Explaing Positive Reinforcement rethinking key "sound bites"

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Suzette
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement, rethinking key "sound bits"

Post by Suzette » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:57 am

Noobs wrote:But how much of that will actually stick? People come to this board and are willing to hear this AT FIRST and then they leave when they realize their "reward" of a well-behaved, pleasant dog doesn't come as fast as they want. How successful does anyone expect to be when they are trying to be brief and concise with someone in person?
I think the notion of being initially brief and concise when meeting people out and about is that no one wants to be beat over the head with a new idea. That's the quickest way to turn a person off and lose them. When someone asks me directly, or seems generally interested in my training techniques, I like to offer just enough to keep them asking more questions. That way they are engaged in the conversation, not being lectured to by me. This approach has worked well for me in that most folks have been very receptive and even those who don't quite get it are at least polite and pleasant.. :D

Also, never discount the benefit of time. Some folks might not seem to "hear" you at the moment, maybe even scoff at your techniques, but you've still planted a seed that over time, might just germinate in their minds and get them looking into positive training somewhere down the line. :D
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chay
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement, rethinking key "sound bits"

Post by chay » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:33 pm

Nettle wrote:
"Dogs don't do the things that annoy us specifically to annoy us. They have no idea why these things annoy us. We have to explain what we want in a way they can understand."

"A reward says 'thank you'. It is not weakness to reward. We all work better for reward".
i love these ones in particular.

i've always worked with the idea that i'd rather my dog WANT to do what i ask, because we're friends - thats what positive reinforcement is about to me (in part, anyway!) and what i try to get across to people i talk to...with varying success i guess

with regards to your OP jacksdad, i have been pondering on the "ignore bad/reward good" misconception. i think its been mentioned but how about something more along the lines of:

"dogs repeat what is rewarding to them. if we make unwanted behavior as boring as possible, and make what we want them to do fun and rewarding - the dog can make the choice himself to do what we prefer"

??

jacksdad
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement, rethinking key "sound bits"

Post by jacksdad » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:36 pm

again, not looking for a single "right" answer. Just trying to challenge "us" to think about how we expressing and explain things.

I would think any explanation that emphasizes the goals of positive reinforcement in a concise and clear way is on the right track.

chay
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement, rethinking key "sound bits"

Post by chay » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:07 pm

ah no, i didn't mean it as "the answer" haha - just that you have indeed encouraged me to think about how to word things differently!

wvvdiup1
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement, rethinking key "sound bits"

Post by wvvdiup1 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:07 am

With everything that is going on around me, this is one that has stumped me for since its posting and the only thing I can think of to say is this which sounds like a marketing slogan for a product or service: "Positive Reinforcement Training. Getting the best results in dog training your dog through understanding your dog, patience, and rewards." to "Positive Reinforcement Training: Getting the best behaviors from your dog(s) through understanding your dog, patience, and rewarding when getting the desired behaviors in your dog(s)."

I've got to rethink this! :roll:

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jacksdad
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement, rethinking key "sound bits"

Post by jacksdad » Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:04 am

the reason I used the term "sound bite" was because for whatever reason certain small phrases/ideas get repeated in a fairly similar way. like my example of "ignore the bad, focus on the good". Some are probably just fine as is. some on reflection make sense to "insiders", but might not leave the right impression when first encountering Positive Reinforcement due to lack of complete background.

wvvdiup1
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement rethinking key "sound bites"

Post by wvvdiup1 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:11 pm

jacksdad wrote: the reason I used the term "sound bite" was because for whatever reason certain small phrases/ideas get repeated in a fairly similar way. like my example of "ignore the bad, focus on the good". Some are probably just fine as is. some on reflection make sense to "insiders", but might not leave the right impression when first encountering Positive Reinforcement due to lack of complete background.
You have it just about right, jacksdad! Your "sound bite" should say "Ignore the bad behaviors, focus and reward the good behaviors." That gives a clearer picture just as long as the listener is familiar with +R dog training methods. Otherwise, you'll have make your "sound bite" just a little bit longer to get the idea across to the listener. Therefore, your "sound bite" may sound more like a marketing slogan for Positive Reinforcement Training Methods. :wink:
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Nettle
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement rethinking key "sound bites"

Post by Nettle » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:41 am

Words fascinate me - so much can hinge on a change of word.

I don't think we get much response for 'ignore' the bad, because people get so hung up on the dog doing something they don't like - How can I ignore the bad things he's doing, they say. How can I ignore a dog that's pottying in the house, chewing up stuff left lying around, barkbarkbarking the whole time, going for other dogs? I can't and I won't ignore it, they think - stupid trainer - I want to FIX it, not ignore it.


We, of course, know that the dog isn't being bad.


Hmmmmm - thinkssssss....... Can we do some work on Change to the behaviour we want?

Change - that's what they want: to change the behaviour
We - inclusive - you aren't on your own here
What we want - a positive aim


I'm sure you can all do better, but that's a start
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Suzette
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement rethinking key "sound bites"

Post by Suzette » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:13 am

No, I think you've hit the nail on the head there Nettle. That's one of the reasons I don't often say "ignore the bad" (at least not right off the bat) but I try to say "redirect the unwanted behavior". I think it's much easier for a person to grasp that notion. Very few people are going to go "ahhh, ignore it, uh huh." Nope, like it or not, it's in the nature of most folks to take charge and 'handle' situations, even with our dogs. Plus, and here's the biggie, we often aren't ignoring the behavior at all, many times we're simply redirecting it. Semantics perhaps, but I think when folks hear 'ignore' out of context with the rest of the training techniques, it leaves them confused and thinking we're completely ignoring the unwanted behavior and just standing around doing nothing while our dogs are running roughshod in our homes.

So when we tell folks it's a technique that requires redirecting the unwanted behavior (dog has your sock, trade for a toy; dog chewing your pants leg, put a chewie in his mouth instead, dog barks at bikers, feed treats to give good association, etc.) I think it becomes interesting to them because they see that they are doing something proactive in the training process. Of course there are times when ignore will come into play (nipping puppies and time outs come to mind), but we don't have to open with this. Let folks digest the redirect concept then get into how ignoring has its place and when to use it.

I guess where I keep falling off the beam with this thread is that I know that Jacksdad is looking for a pithy, catchy phrase to capture the essence of positive training and I find it difficult to boil it down to one concise set of words that does the whole concept justice. So thinking this whole thing through, for me, if I had to put into one brief phrase, I'd get rid of the words 'bad' and 'ignore' all together and just go with "redirect the unwanted behavior, reward for the desired behavior". For me that works as well as anything and I think would be fairly well understood by folks who are new to this concept. But I'm always interested in how others see and interpret this whole idea. I do like reading all your responses and how each of you see this and respond to it.
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jacksdad
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement rethinking key "sound bites"

Post by jacksdad » Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Suzette wrote: I guess where I keep falling off the beam with this thread is that I know that Jacksdad is looking for a pithy, catchy phrase to capture the essence of positive training
Actually no. Not looking for a pithy or catchy phrase. It just hit me this last weekend when hearing some common "catch phrases" or "sound bites" if you will, that are often used to explain or give out positive reinforcement advice. Then seeing the other parties response. sometimes things sound better in our "heads" or when you have time to give a full "lecture" or write a complete "article".

But most people just want to know what to do via the short version. My dog is doing X, but I don't want my dog to continue doing X, how to I stop this.

So what I am getting at, looking for is very much what nettles just posted about. how do we improve our explanations or advice so that we don't leave the person asking for help feeling like we just gave them nothing.

Part of achieving this is our own continued education/learning/gaining of experience. Nothing like trying to explain/teach something to really bring to light our understanding or lack of. And doing it face to face so you can see your audience's response really lets you know if your explaining things effectively.

That is all this thread is about. getting us to think about what we say, how we said it and improving how we say/phrase/explain/advise.

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Nettle
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement rethinking key "sound bites"

Post by Nettle » Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:48 pm

Almost every person who contacts me with a 'problem' dog says - "I don't want him to keep doing this, I want him to stop doing that" etc.

Early on I switch this around to "What do you want him to do?"

This causes :? :shock:

Together we work on - I want him to stop pulling/You want him to walk nicely. Often I have to work really hard to turn the negatives into positives.


Sometimes I am hit with a litany of - perfectly normal unremarkable dog behaviour. They want him in effect to stop being a dog. That's a toughie. I tell them "He can't change the way he thinks because he is only a dog, so we have to change the way we do".


:idea: How about - "He's only a dog and he needs your help"?
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Fundog
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement rethinking key "sound bites"

Post by Fundog » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:32 pm

Another way of "helping" someone without eliciting the "glazed and dazed" face would be to make a not-so-explanatory statement that is designed to elicit another question. Instead of feeling lectured and overwhelmed, the person seeking advice actually becomes engaged in dialogue. Instead of receiving an over-simplified, impractical statement, such as "ignore," and responding with "Thanks for nothing," the asker is intrigued to learn more. Gradually the lightbulb comes on. No glazed expression, no let down, but genuinely inspired excitement and hope. One example might be, "So turn the tables. Think of what you'd rather the dog be doing instead of xyz." They might ask, what do you mean? Then you can offer some examples and suggestions. Wait a minute for the person to process this. Then watch for the lightbulb moment. Now you've got a real conversation going. :idea:
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement rethinking key "sound bites"

Post by Ari_RR » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:34 pm

Loved Nettle's way.... "What DO you want him to do?"
Once this is determined - there is a goal, and the way to achieve it is through reinforcement / rewarding desired behavior.
Want him to pee outside? Make it fun for him! Reward when he does it!
Want him to walk by your side? Make it fun for him! Reward when he does it!

This concept is not rocket science. I think most people would get it. The problem is that it takes a lot of patience, and patience isn't everyone's virtue. Perhaps sometimes you loose your audience not because it's too complicated, but because the audience realizes that this is just not something they can realistically do. They need fast results, a quick fix right now.

Perhaps the real education here is not about +R of dog's behaviour, but about the time, patience, and commitment that humans need to bring to the table?

But then there is this: Want your hound to ignore a passing deer? Hmm... Afraid that even +R has it's limits, better just hang on to that leash! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Perhaps this is a point worth making also, just to keep our feet on the ground: +R is a great approach, but it won't solve all possible issues. Humans should research their FUTURE canine friends before getting one, and be sure that dog's natural instincts won't contradict their lifestyle, and will suit their needs.
The answer to "what DO you want him to do?" should be realistic for the dog. No amount of +R will turn a toy poodle into a junkyard guard dog, or teach a rottweiler to dance and twirl on hindlegs... And if it did, it would be a sad thing.

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Eugene
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Erica
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement rethinking key "sound bites"

Post by Erica » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:34 pm

Ari_RR wrote:The answer to "what DO you want him to do?" should be realistic for the dog. No amount of +R will turn a toy poodle into a junkyard guard dog, or teach a rottweiler to dance and twirl on hindlegs... And if it did, it would be a sad thing.

Cheers
Eugene
Actually...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQWGt5hNy9A
Fifty seconds in. ;)
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jacksdad
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Re: Explaing Positive Reinforcement rethinking key "sound bites"

Post by jacksdad » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:14 am

Erica wrote:
Ari_RR wrote:The answer to "what DO you want him to do?" should be realistic for the dog. No amount of +R will turn a toy poodle into a junkyard guard dog, or teach a rottweiler to dance and twirl on hindlegs... And if it did, it would be a sad thing.

Cheers
Eugene
Actually...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQWGt5hNy9A
Fifty seconds in. ;)
:shock: +R for the win :lol:

joking aside, Ari you are right there are limits to what can be trained "away' no matter what method you use.

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