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Training without treats...

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by Jade, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    Yes or no ?
     
  2. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    Hi @Jade
    Yes for Food treats. Can get in a number of repetitions in an exercise. Labs are generally highly food motivated. Without motivation there can be no training. Have to be careful that one makes the transition from continuous to intermittent reinforcement. Some trainers make the mistake of bribing the dog. Withdraw the food and dog will not comply with the cue.

    Tug toys. Great if you've got a mouthy Lab. Can redirect the mouth from your body. And then use tug toy as a conditioned reinforcer. Harder to get lots of repetitions when using tug toy in the acquisition phase and therefore need continuos reinforcement.

    Yes or no? Each form of conditioned reinforcer has its strengths and weakness. One can avoid the weakness of food by being aware of your progress. Since my labs loooovvveeee food I opt for food treats.

    Do you mean can one train without treats and only praise? It would depend on the dog. I have never seen a dog in many, many obedience classes that can be motivated just by the prospect of praise. Not impossible if you associate praise and food treats together and then fade out food treats. But I haven't seen any truly examplary performances of such a practice.
     
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  3. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    Thank you so much. I was reading up on training and it said he careful of bribing with treats. I guess I didn't mean no treats at all rather the proper time to use them..
    Lincoln is extremely food motivated. He'd do anything for a treat. For reward I've been using treats and praise such as "Good" "Excellent" " Yes"
    Is that good ?
     
  4. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    Hi @Jade, transition from using the food treat in your lure hand to your non-lure hand. Then put the treat pouch behind your back. Successful repetition? Yes and reach around your back for the food treat. In doing so, the marker says the treat is coming but you did it without the food being located right in front of your muzzle.

    Transition from continuous to intermittent reforcement when dog complies successfully in at least 90 percent of your repetitions and then begin using verbal cue. Work say from rewarding every second repetition to every third and then make it trully random. Jackpots for examplary performance. Sometimes successful repetition but give no reward whatsoever. No food, not pat, no praise. No yes. Say and do nothing.Harness the extinction burst to drive better performance..
     
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  5. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    Hi @Jade in the acquisition stage the word Yes is not a reward. The primary reward is the treat. The marker word is a conitioned reinforcer.
     
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  6. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    Great . Thank you...
     
  7. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Absolutely yes for food! :) I agree with @Michael A Brooks it is very much how you manage the delivery of food vs your marker, ie a verbal marker such as Yes! then deliver the food (or use a clicker to mark the desired behaviour) then feed.

    I think food is great for puppies too. You can lure into a position, for example often "down" is initially lured (with kibble in hand) then placed on "cue" when the behaviour is consistent without the lure (food) but with your hand shaping the move. I found when my puppies would offer a "sit" I would capture that behaviour a with a clicker, then feed. The clicker "marks" the behaviour...bum hits the ground the "food" is the reinforcer.

    Some dogs pick up some behaviours quickly, and some take more time, and a LOT of feeding. With loose lead walking for example in the early days I felt more like a treat dispenser than a dog handler! Eventually, though you fade the lure, move your hand away from your treat bag ( or have the treat bag out of sight).

    Have a think though, which word you are going to use as your marker word..something you don't use in conversation with your dog everyday...such as a "good boy" simply because you will find yourself saying "good boy" so many times, that it can become a sort of white noise to your dog :) "Yes" is one I hear a lot. That's not to say you can't use praise,I use verbal praise a lot, but that is wayyyy past the acquisition stage of a particular task and as a secondary reinforcer..usually when I am asking for a complex set of tasks from my dogs :)

    This is a good video that talks about using a clicker as a marker...but you can just use your "word" instead of a clicker...but it does talk about timing which is useful.

     
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  8. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    Thank you so much. That's so helpful.
     
  9. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    Hi Jade - Where did you read that? Because it could be a sign that it's a rubbish source to be avoided(!) OR it could be a good source which is just talking about the difference between a food lure and a food reinforcer. Since you used the word 'bribe', I'd be inclined to think it's a rubbish source to be avoided as that kind of loaded word is there to influence the way you think about the whole subject and your dog....
     
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  10. Jade

    Jade Registered Users

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    yes I read that online. I'm glad I mentioned it here . I thought it sounded odd.
    Thank you..
     
  11. Aisling Labs

    Aisling Labs Registered Users

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    We use a combination of praise and treating and slowly remove treating to specific times of day. Now, to be completely transparent, we are not training for performance when we use this method, we are training for the type of everyday behaviors we expect in the house, on the grounds, at the beach, at other people's homes; in the truck, at the Vet etc. Praise is emphasized from the beginning more than the treating UNLESS we have a stubborn dog who needs for the treats to be the heavier emphasis in the beginning. With a pack of five in the home with us, a training program relying too heavily on treating would bankrupt us : )

    All our puppies are trained with their daily kibble ration UNLESS and UNTIL a high value treat needs to be used to train the response behavior and even then it is alternated with the lower value kibble.
     
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  12. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    I was at a long training day the other week - about 5 hours of training for the dogs. I had a youngish (2 year old) Labrador with me for the day. It was quite a challenging day for her, most of the other dogs were older.

    I got up late, and had to chop up my treats during morning briefing, and again during lunch. I got a lot of comments along the lines of 'how many treats have you used?!?' 'I've used only a quarter of what you chopped at the start of the day??!!!'

    I just smiled, and said 'yes, I have a high rate of reinforcement with my dog'.

    What I really wanted to say, but didn't is 'have you noticed that I'm the only person in the class that hasn't said AH-AH, NO!, STAAAAAY! GRRRR! or used a body block or the threat of one to enforce steadiness?'.

    If you want to train without aversives, then you have to train with reinforcers, and for some dogs that's food.

    For other dogs, it isn't. My other dog will work for his football or even just the chance we might be retrieving.

    If you want to avoid punishment, then pay up. :D And if you are not paying up, then make sure you are not really threatening punishment.
     
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  13. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    hi @JulieT I would have said it rather than just thinking it. Doing things in new environments or changing criteria requires a return to continuous reinforcement. Perhaps they were unaware of training principles. Only one way their lack of knowledge will be eradicated. Manifestly observation and reflection wasn't doing so.
     
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  14. Chewies_mum

    Chewies_mum Registered Users

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    Yes, I spend a lot of time chopping treats into teeny tiny little bits because we use them so much! Other dog owners look at me a bit weirdly, with my waist belt full of treats and kibble and admittedly, my dog isnt the best behaved dog out there, but he comes when called the vast majority of the time (of course, he disgraced me this morning) and will sit-stay like a champion. But then again most people around here have little "oodles" who dont have as much... personality as a 6 month old lab and are small, so the behaviour expectations are different. :rolleyes:

    I dispense treats generously, both for cued behaviour and being calm when confronted with stimuli. They are definitely what my boy finds most rewarding, with affection being a distant second!
     
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  15. Plum's mum

    Plum's mum Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    In the blurb that the training school I have done all my training with sends out before each class is "bring more treats than you think you'll need." I really took this to heart when attending a day's workshop once; I could have opened a deli counter! But I'd rather have too many than run out.

    I remember someone commenting once, when my girl was very young and I was luring her past another dog, that I was bribing her. It seemed odd to me that it was worthy of comment; wouldn't he prefer my pup to pass by quietly than to run and jump all over his dog and him?
     
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