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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just trying to understand the concept of attrition better. The way that I train many dog behaviors is to ask the dog to re-try the behavior and when they do it correctly, we do something different or stop training. How is this different from attrition?

The reason that I ask is that I am running into general problems trying to get 3 successes in a row on a behavior. Not sure if the problems stem from the behavior not being solid enough? But I suspect that the dog might be thinking (at least on the 3rd try) that what he did the first two times was not correct because I am continuing to ask for the same thing...so he tries something different on the third attempt in order to try to get it "right". In other words, I've taught him that repetition means that you are wrong and need to try again.

But I think I am missing some understanding of attrition. Is it that in attrition you are aborting the behavior before the entire exercise is complete whereas in 3-peats you do 3 complete repetition of the exercise with praise at the completion of each one? Or is it that in 3-peats you don't do exactly the same thing each time but instead vary it slightly?

I am very new to these concepts so I appreciate any insight that you can give me!
 

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Or is it that in 3-peats you don't do exactly the same thing each time but instead vary it slightly?
Three peat as example 3 blinds done one after another, each say angling into the wind more each time. Attrition, bringing the dog back to the portion he went wrong, stop and cast to correct. What are you specifically doing, just repeating the same thing? Explain what you think it means.
 

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Another example of attrition would be the following; you want your dog to punch through an obvious piece of cover 20 yards away, but your dog lines out slightly offline to avoid the cover. At this point you could do one of two things, 1) handle him through the cover and complete the retrive from there, or 2) stop the dog right next to the cover and bring him back to re-send, keep calling him back and re-sending until he gets it. You typically move up a little each time until there is nowhere to go but through the cover. The second example is called attrition. You could add a correction to either method depending on if you believe the dog would understand the correction.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I don't really understand what 3-peats are at all.

I think that the main difference between attrition and 3-peats is that in a 3-peat the dog is rewarded at the conclusion of each repetition. Whereas in attrition, the dog is blocked from getting their reward until they perform the action correctly.

My confusion lies in a situation where there is not a real reward at the end of each repetition. For field work, the retrieve **is** the reward. I am thinking about how to use attrition in training behaviors that are not inherently rewarding, so an "artificial" reward must come at the conclusion of each repetion in order to derive benefits for the 3 X repetition.

Please correct me if I am confused on any of this.
 

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Kinda a toughie to articulate but to me attrition is a way of showing the dog that it did something that was not right and gives it a chance to do it right.

A three-peat is an opportunity to train the same concept three times, but it is not the same setup exactly. You will use attrition in a three-peat. As Nancy said, a great example of a three-peat is a blind into the wind. You want the dog to learn not to fade with the wind, so you set up three blinds, increasingly angled into the wind. That way if the dog does it right the first time, the next one is not just doing the same thing again but making it a little tougher. If the dog does the first one perfectly, it might have a tougher time on the second or third. When it fades, can use attrition--you stop it, call it back and give the cast it should take and if it still doesn;t do it right you can simlify. Attrition is the process of making it do it over until it does it right. In a three peat, you make it a little tougher the next time, usually.

What you described sounds a lot like teaching a puppy early obedience. I am not sure the technical term for it but they will go through their whole repertoire if they think they are not doing what you want My dogs do this to this day, if you pull out a cookie, will come up and sit for you to give them. However, if you don't do it right away and say nothing more, they will eventually try something else, they may then lie down, shake or some other behavior they think will get them the cookie. I have never heard of stopping when a dog does it right--although certainly you want to leave them wanting more
 

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Attrition is basically handling the dog on a mark, blind, or drill by stopping for mistakes or giving in to factors and showing the correct way by casting the dog. What makes it attrition is that it is all done with no collar corrections. You are basically wearing the dog down.

3-peats, or 2 or 5-peats, are simply running a mark or blind that repeats a concept 2 or more times. Lardy and Dennis Voigt are advocates of repeating a concept using 3 to 5-peats and generally will not repeat the same exact mark or blind. Each mark or blind has a unique address. There are exceptions to the no repeat rule. One of the exceptions is failure to secondary select, another is a mark or blind on unique grounds that you don't routinely have access to.

Handling on 3-peats could be done using attrition or collar pressure.

Edit: many successful trainers do repeat the same exact mark or blind if the dog has trouble on it. if you try to repeat the same mark or blind with a dog that is not accustomed to doing it, the dog may be reluctant to go back to a place where they have already picked up a bird. This will obviously lead to more problems.
 

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Just trying to understand the concept of attrition better. The way that I train many dog behaviors is to ask the dog to re-try the behavior and when they do it correctly, we do something different or stop training. How is this different from attrition?
Look at the core meaning of the word attrition.

1. a wearing down or weakening of resistance, especially as a result of continuous pressure or harassment.
2. a wearing down or away by friction; abrasion.

How does that connect to a dog training tactic? Part of what you described as your approach to training fits as you "ask the dog to re-try the behavior". But then you devolve into repetition of things he's alread done successfully. As the principle of attrition is conventionally applied, a dog is resisting the performance or adherance to a trained standard; say, a demanding cast. (That's a popular notion about it) Let's say the dog won't cast into the wind, or into water. The handler gives several stop/cast sequences, all resulting in the dog just scalloping back. What constitutes the popular use of attrition is then stopping the dog, calling him back to around the original cast point, and casting again, as opposed to a sit-nick-sit application of e-collar correction.

Rather than simply punishing a perceived refusal, the handler tries to wear down the dog's resistance to the behavior through repeating the task command. But there are many other ways to use attrition in this sense, and it can either good or bad. Calling many dogs back too much tends to drag down their confidence, and their style usually goes down with it.

Evan
 

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3peats and attrition have NO relationship other than you might use attrition while doing 3 peats. 3 peats are repeating CONCEPTS not exercises. you don't repeat the exact same mark, you run three different ones that have similar concepts...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all so much! This clarifies much for me. Just the idea of the 3-peat being three repetitions of the same **concept** but not the same exact sequence is huge to me. I am just getting started reading my Retriever Online (I just ordered 2007-2009) and there are so many great, new ideas in there that I am a bit excited about the whole affair. Am sure I will have many other general questions.
 

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As stated the purpose of 3 peats or multiple blinds is to give a dog more chances to get it right ....The benefit to multiples is if the first one went badly the dog is not left with a bad taste in it's mouth from the experience ...They have a chance to improve because of the learning that occurred in the 1st and 2nd and therefore end the session on an up beat of success ...Your dog should be getting better with the performance instead of worse...More info needed in my opinion... Steve S
 

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Thank you all so much! This clarifies much for me. Just the idea of the 3-peat being three repetitions of the same **concept** but not the same exact sequence is huge to me. I am just getting started reading my Retriever Online (I just ordered 2007-2009) and there are so many great, new ideas in there that I am a bit excited about the whole affair. Am sure I will have many other general questions.
Thanks for asking the question, the great responses that your question got helped me. I learn something every time I get on this site;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
In other dog training venues (agility and obedience) some trainers use attrition, but they don't really have a name for it and they don't describe it well. It is a wonderful and powerful teaching tool. I heard the term from Bridget Carlsen in reference to teaching obedience...I am sure that she learned it thru field work.

Can someone speak to the idea of 3-peats and how the 3 different repetitions vary? Would you start out easier and gradually make things more difficult? How do you vary the concept? I agree that there is much more to this topic.
 

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In other dog training venues (agility and obedience) some trainers use attrition, but they don't really have a name for it and they don't describe it well. It is a wonderful and powerful teaching tool. I heard the term from Bridget Carlsen in reference to teaching obedience...I am sure that she learned it thru field work.

Can someone speak to the idea of 3-peats and how the 3 different repetitions vary? Would you start out easier and gradually make things more difficult? How do you vary the concept? I agree that there is much more to this topic.
Robin

Since I am the one who coined the term "3-peats" and you just received 18 back issues of my Retrievers ONLINE, I think you will find many examples of 3-peats as you read them!!! Three-peats are extremely powerful and they are valuable for dogs from Basics to Advanced. Captainjack's definition will be a good starter for you! Note that sometimes we refer to n-peats meaning it can be a 2-peat, a 3-peat, a 4-peat, a 5-peat etc. Many tune-up drills are 5-7- peats!

As you have learned attrition is a totally different concept referring to a way of repeating an instruction(without overt pressure) to get a dog to understand what you are asking by simply repeating the instruction. It is a safe and first choice option but beware of it not having a significant effect on future behaviour.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks so much Dennis. I have to tell you, I am reading my 3rd issue and I LOVE IT. I am getting so many great ideas to apply to my obedience training. You have opened up some new worlds for me. I am constantly thinking now about how to structure my training for "teaching" instead of mindless repetition. It is fun for to to translate the retrieving concepts to the venue of competition obedience. And who knows, when I get my new golden puppy maybe I'll give the field game a try!

You are a great fellow for documenting general principles in your publication. I am reading and digesting as quick as I can.
 
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