Dog Training World Forums Obedience Training General Obedience Training Discussion The Predictable Chain Reaction of Obedience Commands without corrections? Re: The Predictable Chain Reaction of Obedience Commands without corrections?

  • Michael D’Abruzzo

    June 14, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Thanks for the good answer Chris.

    Arturios, the way you describe the use of the word “no” is a good idea if someone was only planning on using positive reinforcement alone.

    But, since in this style we are giving the trainer the option of teaching the dog a higher level of responsibility the word technically becomes a warning to the dog. The “correction” is actually taught super light in the phase 1 obedience on the climb command. The “no” is used to teach the dog how to avoid the super light correction so that the dog will understand how to avoid more motivational corrections later during high distraction training.
    There are many dogs that can get by in life fine with just positive motivation based training, but for the dogs that will benefit from both ends of the spectrum we want to try to make it as fair as possible for those dogs and that’s what the predictable chain reaction is about. It is designed to mimic as closely as possible what dogs will do naturally to one another if exercising discipline – which will consist of a predictable communication, warnings, and corrections at the mildest level necessary to reinforce the warnings. This works well when you need a higher level of control when handling an aggression case in public, personal protection dogs, or any dog in an area that may present some environmental dangers.

    Ultimately, it is up to the person whether they feel it is necessary to move onto phase 2 training and higher. If doesn’t apply to them there is nothing wrong with doing as you suggested.

    But, if someone plans on teaching their dog a higher level of responsibility and they fail to follow the “no” with the light corrections (if you would even call the light guidance that) in phase 1, than the dog will experience unnecessary stress if they ever get a correction that they didn’t know was coming in phase 2 or 3 since the way you describe the use of “no” the meaning would be “wrong, try again” and not “this is your second, but last chance before a correction”.

    Also, keep in mind you would not use a motivational correction on a dog unless you were sure they weren’t still guessing as to what the meaning of the word is (another purpose of phase1). Therefore I don’t use the word “no” when teaching commands like “sit” – instead I just withhold the reward and ask again (while possibly helping with body language) until the dog gets it right – since dogs will keep trying without you needing to say “no” if they are motivated enough for the reward.

    The word “no” is added to the chain reaction with “sit” in phase 2 after they have learned what “sit” means in phase 1 and what “no” and the rest of the chain reaction means in phase 1 (during the climb command). Even then, you don’t jump into corrections but do the “transitional” exercises to make it as easy as possible for the dogs.

    It is amazing how smooth training can go – even when adding discipline to the mix- when we remain super technical and predictable to the dogs. Things gets complex by phase 3, but the dogs can learn it easier than the handler if we build to that point. Phase 3 is the level of training that I use to control the personal protection dogs during chaos and other high charged distractions without having to use harsh corrections.