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Domandal

My Lab Bit Me.

159 posts in this topic

Snook   
'Snook' timestamp='1352710178' post='6018634']

Given that I own a bull breed with fear aggression I'd love to hear m-sass's theory on why we made no progress in reducing his reactivity toward other dogs when following the guidance of a well-respected behavourist whose methods involve establishing yourself as pack leader and using aversive tools and methods, but in the roughly three months that we've been seeing a behaviourist who uses positive reinforcement and counter-conditioning Justice has come ahead in leaps and bounds? He now mostly stays under threshold, even when an off leash dog races up to him, and can not only walk side by side with other dogs but is relaxed and happy about it and has even been able to go as far as playing off leash with a few dogs in controlled conditions. He also now displays appropriate communication with other dogs in most situations, such as turning his head away when he's uncomfortable instead of lashing out, and you can see him taking a moment to think about what he's doing and make better choices (such as turning to me for help) instead of flying straight in to fight mode. I think we'll stick with the "namby pamby" training methods thanks very much.

We are not talking about fear aggression Snook if that's the diagnosis of your dog's behaviour?? What are you telling us that Mark Singer failed to povide the right training advice and now you have someone else??

I didn't name anyone m-sass nor am I denigrating anyone's training methods. I am merely pointing out that the "namby pamby" methods as you call them can have amazing results with both bull breeds and aggression and that aversive methods aren't necessarily the best for all dogs. According to both behaviourists I've seen the majority of dog aggression is fear based and yes, both consider Justice to be fear aggressive. We are currently being helped by Amy from Advance Behavioural Training.

ETA: I note that you didn't actually respond to my query about how you would explain our progress using positive training methods?

I don't know Snook, it's a complete mystery that a trainer with the experience and profile of Mark Singer proved in your situation of less value than a Delta trainer?? Sometimes though as people have pointed out on a few occasions, if the owner/handler isn't comfortable or confident in carrying out methods prescribed can amount to failure especially if there is a mindset against aversives when their default instincts are to mamby pamby their dogs perhaps??.

What I can tell you from my own experiences and what I have seen on numerous occasions, dogs that have been rehabilitated with aversives that positive trainers couldn't address successfully, but ideally what is best, is what best suits the particular dog.......no one methods fits all IMHO aversives or positive.

I don't have a problem with the use of aversives provided they are used correctly so that part of your assessment is completely wrong. I don't have an issue with check chains or prong collars being used when needed but I find your approach to them and attitude that they are the be all and end all of working with more challengng dogs very disturbing. I am not going to debate the details of the sessions we had with you because as I stated earlier, it is not my intention to denigrate one behaviourist in favour of another.

Your sentence that I have bolded is completely contradictory to the vast majority of what you preach on this forum.

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m-sass   
I don't have a problem with the use of aversives provided they are used correctly so that part of your assessment is completely wrong. I don't have an issue with check chains or prong collars being used when needed but I find your approach to them and attitude that they are the be all and end all of working with more challengng dogs very disturbing. I am not going to debate the details of the sessions we had with you because as I stated earlier, it is not my intention to denigrate one behaviourist in favour of another. Your sentence that I have bolded is completely contradictory to the vast majority of what you preach on this forum.

Snook, that's exactly what you did and was the nature of your post to tell us how your experience with different methods from different trainers affected your training progress on the theme that the pack leader and aversives model didn't work, more than likely because you didn't follow the procedure that was prescribed properly??. What I advocate which I will make very clear is a "balanced" training approach meaning experience in applying all quadrants and the willingness to do so when required.

My point is, you can't train every dog "successfully" with positive reinforcement at every stage of ingrained misbehaviour that a dog may have developed. There are plenty of instances where aversive training is the best and fastest remedy for the dog and trainers who refuse to accept this IMHO is a misjustice to the dog's rehabilitation process to support a method over the best interests of the dog and owner. Perhaps ask Mark Singer how many Delta rejects he's saved from Euthansia where their methods didn't rehabilitate aggressive dogs who they declared untrainable??.

Edited by m-sass

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Aidan3   

No, Snook did not denigrate another trainer, m-sass. But I'm sure your mate is thrilled that you brought his name into the conversation.

Perhaps you should stop digging that hole now? I don't think too many people are going to be fooled by the old "blame the client" routine - particularly when anyone can view Snooks posting history and see exactly how committed she has been to both trainers she has worked with.

What you're experiencing right now is called "cognitive dissonance", and predictably, you'll find a way to explain it away so that you can justify your beliefs. It's human nature.

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LizT   

Could someone please define "adversive" and "positive" for me?

Eg. Is "adversive" when you give an 8 weeks old puppy a gutteral "Nahhah" to distract it from chewing on something it shouldn't?

Is "positive' when you make a big fuss of a puppy when it comes to you when you called it?

Or is adversive only an extreme physical correction and positive is a lovely treat in the gob?

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Aidan3   

An aversive is a stimulus the dog will work to avoid.

Positive means a stimulus is added (if it increases responding, it's a reinforcer; if it decreases responding, it's a punisher).

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Snook   

No, Snook did not denigrate another trainer, m-sass. But I'm sure your mate is thrilled that you brought his name into the conversation.

Perhaps you should stop digging that hole now? I don't think too many people are going to be fooled by the old "blame the client" routine - particularly when anyone can view Snooks posting history and see exactly how committed she has been to both trainers she has worked with.

What you're experiencing right now is called "cognitive dissonance", and predictably, you'll find a way to explain it away so that you can justify your beliefs. It's human nature.

Thank you Aidan. I won't be continuing to reply to m-sass as you've said everything I needed to say.

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LizT   

An aversive is a stimulus the dog will work to avoid.

Positive means a stimulus is added (if it increases responding, it's a reinforcer; if it decreases responding, it's a punisher).

Thanks Aidan2..could you please give me an example of aversive other than correction collars?

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Rebanne   

I don't know Snook, it's a complete mystery that a trainer with the experience and profile of Mark Singer proved in your situation of less value than a Delta trainer?? Sometimes though as people have pointed out on a few occasions, if the owner/handler isn't comfortable or confident in carrying out methods prescribed can amount to failure especially if there is a mindset against aversives when their default instincts are to mamby pamby their dogs perhaps??.

why is it a mystery? One trainer has seemed not to be able to help, so another was tried and it worked. Sort of like using the full tool box I would have thought.

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Aidan3   

An aversive is a stimulus the dog will work to avoid.

Positive means a stimulus is added (if it increases responding, it's a reinforcer; if it decreases responding, it's a punisher).

Thanks Aidan2..could you please give me an example of aversive other than correction collars?

Certainly, aversives can be very mild and it's important to remember that it's the dogs experience that counts, not the trainers intention. So an example might be a short, sharp "uh-uh" or a spray from a water bottle. Aversives don't need to be intentional, the dog might get spooked by something falling or a door moving in the breeze.

Whether something is aversive or not is distinct from whether it's a punisher or not. An aversive may not have a punishing consequence (i.e might not reduce responding).

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LizT   

I don't know Snook, it's a complete mystery that a trainer with the experience and profile of Mark Singer proved in your situation of less value than a Delta trainer?? Sometimes though as people have pointed out on a few occasions, if the owner/handler isn't comfortable or confident in carrying out methods prescribed can amount to failure especially if there is a mindset against aversives when their default instincts are to mamby pamby their dogs perhaps??.

why is it a mystery? One trainer has seemed not to be able to help, so another was tried and it worked. Sort of like using the full tool box I would have thought.

At Obedience Training a few years back I didn't gel with a particular trainer as all he wanted me to do was keep stuffing pieces of savaloy into my GSD mouth as he heeled beside me. This 6 year old dog had not been food trained at all, wasn't food oriented, didn't like savaloys all that much and I didn't like feeding them to him (too much nitrate, not part of his diet). We disagreed on this and he said...."He had used the "old school" method of using a correction collar years back and would give all his dogs a personal apology when they met up in the after life. My problem was that my dog DID respond to a simple check and release and I wasn't allowed to do this so he just pulled and took the saveloys, dropping them as we fumbled along. To me it was ridiculous and our training was going backward and I was being bullied into using his methods. I changed classes. New instructor, kind attitude and progress.

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huski   

Removing a reward the dog values can be exceptionally aversive to the dog too. If the dog has a high value for the reward taking it away can add a lot of stress and frustration, it's how we can train behaviour extremely effectively without using physical corrections. The loss of the reward can be more aversive.

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Weasels   

I read a nice quote from Ian Dunbar once - roughly, "a dog doesn't care what quadrant you are in. He only cares whether life just got a bit better, or a bit worse, and what made that happen" :)

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corvus   

It's the cognitive dissonance song!

Thanks to Grisha Stewart who introduced us to this at the APDT conference. We are funny creatures. My research project is on cognitive bias in dogs. I'm always trying to stress to people when I explain cognitive biases that everyone does it and they are for the most part adaptive. Cognitive dissonance is the same. Many biases are related to cognitive dissonance. I always find I feel much better if I just say "Ha. I was wrong about that. Well, I learnt something!" It doesn't hurt, and I like being right. I can't be right if I'm clinging to being wrong. Being proved wrong is almost as good as being proved right, because it's just one step away from being right. ;)

Everyone feels dissonant sometimes, and if you're coming up with a zillion reasons why you are awesome and right, that's a clue that somewhere deep down you suspect you might be wrong. All the icky feelings will go away if you examine the issue critically and use something other than self-justification to decide what you believe. And don't be mean to people when they admit they might have been wrong or misinformed. They are dealing with a little cognitive crisis and such admissions should be reinforced, not punished. The next time you feel dissonant, the admission option is not a great one if you've been mean to other people who have done it, because someone is going to want to give you a taste of your own medicine. That leaves you with self-justification, which doesn't impress anyone and you certainly don't learn anything from it or help anyone else.

Sorry, totally off topic, but I was kinda hoping that it might head off any nastiness.

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Aphra   

Excellent post. I think changing your mind and being willing to adapt a new viewpoint when an old one starts looking wrong is a signal of a healthy, functioning intellect.

1352761091[/url]' post='6019163']

Everyone feels dissonant sometimes, and if you're coming up with a zillion reasons why you are awesome and right, that's a clue that somewhere deep down you suspect you might be wrong. All the icky feelings will go away if you examine the issue critically and use something other than self-justification to decide what you believe. And don't be mean to people when they admit they might have been wrong or misinformed. They are dealing with a little cognitive crisis and such admissions should be reinforced, not punished. The next time you feel dissonant, the admission option is not a great one if you've been mean to other people who have done it, because someone is going to want to give you a taste of your own medicine. That leaves you with self-justification, which doesn't impress anyone and you certainly don't learn anything from it or help anyone else.

Sorry, totally off topic, but I was kinda hoping that it might head off any nastiness.

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Wobbly   

Yep great post Corvus, if you ever wanted to embark on a second career you might want to consider diplomacy. XD

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