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Compulsion training vs. food and reward training.

How are they different – apart from the blatantly obvious? This should be a required field of study, call it the methodology of dog training, or just call it the doctrine on dog training.

So when deciding on what type of dog you which to train, and for what purpose, also decide on the training method that you would like to use. Why am I playing this up – its your time, and money, so don’t be disappointed if you have a very good experience during training but somehow the outcome you desired stays elusive.

In general I have found that, people just sign up at any local club, and fall in with its training program: there motivation is mostly financial – or follow by referral – which is not a bad thing either, as success breeds referral. Therefore, it stands to reason that someone somewhere is doing something right. The question now, will he / or she be doing right by you.... In this regard, I say, and am of the opinion that every type of dog training, and doctrine, has its place and purpose, but you have to find the right type of training to get the desired results, the results you want, they are not going to appear out of the blue….

I am neither for nor against any type of training. I am just highlighting the principle around which these diverse training philosophy originated. On many boards, you see new comers that are disappointed in the outcome, but thrilled with the training provided.

For these people, people who want and contemplate having a serious working dog, the likes of a personal protection dogs, I would like to say this, in my opinion compulsion is the only way to do it right, and get it right doing it. ( I am referring to the Koehler method here)

Compulsion has at its core, the philosophy of military training, a process called flooding, - simply put, a generalisation of fear levels, or rather, threat levels, by introducing stress at the relevant importunate time. A battle principle, the dog is conditioned that all threat is equal to zero pain. Therefore, he no longer hesitates to go over to attack. Something that is hard to achieve with reward and food training, it lacks this required attribute.

Conflict creates anxiety in the dogs mind and so does the fight; we use compulsion to get the dog use to conflict originating in a fight, or in a threat situation, through training. So the aim is not to confuse the dog with bad stimulus during training, or to get the dogs hurt, it is always positive-positive; every training session ends this way – with the dog winning.

The dogs motivation is queued here and heightened to engage on command; we understand that dogs are motivated by hunger, sex, thirst, attachment, need to claim territory and social status, and last but not the least fight, call it the dogs pyramid of needs, his Maslow pyramid if you may. Therefore, dogs with low trainability and pray drive can be trained with compulsion to act and behave aggressive in a controlled environment.

Even small dogs, like the Jack Russell, and Fox Terrier that can only stand one helping of food reward, so food wont cut it, as well as dogs with low reactivity to ball or pray drive like the Alaskan Malamute and Great Dane, they needs to be trained via other methods like compulsion training.

To understand compulsion training then – is to understand the old ways, the “ Classical training doctrine” . It can be les dramatic – by virtue of inconsistent behaviour by the handler – inconsistency in training is to blame for bad results. So with compulsion – the underlying attribute to success is consistency and reputation, this is what makes or breaks it with this method. People have created the wrong perception about compulsion; it is not beating, or kicking or cruel and inhuman training in any way. We seldom make use of prong collars, tie outs or even the favourite; the electrical collars, its mainly all body and voice, that controls the dogs behaviour. With a choke chain and a lead.

Another factor is the handlers state of mind, we have found that if he or she is very emotional the dog tends to show more anxiety, so yes the right balance needs to be stricked here with a lot of understanding of dog / human interaction.

So in conclusion I think the same can be said of most types of training today because the components are relatively the same. No one I know can say they train in one pure aspect, I see a lot of mixing it up today. Yet, the question is which one will deliver the desired results.

To me, I firmly believe in starting off with, socialisation, imprinting and then compulsion on all dogs, and then rounding off with reward and food training when we specialise into nark, explosives and tracking, or whatever, to cement the foundation with a nice smoother finish. This recipe renders the best results with protection training dogs.

Lets have some views on this - :wink:
 

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Reinier Geel said:
Compulsion training vs. food and reward training.

How are they different – apart from the blatantly obvious? This should be a required field of study, call it the methodology of dog training, or just call it the doctrine on dog training.

So when deciding on what type of dog you which to train, and for what purpose, also decide on the training method that you would like to use. Why am I playing this up – its your time, and money, so don’t be disappointed if you have a very good experience during training but somehow the outcome you desired stays elusive.

In general I have found that, people just sign up at any local club, and fall in with its training program: there motivation is mostly financial – or follow by referral – which is not a bad thing either, as success breeds referral. Therefore, it stands to reason that someone somewhere is doing something right. The question now, will he / or she be doing right by you.... In this regard, I say, and am of the opinion that every type of dog training, and doctrine, has its place and purpose, but you have to find the right type of training to get the desired results, the results you want, they are not going to appear out of the blue….

I am neither for nor against any type of training. I am just highlighting the principle around which these diverse training philosophy originated. On many boards, you see new comers that are disappointed in the outcome, but thrilled with the training provided.

For these people, people who want and contemplate having a serious working dog, the likes of a personal protection dogs, I would like to say this, in my opinion compulsion is the only way to do it right, and get it right doing it. ( I am referring to the Koehler method here)

Compulsion has at its core, the philosophy of military training, a process called flooding, - simply put, a generalisation of fear levels, or rather, threat levels, by introducing stress at the relevant importunate time. A battle principle, the dog is conditioned that all threat is equal to zero pain. Therefore, he no longer hesitates to go over to attack. Something that is hard to achieve with reward and food training, it lacks this required attribute.

Conflict creates anxiety in the dogs mind and so does the fight; we use compulsion to get the dog use to conflict originating in a fight, or in a threat situation, through training. So the aim is not to confuse the dog with bad stimulus during training, or to get the dogs hurt, it is always positive-positive; every training session ends this way – with the dog winning.

The dogs motivation is queued here and heightened to engage on command; we understand that dogs are motivated by hunger, sex, thirst, attachment, need to claim territory and social status, and last but not the least fight, call it the dogs pyramid of needs, his Maslow pyramid if you may. Therefore, dogs with low trainability and pray drive can be trained with compulsion to act and behave aggressive in a controlled environment.

Even small dogs, like the Jack Russell, and Fox Terrier that can only stand one helping of food reward, so food wont cut it, as well as dogs with low reactivity to ball or pray drive like the Alaskan Malamute and Great Dane, they needs to be trained via other methods like compulsion training.

To understand compulsion training then – is to understand the old ways, the “ Classical training doctrine” . It can be les dramatic – by virtue of inconsistent behaviour by the handler – inconsistency in training is to blame for bad results. So with compulsion – the underlying attribute to success is consistency and reputation, this is what makes or breaks it with this method. People have created the wrong perception about compulsion; it is not beating, or kicking or cruel and inhuman training in any way. We seldom make use of prong collars, tie outs or even the favourite; the electrical collars, its mainly all body and voice, that controls the dogs behaviour. With a choke chain and a lead.

Another factor is the handlers state of mind, we have found that if he or she is very emotional the dog tends to show more anxiety, so yes the right balance needs to be stricked here with a lot of understanding of dog / human interaction.

So in conclusion I think the same can be said of most types of training today because the components are relatively the same. No one I know can say they train in one pure aspect, I see a lot of mixing it up today. Yet, the question is which one will deliver the desired results.

To me, I firmly believe in starting off with, socialisation, imprinting and then compulsion on all dogs, and then rounding off with reward and food training when we specialise into nark, explosives and tracking, or whatever, to cement the foundation with a nice smoother finish. This recipe renders the best results with protection training dogs.

Lets have some views on this - :wink:
I didn't realize that compulsion training would be followed by food-and-reward training in the specialization phase.

Can't offer views because I'm unqualified, but I appreciate the well-thought-out and -articulated piece.
 

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Reinier Geel said:
No one I know can say they train in one pure aspect, I see a lot of mixing it up today.
i think this is the truest statement in your post. another thing i would add is that NO ONE way works for EVERY dog in EVERY task. i look at the out this way now. NO amount of compulsion would get my dog to out consistently (including the remote collar strapped around his belly on it's maximum setting). my other two dogs? compulsion worked just fine. a few tugs on the prong, a few zaps and bingo they'd be clean as a whistle. my current dog? the only thing that brought consistency to the out, was the switch to motivation. giving him a bite on the other end of the out. doing this OVER and OVER finally made things click, that letting go wasn't this horrible let down. he was motivated by the reward at the back end.

i would still say that my first option would be compulsion because i've seen good results with it. it just didn't work with my dog in this ONE area. it works for him in other areas. so i would be hesitant to say there is ONE right way to do anything...
 

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Excellent post Reinier.
I was a hard core Koehler fan going back to the early sixties when I first became aware of his methods.
I dabbled in the motivational for a few years before I found a group ww.rwdc.org that truely understands what it's all about. We have all ranges of dogs from a nice Dobe that will never "get it" when it comes to bite work, all the way to fully titled, serious dog. Some that came with big problems.
I had a hard time getting through totally motivational initially, because I didn't totally commit to it.
As I've mentioned in the past, my GSD is very stronged nerved, social, but has a serious civil side when needed. At 30 months old, he's never had anything other then a flat collar or a fur saver on the dead ring, as do ALL our club dogs. He's also never had to have a leash correction on the training field. That doesn't mean he wont be corrected for bad manners, but not for training. His corrections usually amount to only a verbal, or at best, a leash pop.

We've had dogs come in from other local clubs and they could hardly be aproached by anyone without a sleeve. Poor training? Of course, but all of them are now reliably working in bite work without feeling the world is going to colapse if they don't bite anything/everything that gets close to them.
I'll never critisize any method of training that works AND keeps the dogs attiude high.
You will see only one dog on our web site that is wearing a pinch. This is a dog that has receintly came from another club with TONS of issues. Within a week of starting, these issues are bieng addressed and corrected with motivational methods only.
It DOES work! :wink:
 

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Quoting Bob:

I'll never critisize any method of training that works AND keeps the dogs attitude high. END


That says it all, Bob. You have a well-trained, confident dog? Then I salute your training method(s).
 
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Rainier, what do you mean by compulsion? Is is a training method were dogs are trained with the sole use of compulsion for obedience and direction, or does it simply mean yanking the dog to correct it? In my training, compulsion has limited use, working with the dog's genetics is more like it. Is Koehler method all about compulsion?

Darn, I hope my terminologies are correct here, but I do hope you get my point.

Best regards...
 

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Jose, not trying to answer for Rainier her, but yes. Koehler is all about compulsion. Still popular with some groups. Still effective with the right dog (as is the case with any type of training). My biggest complaint with his methods are a limited amount of praise for the dog.
Bill Koehler got his start doing Military dog training during and after WWII. He was responsable for the dog training on many of the early Walt Disney movies. The couple of books I have of his are from the early 1960s. I don't know when he first started becomming "popular". I suspect the Disney movies had a lot to do with it.
 
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Bob Scott said:
Jose, not trying to answer for Rainier her, but yes. Koehler is all about compulsion. Still popular with some groups. Still effective with the right dog (as is the case with any type of training). My biggest complaint with his methods are a limited amount of praise for the dog.
Bill Koehler got his start doing Military dog training during and after WWII. He was responsable for the dog training on many of the early Walt Disney movies. The couple of books I have of his are from the early 1960s. I don't know when he first started becomming "popular". I suspect the Disney movies had a lot to do with it.
Thank you, Bob.

Compulsion has a place in training, it's non-debatable. When all methods fail, one resorts to it and mostly for tough nuts. So I''m not surprised of its use for military and PP dogs.

But in your definition, If I put a pup on an obstacle he's never been and he begins to feel uneasy, does that mean the pup is "corrected" thru compulsion?
 

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In my opinion I would NEVER correct a pup that is uncomfortable in training. Even before I became a big believer in all motivational, it just never made sense to use compulsion in the training phase of a puppy. That explains a lot of the reasons why, when I started training in the late 50s, early 60s, dog training never began before a dog was a year old. We at least had the good sense to realize compulsion on a pup wasn't productive. Now, pups can be doing sits, downs, recalls etc by the time they are 12-14 weeks old. Happily, I might add!
 
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Bob Scott said:
In my opinion I would NEVER correct a pup that is uncomfortable in training. Even before I became a big believer in all motivational, it just never made sense to use compulsion in the training phase of a puppy. That explains a lot of the reasons why, when I started training in the late 50s, early 60s, dog training never began before a dog was a year old. We at least had the good sense to realize compulsion on a pup wasn't productive. Now, pups can be doing sits, downs, recalls etc by the time they are 12-14 weeks old. Happily, I might add!

Bob, don't get me wrong, it's just a question on the Koehler method which I may not have worded properly. Sorry about that.

Yes, nor can you force a pup into an exercise. There's a way to do it, even in correcting a pup. Pups can achieve good obedience at 10 weeks of age, as well as tracking, agility and to some pups, a little of defense work. Goes to show that pups, unlike humans, were not born helpless. Hence, I develop pups early in preparation for future service work similar to that in the olden days when young pups were brought out to the herding fields to learn from the adults. I can be very patient and will not pass rush judgement but If I see they can't handle it, then they're not strong enough for work in the way I know and do it, and I will not tolerate nor cover up any weaknesses in breeding.

Just my preferences....
 

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Hi, Bob you nailed it with good understanding; and please feel free, no experts here that will jump on you as an authoritarian if you give an opinion: – I can see that we both have progressed from the good old days of Koehler; by mixing it up. By saying this, I am implying that Koehler still has its place in training dogs today.

Koehler is and was my favorite doctrine and focal point, and I have trained many a dog this way. However, since then I have mixed it up my self, I have introduced praise, reward, food and play reward – mainly because –it works and you get better results - if you find a good balance with motivational and compulsion training imo.

With compulsion, you break a dog down to the point where he conforms every time, first, and then build him up to where he just wants more, by just using the command, and slight corrections if it is not up to scratch. (You will either see the dogs trained this way, looking at the handler many times, or “crouch” his body posture if he gets a verbal command of correction, or pull down his ears down.)

With motivational training, it takes more time and patients, in my opinion. The luxury of which police and military do not have, so we don’t train purely in motivational style.

By saying this, I am implying – Jose – that all pups are guided along, we do not use any correction, and we bond and play, and socialize them into extinction – as much as possible – and start introducing the commands.

It is “Only” from around six months old do I start getting tough with them, with some correction – we don’t yank the hell out of it, as is commonly believed, it achieves nothing…and says a lot about you training knowledge, or rather the lack of it.

Hanging a dog, or chocking him out – only happens in dogfights, where the aggressor will not let go.

Modern PP and patrol dog training is a mix, of both, to get the better result I believe.
:wink:
 
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Reinier Geel said:
Hi, Bob you nailed it with good understanding; and please feel free, no experts here that will jump on you as an authoritarian if you give an opinion: – I can see that we both have progressed from the good old days of Koehler; by mixing it up. By saying this, I am implying that Koehler still has its place in training dogs today.

Koehler is and was my favorite doctrine and focal point, and I have trained many a dog this way. However, since then I have mixed it up my self, I have introduced praise, reward, food and play reward – mainly because –it works and you get better results - if you find a good balance with motivational and compulsion training imo.

With compulsion, you break a dog down to the point where he conforms every time, first, and then build him up to where he just wants more, by just using the command, and slight corrections if it is not up to scratch. (You will either see the dogs trained this way, looking at the handler many times, or “crouch” his body posture if he gets a verbal command of correction, or pull down his ears down.)

With motivational training, it takes more time and patients, in my opinion. The luxury of which police and military do not have, so we don’t train purely in motivational style.

By saying this, I am implying – Jose – that all pups are guided along, we do not use any correction, and we bond and play, and socialize them into extinction – as much as possible – and start introducing the commands.

It is “Only” from around six months old do I start getting tough with them, with some correction – we don’t yank the hell out of it, as is commonly believed, it achieves nothing…and says a lot about you training knowledge, or rather the lack of it.

Hanging a dog, or chocking him out – only happens in dogfights, where the aggressor will not let go.

Modern PP and patrol dog training is a mix, of both, to get the better result I believe.
:wink:
Thank you, Reinier for your clarifications. I think you overemphasize it with your triple posting. :lol: :lol: :lol:

I don't know Koehler to even try it. In fact I feel something "negative" about it, if it's indeed pure yanking as what I get from you. I don't have the heart to yank a pup that I often hug and kiss unless of course, as you said, for unnecessary aggression towards other animals and humans (especially children). Discipline, in my opinion must start early as well as part of good and solid foundation, but corrections must be made to be understood and never can be done out of anger, frustation, disappointment or vengeance. If you start feeling any of these, stop the training. It's not the pup's fault, it's yours.

So does that conclude that Khoeler training includes yanking a pup in training, or does it also have a motivational side in it, considering that it does yield some good results after all?

Best regards...
 

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I just like to throw my 2 lira in a find subject like this. Once, when speaking to an all positive reinforcement group of trainers, I was in fact defending myself because, in my words, I use a bit of the physical when needed. What I told them was, you may be surprised that well over 90% of the training I do in police work is postive reinforcment. The difference between you and I, as I see it, positive reinforcement is even more powerful when the dog understands there is a consequence to improper behavior. Keeping with the discussion, I believe none of us believe there is a "single" way of training all dogs.

DFrost
 

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I think were all on the same page here. Just different % of motivational to compulsion levels. As David said "well over 90% of training is posative reinforement".
I have absolutey no hesitation to correct for something a dog absolutely understands. I just feel the correction level needed is much lower with a motivationaly trained dog.
 
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You all make good points, but Al brought up something I'd been meaning to ask: what, exactly, do you call compulsion? I am guilty of the no treats thing, but I would NEVER do some of the things to my dog that I've seen done and called compulsion. I think compulsion is becoming a "catch-all" for any means that the diehard motivational trainers don't agree with at that time.

Do I correct, physically? Sure. Do I torture? Never. I won't "punish" a dog unless I am sure he knows what he's supposed to do. Maybe I'm just lucky w/my dog, but he really seems to enjoy doing difficult tasks, just for the sake of doing them (the first times he was doing these obstacles I got him to do it by doing it myself and calling him to me). He looks at me and waits for me to tell him what's next. He's never had a treat for following a command in his entire life. He's also never been harshly corrected w/a prong, ecollar, or similar means for not doing something he didn't know how to do. However, I have often had to force him into a platz. If he was unfairly uncomfortable doing this, I think he might've gone down faster :lol: . This was a dominance thing that we got over fairly quickly :wink: You can force a dog to do just about anything, but somehow the reward is so much greater when he does it himself because he wants to, because I asked him to :wink: .

Call me whatever you want, but I guess I have more respect for my dog as a friend than to force him to do something by causing him pain if he doesn't or bribe him to do something by offering him food once he's done it. Dogs aren't humans in need of a paycheck; my dog doesn't work FOR me; he works WITH me. I don't bribe or beat my friends.
 

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Jenni must have meant to say that she doesnt beat or bribe her "dog" friends! :eek: :cry:

Other than that I agree.If you look at the dog as a partner,over time the dog will be much more responsive and cooperative.Remember that there is no "I" in TEAM.

Greg
 

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As made so clear in the article posted by Bob S. a few days ago, rewards and bribes are not the same thing. They're not to me, at least.

Timing may not be 100% of the difference (and in fact, isn't, IMO), but it sure is a big part.

I love to reward for a job well done. Yes, s/he did it because I asked -- and once the instruction phase of whatever training I'm doing is past, there's no consistent tangible treat, toy, etc., for obeying a command.

But I love showing my dog my pleasure in his/her eagerness and striving, with praise, with a stroke, with a game, or with a treat.

I guess "intent" plays a part here.

I don't know.......... maybe here, as elsewhere, semantics can be a stumbling-block. :?

But again, if your dog is well-trained and confident, then I'm definitely not gonna find fault with your training philosophy. 8)
 

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Compulsion as I see it, and have had others tell me, is the amount of force needed to interrupt the incorrect behavior. Koehler used it exactly like that. If a dog got yanked, that was what was needed that time. Many people got the crappy "distilled" version. Yet they flock to C. Milan, and guess who he reminds me of EXACTLY????????

Yeah, I bribe my dog, but if he doesn't want to take my bribe, I don't feed him for a couple of days. They figure it out.

I always feel bad when people have really crappy timing. I try and teach them to see what the dog is doing, and get the positive timing correct. It really doesn't matter what method you use, it is the timing of it. I have seen some yankers with perfect timing. They also never got mad or frustrated. With the perfect timing, the dogs were outstanding.



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Jeff Oehlsen said:
I always feel bad when people have really crappy timing. I try and teach them to see what the dog is doing, and get the positive timing correct. It really doesn't matter what method you use, it is the timing of it. I have seen some yankers with perfect timing. They also never got mad or frustrated. With the perfect timing, the dogs were outstanding.
That I agree, Jeff. TIMING IS EVERYTHING. Best for me is when you see the pup about to do mischief, then a "reminder" is effected, better than waiting for it to happen then the correction may become a punishment. Maybe a stern vocal or a pop or both, then back to work.

PS. Don't forget to praise the dog once he obeys what he's being corrected for, to mark the correct behaviour you want from him. Praise, like corrections, must be properly timed as well.

JMHO...
 

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Jeff Oehlsen said:
......I always feel bad when people have really crappy timing. I try and teach them to see what the dog is doing, and get the positive timing correct. It really doesn't matter what method you use, it is the timing of it. I have seen some yankers with perfect timing. They also never got mad or frustrated. With the perfect timing, the dogs were outstanding.
Timing is really the line, isn't it, between good training and not-so-good training.......timing of markers, timing of corrections.......

Are you able to help when would-be trainers have terrible timing? So far, I've had less-than-stellar results trying to help them. I can make them UNDERSTAND it, usually, but still not DO it without that fatal pause.......


P.S. Cesar Millan intervenes in cases where training has gone badly awry; he's not a trainer in the sense that Koehler was. (He says he is not a trainer, and I don't see him as a "trainer" myself. JMHO!)
 
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