TREAT Training ........

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chorbs
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TREAT Training ........

Post by chorbs » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:16 am

Okay, smart almost 4 month old pup here. I have questions about the treat training. I'm using it and she's picked up "sit, down (or lay down), wait, leave it; we're working on others.

My question is; this works like a Pavlov's dog thing ?? For instance, "drop it". If she has a plush and we are playing (tug of war even), and I say 'drop it', she drops it and instantly looks in my other hand for the treat. Now I assume I can't happen to have a treat in my other hand for the rest of her life, but with Pavlov's dog, if I have one in my hand 'sometimes' then she'll always drop it, right? After awhile she'll just follow the commands without expecting a treat ?? This would be the same for every command she learns ??

easilyconfused
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Re: TREAT Training ........

Post by easilyconfused » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:17 am

In short, yes.
Phasing out food as a lure works just like that but don't fall into the trap of not rewarding your dog when its well behaved. If thats a treat here or there, the chance for a run, chuck a ball /whatever.
It sounds like you should start chaining commands before a treat. so instead of "sit" followed by a treat, "lay down" followed by a treat, ask for 2 things. Sit - good dog, paw - good dog "treat" Then 3 then 4 etc. This helps bridge the transition between every command gets a treat and good behaviour gets a treat.

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minkee
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Re: TREAT Training ........

Post by minkee » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:09 pm

Yep, just as easilyconfused says.

You will always have to reward your dog. Rewards can be treats but they can also be toys, getting to go sniff, chase a ball, etc etc. The only hard and fast rule is that YOUR dog has to find it rewarding! It doesn't mean you'll always have to carry food around with you, as your pup grows you can use "life rewards" over treats, but with a learning puppy a little piece of food is the kind of immediate feedback that really aids learning.

To begin with you will want to reward EVERYTHING your pup gets right. This reinforces all her good choices and makes the behaviour more likely to reoccur. This applies to things you ask for (eg. sit!) and for things she does on her own (eg. chilling out on her bed). You can reduce the amount of rewards you hand out as you raise the criteria. For example, to begin with, as your pup is only a wee thing, you will be rewarding EVERY time she puts her bum on the floor when you've asked her to sit. Once she's gotten the hang of this 100% you can do a few different things:

1. Use "differential reinforcement". This means that you give the best behaviour the best rewards. So when she really attends to your 'sit' command and does it straight away she gets a good reward. When she does an average sit she gets some average praise!

2. Raise the criteria. You'll still be rewarding her, but you'll be asking more of her for that reward. The main components of this are the 3 d's: Duration, Distance, Distraction. So now wait till she has been sat for a few seconds before rewarding. Then a few seconds more. Then a few seconds more again. Next get her to sit at a distance away from you and reward THAT behaviour. It's much more tricky than just sitting! Finally throw in a few distractions. Raise the criteria one at a time, don't rush it. It's a life's work! What easilyconfused suggested, chaining a few commands in a row, is raising the criteria too.

Finally, there's a big difference between the REWARD and the LURE. I try and fade the lure by the 3rd attempt or so, because we want the dog to follow the command and directions given by us, not just be blindly chasing after the food! There's a nice video on that part here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19SZTwQkpEw
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emmabeth
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Re: TREAT Training ........

Post by emmabeth » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:40 pm

If you get confused here.. think..

When you are a little kid you do a chore you get a sticker or some candy or a 'Good Job!' or a few pennies right away.

When you are a teenager, you keep your room clean and wash the car, you get your allowance at the end of the week.

When you are an adult, you go to work ALL MONTH and get your salary at the end of the month.

Obviously if you withold treats for a whole month your dog is liable to go on strike! But it gets the idea across - start out with flat otu shameless bribery. Quickly as you can, turn that into 'payment due' and then extend the period before payment is expected. Then vary things up so doggy never knows when its bonus time! and is alllllllllllways keen to earn some goodies but not disheartened if the goodies on offer are a fuss and a pet, rather than a piece of steak or cheese!
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chorbs
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Re: TREAT Training ........

Post by chorbs » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:09 am

"When you are a little kid you do a chore you get a sticker or some candy or a 'Good Job!' or a few pennies right away."

Lolol - maybe these days !!! I'm older and if you didn't do what you were told, when "I" was little, you got punished, maybe even spanked. If you 'did' do it you got nothing .... because you were expected to do it after you were told to :O)

"When you are a teenager, you keep your room clean and wash the car, you get your allowance at the end of the week."

No allowance. Pretty much the same thing; do it because you've been told to, or get punished. The 'positive' parenting of these days, kind of like as with a dog (not taught to smack them with rolled up newspaper any more), didn't exist 40-50 years ago.

As an adult !! Yay, we get our paycheck !

But really, I understand where you are coming from. I guess basically I'm trying to figure out if the dog needs rewarded for the rest of her life after every time I tell her to 'sit'. etc., and she does; i.e., when I'm training her it's one thing, but otherwise she's told to sit just because at the given moment I need her to sit and, naturally, don't happen to have a treat in my hand. The same thing for any other command, 'leave it' because something fell on the floor and I need her to leave it; 'down' because someone came in the back door and I need her to get down, etc.

emmabeth
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Re: TREAT Training ........

Post by emmabeth » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:07 am

Oh yeah, I had parents like that too!

But the idea is you gradually phase from one stage to another - so just as you wouldnt skip a kid from a 'good job!' or a bit of candy after a chore straight to 'no you get paid at the end of the month' you can't do that with a dog either.

So once shes sitting reliably because she knows theres a treat, then you move to sitting because she THINKS theres a treat in your hand (and sometimes there is, and sometimes its in your pocket). Then to more hoping you have a treat even if she cant see it, and so on, until she thinks its worth doing as you ask because a/ its a habit! and b/ its likely theres something good on offer 'at some point soon'.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

chorbs
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Re: TREAT Training ........

Post by chorbs » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:28 am

Ah-ha, Emmabeth, Pavlov's dog ..... that's what I thought. After quite awhile they'll do it just because they 'might' get a treat or because it's just plain become what they know to do. Thank you !!!

dontpugme
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Re: TREAT Training ........

Post by dontpugme » Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:26 pm

chorbs wrote:"When you are a little kid you do a chore you get a sticker or some candy or a 'Good Job!' or a few pennies right away."

Lolol - maybe these days !!! I'm older and if you didn't do what you were told, when "I" was little, you got punished, maybe even spanked. If you 'did' do it you got nothing .... because you were expected to do it after you were told to :O)

"When you are a teenager, you keep your room clean and wash the car, you get your allowance at the end of the week."

No allowance. Pretty much the same thing; do it because you've been told to, or get punished.
Same here, but I'm so sensitive that mom and dad being mad at me is punishment enough and they know that. hahaha :lol:
--dontpugme

jacksdad
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Re: TREAT Training ........

Post by jacksdad » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:14 am

chorbs wrote:I guess basically I'm trying to figure out if the dog needs rewarded for the rest of her life....
First half of the answer -

Yes rewards (be it treats, a game of tug, praise etc) will be a part of working with your dog for the rest of it's life IF you are always working on something. done right it's a pay check that makes doing what we ask worth while for our dogs.

chorbs wrote: .... after every time I tell her to 'sit'. etc., and she does; i.e., when I'm training her it's one thing, but otherwise she's told to sit just because at the given moment I need her to sit and, naturally, don't happen to have a treat in my hand. The same thing for any other command, 'leave it' because something fell on the floor and I need her to leave it; 'down' because someone came in the back door and I need her to get down, etc.
Second half -

But no, you shouldn't have to carry a treat bag with you everywhere you go for the rest of your dogs life. As behaviors become more habitual and are proofed the less you will need to use/carry a treat bag and provide treats each and every time. It's one of the misconceptions of using positive reinforcement. it's not about the treat, its about finding something that your dog finds rewarding to reinforce/reward a behavior. even food crazy dogs like mine do find just attention/praise enough in some situations or just getting to move forward on a walk enough.

For behaviors such as sit, stay, down, the "control"/"obedience" stuff you do want to move to varied and random rewards (note didn't say treat) as soon as you can (but not to soon so that the behavior isn't proofed and strong) so that you don't have to carry around a treat bag.

example, last year my wife broke her ankle, did a really good job of it and so needed assistance to get up the stairs. Jack likes to run excitedly around us when we get home...not so good when your already off balance with a broken ankle. So i would ask Jack to sit at the top of the stairs until we had either gone down them or up them depending. He did it. but he didn't get a treat reward because then being called to us for attention was enough in this situation.

Jack knows sit in some situations, and in those I almost never treat for sit anymore. I might from time to time if a treat is handy to keep things unpredictable, but usually just calling him to me when we are done with sit is enough. I will however combined treats and sit if it's being done in a new context or with a level of difficulty he hasn't been proofed against.

So yes, no, it depends... :lol: :lol:

ok, in seriousness, hopefully the feed back from my self and others has been helpful. if not, keep asking questions someone will have the answers.

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