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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:07 pm 
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Let me preface this by saying I definitely see the merit in pack theory, especially with Lacys since they are such pack-oriented dogs. But the whole "Cesar's Way" aggressive domination method is getting out of hand in America, easily abused and misused by people that don't understand canine behavior. I can tell you from experience that manhandling your dog without true comprehension of your actions is going to lead to a bite. If you truly get pack theory, you can establish your position in the pack without excessive physical correction, and separate it from the training process.

Because getting a dog to submit to you is simply that, submission. It may show that you are in charge, but it doesn't actually teach a specific behavior. The only way to train a dog to perform an action, or to cease performing an action, is through conditioning.

Basic lexicon of operant conditioning
Reinforcement: Anything that strengthens a behavior
Punishment: Anything that suppresses a behavior
Positive: Something added to influence a behavior
Negative: Something taken away to influence a behavior

Training applications of operant conditioning
Positive Reinforcement (R+): Something desired by the subject is added to strengthen a behavior.
Ex: You call your dog. The dog comes. You give a treat and praise.

Negative Reinforcement (R-): Something aversive to the subject is taken away to strengthen a behavior.
Ex: You pinch your dog's ear. The dog picks up a duck. The pinching stops when he has the duck in his mouth.

Positive Punishment (P+): Something aversive to the subject is added to suppresses a behavior.
Ex: Your dog begins chasing a deer. You shock your dog. The dog stops chasing.

Negative Punishment (P-): Something desired by the subject is taken away to suppress a behavior.
Ex: Your dog jumps up on you. You turn away and leave the room.

Though I personally believe some work better than others, you can use a combination of these methods to achieve the desired result in your dog. In agility, for example, I usually use R+. After every successful obstacle, Sadie gets a treat. She is not lured over the obstacles, but rather she is given the choice to complete them correctly, and if she does she gets a reward. But she also has a tendency to get overly excited and start pulling when we are waiting our turn. In these instances I use P+, a quick pop with the leash, to punish the behavior. In one or two instances her behavior has been especially bad, so we turn and walk away from the obstacle she wants to do, which is P-. So through a combination of R+, P+ and P-, I have shaped the desired behavior of paying attention to me in the agility ring and while properly executing the obstacles.

There is no way I would have achieved that same result through domination. If we had walked into the agility rings, she lunged towards an obstacle, I grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and forced her to roll on her back, what would I have achieved? If anything it is P+, I'm trying to suppress the unwanted approach with an unwanted physical punishment, but it would have been extremely disproportionate to the action and difficult for the canine brain to properly process. It may have put her off of ever going over an agility obstacle or it could have caused her to see the agility ring as a battle ground for domination. At the very least it would have confused her, which is not the desired outcome.

These methods don't just apply to advanced activities. The best way to train a puppy is with clear operant conditioning. A puppy is far more basic than a dog. They are still learning proper canine social structures and won't truly understand the nuances of pack behavior. But all animals at all ages will respond to operant conditioning, it is the basic psychological framework for learning. You will see much better results in young pups if you forget the alpha rolls for now and focus on adding and removing rewards and punishments.

Of course it's like teaching kids, everyone has their own ideas. How do you train your dog? What methods have been successful? And what methods have failed?

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"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:55 pm 
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We use a mixture of P+ and R+ with our dogs. When they were puppies, we used treats, but now we mostly rely on praise. Lacys thrive on praise more than any other type of dog I've been around. We sparingly use the shock collars (R+) to correct unwanted behavior like running deer or climbing out of the kennel.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:04 pm 
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Call it old school- I like the good ole' bootupyourass.

To be honest I really dont get the above approach. I have always liked to keep things simple. Of the 15-20 dogs I have owned over the years I have never had a problems with one of them thinking any human is below them in the pecking order. Call me lucky, but I have never had a dog that showed any aggression towards humans. Again, not downing your methods, I just like the K.I.S.S. methods. A few dogs of mine in the past might not jump up in your lab but they dang sure knew not to growl or even think about it towards a person. They also all know that no means no.


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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:08 pm 
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Actually, the "boot method" is classic positive punishment. Your dog does something bad, you insert boot into rear, dog stops doing the bad thing. You are discouraging the unwanted actions by introducing an unpleasant consequence. They learn that bad behavior leads to bad things so they quit the bad behavior. It doesn't get more conditioned than that.

Despite that long explanation, this is the KISS method of dog training. No complex pack theories based off watching wild wolves or complicated anthropomorphic techniques, just punishments and rewards. It's all based off the animal behavior models developed by Pavlov and Skinner. Essentially, everyone uses operant conditioning to train a dog, but they start sending mixed signals and botching up the results when they confuse it with other methods.

Though the labels might seem excessive, it helps show when and how to use what. For example, when you use a shock collar to stop a dog from chasing deer, you should wait for the unwanted behavior to begin, then immediately stop shocking when the bad behavior stops. If you keep shocking the dog after they've turned away from the deer, you are punishing them for stopping the unwanted behavior, and it is going to take much longer to get the results you want.

Of course that is just an example. I have never used a shock collar and never will. Like Amber said, Sadie thrives on praise, and I prefer using that along with treats for most of her training. Since I do primarily use positive reinforcement, when I introduce positive punishment it has a huge impact. All I need to do is yell or tug on the leash to get an immediate reaction.

This is also not how I initially addressed Sadie's aggression issues. That was a complex problem that required the complex solution of finding an appropriate outlet for her drive. She needed to be psychologically stable before I could train proper behavior. But once that deeply ingrained need was addressed, I was able to use operant conditioning to shape her actions around other dogs and people.

_________________
"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Stop with the big words. :o

What are your reasons for not using a e-collar?


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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Savoy... http://www.dictionary.com try it..you'll like it! ;) :)) you make it so easy to tease you..

We use the shock collar. I don't believe in abusing animals or being cruel but I also do not see the ECollar as cruel or abusive when it is used properly. It generally only takes one little shock to correct the unwanted behavior. The problem with Lacy Dogs...they are smart cookies and if you don't watch how you use it, then they start a whole new issue..they know they have the collar on, they behave, you take it off, bad behavior is still there... :-o

I wont go in to how I feel is the right way to use the E collar on a Lacy mainly because everyone has a different theory and I don't want to start a debate today ;)

~Mis

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Bayed Blue...Bayed True...That's A Lacy Dog
If You can't keep up with the Lacy Dog...stay on the porch!
http://www.nationallacydog.org/index.html
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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:29 pm 
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There is no doubt in my mind that any dog that has had a e-collar on is collar smart. Same goes for a bark collar. When I say any dog, I mean any dog that has had a e-collar used on them a few times. It doesnt take much. I think the reason why a dog stops the bad deeds with out the collar on is b/c they learn right from wrong in a way. Not the way we know it but.............. you know. Dogs arnt that dumb. They learn after a few times that that new collar around their neck hurts. No matter how you attempt to hide the fact, they know.


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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:01 pm 
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There are two reasons I don't want to use an e-collar on Sadie.

First and most importantly, she is an extremely reactive dog. I think an e-collar on a dog like that, especially a dog that has shown aggression in the past, can be very dangerous. If her reaction to mild physical discomfort, like a snap of the leash or a swat on the head, is already strong, what will happen when I introduce intense physical discomfort like an electric shock? I think it would be overwhelming for her, she has a delicate tipping point and I don't want to push her over the edge. And if there is a dog or even a person close by that she can blame that pain on, there is the possibility that it could turn ugly. So I just don't think it is safe.

Secondly, I don't have a reason to. If positive punishments like a stern command work, why move up to a shock collar? I think far too many people overuse shock collars because they are an easy fix for lazy owners. Like training recall with a shock collar. Not only do I see no reason because other methods work well, I think it is ultimately counterproductive. Personally, I don't want a dog to come to me because they'll get shocked if they don't, I want a dog to come to me because I represent good things. Initially that may mean treats, eventually just my praise and approval is enough, and overall being with me is a happy experience.

Now there are situations where an e-collar could be the most effective and ultimately humane way of correcting a behavior. I think a hog dog running deer is a good example. First of all, they are usually doing this far away from you, so unless they can understand and immediately respond to your verbal commands, you're S.O.L. If you are calling them off and they continue to chase, then when they finally stop and come back you hit them, you've just screwed up the whole process. You gave the worst punishment, a physical reprimand, for doing what you wanted, leaving the deer alone. If the dog was wearing an e-collar, you could shock as soon as they started the chase and stop as soon as they turned away, perfectly timing the punishment with the bad behavior to clearly teach the correct lesson. Also, a hog dog that is running deer will risk getting shot by a disgruntled landowner or hunter. I'm sure the dog would rather be in momentary pain than be dead.

If you use it correctly, aversive punishments can be effective. And if used incorrectly, enjoyable rewards can be a total failure. Use anything too much and the dog will wise up. That's why I think it helps to know the theory behind your methods. If you do it right the first couple times, you'll get results before you desensitize the dog.

_________________
"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:10 pm 
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Julie-Great post.



Mis or Steve-
I read that some dogs bayed some cows the other day. Was mudbug a part of that?


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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:29 pm 
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Nope, Muddy wasn't on that hunt.
Long story short it was young dogs

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M.D.Brooks Founding Member & Breeders Committee Chair
Bayed Blue...Bayed True...That's A Lacy Dog
If You can't keep up with the Lacy Dog...stay on the porch!
http://www.nationallacydog.org/index.html
http://www.lacyhuntingdogs.bravehost.com


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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:02 pm 
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I see. Just wantted to see if I did good. When I had her at my house I took her for a few walks down in the pasture. She didnt like the cows very much. Well, she did at first. :O3


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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:07 pm 
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I like the old fashioned methods myself. I use 2 different methods. The boot up the butt, if I can catch them!! and the let them out grow it!!!

I tried a shock collar with Lucy when she was chasing deer. I was so frustrated with her that I finally tried one. I would give her just a light shock when she took after the deer. It didnt phase her. So, I went a little higher. Still didnt phase her, or she would be out of range, or I wouldnt see her when she took off after the deer. So, I gave up on it. Once that she got older and would really respond to a stearn no, as long as I caught her when she first saw the deer, she would stop. Now, she doesnt chase deer. Larry is learning not to and Abe, so far doesnt do it.

I think that shock collars have a place, but I just dont like them. It is also like the Cesars way, too easy to do it wrong. With my Lacys, I have found that consistent training, a firm no and a little age on them works pretty good. I am not focused enough to understand and use clicker training, or anything that requires always doing something at just the right time, etc. Its an ADD thing! And, if you read David Mech's books, you will see that a lot of info about wolves and pack stuff has been misrepresented. My dogs seem to understand that I am the boss. They allow me to take bones and meat away from them with absolutely no trouble and they mind me most of the time. Lucy was a problem as a pup and she was a real pain in the rear, but she learned, even with every one telling me that I wasnt firm enough with her. The other two just have learned so easy that it has been amazing. These Lacys are just good, smart dogs!!

Betty

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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:23 pm 
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The shock collars have worked great for our dogs. We had never had trouble with the dogs running deer (while they were hunting or otherwise)before, but where we live now, the deer come right up in pasture by the house. We moved there in November, and they ran them several times before we borrowed the three-collar system from Aaron. It didn't take much at all, and the good thing was that it was right there in the pasture, so we didn't have to worry about shocking them at the wrong time. They're definitely still interested, but they won't chase them (and they're not wearing the collars anymore). Piper will bark, but that's it.

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“We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.”
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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:17 pm 
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Heard that if you raise them besides goats, they will not chase deer because supposedly they smell similiar to them. Not sure how much truth to that is....


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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:14 am 
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Actually the scent part is accurate, and goats are a good way to break your dog off of deer..however that generally requires a shock collar.
I have raised one litter from birth on the porch with a bottle fed goat (actually 3 of them) and that litter played with the goats...haven't had any problems with them chasing deer thus far but they are still training..

~Mis

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M.D.Brooks Founding Member & Breeders Committee Chair
Bayed Blue...Bayed True...That's A Lacy Dog
If You can't keep up with the Lacy Dog...stay on the porch!
http://www.nationallacydog.org/index.html
http://www.lacyhuntingdogs.bravehost.com


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