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Thread: ?? 4 all positive trainers

  1. #1
    Senior Member Steve Shaver's Avatar
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    Default ?? 4 all positive trainers

    WHY?
    Sorry I just dont get it. What is the purpose?
    In the begining I teach everything positive until the dog understands what is expected then neg is introduced to teach what is wrong. This just seems to make more sense to me. If positive helps them to learn the right way then why not double your training value by using negative to teach the wrong way. In training this way it is equally important to use positive as well as negative properly. Over use of positive can cause problems just as over use of negative can.
    I know when I was a kid I learned REAL quick the importance of gun safety when I accidently shot out the neighbors garage door window with my BB gun. I didnt get beat but I did get spanked and lost my BB gun privilages for awhile. This had a way more lasting effect on me than just a talkin too.
    Positive-negative, right-wrong, good-evil. That's what life is all about. Just seems to me that a little negative along with the positive makes things much more black and white to the dog. If you stick your hand in the fire do you not get burned? Is it not important to be taught what is bad as well as what is wrong? If a kid steals a candy bar and gets away with it and gets the reward of eating that candy bar Im thinkin he will do it again but if he is caught and has a negative experience there is a lesson learned there too.
    So explain to me why is purely positive so important to you and what do you and the dog get out of it. I tried to do a purely positive training session yesterday but found it just about impossible for me to do. What do you positive people do if you catch the dog getting into the trash or chewing on a piece of furniture or barking out in the kennel just because he doesnt want to be there or if they get in a fight with another dog or a million other things?
    I just dont understand total positive training, it makes no sense to me.

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    Because they can. It is just like a republican saying they do not understand a democrat. Neither is wrong. They just have different views.

    It really all comes down to what they want to do with their pet. You want to apply pressure (correctly of course) to train your dog. They do not. Their dog. Their choice. It is not wrong, just as your method is not wrong.

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    Senior Member Steve Shaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zman1001 View Post
    Because they can. It is just like a republican saying they do not understand a democrat. Neither is wrong. They just have different views.

    It really all comes down to what they want to do with their pet. You want to apply pressure (correctly of course) to train your dog. They do not. Their dog. Their choice. It is not wrong, just as your method is not wrong.



    Not at all what I am trying to learn here. I understand that but that doesnt explain anything to me. Just like when I would ask my mom if I could go to the movies with my buddy Billy and she said no. I ask why not and she said because I said so. Im sure she had a reason but I would have understood more if I knew that reason.

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    Steve, thats a good question and one I think that needs to be addressed on here. Il think there are several reasons and not everyone shares the same thoughts on it. I am NOT anti collar. My dog followed Hillmann with an ecollar. My last dog was trained using FF and ecollar. I do not think it it wrong or abusive when used correctly. I switched to positive training simply because it was more fun for me. I dont have any interest in competing so there isn't any pressure on me to perform to a standard other than the one I am happy with. I found that I could achieve that standard with a more fun course of training. My dog needs to be steady, quiet, proficient on handling, and able to run blinds to 250yds. I am fortunate to have grown up near Stuttgart and have land that is nice duck hunting. I have always had a retriever of some sort so I know what is required of a hunting dog. A lot of ppl on here can talk theory about positive training but have no clue about the practical applications of it. So threads often get lost in translation and turn to flaming. But really positive trainers are no different they are just following a path they enjoy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Shaver View Post
    Not at all what I am trying to learn here. I understand that but that doesnt explain anything to me. Just like when I would ask my mom if I could go to the movies with my buddy Billy and she said no. I ask why not and she said because I said so. Im sure she had a reason but I would have understood more if I knew that reason.
    OK. Maybe stated a little bit differently.

    Because they have different goals then you.

    Your goals require you to use a method that suits you, their goals require them to use a method that suits them.

    Again, neither is wrong, although it seems like every single time this topic comes up, it is always the collar trainers who try and try again to make those who do not use the collar feel like they are inferior.

    If they use a method that allows them to meet their goals, why do you (or anyone else) care what method they use?

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    Senior Member Jerry Beil's Avatar
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    I can think of a couple of reasons.

    1. They think negative is abusive.
    2. They think negative is damaging to the handler/dog relationship.
    3. They don't enjoy the negative - and you have to agree the negative is not fun for either the handler or the dog.
    4. They are not comfortable in their (or perhaps anyones) ability to correctly apply the right amount of negative at the right times to not create more problems than they solve.
    5. Because of the challenge
    6. Because if they can, they open up a whole new set of customers who agree with item1.

    OK that's more than a couple...

    It's not like your mom not explaining why you can't go to the movies with your buddy. It would be like your mom giving you a treat for mowing the lawn vs. grounding you for not mowing the lawn.
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    Well, I woke up this morning thinking along the same lines. My thoughts were mostly expressed in the first two posts.

    To supplement...a dog's genetics were "wired" by coping with the impact of negative consequences AND positive rewards with the end result being survival. I fail to see why a trainer would not tap into all aspects of a dog's genetics. For me, it would be not unlike entering a struggle with one hand tied behind my back....when I don't have to.

    On the other hand (no pun intended), I have often attempted to do things when others offered little hope. Human genetics are wired differently. "You can't do that!" is an opportunity to prove someone wrong. Challenges are fun when the consequences are especially personal.

    In still another vein, I am old enough to have experience back beyond the "warm and fuzzy" stage of our society. The importance of an individual's self-esteem abruptly came in conflict with the stark reality of consequences. This became a serious issue with many old-timers like me. I often joked about how the word consequences was slowly being erased from a page in the dictionary (and the focus of society). Apparently, it isn't funny anymore. In probably a skewed view of positive only dog training, I see that as a link.

    I don't do vertical rock climbing or positive only dog training because I have valid reasons not to. Everyone has choices. Frankly, I don't think my dogs would care.
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    Senior Member Steve Shaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zman1001 View Post
    OK. Maybe stated a little bit differently.

    Because they have different goals then you.

    Your goals require you to use a method that suits you, their goals require them to use a method that suits them.

    Again, neither is wrong, although it seems like every single time this topic comes up, it is always the collar trainers who try and try again to make those who do not use the collar feel like they are inferior.

    If they use a method that allows them to meet their goals, why do you (or anyone else) care what method they use?




    Ok at the risk of sounding like I am trying to make positive trainer sound inferior which I AM NOT, positive training is more for the trainer not the dog? Sounds as though you feel a little threatened by my question.
    I couldnt care less what method someone uses to reach their goals. Im just trying to understand why they choose the route they have and maybe just maybe learn something. So if the reason is "I have more fun training that way" then good for you have fun and enjoy yourself and have my answer and have nothing to learn from it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Steve Shaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KwickLabs View Post
    Well, I woke up this morning thinking along the same lines. My thoughts were mostly expressed in the first two posts.

    To supplement...a dog's genetics were "wired" by coping with the impact of negative consequences AND positive rewards with the end result being survival. I fail to see why a trainer would not tap into all aspects of a dog's genetics. For me, it would be not unlike entering a struggle with one hand tied behind my back....when I don't have to.

    On the other hand (no pun intended), I have often attempted to do things when others offered little hope. Human genetics are wired differently. "You can't do that!" is an opportunity to prove someone wrong. Challenges are fun when the consequences are especially personal.

    In still another vein, I am old enough to have experience back beyond the "warm and fuzzy" stage of our society. The importance of an individual's self-esteem abruptly came in conflict with the stark reality of consequences. This became a serious issue with many old-timers like me. I often joked about how the word consequences was slowly being erased from a page in the dictionary (and the focus of society). Apparently, it isn't funny anymore. In probably a skewed view of positive only dog training, I see that as a link.

    I don't do vertical rock climbing or positive only dog training because I have valid reasons not to. Everyone has choices. Frankly, I don't think my dogs would care.





    Well put! I totally agree.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    I feel like a big part of the confusion or distrust comes from using the term "Positive Only" or "100% Positive".

    There is a tiny handful of Positive Only trainers. But in field and hunting sports, most of what we call Positive Only trainers, actually do use punishment and negative feedback to tell the dog they are doing the wrong thing. Just yesterday some pretty major pos trainers said freely on RTF that they will step on a dog's leash to stop it in its tracks. I use the word No, I use my body language and my face and my voice to communicate negative feedback to my dogs. Therefore I think the term Positive Only is a misnomer and we should stop using it.

    THE REAL DIFFERENCE IS: Are you using a "Force method" of training = conditioning the dog to the collar, ear pinch, stick, leash jerk, then systematically taking the dog through basics, transition and advanced levels with force to pile, force to sit and indirect pressure.

    Or, are you using the method without force conditioning which involves teaching all of the above WITHOUT a systematic use of force training? This is typically called Positive Training, because you are using a systematic method of teaching dog with markers and rewards instead of through force conditioning.

    Example: Teaching a 4 month old pup to sit

    "Force" Method: sit = push pups rear down to ground while saying sit. After proficient, next step is to reinforce sit in yard with heeling stick. Say sit, hit dog's rear with stick and say sit again. Next step, collar condition to sit.

    "Positive" Method: sit = first spend a couple of 3 minute sessions conditioning dog to a marker (clicker or word, like "YES") to ensure dog knows marker means reward (treat or ball). Start new session with free clicks and rewards by throwing reward a few feet away. Dog comes back to you to get another click/treat. You pause, dog pauses and sits down to look at you. You click the sit and throw treat. Dog comes back and sits, you click sit and throw treat. Now dog automatically comes and sits faster and faster to get click / treat faster. Now you add the word "sit" the moment he sits, then you click/ treat. You proof the behavior by adding distractions and locations to generalize the behavior. Now dog knows "Sit" means sit. And he will do it quickly as it has always meant good things are about to happen: a 200 yard retrieve, a release to go through a door or a release to start a new behavior like heeling.

    Doesn't mean we don't use corrections when a distraction is overwhelming the dog's ability to do the behavior being asked, like heeling off leash at a football game.

    Hope this helps.

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