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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question for the positive only (no adversives) training people. This is a serious question.
When your children were about 2 years old, if they looked you right in the eye and either refused to do something they were told to do or did something they were told not to do, how did you deal with it?
(I was not positive only with my children)
 

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I have a question for the positive only (no adversives) training people.

I am not a trainer but I do not believe anyone actually trains with (no adversives).

Saying the word no or et et is an adversive. Ignoring is an adversive.

Here is a link to an article that describes operant conditioning. Not out to advertise for the company.

http://www.4pawsu.com/posreinforcement.htm

I just do not think there is purely positive training.
 

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It's "aversives" .

Starting puppies out mainly with the "reinforcement" part of operant conditioning means they learn how to learn and are motivated to offer "good" behaviors to get a reward. A reward doesnt mean a cookie always, the way people think it does. For example, sometimes being released from a stay is something the dog finds rewarding. There are both conditioned and nonconditioned reinforcers. For example, eating food, barking, playing with a bouncy ball are all things Tally finds rewarding in and of themselves. A conditioned reinforcer is something, like the "click" noise of a clicker or the word "yes" or the sound of a familiar car coming in the driveway, that the dog learns from experience to associate with good things. Eventually, the conditioned reinforcer comes to represent the nonconditioned one. There is a TON of science involving how dogs learn best. There's lots of proof that operant conditioning with reinforcers creates a better learner than punishment.

I definitely did scold both Tally and Tango for breaking house rules when they were"teenagers" , and they have each heard the word "NO" a few times a piece. No dog in my household is "bratty" like you were saying is your experience with 90 percent of dogs. In formal training, I have never used an aversive with Tango or Tally, because both are highly motivated by positive methods.

HOWEVER, your accomplishments with Tito speak for themselves. Your methods obviously work incredibly well. It's just that positive ones do too.
 

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It's "aversives" .

Starting puppies out mainly with the "reinforcement" part of operant conditioning mean they learn how to learn and are motivated to offer "good" behaviors to get a reward. A reward doesnt mean a cookie always, the way people think it does. For example, sometimes being released from a stay is something the dog finds rewarding. There are both conditioned and nonconditioned reinforcers. For example, eating food, barking, playing with a bouncy ball are all things Tally finds rewarding in and of themselves. A conditioned reinforcer is something, like the "click" noise of a clicker or the word "yes" or the sound of a familiar car coming in the driveway, that the dog learns from experience to associate with good things. Eventually, the conditioned reinforcer comes to represent the nonconditioned one. There is a TON of science involving how dogs learn best. There's lots of proof that operant conditioning with reinforcers creates a better learner than punishment.

I definitely did scold both Tally and Tango for breaking house rules when they were"teenagers" , and they have each heard the word "NO" a few times a piece. No dog in my household is "bratty" like you were saying is your experience with 90 percent of dogs. In formal training, I have never used an aversive with Tango or Tally, because both are highly motivated by positive methods.

HOWEVER, your accomplishments with Tito speak for themselves. Your methods obviously work incredibly well. It's just that positive ones do too.
Very well said!

I also tell my dogs "NO" when they do something that I know that they know not to do. Still, even though they aren't adolescents any more. But they certainly aren't bratty.

I don't compete in obedience or agility, but we have taken agility classes. Danny loved them, Jasper not so much. I sure wouldn't make Jasper take more agility classes just because that is something I would like to do. Instead, I got them both certified as Therapy Dogs. Jasper is a calmer Therapy Dog than Danny.

They each have something that fits them, no different than if you have a child. One child might be musically inclined so you wouldn't sign them up for football. One child might love sports, so you wouldn't sign them up for band. Of course, if you had a child who loved both, you could have them do both. Based on what they liked, not what you liked. I wouldn't do it any differently with my dog.
 

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I use the "EH" noise which has always worked when they started to get into something or head somewhere they weren't supposed to be.

Besides the usual praise/and treats obedience training, that is all I have ever needed with Selka and Gunner.

With your first paragraph, I thought you were referring to human children.
 

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Hmmm. I am certainly not saying my children are perfect. And I certainly will not say I have not slipped (on occassions and yelled at my children) but there were not too many times my children have done something like that.

Anyways, to answer your question. When my children were that young I would simply in a calm voice tell them to go to their room (or timeout). And they would. When they calmed down they would come out and apologize.

Same thing for Lucky (or any past dogs). I call him up happily like it is fun and then lock him in a room if he is out of control. (Of course I do not get the happiness of any apology afterwards.

Now that they are older I give my children reward programs. I certainly can see both sides of the argument on this. I PERSONALLY believe certain things work on certain children. Lucky for me mine work well for reward programs.

Right now we have a reward program. They both have a vase. When they fill the vase with rocks (that I supply) they get a reward. The reward is not a toy. It is they get to pick a family activity (i.e. family board game, go to the zoo...which is free here, many things but most are free). To get a rock from their vase is when they I see extraordinary good behavior or someone gives me a compliment about my kids. For example, yesterday my son was having a hard day at school. At the end of the day, my son went to the teacher and apologized for not his best behavior. The teacher thought that was so sweet and polite she sent me a quick email to tell me. He got a rock.

I feel reward programs like this help my children to think about their decisions. In the end, 98% (not that high when they were younger) of the time they chose the right path.

I certainly do not believe I raise my children better than anyone else. I certainly believe someone who enforces discipline on their children have wonderful respectful children as well. I just believe this works the best for my children and my personality. PLUS it is fun!
 

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I had one son that was easy to raise. You could reason with him at a very young age. The other son? Took parent management classes for years to raise him. Did I try to slap him when he slapped me? Yup. Did it work? Nope. He just slapped me again. So, sticker charts were placed everywhere one could be placed. Did he ever get a time out? Yes. To get physical with him was a BIG mistake.

We did the time out thing, too. We actually had to put a lock on the door (under advisement). He used to beat the crap out of me at the age of two by kicking and slapping and there were times when I had to separate myself from him. Wasn't easy. I remember having to actually remove the television from the house so he wouldn't go turn it on. I used to shut the main fuse box off, but he'd turn it back on again. Thank Gawd he grew up to be a nice kid.

Bet ya weren't expecting this post!
 

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OK I was very confused. I raised three daughters. two were angels (the oldest and the youngest)meaning we needed no special discipline. They did what they were told,we discussed everything. The middle one was the rebel. At three she went to preschool in her PJ's because she refused to get dressed. I did not want to put up with tantrums. I tried everything so we ended up using natural consequences. As a teen if she didn't get up, she had consequences.

Today she is a Doctor of Genetics,of which I am proud . She is married with three darling boys but she is getting hers back. Her boys have no discipline and can be terrors. I keep my mouth shut, but it's hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh, Tito was taught with probably 95% positive methods. He gets the occasional collar pop if he's being a TOTAL bonehead. So yes, I do know that they work, too!
But I really was curious about human children, not dogs. I was wondering how people deal with human children if they do not believe in aversives.
To me, a time out is an aversive.
Looking forward to more replies!


HOWEVER, your accomplishments with Tito speak for themselves. Your methods obviously work incredibly well. It's just that positive ones do too.
 

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I do use aversives on juniors and seniors in English class- but very sparingly and on the occasion that I do it, I go big. For example, in a seminar discussion, if someone is spectating more than participating bc they didnt do their reading well the night before and it has happened more than once- I say that I am sorry and I will miss the person, but they have to take their books&backpack and leave, and that I don't want to see them for the rest of the day. It only takes once in early fall, and then everyone makes their English reading a priority and the class discussion is fantastic and fruitful. These are such motivated, grade conscious students that getting excused is a big ordeal. Some teachers use pop quizzes, but I usually don't have to go that far. Mainly, I use reinforcers like remembering who made what insightful point and referring to it next class, or using the phrase "I agree", and telling the class on days the discussion was very thoughtful that they are is such a good group and I learned a new idea from them. Obviously, grades are HUGE aversive and positive conditional reinforcers .. .
 

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Actually, I was totally referring to human children. Totally.
I guess I missed that because I never referred to raising my son as training him. LOL. I spanked him when he was younger, but I always felt like a bully because I was bigger than him. So I stopped spanking and used time outs. The difference to me between using positive dog training methods and raising a child is that by the time the child is about 5 years old, they begin to be able to actually reason. Dogs don't have human reasoning skills. So I used a different method of raising my son than I do training my dogs. I also didn't used to be a positive trainer with my dogs. I never used to believe in giving them treats because, like many people, I thought I was bribing the dog. But I learned differently.
 

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It's "aversives" .QUOTE]

THANK YOU!

I don't have human children, so I can't comment. I will say, however, that I routinely observe parents waiting until their kids screw up vs. making a point to recognize and reward when they're being good.

Classic example -- in the grocery store. Kids toddle along with mom being good... mom goes about her business of grocery shopping. No moments of praise (For example, "Thank you for being so quiet and cooperative"). Fast forward to the check out line. Kid is now bored, maybe tired and is getting fussy or annoying and mom suddenly chimes in with "If you don't settle down right now, you aren't getting dessert tonight."

We are a society obsessed with aversives. The book Coercion and Its Fallout by M. Sidman does a great job at drawing attention to just how much various forms of coercion permiate our lives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
my son was pretty tough to raise, too. It's one of the reasons I asked the question. I hate to admit that he was able to drive me to aversives (no, I never beat him but I certainly did WHACK him a few times) on several occasions. We had locks on all our windows, and spring loaded locks on the doors where a child on a chair couldn't reach them. Our furniture was tied together so he couldn't push it around and climb things (this was when he was about 2, the age I mentioned in the question!). No doubt neighbors thought we were nuts.




I had one son that was easy to raise. You could reason with him at a very young age. The other son? Took parent management classes for years to raise him. Did I try to slap him when he slapped me? Yup. Did it work? Nope. He just slapped me again. So, sticker charts were placed everywhere one could be placed. Did he ever get a time out? Yes. To get physical with him was a BIG mistake.

We did the time out thing, too. We actually had to put a lock on the door (under advisement). He used to beat the crap out of me at the age of two by kicking and slapping and there were times when I had to separate myself from him. Wasn't easy. I remember having to actually remove the television from the house so he wouldn't go turn it on. I used to shut the main fuse box off, but he'd turn it back on again. Thank Gawd he grew up to be a nice kid.

Bet ya weren't expecting this post!
 

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I think that VERY FEW people are truly ALL POSITIVE and that those who do, like those who mis-use FF programs, give the rest of the POSITIVE-BASED trainerd a bad rap.

It's impossible to be ALL POSITIVE ALL THE TIME.

Positive does not equal permissive, so IMO, someone attempting to practice positive-based child rearing techniques would still have a set of reasonable consequences in place -- like the time out or other forms of negative punishment.

IMO, (and back to referring to dogs) I can still safely call myself a POSITIVE trainer b/c my program seeks to use MOSTLY pos. reinforcement followed by negative punishment, followed by negatige reinforcement and on rare occassions, positive punishment. I use all 4 quads of OC, but I use them in that order from most often to least often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Excellent example, and I did try remember to point out when my kids were being good and to randomly reward them for good behavior. I agree you see so little of it. The only time kids get attention is when they're being bad.
I have VERY nice (adult) kids.
I think I was probably harder on them than I needed to be, and I sometimes feel guilty about it. I did spank them, but only for things that I considered life threatening. Like when my daughter, age 3, decided to cross the street even though she KNEW it was forbidden. She got a whack on the bottom for that one for sure!
But I don't know whether or not that's necessary, so I was curious how people deal with it, especially with young (2 or 3) children.
The worst thing I EVER did was physically shove my 12 year old son up against my car door, hard enough to slightly dent the door. I felt bad about it for ages. I still do.
(BTW, it was for driving the car thru the garage wall into the mud room, and he KNEW he wasn't to touch/start my car!)




It's "aversives" .QUOTE]

THANK YOU!

I don't have human children, so I can't comment. I will say, however, that I routinely observe parents waiting until their kids screw up vs. making a point to recognize and reward when they're being good.

Classic example -- in the grocery store. Kids toddle along with mom being good... mom goes about her business of grocery shopping. No moments of praise (For example, "Thank you for being so quiet and cooperative"). Fast forward to the check out line. Kid is now bored, maybe tired and is getting fussy or annoying and mom suddenly chimes in with "If you don't settle down right now, you aren't getting dessert tonight."

We are a society obsessed with aversives. The book Coercion and Its Fallout by M. Sidman does a great job at drawing attention to just how much various forms of coercion permiate our lives.
 

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my son was pretty tough to raise, too. It's one of the reasons I asked the question. I hate to admit that he was able to drive me to aversives (no, I never beat him but I certainly did WHACK him a few times) on several occasions. We had locks on all our windows, and spring loaded locks on the doors where a child on a chair couldn't reach them. Our furniture was tied together so he couldn't push it around and climb things (this was when he was about 2, the age I mentioned in the question!). No doubt neighbors thought we were nuts.
I have great neighbors. They knew how hard the youngest was and I really do think they felt badly for me. Whatever we taught him got through though. For that I am greatful. I'll have to dig up the photo so you can see the look on that beautiful face. I must have said, "No" to something and his reaction was priceless. I look back on it now and I just laugh.

The one thing I found that worked nearly everytime he was going off, was to stay calm and just say, "I love you." It's surprising how that got through to him even in the middle of hissy fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My kids went to a Montessori school up thru 5th grade. The philosophy is based on "to each what they need" and "logical consequences for every act".
And no, that didn't mean the kids ran around doing what they wanted to. Often what each needs is exactly what they'd just as soon avoid (johhny needs to learn to read but finds it hard, so he will avoid it as much as he can).
Logical consequences. If you didn't finish your schoolwork in the morning (it was largely at the child's own pace) because you were goofing around, that was fine. The logical consequence was you ate your lunch by yourself in a quiet room so you could get right back to work. Etc. etc.
The logical consequence of not eating your dinner is being hungry, not being grounded or sent to your room. etc. etc. Other than when my son sent me off the deep end now and then, I tried to always make sure that the consequence fit the infraction. Was it an aversive? YES. But I would tell my children "you earned it".
Based on your description of "positive trainer", I could also call myself a positive trainer. But I am NOT an ALL positive trainer, and would never claim to be. If he flicks me the paw, he's gonna get his collar flicked.


I think that VERY FEW people are truly ALL POSITIVE and that those who do, like those who mis-use FF programs, give the rest of the POSITIVE-BASED trainerd a bad rap.

It's impossible to be ALL POSITIVE ALL THE TIME.

Positive does not equal permissive, so IMO, someone attempting to practice positive-based child rearing techniques would still have a set of reasonable consequences in place -- like the time out or other forms of negative punishment.

IMO, (and back to referring to dogs) I can still safely call myself a POSITIVE trainer b/c my program seeks to use MOSTLY pos. reinforcement followed by negative punishment, followed by negatige reinforcement and on rare occassions, positive punishment. I use all 4 quads of OC, but I use them in that order from most often to least often.
 

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That's what I was talking about: logical/natural consequences.
But luckily I only had to use it with one of the three.

I remember my therapist telling me to catch her being good and give her positive reinforcement. At certain ages, it was very difficult to find positives! But like I said, she did turn out well. : )
 
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