The more questions I ask myself about my training plans, the more effective those plans become.
Your dog isn’t high drive, he just lacks impulse control, an essay by me
Generally speaking, high drive requires the focus and ability to keep enough brain to do the thing (ie:// Prowl has enough ball drive/focus on the ball that he tends to ignore things like dogs crossing over into his lane right in front of him in flyball).
Lack of impulse control is generally excess energy that tends to spill over in unpredictable ways. In the case of the no-impulse-control dog/handler team I am vagueblogging about, the dog nails the handler a lot out when they don’t get the instant gratification.
Though the high-drive-culture folks who have changed the definition to Loads’O’Energy irregardless of how that energy is being applied. So they might be the same thing depending according to certain dog folks.
Yeah it is definitely not an exclusive or so a dog can have both drive and impulse control issues. *CoughStreakCough*
My initial post was meant more as annoyed grumping than anything meaningful on the subject.
Slightly late since it is one of those run-around-like-mad weeks. But happy clickerversary to me and the pups. It’s been a couple days over 20 years since I first started training with a clicker.
Llamas are timid and shy, like horses. Unless handled a lot when young, they can be hard to approach. So, while operant conditioning with a food reinforcer works splendidly with llamas, if a llama is too skittish to come close enough to a person to take the food, here’s what modern llama trainers do. They use a clicker as a signal to tell the llama that what it is doing has earned a reinforcer, but the primary or real reinforcer is the removal of a negative reinforcer, an aversive.
In effect, you say to the llama, “Will you stand still if I approach within thirty feet? Yes? Good. I’ll click my clicker and turn and go farther away.
“Now will you stand still if I approach within twenty-five feet? Yes? Good. I’ll click and go away.”
Using the click to mark the behavior of standing still, with the scary person turning and going away again as the reinforcer, one can sometimes get within touching distance in five or ten minutes. The llama, as it were, is in control. As long as it stands still, it can make you go away! So it stands still, even when the person is right next to it.
When one has touched the llama several times and then retreated, the ice is broken. This person is no longer as scary. Now it’s time for the feed bucket. The communication loop becomes “May I touch you while you stand still? Yes? Click and here’s some delicious food.” And the llama is on its way to earning positive reinforcers, including food and scratching and petting, with its splendid new behavior of standing still instead of heading for the next county.
This use of retreat, or easing back when the desired behavior occurs, is an important aspect of most of the so-called “horse whisperer” techniques. In most of these methods the trainer works with a loose horse in a confined area and proceeds in a relatively short time to transform a horse in flight to a horse calmly accepting a human. The horse, once perhaps completely wild, becomes so calm, even accepting a saddle and rider, that the total effect is magical.
Trainers who use these techniques often have superstitious explanations for what is happening; and while many have formed the habit of making some sound or motion that functions as the marker signal or the conditioned reinforcer, few are consciously aware of doing so. Nevertheless, it is not magic at work; it is the laws of operant conditioning.