Tug Drive + Soft Mouth?

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Postby katiek0417 » July 27th, 2010, 5:41 am

LisaM wrote:
amazincc wrote:Sorry... I don't compete w/my dogs, so I might be way off here... but it sounds to me, in comparison, that you'd be *smacking* your kid around because he/she likes reading more than playing baseball... where's the fun in that??? :neutral:


Well, I see it like this...my trainer is a 50X SchH 3 competitor and has coached countless other handlers on to the SchH 3 level, including many to regional and national level events; using this philosophy. He has also worked with a variety of breeds and temperaments and has been able to get results across the board. Why not at least give his theory a try? If anything, this approach is much harder on ME than it is on my dog and it will help make me a better handler....it's a lot of work on my part and it would certainly be easier for me to just go to something else as a means of motivation.... Most handlers would have either washed my dog by now or gave up and went to rewarding the dog with something it preferred. In all honesty I am often tempted to give in and let my dog chose what she wants to work for as do I consider washing her in favor of a dog that has drive that is more easily accessible. But, I am not ready to give up yet. She is an otherwise good dog..mentally stable, confident and healthy (probably stronger and can take more pressure than some of the easy to train "prey monsters") so I will continue to prod along for now. Often, the amount of pressure needed isn't even all that much, a decent sport prospect really should be able to handle it...if they can't then well.... Not to mention, if I allow her to chose what to work for in obedience, there is a good chance she may try the same thing in bitework...chosing the type of equipment she will bite...I am stubborn and will keep trying to build drive for the motivator which is best suited for this style of training...we'll see how long I last..lol.

My trainer approached the protection phase with my dog with the same philosophy and here is the result less than a year into the training...does it look like she is being forced to do it? Do you see the dog showing stress? Does it appear that she is NOT HAVING FUN? I wish I was even half the handler my training director/helper is...I would love to pull the amount of ball drive from my dog that he was able to pull out for the bitework....maybe some day...

A year prior to this video, the dog had no interest in biting a sleeve...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTO59MbIDUA


Okay, I get what you're saying...but using the argument "my trainer is a 50X..." There is more than one way to skin a cat. If you get 50 trainers together in a room, the only thing they tend to agree upon is that everyone else is wrong. :rolleyes2:

That being said, I've also seen some very nice Schutzhund III routines that were 100% trained using a clicker...

TheRedQueen wrote:Jenn (OP) hasn't been back on to answer, but I'm pretty darn sure she won't use any compulsion for Nittany. She started out in a prong collar class with Murphy, her first dog, and he was ruined when he left. Jenn's a clicker trainer now...;)

I don't personally agree that positive punishment needs to be added for a retrieve. I have six dogs right now...and only one is a natural retriever. The other ones all were taught to retrieve using a clicker and treats, no force/compulsion/etc involved. Only negative punishment was used, if at all (removing my attention if they don't play).

I've got some crazy retrieving dogs now...three are trained as Service Dogs and will willingly and happily pick up many types of objects (plastic and glass bottles, aluminum cans, coins off a slick floor, credit cards, books, shoes, keys, pens/pencils and so much more...) all done without any force or compulsion or "pressure". I've trained herding dogs, sporting dogs, hounds and mixes to retrieve all using positive reinforcement. And yeah...my Xander was trained to tug using a tie-back schutzhund method...and when he wasn't broken (torn ACL), he could be lifted off the ground and smacked around without letting go of his tug. The Wiener also has a ferocious tug...but with his back, I don't do that often. :giggle:

So...just saying...it can be done without force. ;)


I gotta agree with you on that. Cy was trained using the ear pinch method (by his previous owner). Nisha was trained with a clicker. Nemo was trained using all +R (note: Nemo wasn't trained to do a formal retrieve - he was trained to find drugs - but part of that training involved finding a toy and making him possessive over it). Axo is a retrieving fool, and retrieves with no compulsion. Out of those dogs, Cy's retrieve is the most unreliable...I constantly find myself having to go back and use -R to get him to perform the behavior...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
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Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
Axo - Psycho Puppy
Rocky - RIP My Baby Boy
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Postby LisaM » July 27th, 2010, 6:17 am

I never said this was the only way to train a dog to retrieve. I simply said that I have seen the best results from using a balanced approach of both positive and compulsion. I know there are lots of methods out there and have tried several myself including with this dog. In fact, when she was a puppy I used a marker method of training and rewarded with food. I also tried making the dumb bell into a prey object along with other more compulsion based methods. She has understood the exercise for a long time but it's always been a struggle to have her retrieve quickly due to her laid back temperament which is why we have incorporated some compulsion into the training. If given the choice she will walk out to the dumb bell rather than run.

As far as my comment regarding my trainer and his accomplishments..well I drive over 2 hrs to go work with him and across an international border and his philosophy has produced good results in the bite work phase. I feel I at least have to give his method a try...A couple years ago I would not have seen myself trying that but my mind is getting more and more open to different styles of training...;)
A good dog is not that easily ruined.
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Postby katiek0417 » July 27th, 2010, 8:24 am

LisaM wrote:I never said this was the only way to train a dog to retrieve. I simply said that I have seen the best results from using a balanced approach of both positive and compulsion. I know there are lots of methods out there and have tried several myself including with this dog. In fact, when she was a puppy I used a marker method of training and rewarded with food. I also tried making the dumb bell into a prey object along with other more compulsion based methods. She has understood the exercise for a long time but it's always been a struggle to have her retrieve quickly due to her laid back temperament which is why we have incorporated some compulsion into the training. If given the choice she will walk out to the dumb bell rather than run.

As far as my comment regarding my trainer and his accomplishments..well I drive over 2 hrs to go work with him and across an international border and his philosophy has produced good results in the bite work phase. I feel I at least have to give his method a try...A couple years ago I would not have seen myself trying that but my mind is getting more and more open to different styles of training...;)


Again, I'm not against using compulsion in my training...so, I'm not knocking that...

My point is that using compulsion is sometimes counterproductive.

In this case, we are not talking about a sport dog that is going to be stepping on the schutzhund or PSA field...

We are talking about a dog that is a pet first, and flyball dog, second (and I don't mean this in a derogatory way - so I hope no one takes it that way). The dog also sounds a bit sensitive (again, not a bad thing). So, in my opinion, and experience, I would never use compulsion to train this dog to do something. I may use negative punishment (taking the dog out of the game to decrease a behavior), but I'd never use -R or +P. You have to use a lot of flexibility when you're training with different types of dogs - and I think that's key here.

Furthermore, I know the training facility to where Jenn (the OP) took her dog, Murphy. I will tell you that they are quick to slap an e-collar on an 8-week old puppy. Don't get me wrong. I've seen other trainers do this, and it works very well, but they use it very differently than how this training facility uses it (personally, I don't believe in using compulsion on any dog under a year - and I don't put an e-collar on a dog for several years).

So, while using a combination of +R and compulsion may be just fine in your Schutzhund dog or my PSA dogs - I don't think that it's right for Jenn's dog in the bigger picture.
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
Sacha CGC - Dumb Lab
Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
Drusilla SLUT- Pet
Nemo - Dual-Purpose Narcotics
Cy TC, PSA 1, PSA 2, 2009 PSA Level 3 National Champion
Axo - Psycho Puppy
Rocky - RIP My Baby Boy
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 27th, 2010, 8:58 am

LisaM wrote:I never said this was the only way to train a dog to retrieve. I simply said that I have seen the best results from using a balanced approach of both positive and compulsion. I know there are lots of methods out there and have tried several myself including with this dog.


I wasn't actually responding to your post when I said that I don't see that force/compulsion is *needed* to teach a retrieve. ;) I was responding to the post made by furever_pit...I just didn't use the quote, as I was in a hurry.

This was what I was truly responding to:
I also agree that at some point in the retrieve there is a need for some pressure and correction. It doesn't sound to me like the OP's dog is ready for that at this point tho. I'll be honest and say that when Dylan is ready he will find that he has no choice but to retrieve the object. Every point counts, and trials are not games.


And to take this further, there has been NO point with my dogs where they have NO CHOICE but to retrieve...and trust me, with Service Dogs, that's a big deal. If they choose NOT to pick something up for John...I try and figure out where *we* went wrong...and we try and work through the issue. John has MD, and can't use physically use force to get Sawyer to retrieve...(and yes, he used to force his old Service Dog...that's how he was taught...ear pinch, prong collar correction). This is truly not a game :neutral: ...as Sawyer helps John get through the day without human assistance.
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Postby fenella » July 27th, 2010, 10:10 am

katiek0417 wrote:Furthermore, I know the training facility to where Jenn (the OP) took her dog, Murphy. I will tell you that they are quick to slap an e-collar on an 8-week old puppy. Don't get me wrong. I've seen other trainers do this, and it works very well, but they use it very differently than how this training facility uses it (personally, I don't believe in using compulsion on any dog under a year - and I don't put an e-collar on a dog for several years).


So true! Murphy is a basket case, which, I feel is in part to the original training methods with the prong. (Not completely, mind you...he's just a freak, but it didn't help). So, my opinion of compulsion methods is colored by that. Nittany is a bit soft, but not as much as Murphy. She is sensitive, but would more likely give me a big middle finger if I tried somewhat compulsive methods on her.

It is true. She is a pet first and a flyball dog second (no offense taken...I completely agree). Because of this, I can't justify using methods that would "give her no other choice" in order to train her. Flyball is something that I enjoy doing. If my dogs don't enjoy it, or I have to force them to do it, then it isn't fun anymore. I don't do Schutzhund, so I can't speak to what is necessary for that. If she doesn't bring the ball back, she isn't going to get hurt or anything. Maybe someone else will disagree, but to me, using the compusion method for this would mean I am building her drive to do it out of fear of not doing it, not a drive to retrieve itself. (Just as treating her could build the drive to get the reward, rather than the drive to tug itself, but she just doesn't really love to tug. I'm happy to trade a piece of chicken for her complying).
I liken it to me and running. I don't like to run. I may be motivated to run by seeing a weight loss from doing it (getting a reward). I could also be motivated to run by having a rabid bear chase me (thus, giving me no other choice). For the time being, the rabid bear may make me run more reliably, but I don't think I'd ever eventually gain a love of running. Left on my own, however, I may learn to like it by losing weight, and will have more fun in the process. Now, this is a total exaggeration, and I'm not saying the methods are the same (or that you are abusing your dog or anything), but I'm just trying to make a point about why I choose to train the way I do. To me, the ends don't justify the means. I want to build a willing partnership. If she doesn't like flyball, even for a reward, then she just won't play. You've said you use a combination of positive and negative, so again, I know it isn't the same, but I'm just trying to make my point.

To update, though, I worked with a trainer at a tournament, and it helped a lot. Nitt gets a click and treat for holding the ball and for putting more pressure on the ball. The tugging has worked itself out accidentally. I was tugging with Murphy, and Nittany decided to join the game by picking up the other end. It's like she needed a demo of what I was asking her to do. Now she thinks it is kinda fun. I don't think she'll ever find it rewarding enough to use in the lane, but she's coming along!
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Postby furever_pit » July 27th, 2010, 11:02 am

First, I am glad that you are seeing some success with Nittany. I think it's cool that she kinda picked up on it by watching you and Murphy. I guess it's kinda like letting one dog see another dog catch a hog first, turns that light bulb on. lol

Have you by chance seen the building drive, focus, and grip videos with Bernhard Flinks? A lot of good information on there and if my memory serves me correctly there is not much if any compulsion involved. The focus is more on the handler and what we can do to build our dogs' drive through sound, movement, and structure, etc.

TheRedQueen wrote:
LisaM wrote:I never said this was the only way to train a dog to retrieve. I simply said that I have seen the best results from using a balanced approach of both positive and compulsion. I know there are lots of methods out there and have tried several myself including with this dog.


I wasn't actually responding to your post when I said that I don't see that force/compulsion is *needed* to teach a retrieve. ;) I was responding to the post made by furever_pit...I just didn't use the quote, as I was in a hurry.

This was what I was truly responding to:
I also agree that at some point in the retrieve there is a need for some pressure and correction. It doesn't sound to me like the OP's dog is ready for that at this point tho. I'll be honest and say that when Dylan is ready he will find that he has no choice but to retrieve the object. Every point counts, and trials are not games.


And to take this further, there has been NO point with my dogs where they have NO CHOICE but to retrieve...and trust me, with Service Dogs, that's a big deal. If they choose NOT to pick something up for John...I try and figure out where *we* went wrong...and we try and work through the issue. John has MD, and can't use physically use force to get Sawyer to retrieve...(and yes, he used to force his old Service Dog...that's how he was taught...ear pinch, prong collar correction). This is truly not a game :neutral: ...as Sawyer helps John get through the day without human assistance.


Yes, you are right...correction is not necessary for every dog or even every venue. Bad choice of words on my part. However, the most successful dogs I have seen on the field have been trained using a mixture of both positive and negative reinforcement. The ones I train with are happy, high in drive, and execute the scenario beautifully. I want that for Dylan and I know it will take some pressure to get him there. I don't have a problem with supplying that end of the spectrum if that is what the dog needs to succeed.

Now, would I kill a dog with correction trying to force it to do something that the dog does not totally love? No. I would think Gator would be proof enough of that - living in the lap of luxury and being excused from working just cause he doesn't have it in him.
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