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Thread: Attrition in Training

  1. #1
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    Default Attrition in Training

    Hey Guys,

    I'm new to RTF and retriever training, working with my first lab (5 mths old). I keep hearing a lot about attrition in training and was wondering if you guys could clarify for me exactly what is meant by the term? Evan Graham cites Webster's definition in Smartwork vol. 1 as it being " the act of wearing down over time"..... Does this mean repetition and reinforcement of a command that has been taught until it becomes habit to the dog?

    Probably a very basic question I know...but hey, a newbie has to start somewhere right?!

    Thanks in advance.

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    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Hi Tlo and Welcome to the RTF

    from the Mike Lardy Banner at top of this page is this, click - http://www.totalretriever.com/index....eral&Itemid=76

    lots of good tips and reading at that site
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

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    Quote Originally Posted by TLo View Post
    Hey Guys,

    I'm new to RTF and retriever training, working with my first lab (5 mths old). I keep hearing a lot about attrition in training and was wondering if you guys could clarify for me exactly what is meant by the term? Evan Graham cites Webster's definition in Smartwork vol. 1 as it being " the act of wearing down over time"..... Does this mean repetition and reinforcement of a command that has been taught until it becomes habit to the dog?

    Probably a very basic question I know...but hey, a newbie has to start somewhere right?!

    Thanks in advance.
    Attrition is done with out pressure or corrections...It is all about repetitions..when a dog is given a command and fails to get it right no reward is given or correction used as a penalty for trying .... ...just try again until it gets it correct....Steve S PS: that is why we are all here , to learn ...glad to have ya...
    "Your dog learns as much by doing his work right,by your praise and encouragement, as he does by your displeasure and correction." DLWalters

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    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    I like attrition as it is more about teaching and doesn't involve a collar correction, but don't kid yourself, attrition used excessively is another form of pressure that can break down momentum. Just like any other training tool it should be used wisely with care.

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    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    Could one say that handling is a form of attrition? Say you have a 250 yd land-water-land etc mark that you're trying to teach pup to run straight and honest. Assuming pup has been taught to handle on both land and water, if you keep handling to make pup run a straight line through the factors, will pup eventually learn that running straight is desirable due to the handling being a type of attrition?

    If this is a hyjack, please say so, I will shut up.

    Jen

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    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    That's not a hijack. Handling on marks and blinds, can be a form of attrition. And attrition is definitely not "pressure free".
    In fact, it can be the undoing of a young dog's momentum.

    When we use the term attrition, it means to wear down, and weaken resistance.

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    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Henion View Post
    Could one say that handling is a form of attrition? Say you have a 250 yd land-water-land etc mark that you're trying to teach pup to run straight and honest. Assuming pup has been taught to handle on both land and water, if you keep handling to make pup run a straight line through the factors, will pup eventually learn that running straight is desirable due to the handling being a type of attrition?

    If this is a hyjack, please say so, I will shut up.

    Jen
    Interesting question, and possibly another thread. Do they really learn to run straight? or do they learn all the common ways we people use terrain to challenge them, then handle each element individually? How well do they generalize this abstract concept of "running straight"?
    Darrin Greene

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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Henion View Post
    Could one say that handling is a form of attrition?

    Jen
    The way some trainers handle, handling is filled with pressure. I hate to say it, but I've trained with guys who pushed a button everytime they blew a whistle. Ridculous!

    Attrition just is what it is; a principle that trainers apply as a technique. Generally, it's a sound alternative to just nailing a dog with pressure (direct or indirect) for their errors. When used wisely, it still exerts pressure, but of a kind that is more teaching oriented than punitive. Over-used it has potential to break down the spirit of a dog, bore them, and make them second guess themselves.

    BALANCE

    Evan
    "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham

    “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    ― George Bernard Shaw


    The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
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    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    The definition I took from Webster's dictionary is "The act of wearing down, as by friction". We don't generally 'wear down' with a hammer. I don't think of it as wearing the dog down. I think of it as wearing down a dog's resistance to manmade standards of behavior through repetition and exposure. And that is how I generally view dog training. It's our idea, and we should have empathy toward dogs because of that.

    Evan
    "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham

    “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    ― George Bernard Shaw


    The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?...59&ref=profile

  10. #10
    Senior Member hotel4dogs's Avatar
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    attrition is what you've been using when, at the end of the training session, you realize you forgot to turn the collar on before starting

    Barb Gibson
    with
    CH Rosewood Little Giant UDX VER RA SH MXP MJP OFP VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG
    also UCH HR UUD UJJ URO1 UHIT
    (golden retriever) born 3-10-07
    a.k.a. "Tito", "The Tito Monster"
    www.GoTeamTito.com

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