GO!

Saying 'No'

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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G2

Be Scaredy of- Me, Dawg!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 5:59am PST 
It's an example of how different points of view become points of contention/offense if someone does not agree. You do not agree with the opinion being put forth regarding using a dog's basic meal as cruel - others do. IMO, it has quite a bit to do with your posts.

I think you're missing the point I'm trying to make. I and others have a different opinion than you on this issue. I'm simply saying that I understand where you are coming from re: the way it makes you feel - not that I am intentionally be hateful because I've seen it done multiple times.

Edited by author Fri Nov 30, '12 6:13am PST

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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 11:27am PST 
I do agree. There can be a defensiveness, which is not meant to be provoked. Some people believe quite sincerely that a dog enjoying a full belly is a just a right dogs ought have. Being able to experience their food. In terms of you, Lupi, you have a Dachshund, where weight is ultra critical. Literally life saving, or ensuring your dog doesn't spend their latter years a cripple. So of course if food is the strong motivator, this is something you need to do. I would not think anyone would be judging you. I think they would be judging you a lot MORE if your pictures of Lupi showed a fat dog. As they should. You are being a good dog owner in this context.

That said, it is not as if things we post aren't meant more generally. And with that, when we talk about how happy dogs are to work for food, this is ironically something protection dog trainers are quite familiar with, in that it is tension-release. Positive frustration. Dogs are inherently more vivacious and excited when they get to work towards a target with all that anticipation. That arousal morphs into the dog's enthusiasm to work. Your dog is in a state of drive. It links, remotely, to the prey response. So it only makes sense that they'd be drawn to "work for the food" over the kibble that is in the bowl. Not because they do not enjoy the bowl, but there is no drive response to the bowl. Drive trumps.....fill in the blank laugh out loud It trumps anything. That's why it's a drive. Dogs "working for food" are in a state of drive. This gets lost on some people. I don't look and see them as "happy" anymore than I see a Schutzhund dog on the field as "happy." That doesn't mean they are UNHAPPY. I am sure dogs are happy to be in a state of drive. I am also sure dogs are happy to have a full bowl. My only challenge is how content they might be.

That's not a dig at you, so please don't flip out. What I know, as nature is my thing far more than dogs are, there is a keen relationship between an animal and its environment. Dogs are nomadic. When things are lean, they move on. And to live a nibbling existence, I do wonder. That's my right...to wonder. As certainly in the wild, if all an animal can do is nibble here and there, it is time to go. It is time to migrate. And I do wonder about that.

My husband is diabetic, and he is on meds. He doesn't have to be. He could be off them if he followed the diet plan, but this requires dividing one's typical meals of three into six or eight. Just small meals throughout the day. And he just can't deal with that. He needs the feeling of a full meal. It leaves him agitated....never quite full, never quite hungry. Somewhere in between. And in the end, that thing that people seek....to enjoy one's meal and feel full....becomes akin to what people on a diet suffer. You just want to feel full. Cain is the headshrinker, maybe she can comment on this, but certainly a lot of over-eating disorders relate to security issues. Dealing with feelings of threat, insecurity, loneliness by feeling full. I think in that is some nature's link, that when we full, we feel safe. We feel nurtured and sustained. So when you have these people who doubt these things for other reasons, taking us to that point of natural programming, where we are meant to feel content due to the ample sustenance, can make us feel less restless, more grounded to where we are as a place that will sustain us, just makes it feel better.

This doesn't cast judgment on those who operate outside that ethic. They have their own ethic. Cain and I, I believe, mirror each other in a lot of ways. Part of which is a dog living as close to his natural being as he can. That's why we like workers, there is a joy in that to us. That is why there is raw. Things like that. That this is our ethic doesn't mandate everyone who does not have that ethic is corrupt. Of course not! That whoever does not share that ethic is thereby doing something "wrong." Of course not! But nor should it silence us from expressing our ethic, which we feel in a bottom-of-the-heart sort of way. The same to you. You love how your dog is, acts, lives, and I have no reason ***on earth*** to believe your dog is anything but happy.

*****!!!!!*****Any/all statements I have made comes solely from a base of "food only" trainers....who I massively do not respect as you can use a clicker with a ball....who insist food is the universal reinforcer and if your dog is a non foodie then just cut back on its meals. Make it hungry! Hello? I mean, are these people even hearing themselves? Kinder and gentler is starving your dog? On what planet? If they are devoted to PR, paramount in that ethic is to find what makes their dog happy. If they are missing THAT, then they are missing the whole point. They who wince at "compliance" are comfortable with starving a dog so that he will work. I find that both bizarre and non ethical. Not because they don't give their dog full meals (even if I personally think that they should), but because they would insist a dog who is not a foodie can be FORCED to be one. And then call themselves "force free." Ugh! *****!!!!!*****

Edited by author Fri Nov 30, '12 11:35am PST

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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 12:27pm PST 
I will hold back meals from mine before some training sessions thinking
For tracking, which we do early in the morning (usually earlier than he would normally eat anyway), I do not feed Ridley until we are done and home.

Partially because I live a life in fear of bloat... but also because when I lay the track I REALLY want him to be interested in finding his morsels.

But he still gets his morning meal once we get back home.

I never figured that too terribly cruel. I don't believe in withholding food from a dog strictly in the name of training... heaven knows I don't even make mine sit before they get their bowls... but making the food a bit more valuable before a session where I KNOW I'm going to be using the food isn't anything that's ever sat too heavy on me thinking
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Lupi

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 12:38pm PST 
Well, you're right about having to keep an eye on my dog's weight Tiller! I'm so paranoid about her getting fat, I weigh her weekly.

The whole thing about drive really resonates with me, as I've been exploring and encouraging Lupi's prey drive a lot more in the past year. I've never thought of it as frustration...although I suppose that's there in a way. But I'll stick with letting her choose her method of delivery.

It's funny Mulder, because if I'm doing what I think of as formal training with my dog (classroom setting) I need to feed her prior to class. She doesn't do as well on an empty stomach. But I don't see anything wrong with holding a meal back for a few hours, once in a while, as long as the dog doesn't have a medical issue.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 10:01pm PST 
I think "frustration" has a negative connotation with us, but if you think a little wider on it, saying "I can't wait until 8:00 when I get my birthday presents!!!" is a frustration. It's happy, it's good. And that's what you see. That happy sort of frustration where she is so excited when she realizes you have treats...all I mean by treats is food rewards wink.....and it's like "yay!!!!!!" laugh out loud It's just a perspective shift - we see the same thing. Happy dog, drive-y dog - they're still having a gas.

"Drive" is such a trigger word for hostile debate, I think it's a shame, because it's great to have the perspective. Particularly with something like a Dachshund, who have a LOT of drive, and this madcap sense of enthusiasm and daring. There's a treasure trove to play with....yes, even with "just" food. Playing "hide-and-seek" games with them outside, that can be awesome. And if you ever get bored and want something fun to do, consider tracking! I know nosework is all the rage these days, but the Dachs is particularly well suited to tracking. It's what he's bred for - they LOVE it and are naturals. Do you know Dachshunds can be regularly used in SAR (Search and Rescue)?
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Lupi

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 6:39am PST 
Yes, I thought that was the kind of frustration meant- like when I hold her collar to increase her desire to move forward at the start of an agility course. I can see where hostility could enter the realm of drive-training debate, since pain could easily be used to create it or amp it up. But that's a whole 'nother thread!

Thanks for the suggestion about tracking! We love our romps in the woods (lots of hiking up here) and I've relied on Lupi more than once to find the rest of our group when we've gotten separated. Anything involving her nose would be totally up her alley. I've been looking into Earthdog, and hope to check that out this summer.
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 1:05pm PST 
I think it's profoundly absurd to assert that someone has a dumb dog because she chooses to do tons of repetitions of stuff a dog. The dog probably knew her name before the game even started. The 5,000 reps were about adding distractions, gaining speed, etc, and moreover, forming a conditioned emotional response of iron strength. If you haven't formed a level of conditioned emotional response with your dog's name where she will look at you in ANY situation, it's kind of silly to poo poo someone else's methods. In fact, I am so over labeling dogs as dumb or smart. Except in the case of brain damage or something like that, research and my experience have shown that all dogs are infinitely capable of learning conditioned associations. Some have fear issues and bad conditioning that distract them and have to be worked around, but the basic cognitive ability is there. Most people who say "Your dog is so smart. My dog could never do that" are just lazy or don't understand how canine brains work. It is MUCH easier to train a dog with a stable temperament who's had good life experiences, but that's not the same thing as being smarter. Moreover, doing 5,000 reps of what amounts to saying your dogs name and giving him a treat is not as if you're being asked to run 5,000 miles. Something like this is going to take about the same amount of time as charging a clicker- ie, you can probably do 200 reps in 5 minutes with no problem if you want to. As anyone who does regular training can probably attest, it takes the dog about .002 seconds to eat a tiny, high value treat. The most time consuming part is cutting the hot dog into 200 pieces.

I sort of agree with both sides on the withholding food issue. Never with a dog who ever went hungry, never to the point that the dog isn't fed on its normal schedule (or very close). A dog who is very hungry and won't work for food is not very likely to just be lazy or stubborn. He is more likely to be confused or afraid, and the owner just hasn't figured it out. Most puppies will work for extra kibble (although I think a lot of puppies are also just underfed- how can you trust a chart that doesn't account for adult size?? Growing takes TONS of calories and puppies are always moving!), but when I see someone training an adult dog with kibble, I do tend to wonder if they aren't feeding enough. I think it's generally good practice to make normal food free (again, agree that requiring normal politeness is fine. It's not abusive that your child has to say please when he wants a cookie instead of snatching it from your hand) but use the good stuff to get the behavior you want. Dogs seem to intuitively understand and enjoy working for something special.
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 7:44pm PST 
I never mentioned that 5000 reps were the answer for a dumb dog, just that I once owned a brilliant dog. I do thing that 5000 is an arbitrary number which would "put off" the average pet owner, and make training seem exceptionally difficult. There is enough jargon thrown around in training without scary things like this. Ordinary owners want results without excessive work. I think that this should be understood,. It's great if people move on to more training, but be not to be expected AT ALL.
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 11:35pm PST 
I think most people reading a board like this are probably doing a little more than average training. And even in my $90 basic obedience class at the humane society, we were told to use tiny, high value treats, and to bring a couple hundred to each class. We were even suggested to do a similar thing to charge our attention-getting noises. I don't find it off-putting when someone says 5,000. I find it helpfully specific. And even more helpfully specific if they give a rough breakdown (half inside, half outside, 100 per session, whatever). I'm all for making things as simple as they can be, but you can't appeal to the lowest common denominator at the expense of helpful information.
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 3:29am PST 
I'm not trying to be argumentative, as I know we all have different experiences, but I believe that lots of ordinary pet owners read these fora. There are many questions asked here about very basic issues. And of course these people should be encouraged. smile Many want to get down the basics, such as manners, sit, stay, down, come, housetraining, off the furniture, leave it, etc.

I think there are much better ways of describing this sort of training (attention, teaching a dog its name, focus). In Train Your Dog Like a Pro, a book geared toward the beginning dog owner, Donaldson suggests that you move on from a skill when the dog performs the skill a certain number of times correctly. Saying 4 or 5 out of 5 or 9 out of 10 is much easier to understand. I'm sure over a year or so one could meet the 5000 goal with various rewards, but as I said, it sounds overwhelming.

Personally I like this book, as well as Dunbar's approach, for the ordinary dog owner.
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