Cattle Prods and Pain as "Motivation"

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Postby amazincc » August 28th, 2008, 12:02 am

cheekymunkee wrote:
And that is the difference, your dog would not dream of biting you, this dog had no problems biting his owner or anyone else for that matter from what Greg said. Would you still feel the same had Mick ever bitten you or your daughters? Or SEVERELY bitten anyone? This does not sound at all like a fear aggressive dog or even a fearful dog.


No, no... that's exactly my point. Apparently Chipper has found someone whom he doesn't bite or feel the need to act aggressively towards. :)

And in answer to your 2nd question - nope, honestly, as much as I love the Beast - I have to have a certain amount of mutual trust in a relationship, especially w/a fear aggressive dog. If I ever became afraid of him or he seriously hurt someone, I wouldn't and couldn't expect someone else to deal with him.
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Postby GregMK9 » August 28th, 2008, 11:55 am

amazincc wrote:
GregMK9 wrote: The experience taught me a lot. It taught me that you can't always meet agression with agression


I'm really curious about this statement... can you ever effectively "train" an aggressive dog by using aggression yourself? Or do you think that an aggressive dog can learn to "hide the behavior" out of fear of being punished, just to resort to the behavior again when the "punisher" isn't around?


The answer is NO! You can not train a dog using aggression. But training is not what I was refering to. I was refering to when the dog acted agressive, I'd stand my ground and fight back if need be. In the begining I was somewhat passive and tolerant. After a while of being bit badly enough I started reacting to his aggression with my own aggression. Meaning yelling "No" or hanging him up if needed be. This only enforced there was a fight coming and this dog lived to fight. Hence our confrontations continually got worse, and I continually got bit worse each time. But only when he was thrown into drive via treats, tugs/ toys, or bitework.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » August 28th, 2008, 1:55 pm

GregMK9 wrote:The answer is NO! You can not train a dog using aggression.


Isn't training a forced retrieve training with aggression?
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Postby katiek0417 » August 28th, 2008, 3:52 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:
Isn't training a forced retrieve training with aggression?


???? Not sure what you mean...training a forced retrieve is negative reinforcement...

If you mean the fact that you are using "pain" to get the dog to do what you want...then yes...but the definition of aggression includes BOTH harm AND pain. You're not trying to harm the dog...you're trying to make it uncomfortable. It's actually a form of motivation training...removal of something bad to increase the likelihood of a behavior...
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Postby GregMK9 » August 28th, 2008, 8:58 pm

Thank you Katrina!
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Postby katiek0417 » August 29th, 2008, 9:03 am

I'm not a big fan of using "pain" when I do the forced retrieve. In fact, last year, Greg had to do a forced retrieve with TJ - the dog that I was showing. Why did HE have to do it? I couldn't bear it. We had to do it in a very short period of time, and using pain is the best method to do that...Did it work? Usually - as long as there wasn't a decoy around, in which case he decided to bite anyway! lol Greg used the e-collar at a high level with TJ.

I also know that Cy was trained with the forced retrieve using pain - specifically the ear pinch method. I don't know exactly how Todd did it, but many people take bottle caps (the metal ones) from bottles and use those to pinch a dog's ear. When the dog takes the object and holds it, you let up on the pinch.

Jerry prefers to backtie a dog on a flat collar, then use a pinch collar. That way the corrections are coming from you. Once you take the dog off the back-tie, you use a lighter correction to force the dog towards the object, and you keep tugging. When the dog picks up the object, you run backwards to get the dog to bring it to you quickly. Eventually, you do transition to the e-collar at a low level.

Even though Cy was trained with the ear pinch and would have a nice retrieve on flat land with no objects or decoys around, it was a different story when we had to throw the object in something and there was a decoy taking off the other way at the same time I sent Cy to retrieve. So, since he already knew the command, Jerry just had me tug Cy towards the object, then run backwards when he got it...now we use the e-collar at a low level.

So, how does the dog know you are using it as a motivator and not a correction. There are several factors. The first is simply how it's introduced. With Cy, we paired the tugs on the pinch with the e-collar stim. He already understood the pinch tugs, so we just added in the e-collar stims. Second is the level that you're using on the e-collar. My e-collar has setting from 0 up to 127. In obedience, I typically have to correct Cy using a level of 23. During bitework (when he's working in a much higher level of drive) I usually have to use about 45. When I use the e-collar as a motivator, I am using it at a level of 12. So, what it becomes is a tap on the shoulder (like "hey you, remember me, you have to get that object and bring it back.") As soon as he is on his way back to me, I stop stimming him. Because it's a lower level (about 1/2) than his normal corrections, he figures out, oh, she's not correcting me, just nagging me...to get it to stop, he does what I'm telling him to.
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Postby mnp13 » August 29th, 2008, 9:19 am

I understand that pain can be a moitvator, but when someone refers to "motivational training" I always think of giving good things for the right behavior, taking good things away for the incorrect behavior. I know that the "clinical" definition is different than that, but I don't think I am in the minority in the thought that "motivation" is not related to pain.

I know forced retreives are a fact of life for proofing the retreive, but I have a hard time with it being used to teach it.
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Postby Marinepits » August 29th, 2008, 9:23 am

mnp13 wrote:I understand that pain can be a moitvator, but when someone refers to "motivational training" I always think of giving good things for the right behavior, taking good things away for the incorrect behavior. I know that the "clinical" definition is different than that, but I don't think I am in the minority in the thought that "motivation" is not related to pain.


You're not -- that's the way I've always thought of "motivation". IMO, pain is not a motivator. It's a deterrent.
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Postby katiek0417 » August 29th, 2008, 9:34 am

mnp13 wrote:I understand that pain can be a moitvator, but when someone refers to "motivational training" I always think of giving good things for the right behavior, taking good things away for the incorrect behavior. I know that the "clinical" definition is different than that, but I don't think I am in the minority in the thought that "motivation" is not related to pain.

I know forced retreives are a fact of life for proofing the retreive, but I have a hard time with it being used to teach it.


the problem is that some dogs simply don't want to retrieve...

Now, I teach it with a tug...So, with Nisha, she already bites the tug...so I started making her sit in front of me and hold it...Now I'm throwing it for her, and using the leash to reel her in...

According to dictionary.com, this is the definition of motivation:

1. the act or an instance of motivating.
2. the state or condition of being motivated.
3. something that motivates; inducement; incentive.


If you have a headache, aren't you motivated to do something about it? If your mom and dad nag you enough when you are young to clean your room, aren't you motivated to clean your room just to shut them up? Why should a simpler-minded dog be any different?

That is essentially the purpose of negative reinforcement.
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Postby amazincc » August 29th, 2008, 10:54 am

Pain can be very "motivational"... :sad2: :nono:

Why should a simpler-minded dog be any different?

I resemble that remark. >(
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Postby mnp13 » August 29th, 2008, 11:26 am

I'm not a big fan of using "pain" when I do the forced retrieve. In fact, last year, Greg had to do a forced retrieve with TJ - the dog that I was showing. Why did HE have to do it? I couldn't bear it. We had to do it in a very short period of time, and using pain is the best method to do that...Did it work? Usually - as long as there wasn't a decoy around, in which case he decided to bite anyway! Greg used the e-collar at a high level with TJ.


Please note that I am speaking from experience here, as I've done the same thing and I whole heartedly regret it...If someone is doing something to your dog that you can't bear to watch, then they shouldn't be doing it.

Under the advice of more than one trainer with FAR more exerience than I will ever have, I spent months and months chokeing Riggs off of bites and toys. I hated it, but did it because people who "know better" told me to. I felt guilty every time, and more than once a simple game of fetch would put me near tears. We fought and fought and fought and fought and fought.

Electric was recommended, but there was no way I would ever have used it on him to teach him to out. One of two things would have happened: 1. shock him until smoke was coming out his ears or 2. He comes off the bite and decides to show me what pain really is. I was not willing to do either. And frankly, I would have deserved the second option.

With a LOT of time, a LOT of effort and a LOT of bumps and bruises, Riggs will now play fetch with just about anything. It took over a year, but eventually it happened and both of use are much happier. He spits out his toys willingly and we're both the better for it.

At the DSO he actually outed off of one decoy. I almost started jumping up and down with excitement. Yes, I choked him off if the rest of his bites, but in a lot of ways I think not letting go is just habit now. He's as stubborn as I am, so we're a good match. It has been many months since I have "had" to do that. I stopped doing bitework because choking him all the time wasn't worth it to me. Once a year isn't a big deal to me, twice a week is.

He loves to do bitework, you should see him when he realizes what's coming. It's so cute to see him practically vibrating with excitement. He still listens and almost never breaks when I am with him (when I am away from him it's a different story.) But even with his love of it, I'd rather deny him that fun than continue to torture him to make him out.

He did out repeatedly with Liz last weekend though! He does it just often enough to make me hopeful. Little snot....
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Postby maberi » August 29th, 2008, 11:31 am

I know nothing of bitework so I cannot comment on any of that but I was just wondering if Riggs will out for a ball or does his head go out the window for balls when he is on a sleeve, tug, etc..
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Postby mnp13 » August 29th, 2008, 12:07 pm

Toy swapping worked to teach him to out off of toys. It took many months before he would just spit out a toy without me having one to swap.

During bitework he will occasionally out for a toy, ball or food. But that is rare and very inconsistant. If the decoy freezes he usually outs eventually, but not always, though after a minute or two he gets bored and lets go. when he does that, he gets an almost immediate rebite.

We've tried two sleeves so he goes from one to the other, but we're short on decoys for that. That gave us the most consistant inconsisant results. Besides the out, he is pretty clear headed in bitework.
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Postby katiek0417 » August 29th, 2008, 1:32 pm

Michelle,

This is why I'm not using that method with Cy...the method I'm using now is more like a nag, but he's getting it...however, you're still forcing him to do it...
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Postby BritneyP » August 29th, 2008, 6:24 pm

Katrina, I really don't disagree with the methods your using, only because I completely understand the levels of an e-collar and how they work.

Michelle- You should move to New England. We have plenty of experienced decoys and could have Riggs outing in no time. :mrgreen: :wink:
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Postby airwalk » August 29th, 2008, 6:27 pm

Okay, admittedly, I know nothing about bite work and frankly it makes me cringe...but....just my very basic knowledge of canine behavior would indicate to me that if a handler must use "pain" to motivate a dog to a specific action, that action is questionable for reliability, at best.

Additionally, canines, like most living beings, have the ability to become accustomed to lots of things, including certainly levels of pain...so when the level currently used to "motivate" no longer works, do you up the "pain"...seriously.

I'm sorry and again I don't do bite work and have my challenges with it on a personal level...but I simply cannot rationalize that reliability can be gained by use of "pain" for training.

Now if you are talking about making a dog uncomfortable because of a behavior and then permitting their comfort when te behavior changes..I guess it depends on how you define uncomfortable, but I still can't make that work with the word "pain".

We have a prod at the shelter for a last ditch effort to break up dog fights...we've never yet had to use it and I hope to never have to use it...there are so many other options that must be worked first. To use a prod as a training tool, well, again I must be honest, I think that would simply breed distrust and aggression and the handler should very well expect the animal to come up the leash.
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Postby BritneyP » August 29th, 2008, 6:57 pm

airwalk wrote:Okay, admittedly, I know nothing about bite work and frankly it makes me cringe...


Probably a whole nother' topic itself, but, why does it make you cringe? If you don't mind my asking... :?
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Postby airwalk » August 29th, 2008, 7:04 pm

I work in Animal Control/Protection...while rationally I understand that the dogs trained for bite work are typically amazingly controlled...in my world a bite is a bite is a bite is a bite...and as Michelle and I have "discussed" bite work folks don't necessarily see it that way.

I see too many people that are "responsible" dog owners that end up with citations...I know my work skewes(s) my view of the canine world, and frankly I'm okay with that.

I don't question others rights to have their dog bite trained, I just have a personal issue with it.
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Postby katiek0417 » August 29th, 2008, 7:09 pm

airwalk wrote:Okay, admittedly, I know nothing about bite work and frankly it makes me cringe...but....just my very basic knowledge of canine behavior would indicate to me that if a handler must use "pain" to motivate a dog to a specific action, that action is questionable for reliability, at best.

Additionally, canines, like most living beings, have the ability to become accustomed to lots of things, including certainly levels of pain...so when the level currently used to "motivate" no longer works, do you up the "pain"...seriously.

I'm sorry and again I don't do bite work and have my challenges with it on a personal level...but I simply cannot rationalize that reliability can be gained by use of "pain" for training.

Now if you are talking about making a dog uncomfortable because of a behavior and then permitting their comfort when te behavior changes..I guess it depends on how you define uncomfortable, but I still can't make that work with the word "pain".

We have a prod at the shelter for a last ditch effort to break up dog fights...we've never yet had to use it and I hope to never have to use it...there are so many other options that must be worked first. To use a prod as a training tool, well, again I must be honest, I think that would simply breed distrust and aggression and the handler should very well expect the animal to come up the leash.


That's what we're doing. The dog won't go retrieve, so I start the stimulation. When he starts to come back to me with the toy in his mouth, the stimulation goes away.

Let me ask you this, Diana, if you walk across a carpet in winter and touch a doorknob, and get a shock, does it hurt? This is similar to the level of stimulation I'm using on Cy when we do the forced retrieve. I'm using it as a nag, a motivation, rather than pain.

Now, when I do it during bitework or even during obedience as a correction, yes, it's a much stronger shock. But that's b/c I AM using it as a correction rather than a nag.

Britney...yep, I know you understand...you've had experience with e-collar and the benefits of them when used correctly. I'm sure you also know what can go wrong if used incorrectly.
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Postby airwalk » August 29th, 2008, 7:11 pm

Let me ask you this, Diana, if you walk across a carpet in winter and touch a doorknob, and get a shock, does it hurt? This is similar to the level of stimulation I'm using on Cy when we do the forced retrieve. I'm using it as a nag, a motivation, rather than pain.


yes'm however, I get to choose whether or not to do it in the first place and I get to choose whether or not to do it again, because frankly I do not like that shock at all and choose to not repeat it.
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