Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Do You Need More Positive Reinforcement?


Viatecio said...

This needs to be real because people would totally use it.

As an aside, I was getting someone checked out of their appointment and the dog was insisting on jumping up onto the counter despite repeated "sit" commands. I asked if I could take the leash and explain something and was given permission to do so. When the dog sat upon realizing that its owner was no longer in control (not that she ever was, really, but play along), the owner immediately started asking "Should I give her a treat? Here [reaches into purse and brings out ziplock bag of dog treats], give her one of these since she sat!"

I said "No, not yet, she's sitting and being calm. Let that be her job for now and I will let her up as a reward momentarily."

[Dog hears plastic bag and breaks the sit, jumps onto the counter and starts the Labradork routine over again. I calmly put her back into a sit.]

Two seconds later: "Can she have a treat now? She sat again for you."

"NO NOT YET. She's CALM and I will reward her with freedom once she settles and stays a few seconds longer." Dog stays, I calmly release her and she stays calm, all 4 feet on the floor and just sniffs around until owner takes the leash back, then it's Labradork all over again. Owner is in awe, but totally misses the lesson because FOOD REWARD for dog.

Seriously. I blame the positive-reinforcement movement for making it compulsory to have dog treats on hand everywhere and give them at every little thing the dog does without considering the DOG's needs and intrinsic rewards. What a crock.

SecondThoughtsOptional said...

I would totally buy that for right now. When I'm looking at what seems a hopeless amount of data to analyse and writing to do, a mindless affirmation would be most welcome.