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Since I had a little success last night with Yin's version of the "No Free Lunch," process, now I am wondering: What are your experiences with NFL? Are there any books, articles, or blogs that particularly influenced your understanding of NFL?


+ While I am waiting for an InterLibrary Loan copy of "Perfect Puppy in 7 Days" (yeah, I know, horrible title! I have found that many books with horrible titles, fortunately, have excellent information inside. My first experience with this was Bach's "Smart Women Finish Rich"

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I have gotten away from using this approach because I inadvertently created a dog who was overly dependent on the direct presence of primary reinforcers. I was able to work with him and undo some of that, but I would never go back to the NILIF model.

I do use a little bit of it here and there as a technique to teach certain concepts, but I would never go wholesale with it again.

If you are committed to NILIF, I recommend a supplemental book called "Plenty in Life is Free". I believe that NILIF principles can be useful in specific circumstances, but always within a more "normal" overall framework.

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I have not read the book Root Beer recommends, but the general principle she suggests - not to use it 100% of the time - is probably closer to what I do. When I start training a pup or foster dog with no manners, I use NILIF for certain elementary behaviors, gradually adding more behaviors as the pup/dog progresses. And once I am satisfied that the pup understands the behavior and the verbal associated with it, I stop asking for the behavior as much. I will only ask for it randomly to make sure that the dog will respond to my verbal.


For example: dog sits and waits at door for you to open it and go through. I will teach that behavior and be fairly consistent in the beginning, but once my dogs are good about doing it upon a verbal, I don't always ask for it unless the situation requires it, or unless I want to see if they remember, or unless they are acting out and they need to calm down before going outside.


Basically, I don't want my dogs to be automatons, so I start with NILIF and then move away from it.

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