For those of you who believe that you don't have to yell, hit,
or abuse your animal in anyway to train them, this article is
right up your alley. I
have a surefire way so you can get what you want without the abuse
and this method will last the lifetime of the dog. It
is based in sound psychological principals and one does not have
to be a rocket scientist to use it. There are four items needed
to be able to use this method.
is small bits of cooked liver. The second item is hands to be
able to get the liver into the dog's mouth. The third item is
a baggy (small plastic bag you can place in a pocket in a shirt).
The fourth item is verbal praise when the dog does what we want.
Doesn't sound to complicated so far does it? First let's investigate
you notice the first items that are eaten by a predator (carnivore)
when they down an animal is the innards. The innards are eaten
first because they are the first to go bad and they have tremendous
nutritional value to keep the carnivore satisfied until he has
to hunt again. The liver that is purchased at your local grocery
store will have the same effect on your dog. They will not be
able to resist it and the power of the liver over the dog will
help us accomplish what we need to do. The liver can be cooked
anyway you want: fried, baked, roasted, whatever suits your pleasure.
It should be soft to the touch whereby you can cut it in 1/4"
wide X 1/4" long squares. That was your first item.
second item I don't think needs explaining, hands will do it just
fine. The third item is a little tricky. You need a place to put
the liver when you need it so a front pocket of a shirt is a great
place but so you don't ruin all your shirts, I suggest putting
the baggy in the shirt pocket. Thereby the liver can be placed
in the baggy, it is accessible, and you don't ruin your shirts.
fourth item, and it must be done religiously, verbal praise when
the behavior is accomplished.
for the easy part. Let us use the sit for an example. Everytime
when you are teaching the sit and the act has been completed immediately
positively reward your dog with a piece of liver. This constantly
rewarding the dog with the liver will set up a baseline. A baseline
is, to the dog, every time I do a sit I get this great treat.
Every dog is different but usually around 50-80 treats will establish
a great baseline. Now let me explain why we cannot keep giving
a treat every time the dog does what we want (for instance the
sit). If we continue to stretch out the baseline (continually
giving the food) and we stop giving the food within a short amount
of time the dog will stop doing the sit (the behavior will extinct).
We don't want that and we also don't want to continue cooking
liver for the rest of our lives. So here is the trick.
variable positive reinforcement schedule (VPRS) will make the
command we have taught the dog become rock-hard. He will never
stop doing the command once it has been set in baseline. After
the baseline has been established we then will dole out the liver
variably. In other words the dog does the sit, we then right after
baseline praise the dog (which we have been doing right along,
verbal praise) and don't give the liver. The next time we give
the liver. We withhold the liver for two times, then give on the
third. We withhold the liver for five times then give the liver.
We are going to work this system up until we are only giving the
liver every one hundred times, but continue with the variables.
The behavior will never extinct because the dog never knows when
the liver is coming and will enact the taught behavior every time.
VPRS can be used for any taught behavior. It can be used to stop
bad behaviors. It works every time without fail.
Written by Neal Seaman