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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I didn’t see a thread about Michael Shikashio so I thought I’d start one. He has been very successful in helping dogs with different aggression issues through force-free and positive reinforcement methods. I recently stumbled upon his podcast called “The Bitey End of the Leash” and thought I’d share: The Bitey End of the Dog (podcast) - Michael Shikashio CDBC | Listen Notes

He interviews different trainers, behaviorists, researchers, etc. on various topics such as resource guarding and leash reactivity. Some of the content is very theoretical, but I’ve found a lot very interesting and applicable, particularly the interview with Simone Mueller where she discusses predation substitution training (working WITH your dogs prey drive instead of suppressing it, such as teaching your dog to stalk so it learns not to chase/kill small critters). I think there are a lot of trainers and dog owners out there that have the misconception that positive reinforcement is simply using food to teach a dog basic commands when there’s so much more complexity to it.
 

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Eska von den Roten Vorbergen
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Yup, treats work just fine, until there's something else that comes along which the dog is more interested in than the treat! Prey drive can be stronger than food drive - it's a lot more complicated than we think! Even the people who developed the operant conditioning training theory (the Brelands) realized that: https://psych.hanover.edu/classes/learning/papers/Breland and Breland 1961.pdf
 

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I agree that PO training is very effective,especially during the teaching phase. But I don't believe that it's possible for a sight hound (for instance) to ever be satisfied with watching/stalking.Genetics will win out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I agree that PO training is very effective,especially during the teaching phase. But I don't believe that it's possible for a sight hound (for instance) to ever be satisfied with watching/stalking.Genetics will win out.
If you listen to the podcast with Simone Mueller, she talks about teaching certain behaviors based on specific breeds. She suggest the stalking behavior for a border collie NOT a sighthound which would require a different approach. The idea is to work with genetics.
 

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Hmm… I’d be very curious how the stalking is working. I definitely need to listen to the podcast to understand more of what they’re doing. I 100% believe we need to give dogs proper outlets for their drives. Dealing with competing motivators is tricky.
 

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It’s good to learn how people are thinking. I love the host asked the guest how we can be sure the data in studies is valid - she ignores this question completely! It’s the most important question a “science based trainer”, as they call themselves, needs to answer. Science is not fool proof - science today is often designed to validate the perspective of whose funding the study. I’m not saying blindly dismiss science, I’m just saying don’t blindly accept it either.

Science is making observations, developing a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, and drawing conclusions. Dog trainers of all backgrounds have been using science long before the university departments and academic journals existed.
 

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Eska von den Roten Vorbergen
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I agree that PO training is very effective,especially during the teaching phase. But I don't believe that it's possible for a sight hound (for instance) to ever be satisfied with watching/stalking.Genetics will win out.
That's exactly the point the Brelands make in their article. The reason training broke down was instinctive behaviours took over. The chickens had to scratch and peck, the pig had to root and the racoons had to wash. (The French name for the racoon is 'the rat that washes' - le raton laveur.)
 

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If you listen to the podcast with Simone Mueller, she talks about teaching certain behaviors based on specific breeds. She suggest the stalking behavior for a border collie NOT a sighthound which would require a different approach. The idea is to work with genetics.
I understand what you're saying. But I don't believe providing an alternate outlet will trump genetics when the opportunity arises unless the dog is physically prevented from engaging in it.At some point the dog must feel convinced something adverse will occur if he acts on the impulse.FYI everyone who has commented so far incorporates a boatload of positive training and rewards while training and living with their dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I understand what you're saying. But I don't believe providing an alternate outlet will trump genetics when the opportunity arises unless the dog is physically prevented from engaging in it.At some point the dog must feel convinced something adverse will occur if he acts on the impulse.FYI everyone who has commented so far incorporates a boatload of positive training and rewards while training and living with their dogs.
I don’t think the idea is to trump genetics but to work with genetics to find outlets that fulfill certain instincts (because realistically a lot of us, not just German Shepherd owners, have certain breeds that aren’t necessarily doing what they were historically bred to do). She also offers ideas for scavenging games for dogs since scavenging is hard wired in dogs’ DNA and a reinforcing activity.

Anyway, the point of my post was to share a resource I recently found that I thought others might find some value in. I am currently raising a 6-month old GSD (my 6th one) am always looking for new ways to engage with him, ideas for training and outlets and enrichment activities. For example, I’ve found Karen Overall’s “relaxation protocol”, mentioned in a different episode, a very useful technique.
 

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Fraserglens Ellie of Carmspack 16/12/2021
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Dog in front of you, that’s what I’ve heard from a lot of people/trainers I’d work with. It is interesting, Ellie as a very young puppy would chase and bite my golden retriever, whenever he ran, not malicious but it was just natural for her to chase and bite and from time to time she would hold on right at his shoulder and have a beard of golden hair, this was her natural behaviour at 3 months old.. somehow we got through it and she no longer goes hard it’s more of a mild nibble lol.. but a friend/breeder/trainer told me she needed an outlet so I introduced a flirt pole and had to correct her because it wasn’t acceptable behaviour in our life.. she probably could of been harnessed to be an excellent herding dog.. but I corrected it, right or wrong I guess. You have to work within hour situation.
 

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Fraserglens Ellie of Carmspack 16/12/2021
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A quick glance at that study told me several things. One it was a study to prove an assumption, which creates a bias in the interpretation of data. The second is the data doesn’t really agree with their conclusions.
Ya I took it with a grain of salt, it is a generalization and probably has a skewed data pool.. BUT… in all reality most dogs today don’t have the intense drives they were bred for innately, save for the purist that are looking for breeders that are breeding for it. Goldens for example my second dog, should be gun dogs retrieving fowl with a way higher prey drive.. most are bred for pets because that’s what people want
 

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Ya I took it with a grain of salt, it is a generalization and probably has a skewed data pool.. BUT… in all reality most dogs today don’t have the intense drives they were bred for innately, save for the purist that are looking for breeders that are breeding for it. Goldens for example my second dog, should be gun dogs retrieving fowl with a way higher prey drive.. most are bred for pets because that’s what people want
If you aren’t breeding for something, you are breeding against it. You are correct that most dogs aren’t being bred towards the original purpose of the breed. Most are being bred with any purpose at all. This leads to the dogs returning over time to what is natural, so a lot traits diminish over time. Some more hard wired traits will stay longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Then their is this article Your dog’s breed doesn’t determine its personality, study suggests that suggests personality traits aren’t specific to the breed standard and more environmental
I’m not quite sure why all the responses seem to have latched on to the one example I gave from one of the podcast topics re: predation. This thread has really digressed from my intent to simply share a resource.

Nonetheless, I read the study you referenced above and it appears more focused on personality traits such as friendliness to strangers or shyness. Nature vs. nuture is a false dichotomy so I imagine is some combination of factors.
 

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critters). I think there are a lot of trainers and dog owners out there that have the misconception that positive reinforcement is simply using food to teach a dog basic commands when there’s so much more complexity to it.
You have a misconception right here. Positive reinforcement( part of operant conditioning theory) is not the same as force free( or positive only by less educated.) Force free is a training style that generally speaking avoids the use of adversive tools. Interchangeably using those terms creates a misconception. There’s no trainer I’ve met that doesn’t use positive reinforcement regardless of their philosophy. As for force free training, I think most trainers with any experience have seen it used in various settings. The effectiveness in stopping or preventing behaviors is where they doubt it’s effectiveness. I spoke to a trainer recent that has competed many times at the world level in schutzhund. We talked about a recent trial with his dog. There’s no corrective devices allowed at the practice for this particular trial. They got 5 minutes to practice. As he heeled onto the field for practice, the dog locked on to the blind. He went through practicing protection and that was that. The next day he had protection. He heeled into the field and the dog locked onto the blind. He did protection and that was that. The next day he heeled onto the field for obedience and guess what? The dog locked on to the blind. He did it throughout the routine. He could have fixed it with corrections. Without them, that’s a long battle. That is an example of where force free training comes up short.
 

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Harley is entirely not food driven and would not be swayed from prey drive with it. I admit to having never discouraged that drive but manage it almost through recall obedience alone.

Rogan is an extremely alert dog, constantly scanning the horizon/woods/driveway etc and is nuts for the flirt pole like I assume 80% of GSD are.

I'd be interested in hearing how one might judge degrees of prey drive; it's not just an intense desire to chase squirrels etc.
 
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