Hihope Hiland Heathen of Perth CD, RE, CGC, TDI
I was really asking about over praising over time, not in response to a particular behavior, but your comment about timing in relation to a behavior - good or bad - is always good to hear and think about again.
HR Belle's Rolling Big Rig "Jimmy"
Too much praise can make it become meaningless. Same as a come in whistle. It's better to use it when you really need it.
Years ago, a nationally famous retriever trainer, Cotton Pershall, told me after I had thrown a fun bumper for my dog to never let a dog break once it is steady. I got to thinking about that and came to this conclusion, if I never let my dog break there is no confusion on his part as to whether it was a fun retrieve or not. This keeps everything in black and white, you never leave the line until sent. Years later I attended a Mike Lardy seminar where I was introduced to therapy marks where the dog remained steady but was given an exciting mark like a fun dummy retrieve. So although I never let my dog break, I do incorporate therapy marks into my training.
HB's and "fractures" are simply tools, and really boil down to positive reinforcement when used sparingly. Rex would "fracture" a dog who had a long tough session learning something new, and only after the dog had visibly "got it". Sometimes all it would take to get a softer dog out of a funk was a low "whoop" from Rex after the dog figured it out.
I had some recent exchange regarding the use or perhaps "over use" of Happy Bumpers.
I plugged the phrase "happy bumper" into the advanced search referenced in the sticky note at the top of the page and found this topic originated by Dennis.
I felt it appropriate to bump this to the top.
Interestingly, one of the participants used the term "junk food" in this discussion. Today I referenced "happy Bumpers" to one person as the prospect of giving ice cream to a picky eater child before each meal. This could lead to the child balking at the nutritional components of the meal.
Why eat the brussel sprouts when you already got fed the ice cream?
Food for thought....excuse the pun.
Good read forwarded it to a few of my training partners, I don't use them either, the spinning, sharp turns and sudden stops are only trouble as far as I'm concerned.