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How to calm a puppy?

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Pritthijit, Mar 7, 2021.

  1. Ash2021

    Ash2021 Member Registered

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    This is what we did with our now 11 week old pup and she goes in her crate at 10pm ish then I go to bed, a member of the family puts her out for a wee around 12.30am and she sleeps through to 6.30am

    we started putting her out at 1am and again at 4am and slowly moved the 4am one back to 3.30am etc

    we also feed her in her crate and in the morning she is sat waiting gets let out for toilet and then runs back into her bed waiting for her first meal
     
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  2. Liamvv

    Liamvv New Member Registered

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    First of I love the fact that you actually provided educated responses using real learning theory. There are some others on this website that lean too heavily on anecdotal evidence and emotional responses.

    However, I would argue that I'm not describing single event learning but that I'm describing the "extinction burst" effect. Essentially that the dogs unwanted behaviour will increase in intensity in order to get the same outcome that it used to. If you then provide the dogs expected outcome the new intensity will become the baseline intensity. If you ignore it then they learn no matter the intensity they don't get the expected outcome.
    This is especially common in dogs that bark for attention or jump up. you ignore it and the behaviour gets more frequent and intense until finally they stop.

    Also I'm aware of the Matching Law but the dog getting a treat in the crate is a lower reinforcing reward than being let out to play with its owner or being let out of where it no longer wants to be. I would argue that implementing the premack principle along with the knowledge of extinction bursts works just as well if not better especially when the dog has been given a good base of positive reinforcement of being in the crate. Then the dog learns the crate is a place where good things happen, but they also learn that persevering through the less wanted behaviour (staying in the crate) will lead to the more wanted behaviour(being let out and playing) so one behaviour reinforces the other.
     
  3. JacksDad

    JacksDad Active Member Registered

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    Extinction is an valid behavior principle. However, there has to be history of reinforcement for there to then be extinction. If you are following your plan...then ooops, left dog into long, dog cries, fusses, whines, you let dog out, ensure there is no distress... you have a single event of possible reinforcement. you will only know if that being let out was reinforcing IF you see a behavior increase of fussing, whining etc when in the crate. In my experience, when anxiety is in play there is very, very, very low risk of this IF you adjust your plan so it does not happen again.

    So I would actually argue you were worrying about single event learning. Which again, very valid concern. But it doesn't always happen.

    Puppies do not tend to show anxiety/distress like a more mature dog will. their fusses, cries, whining is often just that, distress. getting wiggle and licking you while being held...that can be a puppy in mild distress for not wanting to be restrained. all examples of missed indications of possible anxiety/distress simple because people didn't realize it might be.

    While Extinction is a valid principle, it is one I do not encourage people to use. Why? for a non professional trainer with a strong behavior background, the odds are too good the dog will out persist the person. The result, intermittent reinforcement. extinction also depends are actually and truly having identified the reinforcer, not just assumed X is what is reinforcing.

    matching law also tells us that you can make the less valuable reinforcer more reinforcing by making it easier to get and get more of it. (do you try and crack the safe with 1 million and maybe fail and get nothing, or take the open bag of half a million which is easier and a heck of a lot more than nothing...but less valuable just the same) This is how I used hot dog to teach a Jindo (actual hunting breed) to not hunt the cats in the neighborhood. It was easier to get a lower value reinforcer, and lots of it if you turn and look at me, verse start the stalk behavior leading to "get the cat". If you know anything about actual hunting with dogs, it is about as reinforcing as it gets, and Jindo's they hunt if they can. it is what they were bred for.

    Schedules of reinforcement are also very useful. We are NOT limited to one sit, one treat concept. One look at me did not earn one treat, rather it earned 5 given one after the other. So schedules of reinforcement can also work to increase a desired behavior.

    I suppose you could premack it, it's a useful principle, but I am not sure I would with crate training. your not wrong to, just saying I personally probably wouldn't, and I for sure would not ask a client too unless they really seemed to be into training. Generally, I would keep it simple and leverage a schedule of reinforcement that really got the dog's attention. say 1 going into the crate earns 5 of their fav super yummy treats. Once you get it jump started, then it would be easier to leverage premack if you really wanted to. For example, 5 seconds of being in the crate earns 3 ball tosses. Then build from there.

    BUT...another reason I likely would not use premack, something like a ball toss as a reward for being in the crate.. ...is the reinforcement happening outside the crate. I want the reinforcement to happen in the crate so I can also leverage Classical Conditioning and get that "yippy" response (aka, CER..conditioned Emotional Response) for being cued to go into and then being in the crate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
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  4. JacksDad

    JacksDad Active Member Registered

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    Thank you.
     
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  5. Liamvv

    Liamvv New Member Registered

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    "The only thing two dog trainers can agree on is that the third one is wrong" I think that accurately sums up this thread at this point haha.
    In my eyes, you have your method which works, I have my method which works. Your method might not work for some dogs, my method might not work for some dogs. As trainers it's our responsibility to have as many "tools" in our dog training toolbox, and I'd like to think that it's clear from our conversation that we both have plenty.

    My last comment will be for anyone looking for help that stumbles across this is read it all with an unbiased view, if one doesn't work then try the other, and if neither work then call a local trainer!
     
  6. JacksDad

    JacksDad Active Member Registered

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    having different preferences for applying a specific principle...not an issue. not realizing something is wrong in the plan, with a dog...that is an issue.

    if a puppy is fussy, whinny, or crys during a training session, something was aversive/not safe/not reinforcing enough. If they are trying to escape the experience...something is wrong. period. this should never be debatable. 10 out of 10 trainers should be able to agree on this. if not, someone probably needs to find a new career.

    We don't even need to know specifically why the dog wants out of the experience in terms of what they are "thinking" or "feeling". All that matters is their observable behavior is behavior consistent with trying to escape the experience. That they try and escape the experience means we screwed up or missed something somewhere and it is time to reset and adjust.

    letting a puppy cry it out and then settle...that is a plan to fail. sooner or later it will. this only works till it doesn't when you end up with "that dog". on the other if you move at the speed of puppy, meaning at the pace they can handle the experience without trying to opt out...that plan will work for every dog, all the time.
     
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  7. Liamvv

    Liamvv New Member Registered

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    You've clearly not read my messages with judyN then. Not once have I suggested letting the dog be panicked or traumatised, but just because a puppy cries that doesnt mean its upset, puppies do cry for attention and they need to learn that it doesnt always get it.

    Also bravo on not allowing this conversation to end on a light-hearted and civil note. I'm slowly coming to realise these forums arent for trainers with open minds or a goal of broadening their knowledge, they're just simply a place for a collection of people with a dogmatic approach to training. My way or the highway.
     
  8. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Gosh - you really do know how to build rapport ...
     
  9. Rinkydinkydo

    Rinkydinkydo Well-Known Member Registered

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    This is why I never contribute on posts about training dogs. Some people have one school of thought,others have a different one and the inevitable always happens...they clash.
    Just like it always happens when the words Alfa and Dominant are mentioned. Some have certain views and everyone else is wrong, buts who's to say who is right and who is wrong.
     
  10. JacksDad

    JacksDad Active Member Registered

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    Who is to say who is right and wrong? Basically anyone with a sound grasp of the laws of behavior. The laws of behavior are not matters of opinion anymore than gravity is a matter of opinion. you can deny gravity all you want, but it will still pull you down. Likewise, the laws of behavior are also always there even if you ignore them, don't know about them, or deny them as "matters of opinion".

    If you really want to be proficient in your knowledge and understanding of this stuff, don't buy a dog training book, buy the actual text books about behavior laws and principles that apply to just about all living things. THEN learn to apply these principles to the specific goal of dog training.

    There is in fact many legacy opinions and schools of thought regarding dogs and dog training that are actually flat out wrong. They belong in the "dark ages". It is time to step out in the light, time to embrace the science because it allows us to be more humane, more proficient, and better trainers.

    You know why "dominance" is so contentious? In the dog world 99% of what people think it is...completely and udder made up. Outside the dog world we are looked at strangely because of this. Want a good place to start in order to improve your understanding, The Concept and Definition of Dominance in Animal Behaviour on JSTOR But I have yet to find it a useful concept when dealing with behavior cases, particularly aggression and fear. Nor when people simply are trying to get their dog to do basic normal dog training stuff. sit, down, walk without pulling etc.

    Liamvv, I did read your comments. I know you were NOT suggesting intentionally ignoring a dog in distress. However, at worst, you are dismissing the possibility that a dog is in fact in distress and not just "trying to get attention" for the heck of it. At best, you are settling for sloppy training that risks a dog developing a negative association to a crate.

    Bottom line here, and this isn't a matter of opinion, this is observable fact based on the science. If the crate experience wasn't aversive and was actaully reinforcing, then why is the puppy wanting to escape it? A puppy or dog trying to escape some thing, that something is aversive. Maybe not to the level of out right distress, trauma, and abuse, BUT the puppy/dog is having an aversive experience none the less. The right thing to do is make immediate changes to eliminate any aversive aspect of the training/environment.

    We will all make this goof more than once. It's not about being perfect, it is about learning to be better. To strive for error free training.
     
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