drive doesn't have anything to do with them knowing what behavior they are supposed to practice in a new environment.

A high drive dog may be more easily distracted, but that doesn't mean he is being disobedient. He could also be more focused and easier to practice with in the face of distractions. Same thing with a low drive dog. Not following through on a behavior that has been learned in a basic environment devoid of distraction just means that he doesn't understand he is supposed to ignore new distractions and listen to you instead.

And you don't need to correct a dog practicing a behavior in a new environment to "remind" it what behavior it is supposed to be doing. All the dogs I have taught have done exceedingly well with basic positive reinforcement. They learn it is more rewarding to listen to the handler despite distractions. Not because they will be punished if they are too distracted, but because it is genuinely more rewarding to be engaged with the handler.

As far as who is right, I would say the school that considers scientifically proven dog behavior is correct. That dogs do not generalize well and need to practice a behavior many different times with increasing challenge (new environment, stimuli) before you can even think of correcting it for not following through on a behavior.

Last edited by Pax8; 08-15-2014 at 12:55 AM.
Pax8 is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Jarkko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Finland
Posts: 71
Send a message via Skype™ to Jarkko
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax8 View Post
I don't think I understand how you think drive works into it. I'll give my take on it.
Thanks!

Let me try to explain. Drive fits to this equation with correction levels, because drive increases hardness. For a very low-drive and soft dog, one only needs to apply a normal voice correction when the dog is focusing on distraction or breaking out of command, and to a casual observer this dog seems to be very obedient. But for a very high-drive dogs, one need to apply very hard corrections, and for some dog, not even the hardest corrections are enough, because they don't feel anything anymore in extreme situations. And for the casual observer, this dog seems to be stubborn because he doesn't pay attention. But in reality, both dogs might be very obedient and submissive dogs to the handler. Or then again, this might not be the truth, and this was my question.
Jarkko is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 01:27 AM
Elite Member
 
Pax8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: TX
Posts: 1,428
Well, it can depend on the situation as well. It sounds like you are thinking specifically about something intense like protection sport. If you take a soft dog into it, they're going to respond more quickly to basic vocal/body cues because they don't have a lot of drive to overcome to keep their focus and may look very obedient to the inexperienced. A high drive dog may need some correction (if that is how you are training) because they have lots of drive to overcome to hold their focus and may look stubborn or willful to someone that can't tell the dog is working on overcoming drive.

But if we take that situation somewhere else. Say, getting them to listen in a pet store on a slow day. The low drive dog may do everything. But it's not going to be nearly as snappy as the high drive dog that now doesn't have that focus challenge. So in this new situation, the low-drive dog seems lazy/stubborn because it does not have as much drive to work as the other while the high drive seems extremely obedient because it can very easily focus in a lower distraction environment and do everything snappily/quickly.

Though this can also change depending on what training method you use. I've trained plenty of high drive dogs using reward based training and no corrections as they are typically seen (choke/prong collar) and you can get an equally snappy dog even in intense situations. Denise Fenzi is an excellent example of this.

So if you have two dogs working for reward and you don't see correction (leash pop etc), would they both seem obedient? Just one more obedient than the other? Are you basing how stubborn/obedient the dog seems to be off of how many or what type of corrections it needs to do something successfully?
Pax8 is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 01:30 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 138
You might call a dog that is leaking so much drive that it tunes everything out as stubborn; I would just call that a badly bred dog that isn't a good representation of the breed.
Gib_laut is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 11:09 AM
Senior Member
 
Deno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Fern Creek Kentucky
Posts: 202
It's just not all that complicated to me. Anyone who has ever trained a dog knows that a dog that minds
perfect at home will not do the same at new sites.

That's why you train at different sites. With good common sense and effort you can have a dog that
will do whatever you tell it, wherever you take it.
Deno is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Jarkko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Finland
Posts: 71
Send a message via Skype™ to Jarkko
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gib_laut View Post
You might call a dog that is leaking so much drive that it tunes everything out as stubborn; I would just call that a badly bred dog that isn't a good representation of the breed.
Interesting... Can you explain what is "leaking" in this context? Sounds like describing some kind of nerve issue.

Are you saying that too much will and determination is a bad thing for GSD?
Jarkko is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome