|Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 7:48am PST |
|Mulder wrote, "So you use NO rewards (with few exception) other than a release from stem when training dogs?
It, essentially, is strictly R-?"
From my site, "The articles do not mention praising the dog, except for a few situations in the training where it's specifically necessary. This is not the place to learn to give praise to your dog. This is where you can learn to use the Ecollar. Praise is an integral part of teaching, training and working a dog. It lets the dog know when he's done the right thing. Much Ecollar work is done by letting the dog discover for himself, that he's doing it the right way.
Different dogs need different levels and types of praise. Praise includes verbal praise, toys, treats, bump, tug of war and more. Use whatever works with your dog whenever he needs it. I suggest that you don't use so much praise during the work that your dog "loses his mind" and forgets what you're working on." [Emphasis Original]
BTW that's another way that the work is tailored to just what the dog needs, that is, "to the individual."
Mulder wrote, "How do you build enthusiasm for the work? How do you make a dog actually enjoy working with the handler, when his only reward is not receiving stem? Do you not believe using a dogs natural drives, such as the desire to play or chase, is an effective method of reinforcing behaviors?"
First, for every press of the button that brings stim, there's a release of the button that stops the stim. The first is punishment, the second is reinforcement. So the training is balanced with a ratio of punishment to reinforcement at a rate of 1:1. That's not enough for most dogs and so I add praise, at least at the ratio of 1:2, usually it's quite a bit more, rising at times to 1:10, according to the dog's needs. The reinforcement that I use is whatever the dog needs and responds to. It can be such things as treats, voice, toys, play or a combinations of these.
Second, remember that most of the dogs I work with are used for searching of one kind or another. The SAR dogs for a variety of missing or lost people and the LE K−9's, it's mostly for hiding criminals. Generally the people that SAR is looking for want to be found and it's the opposite for LE. But sometimes that situation is reversed. EVERYTHING that I do with those dogs is tailored with an eye towards the search. So I teach those dogs OB as part of the search. Most trainers teach OB from the standpoint of "Do it because I said do it ... If you don't I'll cause you some discomfort." That discomfort comes in the form of (for example) leash corrections from those who use them, and in the form of withholding treats, toys, etc., for those who don't.
Once the dog understands what the command means, that I've taught with the Ecollar, I introduce it as part of the search. A dog sits so that he can catch his breath. He downs to stalk his prey. There are genetic based reasons that dogs do the movements of OB in the wild, without commands. I adapt that behavior to the hunt.
A lot of my work, with both the search dogs and pets, has to do with the relationship between the owner/handler and the dog. I want the dog to regard the owner as a fair and just leader. I do not want them to be equals. This is done with many exercises that establish the owner as the leader without conflict. I use such things as leadership walks, food sharing (this is not treat training), and yielding. I base this training on the genetics that has a dog following a leader. I have the owner act as that leader and the dogs just fall into line. A lot of this work goes against what I was taught, and what a lot of people do when praising the dog, but that's another discussion.
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