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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Critter Cafe / The Dangers of Punishment - an example
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    The Dangers of Punishment - an example

    K9 Owned
    Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:15 pm
    Forum Host
    Well I finally finished my Clicker Training course and while I went in skeptical I have a much greater appreciation of it now. I will likely still use many of my old methods.. maybe because I am conditioned to them but I truly do not see a problem with 'Lure and Reward'. Clicker folks say you end up with a dog that won't work without treats but that has not been my experience with the last 3 dogs I have trained.

    What I have learned from this course is unless your timing (is DH listening?) is perfect corrections can be not only useless but can also create sometimes dangerous behaviour issues. I wanted to share this example with you taken from the Karen Pryor Clicker Training Program. It serves to show how we can create a problem much more difficult to fix than the behaviour we were trying to correct in the first place.


    Let's say you walk your dog using an electronic no pull collar (or prong, choker etc). Let's also say that this dog is great with children but one day a child happens to walk by just as you have shocked or pronged or otherwise harshly corrected your dog for pulling on a leash

    The next time a friendly three year old reaches out to pet the dog he growls or snaps at the child in an attempt to keep her away. The dog has learned that children are not to be trusted as they are associated with the shock (prong, yell, whatever).

    Now the owner sees that the dog is 'bad with kids' and begins to zap or otherwise correct the dog as a 'warning sign' when a child is near. It won't be long before seeing a child in the distance will send the dog in to full blown aggression. In this case the training method created a much greater problem than the original undesired behaviour of pulling on the leash.


    Food for thought folks. icon_smile.gif
    Krislady
    Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:34 am
    Forum Host
    I think sometimes we forget that we ARE communicating with out dogs all the time - and we just don't realize WHAT we're communicating.

    When I was married to my first husband, we had a Siberian husky - he was a great dog. We lived across the road from a farm with a HUGE fenced-in cow pasture. Every now and then, we'd let Caesar out for a GOOD run when the cows were not out - he loved it! However, when it was time for him to come home, we'd call him, and, if he didn't immediately come to my husband, he'd scold him when he did. icon_sad.gif I suspect that what was communicated was that it was a bad idea to come back to Dad. When he came to me, I'd praise him for coming, give him a drink of fresh water - EVEN IF he didn't come right away. So he learned that when he came back to me, he got praise and a reward.

    Our trainer takes the position that people WILL correct their dogs, whether deliberately or not, so he wants to teach them to do it right. I tend to agree with that idea, though I suspect he's fighting something of a losing battle. icon_rolleyes.gif
    K9 Owned
    Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:18 am
    Forum Host
    They read body language far better than they 'hear' our commands. Even sighs, uh uoh's and shoulders slumped in frustration give them negative feedback.
    Your trainer is totally correct. We are almost hard wired to 'correct' a wrong rather than praise a good job.

    I gave the example I did (it was an extreme) to show how a perfectly nice dog can be ruined by mishandling. Timing is 'everything
    Krislady
    Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:50 pm
    Forum Host
    I used to have a dog, Sadie, that was the funniest thing. She'd stand in the doorway, and if I looked at her and smiled, she'd come running and leap into my lap.

    But if I looked at her and frowned, she wouldn't take another step. She was such a sweetie, but SO needy!
    Pot Scrubber
    Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:35 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    So many good points brought up. Dogs are uncanny observers and master manipulators of humans. They read our face expressions and body language VERY well.

    Recently, I posted I lost Demon in my apt complex lot for ten minutes and found him just a few yards away from where he originally went missing. I'm sure he was just ignoring me because he was having too much fun dumpster diving while I frantically searched for him. When he FINALLY answered my calls I didn't scold him because I don't want him to ever be afraid of coming to my calls for fear of being punished. But... I must admit... I wanted to smack him good and proper for giving me such a scare.

    Right after I adopted him in 2006 I would take him for poop runs and then after he would go potty we would turn right around and come back home. It didn't take the Demon long to realize that go poop=go back home so the evil little monster would hold it in for an hour while we walked aimlessly around. LOL

    After I realized the mind games he was playing with me... I would let him go potty and then walk him around for another ten minutes forward before heading backwards back home. He's a clever boy and keeps me on my toes.
    Pot Scrubber
    Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:36 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    So many good points brought up. Dogs are uncanny observers and master manipulators of humans. They read our face expressions and body language VERY well.

    Recently, I posted I lost Demon in my apt complex lot for ten minutes and found him just a few yards away from where he originally went missing. I'm sure he was just ignoring me because he was having too much fun dumpster diving while I frantically searched for him. When he FINALLY answered my calls I didn't scold him because I don't want him to ever be afraid of coming to my calls for fear of being punished. But... I must admit... I wanted to smack him good and proper for giving me such a scare.

    Right after I adopted him in 2006 I would take him for poop runs and then after he would go potty we would turn right around and come back home. It didn't take the Demon long to realize that go poop=go back home so the evil little monster would hold it in for an hour while we walked aimlessly around. LOL

    After I realized the mind games he was playing with me... I would let him go potty and then walk him around for another ten minutes forward before heading backwards back home. He's a clever boy and keeps me on my toes.
    Karen Elizabeth
    Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:31 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Very interesting stuff!!!!

    Interestingly, Tank, generally quite good and VERY good around people and other dogs, has an absolute loss of brainpower if he sees balls (the rubber kind icon_wink.gif ), we are always careful to avoid children playing ballgames, as you can guarantee Tank will be in there like a lunatic. Balls at home will be played with until they die, it generally doesnt take long.

    Piper, also very well socialised, an absolute pleasure to have off-leash, cannot bear Jack Russell terriers Off she'll go like a speeding bullet with the JRT in full flight ahead. She is actually ok if THEY are on leash, then they dont worry her, but an off-leash JRT is like a red flag!


    Ruby .... doesnt care about anything much, other than food, she's cool, man, really cool........


    I've just realised I'm totally off-topic .... my point really, was I wonder if Tank associates rubber balls with some puppy trauma, he was born in the SPCA and was re-homed twice before he came to us at 6 months, poor lad.
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