Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

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Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by Eleanor on Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:46 pm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/pets/10716677/The-dog-training-methods-which-leave-your-pet-stressed.html

Interesting! Finally, an article which actually uses statistical evidence to back up the claims.
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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by Caryll on Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:31 pm

That's a good read.

Whilst I agree that positive reinforcement is the way forward, a certain amount of negative reinforcement (such as "No!") is sometimes necessary. In that, I agree with Mugford, but not in other ways. Roger Mugford is sort of half way between the camps of positive reinforcement and Cesar Milan!

I totally disagree, however, with positive punishment (ie shock collar/prong collars/smacking etc).

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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by Eleanor on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:22 pm

I personally prefer to use correction, but there are times when a firm 'No' can give a quick result. Rather than wasting even a split second trying to think of the correct command to get a dog to let go of a piece of broken glass, for instance, the word 'No' provides that short, sharp stimulus to jolt the dog out of whichever behaviour could potentially harm him.

Same here in regards to physical punishment. I will not deliberately cause pain or discomfort to a dog for disobedience or misunderstanding. If he's refusing to follow a command, it's a sign that I need to step up and figure out what I'm doing wrong or, in some cases, figure out what's wrong with the dog to make him act out.
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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by LyndaW on Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:15 pm

Yes, there is definitely a place for an authorative "NO!" in controlling one's dog - it can be a life or injury-saver. Otherwise I agree with positive training, although personally I don't like stuffing the dog with treats all the time, like in clicker training.
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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by Eleanor on Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:24 pm

I think if somebody's going to use clicker training, the treat should be a temporary bridge. The 'click' in itself should become the reward, with the treats serving to provide the original positive association between good behaviour and click. Treats should be gradually weaned out and replaced with praise or a toy, in my opinion. Otherwise, as you said, the dog is just being fed continuously. By all means, cut the dinner back to balance it out, but unless you're using pieces of his dinner as treats, he still won't be getting the correct balance of nutrition.
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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by Caryll on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:19 pm

Treats should only be used as a means to an end. As soon as a dog starts to grasp what you're asking of it, the treats should be scaled back & eventually stopped other than as an occasional 'reinforcer'.

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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by LyndaW on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:22 pm

You may have guessed that I'm not a fan of clicker training!
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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by Caryll on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:26 pm

I tried clicker training but just couldn't get on with it, and Dempsey didn't really respond well to it. It seemed a roundabout way of training to me. Maybe my age?

I'm not saying it's wrong, just not for me!

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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by LyndaW on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:30 pm

Me neither! I regret the day we ever tried it.
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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by Caryll on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:35 pm

I didn't know you had tried it! laughing 

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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by Eleanor on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:36 pm

I think clicker training has its place, provided owners do it properly. This includes using impeccable timing, gradual progressions, quick reflexes and, of course, making sure that it's the right training aid (not method) for your dog.

People assume that the clicker in itself is a training method. It isn't. It's a bridging aid; the click lets your dog know that he's done what he is supposed to have done and that a reward will follow later. This is mainly useful with progressive training.

For instance, teaching a dog to roll over. Using a treat or a toy, you would guide the dog into a down position. Click. Then guide the reward across to the side to get your dog to lean into it. Click. Then guide your dog to lay on his side. Click. And then onto his back and so on. Each click serves as encouragement as the dog performs each stage.

People assume that dogs automatically know what a click is. It isn't just something that they associate with a reward - it's for letting the dog know that he's done something right until you can get across to give him his reward or complete the entire sequence of commands to achieve an end result.

Dempsey doesn't do too well with it because he has a very short attention span.
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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by LyndaW on Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:02 pm

Yes I have tried it - when Kuchar was 12 weeks old, along with other puppies the same age. A class set up by my vets and costing a small fortune.

I can see that it could be useful in training older puppies/dogs, but not for babies.
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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by Eleanor on Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:06 pm

For young puppies, I'd be cautious about it, definitely. I think it very much depends on the dog and owner's suitability to it, as well as what sort of training the owner wants to do.

I do get fed up with people selling it across as a quick fix, especially when they fill their dogs with treats throughout. And let's face it - that's what a lot of people do. sad
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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by LyndaW on Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:11 pm

That's what it was. Kuchar learned nothing except how to be sick in the car afterwards, so that he now hates going in the car.
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Re: Certain training methods have been found to cause stress in dogs

Post by Eleanor on Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:16 pm

Bless him! The vets should have known better than to be asking an owner to feed their young puppy that amount of treats. sad
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