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Does anyone ever feel like they are committing puppy abuse? I swear, sometimes I feel like all I do is fuss at Woodrow and pop him. My arms and ankles are torn up from all the biting, and I know that I have to stop him, but I feel so bad. I feel like I'm either popping his nose, holding it tightly, or yelling at him all the time.
He doesn't seem fazed by it, which I guess is good and bad. I hope that it will break him of it soon. His new favorite thing is to jump up on people, which is a big no-no also. I guess just another thing to fuss at him about!

Sometimes I feel really bad.................


Any tips?
 

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Please look at the thread a little further down the board called "Coltrane". There's some good information in that thread-
 
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There is a also very good book available over here (not sure if you can get it state-side) called the "Perfect Puppy" by Gwen Baily which gives loads of excellent advice....
 

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Does anyone ever feel like they are committing puppy abuse? I swear, sometimes I feel like all I do is fuss at Woodrow and pop him. My arms and ankles are torn up from all the biting, and I know that I have to stop him, but I feel so bad. I feel like I'm either popping his nose, holding it tightly, or yelling at him all the time.
He doesn't seem fazed by it, which I guess is good and bad. I hope that it will break him of it soon. His new favorite thing is to jump up on people, which is a big no-no also. I guess just another thing to fuss at him about!

Sometimes I feel really bad.................
Any tips?
[/b]
Notice a trend here dog acts out and gets fussed at. Chances are what you think of as "punishment" is actually rewarding the dog by giving him the attention he seeks you may find the following links helpful along with those mentioned in the "coltrane thread" Also check out the FAQ forum for puppy nipping and bitting links



Punishment: How not to do it.
The word "punishment" should not automatically imply thumbscrews or eye gouging. In fact, punishment can occur even if no actual harm befalls the punished. A good working definition of the term would be "presenting something that reduces the chance that a behavior will happen.

... Punishment, therefore, decreases the likelihood that something will happen. It is not so much a description of how you imagine the behavior will change, but an assessment of how it actually changed. To say, "I punished the dog for soiling the carpet" is inaccurate if the behavior has not decreased in its rate of occurrence. This practice of inflicting discomfort after the fact is more accurately described as retaliation , retribution or just plain nastiness. i.e. you may have inflicted pain or terror but the animal did not connect it to the behavior! So, by definition, when used correctly, punishment always decreases response. The problem is that punishment is rarely the best solution to a problem, and is almost never practiced correctly. [/b]
Punishment or Negative Reinforcement - Draw your own conclusions, Pardner.
The process of teaching a behavior by getting a critter to avoid something is called aversive control. There are two types of aversive control, punishment and negative reinforcement. Punishment causes behavior to decrease, while negative reinforcement causes behavior to increase.

For example, imagine that your dog Fido chews a couch cushion while you are away from home. When you return and see the damage, you shove the cushion in Fido's face (to show him why he is being punished) and swat him with a rolled up newspaper. The next time you come home, another pillow is damaged, but as soon as you see it, Fido looks "guilty" and ducks under the couch. You drag him out and bop him again, since his guilty look insures that he "knew he did something wrong. "

... If this looks like a good example of punishment, think again. By definition, punishment causes behavior to decrease. In our example, the swats did not cause Fido to stop ripping up pillows, therefore the swats did not punish the act of ripping up pillows. Fido's owner can escalate the intensity of the "punishment" until it injures his dog but will not be able to stop the pillow ripping. That is because he is actually using negative reinforcement.

Things which increase behavior through force, intimidation, fear or avoidance are called negative reinforcers. If you sit on a thumbtack, the pain associated with the tack is a negative reinforcer, which causes you to do a behavior -- "jumping upward." The key difference between a reinforcer and a punisher is that one increases behavior, while the other one decreases behavior. In the case of our couch chewing canine, the swats and scolding did not affect the bad behavior at all. What actually happened was Fido's tendency to hide under the couch look "guilty" increased because of the harsh treatment. Those behaviors were negatively reinforced. [/b]
You Won the Prize!"

Stopping Negative Behavior Positively
Ignoring undesired behavior is a technique called extinction. Extinction is an operant conditioning principle that states that if a behavior is not reinforced, it will gradually eliminate. It is the loss of an opportunity for a reward.

... Negative punishment is the removal of something in order to decrease the frequency of a behavior. Examples include removing attention, giving a dog a "time out," and feeding a treat to another dog (or eating it yourself). When clicker trainers want to suppress an undesired behavior, they rely more heavily on negative punishment than positive punishment because negative punishment is equally effective and causes neither fear nor pain.

The first step in changing undesired behavior is to identify the behaviors that you want to change. Every time you interact with your dog, ask yourself, "Is my dog doing something I want him to do?"

The second step is to define what you want your dog to do. If your dog is doing something you don't like, define what you want him to do instead. It's not enough to say "I want him to stop doing what he's doing." He could stop doing what he's doing and choose to do something worse - and then you'd have to stop that as well. It's faster to define what you want him to do from the beginning. For example:

I want my dog to hold a sit-stay while I prepare his food. (Not "I want my dog to stop jumping on me when I prepare his food.")
I want my dog to sit at the top or bottom of the stairs when a person is walking up or down.
I want my dog to lie quietly on a mat while the family eats dinner.
I want my dog to lie quietly on a mat when I have visitors.
The third step is to manage the situation so your dog can't do the behavior that he was doing instead of the preferred behavior. The dog was doing the undesired behavior because it worked, because it was somehow reinforcing.

For example, a dog jumps on someone as a greeting, even if the person yells and pushes him away. Why? Because the dog wants attention. If he doesn't jump, he was likely ignored. So he jumps, even if he is yelled at for it. Until you can teach your dog that jumping isn't reinforcing but sitting politely is, manage the situation by putting him in another room when the doorbell rings[/b]


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