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Discussion Starter #1
I have confusion on when it's best to use leash pressure (neg reinforcement) vs. leash pops (positive punishment) to change behavior. For example, when loose leash walking and my dog stops to sniff something and is taking too long and not responding to my "Leave It" command, is it best to use leash pressure to get him to start walking again or a couple pops on the leash or a single hard pop?

I can't really find a good source that really explains when to use specific types of aversives to manipulate behavior and why to use certain types over others in different circumstances.
 

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I have confusion on when it's best to use leash pressure (neg reinforcement) vs. leash pops (positive punishment) to change behavior. For example, when loose leash walking and my dog stops to sniff something and is taking too long and not responding to my "Leave It" command, is it best to use leash pressure to get him to start walking again or a couple pops on the leash or a single hard pop?

I can't really find a good source that really explains when to use specific types of aversives to manipulate behavior and why to use certain types over others in different circumstances.
Have you checked Tyler Mutos leash pressure techniques. It might help you out. I guess he uses the neg reinforcement way with a prong, in that the dog corrects himself by not paying attention to the handler, rather than being corrected for a behavior.

Simply stamping on the ground loudly towards the dog can get his attention or the leash pop may get the dogs attention and then move you move on. The stamping towards the dog is seen as social pressure by the author of the site i'm posting below. More info on Operant condition there too which might help you..

You have an interesting perspective on the situation any ways. .

Dog Training Corrections are one of the most controversial issues for Dog Owners
 

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For not leaving a sniffing spot I usually don't use either. My big boy can be stubborn and a pop won't do it. I use leash pressure if I am in a hurry. Usually I go over to my dog and walk into his head /shoulder area and gently but firmly move his head with my shins until he gets his head back up. Once his head is up he moves along. I repeat the move along command once his head is up because when his head is in the smell he might not have even heard me.

I suspect it is the scent of some "sweet young thing" that gets him so stuck.
 

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Usually I just say leave it and the dog leaves it. On the rare occasions where they don't, I just say come on and start walking. The dog will either walk with me or get drug along. So I guess that would be leash pressure.

LOL, yes, I think sometimes we really do over think things. Yes, there are times when it boils down to "I'm moving and you're coming..end of story.
 

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If I've taught a dog what leave means and they don't respond, a leash pop backs up my request and gets their attention. Using the same scenario, if I'm teaching a dog the command and the dog pulls or lays hard into a scent, they've created the pressure themselves, so I hold my ground (fixed pressure)... they learn that they can control the release and I'm there to reward any moment of yeilding to the pressure - a reward can be good, praise, toy, physical, or merely continuing to walk.

Another way to utilize collar pressure is when you're trying to get a response out of your dog but it's not necessarily something that you want your dog to leave alone. For example a dog that doesn't want to get in a crate - obviously the best way is to encourage or lure them in but once you're in the middle of "the fight", encouragement can be seen as rewarding the resistance, as well as releasing the pressure and allowing the dog to flee. Calm fixed pressure only gives them one choice... the objective then being to at least release the pressure, you can revisit the idea of getting all the way in the crate later with a revised strategy.
 

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I use leash pressure as a training tool, to show the dog what I want. When the dog yields to pressure I mark and reward.

A collar pop would be more of a correction for not doing what I want.
 

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As others have said, teach a 'leave it' command. I often ask my students who is walking who if they stop and keep telling the dog to leave it or just stand there waiting for the dog. 'Leave it' and keep walking and the dog will learn to do what you ask. An enthusiastic 'Yes!' and verbal praise as soon as the dog starts walking again. And there are some days when it is just pretty out and I'm walking the dog so it can be just a dog and I'll let it sniff as long as it wants.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I suspect it is the scent of some "sweet young thing" that gets him so stuck.
My male is intact and I intend to keep him this way. He knows the leave it command, but there are some scents (which I highly suspect are female orientated) where he literally drools over and he will completely disregard the Leave It command unless I use leash pressure or a pop. Both are effective, but leash pops seem to be snap him out of it faster.


I am curious if enough leash pops will eventually teach him to override the overwhelming competing motivator so he will learn LEAVE IT MEANS LEAVE It or will have to indefinitely use leash pops to redirect his attention. If it is the latter, it would seem leash pressure over the long run would be a wiser aversive as the continuous corrections would maybe desensitize him to corrections for other behaviors where the corrections would actually work to eliminate the behavior.
 

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in that the dog corrects himself by not paying attention to the handler, rather than being corrected for a behavior.
I could see the self-correcting on a prong working for sensitive dogs, but my dog is a puller and not too soft. It would seem that allowing a dog to rehearse pulling with a prong would just desensitize the dog to the prong just like pulling into a flat collar. So this obviously needs to be corrected. I am wondering if maximizing the leash pressure by using a strong steady pull back is more effective to stop the pulling (with the immediate release of pressure) or whether backward pop corrections are more effective.

Also, I have watched some of Tyler Muto's leash pressure video and it seems to contradict Michael Ellis's methods. Muto states that pulling straight back in line with the spine is bad for the dog's spine, but Ellis believes pulling back straight along the spine is the proper way to get a dog to back up with leash pressure (at least with regards to focused heeling work). Is there any scientific evidence that back's up Muto's claims that pulling straight back along the spine is harmful to the dog's back?
 

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Simply stamping on the ground loudly towards the dog can get his attention or the leash pop may get the dogs attention and then move you move on. The stamping towards the dog is seen as social pressure by the author of the site i'm posting below.
Not a big fan of using social pressure or rather psychological corrections (I think this is a better definition) since I think this damages the relationship between dog and handler much more than any physical correction. I also don't want my dog to be afraid of things and I think psychological corrections have a tendency to increase fearfulness in dogs. Lastly, more confident or harder dogs will desensitize to this and just come to accept you screaming and yelling as the norm. I use it very sparingly.
 

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A couple things - it sounds like your dog needs to first be taught how to walk properly on leash. If a prong is properly sized, fitted and used correctly... as a training (not management) tool, your dog should not become desensitized to it. Collar yielding exercises can and should be taught in situations away from heavy distractions... this is done motivationally (mark and reward), keeping in mind you'll be rewarding baby steps for awhile. Finally, multiple small corrections are nagging and can absolutely be desensitizing. Find out what level of correction is effective, for the given situation, and go straight to it.

No offense intended at all, but having a strong intact male paired with some of your questions and misconceptions... I really encourage you to seek assistance from an in-person trainer.
 

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A couple things - it sounds like your dog needs to first be taught how to walk properly on leash.
^ This. :thumbup: How old is your dog, and how much time have you spent training him to walk nicely on leash?

I taught Halo with very gentle leash pressure, at home in a low distraction environment at first, until she understood that when she felt that pressure she needed to yield to it. No hard pulling, and I actually did it to one side or the other, not backwards. At this point, it's not about walking on leash at all, it's about learning what leash pressure MEANS. The slightest pressure meant that she was to move in that direction, which I marked and rewarded.

Pulling into a collar can be instinctive (opposition reflex), so you need to retrain that instinct. If he's still pulling and you need to frequently correct him with leash pops then he doesn't understand yet, so go back to the basics. Because I started leash training with Halo when she was still young, she was about 7 months old when we began in earnest, I used a flat collar.

Later, I went back and used the same techniques on Keefer, who was already a big, strong, four year old dog. For him, instead of a flat collar, I used a prong. But I trained him what leash pressure means first, and that he was to yield to it in the same way I trained Halo, I wasn't using it to constantly correct him.

ETA: It's important that your dog learns that pulling will never get him what he wants, so I like to use penalty yards if my dogs start to pull towards something. You pull, and instead of getting closer you get further away. You can practice this at home too, with a baited bowl of food or treats, or a favorite toy on the floor.
 

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My male is intact and I intend to keep him this way. He knows the leave it command, but there are some scents (which I highly suspect are female orientated) where he literally drools over and he will completely disregard the Leave It command unless I use leash pressure or a pop. Both are effective, but leash pops seem to be snap him out of it faster.


I am curious if enough leash pops will eventually teach him to override the overwhelming competing motivator so he will learn LEAVE IT MEANS LEAVE It or will have to indefinitely use leash pops to redirect his attention. If it is the latter, it would seem leash pressure over the long run would be a wiser aversive as the continuous corrections would maybe desensitize him to corrections for other behaviors where the corrections would actually work to eliminate the behavior.
If you make a couple of those pops count he'll learn leave it. I wouldn't overthink it. To make a little clearer and easier, you can start with something less distracting, but at some point he'll probably have to go through one of those "Uh oh, I guess he means it" moments if you want to eliminate anything.
 

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Lots of great advice. When my girl first came home, we worked on leash pressure. She understands it pretty well, but in stimulating environments it goes out the window. I'm currently doing what Cassidy's Mom has suggested, and while it's a total PITA to constantly move backwards or stop moving all together, it's starting to pay off. She's starting to realize that she needs to come back to my side before we move forward and she needs to do it calmly.

I've also found that if I pull back in line with her spine, it forces her to turn around and face me because of the angle of pressure. Standing up and allowing her to pull gives her more leverage to jump or lunge forward, whereas if I kneel or squat down and hold pressure along her back, her pull immediately brings her back to me and she can't get as amped up. So I just do what works for my dog. There's too many training theories to stick to just one, IMO.

At some point though, I know personally I will be using a prong to help with self-correcting her lunging tendencies in inappropriate situations. It's probably better that your dog is more, "so what?" to a physical correction, because you don't want your dog to shut down after receiving one. I think it's more of a realization in the dog like Steve said, when they receive a prong correction for behaviour they know they shouldn't be doing, or when they self-correct by reaching the end of the leash.
 

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My trainer taught me that the only time to use static pressure with a collar is to teach or reinforce sit, lay down and up. Static pressure up, dog sits, immediately release pressure. Static pressure down, lay down, static pressure forward, stand up. When moving (walking) only use pops, the dog should never feel static pressure while walking. And "pops" are typically nothing more than a slight shake of the leash.

Works, for me...
 

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My trainer taught me that the only time to use static pressure with a collar is to teach or reinforce sit, lay down and up. Static pressure up, dog sits, immediately release pressure. Static pressure down, lay down, static pressure forward, stand up. When moving (walking) only use pops, the dog should never feel static pressure while walking. And "pops" are typically nothing more than a slight shake of the leash.

Works, for me...
That usually works for my she-pup but if my boy finds a scent worth drooling over, shaking the leash won't even be noticed. Since I don't want to yank on his neck because I suspect that he isn't even aware of me giving him a command, that is when I push his head away with my leg. Then it's "Oh Hi Boss. I was gone for awhile but now I'm back. What were we doing again?" :halogsd:
 

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I've also found that if I pull back in line with her spine, it forces her to turn around and face me because of the angle of pressure. .
Are you sure you are doing it correctly? It is my understanding from watching the ME video on focused heeling that pulling straight back along the spine is for getting your dog to backup if he is forging during heeling.
 

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My trainer taught me that the only time to use static pressure with a collar is to teach or reinforce sit, lay down and up. Static pressure up, dog sits, immediately release pressure. Static pressure down, lay down, static pressure forward, stand up. When moving (walking) only use pops, the dog should never feel static pressure while walking. And "pops" are typically nothing more than a slight shake of the leash.

Works, for me...
I have never heard the term "static pressure" before. It seems like you are defining it as classical negative reinforcement used with leash pressure work. Wouldn't dynamic pressure be a better term for this?
 

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Are you sure you are doing it correctly? It is my understanding from watching the ME video on focused heeling that pulling straight back along the spine is for getting your dog to backup if he is forging during heeling.


When you have a dog pulling/lunging in a stimulating environment as a puppy, they tend to move to the side. My intention isn't to hold her back and force movement backwards, which is why I don't concern myself with whether or not she walks backwards. Her movement causes her to turn her head and face me.

Not everything happens the way you see at a filmed training seminar or in a purchased training DVD, haha.
 
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