Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Pure Positive Vs. Self-Rewarding Behavior



For even a very young Malinois puppy, biting is a deeply self-rewarding behavior, and food is not a higher calling.

How do you stop a deeply self-rewarding behavior if you have no higher reward, and are not willing to use the P-word? Too many have no idea. They can prattle on about clickers and rewards (all good) but too many have never really paid attention to what a Skinner box looks like, nor are they aware of the limits of what Skinner did in terms of type of animal and location.

If the only trick you have in your box is a clicker and a food bag, you can do a great deal of dog training, but you are not going to be a dog trainer.

6 comments:

quibeynfarm said...

Embarrassingly it took me a bit to realize this was a spoof.

CJames said...

Here's the thing, I agree with everything you said, but I think this video is a downright awful demonstration to use. That guy is not making any effort to use positive methods, and his mocking fake out is obnoxious.

Like many casual home trainers, I taught my terrier to release items on cue using positive training methods. It did not involve tugging him around with taut leash, looming over him, or shoving a handful of dry kibble in his face. No positive trainer, no matter how much of a zealot, would claim that could work, or that it was positive training to do it.

I would bet you real money I could get that puppy to drop that vest with no food at all in my hand. Give me a good dog toy and a little bit of space and he would make the trade. If this guy had argued that pure positive won't get a high drive dog to release reliably in the midst of highly adrenalized competition or a chase with a live target I would believe it 100%. But this video is pure bs. By faking the positive method so blatantly, it just makes him look like a fraud, and proves nothing. I say this as someone who uses and loves e collar training to achieve reliable off leash behavior.

You're right, but choosing this video makes you look bad.

Buenzlihund said...

Hilarious! Thanks for posting.

Buenzlihund said...

Commenter CJames apparently has not understood the concept of the e-collar if its use is reserved to off leash training. There is nothing more subtle than a properly used e-collar to train a dog on anything.
Besides I would have loved to see you train our JRT "pure positive". It's a pity we have no vids from that time. That little dog was 1000% [sic] "pure positive" all by himself there was NOTHING that taught him anything.

By the way: I do get confused about the term pure positive in regular intervals. Is it meant in the scientific way or the everyday way?

Gaia said...

I can misuse an e-collar the same way this guy is making a mockery of clicker training and it won't be pretty either.

I have one question for those who advocate or use e-collars on puppies. Do you think that the ability to use substantial shock to enforce a command is leading to an undervaluing of biddabilty in favor of hardness/drive? Does it encourage people to get more dog than they need or really can handle?

PBurns said...

Gaia I absolutely believe you would misused an ecollar, since you clearly have no idea what a modern e-collar can do.

Would I use an ecollar on a puppy (i.e. a dog over 12 weeks?)

Sure. I would use it on my mother, my myself, and my kids. I use it on my under 9-pound working terrier.

But then I actually know what a modern ecollar can do.

Maybe you do too. With some amusement I note you define an e-collar as giving a "substantial shock to enforce a command."

Actually no. There is no "substantial shock" given to my dogs EVER.

I cannot feel my e-collar (range levels 1-100 level) set at 10 and my dogs have never gone over 7 or 8.

An e-collar is actually LESS aversive than a flat collar and far more instructional.

I recommend actually getting or borrowing a modern e-collar (the most popular model used these days seems to come from E-Collar Technlogies, but some folks like Dogtra).

As for clicker training, it's a wonderful thing. I've used food and noise (I actually don't use a clicker but a snapped tone made with my tongue that sounds just like one). But can a clicker and food get a dog to stop something that is deeply coded, or break it out of its natural attention deficit disorder? How do you do well-timed leash corrections 30, 50, and 200 feet out?

The difference here is that I know how to clicker training and praise. I am pretty sure you do not know how to e-collar train or correct at a distance.