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Thread: Discipline??

  1. #11
    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Discipline??

    dogs don't think about nor understand our expectations. the dog may have expectations of his own, ie "if i jump on the counter, i may find food," but not "what am i supposed to do." in terms of telling the dog to do something, dogs remember the outcomes of their actions: "what will happen if i do this?"

    as others have said, if the dog does not respond consistently to the verbal cues, then the dog may not understand the verbal command. he might be only guessing right sometimes, where we might think he is refusing to comply at other times, or he thinks the command only applies in the kitchen or something specific like that. also, if there is little or no incentive to give the correct response, he might only give the right response when he feels like doing it. if it's a problem of distraction, he needs more practice in sessions of training with slowly increasing amounts of distraction.

    if we want a consistent response to a particular verbal cue from our dogs, then we must provide consistent outcomes. we can provide repetition and consistently help our dogs perform the task to the point where the muscle movements becomes conditioned and habit formed. that's what training is all about.

    dogs will always do what works for them. it's not about our expectations. they don't have a sense of "what i am supposed to do when A,B,C happens?" if we want our dogs to do something over and over again, we can make the outcome of performing that task rewarding, so that he becomes more likely to repeat that particular behavior. once the behavior gets habit formed, we won't need to continue to reward him, although rewards will always help strengthen the behavior and reinforce the impulse to respond in the long term, not to mention a pleasant surprise to be enjoyed by both dog and human.


    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

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  3. #12
    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Discipline??

    punishing the dog to discipline them for not responding or responding with the incorrect response to a given verbal cue can work, but it mostly works to discourage the specific behavior you are punishing.

    we tell the dog to Sit. it might be that the dogs is standing instead of sitting. we decide to do something unpleasant to the dog to communicate that the act of standing is wrong. or maybe he'll lay down instead of sitting. so we do something unpleasant to the dog to communicate the act of laying down is wrong. or maybe he'll walk away, so we'll do something unpleasant to the dog to discourage walking away. i could go on.

    my point is, there are a lot of different things the dog could do that is not the action of Sitting, which is the one behavior we want him to do when we say, Sit. when we focus on "disciplining" or "punishing" the dog for incorrect responses, we may end up spending a lot of time and energy discouraging the various wrong actions instead of simply work on encouraging the ONE right action with rewards, and i'm not talking about a pat on the head. a pat on the head is only a reward if that is what the dog wants at that time. or the treat may not be powerful enough when faced with distractions or bigger rewards like chasing a squirrel.

    then, consider that maybe one day we'll want to train him to lay down on a verbal cue. we'll probably have to work extra hard to get him to lay down on his own if he remembers that laying down is the wrong thing to do when we speak some new verbal cue at him.

    keep in mind, dogs don't learn words like it's a language. they learn words in terms of what will happen when a special word is spoken. special words are ones worth remembering. so let's assume your dog enjoys car rides, when he hears "car ride," he may run to the garage eager to jump in the car. or if you've taken the time to train your dog to do a specific task for that verbal cue, like bringing you the car keys in order to get the "car ride." then your dog will remember his training and very likely bring you your car keys so that a ride will happen for him.

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

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