Crisis

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Shalista
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Crisis

Post by Shalista » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:56 am

I'm having a bit of a crisis about positive training. i firmly believe in it and i try to follow its principles as best i can and yet it seems like every time something major comes up.... i dont follow it.

and i get good results.

twice now bax has had barking episodes that couldn't be conquered by any amount of treats. yet when i removed him from the room and locked him up for 20 seconds he improve dramatically (the first time, years ago, he was instantly cured, this most recent time he dramatically improved but was not cured)..... but thats a punishment.... isnt it?

and now with him whining all night long. i tried every positive trick i knew but in the end it was just turning up the noise machine and ignoring him completely that did the trick (last night he was perfect, sleapt the whole night through without me even turning up the machine) thats not very positive either.

i feel like a giant hypocrite standing over here preaching about the powers of positive training and yet when the rubber hits the road that doesnt seem to be what works for me. am i a hypocrite?
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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JudyN
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Re: Crisis

Post by JudyN » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:49 am

Shalista wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:56 am
am i a hypocrite?
No, of course not! Timeouts are fine, ignoring unwanted behaviour once we've eliminated all the causes we can think of is fine. Think of a child who whinges all day long for a chocolate bar - assuming the child isn't starving, bored, tired, or whatever (which could call for an apple, an activity, a nap/rest), then the child is basically being a PITA and needs to be told firmly he's not getting a chocolate bar.

Keep up with the timeouts, and the white noise. In the four quadrants of dog training this is 'negative punishment' (-P, taking something the dog likes away, as opposed to 'positive punishment' (+P), which is adding something the dog doesn't like, like a reprimand of a shock collar). More here, though I've only scanned it: http://grishastewart.com/learning-theory/

When Jasper decides that he doesn't want me to get out of bed for a pee at night because he's just heard a noisy person come out of a pub half a mile away, or a fox calling, I come over all Cesar Milan :shock: (No punishment, just very firm and stern.) This is pretty much the only time I find this approach works, but it does work, whereas nothing else seems to, so I'm going to keep on doing it with no qualms :D
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Shalista
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Re: Crisis

Post by Shalista » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:55 am

JudyN wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:49 am
Shalista wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:56 am
am i a hypocrite?
Timeouts are fine, ignoring unwanted behaviour once we've eliminated all the causes we can think of is fine. Think of a child who whinges all day long for a chocolate bar - assuming the child isn't starving, bored, tired, or whatever (which could call for an apple, an activity, a nap/rest), then the child is basically being a PITA and needs to be told firmly he's not getting a chocolate bar.
that made me feel alot better put into that context!
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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JudyN
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Re: Crisis

Post by JudyN » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:56 am

Also - it doesn't do to get too evangelical about anything (training, raw feeding, breastfeeding... humans that is, not breastfeeding dogs :wink: ). Maybe, sometimes, with some dogs, methods that aren't strictly positive might work better and as long as you have enough knowledge to tell that they aren't harming the dog in any way (some are far more thick skinned than others). It's a bit like the joke showing a TV with the message on it 'We have done all we can. Please thump your set' :wink: (That's a metaphorical thump in this context, obviously!)
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

DianeLDL
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Re: Crisis

Post by DianeLDL » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:46 am

Shalista,

I agree with JudyN.

You have done everything you could to figure out why Bax was whining.
Setting boundaries is positive. We all need to set boundaries at some time. Even people need to set boundaries with other people. And, as in Judy’s example of the whining child, boundaries need to be set there as well.

Sandy is not allowed in our bedroom. That’s our boundary. He gets jealous of OH & me together, so it’s the only way to have privacy for us. Sandy will stand outside and door and bark at times. If it’s near the time he has to potty, we assume that he’s telling us he has to go out, and we take him out. So, if he is barking and doesn’t have to go out, and we hear a dog down the street barking, we know he’s just answering. We ignore him, he stops and goes back to his or he loves the smell of OH’s chair. That’s fine.

Time outs are positive as long as he’s not locked in a closet for hours with no water. That is cruel.
But, 20 secs. to give the message that you don’t accept his behavior is positive. I would see VS tell people to use a 20 sec time out when she had the TV show.

And, the fact that Bax slept all night tells me he was probably just trying to get attention. As you said, he had the puppy pad which I assume was dry which means it was attention getting behavior.

Ironically, my guess is that while you were trying to figure out what was wrong, you had inadvertently been reinforcing his whining by giving him the attention he was looking for every time he whined.
Once you realized there was nothing wrong, then you began the process of deprogramming him by keeping him out and turning on the white noise.

If you still feel a bit guilty, and you want to reward him for not whining, then, perhaps, in the morning, when you see that Bax slept all night and didn’t whine, then when you greet him in the morning, you can reward him with extra cuddles or a nice walk or a treat.
This will be positively reinforcing the no whining behavior that you want from him, and Bax will see that with no whining, he gets something nice from you.
And that will help to relieve your guilt. :D
I’m glad that both of you are now able to sleep through the night. He probably was as tired as you were. :wink:
Diane
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Crisis

Post by Lotsaquestions » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:59 am

Agree with everything above, you're doing an amazing job Shalista. Bax isn't abused, he's just figuring out boundaries which is a good thing!

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Nettle
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Re: Crisis

Post by Nettle » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:26 am

Instead of 'positive' (notwithstanding the Board name :lol: ) I prefer to say 'reward-based'. Just as Positive can include (for the pedantic - and I am) positive punishment, which we here of course do not condone, the ethos is easier to understand if we think of reward/absence of anticipated reward. You withdrew Bax's reward when he offered the unwanted behaviour - which is entirely within the ethos we here use.

On a Board like this, we only know what is written, and we never get the full story, which shows in many threads when suddenly a vital piece of information appears well after the initial request for help/explanation. We cannot see what is happening when you or anybody has a situation that displeases. 'Boots on the ground' is the ideal way to unravel unwanted behaviour, but not everyone can afford/find a decent Behaviour trainer at the time they need one. Almost every time I go to someone's home for a consultation, I see something which is blindingly obvious to me but has not entered the owner's consciousness.

Reward-based training allied with sensible management will address any canine/human interface that currently displeases, but on a Board we can only do so much.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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jacksdad
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Re: Crisis

Post by jacksdad » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:06 pm

Just had a chat with my mentor about barking issues and she reminded me that not all barking is equal. we as humans tend to lump it all together as just barking...barking is barking is barking. Understandably we humans tend to just REALLY care about ending it...BUT that isn't the right approach. each context where there is barking has a root cause and we need to figure out the root cause as best we can in order to effectively address the barking.

in barking context 1, it might be the right thing to do some classical conditioning to the trigger. change the emotional association from "oh crap", to YIPPY... there is a VERY good chance the barking just goes away.

But barking in context 2... counter conditioning might just back fire because the dog already has a YIPPY association and is simply having fun and is super excited. and in this case...just ignoring will do nothing. So things like time outs...take away the fun... can be the right thing to do combined with some kind of management to prevent the dog from being triggered at all. cover the windows if the trigger is visual, white noise if trigger is based on noises that kind of thing.

barking in context 3 might be due to "bossy". dog has learned if they bark...you give them food. or you get their toy..or you take them out..or you pay attention to them, or you... they have learned barking at you gets you to do things. this is the context "ignoring" works. BUT only IF you also train how to ask for something in an acceptable way, AND you have ensured their needs are met.

So just a reminder...barking isn't just barking...it is context sensitive and how you address situation A, could be different from situation B, even with the same dog.

on another note...instead of positive or reward based, I tend to explain I use the principles from Applied Behavior Analysis. I also explain that I don't use fear/force/pain to get a dog to respond. There is risk in doing this...you have to be able to back up that claim...because you might just end up with a client who is a certified behaviorist...I have now had two such clients.

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Shalista
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Re: Crisis

Post by Shalista » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:19 am

oh for sure @jacksdad. the quest to find our which TYPE of barking, and thus how to treat it appropriately, can be a bit.... complicated.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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