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Positive Training

Topics include: Tricks, litter, toys, aggression, personality, walks, etc

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TamanduaGirl
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Positive Training

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:52 pm

"a study that found pets trained using aversive methods were 15 times more likely to exhibit symptoms of stress than those trained using "positive" techniques and that training dogs with positive and humane principles was more effective and caused less stress and anxiety than training a dog using aversives such as physical punishment and equipment such as shock, choke or prong collars."
https://positively.com/press/the-truth- ... -training/

Positive Reinforcement
The use of positive reinforcement methods when teaching your pet has been universally endorsed by the behavioral scientific community at large as the most effective, long-lasting, humane and safest method in training.

In short, positive reinforcement means that if you reward a behavior you like, there is a better chance of that behavior being repeated. When paired with negative punishment (the removal or withholding of something the pet wants like food, attention, toys, or human contact for a short period of time) or using a vocal interrupter to redirect negative behavior onto a wanted behavior and to guide a pet into making the right choices, these methods are a foundational element of the core of positive training. The most respected and successful leaders are able to effect change without the use of force.


Avoidance of Punitive Methods
Scientific studies have shown that the use of confrontational, punitive training techniques on pets not only does not work long term, but actually exacerbates aggressive response and makes already aggressive pets even more aggressive. It is a pretty simple concept, but sometimes it can be hard for pet owners to remember that fighting fire with fire usually results in someone getting burned.

So modern behavioral science weighed in against compulsion training, but for most of us, it does not take scientific journals to tell us what our instincts have already said: it is more humane to reward than to punish. Many who promote old-school training techniques argue that the punishment they dish out in the form of an electric shock or a swift kick to a dog’s ribs is not particularly damaging. There are indeed varying degrees of punishment, and everyone ultimately must make their own choice regarding how far they are willing to go. But most well-adjusted people would rather avoid doing anything that will make your pet feel pain or fear if they can help it, regardless of how minimal that punishment may be.
(slightly edited from: https://positively.com/dog-training/pos ... -training/ )

IMPLEMENTATION

The basic idea is a scenario like this. Your dog barks when someone walks by the yard. Instead of yelling at him, spraying him with the hose, or shocking him, you train him positively. So you train him to come running to you and paw at your leg when someone walks by or to ring a bell or to just sit down and watch them. Punishment pretty much always fails in this situation, especially positive punishment as described. Positive reward/reinforcement works much better. Why well sure punishment sucks but barking still gives him what he wants and you likely can't punish him the instant he starts or every time. But if you teach him to do something else when someone goes by he gets some reward he really desires. This type of training though may mean you need to keep treats to just being rewards though and not given freely for nothing or the motivation becomes minimal. If he does bark after this training then a negative punishment or making him come inside might help.

EXOTICS

So how does that relate to exotic pets? Well let's take a common issue like a fox biting too hard. Common training people suggest include mostly Positive Punishment, tap on the nose, squirt bottle, time outs. And many times owners try this and come back and say "he still bites" or sometimes come back saying it's even worse he gets really aggressive now instead. So how do we do better?

A good Negative Punishment here is to walk away maybe even into another room closed off to him. He wants to play with you but he bit so now he can't. The idea of directing his bite onto a toy instead is often recommended but it usually lacks any kind of reinforcing. If you just shove a toy in his mouth when he bites it may be more unwanted in his eyes and therefor turns into punishment and the toy is seen negatively. So instead redirect his biting onto a toy but reward him with something he wants when he does bite it instead of you. If he voluntarily bites the toy rather than you on his own then you want to reward him then too, so choosing a specific toy for this might be good since you don't want to treat him for playing with all his toys. He could have a special bite toy and you reward him when you see him biting it. By doing this he knows he is rewarded for biting the toy, which is what you want, and he loses what he wants if he bites you. This then gives him no motivation to bite you since his motivation was playing with you in this scenario but plenty of motivation to bite the toy(treats!).
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Aluna
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Re: Positive Training

Postby Aluna » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:52 pm

Our fox is about two months old and we try to play with her with a toy rope but she still goes for our hands. What should we do?
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Re: Positive Training

Postby Ash » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:16 am

You either ignore her when she bites hard, or get her attention elsewhere. She's smart and knows that it's your hands that are actually playing with her--not the toys. She's got that figured out. I've found that the excessive biting is a kit thing, and if you teach them to bite gently they become really good with their mouths when they get older.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, 3 tarantulas
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Re: Positive Training

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:42 am

Yeah to paraphrase what I said above, stop playing or paying attention to them when they bite. Just shoving a toy in their mouth instead can be seen as more a punishment. Reward them when they play rough with the toy instead so they can learn when they are doing right. They can't learn if not told.
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Aluna
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Re: Positive Training

Postby Aluna » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:10 am

Thanks!! I will definitely do that. She's a smart one that's for sure.

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