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Dunbar Article - The Force in Dog Training

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by RobD-BCactive, Mar 17, 2011.


  1. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    The article is somewhat similar with blogs discussed before in past, but couple of things struck me as interesting ideas - Dog Star Daily - The Force in Dog Training

    First Section :
    Having attended and read comments of reward based trainers, moving off food lure in first session is not something, I've seen emphasised.

    Do you think it is easy to do? Does Dunbar mean the actual luring, or advocating an alternative reward to food, already in the first session?

    Phasing out food rewards and dogs losing interest in adolescence does seem to be common issues faced by owners.

    Second Section:
    This was interesting to me, as I have found myself naturally moving in this direction, more and more, mixing training with games.

    Yesterday for instance, I "blew it" by giving a "lie down!" cue accidentally at the wrong point of the game I taught last couple weeks, when I meant to say "give!" and saw my dog hesitate confused, think for a few seconds and then :) He lay down (also dropping the object), despite the context being different, and me expecting him to fail as I'd not proofed it.

    When people post about problems, like barking, I do remember some suggestions to put them on cue, but not too much; also the idea of using "problem behaviours" as rewards, jumping up, running off, are things I have done to some extent in past but have viewed as being a bit dubious.. iffy.

    I'm motivated to try this out, more consistently, to make training sessions more fun with more vareity, and perhaps get past a block where my dog is so focussed on an activity he isn't interested in food reward, but wonder what experiences others are having?
     
  2. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Interesting Rob and pretty much what we do when training competitive obedience.

    For instance heelwork: puppy is taught to follow a tit-bit in the hand (finger chasing) but at the same time and as a separate exercise is also taught to play tuggy, chase a tennis ball etc.

    Older puppy is brought into the heelwork position with a titbit, rewarded and then ball is thrown or tug toy is used.

    Youngster is brought into heelwork without a tit-bit but is instantly rewarded with a tit-bit from the pocket or other hand and then ball is thrown, etc.

    Young dog is now doing a left or right hand circle without tit-bits, handler clicks (or uses a clicker word) and then throw the ball or embarks on a game of tuggy.

    Of course there are variations on a theme but you get my drift?

    One of the very best all time HTM routines was Attilla with his rescue collie Fly. He used to train her in a field next to a river. If she was good she got a tit-bit - if she was very good, he threw her ball - but if she was brilliant she got to swim in the river, which for her was the ultimate reward.....
     
  3. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    This really is the premise of PRT but, as Dunbar says, it has been forgotten and many are using food as a lure and bribe, not a reward. I have found myself doing it at times and wondered why the dog is not learning quickly...:eek:

    However, it is a much more fun and rewarding way of training. We can take the 'problem' behaviours that are only problematic if they are performed at the wrong times (jumping up when walking through the door, pulling constantly on lead, barking for attention) and allow them to be performed at specific times. Of course, some dogs are very motivated by food, but by not phasing the food out, we are relying on a food pouch as the motivator, not the actual behaviour. I am trying to teach a dog to "pull" on cue at the moment. :)
     
  4. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Rob, in all my training material (handouts, blog articles etc.) I allow only 8 lures per behaviour - then its all about weaning off the lures onto life rewards :)

    But to dogs each time they learn a behaviour its contextual. So we might see sit as a sit as a sit but to the dog its a sit in the kitchen, a sit in front of a guest, a sit on the street and so on so in practice more lures may actually be employed.

    But where possible I want people using rewards that are naturally around them e.g. sniffing, greeting etc.

    Although I prefer to teach puppies and novice trainers with luring I much prefer working with shaping, capturing and targeting (which is technically a form or luring) than striaght up food on the nose.

    I also think its important to build food motivation as well as motivation for other rewards e.g. play. Food is absolutely the most easy to use reward in the early stages of learning. Its much quicker to use and therefore better for repetitions plus all dogs have to eat ;) I would much rather have the dog earn his regular food in these situations - I HATE food bowls :D
     
  5. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like lots of useful fun, and I suspect my dog would still be doing obedience club if it were like that. I've focussed more on the great outdoors with him, lately he's learning his directions as part of fetch games, which go wrong when he over does his mega curved out-run and forgets to watch the frisbee. Usually he seems to know where I'm going to throw it, but not always...

    Oh wow! There's one on every dog forum, I await the "My dog is not pulling - how can I stop him walking nicely" thread with baited breath :)

    For behavioural reasons to control the puppy nipping & leaping, I encouraged everyone to be unsubtle about the training treats, and tell him to "work". But whilst that was needed at time, it's not the best to require the prescence of treats, in order to have attention and compliance.

    That is something, that critics of R+ will level at the method; the resemblance to bribery.

    Hopefully, if we discuss such, then those pitfalls can be avoided. It amazes me how quick, things can be learnt in the play context; and as I first said that making a mistake you think the dog cannot resolve, can lead to them showing they really do understand, and enjoy doing the action to the cue for you :)

    Gold star with hock bone clusters to you, then!

    When I think about it, it's likely the produce of course materials I have would say, "but we do do that", it's just hard to see; and in the situation of a rather noisy class with dogs un-proofed in a hall environment it can get lost.

    That's why, when I goofed up, I immediately thought I should correct myself, but I was so proud of my boy for thinking for a few second, so I stopped correcting myself to give him time and see what he would do, and when he came up with the "drop & lie down" solution I was so chuffed with him :)

    I think I agree, if something is capturable then try to take advantage of it, but luring does have that immediate effect.

    Things like a "Stop!" are impossible to lure when a dog's running, and there's something spooky it, the dog can't see your body language but you really need it to work and it does because you prepared it.
    It's where my BC is just focussed on his task, and he's not food motivated that he really gets me thinking. At times I wait 5 or 10 minutes even using the inactivity as a negative-punisher and he just grins; and I sit there not looking at him wondering who's training who :)
     
  6. HWAR

    HWAR PetForums Member

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    I must admit I am failing dismally with phasing out the food lure with my oldie - I think because she recieved no training up to coming to me 5 months ago and being mostly blind I am overcompensating a little for her.

    My dog though I've trained the 'problem' behaviours in over the years (and not always with food lures either) things like getting him to jump up on me, chasing him, barking on cue etc - my theory being that by training the 'undesired' behaviour the training for the desired behaviour is easier to train. It's the whole 'setting the dog up for success' thing.
     
  7. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Food is best used in low distraction situations to get the behaviour underway. In more distracting situations, distractions being potential rewards, access to other motivators is waaaaay more valuable.

    On the class notes thing, I have dog owners bring three types of treat with them plus toys etc. One of the three treats should be the dog's regular food, one a little higher valuable and the third the highest valuable.
    If possible teach the dog in class with the regular food but go to number 2 if needed and number 1 only when absolutely necessary.
    But at home owners should be using everyday food and NO food bowls :D
     
  8. Pineapple

    Pineapple PetForums Member

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    I'm feeding my dog his two meals in bowls at the moment, would love it if I could use it for his rewards instead, but he shows absolutely no interest in it, he will take sausage or cheese, but his kibble does not seem to motivate him in the slightest. And as for trying to use his kibble in class, he barely accepts meat rewards in class, he is so excited and fixated on the other dogs. The trainer who runs the class says he's very easily bored, so I've got to bring a variety of toys and lots of different high-value treats. It's exhausting trying to keep his interest. Is there a way I can get him to take his kibble as treats throughout the day??

    With the Premack stuff - my dog's biggest motivator would be to get at other dogs, if there was only a way to harness that motivator, say have him come to me and sit, then release him to go play as the reward, but unfortunately I'm still working on getting him to take a treat when another dog is in sight - it's like I cease to exist for him.
     
  9. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried just waiting it out? For example, whilst being around other dogs, letting your dog be fixated and eager to meet but waiting until he gives you nice eye contact, maybe ask for a 'sit' then saying 'go play' and let him meet the other dog?
     
  10. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    A couple of things jump out there Pineapple.

    First thing is to get rid of the food bowls (did I mention that I hate food bowls!!).
    Get some really fun interactive food dispensing toys. Ones that move around such as treat balls or Buster Cubes (or similar) for the more active dog or for dogs that need some motivating.

    Every evening take his daily portion of kibble and place in a container with some higher value, smelly treats such as cheese, hotdog etc. Mix together and leave in the fridge over night.

    This will make kibble smell better and also soften it which is often more acceptable, and easier to use for training as its quicker.

    Feed half from the toy/s. Use the other half just to create interest in it. For example playing catch games, or rolling a piece of kibble, or hiding it. If he is more strongly motivated by playing tug for example use tug as a reward for accepting the kibble - this is a great way of having several high value rewards to use.

    I am not a fan of trying to find the highest possible value treats, especially for a dog with wavering interest in food. What happens when he's not interested in these?

    Work on getting him a bit more motivated for food before working on behaviours at home, especially targeting and focus behaviours.

    Premacking is probably the most valuable rewarding strategy in dog training (IMO anyway!).
    But its slow to get started. Dunbar refers to it use as 'all or none reward training', incase you want to Google it and also to keep this on topic ;)

    The problem can come, in class situations, where there is not enough space and the dog/s may be over threshold, as in too close to be able to offer alternative behaviours and/or unable to learn efficiently.

    I would work on getting an excellent clicker charge, this may also help your dog's developing interest in food.
    Establish a working distance from other dogs where your dog can focus, even minimally on your food that you offer.
    Learn how to play Look At That - this is essentially a Premacking game. Start it at home by playing Look at That with an everday object such as a plastic bottle or a specific chair.
    Then bump it up to slightly more interesting things like a toy. And finally another dog at an established working distance.

    I would also suggest working at class behind a visual barrier or where possible working as far away from other dogs as possible.

    If your dog gets to meet other dogs without showing anything to you first this will take longer. His lack of focus is rewarded, his arousal levels are obviously too high and he has learned how to gain his top reward without you.

    The key to working this is distance and building motivationfor something like food or a tug game.
    When you get to a point that he can learn in teh presence of other dogs, again at a distance, then you can begin to Premack access to other dogs. First start very very very simple and just require calmer body language for example before being allowed to greet.
    Then perhaps require a loose leash, then maybe a sit or other position. Eye contact can be really hard for aroused dogs as their body is telling them to keep focused on teh exciting stimulus. How fast your dog progresses will greatly depend on his ability to self calm in this situation so self control work, at home first, will also be important.
     
  11. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    OK, here's a really expensive video from that money grubber Dunbar "Dr. Ian Dunbar show how to train a dog with All-or-None Reward Training. He does not tell the dog what to do or attempt to lure it, but simply rewards the dog for the right behavior. The dog figures out how to get treats very quickly" A written summary of a seminar an Dunbar Seminar: Types of Reward-Based Training (and Which One is Best?)

    I have felt a bit guilty about letting the dog know I have the treats, so it's interesting to see this, and the auto-sit with cute look up reminded me so much of the dogs I know best :)

    The beginnings of the head wrap to thigh tendency begins to with the fascinating prescence of treats; I saw this at the obedience club where it looks stylish (in a fetishy kind of way) but out in the real world, I'm trying to minimise it so the dog looks where it's going when heeling, rather than bump into lampposts etc :blink:

    Explanation of Premack
    Shoddy Clicker Training and Importance Premack
    Would all suggest, I make the dog earn his game of Frisbee, which is fine except it's tough to train improvements in the reward, when it's the highest value reward

    PS. Spooky! Google returns as one of top items in this search http://www.google.co.uk/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-GB%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1223&bih=1008&q=Premack+all+or+none+reward+dunbar&btnG=Google+Search this link http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-training-behaviour/153793-dunbar-article-force-dog-training.html
     
    #11 RobD-BCactive, Mar 18, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  12. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    OK, here's a really expensive video from that money grubber Dunbar "Dr. Ian Dunbar show how to train a dog with All-or-None Reward Training. He does not tell the dog what to do or attempt to lure it, but simply rewards the dog for the right behavior. The dog figures out how to get treats very quickly" A written summary of a seminar an Dunbar Seminar: Types of Reward-Based Training (and Which One is Best?)

    I've been doing this for years. Its a brilliant method and fascinating to watch dogs work things out for themselves.

    The beginnings of the head wrap to thigh tendency begins to with the fascinating prescence of treats; I saw this at the obedience club where it looks stylish (in a fetishy kind of way) but out in the real world, I'm trying to minimise it so the dog looks where it's going when heeling, rather than bump into lampposts etc

    I assume by this you mean competition style heelwork when the dog is looking up and concentrating on the handler? If so you certainly don't want it when walking down a road - the only time the dogs bump into things in the ring is when the steward is late calling a command and walks you into the ring ropes....LOL

    Explanation of Premack
    Shoddy Clicker Training and Importance Premack
    Would all suggest, I make the dog earn his game of Frisbee, which is fine except it's tough to train improvements in the reward, when it's the highest value reward

    You've lost me on this one?

    PS. Spooky! Google returns as one of top items in this search http://www.google.co.uk/search?clien...=Google+Search this link Dunbar Article - The Force in Dog Training

    Yes spooky indeed.
     
  13. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Yes, I did but see hints of it starting when there's training treats around during heelwork, as they naturally look up and concentrate on the provider. Spotted it a little in the example clip, of the "All or None" method.

    The Premack principal suggests making for example the valued "swim in the river" the great reward, so in my case it would be the game of Frisbee; but that leaves me with the problem how I improve his play, when he's already in a very self rewarding situation.

    Just a quip as an aside, not a big point.
     
  14. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Thanks Rob - gotcha now.
     
  15. NicoleW

    NicoleW PetForums VIP

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    Duke is my very first dog, as my own. I started out by taking him to puppy socialisation and obedience classes.


    The trainer there kept repeating the importance of treating every time, as he already knew ''Sit'' when we got him I have never treated him for that, as it's an expected behaviour. The trainer kept saying to me "Treat, treat" I never did, I think it frustrated her a bit.

    When I taught him lie down, I treated once straight away, second time I treated was a second later, third time I treated was 2 seconds after he lay down etc. Trainer was getting pretty frustrated with me at this point, saying I must treat him straight away and that it'll take a while before he's learnt it.

    I did continue doing this, I copied the techiques she was showing me to teach Duke these's behaviours but treating my own way, at the end of the 6 weeks he could (and can) without treats

    Sit, Down (using verbal command), stand, spin, stay (while I walked out the room around the building and back into the room), Down (using hand command at a distance), Wait before opening a door and me allowing him to enter, Stay (in one spot while I walked a circle around him, getting as close to his body as I could get and without his head following me), LLW (which has since gone out of the window) and his focus was very much on me, NOT on my hands which gave him the treats.

    He did really well in his classes, and I'm very proud of him, going from a Pup that wouldn't look at me when I said his name to doing all this.

    I do think that the phasing out of the treats I did really early, helped a lot, but it might just be a coincedence.
     
  16. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Hi elledee, yes I am pet dog behaviour professional. My info etc. is available by clicking the links in my signature - I am not in the UK so am no soliciting ;)

    I feel that training is necessary for ALL dogs and owners. But the kicker is that whether you are there with treats, leash, clicker etc.etc. you are training your dog.
    Our dogs are far better trainees than we are dog trainers :D ;)

    In class and manners sessions I see people & their dogs from every walk of life imagineable - nobody is excluded. Some people genuinely need help with manners issues that have them stumped but in all honesty I have never met an owner/dog team that didn't require some basics to suit their lifestyle.

    There is no difference between a "trained dog" and a "well behaved, socialised" pet - they are one and the same. I am not suggesting that this requires formal training but to me, and not just because its how I pay my mortgage, I feel that training is essential for all owner/dog teams.
    I still attend classes with my dog who is ten and I am 20 years in this and have been involved in the training of almost 2000 dogs.
    I do it for revision, to keep us bonded, to keep up focus work in sometimes hectic scenarios etc.

    I don't think I mentioned anything about specific behaviours or exercises in my post, simply discussed the pros and cons (very very very briefly) of different teaching methods.
    I wouldn't think that simple luring and capturing is beyond anyone capable of handling a dog, and yes I have worked with children, disabled people etc.

    Society has changed the way in which dogs are owner in the majortiy of pet scenarios that structured training so that pets can live in the crazy human world is necessary.
     
  17. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Yet another brilliant explanation Ann, all of which I totally agree with.
     
  18. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    It's often said somewhat jokingly that dogs personalities mirror their owners in ways. Older owners tend to have more sensible sized dogs, rather than big super boisterous ones and they usually are taken out regularly and are with their owner most of the day, so they do meet plenty of people and other dogs.

    As to level of detail, if you have the training bug and get interested then, it's good to be able to swap experiences, it helps makes better sense of what you have seen and how training went and goes in future with your own dog.

    There are so many conflicting recommendations, books with poorly explained, dodgy TV programs, or outright unsound information, that using a forum as a reality check and benefit from pooled experience makes sense. After all where better to discuss such things?
     
  19. NicoleW

    NicoleW PetForums VIP

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    About the old man thing.

    There's a guy at the local park who has a border collie

    He says, that's he done al this perfect training or he's made his dog a "well balanced dog" because and his words "older people can train dogs better because we're more firm"

    It's not that his dog is well balanced, it's more due to the fact that a border collie is obsessed with his ball so doesn't run off chasing dogs.
     
  20. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    I think a lot of it is also choosing the right dog for you and your lifestyle.

    As discussed dog training is going on all the time even when we don't know it so choosing a dog that slots in with you, your personality, your activity level, lifestyle and household than training is going to be going on to the mutual benefit of pets and people.

    Unfortunately I regularly have clients with a total mismatch e.g. a teenager with a Sibe puppy - neither has a clue, elderly housebound lady with a cairn puppy (given as a gift :confused: ), an older couple both working 10+ hours five to six days a week with an adolescent GSD.... and so on and those are just the current ones, not the many past and many future ones :mad: :(. Sooooo many of these even with all the support, motivation, skill and advice you can give a client soemtimes it just comes down to a poor match.

    Thankfully those dogs near you with their owners sound perfect for eachother - I love seeing great pals together like that :)
     
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