so many theories! suggestions? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
Elite Member
 
maxtmill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: San Ramon Costa Rica
Posts: 1,030
so many theories! suggestions?

Hello All, I have read about various canine training theories, and I have concluded that sometimes a little knowledge is a bad thing haha! My dog trainer worked with us and our shepherd using clicker training and treats, gradually giving treats only sporadically. My girl responded well and just loved our training sessions - she was crazy smart! I have read a lot of books, tossed the Cesar Milan books in the trash, have most of the Leerburg tapes, and have recently been told about operant conditioning by someone on the forum here. Can classical (clicker) training be used in conjunction with operant conditioning? I currently have 3 very quarrelsome older French Bulldogs, who have always responded best to NILIF for day to day interactions - they are why I am not yet ready for another shepherd. What I need is some wisdom or guidance to know what GSD owners find best suited for our wonderful breed! (Especially before I go out and buy MORE dog training books!) My dog will be a companion animal, with my interest being in working alot of obedience with him. Thank you!
maxtmill is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 02:32 AM
Elite Member
 
Blitzkrieg1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: KW Ontario
Posts: 1,965
Cesar would probably have helped you out better then the clicker for managing behavioral issues your talking about. Infact, I find clicker training relatively unneccessary for most pet training.
Your goal I assume is calm, compliant, obedient dogs that dont fight. That comes down to management strategy, consequences for undesrable behavior and basic obedience training that supports the goals written above.

Here is an excerpt from a blog I am working on that might be of assistance to you.

Science Based Training
Let us first address the concept of science based training. Many force free training advocates will tell you that their approach is supported by science. That animals trained with positive reinforcement are proven to learn new behaviors more quickly then if they are punished. Guess what! This is absolutely true. Unfortunately this is not the complete truth.

BF Skinner is the noted behaviorist best known for his development of the learning theory, Operant Conditioning which is recognized as one of the most comprehensive behavior theories in existence today. Skinner noted that humans and animals learned new things more quickly when they were rewarded as opposed to punished. There has also been similar research to support this assertion with a variety of animals including marine mammals.

However, here is where they don’t tell you the entire truth. There are FOUR quadrants to Operant Conditioning. They are as follows:

1. Positive Reinforcement: strengthens a behavior by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding. For example, your dog is hungry. He sits and you give him a piece of food. He is now more likely to sit.
2. Negative Reinforcement: The removal of an unpleasant reinforcer can also strengthen behavior. This is known as negative reinforcement because it is the removal of an adverse stimulus which is ‘rewarding’ to the animal or person. Negative reinforcement strengthens behavior because it stops or removes an unpleasant experience. Example, you pull up on your dog's leash and tell him to sit. When he sits you relax the leash. He is now more likely to sit when he hears the command to avoid the leash pressure.
3. Positive Punishment: sometimes referred to as punishment by application, involves the presentation of an unfavorable event or outcome in order to weaken the response it follows. Example, your dog chases the cat. When he chases the cat you smack him on the nose. He is now less likely to chase the cat because of this consequence.
4. Negative Punishment: also known as punishment by removal, occurs when an favorable event or outcome is removed after a behavior occurs. Example, you are holding a toy your dog wants, you tell him to sit, instead he lies down. You don’t give him the toy. He is now less likely to lie down next time you tell him to sit because he did not get the toy for lying down.


In both cases of punishment, the behavior decreases.


As dog trainers we are in the business of creating, managing and reducing various behaviors. Skinner proved that both reinforcement and punishment both impacted behavior. Failing to recognize and use ALL four quadrants of Operant Conditioning is an incomplete approach to dog training. If all dog training involved, was creating one new behavior after another then indeed the exclusively positive / force free approach would have more traction. However, dog training not only involves teaching new behaviors like down or heel but it also involves making those behaviors RELIABLE or in some cases completely removing unproductive behaviors such as aggression. Positive reinforcement is not always the best tool to address all of these functions.

Example:
Scenario 1: Mike has a terrier named Bruno. Bruno barks in the house every time a car drives by. Mike is getting complaints from the neighbors about the noise. He seeks help from a local trainer. She tells him to issue a voice interrupter to Bruno's barking behavior (basically when Bruno barks, Mike interrupts him with a word like "hey" or "no") and to praise and give him treats when he is quiet. Mike tries this for 2 weeks. After a few days of minor improvement things go south and if anything Mike notes an increase in the barking. He finds it difficult to always be on top of Bruno as he is often busy around the house. Also, Bruno still barks when he is away from home.

Why did this not work?

a) Bruno like many dogs derives satisfaction out of barking, while he probably knows that Mike does not like this behavior, he also knows that there are no real consequences for this action. Thus like many dogs he chooses to satisfy his need to bark.

b) Bruno was rewarded with food and attention once he stopped barking. This should theoretically have made it more likely that he remained quiet. The problem here is that all positive reinforcement has a beginning and an end. Mike cannot stay with Bruno and ceaselessly stuff food into his mouth. Nor can he pet him 12 hours a day. When the motivation ceases Bruno has no more reason to be quiet. If anything Bruno likely figured out that his barking initiates the chain of events that lead to him getting attention and treats. Thus the solution to the problem actually made it worse.

c) Mike like most people is busy and cannot always be nearby Bruno to follow the local trainer's strategy. This means that Bruno is receiving inconsistent feedback for his actions. Not only that, science tells us that dogs learn best when the consequences to their actions both positive or negative, occur within 2-3 seconds of the action. Unless Mike is the Flash he won't always be able to make it to Bruno in time.

Scenario 2: Mike has a terrier named Bruno. Bruno barks in the house every time a car drives by. Mike is getting complaints from the neighbors about the noise. He seeks help from a balanced trainer. The trainer there recommends that Mike obtain a Bark Collar for Bruno. In addition the trainer also teaches Mike a protocol to respond to Bruno's barking. The second Bruno barks Mike issues a verbal correction followed by a physical correction if the barking does not stop. Mike repeats these steps as often as required. Mike immediately notes that the frequency of Bruno's barking decreases. Especially when he is in the vicinity. However, Bruno still barks when Mike is out of the house. Mike also purchases the Bark Collar and follows the trainer's collar conditioning protocol for a week before actually turning the collar on. Within the first hour the collar is turned on Bruno hears a car go by and reflexively barks. The collar delivers a medium electric stimulation. This startles Bruno. He Barks again and receives the same consequence. Two weeks into the training Bruno no longer barks in the house.
Why did this work? There was no motivational techniques used. Surely Bruno would learn more effectively to be quiet when taught motivationally.

a) Bruno learns that the consequence for barking is an electric stimulation he finds unpleasant. This means that he is receiving positive punishment for his barking behavior. Initially this causes him some stress, however over a week or so he comprehends that only barking causes the positive punishment and thus understands how to avoid it. Once he knows how to make the unpleasant stimulation cease, he no longer has to worry about it.

b) Mike's goal was to make the barking cease, in other words he wanted to terminate / reduce that behavior. He was not teaching a new behavior but instead removing one. Bruno already knows how to be quiet, teaching him to be quiet again is therefor a pointless exercise. We know based on Skinners behavior theory of Operant Conditioning that punishment is the most effective way to reduce or remove behavior.
Science tells us that we can affect behavior both through reinforcement or punishment. Bruno, like many dogs is simply exercising choice. His choice was to bark which was the wrong one from Mike and the neighbor's perspective. When that option was removed he reverted to the only other choice he had which was to be quiet.

I will never disagree that the scientific method is the best way to train dogs. I see it every day in my practice. However, I cannot choose to ignore a whole portion of proven behavior theory simply because it makes me uncomfortable or emotional. Nor should any trainer!

Bastian the Beast


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Blitzkrieg1; 02-24-2016 at 02:37 AM.
Blitzkrieg1 is offline  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
Elite Member
 
maxtmill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: San Ramon Costa Rica
Posts: 1,030
Thank you for your response! I have been interested in the concept of operant conditioning. What type of dog trainer do I need to seek out for my future shepherd?
maxtmill is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 03:58 AM
New Member
 
cgripp256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 20
I thought operant conditioning went hand in hand with marker training?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Chris
__________

Carl Vom Lundborg-Land aka "Hondo"
cgripp256 is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 04:23 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Dayton NV
Posts: 7,657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg1 View Post
Cesar would probably have helped you out better then the clicker for managing behavioral issues your talking about. Infact, I find clicker training relatively unneccessary for most pet training.
Your goal I assume is calm, compliant, obedient dogs that dont fight. That comes down to management strategy, consequences for undesrable behavior and basic obedience training that supports the goals written above.

Here is an excerpt from a blog I am working on that might be of assistance to you.

Science Based Training
Let us first address the concept of science based training. Many force free training advocates will tell you that their approach is supported by science. That animals trained with positive reinforcement are proven to learn new behaviors more quickly then if they are punished. Guess what! This is absolutely true. Unfortunately this is not the complete truth.

BF Skinner is the noted behaviorist best known for his development of the learning theory, Operant Conditioning which is recognized as one of the most comprehensive behavior theories in existence today. Skinner noted that humans and animals learned new things more quickly when they were rewarded as opposed to punished. There has also been similar research to support this assertion with a variety of animals including marine mammals.

However, here is where they don’t tell you the entire truth. There are FOUR quadrants to Operant Conditioning. They are as follows:

1. Positive Reinforcement: strengthens a behavior by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding. For example, your dog is hungry. He sits and you give him a piece of food. He is now more likely to sit.
2. Negative Reinforcement: The removal of an unpleasant reinforcer can also strengthen behavior. This is known as negative reinforcement because it is the removal of an adverse stimulus which is ‘rewarding’ to the animal or person. Negative reinforcement strengthens behavior because it stops or removes an unpleasant experience. Example, you pull up on your dog's leash and tell him to sit. When he sits you relax the leash. He is now more likely to sit when he hears the command to avoid the leash pressure.
3. Positive Punishment: sometimes referred to as punishment by application, involves the presentation of an unfavorable event or outcome in order to weaken the response it follows. Example, your dog chases the cat. When he chases the cat you smack him on the nose. He is now less likely to chase the cat because of this consequence.
4. Negative Punishment: also known as punishment by removal, occurs when an favorable event or outcome is removed after a behavior occurs. Example, you are holding a toy your dog wants, you tell him to sit, instead he lies down. You don’t give him the toy. He is now less likely to lie down next time you tell him to sit because he did not get the toy for lying down.


In both cases of punishment, the behavior decreases.


As dog trainers we are in the business of creating, managing and reducing various behaviors. Skinner proved that both reinforcement and punishment both impacted behavior. Failing to recognize and use ALL four quadrants of Operant Conditioning is an incomplete approach to dog training. If all dog training involved, was creating one new behavior after another then indeed the exclusively positive / force free approach would have more traction. However, dog training not only involves teaching new behaviors like down or heel but it also involves making those behaviors RELIABLE or in some cases completely removing unproductive behaviors such as aggression. Positive reinforcement is not always the best tool to address all of these functions.

Example:
Scenario 1: Mike has a terrier named Bruno. Bruno barks in the house every time a car drives by. Mike is getting complaints from the neighbors about the noise. He seeks help from a local trainer. She tells him to issue a voice interrupter to Bruno's barking behavior (basically when Bruno barks, Mike interrupts him with a word like "hey" or "no") and to praise and give him treats when he is quiet. Mike tries this for 2 weeks. After a few days of minor improvement things go south and if anything Mike notes an increase in the barking. He finds it difficult to always be on top of Bruno as he is often busy around the house. Also, Bruno still barks when he is away from home.

Why did this not work?

a) Bruno like many dogs derives satisfaction out of barking, while he probably knows that Mike does not like this behavior, he also knows that there are no real consequences for this action. Thus like many dogs he chooses to satisfy his need to bark.

b) Bruno was rewarded with food and attention once he stopped barking. This should theoretically have made it more likely that he remained quiet. The problem here is that all positive reinforcement has a beginning and an end. Mike cannot stay with Bruno and ceaselessly stuff food into his mouth. Nor can he pet him 12 hours a day. When the motivation ceases Bruno has no more reason to be quiet. If anything Bruno likely figured out that his barking initiates the chain of events that lead to him getting attention and treats. Thus the solution to the problem actually made it worse.

c) Mike like most people is busy and cannot always be nearby Bruno to follow the local trainer's strategy. This means that Bruno is receiving inconsistent feedback for his actions. Not only that, science tells us that dogs learn best when the consequences to their actions both positive or negative, occur within 2-3 seconds of the action. Unless Mike is the Flash he won't always be able to make it to Bruno in time.

Scenario 2: Mike has a terrier named Bruno. Bruno barks in the house every time a car drives by. Mike is getting complaints from the neighbors about the noise. He seeks help from a balanced trainer. The trainer there recommends that Mike obtain a Bark Collar for Bruno. In addition the trainer also teaches Mike a protocol to respond to Bruno's barking. The second Bruno barks Mike issues a verbal correction followed by a physical correction if the barking does not stop. Mike repeats these steps as often as required. Mike immediately notes that the frequency of Bruno's barking decreases. Especially when he is in the vicinity. However, Bruno still barks when Mike is out of the house. Mike also purchases the Bark Collar and follows the trainer's collar conditioning protocol for a week before actually turning the collar on. Within the first hour the collar is turned on Bruno hears a car go by and reflexively barks. The collar delivers a medium electric stimulation. This startles Bruno. He Barks again and receives the same consequence. Two weeks into the training Bruno no longer barks in the house.
Why did this work? There was no motivational techniques used. Surely Bruno would learn more effectively to be quiet when taught motivationally.

a) Bruno learns that the consequence for barking is an electric stimulation he finds unpleasant. This means that he is receiving positive punishment for his barking behavior. Initially this causes him some stress, however over a week or so he comprehends that only barking causes the positive punishment and thus understands how to avoid it. Once he knows how to make the unpleasant stimulation cease, he no longer has to worry about it.

b) Mike's goal was to make the barking cease, in other words he wanted to terminate / reduce that behavior. He was not teaching a new behavior but instead removing one. Bruno already knows how to be quiet, teaching him to be quiet again is therefor a pointless exercise. We know based on Skinners behavior theory of Operant Conditioning that punishment is the most effective way to reduce or remove behavior.
Science tells us that we can affect behavior both through reinforcement or punishment. Bruno, like many dogs is simply exercising choice. His choice was to bark which was the wrong one from Mike and the neighbor's perspective. When that option was removed he reverted to the only other choice he had which was to be quiet.

I will never disagree that the scientific method is the best way to train dogs. I see it every day in my practice. However, I cannot choose to ignore a whole portion of proven behavior theory simply because it makes me uncomfortable or emotional. Nor should any trainer!
Wow that's pretty impressive! So consider me the substitute teacher! Boxer guy also and we just wanna have fun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xaM6m8NpAQ
Chip18 is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 05:46 AM
Elite Member
 
Blitzkrieg1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: KW Ontario
Posts: 1,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxtmill View Post
Thank you for your response! I have been interested in the concept of operant conditioning. What type of dog trainer do I need to seek out for my future shepherd?
There is no specific type, just ones that can do what they say and other that feed you stories and your dog cookies. Stay away from any force free, halti promoting anti correction types. Try to find one that has balance in his or her practice and preferably examples of their work.

Bastian the Beast


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Blitzkrieg1 is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 06:00 AM
Crowned Member
 
G-burg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 6,661
I think that's the problem.. There's too much stuff to read.. And we as humans make it more complicated then what it needs to be!! Anymore it seems we over think or get too analytical , when we don't need too..

For me, it's best if I keep it simple! I do enjoy "watching" others train and seeing the outcome of what works, what doesn't, what I might want to try and what I will leave behind..

And sometimes you just have to go out their with your dog and play around, make the mistakes so you can better your handling skills and knowledge!

Leesa~

Chaos v. Wildhaus, SchH2, OB3 (HOT) Forever in my heart ~ Bismark v. Wildhaus, SchH1 (HOT) ~ Kougar v. Wolfstraum, IPO 1, CGC (HOT)... Oberon v. Wildhaus, BH (HOT)
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
G-burg is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 06:35 AM
Moderator
 
car2ner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maryland
Posts: 4,157
Blitz, that is about the clearest explanation I've ever read.

about.me/car2ner
Patton CGC BH
Chief fetch fanatic

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

car2ner is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 08:20 AM
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14,027
I am not a fan of clicker training and the explanation below is clear, which I will research in detail. I have 3 GSDs and so far all have required different training. My first GSD, Robyn was all positive on a flat collar, she responded well. I moved to a prong collar with Midnite mixed with positive. I can't remember ever correcting him on the prong, he did well with it. Apollo is requiring more. We have now added an e-collar for some behaviors. Positive worked for him when he was younger and got us through obedience. Apollo needs a stern, firm correction to get the point. He now understands I mean business and I have found that this has strengthened his obedience. We are finally getting that voice control I have with the other 2. He is still a work in progress but I have now recognized what he needs and apply it. If I didn't do this for him I feel I would be failing him.

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
llombardo is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 09:18 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Ohio
Posts: 57
I'm curious as to why you enjoyed Leerburg and have success with NILIF, but found the Cesar books trash-worthy? They all have a lot in common, realising that leadership is the critical factor in a proper relationship and the relationship is the foundation that underlies training.

My own philosophy is here...generalised for any dog (or wolf, for that matter).psych Each dog is an individual so you need to customise your program to fit your own dog.
Solo93 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