Training Myths Article

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » December 20th, 2010, 8:33 pm

fenella wrote:I do encourage him, even when he is afraid, but in a confident tone.


This may actually be the defining point - tone of voice. Are you coddling or encouraging? When Inara gets worried over something, I don't get all ooey gooey "oh you poor widdle baby waby!" I keep an upbeat voice and tell her everything is fine.

So perhaps that's the difference - baby talk coddling vs. confident encouraging.
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 20th, 2010, 11:20 pm

mnp13 wrote:In my class, the dogs are rewarded as follows: dog freak at another dog, and the owner gets the dog's attention, marks it and treats. We start with the owner being a "pez dispenser." Over time, the dog starts to realize that paying attention to mom brings rewards, barking doesn't. Then, there is that "click" where the dog looks at another dog, barks, then looks at mom "where is my treat? I barked and then looked at you." That's when, in my opinion, the dog has picked up on the "rules" - they are now working the system. That's when we institute a correction because (again, in my opinion) the dog knows what the expected as evidenced by it doing the "bad" behavior so that it can get the reward for the "good" behavior. .


I'm not gonna touch the correction part right now. ;) But as for the reinforcing...the example here doesn't exactly correlate to being coddled for being scared. Unwanted behaviors such as barking at other dogs aren't {necessarily} fear-based. Of course I don't reinforce behavior I don't want...(barking at other dogs, people, etc) but it depends on what the situation is. This is different than being scared of a thunderstorm or something like that.

And yes, I've successfully classically conditioned Xander to not be scared of thunderstorms by playing "Thunderball" right as a storm rolled in. His drive for the ball overrode any fear he had of the storm luckily. But if he wants to cuddle during a storm, it doesn't make him any worse or better for the next storm. :| No one's saying that you can't work though a fear with a dog...but the point was that it doesn't MAKE IT WORSE if you snuggle/pet the dog during that fearful situation.
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