Sunday, April 11, 2010

I want...

to see someone train a sheepdog using no forms of positive punishment...

I completely understand agility, obedience etc etc. As I teach my dogs with no positive punishment in those areas...but I am in no way convinced it will work on stock...
I really want someone to show me you can, prove me wrong...seriously. Do people think that trainers like correcting their dogs? Do people think that when a person corrects their dog during stockwork it is always a physical correction? Hardly...it is normally just a change of tone...as many say "it's not what you say, but HOW you say it"...
Sure there are those that take it too far, correct too harshly etc etc. But you have that in every dog situation. Be it agility, obedience, flyball etc etc etc...
I learned the most about give and take from working dogs on stock. I feel it has made me a better trainer, made me ask why the dog is doing this, what is happening, how can I help the dog understand.
BUT, if I could train my dogs on stock without using any corrections, I would love to know how. If that is possible, I am open to the idea...

ADDED: Take a look at this...very interesting :)

Terrier Mans Blog

Favorite quote (maybe because I own BOTH breeds :)

"That said, not all dog breeds are alike. Not every dog is a blank slate, as the owner of any herding dog or game-bred terrier will tell you. Prey drive does not disappear because you want it to. Many problematic behaviors in dogs -- especially behaviors in hard-wired working dogs that are being raised as pets -- are self-reinforcing behaviors that express themselves without any external reinforcement at all."

8 comments:

KPR said...

Now, c'mon, Loretta. You know damn well it can be done ... so says the +P+ trainers who train their dogs to lie down by asking ... and asking again ... and then begging ... and asking some more. No worries to your sheep though. The dog won't eat them. And just because someone has never once worked a dog on stock doesn't mean they don't know how to train them, you know. It's the same thing as training for other sports. Yeah.

fulltiltbcs said...

Well I am not sure about the begging and begging. Most dogs trained that way are obedient, in life and in sports. It is very easy to teach behaviors with positive reinforcement. At least those that know what they are doing anyway :) It does foster a "what can I do for you" attitude.

Now...add sheep to the mix and things can get crazy in a heartbeat. Instinct takes over as you well know :) I can have a lie down on my dogs in agility, obedience, in the house etc. But put a young dog on stock and um yeah...not gonna happen!!

I think people would learn a LOT from attending a clinic on training stockdogs. They would find that the clinicians are very clear, fair and communicate well with the dogs they work. And maybe it would show them that not all people that include positive punishment in their training are abusive to their dogs.

livin life said...

Well, I happen to believe that a correction is not negative. It is just information to the dog....I'm not thrilled with what you are doing...try again. Punishment is the negative...as in...I am going to kick your butt! I like corrections.....say I was making liver for dinner....and my hubby never said "hey, I am not fond of liver". So over and over I make liver. I would have preferred the correction, instead of finding out years later about the liver hate.....that is how I look at correcting dogs. Now....I am working on making corrections change the behavior.....easier with some dogs :) I also want to be very consistent and fair. However, I will tell you that there is a gal in our neck of the woods training her farm shepherd with positive only. I'll let you know how it goes.....right now she can not get out of the round pen, with dogged goats, nor drop the 12 foot pole. Is pressure positive training? Is pressure not a form of correction...information you need to change what you are doing???

fulltiltbcs said...

Positive punishment refers to adding something aversive in order to decrease a behavior. The most common example of this is disciplining (e.g. spanking) a child for misbehaving. The reason we do this is because the child begins to associate being punished with the negative behavior. The punishment is not liked and therefore to avoid it, he or she will stop behaving in that manner.

So, by that definition, pressure is a form of positive punishment as you apply pressure to make the dog give on stock. When the dog gives, you release the pressure.

Yes, I WOULD like to hear how that is going, honestly. Now..um..it sounds like it really isn't...BUT, I am open to anything!! But again, having a 12 foot pole in the round pen is definetly applying pressure..which you might want to inform her IS Positive Punishment...just sayin' :)

KPR said...

Yeah, let me know how that works out for her. I positively trained Echo on ducks today. When she grabbed one of the ducks, I let her know that I positively do not like that.

fulltiltbcs said...

LMAO KPR!!

Debra Kay said...

I don't train on stock (I'm a city girl) but I do train in real life situations-out in public and at the stable where I keep my horse.

In those situations, I don't find it possible to be purely positive. When I can, I redirect and give the dog something to do (like a sit or a down) so that I can be positive....but if something really BAD is about to happen, I stop it before it does. Usually it's a voice change (I do the family "eh" sound) but if I need to, a hand in the collar and I will physically turn my dogs around or do whatever I need to do to break up the situation.

I don't think it's possible to be purely positive unless you are in a world where you can control your entire environment all the time-and I don't live in that world.

fulltiltbcs said...

EXCELLENT response Debra Kay :-)) I love the last part! SOOO very true :)