When I say, "always", I mean "almost always".
When I say, "never", I mean "almost never".
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CH. Snowshoe's Girl Crazy MH, UD, WCX, SDHF, OS ... PRESLEY
Millpond's Baby Boomer MH*** ... BABE
Snowshoe's Crazy For Lovin You SH ... NELSON
Easy guys, I've trained with vollstead and other great amateurs that have completely water broke there dogs by this age, and it wasnt all force. I'm not a fan of starting this young but if I could implement some positive methods at this age and then reinforce reinforce after collar comditioning at an older age seems like a good idea. I am a bit scepticule what he considers water broke and from what distances and with what factors? Is he saying he can slice a piece of water at 300 yds? What I suspect is something similar to the diagram in another thread about decheating without an ecollar, and that's conceivable. Even the author of classical conditioning made a term for a natural instinct cropping back up called "extinction." what I take from that is...in the FT game we are training against the natural instincts of the animal, and he who has the best water dog has done the best job of training against the natural instincts. Extinction makes it impossible to use a positive only approach. Can you stand next to the waters edge or close to and train the dog to take a straight line to the bird with positive only, probably. Can you stand 275 back and run multiple marks with a cheaty retired with positive only, most unlikely. Even if it's possible why? The method we use if done properly the dog can't wait to get the collar on and work so I don't see the point as if there's a softer better way, I don't see it. Tails a waggin regards,
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Sorry! I think it IS already mucked up.
A recent post was the epitomy of gobbledy-gook.
"Dennis made the comment in a post in this thread that he gives his dogs plenty of praise and I'm sure he does. And I'm sure there are many people on this forum who have been told to be positive and give their dog plenty of praise. But giving a dog praise, or treats, is not PR. I don't praise very much, because in truth the dogs don't give a rip about it. The dog may want my attention and if I want to throw in some praise the dog won't mind, but it's the attention he wanted. Dogs care about themselves, and what they want. And what a retriever wants could be food, maybe it's a bumper, maybe a retrieve, maybe it's a game, maybe to go swimming, maybe playing Frisbee.
Read all the contradictions here and tell me I shouldn't just delete the whole thread (which I can do as OP). Note: apparently praise is NOT PR(perhaps he does not know how or when to give praise?), Note: apparently dogs don't care about praise but they want your attention??? Note: A retriever may want food but treats are not PR??? Note: dogs may want a bumper or a retrieve--Hello???isn't that the basis of our current total balanced program? And doesn't that mean we employ PR extensively!?????
I need to see some credentials and some videos. I have searched high and low for many years and cannot find an example of All-age field trial level performance by a PR only trainer. There was a recent post for a video of a 5 year old Golden doing sub-Qualifying work. A list of the problems this dog and handler had encountered was extensive. To train a dog at advanced levels you need to develop good mechanics and responses so that you can focus on the real issues of challenging retrieves in factor filled situations. So far no PR only person has proven they can accomplish that. It really is that simple.
PS. I did not say that you can not train a dog for basic hunting, some HT and even lower level field trial work with PR only. I believe it is possible and actually relatively easy. Advanced work is another issue. Most importantly what is the reason to follow PR exclusively? I can see no reason to do so when my dogs are treated fairly, with respect, taught incrementally and they are happy, motivated and willing workers who have learned to turn in a 100% effort every day.
PPS. By PR I mean Positive Reinforcement not Progressive Reinforcement because that latter term is more semantics smoke!
Last edited by RetrieversONLINE; 07-11-2012 at 03:18 PM.
Please do not delete this thread. It is incredibly valuable to me. I appreciate your insights so much Dennis. Just purchased 2007, 2008, 2009 Online Retriever volumes yesterday to get more info like this.
For some reason the "reply with quote" feature is not working for me, so I will do it this way. Daniel's words are in red.
Thanks to Daniel for taking me seriously and at least attempting to explain where he is coming from.
Daniel: It's similar to the question I once asked. My academic contacts said they didn't see why it wouldn't be possible; I didn't think that was a very enthusiastic endorsement.
Me: it's not an enthusiastic endorsement. Personally,it would not be persuasive at all.
Daniel: In other dog sports however, PR has made huge inroads in a pretty short period of time. If you look at old movies of competitions from those sports and compare them to today's dogs in competition; it unreal. The skill level has advanced so much it's just a completely different world.
Me: Is this because there are so many people getting into the other dog sports who don't understand that their dog is not human and doesn't "love" them? A lot of people don't spank or otherwise meaningfully discipline their children anymore either, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's the right way to handle it.
Daniel: In a breakdown, to answer your question directly, for a dog taught with PR the reward is rewarding enough. I know that's sounds like a bit of a stretch. But because of how the dog has learned, motivation lives within, and well taught dogs are always motivated to perform the task. And why wouldn't they? There's nothing asked of them they're not capable of doing. When they're taught a new skill they learn it in increments. I don't teach anything, unless I'm convinced I'll be able to explain it clearly enough, so they'll have success almost immediately. So the dogs almost always accomplish what I ask of them.
Me: in my experience I find this very hard to believe. Maybe they are internally motivated to "get the bird," but are they internally motivated to get the bird in the way I want/need them to get it? My mentor's nickname for my dog is "Birdy SOB," but I have plenty of issues in getting him to do it the way I want it done.
Daniel: Every dog already knows how to swim, pick up an object, sit, lie down, come to you when it wants to, etc., without us ever giving it any training. What we want is for them to do it when we say so. The compulsion method uses force; force fetch, force to the pile, force on the T, force in the swim by, etc., to elicit an escape/avoidance response that a skillful trainer can utilize for their purpose. Force is the at the core of the program. And it works! Using PR a dog has no reason to avoid anything, because they've been taught a method of learning in which they are always free to choose what to do and they love it. When they do something the teacher wants, they get a reward that they really like. PR dogs never want the lesson to stop.
Me: again very hard to believe in light of my experience. Remember too that in a traditional program the dog chooses to get punishment by making a wrong decision just like they choose to get positive reinforcement by making a correct decision.
Daniel: A key element of operant conditioning puts the pupil in charge of the reward. Dogs learn very rapidly that something they do is worth a treat, and they work hard to to figure out what it is, so that they can make me give them a reward. That's how PR works. Dogs learn that their behavior manipulates me into giving them a reward. So they are always thinking, what's going to make that guy give me what I want. Thinking dogs can acquire pretty impressive skills. Using compulsion, dogs are always thinking what do I have to do so I won't have something happen to me I don't like. They fill their minds with what not to do. PR dogs fill their minds with possibilities of what do.
Me: very similar to previous paragraph. But what do you do on the days when the dog is not quite up to par or is just having a bad day? Is the reward of doing it right reward enough on those hopefully rare days when they just can't get anything right?
Daniel: Dennis made the comment in a post in this thread that he gives his dogs plenty of praise and I'm sure he does. And I'm sure there are many people on this forum who have been told to be positive and give their dog plenty of praise. But giving a dog praise, or treats, is not PR. I don't praise very much, because in truth the dogs don't give a rip about it. The dog may want my attention and if I want to throw in some praise the dog won't mind, but it's the attention he wanted. Dogs care about themselves, and what they want. And what a retriever wants could be food, maybe it's a bumper, maybe a retrieve, maybe it's a game, maybe to go swimming, maybe playing Frisbee.
Me: I am going to have to say that this sounds like pure hogwash. If a dog can feel pressure from the tone and volume of my voice, certainly he can feel rewarded in the same way.
Daniel: The last thing to say is I also employ what operant conditioning calls punishment. So I'm not a pure +R teacher. There's only one reason why I don't use +R exclusively. Say we're working on something at home in the kitchen. She does what I want she gets a treat, again she does what I want she gets a treat, then she doesn't give me what I want, and I withhold the treat. In operant conditioning withholding a reward is considered punishment. This kind of punishment is -P. I don't use this until I get to advanced lessons and only then when I haven't been able to design a lesson plan clearly showing the dog how to be successful. I hate using it because it shows me up as an ineffectual teacher. That's a hard nut to swallow.
To really do justice to your question would require a little seminar so you could see understand the larger picture and like the dogs become successful. That's the gist of it.
Me: I wish you luck with your training. However, I would point out that the reason Total Retriever Training sells like it does is because Lardy has used it to train multiple field champions. Same with other programs. Unless a
Dennis, please do not delete this thread. I second the appreciation of your insight as well. Trainers like you really shed valuable light to those of us trying to learn the game and learn how to properly and fairly train our retrievers. I would appreciate hearing your answer to this question you posed in your original post. A10. All of the procedures that we use in retriever training can be analysed in terms of learning theory. Most training issues such as ‘noise by dogs’, ‘cheating around ponds’, ‘getting out down the shore early’, or ‘creeping’ can be addressed though punishment or through reinforcement. If you analyse the schools of training by various “authors” you will see an emphasis on one or the other. For example, the dog climbs out on a point and is nicked there so he avoids landing next time. What is that –reinforcement or punishment? What do you do and why. Whas nicking the correct response from the trainer? and what do you do when you need that dog in a different training scenerio to take that point??
Daniel---a respectful request to you to not reply to this thread and if you want to continue to explain your training methods please start your own thread. This thread belongs to Mr. Voigt and to those of us that are here to learn.
canine n. Synonymous with courage, valor, trust, selflessness. If we learned to be half of what dogs are, the world would be a much better place
May I ask you to please let us know who you are and what you do with your dogs today?
My name is Chris Atkinson. I have four dogs in my home at this point. One of them is a labrador that I enjoy training and running in all age stakes of an AKC trial once in a while. I travel a lot for work and I don't give my dog the kind of exposure he deserves to have a good chance at success in all age stuff. But I enjoy it.
Daniel, one other question: In a couple bullet pointed lines, what is it that you are trying to accomplish in your posts on this thread? I am the one who chose to make this thread a sticky and am actually regretting it a bit.
To Dennis, please know that we value your contributions to the retriever world immensely. I'm coming home today from a business trip. I enjoy taking my Retrievers Online still in the envelope, and opening it on a train, plane, bus, etc. On Tuesday I took a trip from Tokyo to Ishinomaki. We had to catch a bus at Sendai to get up to Ishinomaki. Here is a shot I took, of one of my colleagues and a good friend at the bus stop in Sendai.
I feel very, very fortunate that we have an editor of a periodical focused on our game, who happens to be the trainer/handler/titler of a National Champion, spending time and sharing thoughts with us.
Somehow I don't think a magazine stand in Japan would sell many issues. I have received some other neat photos of peole reading ONLINE. One was a two year old. Her dad said she just liked to look at the pictures. I know some adults that read magazines that way. I have often seen them in the magazine rack beside the throne" and once in a fancy two-hole outhouse. I was never sure if they were there for reading or other purposes!!
I think you are aware that I have had 3 National wins and 8 Field Champion dogs. But few know that all have been exclusively trained by me except one I got as a 2 year old. That has been very rewarding and educational. I am continually amazed with this game and that I can be learning something new and better all the time. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort but if I get a new DVD, I'll watch it 5-6 X to try and glean some tid-bit. Of course, I have learned so much from so many others, both top amateurs and professionals. The dogs have taught me a great deal and the best dogs weren't always the most instructive. But they sure help you advance and refine your techniques.
Even this thread has taught me a lot becasue I ended up watching a bunch of videos, reading blogs and studying some other trainers thoughts to gain a better understanding of their philosophy. I feel strongly about certain ways of training but I never think that I know it all. I am afraid sometimes on the Internet it can come across incorrectly. Trust me, nobody knows it all in this game and anybody that thinks they have it all figured out just needs to keep training more dogs to find out that's not true.
Last edited by RetrieversONLINE; 07-11-2012 at 06:42 PM.