I think treat training is cruel. - Page 47

Pedigree Database


by Jessejones on 15 December 2018 - 02:12

The problem here and now, is that many posts are over generalizations of theories...and are not on point pertaining to real life situations as they come up from dog to dog.

Because, as we all know, it always depends on the specific dog, the specific situation, and the specific learning stage.

Which is why one can ‚discuss‘ this endlessly, without a result....because in the end, the effective or ideal way to get from A to B, will always only depend on the above criteria.

If we want a ‚better‘ discussion, then we need VERY specific situations to discuss.



by Prager on 15 December 2018 - 05:12

JJ: "Prager, you are a disrupter and not much else."

prager: LOL yes I am a disruptor of ignorance and groupthink.


by Prager on 15 December 2018 - 06:12

Koots you wonder if the study was made only for HUMANS .

Well, I do not think that the study is human-specific it quotes animals and uses animals for testing of stress on memory and learning. For example here is a quote from the same study: "Many studies have examined how stress affects learning and memory abilities . The literature, though, is extremely confusing. On the one hand, it is generally accepted that stressful events are very well remembered: the more salient, the better remembered, up to the point that people would like to forget what they experienced but can’t do so, as in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; [5]). Studies with animals, using pharmacological and genetic tools, have indeed shown that stress facilitates, and might even be indispensable for, good learning and memory performance.

See,... stress may be indispensable for learning and memory performance!!!!!

 I have read the study again and what you may find interesting is that stress, if not related to the context of learning, is detrimental to the learning. But tha is not stress I am talking about. I am talking about stress related to the context of the learning. Like in my example ( above) of pups crossing the creek.  Here is another excerpt from the study:

".... stress experienced within the context of a learning experience will induce focused attention and improve memory of relevant over irrelevant (later) information"  The study also says that during stress cortisol ( stress hormone is induced "This  emphasizes the importance of stress hormones in maintaining optimal memory processing, both in health and in disease." 

 The study  also says that stress must be within certain levels. It talks about rats being stressed by lower temperature of water while negotiating Morris water maze 


While the temperature was lowered to cause stress the corticosteorid levels were risen. This rise in corticosteroid level correlates positively with the memory of the platform location one day, and even one week, after training. 

 However when the temperature was further lowered; lower temperatures did not give further improvement but it stagnated or  impaired performance. This is often used as an argument in support of a U-shaped dosedependency, meaning that only moderate stressors improve memory whereas severe stressors do not.

 However, the lower temperature may have also slowed the rats down in order to control and maintain internal body temperature. 

From reading this study and from my experience of working with dogs it is my opinion that stress is beneficial to learning if related to the task at hand and it is managed at a certain level. In dog training, such level would be level which is not overwhelming the dog so that the dog does not shuts own or go into a panic mode.

Michael W Fox - veterinarian and author of many dog training books is talking about introducing dogs to the exercise-related mild stresses which will improve the dogs ability to learn to overcome stressful situations> I have used such during training S&R dogs which I introduced to mind stresses of overcoming obstacles like rock taluses and streams and deadfalls while making them perform desired tasks of searching. 

 In this knowledge, there are tremendous opportunities in the training of dogs. Instead of thinking and discuss applications of this knowledge some people rather resort to name calling. Which is sad, pitiful and disappointing.   

 happy training. 


by joanro on 15 December 2018 - 12:12

prager: LOL yes I am a disruptor of ignorance and groupthink.

So are you calling the pdb members on this thread ignorant and lack in individual thought? You are the one constantly doing cut and paste from books and publications and quotes by authors and trainers.... independent thought not needed to do that.

But, isn't pdb blessed to have your highness over here.....(I notice your own forum is dead mostly and you have to try to stir it to life with topics/posts and videos taken directly from here. Nobody left over there with original thought, huh?)


by Prager on 16 December 2018 - 06:12

Joan I know it bothers you and you said it many times that it is wrong for people to read books( on dog training). Well I read and I like to share what I read. I know you hate it,... you have said it many times.
As far as my forum goes it is full of vigor and extremely interested discussions and after you left no bickering and insults are posted. Just respectful discussion.
Thank you. :)


by Prager on 16 December 2018 - 06:12

JJ yes all dogs are different and need to be approached differently, but general psychological rules applies to all of them.


by Hundmutter on 16 December 2018 - 08:12

Don't think Prager was calling ALL the members of PDB out on 'ignorance & groupthink' - just some. :)

by joanro on 16 December 2018 - 12:12

Hund, where do you fit ? Since you are a sycophant the answer is obvious:)


by Prager on 16 December 2018 - 16:12

 I would like to make another point which I was going to make long time ago when someone tried to teach me virtues and differences between operant and classical conditioning. Here is something that I have found and fully agree thus since I am naturally lazy rather then typing my version of this point of view I have used tape and paste. Yes, it is taped and pasted Joan.LOL!!!
Nevermind that. I fully agree with this point of view which appeared on my forum and I think that some here can actually benefit from it and enjoy and learn from it:

" The problem with the "industry" view of clicker training is a function of their collective mis-understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of classical and operant conditioning. Modern trainers always describe clicker/marker training in terms of operant conditioning, and that is where they are wrong. Marker training is classical conditioning. Classical conditioning occurs in the limbic system of the brain, not the frontal cortex (where operant conditioning occurs). The click isn't a "bridge" to reward, it is the reward. It can be a very useful tool, but is weak in comparison to verbal markers like Good, No, and Free!.".........
" What they do is explain classical conditioning through the lens of operant conditioning, and it's convincing. Michael Ellis notes this in his "food training" DVD by pointing out how certain terms are freely exchanged but "mean the same thing". Only they're not the same. There are important differences.

The problem is not just one of dog training, but the academic field of Learning Theory in general. This is a big topic, and I feel like I've given myself a homework assignment, but I'll lay out some of the big issues. The first major problem is an academic bias towards operant techniques across many disciplines. This has been in place since the '60's, especially in academia. There are a few reasons...... One is BF Skinner was a prolific American professor from Harvard thus all his work is in English and easily accessible, whereas Pavlov lived in Russia through the revolution, and didn't publish much even though his research was groundbreaking. He finally went on a lecture tour and the translations of those lectures are what formed the academic core of Classical Conditioning. The translations to English, however, have several mistakes that obscure crucial details (a problem the Europeans never had). Also, a problem is the fact that Pavlov's work was at the very beginning of research into the brain and neurology, and it would be decades before the limbic system came to be better understood.

The conventional definition of classical conditioning is
- you pair an unconditioned stimulus closely with an unconditioned reward to produce a "conditioned response".

the actual definition is
- you pair an unconditioned stimulus closely with an unconditional reward to produce a "conditioned reflex".

Operant conditioning produces a voluntary response (frontal cortex), classical produces reflexive response limbic system). If you're a + only trainer, you don't appreciate or understand this. The industry and the academic community never taught the difference, but it's huge. I don't think they even know.

As for the clicker........ since the industry needs to define everything in terms of operant conditioning, then the click HAS TO be a bridge, because the reward is the key. However, the laws of conditioning are always in effect. Everything the brain process goes through the limbic system first. So, if you associate the click with food ("loading the clicker") you are going to (classically) create a reflex response of feel-good hormones, and the insulin cascade etc. Then when the click is used as a mark of obedience, followed by a reward, you are classically conditioning that mark (if you click and treat simultaneously, then that is + only). The power of the click comes from the reflexive response in the limbic system, before the frontal cortex is even engaged. In effect, the click becomes the reward, and the frontal cortex follows along." ..........

"This is easy to explain,.... in fact they give it away with their belief in the "bridging" of the time gap between the click and the reward (let's say food). So, first, you click (unconditioned stimulus) then you reward (feed). Click, then feed, repeat dozens/hundreds of times and you've classically conditioned the click. I appreciate that the food is a positive reinforcer, but the laws of conditioning are always in effect. All information coming into the brain goes through the limbic system first therefore classical conditioning occurs before the positive reinforcer even arrives. Classically conditioning of the click can't be avoided".
Happy training!

by joanro on 16 December 2018 - 18:12

Calling pdb members ingnorant, and another place implied they are " feable minded' isn't cantankerous, though?
So I can respond to anything in your posts, which is what I've done...the cantankerousness is originating from your posts.

You have beaten this topic into the ground with your drivil and incessant repetetiveness....a real thread killer.


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