Plenty In Life Is Free

Discussion in 'Dog Products' started by SD&B, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I like much of Pawtential's second link there, but i am unsure THAT is NILF, or rather, just a multi-pronged approach to managing a dog.

    and from the first link, on NILF,
    //Most owners use this program in conjunction with other behavior modification techniques such as coping with fear or treatment for aggression.//

    yes, i think just NILF alone, (IF IF IF one does have a demanding dog)
    would not do much for dog-aggression, nor a shy dog, really, near as i can imagine....the entire rest of the article *seems to be* mostly addressing demanding dogs.

    Lots of d.a. dogs, and shy dogs are not necessarily "demanding" dogs though...mine is not, at all.
    Except for the way Buddy reacts to most unknown dogs, he is otherwise a very very obedient, respectful loving dog, -----------ZERO complaints at all about his personality or behavior, NO other behavior problems at all, not at all. He is perfect lil gentlemen in every way, EXCEPT for his dog-aggression.

    BUT, lots of ppl DO see dog-aggression as a "leadership" issue,:rolleyes: this idea is rampant, and widely accepted, even by top trainers and resources, tons and tons of blogs promoting that notion,
    but, i do not see dog-aggression as a "leadership" issue, at all. Which is probably why the NILF page says you have to do "other" stuff as well, for aggression or shyness....cuz NILF alone probably would not help.

    If one does NOT have a demanding dog, i can barely imagine how NILF could help with any OTHER issue, other than a demanding dog.....

  2. SD&B Experienced Member

    You've got it correct. That's how it was explained to me by a professional trainer. You control when affection is given and the dog has to earn it. It is a 24/7 philosophy. In our case, we were to withhold all affection until the next training session to "prime" Sundog for desiring our attention. We were allowed to give her a couple of pats on the head in a day, as long as we initiated it and made her earn it with a sit or something similar, but only if we felt we had to. As I mentioned before, we only made it 4 days and then we just broke down. She had started exhibiting undesirable behavior, e.g., chewing her paws until they were soaking wet and then chewing some more. She had never done that before and it took a long time to get rid of that behavior. There were other aspects of the training program (not NILIF) that we don't even want to discuss here. Shudder....

    I think Pawtential has it correct. NILIF is probably often used incorrectly and inappropriately but has its place in certain situations.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  3. SD&B Experienced Member

    Actually, your house sounds a lot like our house. Toys are free (and on the floor). Treats and food are earned. Dogs are allowed on the furniture, though they don't sleep with us in bed (only because Barney is a kidney puncher and shoves us out of bed, lol, so they're crated.) We do give free affection, though. A trainer once tried to put us on a "harsh" version of NILF and that was a total disaster.

    I'm very interested in hearing what you have to say about the book. It looks interesting.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  4. SD&B Experienced Member

    Ha, ha. We have special toys too. Just the other day, someone figured out how to unzip my training bag and get the special toy. I had to laugh. After all, I've been trying to teach thinking with clicker training and have even taught Sundog how to unzip things. I don't know who did it, but I laughed and just put the special toy away.

    Barney knows where the extra toys and bully sticks are kept. Sometimes he sits and stares at the "magic closet":D
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  5. running_dog Honored Member

    I don't totally subscribe to any training theory, I pick and mix what I like from each. I have some fascinating books on old fashioned training that I don't subscribe as a whole but one or two sentences really make sense. There ARE aspects of NILF that have influenced how I train - it gave me the idea that training/commands are an opportunity for the dog to earn our attention, missed cue = missed opportunity for the dog.

    I think it is interesting how sometimes kennelled/home alone dogs who still have quality time with their owners but have that opportunity for interaction with humans limited can value time with their people more - possibly because the opportunity is not available on demand.

    If Zac has been in boarding kennels he is much more interested in me when he comes home and if I go away and leave him with family he is much more attentive when I come home. Even with Gus I can see that he values my attention a little more than the attention he gets from other family members. I don't pay a lot of attention to him (he gets LOTS of attention from other people) so when I do he gives me 110% attention back for a simple "Good Dog!"

    Of course this is not straightforward because every dog is different, it is not even "soft" NILF just a consideration from it because to me it is about isolating the dog behaviourally (rather than physically in a kennel). There are other contributing factors of course - eg/ if we limit a dogs interaction with us we can choose not to share our "off days" with them so they don't see us at our worst, we can make sure the time we spend with them is quality time, LOL and of course we retain some novelty value.
  6. sara Moderator

    I use a little of the NILIF philosophy as well. My dogs almost never get free food, but other than that, only Boo is restricted from affection and furniture and the bed. Not fully restricted, but he must do something I ask, then be invited. He is/was a very demanding, and spoiled dog, with serious resource guarding issues... we've solved most of that now :) I made him work for every single piece of food he got, one at a time for weeks, I kept him on a leash, ignored him and did not allow him on me or the furniture at all. After a few weeks I began allowing more contact. Now the only rule is he has to wait to be invited, but other than that, he has free reign :)
  7. 648117 Honored Member

    Today at agility the trainer suggested removing all the dog toys in the house to increase Holly's drive to chase toys and desire to play tug at agility (she plays tug at home, but in class she will do it once or twice and then doesn't want to anymore, she would much prefer food).

    I'm not going to do this. Holly, and everyone else a home, would go crazy and I know she would then find inappropriate things to chew and play with and would probably end up annoying Paris (our older, sick dog) all the time.

    She will do anything for a treat so I don't see that a high toy drive is desperately needed so much that I should take her toys away (although I do understand that it is very useful to have a toy and food driven dog and have been given examples of situations where it has been needed by both our agility and obedience trainer).
    We are going to start working on tugging outside of the house more but I will not remove Holly's toys.
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  8. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //We are going to start working on tugging outside of the house more but I will not remove Holly's toys.//

    this seems a brilliant solution, 64! for whatever reason, your dog might just need to learn to enjoy tugtoy outside of his own home. Who knows, why your dog might not be as into tuggingtoys in front of a bunch of other dogs in a strange and busy, action-filled setting, i'm sure the dog has his reasons!!!;):LOL: ....i love your idea. Let me know how it goes. Maybe on walks, too, or bring tugtoys when you visit friends, go to parks, etc.

    One other option, is, i have one toy, which Buddy ONLY sees as a tugtoy reward.....just that one toy. Buddy has rarely got to hold it or chew on it, so to him, it still is "New" toy, so his interest in that one toy, is very strong. It also folds up and fits nicely in my pocket, (mostly.:p )

    That might help your dog, too, having one new toy, that he ONLY sees as a trick reward, while all the rest of his beloved toys remain where they are, all over the house!:LOL:

    btw, it took me a while, too, to increase Buddy's urge to play tuggie toy. He definitely has some toys he loves to tug, others, not so much. Unfortunately his favorite toy to tug, is his giant teddy bear which is almost as big as he is...:ROFLMAO: so that is not a toy that i can lug around for rewards!:LOL: but, he has learned to like some smaller tugtoys as well.

    yes, like you, i feel pretty darn certain i'd be re-upholstering the sofa or something if i took all my dog's toys away....:ROFLMAO:
    648117, Dogster, SD&B and 2 others like this.
  9. sara Moderator


    Oliver has special Balls that he only gets when I want to play or reward him. I should see if he'd play tug outside though... he might like that as a reward, though so far I haven't been able to use it as a reward for anything... it's just a fun game now and then LOL
  10. jackienmutts Honored Member

    That's what I was gonna suggest too - how about one special, maybe new toy, that gets to be the ultra-special agility tug toy, that only comes out for agility and special occasions? Take away all the toys - and what, stand 'em in the corner and make 'em think about how stupid us humans are, then go lock up your dog in prison??? :ROFLMAO: Oh brother.
    Dogster, SD&B and tigerlily46514 like this.
  11. SD&B Experienced Member

    As everyone else beat me to it, I am suggesting that you have a special tug toy that is only brought out for tugging. I have a couple of special toys for classes. But there are still the home toys for home.

    There is a place for both food and toys in agility. Food is for thinking and toys are for drive. Tugging is the preferred method of using a toy, though Sundog wasn't much of a tugger. She's a fetcher, a chaser. Barney prefers food. You can work on the tugging, though and build it up.

    You can also try a treat toy (food stuffable jackpot toy). A bag made of a tuggable material that you can put food inside. The dog loves the smell and you can play tug with it.
    jackienmutts and tigerlily46514 like this.
  12. Anneke Honored Member

    Jinx loves to tug, during training, BUT not when training agility. Then the ball is her favorite. We use motivation training, by putting a chair at the end of a chain(several jumps) and make the dog drive towards the chair. Our trainer is by the chair and throws the ball/toy in the direction the dog is moving, so they start going faster.
    I would have loved to use a tug as a reward, but I think it is better to look for something a dog has REAL interrest in.
    One of my fellowstudents uses a frisbee, one uses a kongtoy, most use balls.

    Ontopic: My dogs have acces to toys and attention all the time.
    But one of my clients(I'm a dogwalker) has a VERY bouncy, demanding, in your face dog. He's very social with dogs and humans, just rude and has no respect for personal space(at first, but he speaks dog very well). He is still young, little over a year. I ignore him untill he is calm, then he gets attention and I make him work for his treats. It works for him, but if he were my dog, I don't think I could use this ALL the time. I love touching and cuddling too much:D Just because they are cute, or pretty, or just there, or because I love them, or... or...:ROFLMAO:
    tigerlily46514 and SD&B like this.
  13. SD&B Experienced Member

    With Sundog, I used a ball. She absolutely adored the ball chase. And she didn't care much for tug. So I, like you, used what she had an interest in.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  14. 648117 Honored Member

    I think I'm going to try taking a tea towel to agility next week. It is odd but Holly loves tea towels (she is forever removing them from the kitchen bench), I guess they probably smell.

    At home we play this game with the towel sometimes, I call it "hostage", you can probably guess what it is, and it is probably not the best game to play.
    Basically I hold the towel up and Holly runs straight at it (like a bull to a red flag :LOL:) and when she gets to me I wrap it around her head like she is a hostage, and I pick her up (with her face all covered) and we wrestle around and then play tug with the towel. She LOVES this game at home :love: . As soon as I hold up a towel she will charge towards me.
    Although I can see most dogs would hate it, and I'm careful not to be too rough. I usually get bored of it before she does.
    I'll try that in class next week and see if she will play it (I can just imagine the looks on the other dog owners faces if she plays it O_o) .

    I think Holly will have no trouble with the collapsed tunnel when she gets to that, she really doesn't mind having stuff on her face and seems to actually love it.
  15. SD&B Experienced Member

    One of the things that the really dedicated agility trainers and pros do is to get their dog used to things on their face and moving through things. Playing with the sheets on the bed and towels and such. They do grow to love it.

    Sounds like a great idea. Use what Holly likes best.
  16. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Whether it's in agility, training, or just everyday life, getting to know your own dog as opposed to just dogs-in-general is the best thing you can do. It's great to listen to trainers and get all the best guidance you can, but when it comes down to your own dog, no one know your dog better than you do. And using that tea towel may be just the ticket! You may have just found the winning 'toy' to make both of you love the sport even more than you do now! And who cares if it looks funny or isn't the 'right' kind of toy? If it helps your dog, that's all that matter. Can't wait to hear how that goes! (y)
  17. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Here is a preview of the video version for Plenty in Life is Free...

    I haven't looked too much into the Nothing In Life Is Free philosophy but if I am getting the concept correctly I think parts of it are beneficial for individual dogs. For example the 'they shouldn't have access to toys all the time', for some dogs it is beneficial to give them access to a few toys and rotate toys out so that they seem new all the time. Dogs that aren't extremely toy motivated will become bored if they have access to the same toys all the time. (Again depends on the individual.) This may be quite a bit different from the concept they are actually trying to get across but just a thought.)

    The other thing I like is using your environment and their food as a reward. Now I am not saying I do it all the time and make my dog earn absolutely everything. But why not have your dog sit to go out side or sit for petting when that is what they are asking for anyway. That is a great way to get a dog happily working for things other then food at times. Play a game and have them do tricks before chasing the ball...etc.

    Although in the video which I was just watching yesterday they talk about how in NILIF that if they are barking for attention ask them to sit and then give them attention which is completely different if they are doing something you don't want them too and they also said that if your dog is aggressive it is related to if they are allowed on the couch which has nothing to do with it really.

    Anyway I like to try and find aspects I like from different training methods/ protocols that I can use and avoid the parts I don't approve of.
    brodys_mom likes this.
  18. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

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  19. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Oh it all came out blue, not sure what I did wrong, oh well.
    brodys_mom likes this.
  20. brody_smom Experienced Member

    When you are taking a piece of the quote, but not the whole thing, you need to delete the parts you don't want to show, but leave the bit that says "[/quote]". Then add your comment after that.

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