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The Role of Reinforcement (Reward)

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The Role of Reinforcement (Reward)
  •  Hopefully, we can also have a parallel thread discussing the role of reinforcment in training.  Possible topics for discussion:

    Who picks the reinforcer, the dog or the human?

    Variable schedules of reinforcement

    Accidental reinforcement of a behavior chain

    Secondary reinforcers

    Etc.

     

    Have fun!!!!   

  • Great idea!

    Who picks the reinforcer?  In my home, it's pretty typically the dog.  Some work wonderfully for praise, a hard head rub, some for food (ok...alllll will work for food, but still have other higher value rewards), fetch is it for some.....a cuddle for others......I try to find which works BEST for each individual dog, what motivates him/her the most.  Theo loves to run and chase the other dogs chasing the ball, but has absolutely no interest in getting it himself.  HE would rather I sit down and do a really rough head rub....he LOVES that.

     

  •  In my house, some of the dogs' favorite reinforcers, aside from interactions with the human) are:

    Sequoyah - Flippy Flopper FRISBEE (the green one), food (cheese, roast beef, anything soft and smelly), tennis balls

    Sioux - liver brownies, salmon brownies, licking the bottom of my coffee cup

    Maska - food, any food (well, he is a hound, after all)

    Fergie - Charley Bear treats, tripe 

     

     

  • I'll ask you this question Anne.  It came up on the punishment thread.  Apparently "eh eh, no bite" and a redirection to an appropriate chew thing is considered postive punishment.  That being the case, how would a person raising a litter of foster pups go about teaching the whole bunch of them that chewing on foster mommy isn't nice, without punishment?  The "correction" is gentle and loving followed immediately by a toy to chew on, but if that's considered punishment, is there another option?

    The toys are always there and available.  But I'm thinking of the scenerio where 7 pups are laying by my chair and suddenly decide that my feet/legs/ankles look a whole lot more appealing than said toy.

  • glenmar

    I'll ask you this question Anne.  It came up on the punishment thread.  Apparently "eh eh, no bite" and a redirection to an appropriate chew thing is considered postive punishment.  That being the case, how would a person raising a litter of foster pups go about teaching the whole bunch of them that chewing on foster mommy isn't nice, without punishment?  The "correction" is gentle and loving followed immediately by a toy to chew on, but if that's considered punishment, is there another option?

    The toys are always there and available.  But I'm thinking of the scenerio where 7 pups are laying by my chair and suddenly decide that my feet/legs/ankles look a whole lot more appealing than said toy.

     

    Well, some people just let the pup chew on them until the pup backs off, then C/T.  I don't have a problem with an interruption for that particular behavior, since puppies do it to one another as part of normal play.  But, I don't use English if I do that - I simply yelp as if puppy bit my ear too hard.  The normal behavior is that the puppies stop play for an instant, then resume (presumably with a lighter bite).  The process, during normal play, gets repeated many times, resulting a gradual lessening of the bite pressure (until the pups are mouthing each other harmlessly as they play).  Most humans want it to go faster.  That's why some of them opt so quickly for punishment, I guess.  There is also one school of thought that says if you slather butter on your hand, you teach puppy to lap you rather than bite.  I don't know about you, but I hate greasy hands and don't really want my hound slurping me every day (the girls might be more ladylike about the dogslime LOL).

     

  • spiritdogs
    The process, during normal play, gets repeated many times, resulting a gradual lessening of the bite pressure

     

    But isn't that the very definition of punishment?  


    Definition: Punishment is a term from Psychological Learning Theory that has a precise meaning; it refers to something that causes a behavior to lessen in intensity. There is nothing that is intrinsically punishing. A thing is called punishing if, when it is applied, it results in the reduction of behavior that you want to reduce.

     

  • Yes, it is negative punishment, which clicker trainers do use. 

  • houndlove

    Yes, it is negative punishment, which clicker trainers do use.

     

    What's negative about yelping? That's adding something to the environment.

  • What I have been doing and what seems to be working (and what has worked for me in the past), is when she begins biting on me I make an unhappy sound...similar to a yelp... and pull away from her or put her off of the couch. Usually she will then lick me instead of bite. I am trying to discourage biting as much as possible. I have a baby coming in April and I don't want her thinking its ok to bite at all.
  • I thought you were referring to the stopping of play, which is removing something.

  • Nope. The removing of play would be a consequence of the yelp, and not something Spiritdogs did, but something the dogs did as a result of her yelp. The yelp is something added to the environment that results in the behavior lessening. In other words, punishment.

    spiritdogs

    Who picks the reinforcer, the dog or the human?


    The dog. if the behavior doesn't increase, it's not a reinforcement.

  • spiritdogs

    Who picks the reinforcer, the dog or the human?

    The dog for the most part, although if the dog views multiple things as reinforcers, some stronger than others, then I select which to use at any given time. The dog also determines what is high, low and medium value. I then can select a high medium or low value reward to use at any given time, based on what my dog likes, depending on what I am trying to accomplish in the training.
  • FourIsCompany

    spiritdogs
    The process, during normal play, gets repeated many times, resulting a gradual lessening of the bite pressure

     

    But isn't that the very definition of punishment?  


    Definition: Punishment is a term from Psychological Learning Theory that has a precise meaning; it refers to something that causes a behavior to lessen in intensity. There is nothing that is intrinsically punishing. A thing is called punishing if, when it is applied, it results in the reduction of behavior that you want to reduce.

     

     

    Absolutely, but if you stop looking for "gotchas" long enough to really get to know me, you'll find that I do use punishment occasionally, especially when it's this benign.   I have never said otherwise on this forum.  My first inclination is to use positive techniques, however, and while I used this mild punisher with Sioux, Sequoyah was trained with the clicker, and neither dog mouths me.

  • houndlove

    I thought you were referring to the stopping of play, which is removing something.

     

    It is, then you are correct.  I assume that FIC is referring to the verbal "correction", however.  If you simply stop play, without making any noise, yours is an accurate assumption.  An operant response is followed by the removal of the appetitive stimulus (in this case, play), which constitutes negative punishment (-P)

  • The yelping thing worked really well for Jack.  I think that I can count on one hand how many times he "puppy bit" both DH and I....