Nothing In Life Is Free

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Mila_7
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Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by Mila_7 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:37 pm

What do you guys think of the NILIF protocol? Is it an effective way to teach your dog cues and good manners?
Thank you. :)

emmabeth
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Re: Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by emmabeth » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:41 pm

I dislike, because whilst adding consistency and sensible ground rules to a formerly chaotic home life for a dog IS good, and yes having a dog work for some of the stuff he wants or needs is not a bad plan in itself, I find that NILIF does tend to lead people to be FAR too harsh, deny their dogs of the attention they NEED, and this results in depressed dogs, very frustrated dogs and a whole host of other issues.

For my dogs, plenty in life is free, to steal the title of a fairly well known book by Kathy Sdao - and thats the way I think it ought to be - after all, our dogs did not CHOOSE to live with us, they did not choose to live by the constraints of our human lifestyles and expectations, we should be giving them as much freedom, choice and control in their lives as we can do!
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

DianeLDL
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Re: Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by DianeLDL » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:10 pm

What is NILIF?

I understand Emmabeth's answer, but I just want to know the answer is to?

Thanks, (use a lot of acronyms here and some are not familiar)
Diane
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09

emmabeth
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Re: Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by emmabeth » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:50 pm

Oh, Nothing In Life Is Free - ie the dog is made to do something for everything, dog wants a fuss, has to sit first, dog wants feeding, has to sit first, dog wants to go pee, has to sit first - unfortunately a lot of the time when NILIF is recommended, its this PLUS, NOT giving the dog any attention otherwise and some people take it VERY very seriously are very strict and harsh with it.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

jacksdad
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Re: Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by jacksdad » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:07 pm

my dog has lots of freedom, lots of free stuff in his life from food to attention, wouldn't change it for the world. I think NILIF is more beneficial to the human than to the dog. It gives simplistic explanations (not always actuate ones either), steps, rules etc that are helpful to humans, but does not enrich the lives of dogs.

you can achieve the same goal as NILIF by other means that build a strong bond with your dog, a willingness on the dog's part to respond and listen to you, and to create structure and expectations for both dog and human that are less devoid of natural and needed social give and take that make up a healthy relationship and meet the needs of you and your dog.

one of the big "beefs" I have is strictly speaking, if you actually follow NILIF, you deprive the dog of critical and necessary spontaneous social enter actions. what greater complement is there in the dog/human relationship than for your dog to actually want to spend time with you, want to play with you, to do things with you, go places etc. To reward that with a cold shoulder makes no sense to me.

I think the NILIF appeals to people who like control, or who need clear rules or boundaries to know what to do, but I don't think dogs really and truly do benefit from it.

mansbestfriend
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Re: Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by mansbestfriend » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:15 pm

"Nothing In Life Is Free" is (as I understand it) an enduring program of strict routine/s, including extremes of withholding basic necessities to 'show the dog who's boss' :( . Like many of these types of grand ideas there's a thread of behavioural merit and lots of erroneous filler.

I'd like to see a reputable scientific study/audit on the program.

Cheers. :)
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Sit.

Maxy24
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Re: Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by Maxy24 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:36 pm

I think it's a fine way to practice obedience cues and add some self control. People can take it too far (not allowing their dog to ever self reward, not allowing their dog to ask for anything) but I don't see any harm in having your dog follow a command before getting pet, going out, eating, etc. It just depends how strict of a NILIF protocol you're following. Not allowing your dog to play with toys by himself because he didn't get your permission? That's silly, I want my dog to be able to occupy himself. But if he brings me a toy asking to play and I ask for a high five and sit pretty before playing, well I don't see anything wrong with that.

But I also don't think it's the magical cure all some people make it out to be. It doesn't teach your dog that you're "alpha" like it was initially designed too. It just allows you to practice commands regularly throughout the day for life rewards and teaches your dog to be able to stop and think even when he's excited or a little frustrated. It may also help teach a dog to defer to you when he wants something and I do think that could be very valuable. If your dog learns that when he wants something he usually has to follow a command before getting it he's more likely to do that when he wants other things...like to go say hi to that dog over there or chase that squirrel. So instead of straining at the leash he might look up at you asking what he needs to do to get that dog or squirrel.

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Nettle
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Re: Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by Nettle » Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:47 am

It's my impression that when we let dogs communicate freely and listen to what they are telling us, we are much more likely to get the 'may I?' query when they want to do something or have something. NILIF 'works' for breeds that tolerate a high level of nagging, but its practitioners come unstuck with breeds that only offer co-operation when they feel comfortable with the owner. Of these, some will cease to interact with the owner on any level, while others will 'deaf them out' and do whatever they want whenever they want to do it. Some become depressed - seriously so.

I am ALL for manners, but manners are quite different from demanding a behaviour before the dog can have or do anything, and only giving affection when the owner feels like it. If we tried that with a child, it would look like abuse.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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jacksdad
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Re: Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by jacksdad » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:06 pm

Maxy24 wrote:if he brings me a toy asking to play and I ask for a high five and sit pretty before playing, well I don't see anything wrong with that.
why? to what end? what is the reasoning for this? what issue/problem etc are you trying to solve or prevent? honestly just very curious, not judging you or anything simply inquiring minds want to know.

Mila_7
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Re: Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by Mila_7 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:21 pm

Thank you for your replies, guys!!

Maxy24
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Re: Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by Maxy24 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:36 pm

why? to what end? what is the reasoning for this? what issue/problem etc are you trying to solve or prevent? honestly just very curious, not judging you or anything simply inquiring minds want to know.
To practice following those commands in everyday situations (not in a formal training session) for a life reward. Or to teach the dog to follow commands even though he might be excited to play (self control practice). Also as I mentioned before it's possible that it could help teach a dog to look to you for direction when he wants something instead of just going for it himself. But that's simply a theory, I have no proof that that tends to happen. For the record I don't practice NILIF at all, I just don't see the harm for most dogs if, as I said, it's not super strict/limiting, and I can see the potential merits.

ClareMarsh
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Re: Nothing In Life Is Free

Post by ClareMarsh » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:25 am

My view is, like pretty much any type of dog training, the principle of NILIF can and has been abused, going from "you can't just have whatever you want whenever you want it, you have to have some manners" to "I will control your every movement". Like Emmabeth I'm a fan of plenty in life being free but this could also be taken to the extreme of "you can have whatever you want whenever you want it, including that fresh out the oven roast that I'm about to carve, just whip it off the counter top".

So I would say I start off being a bit more NILIF than PILIF when I first bring a pup home, and as they start to learn then things relax off (because they naturally get more stuff right) and I move more towards PILIF than NILIF. But the reality is I'm probably doing neither as the original creator intended, I'm just adapting the concept to my own dogs and situation.

For some reason many well meaning owners leave their common sense at the door when teaching their dog and don't sense check any training plan. I don't quite understand this because as much as I respect everyone here and as much as I am in awe of many of the big names in dog training I still run my sense check filters over what I am being told. And at the end of the day I am the person who best knows my two dogs and whether training plan "x" is going to suit either of them :D
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