Must-See Video: "It's Yer Choice" - impulse control games

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Must-See Video: "It's Yer Choice" - impulse control games

Post by Noobs » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:58 pm

Someone posted this link in a thread earlier today but in case it gets lost I wanted to give it its own thread. I finally got a chance to watch it (no YouTube at work :evil: ) and I think it's a must-see for any dog owner.

I actually started teaching Murphy impulse control from day one, and whenever I give him toys or treats on his "place" he is very good about waiting. I can put treats on his paws like they show on the video and he waits for my cue. I think his nose is too narrow though, I've never been able to put a treat on it. However I can't seem to get him to control himself on walks, and I've resigned myself to letting him eat some things that aren't too harmful or watch the street with the same diligence as I do with cats, since our neighborhood is full of people who think it's their responsibility to feed the pigeons and put their leftovers all over the sidewalk on a daily basis. I need to step up the training and get him to the level shown on this video. He does have the ability to control his impulses but when he can't I'd rather avoid a confrontation, and that's no way to be. So I'm very encouraged by this video and I hope many of you find it helpful as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipT5k1gaXhc

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Re: Must-See Video: "It's Yer Choice" - impulse control games

Post by wvvdiup1 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:03 pm

I've watched this video and liked it! This is similar to how I trained Karma impulse control, however, she made it so easy! :D Thanks for posting this video, Noobs! :D
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Re: Must-See Video: "It's Yer Choice" - impulse control games

Post by Zeldacorgi » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:41 pm

Great video. I also started impulse control with Zelda from the day I brought her home. It's really one of the best things you can work with a new puppy on (any dog really), and there's so many opportunities to work it-feeding time, play time, anytime!

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Re: Must-See Video: "It's Yer Choice" - impulse control games

Post by emmabeth » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:03 pm

I practiced this with Rocky and Errol (both very very impulsive dogs!) last night.

Its good stuff... though I will be careful with it with Rocky as, years ago I did a 'bad thing'.... and I conditioned him to training discs which if you arent aare are like the reverse of a clicker.

I do mean YEARS ago, he was 2 at the time and we did this because he could nto go offlead in the park without tring to kill swans.... and risked drowning! If i knew then what i know now...

Anyway the discs are paired with the removal of the perceived reward... so that eventually the sound of the disc reminds the dog of that feeling of disappointment and 'non-reward'....

Cut to now... and when i show rocky a handful of food and then close my hand as per the video..... he SHOT backwards across the kitchen and hid in a corner!!!!!!!! He was very very clearly expecting something pretty horrid to happen... and although rewarded for removing himself from the visible treats, it took him a while to relax.

After that we worked on him not sniffing a hand he knew had treats in it, rather than the open hand, as that was the part I think that reminded him so strongly of the aversive disc conditioning process.

He was fine with the leaving the treats on the floor, and we got as far as dropping treats from a height, multiple dropped treats... the other area he showed fearful reactions to were putting treats on his paws, so we skipped that too.

Sooooo.... for a brand new puppy - good stuff. For older dogs, and dogs whose background you are unaware of... tread careful and be ready to adapt the method incase it triggers memories of unpleasant things. It should be pretty self evident if that is the case.

The other thing to be aware of with the later levels - is have you tuaght your dogs to catch things thrown to/at them.... i have and so its pretty unfair to expect them to ignore such things without being given a command to do so. You can either add in a command for this or if you wish to proceed with a silent 'leave' as default. then reteach that catching is only done on command.

Once you are aware of issues like this - its really good stuff, Errol who has no associations of aversives linked to food.... got the hang of it in a matter of minutes and could, like rocky, ignore food bouncing around him on the floor really well. It definitely gave him something to think about!

I am saddened to realise that Rocky hasnt forgotten the aversive training he had some 8 years ago :( Yet another reason why aversives are SO dangerous to use, the scars they can leave are deeply embedded! (However as my visit to a friend a few months back shows.. he still chases feathered live stock! so it didnt fix that permanently! only the 'fall out' seems to have been permanent!).
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Re: Must-See Video: "It's Yer Choice" - impulse control games

Post by Noobs » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:45 am

emmabeth wrote: I am saddened to realise that Rocky hasnt forgotten the aversive training he had some 8 years ago :( Yet another reason why aversives are SO dangerous to use, the scars they can leave are deeply embedded!
I'm sorry to hear this part Emma. This is why no matter how slowly or gently I reach for Murphy, sometimes he still turns his face away from my hands. And I haven't done anything scary near his face in over a year. :(

Good point about dogs catching food thrown at them. I have taught Murphy this so I will have to change things around if L and I decide to try this training.

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Re: Must-See Video: "It's Yer Choice" - impulse control games

Post by leslie123 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:09 am

This is a great video and I'd like to try it with Sulley. By teaching him impulse control, will this help with other impulses he has or may develop? I guess I'm confused because there is no command or verbal noise associated with it. I'm sure he can learn this, but then how do I apply it for example to.. him wanting to follow the cats everywhere? Of course he follows them wanting to play, but he becomes a pest about it. Thats just one example I can think of at the moment, but I know more will come up as he grows. So, does learning impulse control with this one thing automatically carry into other behaviors? :?:

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Re: Must-See Video: "It's Yer Choice" - impulse control games

Post by emmabeth » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:08 pm

I don't think that JUST doing this game will be the fix for an impulsive dog in all areas... but using this and other impulse control stuff really does help.

The over all message, no matter how you apply a self control game is ' exercise self control and you WILL be rewarded - dont, and you will not' needs to be practiced in a variety of contexts (so with food, with toys, with being calm for putting on the leash or going out the door, or walking on a loose leash) and in a variety of locations (all around the home, the yard, the street, the park).

If you google for Control Unleashed by leslie mcdevitt you will get even more info and ways/ideas to apply self control/impulse control games so that your dog CAN generalise it to more aspects of life.
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Re: Must-See Video: "It's Yer Choice" - impulse control games

Post by stonyboys » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:27 pm

I watched the video and I'm no expert but aren't these things not something that Victoria would recommend?

i. During the "walk past the treats" test when she pulled the dog away with the leach for a "punishment walk"
ii. When they recommended throwing treats AT the dog.
iii. At the end of the video, in the blooper reel when the lady tried to pry the dog's mouth open to retrieve the treat.

They just don't seem reminiscent of the +R training idea, so I'm just wondering.

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Re: Must-See Video: "It's Yer Choice" - impulse control games

Post by emmabeth » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:02 am

These are all positive reward, but there are four quadrants to learning theory.. you can't soley train JUST using positive reward, we just call it that because calling it 'positive reward and negative punishment' is a tad wordy!

The four quadrants are:

Positive reward - add something rewarding to increase the likelyhood of the behaviour being repeated.
Negative punishment - remove/deny something rewarding to decrease the likelyhood of the behaviour being repeated
Negative reward - remove something aversive to increase the behaviour. (thats a tricky one but a good example is ear pinching, the dogs ear is pinched until he does what you want then the removal of the ear-pinch is the reward! horrid!)
Positive punishment - add/apply something aversive to decrease the behaviour.

We call it 'positive reinforcement based training' because we most heavily use positive reinforcement - sometimes though a consequence or punishment is required and for that we use negative punishment, which in the video is walking the dog away from the food and restarting over again. Another example would be to use a time out, step out of the room when the dog is barking at you for attention, you remove the reward (the chance that you might respond in a rewarding way) and repeating this means the behaviour decreases (because the dog learns that if he does this, you go away!).

These things do need to be used with care - if you set a dog up to fail, if you make the task too hard for example - say you are expecting a dog who has never been trained to leave anything, to leave a pile of slices of hot sausage, and your reward is a piece of boring kibble, then using a negative punishment will not be effective. Another example, ifyou have a barky dog attention seeking by barking at you, time outs will ONLY be effective and useful if you are also ensuring the dog is getting the attention he really needs. If he isnt and you use time outs, it doesnt matter how consistent and repetative you are with them, he will find another way of attention seeking, because he still needs attention!

Im not particularly keen on the part of the video where they throw or drop treats right on the dog - BUT, my dogs are all taught to catch and I regularly throw food to them in training, so that isn't something I would do. But if you go through the process right from the start and your dogs are not expecting to catch food thrown to them, and are steady with the whole process I see no problem with it, it is just demonstrating self control and thats never a bad thing for a dog to have.

When she removes the food from the dogs mouth its because he got it wrong - to leave him to eat the food would be rewarding him for the wrong thing. Personally i probably wouldnt be quick enough,a nd its also somethign I wouldnt recommend with a rescue dog or a dog with a history of food aggression, but with a dog you have raised from a pup who has learned to accept peoples hands in his mouth, again, it isnt a problem.

Positive reward based training is NOT soft and fluffy and it doesnt mean 'permissive' training, ie, that there are no consequences or punishments AT ALL, it just means we go for setting a dog up to succeed, and use positive reward wherever and whenever possible. Negative punishments are things like about turning in loose leash walk training - if the dog tries to pull, movement in that direction ceases and we go the other way - its not harsh or physical, its generally about clear actions the dog can understand.

In comparison, punishment based training sets the dog up to fail, so that you have the opportunity to punish it (positive punishment) and teach it not to do that again.
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Re: Must-See Video: "It's Yer Choice" - impulse control games

Post by Erica » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:02 pm

emmabeth wrote:...I am saddened to realise that Rocky hasnt forgotten the aversive training he had some 8 years ago :( Yet another reason why aversives are SO dangerous to use, the scars they can leave are deeply embedded! (However as my visit to a friend a few months back shows.. he still chases feathered live stock! so it didnt fix that permanently! only the 'fall out' seems to have been permanent!).
Even accidental, they are so damaging. I got my Opal a ball that makes a funny noise when you shake it up and down, and works pretty well when you throw it, so she was throwing it around the house and chasing after it. She got into a small hallway, and whirled around to chase the ball, but whacked her leg really hard on the wall. She refused to go anywhere near the ball for months. :( Now, thankfully, she seems to be okay with it, but not as excited as she once was! Even one little bad experience can "poison" something fun. :(

However, as far as this video goes, we did something very similar with her when she was a puppy - show treats, remove them when the dog approaches without the "okay..." I realized while I was clipping her nails that the reward treats I had - very high value - were well within reach for her (about a foot away), but she was waiting for me to shove one closer to her before she ate it. :) A variety of impulse control exercises can help in other areas - she can now walk past other dogs without freaking out (previously, a major issue).
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