Teaching Engagement - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 07:59 AM
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Great thread Marion! When Fritz went to obedience school, it was treat based, and to this day he does not eat 'treats'! I will try what you suggested and let you know how it goes, thanks, Deb

PS, 3 of those classes he laid down and would not move......

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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyleigh View Post
I use purely positive reinforcement training with my parrot and it works beautifully ... I have no objection to people using it ... when done properly. What I have an objection to is people using food as a bribe to get the dog to do what they want ...

How many of you have seen people at a park calling their dog 20 times waving treats in the air and the dog is still in la la land? Or how many times have you seen some one say SIT SIT SIT SIT and when the dog finally sits they give it a treat? This is the kind of behaviour (from the people) and training (or lack there of) that I am referring to.
Oh, absolutely - I don't think anyone is going to disagree with you there! I think what some people have been saying, (and what I was trying to get at, perhaps in a clumsy way, ) was that there IS a way to use food that is not a bribe, and does not lead to the sort of behavior you're describing. Fodder says it very well in her post.

I do disagree with you on one thing though, that the owner can create what's most motivating to a brand new puppy. I think we can build on what's already there, of course, but we've still got the genetics of the puppy as a big factor. As I said earlier, Halo seemed to come genetically pre-wired to engage. If she hadn't, I would have had to work harder than I did, but instead I simply reinforced what she was already offering spontaneously.

And to me, it doesn't matter if I'm so important because she LOVES FOOD!!! and I'm the bringer of food, or she LOVES BALL!!! and I play ball with her, or she LOVES HER TUG!!!, and she only gets it when she's playing with me, or if it's ME, me, even without any of the many things that float her boat. I'm not sure how I'd tell the difference! Halo is very affectionate, and will bring me a bone to hold for her while she chews it, she'll bring me an Orbee ball to take away and give back to her before she lays down to chew on it (obsessively of course, because that's how she rolls!), she'll come over and sit in front of me, staring into my eyes in an apparent mind meld attempt, where I have no idea what she's trying to get at - but the point is, that she actively seeks me out even if I don't have anything for her at the moment. It's the interaction she seems to want. And I'm not even her special person - that would by my husband, she's a total daddy's girl. I accomplished that at least in part, by using a lot of food when she was young, but I don't need to have food on me now in order to get that same level of engagement.

What I did a lot of is that capturing of behaviors that I mentioned earlier - either with a clicker or verbally, and then rewarding with a treat, whenever puppy does something I like and want to encourage more of. The more I reinforce something, the more puppy offers it up. Later, I name that stuff and put it on cue. But it also builds default behaviors, which is something I really like. Not only do I want my dogs to do what I tell them to do, I want them to be responsible to know the house rules, and what kind of behavior gets them the things they want and value, without having to always ask. I control the resources. That's where real life rewards come into play, such as with NILIF, which I also do. It teaches them to make good choices. Jumping up and down like a loon makes me stand there and do nothing, sitting calmly and making eye contact makes me open the door so we can go out to the garage for dinner. No nagging necessary.

Keefer worships me and always has. I didn't really do anything special, he just does.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18 *** Keefer 8/25/05
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 #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 01:57 PM
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Great post, Debbie!!!!!

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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
. That's where real life rewards come into play, such as with NILIF, which I also do. It teaches them to make good choices. Jumping up and down like a loon makes me stand there and do nothing, sitting calmly and making eye contact makes me open the door so we can go out to the garage for dinner. No nagging necessary.
I don't recall if it was you or Maggie Rose Lee who helped me out when I questioned how to get Hondo to stop jumping on the sliding glass door wanting to come in. (I'm inside, he's outside.) The usual "Use an E-Collar!" was thrown in by many posters.

You (or Maggie) said to do nothing. Just stand and wait. Such a simple solution. He would stop and sit before I let him in. Each time it happened quicker and quicker.

Now anywhere we are, no matter what we're doing, if he is offering behavior that I don't want (barking at a cat etc.) I can stand and look at him and he'll stop. If we are outside and he hesitates on a recall (we are sitting on the deck and he is too far out in the pasture chasing a scent) I don't have to nag. I just stand up and he knows I'm serious and will come running.

The funny thing is when someone asks me how I trained him to respond like that, I always say, "Nothing." (Then I explain.)

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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 02:28 PM
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With a lot of this, I'm just the opposite. I don't capture or do anything along the lines of free shaping. If he offers anything, I ignore it. I do that to make my commands mean more. It could also be because I don't have enough patience and maybe I'm kinda lazy about paying that much attention, all the time?
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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 03:09 PM
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It can be time consuming, Steve, and it does require a certain amount of patience. But I always take the first week off from work when I get a new puppy, so I have a lot of time to spend with him/her at the beginning. With Halo I took long lunches for awhile too, so I could come home and train. I'm about a 40-45 minute round trip, so my one hour lunch didn't cut it. I worked 3 hours in the morning, took a 3 hour break, then worked another 3 hours in the afternoon. I work Monday through Thursday, I already had Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays off, so I was only using one vacation day a week. After a few weeks of that, I cut back to a 2-1/2 hour lunch, then 2 hours, and then back to my regular schedule. We did a lot of training using her lunch kibble every day, and also when I got home from work before her dinner. I'd measure out the meal, and whatever I didn't use for training went in the bowl.

I don't think of this as teaching commands per se, it's more about creating a foundation that I can add to later on. I remember it was impressed upon me a long time ago that you can't teach your dog anything if you don't first have its attention, so I make that a priority. Focus is so important, and I don't mind spending a lot of time and effort in the early days, weeks, and months building that foundation. When I first learned about marker training I was taught to charge the marker before using it - either a verbal marker or a clicker. But at some point I stopped bothering to do that because by marking and rewarding random stuff - sits, downs, eye contact, coming towards me, etc., the puppy just naturally figured out that the marker meant a reward would follow, which saved me a step.

Many people come on here and complain that their dog just doesn't listen to them. Another thing I remember learning a long time ago and I don't even remember from where - dog training is about two things: teaching the dog what a command means, and, why it should care. That's pretty simplistic, but it stuck with me. Not only do you need to teach the command, you need to generalize it to different situations, working on distance, duration, and distraction, but just as important is motivating the dog to WANT to comply. That can be done through motivational training (good consequences), with corrections (bad consequences) , or usually, a combination of both. For me, the more I can motivate my dogs to want to do the things I want them to do, the less I have to correct them for not doing those things.

-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18 *** Keefer 8/25/05
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 #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 03:34 PM
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Just a point of clarification, saying no and tugging on a leash as you explain in your first post is indeed a correction, a mild one. A Justified one, and still a correction. You are introducing a negative... a positive punishment in the operant conditioning jargon. It is mild and fine and worked well for you.

I think many dogs just do engagement. They are oriented toward their folk and it is pretty hard to mess that up. There are dogs out there that might have a dominant personality and I tend to think the very high drive protection dogs have a higher probability of presenting where engagement can be a bit more challenging. They just don't seem so see a need for it. In this case I think the way to go is through tug games (i.e., Ivan Balabanov's methods), crystal clear instruction, a consistent structure of reward and correction and a job to do. When the dog knows the game and the rules, they and you can excel. My Dutchie bonded way better with me when my trainer guided me through the above. Before that, he was very good at entertaining himself... very good at it.

Karin
Dutch Shepherd - Ptygo (Tee-Go) de las Flores
Rescue GSD - Freyja (Husband's Dog)

Last edited by DutchKarin; 09-25-2015 at 03:43 PM.
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 03:36 PM
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I think we probably look for the same things with foundation and attention, and actually use some pretty similar approaches with the same thought behind it. I do a lot of things the way I do, just because its fun.
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