No Reward Markers

Discussion in 'Advanced Dog Training' started by sara, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. tylerthegiant Well-Known Member

    I know you don't necessarily find these training terms concise, but I think it can be helpful to think about them, I think it allows more more creative and analytical thinking, instead of following a set of instructions that may or may not work for your individual dog. And learning theory principals always work, so if you get your head around the principals you can always find a workable solution.

    An aversive is something that happens in response to a behavior that the dog wishes to avoid. Some aversives are really mild, and some harsh. Aversives are different than punishment (even though it gets used interchangeably) because a punishment is something that decreases the likelihood of a behavior reoccurring, ideally to the point of extinguishing the behavior. So sometimes an aversive is not harsh enough to be punishing, or could even be reinforcing if it actually strengthens the behavior (like a puppy that starts chewing on shoes and the owner who was previously ignoring the pup gives them attention by scolding them and trying to get the shoe). This is one of the disadvantages of using punishment instead of reinforcement, sometimes to extinguish a behavior that is really rewarding the aversive has to be really harsh. (n)

    So, a NRM is an aversive (the dog wishes to avoid not getting the reward). If it's an appropriate aversive for your training the dog should 1) stop offering the behavior you don't want and 2) offer another behavior. If the aversive is too harsh and punishing the dog will shut down. This could be as subtle as not offering any other behaviors because the dog would rather do nothing than offer something and get it wrong (that's Apollo). Or they could start barking at you(frustration-JJ does this), wondering off (JJ, Mia and Lucas do this), offering appeasement gestures (Mia does this all the time, rolls over and shows her belly, Lucas does this too). We want a dog who will stop doing unwanted behaviors and offer something else until they get it right.
    MaryK likes this.

  2. MaryK Honored Member

    Good point. With Ra Kismet when he doesn't 'get it' or offers say the wrong paw when I've asked for Right and he gives me Left I just say 'oops other paw'. He actually prefers a word or two to 'prompt' him. If I remain silent he gives me the 'hey Mom lost your voice look, what is a dog supposed to do". Whereas my older boy Zeus, if he does offer the wrong paw which isn't often, I don't say a word as he prefers to 'figure it out for himself'.

    The best thing is to watch Brody's reaction he will tell you what he prefers, dogs are very smart and know what they like or dislike.

    As with carrying over to non training times, I also will use a 'prompt', as I tend to talk to my dogs all the time.
  3. blacknym Experienced Member

    I sometimes say "opps" or "ah ah" when Deja does something she is not supposed to. Example...If we are walking and she runs ahead and pulls... Ill say "Opps!" or "no pull". Usually i try to redirect her. When we are learning something new I let her figure it out and when she gets it right we mark and party with a treat. LOL
    MaryK likes this.
  4. tylerthegiant Well-Known Member

    When training something new, Apollo responds very well to a NRM, and I think it's because I trained him so heavily with lures that he looks at the NRM as information and silence as "What the heck's going on? Mom's not helping me out here." He finds that silence more punishing than the NRM. Lucas also gets info from a NRM and gets shut off from (can't say silence LOL) lack of feedback or interaction and he'll wonder off, "I'm done with this." JJ gets frustrated that I'm telling her she's getting it wrong and does better if she can figure it out. My big thing is though that I want to avoid that shut down as much as possible, I want them to LOVE LOVE LOVE to train with me.
    MaryK likes this.
  5. MaryK Honored Member

    Yes the last thing anyone here would want is for their dog to shut down on them. Best way to avoid that is to watch the dog and go with what that dog prefers. I honestly don't think there is a 'one style fits all dogs', as dogs are all very individuals. Same with length of training time, Ra Kismet would train all day if I had the time but don't repeat one trick too often or he gets very bored and makes that point extremely clear to me.

    For me, I always go with the dog, that way they will just LOVE LOVE LOVE training with you. But we all make mistakes, mis-read their signals at times, it really is just a matter of watching and observing your dogs and going with them. And always end training on a positive note with their favorite trick and a good play afterwards!
    tylerthegiant and brodys_mom like this.
  6. tylerthegiant Well-Known Member

    Kind of funny, last night I used a NRM with JJ during a session, it just popped out of my mouth, and she punched me in the stomach. LOL. Just boxed me with both feet right in the belly. Are we frustrated JJ?
    brodys_mom and MaryK like this.
  7. blacknym Experienced Member

    LMAO! Are you OK!? I can imagine it knocked the breath out if you.
    brodys_mom and MaryK like this.
  8. tylerthegiant Well-Known Member

    I thought it was funny, I was laughing. She did get her point a crossed!
    brodys_mom, MaryK and blacknym like this.
  9. MaryK Honored Member

    She sure did!!!!!!!!!:LOL: Dogs have their own way of getting their point across and she sure has a very direct method!:LOL:
    tylerthegiant and brodys_mom like this.
  10. brody_smom Experienced Member

    What were you trying to teach her?
    tylerthegiant and MaryK like this.
  11. tylerthegiant Well-Known Member

    I'm still working on the stinking step up! LOL! She does great if it's a large, high item, not so great if it's something small on the floor. But I can't always have her step up on coffee tables and ottomans. How is she going to easily move around those things for the elephant trick? How am I going to get her to generalize rear end awareness w/o stepping on something if she can't even generalize it from a large to small item? She's a pain.
    MaryK and brodys_mom like this.
  12. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Poor JJ. :rolleyes: Give her a big hug!

    Have you noticed any differences in training your GDs versus your Boxers when it comes to heights or sizes of things? I remember when we visited the San Diego Zoo many years ago, and they said they didn't need to dig a deep ditch around the giraffe habitat to keep them inside, just a very shallow one, as it looked a lot deeper to them from their height. Maybe for JJ, it's a matter of something higher being easier for her to work with because it's closer to her face. Just spit balling. Maybe check out some thrift stores or garage sales for an old end table or something that will be sturdy enough for her to stand on, but small enough to circle around.
    MaryK, blacknym and tylerthegiant like this.
  13. tylerthegiant Well-Known Member

    You know there may be something to that!!!
    MaryK and brodys_mom like this.

Share This Page

Real Time Analytics