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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I would through this out for Davids input and any others. I get around a number of trainers and one thing I have noticed is the use of how the term secondary reward / reinforcer is used either oneway or the other. I have those who say primary reward is when rewarded from box & secondary is reward from handler. I fall into the second group who believe it is the same primary reinforcer wether from box or delivered from handler with use of a secondary reinforcer such as a verbal cue. As always this creates confusion in training by everyone not being on same page in terminology.

Dan Reiter
 

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Dan,

I can't speak for others, in my program we use, and I teach the handlers, the primary reward is the ball/tug/food if it's used etc. Secondary reward is verbal and physical praise. Unless of course verbal and physical praise is used as the primary. Clear as mud huh? We use the secondary reward during training to mark the good behavior, such as the dog responds, Handler says; Good boy, then throws the ball (primary reward). In my view, the primary reward is the one that drives the behavior.

DFrost
 

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Pretty much on the same page with David.
In the purist sense (Dolphin trainiers) where all this started, the primary is food, water, air, sex, sleep, safty, social interaction. All things naturally important to a dog. The secondary are things the dog has to learn are important. Toys, eye contact, petting, praise.
I don't know of any dog trainers that look at it this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I quess what I was driving at here is that I noted with detection dog trainers over others is the mixing the functions of secondary reinforcer versus secondary reward. (pretty clear huh??). Anyway I like your terminology "the primary reward drives the behavior" were definately on the same page. Assume were discussing ball or kong so we are already talking about something the dog had to learn to like anyway. What I usually run into is : My dog is not holding or leaving alert "xxx trainer" told me to go back to primary reward of putting toy back in box. I usually ask did you ever teach a secondary reinforcer (meaning some form of verbal cue for correct behavior & linking to primary reinforcer) very commonly the person thinks the secondary reinforcer is when ball is not in the box. I dont know how others train but I definetly am a fan of training a verbal cue "secondary reinforcer" during initial training while ball is in box so the dog has some kind of cue to both communicate correct behavior and that reward is now available at odor source. There is no question the talented trainers do this without even knowing with consistent and perfectly timed good boy, etc. its when the handler leaves and is on his own that questions and problems crop up and he gets told go back to primary reward. I think we need to through the word secondary out on the reward.
 

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I agree that many think the ball has to be in the box in order for it to be considered primary. The ball is still the primary goal for the dog.
Many will say it's better if the primary reward is given at the source (box) but I've seen many good dogs that know the handler has the primary reward, yet they know to keep focus on the (box) in order to obtain the reward.
Other dogs can develope a false indication if they know the handler has the reward.
It's still the primary reward. The "good" (secondary reward) can be looked at as a marker or bridge to the primary!
Now you get others that will say the marker and bridge are two different things. It's all about terminology.
 

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Bob, I agree. Except for a golden we have that still thinks the ball magically appears from a solid object (it's not the sharpest knife in the drawer) the dogs know where the reward is coming from. The key is, they don't get the reward at any unless they are responding (aggressive/passive). If a dog is giving a quick response, then turning to the handler, you can pretty well bet, it's not because the dog knows the handler has the reward, but because he's been reinforced while doing that.
(phewww that's a long sentence) I don't use boxes, but the principle is the same. I start directly in rooms with furniture. The ball, initially is thrown by the trainer, not the handler. I figure the handler has enough to do following the dog. The handler (using my verbage) gives the secondary reinforcement (verbal) goodboy, while the dog is responding, only then is the ball thrown. The verbal is a marker (I hate that word)letting the dog know the ball is on it's way.

DFrost
 

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Agreed. The alert and turning to the handler is more of a training issue then anything else.
I started cadaver with the dog I have now by using a similar method as I train eye contact. The salt shaker (scented) in one hand, reward (food) in the other. Any attention on the saltshaker get a "good", a second or so wait, then reward. It eventually leads to a down and bark, with attention on the salt shaker. I do hold the food reward at arms length as is the shaker, but the reward is brough to the shaker when given. Once this is solid, I use a toy with the boxes and just about anywhere I can hide training material. I usually reward by throwing to the scent article, but it hasn't been necessary with this dog. His focus is great!
The salt shaker idea came from a guy in Oklahoma. It kind of a lazy way of doing things, but it gets them solid on the basics. I can also train anywhere as long as I have the "material". I never leave the basics!
:lol: @ the Golden! Great dogs. Easily trained. Willing to do anything for you, but I've never thought they were great thinkers as is the GSD.
Probably gonna get whuped by sombody for that statement. :lol: :lol:
 

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Bob Scott said:
:lol: @ the Golden! Great dogs. Easily trained. Willing to do anything for you, but I've never thought they were great thinkers as is the GSD.
Probably gonna get whuped by sombody for that statement. :lol: :lol:
Well Bob, I have heard several people say the best detection dogs are NOT necessarily the smartest......(now maybe I get whupped!!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I use remote controll device the dog will stay on point on his own in fact he would be hard to pull off once well when into training. (the same affect you see with helper which is nothing more than a large remote reward). I then add the release cue a verbal "yes" (secondary reinforcer) just prior to release of the remote this keeps dog on point . It is signal to dog you are finished "done" and reward is available for play at odor source. once device is faded like you mentioned if you reward head checks that is what you will get. If I get a head check during the fading of device the dog gets a NRM no reward marker "uh uh" then back on point "yes". But the thing with release cue the moment you say it reward should be instant. No delay and unconditional. If you make mistake in training accidently say yes for wrong behavior dog still gets paid. I have video on my website of device faded and release cue in use www.k-9bsd.com note dog dependend but the good ones you can put odor on white wall (example clear colored cadaver scent) the dog will stare at wall like magic is going to happen. Its hard to correct old learned behaviors but if initially you can get foundation from the get go it becomes easier to maintain. Nancy Jocoy who is on this forum now owns the dog in video "not going to call him stupid" but when toy involved a think he would stare in space if he thought that would work. Also Bob I am going to give you a NRM no Reward marker for using the words secondary and reward together again in your earlier post.
 

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<<< I have heard several people say the best detection dogs are NOT necessarily the smartest...>>>

I would certainly agree. A lot less distractions, at least in thier minds. Sometimes ya just have to remind them what they were doing.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I hadnt noticed Nancy popped up while I was typing my last post I quess I will have to quit eating supper in middle of posting. I sure am glad I didnt say I sold him because he was stupid.

Dan
 

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Well, Dan ,.... I think he is an AWESOME dog but he certainly is NOT a quick thinker. But he seems to be a quick learner (if that makes sense) I can STILL trick him with "throwing" the ball and tucking it under my arm....... :lol: --

But, Grim IS rock solid with his alert!! -(and I am maintaining with "YES" as the seconday and the "Bad Cuz" as the primary and he does NOT think about it he just does it...and holds until the verbal release and I toss him the ball....and he searches like a demon - and does well with elevated, buried etc. I will gladly trade classical intellegence for a dog that will search search search - I don't think he gets bored with it.

And he is very very very sweet....and really wants to please.....and is always at my side when I am in the house.
 

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my trainer uses the term primary as the first way you mentioned (the ball or tug is present in the hide and the dog can get it out himself).

have any of you seen the Randy Hare DVD? interesting stuff...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes I have seen the tapes and better yet I have seen a couple of dogs he help trained, The part I didnt get (or say didnt stand out in the tapes)
is how much the dogs pull you back to odor source. Quite unique and very effective. Whoever I am biased I realy like passive, But If I had dual purpose dog and wanted aggresive alert his method is what I would use.
JMO.

Dan
 

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I'm just the opposite. I like the aggressive response. With dual patrol/detector, I use passive and of course explosives detectors are passive. Most of the drug dogs are aggressive. I just like it. Purely personal preference. I don't find one easier than the other. When new handlers ask why I always train drug dogs for an aggressive response I simply tell them, cause I'm old and in charge and it's what I like. In the past 15 years with somewhere around 30,000 to 35,000 vehicle "sniffs" we've paid 3 claims. So that hasn't been a problem.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dave and others, what about dogs ingesting drugs meth, etc from aggressive and oral responce. I do see "few" cases of deaths or injuries happening whats your experience with this over the years.

Dan
 

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Dan, I've been working with aggressive response drug dogs since 1969 with the military and where I currently work. In all it's well over 2,500 dogs. I've had two ingest drugs. One was heroin and he died before we could get him to the vet. That was mistake, the dog should never have been able to get to it. In my training, the dog just doesn't come in contact with it, so I really don't worry about it.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well thanks for input, I hear once and awhile but but secondhand info.
The greatest risk is probably letting toy get in traffic during reward.
Well were out a here for next week attending NAPWDA training in Cleveland and visiting some customers.

Dan
 

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i agree david. it would seem to me that in a real sniff, if the dog ingested real drugs, more often than not you'd find it was handler error. the first thing we are taught is to search the area ourselves and make sure it's safe for the dog (broken glass, anything sharp, drugs where the dog can get it). training is a no-brainer. you've got to set it up so it's safe. the aggressive alert has the advantage of being more precise from a pinpoint view.

i might challenge that record of yours david. my dog's initial instinct is to bite first. we worked a lot in our basic school on the scratch and got it down pretty good. since that school with less training, he has fallen back into the bite first mentality. you just can't train this out while doing "real" sniffs. in training we'd just let him bite till he was tired and eventually scratched and then he got rewarded. kinda hard to do that when he's searching something for real. BTW if you have any suggestions on this, i'd love to hear them david...
 

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Tim, an old saying in dog training; any behavior reinforced is more likely to occur again. In the case you are describing about biting, if the scratch is reinforced, that is what the dog will do. It's been my experience anyway. As far as aggressive dogs pinpointing the odor more, I'd have to disagree with that as well. With a caveat of course. It depends on how you train. An aggressive response dog can't get any closer to cocaine under the back seat of a car than a passive one can. The foundation to that response, in my opinion, is laid in the very beginning. If the dog is always trained to get as close to source as possible, before being reinforced, what would it matter if the response is aggressive or passive. If that is the case (as close to source as possible) an aggressive reponse dog, just because he scratches/bites etc, dog can't get any closer than a passive response dog.

DFrost
 
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