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Picking your (experience) brain: ignoring

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'Was wondering if & how you have found ignoring to be an effective training / disciplinary tool.

Which dogs / personalities respond to it? What successes have you had? When do you use it? For what objectives? How do you apply it? Any comments on ignoring vs. isolation. When it worked, why do you think it did? And vice versa (when it didn't work, why not?) (20 essay points :rolleyes:)

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On Dogs? No, not really- annoying dates, or perhaps soliciters, but not dogs :rolleyes:

 

'Was wondering if & how you have found ignoring to be an effective training / disciplinary tool.

Which dogs / personalities respond to it? What successes have you had? When do you use it? For what objectives? How do you apply it? Any comments on ignoring vs. isolation. When it worked, why do you think it did? And vice versa (when it didn't work, why not?) (20 essay points :D)

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I don't think I've used isolation as a training method much, so I'll address ignoring, which I have.

 

Pointedly ignoring a behavior, or removing your attention when they do that behavior, works if your attention is the reward they want. Places where I might use it are dogs that are pushy for petting, or with something you have established a reward pattern when they are right. The latter for example, might be that you treat/click steadily for keeping bars up when teaching jumping (the Linda Mecklenburg method, or others) and then the reward is removed/the dog ignored if he does. This is very effective, and wow, can you see their brains cooking about how to keep that from happening again :rolleyes:

 

The more important part of using a NR (removing something good) as a training method is you establish the criteria of when/how they can earn it back.

 

Where ignoring does not work is when the behavior is self reinforcing - barking for example, or chasing cats or sheep.

 

Personality (bold, shy, soft, hard, etc) is just a baseline. You have to address training second by second. What does the dog want? How can you manipulate that to make what you want, what he wants?

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If by ignoring you mean a time out in a crate, then we do that when verbal corrections/commands are ignored for biting - Taj is only 14 weeks old, but rarely requires this any more, so I would say it was very effective. He also get ignored for biting/nipping, as in the play stops until he settles down a bit.

 

A couple of weeks ago he started submissive peeing whenever someone came home or visitors came over. My instruction to the person was stand up and ignore him, this gave Taj a few seconds (all he needed) to control himself and sit quietly to be petted without peeing. If he rolled over on his back, the person was to ignore him again until he sat up. This seems to be working and has dramatically reduced the behaviour.

 

So exactly what Lenajo just said, only different situations.

 

On the other hand if you come home and the dog has pooped inside or something similar I doubt the dog will understand the connection if you ignore him/her then (although ignoring would be better than yelling).

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I generally use ignoring on "normal" bouncy adolescents and puppies, sometimes ill mannered adults. Ignoring has limited use for me since so many problem behaviors are self reinforcing, but for those that are attention motivated like jumping up and attention seeking behaviors it works well.

 

Ignoring is considered negative punishment in the behaviorist vernacular because you are taking something away to decrease a behavior. I find it has much less chance for side effects than positive punishment, so I can use it on a much wider range of dog personalities. Ignoring also takes advantage of "extinction" when you just ignore the undesired behavior and prevent it from being reinforced, which I like to do whenever it's feasible. This type of ignoring I feel comfortable using with any dog, but the situation needs to fit.

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If you are taking away (ignoring) something good (your attention) then would that not be negative reinforcment?

 

Positive Reinforcement is giving something good....so PP should be the opposite right? This is Positive Punishment is the old "give them something bad until they stop"

 

Negative Punishment is taking away something bad.

 

How am I off? - I hate the terminology sometimes.

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I think this explains it very well (or at least my understanding of it):

 

http://ahimsadogtraining.com/handouts/trai...learning+theory

 

ETA: This glossary of terms explains negative punishment/positive reinforcement/positive punishment in easy terms, too. (Lenajo, I know you know all this already, but for anyone else like me, who gets mixed up sometimes. :rolleyes: )

 

http://www.clickertraining.com/glossary/17#letterp

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If you are taking away (ignoring) something good (your attention) then would that not be negative reinforcment?

 

Positive Reinforcement is giving something good....so PP should be the opposite right? This is Positive Punishment is the old "give them something bad until they stop"

 

Negative Punishment is taking away something bad.

 

How am I off? - I hate the terminology sometimes.

 

It's confusing! In this terminology:

 

Positive = Addition of something

Negative = Removal of something

Reinforcement = Something that will cause a behavior to happen again

Punishment = Something that will stop a behavior from happening

 

Note that in this sense, positive and negative don't mean "good" and "bad", but "adding" or "taking away".

 

So, a positive reinforcer is the addition of something that will likely cause the behavior to happen again. Example: a click and treat for an offered behavior is intended to cause that behavior to happen again.

 

Here's where it might seem odd - a positive punishment is the addition of something that is likely to cause the behavior not to happen again. Example: squirting water in the dog's face is intended to cause the behavior that the dog is engaging in to not happen again.

 

A negative reinforcer is removing something to cause the behavior to happen again. Example: Dog holds a toy in mouth, handler pinches dog's ear until dog releases toy. The removal of the pain of the pinch causes the dog to let go of the toy.

 

A negative punishment is the removal of something to cause the behavior to cease. Example: Dog throws himself at open door, handler shuts door to remove dog's access to outside (which is desired by the dog) until the dog stops jumping at the door.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I use positive reinforcement and negative punishment in conjunction with one another a great deal in training. If we are out walking and Dean is pulling on the leash, I will use negative punishment by stopping. This takes away his freedom to move forward. This is where "ignoring" comes in. If he continues to pull, I ignore him until he stops to allow the negative punishment (removal of freedom to move forward) to work. Once he stops pulling and turns to me, I use positive reinforcement (praise, a treat, and moving forward again) to increase the probablility that he will walk on a loose leash.

 

Or, I if have Speedy working on turning in a circle around a prop and he gets over-excited and loses his head a bit. I use negative punishment to teach him emotional control. When he starts to get over-excited, I stop what we are doing (take away his access to the prop) and give him a chance to calm down. Once he is calm, I reinforce the new response by allowing him to make a circle around the prop. That would be positive reinforcement - giving him access to what he wants.

 

I have found that negative punishment on it's own is not very effective because it doesn't really teach the dog what is expected, but when followed by positive reinforcement for an alteration in behavior that results in what I want the dog to do, it is highly effective in changing behavior over time.

 

The one caveat with this is that you have to watch for behaviors that are self-rewarding. Ignoring a dog when the behavior is self rewarding won't teach the dog anything. When a behavior is self-rewarding, I often remove a dog from the situation altogether as negative punishment and then allow the dog to be reintroduced to positively reinforce the behavior that I want.

 

Personally, I am fascinated by this type of behavior theory and I enjoy training this way.

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oh. my. god.

 

I finally got it.

 

I've been using all this for years, but I couldn't get a handle on the terms.

 

RootBeer - thank you!

 

edited to add - now it makes even more sense with Roger Abrantes term change. He called a punisher a 'decreaser" and a reinforcer an "increaser".

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I use the ignore for many things. Jumping on me if I walk in the door. I want your "Jack in the box meal" I turn my back. When he gets obsessive about a toy and I don't want to play, I ignore. So sometimes it works. NOT when he's chewing up something or doing something hurtful then, a correction is needed. Depends on what is going on and who is there.

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Coming to this thread rather late - but ignoring would probably most accurately be classed as an attempt at extinction of a behaviour, rather than using + or - reinforcement or punishment. Unfortunately (as already mentioned) if the behaviour is being reinforced elsewhere in the dog's environment, you ignoring it won't help much.

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Thanks everyone. In case interested, i used a form of ignoring (dissing) when one of my stinkers growled inappropriately at me--~ couple weeks prior to Christmas. Was easy to do, as *I* had so much to do. Anyway, it seemed to have worked. I think that he *got* that it was time to stop these type of growlies (wrinkly nose & all) around me. I can't recall any details any more, just that it felt really uncalled for.

 

Now it does NOT work on the other stinker when & who can practically crawl up one's back in that "glad to see you" frenzy. Darn.

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Thanks everyone. In case interested, i used a form of ignoring (dissing) when one of my stinkers growled inappropriately at me--~ couple weeks prior to Christmas. Was easy to do, as *I* had so much to do. Anyway, it seemed to have worked. I think that he *got* that it was time to stop these type of growlies (wrinkly nose & all) around me. I can't recall any details any more, just that it felt really uncalled for.

 

You know, I am just not following what exactly you mean by ignoring/dissing. Is this something you do for an extended period of time? Also, I'm unclear on what you mean by growlies that felt really uncalled for.

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I use ignoring only if the dog is doing a bad behaviour for the purpose of attention.

 

for example Perky will take off with your shoes because she wants to to yell and chase her to get your shoe back. however if you totally ignore her she will drop the shoe and leave in about 10 seconds.

 

for Rusty I use it as he is an attention barker, when he doesnt want to go in his crate he will run away barking his fool head off, trying to get me to give the chase. so I quitely walk over to his open crate and just stand there silently, it isnt long before he gives up and silently walks into his crate, head hanging lol.

 

it doesnt really work if it isnt attention the dog wants lol

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You know, I am just not following what exactly you mean by ignoring/dissing. Is this something you do for an extended period of time?

 

Dissing: turning head up and away, and then walking away and then no contact of any kind for ~ three hours, in this case. No talking, no eye contact, no nothing. To me, he wasn't there. He was free to move around....and actually shadowed me just about the entire time. Actually, i think i gave him a timeout (mudroom) for about 5 minutes first, thinking about what to do next.

 

Also, I'm unclear on what you mean by growlies that felt really uncalled for.

 

Can't really recall the details as I said. I recall thinking that it was a full-of-himself-dog wanting to command the household. He growled at me and probably threw in a little pretend nip. It was borderline. Anyway, I believe the point of this approach is actually, to make a point. He got it. :rolleyes:

 

I learned this tactic from Patricia McConnell - either heard it on the radio program or read it in either "Cautious Canine" or "Feisty Fido." And we were in a class using some of Leslie McDevitt's (sp?) CU techniques as well.

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