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Farm Girl

Training without corrections

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Does anybody train their dogs completely without corrections? I'm talking about not even telling the dog NO or GET DOWN when it counter surfs or other really annoying behaviors.

I'm working with a trainer that trains this way and I want to know the pros and cons so I can make an informed decision about how to train my dogs.

Is there people that think it is better to use corrections? What are your opinions?

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I TRAIN completely without corrections. However, once the behavior is TRAINED (example: Dazzle knows how to Sit because I have been proofing the behavior sense she was 9 weeks old) if Dazzle didn't sit, I would correct her (by putting her in the position - small corrections, never yelling or anything like that).

 

So:

training - no corrections ever

not doing behaviors once they are learned- small corrections.

 

 

 

ETA:

I forgot to really say why I prefer doing corrections over no corrections. :rolleyes: Mostly it is because I don't want my dogs to ever think that doing what I say is an option, they must do it, the first time, no questions asked (imagine car/road scenario and dog doesn't listen). I try to do most of this with simply positive reinforcement, but if the dog is just grinning at me and purposely NOT doing what I said - I think that the dog needs to be told (in as gentle a way as possible for the given situation) that that behavior is unacceptable, once the dog is doing the behavior - you give LOTS of praise so to end on a high note. So, there you have it, that is why I give corrections.

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I just can't see how using no corrections at all would work in the long haul. I've heard of it being done (if you read the Idiot's Guide to Positive Training it is completely positive). I just can't see it working for me.

 

I'm with Kat on this one. For training, purely positive is the best way to go. I mean, you can't correct a dog for not doing what it doesn't know how to do! (Well, you CAN correct the dog but it doesn't make sense to the dog as to why it was corrected.) Once they know how to do something, then you can use corrections when they don't do as they're requested.

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It's like taking great digital pics without any photoshopping - I can't do it, but I have great respect for those who can .

 

When I try to teach them something new, I don't use "corrections" in the sense of punishment, but I do use body language or a non-aggressive "ah!" to tell them "no, that's not what I mean, let's try again".

 

Sometimes, when they're deliberately "testing" me, I do resort to cruder methods without feeling too guilty.

For example, when Kyla suddenly decided that keeping the ball and running in circles around me was way more fun than giving it back to me, I ended up throwing a leash in her direction. It worked (Yes, I should have stopped it with eye contact, posturing, tone of voice, whatever, and I tried... but I was laughing too hard at the triumph in her eyes :rolleyes: ).

 

As long as they still feel it's safe to invite me to their wild games, things can't be too scary round here, with or without occasional corrections.

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Originally posted by Kat's Dogs:

I TRAIN completly without corrections. However, once the behavior is TRAINED (example: Dazzle knows how to Sit because I have been proofing the behavior sense she was 9 weeks old) if Dazzle didn't sit, I would correct her (by putting her in the position - small corrections, never yelling or anything like that).

 

So:

training - no corrections ever

not doing behaviors once they are learned- small corrections.

 

I fall in this camp, too. I never "correct" my dog for doing something that I am not confident the dog actually knows.

 

For example, when we first got Dean and he would counter surf, I would gently pull him off the counter and place his feet on the floor instead of giving a "correction". I don't consider removing him neutrally from the counter a correction.

 

Now he knows "off" (because I taught him what "off" means), so if I see him jumping up to check out the counters, I tell him "off". But it's direction, not a correction. He has picked up very quickly on the fact that counter surfing is not rewarding because it does not get him what he wants. Because he is still not completely trusted, he does not spend time in the kitchen by himself. Eventually, like my other dogs, he will be. I never "corrected" any of them and they know to leave things in the kitchen alone unless I give permission.

 

I have also rewarded him heavily for keeping four on the floor when I am working in the kitchen. I can now have food on my counters and he does not go after it because he knows that he won't get what he wants if he jumps up.

 

But I never corrected him for it. Instead I taught him that it is appropriate to remain on the floor.

 

The only time I truly give a "correction" is if my dog's behavior will potentially cause harm to him or to a person. So, if my dog is about to run into the street, I give a very direct order to return.

 

My dogs understand the serious tone just fine and I reserve it for the truly serious situations. Otherwise, I direct instead of correcting.

 

When training any obedience, freestyle, agility, or other sport exercises I don't use corrections at all. My goal is to teach my dogs what is appropriate instead of telling them that they are wrong.

 

I have found it quite effective in training basic manners and sports.

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Oh yeah, Root Beer, that reminded me....

 

For something like Agility and the like - unless the dog is doing something dangerous, I don't do real corrects even once the dog knows the behavior. For "games" like that, never doing corrections IS the best way to go because above ALL else the dog should be having fun - unlike manners which is something that dog always needs to do if they like it or not (but it should still try to be fun :rolleyes: ).

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99.9% of my training is done without physical corrections. I do use verbal no-reward markers and verbal corrections for minor offenses. Physical correction is saved for serious stuff, and the proofing of important commands like the recall. I'd love to be able to train without any physical correction at all, I'm just not that good yet.

 

This isn't to say that I don't use physical guidance or cues, I just refrain from inflicting pain on the dog in order to teach it something. I tap/poke/lead/pull/grab/etc quite often. Dakota knows that all of this touching is positive, and not a correction.

 

If my dog is being obnoxious, I will make it abundantly clear that I don't like the behavior. If it's something really obnoxious and they persist, verbal correction and redirection be damned, I will get physical but I use the least amount of force possible.

 

In general though, I prefer to tell my dog what I DO want them to do, rather than what I DON'T want them to do.

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I do 99% of correction with Riven with only verbal. The extra 1% is reserved for when we're around other dogs. She goes deaf and the only thing she cares about is seeing a new friend :rolleyes: We tap or gently tug on the leash, with a friendly reminder that isnt ok.

 

We did start with a positive only trainer. It didnt work. She would opt not to listen to us. She is sensitive enough that we can just verbally say "no", "enough" ect. We NEVER yell though (at her)she'll shut down completely.

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A better way of putting it is, does anybody interact with their dog without corrections? Sorry for the miss understanding.

I was watching the trainer do a basic obedience orientation and she had her dog in a crate. He was letting out those high pitched barks and carrying on and she just ignored him. Finally he quit. So it did work. I'm not even sure she has a no reward marker. I didn't see any verbal correction at all.

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I don't think I could interact with a dog using no corrections. It's all based on the situation.

 

For example, when I got Kipp he would nip at cats and was so obsessed with them that he'd ignore me. A big no-no. So I corrected him,and had to more than once. The result? the cats can live without being nipped, and Kipp will pay attention when I talk to him, even though he is still quite interested in cats.

 

With something like crating, I'd just let them figure out that barking wouldn't make a difference, or if it was an extreme case, I might try a spray collar.

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That's the problems I was running into. There's lots of times I need to verbally correct them. Like chasing cats and chickens or following me into horse stalls.

With alot of time and thought it could be done. But I guess my real question is how beneficial is it to the dog? Is it actually worth it? I would think not if your not hurting the dog and you have a good relationship.

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Originally posted by Farm Girl:

A better way of putting it is, does anybody interact with their dog without corrections? Sorry for the miss understanding.

I was watching the trainer do a basic obedience orientation and she had her dog in a crate. He was letting out those high pitched barks and carrying on and she just ignored him. Finally he quit. So it did work. I'm not even sure she has a no reward marker. I didn't see any verbal correction at all.

I think what your trainer did was correct. In some cases, such as the crate barking, the dog is seeking attention. A verbal correction would just reinforce the behavior.

 

That being said, I use verbal correction and NRMs quite often throughout my daily interaction with them. It's nothing harsh or stern, in fact usually it's just redirection. I rarely have to reprimand my dogs.

 

The verbal corrections have no impact on my relationship with my dogs. They expect me to direct them and I think they understand that "oi. quit that!" isn't meant as punishment.

 

When I physically correct them, they are slower and more careful with commands and not as playful towards me. I like them to be goofs, which is another reason why I don't use physical correction often. I want them to trust me, not feel inhibited around me.

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Farm Girl, but why was her dog whining in the first place?

 

Being the trainer - I would expect her dogs to NEVER do that kind of behavior. So, maybe it worked that time but I have little doubt that the same thing has happened before. If the dog was given a correction after a few occurrences of this (blanket over the crate, water bottle spray, bitter apple, even something thrown in the dog's direction - like a tennis ball) I don't think it would have happened again unless the dog was just starting in training of course or is a puppy. So, maybe it worked then - but in the long run it doesn't look like it did at all. Of course I don?t know the full story but this is what I picked up?.

 

If one of my trainer's dogs acted like that while they were talking (which the trainer is doing ALL the time to classes) I know that I would look for a different trainer.

 

I know there are a lot of "positive reinforcement" trainers that just took it to the next level (no corrections ever) and I don't fully agree with that. I LOVE positive reinforcement and that is how I train. But the key word in that kind of training is the ?reinforcement?.

 

I try to rely on rewards only, when possible, but I think dogs need corrections for "bad" behaviors. Training, like a sit or roll over or something no, but manners, like barking at other dogs, demanding attention (that is not just SA but more dominant behavior) or being aggressive, I think that definitely warrants a correction (like I said before, the smallest one that will still be effective).

 

This is probably a wonderful trainer, but PERSONALLY, and this is JUST ME, I would not train with them because it isn't my style of training. But, there are so few trainers that will ever agree on 2 things anyway so that doesn't say much.... This is just my take on this type of training and why I feel this way.

 

In the end, it is just up to what you want to do with your dog.

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The dog was 5 years old. She was teaching the class and talking while the dog was whining to be let out. It was really distracting. At another point while the dog was out he put his paws on the counter and got into the treats. She saw him and didn't say anything to him. She had told me in the beginning that she doesn't use corrections, but I never knew anyone to take it that far. I guess I was worried that that was the norm. I'm glad it's not.

Don't get me wrong she is a very good trainer and I'm learning ALOT from her. I was just wondering what everyone else's thoughts were on corrections.

Also she's not actually training my dogs, I'm doing an internship with her and I did not choose her personally.

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I'm guessing with the whining in the crate she was using extinction....perhaps she has had this issue for a bit with this particular dog ,in this situation....there is something called an extinction burst where when the behaviour is ignored (not rewarded) the dogs get worse before they quit...kinda like when we go to a soda machine to get a coke and we lose our change,first we hit the button a few times,no soda,then we try the coin return,no soda,then we may start hitting the machine,no soda...we finally give up and walk away...

Works great for dogs that beg at the table,because someone has been feeding them...they may bark, carry on but if one is determined to stop the behaviour(and DOES NOT give any more food) eventually the dog will quit begging...

 

 

As far as 'corrections' everything depends on definitions....someone may consider only 'physical' things (leash pop for example) to be a correction others may consider a no reward marker as a correction...

Just some thoughts.

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I tried the whole ignoring a dog in the crate with my borderjack. It did not work. After 8 hours of crying every night for a week, I finally started using correction and doing some other things too. It took about 6 months before he finally would settle in his crate.

 

I also will correct a dog for getting on the counter. By her NOT correcting her dog and the dog actually getting treats it was self rewarding to the dog.

 

She may be a good trainer but her dog is lacking in manners. There is more to a well trained dog than just sitting, lying down, staying etc... they should also have some manners.

 

I use mainly verbal corrections and depending on which dog will depend on tone of voice. I have been known to use a physical correction every once in awhile when absolutely needed.

 

I guess I just don't see how she is teaching her dog much if the dog is never corrected/directed to appropriate behavior.

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The trainer we took Riven to was the same way about ignoring bad behavior. Riven was CRAZY with other dogs around bark and bark and bark and bark... you get the point. She wouldnt give up... WOULD NOT, it took 30 minutes for her to finally lay down, still barking every few seconds. We tried repeatedly but she wouldnt stop. That doesnt work on her, you have to verbally tell her "NO!" and she'll stop.

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I'm not the most experienced trainer in the world, but the reading I've done and the positive trainers I've used are not PERMISSIVE. To use Farm Girl's trainer as an example:

The dog would not be loose to go to the counter and grab the treats for itself. Dog would be on leash, tethered to either the trainer herself or an eye bolt in the wall or similar. The dog would probably be constantly reinforced, (verbal praise, a favorite toy, food treat from the trainer) for perhaps glancing at the counter and then deciding to turn away.

Barking in a crate, the crate would be covered, or placed in another area, like another room or the car, etc. The dog would not be exposed to such a highly stimulating and distracting environment right off the bat and expected to teach itself not to bark. For many dogs, (I have one) barking is so self rewarding that it will not extiguish it self. If the dog is anxious or fearful or just really excited to see everybody, it's going to continue to bark.

In both examples, the trainer could have managed the dog's behavior and environment so that the dog had the best possible chance of choosing the correct behavior. It doesn't sound like this was the case.

I also question the wisdom of any trainer who is working with their own dog on such basic manners while at the same time trying to teach others. Doesn't seem like the people who paid for the class would be getting 100% of the trainer's attention.

Personally, I do the Positive (reinforcing only the behavior I want while I'm training something) and do use mild verbal corrections at times. I do my best to not expose the dogs to something they're not ready for, but life happens, you know?

I've learned an enormous amount about what doesn't work with the BC3, and will do a better job with my future dogs. If these guys aren't the death of me . . .

 

Hope my take on this is helpful.

 

Ruth n the BC3

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Originally posted by sandra s.:

It's like taking great digital pics without any photoshopping - I can't do it, but I have great respect for those who can .

Can I borrow it?!!!

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Borrow what?

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Farm Girl,

 

I would say this about your trainer: If she doesn't use corrections, she doesn't train dogs. She may shape behaviors, but she doesn't train dogs.

 

A dog that gets on the counter and helps itself to treats is not trained.

 

Run away. Do not walk.

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Yes I was

 

----------------------------------

 

I think that much of this "Only positive training" has come into fashion.

 

This subject remember me the whole thing that happened in the 60s and 70s with the wave of psichologist that promoted the "no punishment" and "Free education" philosophy supposedly for that it was interfering in the normal development of the being and what the world gathered later was a generation of irresponsible persons. I'm younger, but I WAS actually punished, even when my mother never touched me she could be very strict and I think the world now as seen enough and very few people could agree with never correct their children. We could all agree with no physical punishment, but not correction at all sounds more to want to be "politically correct" than realistic training to me.

 

I've seen at the same person that has no regrets into sending her son to his bedroom with no TV not to be able to sit on her own prefered couch because the dog is in it... the dog gets annoyed if she tries to brush it off and the clicker has no worked yet. (yes, it's true)

 

The correction is not good or bad by itself, it depends in what is corrected, how is the correction (shape and grade) and how frequent is the correction.

 

 

P.D: A very good resource in rational correction can be found in the research of the education of autist children, very recommendable and most of it adaptable to animal training

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What's the difference between a no reward marker and a correction? A verbal correction and a physical correction? Is it a physical correction if I say "NO" and move toward the dog in a threatening manner? If I smack the ground with a stick?

 

I honestly don't know what the term "no reward marker" means, but if it stems from the idea that all dog training is a matter of the dog doing X and getting Y as a reward, it's bass-ackwards from the way dogs learn. I do X, nothing happens. Did I like doing X. Yes. I'll do X again. I do X. Someone tells me to cut it out. I don't like that, but I did sort of like doing X. Maybe I'll try it again. I do X again and someone growls at me. I don't like this one bit. Okay. I'll do Y. Or at least not X again.

 

The idea of training a dog not to go on the counter by tying it up and rewarding it when it doesn't go on the counter would be laughable if I didn't think that people actually thought their dogs were learning what they were trying to teach them in that situation. In fact, what they were learning is that when I'm tied up I get treats. You may get a dog that doesn't mind being tied up, but you won't get one that knows he can't go on the counter that way.

 

The tied dog has no option of doing the wrong thing, so he hasn't learned that he shouldn't. Only that he can't. That's not training.

 

I train sheepdogs. By the time they're a year or 16 months old, I expect them to be obeying me at a distance with the ultimate distraction and stimulation: moving livestock. You don't get there by lobbing treats at them or clicking a clicker when you think they're in the right place, no matter what some authors might tell you. You get there by telling the dog when it's wrong, making the wrong uncomfortable, and leaving it alone when it's right -- let it work, letting the good work reinforce itself.

 

Now, is it a no-reward marker when I get in the dog's way and keep it from going someplace that it is trying to go but that is wrong? Or is it a correction? I might not say anything. I might whip a glove or a hat in his way, or lift the end of a stick. Maybe I would just lean forward towards him. In some ways, all I'm doing is removing his access to positive reinforcement. I call it correction, because the dog is wrong and I'm teaching it so. If you want to call it something else, by all means. Makes no difference.

 

But I will assure you that there's no way to train a dog without showing it the difference between right and wrong, and that will always involve some form of what I call correction.

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