Compulsion vs. "positive only" training

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Postby katiek0417 » June 25th, 2006, 4:34 pm

realpitbull wrote:Katie....just FYI, and thought you might be interested in this brief article on Premack (from http://canines.com/library/solutions/premack.shtml ):

Premack Principle of Reinforcement

David Premack, University of Pennsylvania

An opportunity to engage in more probable responses will reinforce a less probable response. Consider a an experiment that reversed the reinforcing effects of two stimuli by varying the probabilities of the responses occasioned by each (Premack, 1962).

A rat’s running in a wheel was controlled by engaging or releasing a brake on the wheel. The rat’s drinking was controlled by moving a drinking tube in or out of an opening in a wall nearby the wheel. As tested during brief periods when both responses were available, running became more probable than drinking when the wheel was locked with water freely available, but drinking became more probable than running when the drinking tube was removed with the wheel freely available.

In each case, the opportunity to engage in the more probable response became an effective reinforcer of the less probable response. When running was more probable than drinking (wheel locked), licking became more likely if it released the brake and allowed the rat to run than if it did not allow the opportunity to run. Conversely, when drinking was more probable than running (drinking tube removed) running became more likely if it produced the drinking tube and allowed the rat to drink than if it did not allow the rat an opportunity to drink.

This experiment implies that reinforcers cannot be defined independently of the responses that they reinforce. In Premack’s experiment, drinking reinforced running when drinking was more probable than running, but running reinforced drinking when the probabilities were reversed. Therefore, reinforcers are relative and not absolute. There important properties are based on the responses for which they provide an opportunity.


And, Mary, as an FYI, I've done this experiment in real life. Trust me, I am WELL aware of these principles.
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby katiek0417 » June 25th, 2006, 4:40 pm

realpitbull wrote:Well, who says food has to be the primary reinforcer in every scenario? Also, this is where the Premack Principle comes into play. You said in another post that this doesn't work with animals because you can't explain to them that if they do A, then they will be allowed to do B. But isn't that basically what we do with dogs every time we train? Teach them about consequences? Why does a consequence have to be something you GIVE a dog, why can't it be something you LET the dog DO?


I do not LET my dogs do ANYTHING unless it is for a reason anymore. While they have more freedom than most working dogs, if my puppy is out now, she is tethered to me, and usually in a down stay next to me. If Sacha is out, she is across the room in a down stay. They no longer play together, they no longer play with toys. I don't even let my puppy have bones anymore. If they are doing something it is for a reason


realpitbull wrote:Well, having to use multiple cues to get a dog to perform is TOTALLY a training issue and has NOTHING to do with the method. I assure you, I can train a dog to respond to one cue using positive techniques.


So have I...it doesn't mean they won't test you. It takes one time.

Also, there are some dogs that CAN be trained using all positive. I can promise you, not ALL can. The main focus of this board, Mary, is to help people find what works for their dogs. Who are you to tell anyone that your method is better than another's? I'm not saying yours is not good. I'm sure it works for you and many other people. I am saying that it does not work for me, or Michelle, or other people on this board....
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby katiek0417 » June 25th, 2006, 4:53 pm

mnp13 wrote:
realpitbull wrote:Wondering why you turned this into a positive vs compulsion training thread. Thought my original post was well within the realm of the original topic and that my questions were very specifically related to e-collar training. Oh well.


Your original post was about using an e-collar or other physical correction instead of using operant conditioning. You question may have been intended to be specifically related to e-collar training but it applies to any other compulsion training as well.


I want everyone to keep in mind the following: There are 4 consequences you can have within operant conditioning

Reinforcers always increase the likelihood of a behavior. Within reinforcement you can have positive (giving of something appetitive to increase the likelihood of a behavior) or negative (taking away something aversive to increase the likelihood of a behavior).

Punishment always decrease the likelihood of a behavior. Withing punishment, you can have positive (giving of something aversive to decrease the likelihood of a behavior) or negative (taking away something appetitive to decrease the likelihood of the behavior).

Much research in this area has shown that a combination of all four of the consequences lead to more desired behaviors (this does not mean that every animal needed all four consequences, but MOST did). This research has been conducted in humans, dogs, cats, rats, primates, pigeons, rabbits, and even dolphins.

The fact is this: some dogs simply need a "No." Nisha is VERY protective of my backyard. Her normal thing is to go outside and bark at everything she hears going on outside of my fence. Even at 10:00 at night. Her energy will not be averted: once she has started - she does not stop...UNTIL she is told "Pfoeey." I taught this using the pinch. If you do not agree, fine. It's what I did. Mary, you will not change my mind as to my training methods. Unless what I am doing is inhumane or abusive, it will remain a training method that I use. You are welcome to your opinions, and I am welcome to not agree with them. I have spent enough of my valuable time explaining my methods, and I don't feel like spending another second doing so. I have much better things to do.
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby realpitbull » June 26th, 2006, 9:11 am

Magnolia618 wrote:
I look at a dog's lack of response in a certain (new) environment not as disobedience, but as a lack of understanding. I wouldn't feel comfortable using an aversive like an e-collar correction or collar pop.


But how can you explain a dog like my Maggie who KNOWS sit? She KNOWS down. She has been through obedience classes and I see it in her eyes that she knows what I am asking her to do, but she is just being a snot. I'll tell her "down" and she leans her body down like she is going to do it, but then decides that it is more fun for her to do something else.


Does Maggie understand the CONCEPT of "sitting"? I do, I'm a human. So since I understand that concept, if someone asks me to sit, anywhere, in any situation and from any position, I can still GET what they are asking. But does a dog understand that SIT from a stand on the living room carpet is the same thing as sit from a down in the middle of a busy parking lot? Not unless you teach it.

Also, I try to avoid getting emotional in training, or blaming my dog's mistakes on the fact that he's stubborn or spiteful or a snot. In fact, I avoid trying to assume what anyone's thinking. With animals the very best we can do is only GUESS. Because they really can't tell us. We can make some pretty good guesses, and it's fun to try and figure out what's going on in their heads. But I look at the behavior I'm presented with and work from there; all the other stuff bogs me down and slows progression.
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Postby realpitbull » June 26th, 2006, 9:22 am

mnp13 wrote:there is a point where you have to stop makeing excuses for the dog. Using this agruement, the dog can "get out" of sitting any time there is something out of the ordinary. When would you finally be comfortable correcting the dog for not sitting?


I don't ever physically correct a dog (leash/collar correction). I may "correct" with a No Reward Marker. It's not like my dogs (or my student's dogs) can do whatever they want, whenever they want. Doesn't work like that. Just because I do not use P+ or R-, doesn't mean it's a big free for all.

And I don't make excuses for the dog; if my dog's not doing what I want, it's an issue *I* have to sort out; my shortcomings, not my dog's.

When does the animal become accountable for its actions?


I'm not sure what you mean by 'accountable'. But me, I can't expect my dog to give me an answer as to "why" he did or did not listen to me. I don't hold him accountable for behavior because he is an animal; *I* on the other hand, *AM* accountable for it. I'll answer for him, I never expect him to take the rap.

JMHO.
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Postby Romanwild » June 26th, 2006, 9:44 am

I never hear anyone talk about pain and pleasure when we talk about this kind of thing.

With my experience with Dreyfus I used marker training to teach him almost everything. Last weekend when I used the RTC his level of understanding went up, efficiently/quickly. I only corrected him 3 times btw.

To me he now understands his choices. Come to me and be rewarded or don't come and get a tingly. Before it was come to me and get a reward or don't come and and continue to sniff or chase a rabbit, which is more fun.

I simply let him decide to move towards pleasure and away from "pain". (I shocked myself at a level higher then I used on Dreyfus and it was not painful, it did no harm.)

Since that time Dreyfus carried the lesson he learned with the RTC to home in a different setying and comes when he is called, while wagging his tail. :|

Humans and animals move away from pain and towards pleasure. To use positive only does not seem practical for all dogs.
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Postby realpitbull » June 26th, 2006, 9:46 am

katiek0417 wrote:
I do not LET my dogs do ANYTHING unless it is for a reason anymore. While they have more freedom than most working dogs, if my puppy is out now, she is tethered to me, and usually in a down stay next to me. If Sacha is out, she is across the room in a down stay. They no longer play together, they no longer play with toys. I don't even let my puppy have bones anymore. If they are doing something it is for a reason


Umm...well, ok.

katiek0417 wrote: Also, there are some dogs that CAN be trained using all positive. I can promise you, not ALL can. The main focus of this board, Mary, is to help people find what works for their dogs. Who are you to tell anyone that your method is better than another's? I'm not saying yours is not good. I'm sure it works for you and many other people. I am saying that it does not work for me, or Michelle, or other people on this board....


Well, I can't recall ever saying that "my" way was better (although, above and beyond my personal biases, I have to say that the research being done by behaviorists helps me feel like I'm on the right track! ;-) ) . I LOVE behaviorism and behavior analysis and love having discussion about YES! all FOUR quadrants and beyond! My ORIGINAL post presented some very specific questions based on the first few original posts in the e-collar thread. It was not my intention to turn this into a "vs." thread (jeez, that topic's been beaten to death, anyway, no?). I was totally interested in hearing the responses to my original post, and I NEVER intended to try to argue anyone onto "my" side of the training fence.
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Postby Romanwild » June 26th, 2006, 10:50 am

Mary, this is a good thread. Don't sweat it. Convert away if you can. If you can't we can all learn something. These kinds of threads make us all think. :D
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Postby mnp13 » June 26th, 2006, 11:11 am

realpitbull wrote:
When does the animal become accountable for its actions?


I'm not sure what you mean by 'accountable'. But me, I can't expect my dog to give me an answer as to "why" he did or did not listen to me. I don't hold him accountable for behavior because he is an animal; *I* on the other hand, *AM* accountable for it. I'll answer for him, I never expect him to take the rap.


Accountable - as in they are punished for not behaving as they should.

My cats have refused to use clean litterboxes that are in the same place they have been for 5 years with the same litter I have used for 2 years. They get punished for it.

Ruby knows that she is supposed to get off the bed when she is told. When she doesn't get off the bed, I shove her off in a heap. She knows "off" she chooses to ignore me.

Riggs and I are working on "out", he wants the spring pole less than he wants a tug toy, so he outs for the tug. He wants the spring pole more than food, so he continues to play on the spring pole (self reward) instead of outing for the treat. He does not "know" out yet, so he is not punished for not outing. when he knows out he will be punished for not outing.

Animals have some reasoning powers, they also make decisions to look for a reward from you or continue with whatever self-rewardig behavior that they are currently engaged in.
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Postby mnp13 » June 26th, 2006, 11:13 am

realpitbull wrote:It was not my intention to turn this into a "vs." thread (jeez, that topic's been beaten to death, anyway, no?).


No sarcasm intended - please feel free to change the name of the thread since you don't like it and it was your topic to begin with.

I couldn't think of a better topic title. You can change the topic title by editing your first post.
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Postby realpitbull » June 26th, 2006, 11:18 am

Romanwild wrote:Mary, this is a good thread. Don't sweat it. Convert away if you can. If you can't we can all learn something. These kinds of threads make us all think. :D


Thanks :wink: I've enjoyed it anyway. People are gonna train the way they're gonna train. Period. I moved away from compulsion and punishment based training when I started learning more about behaviorism. My thinking is what shifted. But I like to engage in conversations like this because they help me reexamine my positions and continue to develop as a trainer.

Oh, btw, even though I have personal objections to using pain in training, I realize these may be personal moral iobjections that not everyone shares. If a trainer truly understands how to use the four quadrants, and still chooses to use R-/P+ or whatever, I can totally respect that.
Last edited by realpitbull on June 26th, 2006, 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby realpitbull » June 26th, 2006, 11:19 am

mnp13 wrote:
realpitbull wrote:It was not my intention to turn this into a "vs." thread (jeez, that topic's been beaten to death, anyway, no?).


No sarcasm intended - please feel free to change the name of the thread since you don't like it and it was your topic to begin with.

I couldn't think of a better topic title. You can change the topic title by editing your first post.


Nah, it's oK! :)
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Postby DemoDick » June 27th, 2006, 4:18 pm

I moved away from compulsion and punishment based training when I started learning more about behaviorism.

(italics added)

Sounds like you're referring to the Koehler method. I don't know of anyone here who trains like that. My training is not based on compulsion but it does include it.

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Postby realpitbull » June 27th, 2006, 4:26 pm

DemoDick wrote:
I moved away from compulsion and punishment based training when I started learning more about behaviorism.

(italics added)

Sounds like you're referring to the Koehler method. I don't know of anyone here who trains like that. My training is not based on compulsion but it does include it.

Demo Dick


Mmm, ok, how about "training that uses compulsion".
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Postby DemoDick » June 27th, 2006, 4:37 pm

That's more accurate.

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Postby realpitbull » June 27th, 2006, 4:40 pm

DemoDick wrote:That's more accurate.

Demo Dick


Thanks for proof reading my post! :D
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Postby babyreba » June 28th, 2006, 2:17 pm

Sorry to go slightly off topic here, but I've been wondering about the no playing, no toys, no bones thing that Katie posted since I read it.

Why do you not let your dogs play or have toys or bones anymore? Does it have a benefit in training?
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Postby DemoDick » June 28th, 2006, 2:26 pm

Why do you not let your dogs play or have toys or bones anymore? Does it have a benefit in training?


Speaking for myself here...

Every good thing my dog gets (toys, bones, meals, tug bites, etc.) he must earn though work. I don't leave his toys in his crate because when I bring him out to work him I want him going nuts for them.

Think about this: If you got paid at your job regardless of how hard you worked, you would likely learn to take it easy real quick. I like to think of my dog as a commisioned employee; when he works hard he gets paid well.

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Postby Romanwild » June 28th, 2006, 2:43 pm

I agree with Demo and would like to add that it also helps in the pack relationship.

My dogs don't own anything. All things good come from me the Alpha. Food, freedom, fun, etc.
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Postby babyreba » June 28th, 2006, 2:43 pm

yeah, that i've read before, and i get it. but that's not what katie wrote. maybe that's what she meant, but the impression i got from her posting was that her dogs don't get to play with one another or get toys or bones, regardless of whether they worked for it or not.

if that's the case i'm wondering whether there is a benefit to doing that--i've always figured that playing and chewing were important things for a dog to do, so i'm curious how not playing or chewing at all impacts the dog's training.

this is the part she wrote that leads me to ask the question:

They no longer play together, they no longer play with toys. I don't even let my puppy have bones anymore. If they are doing something it is for a reason
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