Behaviorist Dog Trainer | Rob Peladeau | Talks at Google

Hello, everyone. I'm Angie Primavera, and I am a
project manager here at Google. And I am very happy
today to welcome Rob Peladeau from NexGenK9. For almost 20 years, Rob
has been training dogs and specializing in
behaviorist modification for aggressive
and/or reactive dogs, as well as some
unwanted behaviors. He also works with our
local law enforcement, training their canine
units, as well as some local clients
such as myself. I met Rob about a year
ago, and he helped me out with my dog, Dakota.

And I can attest to his skills,
not only with dogs, but also with their sometimes
stubborn human companions. So everybody, I'd like
to welcome Rob Peladeau. [APPLAUSE] ROB PELADEAU: All right. Well, let me start
off a little bit more about how I got into
the dog training world and why there is so much
confusion out there. I got into it about 20
years ago, as was said. Started off– I was an
auto shop repair guy.

Had a shop in Concord. It had a big yard
that was getting broken into a lot of
times by the people who would hang around the front. So I thought, oh, I'll get
me some really mean dogs, and they'll protect this area. Well, my really mean
dogs, I thought, get the biggest vicious
dog you could find, right? At least as far as breed. Well, people were
stealing my dogs too. So I quickly learned it's not
just a breed-specific thing. There are things about dogs
that I didn't understand. And with my personality
being what it is, I had to learn everything
and anything that I could. So I started in learning
about perimeter dog training and how to train a
dog to guard an area. And it went from there. Went into sport, and then that
sport world kind of overlapped with law enforcement.

Got into law enforcement,
became a police officer myself few years ago. And here I am today. What I want to talk about
today is how dogs learn. The way dogs learn is
through repetition. They learn certain
behaviors get them a reward. They want to repeat
that behavior. Certain behaviors get them
an unpleasant response, they want to stop that behavior. They're not, as we would many
times try to make them, well, in a human term, intelligent.

Their intelligence
comes from the ability to pick up patterns,
ability to pick up routines. They are all about patterns,
are all about routines. And many times in our
dog-human relationship, dogs who aren't picking up certain
behaviors we want them to, we want to tell each other
that they're stubborn, they're disobedient,
they're willful, et cetera. But I can tell you there's
not a dog on Earth that really has a rebellious
streak as we think of it in like a
teenager's terms. Dogs either understand what
you're doing or they don't. Or there's a higher
motivation somewhere else than what you're offering. You might have a piece
of food in your hand, but it's not near as cool
as chasing that squirrel. You might have something
exciting in your hand, but you are the most
boring person on Earth to come back to because
you just stand there and expect your dog
to do something. Dogs operate, again,
off of routine. They operate off of drives.

And if those drives can
be satisfied on their own, they do not need you
to satisfy that drive. There's two ways
that we train dogs. And it's through classical
and operant conditioning. How many of you heard of Pavlov,
the Pavlov's Dogs experiments? How many of you took
psych in college and learned really how
far that experiment went? It wasn't just
ringing a dinner bell and then watching
the dogs drool. There was a lot of other
experiments as well. And it goes into the
realms of antecedents, that which happens before
their reward comes. And what he learned was that
if he rang the dinner bell and dropped the food
at the same time, eventually taking the
food back out of it and ringing the
dinner bell, there was no response to the dog. So again, by conditioning–
classical conditioning– we have to create a space
in time between the time that we use a command– the time
that we use a marker– and then that time which the
reinforcer comes.

So why I talk about this
is because what we're going to move into
is marker training. So if I'm giving my
dog a treat every time I say yes, my verbal command,
my verbal marker, means nothing. And if you're using a
clicker, it's the same thing. Clickers are nothing
more than you saying yes if you teach them a primary
reinforcer behind the click.

If you say yes,
treat– yes, treat– that's how we build
that conditioning. That's classical conditioning. The other thing that we often
fail in in training our dogs is that same kind of thing
when teaching behaviors. We want a dog to sit. How many of you tell your dog
to sit, and you go sit, sit? And you're moving into
it every time, right? And then when you say sit,
your dog goes, no habla. Because he really doesn't
understand what you're saying. Because we haven't done enough
classical conditioning for him to understand the
verbal response. Our antecedent is
always together with the physical motion. Dogs are body language masters. Most of what I do with
aggressive dog behavior rehabilitation is
based upon my ability to read your dog at
the impure thought. As soon as they begin to
even think about a behavior that they're going to
exhibit, I already know it. One is because I've
seen it a million times. The other one is they are
body language creatures. They don't communicate verbally.

And it's the same thing
when they're watching us. So if we're going sit, really
all they can hear is this. There's a famous trainer,
who I learned a lot from, who was talking about the first
time he was teaching Malinois, which is what Samson is. I'll bring him out
in a little bit. Very high drive,
very trainable dogs, but oh dear god– do
not get one as a pet. He was talking about being able
to do verbal commands to change positions from a distance. And I forget what
the distance was. Let's call it 50 feet. So the dog is 50 feet away. He's telling him, hey,
buddy, watch this. I can change my dog's
position verbally. And he goes watch–
sit, down, stand. And his buddy says,
no, your dog's not changing positions verbally. He says, yeah, he just did it. He goes, no. This time when you
tell your dog to sit, I want you to hold your
head perfectly still. 50 feet away, guy says sit. Dog changes no behavior.

He goes. Dog sits. Therein lies a lot
of the problems that we find when
we're trying to get our dog to that 100% level. As I heard somebody
in here talking about, their dog is at X%, and they
want to get them to that 100%. A lot of it is based upon our
timing and understanding of how dogs verbally learn
and physically learn.

So if we want our dogs to learn
a verbal command– and let's put this all together, our
classical conditioning– we teach them, sit. We use a verbal
marker, then we teach them physically–
then the reward. So here, sit. Yes. And again, that
one second– kind of half a second to
one-second window that you can use to respond. If you do this every
time you say yes, this becomes the marker, and
they don't hear a word out of your mouth. Make sense so far? So through classical
conditioning, we create our markers. Then what we do is we move
into operant conditioning. If you've taken those same
classes that taught you about Pavlov's dog and
classical conditioning, then you moved into
operant conditioning. The difference from
operant conditioning is the mouse finding his way
through a maze to get to food. Right? It's the dog where you
hold a piece of food out, and you say nothing.

And the dog starts
looking and going, how do I get that piece
of food out of your hand? And they wiggle, and they
put their butt on the ground. You go, yes– bang–
and you pay them. That's operant. That's them offering a
behavior to get that reward out of your hand. Two kind of dogs. Those that are
non-operant– those dogs have to be taught everything
through rote by giving them some kind of physical
movement or something to help them to understand. And those dogs that are operant,
that offer behaviors to get the reward out of your hand.

You take your hand, you
put it on the ground. The dog goes, hmm, how
do I get down there? How do I get that food out? And they paw at your hand. They lay down, as soon as
their elbows touch the ground– payday. Dog goes, oh, when you
do this, I go down. Then we add. Now we back up our
classical conditioning to our operant conditioning. So food comes out, his
butt hits the ground. Yes, treat. Now we go, sit. We use our operant
conditioning, and we wait for the
behavior– associate, name it, and reward it. So he'll offer you a behavior. You will then name it. You want your dog to do
something over and over, you have to name it.

So let's get into one
of the biggest things that people run
into with recall. And I know that's
probably a huge percentage of what I get calls for. My dog just won't
come back to me. Why won't my dog
come back to me? How do I teach my dog a recall? And I've seen a
million different ways, and there is no one way. I don't know if you've dealt
with many dog trainers before, but the only thing that two
dog trainers can agree on is that the third one doesn't
know what they're doing.

They're all very
valid, different ways. And just like raising
children, no two are alike. If you've had
multiple children, you will know that what works
for one child doesn't work for the other. What works for one dog
doesn't work for the other. And it's up to you
or your trainer to figure out which method
works best for your dog. But I can tell you this, right? From the time your
dog is a puppy, you can teach a
puppy how to recall and be very consistent in it. Just by having–
every time the dog comes to you, as soon as
he starts to turn to you, name it, here. He's coming, yes. Good boy, good girl, good dog. You start building that up. And one of the things for our
dogs that are very drivey– the dogs that will go chase
a toy, and puppies all will chase a toy–
you start with a place that you know he
goes to all the time. Everybody's dog has a
little favorite place.

Don't they? Your dog just runs and goes, OK,
I'm going to go rest over here. Whether it's under a
table or on his pillow, he's got this favorite place. So we teach our dog
to retrieve and let him carry that toy to
his favorite place. Retrieve. Throw something, he takes his
toy to his favorite place. Then I go sit in
his favorite place. Throw the toy out. Where is he going to go? Back to his favorite place. Name it, then reward it. He comes back. So throw it out. He goes out and grabs it– here. And he has no idea
what "here" means, but he's coming back to
you, and you're rewarded it. Now he associates–
"here" is come back to me. You do that for just a
few days and then start moving it into different
places, and you've got a dog that will
have a solid recall.

You do it in a low
distraction area, you do it with great reward,
and you will find them. So let me give you a few of
the ideas about marker training and why there's so
much controversy around positive reinforcement
versus aversive method, et cetera. Everybody's heard reward-based
or positive reinforcement training. Positive reinforcement
training is what every dog trainer is doing. Positive reinforcement only is–
I'm going to put it out there. I think it's causing
a lot of problems. It's causing a lot
of failures in dogs. It's like the child who never
learns limits, the child who never is told no– the child who
never learns through experience that there is a
consequence to behavior. So the dog who has a problem
with chasing another dog, who you can't give enough food to. Go, my dog would– just
keeps chasing other dogs.

Well, yeah, because every time
you're feeding your dog– you walk down the street, and
your trainer told you, just go behind this car and
then shove food in his face. There's no behavior change. And for a person who isn't
a professional dog trainer, it's hard to know where
that dog's head is at at that moment. Are we rewarding a
heightened state of mind when another dog comes around? So another dog comes around,
or a dog gets excited, we pull him behind a
car and go, good boy. So the dog kept going,
I'm being rewarded for this behavior– I
must be doing it right. And I've seen some dogs spiral
seriously out of control based upon that method alone. For some dogs it works. Like I said, there's
no one right method for every single dog. The reason why
aversive methods have come under so much scrutiny
is because, yeah, it's uncomfortable. And these are our little
four-legged creatures. But none of us would
raise our child without some form of
adversity– would we– to let them learn on
their own that there is a consequence to behavior.

And believe it or not,
anybody who tells you they are reward-based only, or
positive reinforcement only, lies because a punisher is
as simple as removing food. That's punishment. It's called negative punishment. If we give a correction
with a collar or some other kind of
physical correction, that's called a
positive punisher. We're adding something
to the environment, whether it's– again, most
of the time it's something physical. A little pop, a little
flick, little aat– something that adds to the environment. When we take away– we go
"sit," and he goes, ah, I think I'd rather
go look at squirrels.

We remove the food, and
he goes, wait a minute. That's a negative punisher. So anybody who tells you they're
positive reinforcement only has lied in their
own little right. Now that I've put that
out there, we'll move on. All right. So how does marker trainer work? We just talked about
clicker training. A lot of the clicker
training came from a Dr. Skinner who found
with training marine mammals when that animal
is away from them, they could not get through
water and everything else. They learned clickers
travel through water. Now you know why clicker
training is so popular. Again, a lot of people
took it the wrong way. A lot of trainers
took it the wrong way. Because he says, look, we don't
have to correct an animal– a 3,000-pound animal or bigger. Why do we have to correct a dog? Well, if I put my dog in a tank
with no other dogs around him, with no other squirrels
to run by him, and the only source of food he
ever got came out of my hand, I could use positive
reinforcement only.

Because the negative consequence
is he doesn't get fed. So is that positive
reinforcement only? So again, that's where the
clicker training came from. And that's where a lot of
the positive reinforcement came from. But it cannot be the only way
we work when we live in a very rich environment for
distractions for dogs and other animals. And then we put all our
anthropomorphisms on there. Oh, well, they're
just being stubborn, they're just being willful,
without understanding, no, there is a disconnect
in our thinking process. So the type of
reinforcement that we use, we want our dogs to understand
the behavior changes based upon them. They get to decide
how that behavior gets them their reward. And again, we mark
it with the yes. And that yes becomes
the same as the food. The same thing happens
on the other end.

I want you to walk with me. The dog says, hmm, squirrel, let
me go to the end of the leash. We can give a little,
leave it, a verbal command, and then a correction–
pop the collar. They go, what? We can praise. Where we get in
trouble is when we allow emotions to get
into our dog training. Dogs don't understand
anger the same way we do. Dogs understand markers. When we create a marker,
we want it to be steady. Yes, treat. Good, sit. Everything's the
same all the time. We use our volume not to
indicate our displeasure, but to break
through distraction. So what I mean by that is
the guy who's got his dog and he says, sit. And the dog says, squirrel.

And he says, no– sit. Hmm. [SNIFFING] Sit! And now he's yelled it, and
the dog goes, oh bloody hell. And he sits down. Which noise does
the owner now have to make the next time
to get his dog to sit? The third one. Exactly. Because that's the one
where the dog goes OK, pressure comes off, and OK, good
boy– if he gets a "good boy." You let anger get in there.

We use volume to
break distraction. My dog goes into
full squirrel mode, then it's a much louder command
to break through his fixation. Make sense so far? Raise your hand if you
want me to stop at any time because I'm not making
sense, because I will talk on and on and on. So when we give a
command, even if we are ignored the first time, we
make the same command again. Sit. Squirrel? Sit. Pop the leash. Sit. Bigger pull, or luring,
or whatever this dog is going to operate best off of.

But the command
always comes the same. What usually happens
when we end up destroying our
relationships with our dogs or making training
not fun for them is when we do allow those
emotions to get in there. Because a dog doesn't
understand why you're mad. He doesn't know anger. He doesn't know those things. He doesn't know right and wrong. He knows that
there was something that made him do what
he should or should not know based upon that antecedent,
that loud correcting.

Same thing happens with recall. I had a client not
too long ago– got a dog who had a
human bite issue. He had actually bitten
a person in their house. So a couple of things
we teach to start changing their behaviors. The first one is we
teach him to leave it. And the second one is
we got to teach recall. If you've got a solid
recall on your dog, he's not going to bite. If I can call my dog at any
time, from any situation, am I going to have a
dog who's going to bite? No. So I tell the guy, we got
to teach your dog recall. He says, my dog knows recall. I say, your dog
doesn't know recall.

He says, my dog knows recall. No, your dog
doesn't know recall. We go back and forth for
this for a little while. All right. I'm going to sit here, and
I'm going to pet your dog. You go into another room
in the house, use his name and his recall word. And we'll see if your dog
knows his recall command. He goes, yes, I'm
going to show you. I'll show you. He knows it. I don't know why he
wants to argue, but OK. Goes to the room, calls his
dog's name– Fido, here. And Fido just looks at me
going, keep petting me, please. Fido. Here. Come on boy, let's go. Come on. And the dog is going, oh,
my master is somewhere else.

And he goes off to him. Does he know recall? No. So you got this whole
string of words. How many of you go to dog parks? Yeah. How many of you are either
that person, or you've seen that person, when
your dog is out there and you're giving this
47-word-long command to come back? Promising them the world,
promising to end their world. Come on buddy, I've got
a nice big treat for you. Or, come on, buddy, I'm
leaving without you. All these things, and we
think they understand us. How many of you
know Charlie Brown? You know his teacher? You ever heard her talk? That's all we sound like to our
dog, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah. They don't understand a
word coming out of our face. So we've got these
47-word commands, and finally the dog turns and
goes, are you talking to me? And then he sees our physical. Come on. And we go, see our
dog knows recall. The dog doesn't know
recall, because you've never made it consistent.

You've never done that
thing over and over again. But yet we expect
our dog to know. So when we recall, then when
they finally come back to us, some people, not all, are
a little bit hot-headed. And they get angry. They say, I told you not to! Oh my god, if I
have to call you! And they get angry
with their dog. So let me back that
up for a minute. Dogs live in a one-
to three-second world. And that's the golden
rule of dog training. It may or may not be true,
but that's what we go by. One- to three-second world. My dog goes out, and then
he finally comes back. And on his way back, I'm chewing
his butt– that was a bad dog. So my dog's coming to me, and
I'm telling him he's a bad dog. He goes, why do I want
to come back to you? Or you see the dog who does come
back, but watch what he does.

Maybe your dog's this dog. You call your dog, and
you're, come on, buddy. Come on. And he goes, all
right, I'm coming, but I'm going to sit
over here because you're going to yell at me. Because there's something wrong. You're not happy about
me coming to you. My own dogs have once in a
while gotten away from me. And I go out, and
I go to get them. And when I get to them, I have
to cover up all my displeasure and all my, oh my god,
I'd like to throttle you. And if they come back to me–
they can run for two hours. They come back, that last
minute, that last second– they turn around and they go, Dad? Good boy. I'd like to kill you. Good boy. Right? So every time he comes to me,
it's a positive experience because he cannot understand
that for two hours you just chased him. All he's going to
remember is what happened just before
he came to you.

That's it. That's your dog's world. So when you wonder why your
dog doesn't want to come back to you, ask yourself, did
I reprimand his return? Did I do something
that caused him to think that there is going to
be an issue when he got to me? Again, go back to your
basic recall stuff. If you're having
problems with recall, you build it to where
the dog is always excited about coming to you
and that the reward matches the behavior so that that dog
can understand that coming back to you is the best
place on Earth. When I bring out my dog
here in a little bit, even though there's other
dogs here– of course he'll probably make me
a liar because that's what dogs do– they cheat
and they make you liars. He'll pay no attention
to people or dogs, because the best place on
Earth, the best things that ever happened have been right
here at this position. And you'll watch how fast
he wants to get there, because that's
where happinesss– that's where the magic happens.

That's where
everything great that's ever happened to him in
his life has been right in this position. And he can't wait to get there. That's how you build that. You never come down on him
for wanting to be with you. Even if he comes to me
and I don't want him to, and he knocks me halfway
across the Earth, because he bounces into me. [SIGH] Good boy. I hope that came
through convincing. Right? Happy, happy. This is the best place on Earth. This is good. So when other dogs
are out there, and I go, here, and he goes,
oh, it's better next to Dad than it is out there. Because this is where
the best stuff happens.

But that relies upon us
being active participants in their play. All right, any questions so far? Yeah, the question is when
I have food in my hand or in my pouch, when I have
food on me, my dog is golden. I'll just paraphrase it. He'll listen, he'll
do everything I want. But as soon as the food's gone,
then the higher distraction wins.

That's where we back
up our training. And we go, where
did I fail in this? Did I only do this training
with the food in my hand? Did I have my food– and
one of the ways of training is luring, right? We always bring the
dog in with food. So yes, that becomes a command. Did we ever break that training
down to where we incrementally removed the food? The same way with incrementally
removing the physical command out of a sit. So if I say "sit" and I
show him– sit, sit, sit– and he doesn't, I give
him a little help, then eventually just sit. Right? Incrementally. We want our dogs to
learn just based off of what we're telling them,
but that's not how dogs learn. They learn incrementally. So the dog who comes back only
for food, we're bribing them.

We're saying, get on over here,
and I got this nice juicy steak for you. Come on over. I might even have some
bacon, food of the gods. So the dog comes back, says, OK. Now, when we haven't
conditioned the dog to understand that our verbal
marker is the same as that food training, yes, they're only
going to work for that food. So you back up,
and when your dog is undistracted in
your living room, someplace else– you're
doing your training in an undistracted environment. He's nice and rested,
everything is good. And you do everything with a
leash or something like that, for recall especially, so
you can never have failure to where you go here,
and he goes upstairs. And you're like, OK, whatever. And the dog then
goes, oh, "here" means go upstairs
and lay on your bed. We have to teach
them what we want.

So back up your training,
have your food reward after your marker. You go, here. And he goes, no habla. A little tug on the leash,
pull him in, he goes, oh. And then, we back up. Yes, then the treat
comes out– bingo. So he can always have that. Then we variable that. After we do a few, every
time he comes back, he gets in that position. Yes, treat. He comes back, he
gets in that position. Good boy. No treat. Next time, treat. Then three times the
recall, then a treat.

Four times the
recall, then a treat. Then recall, recall–
treat, treat, treat, treat. Break it out to where the
dog goes, in his mind, there's always a possibility
of there's something great coming from you. So that can help. Let me back it way
up here, on creating that marker in the first place. When you want to create a
marker, you pick your marker. I don't care what it is–
good boy, yes, whatever. You have that marker, that yes. You need to teach
him what it means. And if you're going to use
food as your reinforcer– your primary
reinforcer– then you want to just sit on
the couch sometime with him sitting in front
of you and go, yes, treat.

Yes, treat. Yes, treat. Yes, treat. You are now the dinner bell
in Pavlov's experiment. Right? So every time you say, yes,
he goes, [HAPPY DOG SOUNDS]. That's what you want to create. That's how you create
that positive reinforcer so you don't have to have
that food every single time. Yes. He goes, oh my gosh. And all the endorphin release,
all the same chemical response, all that that comes from
classical conditioning is present. So make sure your
dog understands his positive marker. And like I said,
backing this up. So along with our
positive marker that says yes, you've
finished your job, you also want to have
a marker that says, yes, that's what
I want you to do, and I want you to
keep on doing it.

A continuation marker, right? Because otherwise, your
dog comes in, and he sits. And you go, yes, and
then as soon as you say, yes, he jumps up and
goes, OK, I'm done. Right? Now I want my dog to come in. I want him to sit, and I
want him to stay sitting. He comes up, yes. My intonation drops
off, I drop energy. I don't get all crazy
and goofy to cause him to get all excited. So he comes in, he sits. Yes. Treat. And we're going to
sustain the behavior. Walk away. Good. Treat. You see how we stay in there? He's still going,
now I'm sitting here, and I'm getting my treat. And then when I'm all done, yes. And he goes, OK. That's your release word. Some people use "OK"
as a release word.

pexels photo 5749784

Whatever you want
to use, they're just noises for the dog. Every one of my dogs
has been trained in a different language. Eventually, some of
them become bilingual, but that's not my
fault, my problem. And people go, wow, you speak
that language to your dog. It's just noises. I don't even know if I'm
making the word right. I'm sure somebody, if my dog
is trained in Czech– somebody comes from the Czech
Republic, and they go, no, that's not how we
pronounce that word. You think my dog cares? I could make noise like
brrr and have the dog sit. It really doesn't matter. It's the noise, the antecedent,
that comes before the behavior. Right? So your commands,
your thing, you could train them in
anything you want. It doesn't matter. There's no proper
word for anything. Got it? So make sure you have
your positive marker– yes, treat, yes, treat. And he doesn't have to
do anything for that. He just understands that
whenever that word comes out of your face, you
become a Pez dispenser.

Here comes the food. So eventually when you're
walking down the street, and he's seeing that other
dog, and he looks up at you. And you go, yes. And he goes, oh, I did something
good that's worthy of a reward. So break down your training. Whenever you see that kind of
a failure where the dog is only responding to a
reward, make sure that you just back up,
remove the reward from it. Work in a undistracted
area, and rebuild. The beauty of dogs is that they
can be retrained at any time, because they are very
much creatures of habit. I have rehabilitated dogs
that are 11 and 12 years old, some dogs that were very
aggressive, et cetera. Dogs who have done things in
their world all their lives, but they can change. It's just a matter of recreating
a new set of guidelines. That's not to talk
about– in case some of my professional peers
are out there watching this– that's not to say that
imprinting is the same thing. There are some things that
get imprinted that, yes, we cannot get around. And we build different
kind of parameters to help the dog live
within that imprinting.

If you want to know more
about that, ask me later. We can go way deep
into what imprinting is and what it does to dogs and
how we use it positively, like we do for searching
for [INAUDIBLE], or how sometimes it's
inadvertently done, even at the breeder level. Does that answer
your question, sir? AUDIENCE: Yes. ROB PELADEAU: All right. A couple of dog training myths
I wanted to cover real quick. I've heard people tell me that
you can't start training a dog until they're six months old. Well, that is false. Dog's brains are the same from
the beginning to the end– not much different than ours. And most of you, I hope, still
have a good enough memory to remember when you
were 13 years old. Everybody here
remember that far back? I know I do, and it's
a lot farther for me than most of you. And do you feel like you are
any different of a person? I mean, do you feel like
you're X number age? Does something
change in your mind? Or do you still feel
like that same person? You still have your
basic thoughts.

You still have all
these basic premises that make you who you
are, your personality. And they stay with you
throughout your life. Right? It's the same thing for dogs. They might be young and
might be very distractable. They might be trying to figure
out the world and everything. But they still
learn the same way. It's still by process
of conditioning. The difference between
training a six-week-old puppy and a six-year-old adult dog
is the same as it is for kids. That attention span
is very, very short. So you do it in short bursts. I've got one out with me
now, he's 16 weeks old. And he's already got
recall, he's already got sit, he's got how to
drop his toy, et cetera, just because that's
what we do every day. Whatever you do daily is
what they're going to do. Whatever you do by rote is
what they are going to do. And if you change anything,
they'll let you know. How many of your dogs pull
you as you get to your house? You went for a walk,
came around the block, and all of a sudden they're
like, hey, there's our doorway.

Try walking by your
doorway tonight when you take your dog
for his evening walk. I know all of you are taking
your dogs for walks every day, right? So try it. Just walk by. Don't go towards your house,
and watch your dog go, foop, towards the house. And the first thing that's
going to come out of our mind or through our thought
process is, oh, my dog really just wants to go home.

He wants to lay down. Well, no. He's done this for whatever his
age is, for X number of days based on those years. Therefore, when you
walk by the house, the dog goes,
that's where we go. That's the pattern. That's the habit. Has nothing to do
with him wanting to go in and lay down and
stretch, hey, we're done, Mom, Dad– whatever. Because I guarantee
you, if you walked by your house for six days
without going into your house– just do it six days. Just do it a few times. Walk up and down the
street without going back into your house. Within six days, your dog,
when you get to your house, he will not pull to
go into your house.

Because it's a new pattern. We don't just walk in here. We don't just do that. Dogs are all about patterns. All right. So yes, you can. And matter of fact for
puppies imprinting, the best time starts
in that 6-week age– starting to show him what
behaviors you want and what behaviors you don't. And again, we'll take
that to the human world. The best time to learn languages
is at your youngest age, right? All the pathways for all the
neurological things that go on in your brain– I'm
not a neuroscientist, so please don't quote me–
but those pathways stay open as a child. And you can learn language and
things that later on in life are either difficult
or impossible because those paths
are no longer open. So taking that younger puppy
at his most eager to learn and eager to please time is
the primary and the best way to insure that your dog's going
to understand what you want and create a better
relationship with them. The old, old dogs can't learn
new tricks– definitely false. Like I said a minute ago, we can
take a dog, as long as it's not something that's been an
imprinted problem, something that came from
their early years, or there's a neurological
or psychological issue with the dog.

But basic behaviors we can
change because they still learn the same way. The question already
came out I was going to touch– if
you train with food, you could never
wean away from it. Once your dog has
learned an exercise, you wean them off of the food. So training with food is
an absolutely valid way to train a dog to
learn a behavior. It's our failure to break it
up and become a variable reward that causes them not
to get away from it. We haven't made them
go to the next step. One of my favorite things that
I love to beat people up on is when they tell me, my dog
knows when they've done wrong. How many of you guys say that? Go ahead, raise your hand. Otherwise, you're lying.

You walk into the house,
and the place is destroyed. And your dog goes–
I guarantee you, the first time that you
walked into your house and your house was
destroyed, he didn't do that. About the third or fourth
time, yeah, he does that. Where does our feeling of
guilt come from as humans? Morality, right? We've got this thing in our
human psyche called morality. We know right and wrong. Does a dog have morality? Because if he does, somebody
needs to talk to my dog. Because man, that guy–
it's like a prison yard in my backyard sometimes. It's terrible. So if the dog
doesn't have morals, if he doesn't know right
and wrong, if it wasn't beat into his head like we
humans do to imprint a moral code into our
being as children– if he doesn't have a moral
code, how can he be guilty? He can't.

But what he learns
is appeasement, how to turn pressure off. Escape avoidance is
the process of training that takes pressure and
turns it off by a behavior. So you walk in, he's torn
up your favorite shoes, and they're laying there in
the middle of the floor where he was sitting there
chewing them for hours. And you walk in, Fido! And he goes, what? Bad dog! And he goes, ugh, OK, I'm sorry.

Right? That's not really what
they think, but they go, OK, make the pressure stop. Oh my god, there's a
lot of stress here. And they turn off, and then you
go, all right, buddy, it's OK. The next time we
come home, Fido! They go, oh yeah,
this turns it off. You stop yelling as
soon as I do that. Pretty soon, I walk in and
there's a shoe that's torn up and them, and they go– I know
something's going to happen. Classical conditioning. We are training our dogs
without even knowing it.

Right? It's like why
potty training goes so wrong for so many people. Your dog does not know it's
wrong to soil in the house. Period. He doesn't know it's wrong
because it's not wrong. There's no moral
code that says, don't potty on the hardwood floor. So you walk in, and your
dog's potty on the floor. Ah! And you freak out. You grab your dog. You throw him outside. What does your dog
do the next time he needs to pee in the house? Well, they don't want me
peeing in front of them. Let me find this corner. And so they find a
corner to go pee in. Because you go, hey, I peed. I didn't get yelled at. Pee in the corner. So just throw this
out there real quick, cause we're running
out of time quickly. Throw this out there real
quick, you got to– see, if the dog is doing it
in the house, that's where that whole discipline
comes from where you've got to override your
emotions and go, OK, all right, buddy, let's go.

You pick him up, you take him
outside, you put him outside. And if you're having problems
with the house breaking issue, you need to turn the finger
around and point it at yourself and go, what am I doing wrong? How do I change this? What kind of pattern
do I need to create so my dog knows that
he goes outside? Either you're not breaking
them often enough, you're not letting them
take a long enough time to break outside. Because we go outside,
and we go, OK, buddy. And he goes, oh jump
around, jump around. And we go, OK, he
doesn't want to go potty.

We bring him back in, and
then he goes in the house. That's happened
to nobody, has it? Right? So you break that
down a little bit. Take him outside. Let him do it. You ignore him, no
play, no nothing. You just walk around,
and he's going to be biting at your shoes, and
biting at– just walk around. Then he goes, oh, this
is getting boring. And he goes and finds,
and he goes, OK. And his bladder
relaxes, and he's able to do his job outside. Good boy. Treat. We don't win the Super
Bowl on this, people. There is a level of rewards that
are appropriate for behaviors.

My kid brings home an A in PE,
we're not going to Disneyland. Bring home an A in
physics, yeah, we're going to talk about it. Right? Same thing. OK, so he pottied outside. We want to mark the
behavior as being positive, but we're not going
to get all amped up and everything else because
what's going to happen? Then he goes, OK, every time
I pee, I need to get excited, and I need to get this. And I forget to do the
rest, and my bladder might not be completely
empty, because God knows, dogs empty their bladders
every time they pee, right? No. They always have some more. So, good boy. Treat. Positive.

Continue to let them
work through it. And that's just a bonus. I won't charge
you anything extra for that little
dog training trick. All right, big one here. And please stop me if
you have any questions, and I'll try to get
as much information out there as possible. When my dog is nervous,
I want to pet him, right? I want to soothe him
and tell him it's OK.

How many of you have
the little yappy dogs? Go ahead, admit it now. I won't hit you. So you've got a
little yappy dog. Friends come over, and the
dog goes Cujo style on them. And because they're
little, you go, oh, so cute when they're young. But later on, it's
just getting obnoxious. Now we're three years
into it, and oh dear god. So the people come over, and
we go it's OK, buddy, it's OK. You don't have to
be afraid of them. OK, remember what they hear? What do they here? Wah, ma wah, wah, wah.

And you're going, it's OK,
buddy, it's OK, and nice dog. What does that sound like? Good boy! That's OK, good boy. And what do we do
to praise them? Oh, we touch them. We let them know, hey, good boy. So when we're praising our
dogs for being nervous, guess what we're going to have. A nervous dog. He's going, I must
be doing it right. OK, I keep doing it. My children, my primates, they
understand things a little bit differently than the canines. The primate, my kid
comes out and says, Daddy, there's a
boogeyman under my bed.

Hey, come here. It's OK, buddy. There's no boogeyman. Daddy will take care
of it if there is. And yeah, that works
great with our kids. We do that with our dogs, and
the dog's going, I knew it. I knew there was a boogeyman. It's all bad, because
even Dad said so when he told me good boy. So remember, we don't
pet nervous dogs. We really got to take on more
of a tough love approach. Suck it up, buttercup. We're not going to
have that behavior. And if we're going to change
their behavior with food and stuff like that, it's
got to be giving them something new to do. This is called
counter conditioning. Your dog runs up, jumps
on you when you get home. And you go, oh, it's
a good boy, but I don't want you to
jump on people. How fair are we now? Don't jump up, but
hey, it's a good boy. Or they jump up,
and we go, stop. Does the dog know the difference
between good boy, and no, don't jump on me? Because what is he looking for? Physical contact.

Right? He's looking for
engagement with you. So counter conditioning is he
comes up, runs and jumps up, and you go, sit. And he sits, and you go,
oh, now we can good boy. Now we touch. And then you get the
dog who eventually, if you're doing this right,
he comes up when you get home. He goes, I'm sitting down. Pet me now. Right? Counter conditioning. Keep that in mind. If you keep just these
few principles out there, you're going to be able to
get through these things. All right. Any questions? Where is the flaw
in your thinking? AUDIENCE: There's probably one. ROB PELADEAU: The flaw–
and that's what we do. So if nobody else
caught it, I catch it because it's what I do
all day every day– is we put an
anthropomorphism in there. She wants our attention. How do we know she
wants our attention? We don't.

We assume. So first thing we do is take
all anthropomorphisms out. Right? And we deal with her
like she's a dog, and we counter condition. So that's where you
build the markers. So one of the ways to
counter condition a dog is to teach them
to bark on command. Speak, yes. Speak, yes. Then speak them, no, quiet. And when they don't
speak, quiet– that treat. So you start building
a quiet command through positive reinforcement. So you teach them
to bark on command, and then teach them shh! Yes, good. So really, yes, they are trying
to affect their environment. Dogs bark and cry in crates
to get the pack to come back. That's what howling
is about and all these different
things that wolves do, coyotes, and every other
canine kind of creature. Yeah, especially those loud,
high-pitched, oh my god, makes your– it's
like a fingernails on the chalkboard kind of thing. Yeah, that's the dog
going, get back over here. Get back over here. So we never open the
crate or a pen for them when they're in that mode.

We get them to go
quiet, after we've taught them what quiet means. There is a two-minute period
of disassociation for dogs. So although they might be
quiet, if you go and open that door within
that two minutes, they go, my barking
got you here. My barking got me the
reward I'm looking for. So quiet, and you
work that two minutes, until eventually you get
through that two minutes, and he's quiet. And then you go, all right. And he goes, oh, quiet
gets me out the door. Quiet gets this open. So that would be one
way I would look at. How old is he now? AUDIENCE: Six months. ROB PELADEAU: Six months, yeah. And puppies bark. That's what they do.

They are obnoxious. They bark, and they
bark, and they bark. Yeah. I would recommend,
though, on a social level, to make sure you
tell your neighbors, be open with your neighbors. Say, hey, I've got a
puppy that's in training. And if he's barking,
I'm so sorry. And I promise you I'm
working through it. That has done more for
people than anything.

Because that's one of the
biggest problems we have and why we push our dog training
into areas that they probably usually wouldn't work is
because of social pressure. I want my dog to act a certain
way so other people will respond the way I want them to. But if we are much more
open and more– well, in more communication with
the people around us, going, hey, this is what my
dog does, and I'm sorry, you're less likely to get a
complaint to your landlord, and your neighbors are going
to not hate you as much, if you are up front and introduce
the puppy to them. And then they go,
they love the puppy. And then, they'll walk
by and go, quiet, puppy, and help you with your training.

And bring them in. I always encourage
my clients who've had dogs that were a
nuisance in the neighborhood to involve the neighbors,
who will get re-involved with the dog, to come
into the training. Because then there's more
of that community approach, and everybody is a little
more patient with you. It may not work every
time, but you're definitely increasing your odds that you
will have a community that's willing to work with you,
because we are definitely in a dog world now. It's just remarkable how many
people have so many dogs. So yeah, talk to those
neighbors and work that way, and expect your dogs
to exhibit behaviors. Because otherwise, that's
what shuts dogs down is when we try to take
away behaviors completely that are completely
innate in them. And they cannot understand, and
they won't overcome and will have failure leaders in training
because we will not do what it takes to get them there. ANGIE PRIMAVERA: "When I'm
home with my dog, who's 10 months old, he
feels very comfortable and will often play by himself.

When I'm away, I feel like he
doesn't actually play as much and he just waits
for me to come back. How do I make this time
away more enjoyable?" ROB PELADEAU: All right. So where's the flaw
in the thinking? Anybody? AUDIENCE: The
assumption that the dog isn't having fun when he's gone. ROB PELADEAU: Yeah. The anthropomorphisms. When the pack's away, the
lone dog or the other dogs lay around and do nothing. This is what dogs do. This is why crate training
and other things that give your dog a nice
confined area so they can feel like they're denning
is very good for nervous dogs so they can feel
protected, and they don't have to worry about the
boogeyman coming to get them. I wouldn't worry about it.

If that dog is not
being destructive in their behavior while
you're gone, rejoice. Be happy. If you're concerned
that they will get into destructive behavior,
give them something to do. You know, these KONGs that
have peanut butter in them, frozen overnight, things
that make their brains work or something they
got to gnaw on. That's fine. But don't worry
about your dog being bored while you're not home. That's the nature of the beast. They are social creatures. I mean, what do you do
when everybody's gone? You're not up there entertaining
yourselves, most of the time.

You need quiet time,
and so does the dog. He's not bored. It's a very well
adjusted dog who can lay around and wait
for you to come home. Another thing, while
we're on that topic, is to think that just
because when we get home, our dog's excited, then the
dog must be that way all day. So we must leave them outside
so they have this big old yard to run in and exercise and
do agility while we're gone. Yeah. The dog is excited
because he heard you coming from 2 miles away. And when you get home,
he's, hey, buddy, what's up? And he's like, OK, when you're
coming from 2 miles away, I can expect this, my reward.

Right? Yeah, but before that? And they've done
research on this and had hidden cameras
and stuff in the house and watched the dogs
who just lay there while the owner is gone. And from over a
mile away, the dogs are picking up the sound
of their owner's car. And the neat part
of that experiment was they would take
a vehicle, let's call it a '96 Grand Cherokee. And they'd put it out
there, drive it up– it's the owner's car. Every day. So they tried to take an
identical car, identical tires and everything, and
drive that car up. The dogs would not respond. They just laid there. They're that good. These dogs are phenomenal. Dogs are such awesome
creatures when we really look at what they
can and can't do.

Remember, these dogs now
are sniffing cancer cells. They're that cool. From a block away. Very good. Thank you for adding that. Because, very important. She says that from
a block away– she's got the drop cam in there. And she can see her dog
start to respond already from a block away. So I'll take Samson out,
and we'll do a little bit. Samson is actually my
working patrol dog, and he is a Belgian Malinois. [INAUDIBLE] Jump. Jump. Come on.

Good boy. All right, so this is why
they're not great pets. They're very cuckoo
for Cocoa Puffs. Sit. Follow. Follow. Down. The level of command–
att– you cheater. Come here. Heel. Down. Down. You notice I don't
use the stay command. I find stay– ai! Phooey. Down. Told you he was going
to make me a liar. Just take your
time there, buddy. Down. The level of command– down. The stay is–
animals and children. Never work with
them on television. Down. Heel. Yes. This is his reward
instead of food. This is what he loves to do. And he will do
this all day long. Out. No. Out. Out. Samson, out. You cheater. I told you he was going
to make me look silly. Down. Report. Report. Report. [DOG BARKS] So this is a perfect
example of an operant dog. He's going to try
to figure out what he has to do in
order to get to it. Again, you notice he didn't come
out here looking at other dogs. He didn't come out
here looking at people.

He's like, how do I get
that from your hands? This is engagement. Out! Sit. [DOG WHINES] No. Out. Out. [DOG WHINES] Out! No, out. No. Thank you. Now you know why we
say Malinois are not great pets, because
this is a typical one. Down. Sit. Down. [BARK] Sit. Heel. Heel. Down. [DOG GROWLING] Down. Yes. Out! No.

Out. Oh, you're so naughty today. Out. But you notice the
commands don't go up with anger, frustration,
or anything else. Down. [BARK] You're so silly. Down. OK. Down. Heel. Heel. OK. Load. Load. Good boy. That's Samson. Yeah. He'll make me look bad every
time he gets the chance. Real quick, before, I
guess– how much time we got? ANGIE PRIMAVERA: We
can probably take about five minutes
for questions. ROB PELADEAU: Five minutes, let
me give you this real quick. One of the biggest
mistakes we're making right now as
a culture is thinking that we need to socialize our
dogs in dog parks, et cetera, amongst other dogs. It's causing our biggest amount
of dog aggression and dog overinterest.

Because the dogs are
going to the dog parks, and we're sitting there
texting and everything else. The dogs are learning that
their excitement, their reward– everything else–
comes from other dogs. And god forbid there's an
unbalanced dog in the dog park– because we
never see that, right? I mean, attached to
their unbalanced owner. And their dog's exhibiting
aggressive behaviors, et cetera. And then our dog has to
correct that other dog, and now we get our
dog learning that he is in charge of
correcting other animals.

And we create dog-aggressive,
over-reactive, over-interested dogs. The way you get
dogs like this who care about nothing
in the world is by bringing them out
and training them in these situations. Engagement is with you. If you take nothing away
from this lecture except for this one word, "engagement." It's all about you. Like I said about five
minutes into the lecture, most of the time we're just
boring people to our dogs. Because we tell our
dogs, go fulfill your day with other dogs
and other people. They don't need to– please, you
see my dog walking up, please don't say, hey, buddy,
say hi to your dog.

You don't know my dog. You don't know me. You don't know. I walk through San Francisco. We were in South of
Market area one day, and he's in full police
get up, because we just left a demonstration
or something. And there's a big
old sign on the side of his neck, police canine. And this guy walks up with
a stupid flexi-lead and this stupid guy, huh-huh-huh-huh. I'm like, hey, buddy,
not a good idea. Huh-huh-huh-huh. And the dog is going further
out on the flexi-lead. Hey, dude. My dog doesn't need
to say hi to your dog. Oh, why are you such a jerk? I'll take that over
my dog getting bit by his unbalanced dog,
his over-interested dog. Because my dog is
very confident, but he's also very dominant. So the first thing
he's going to try to do is put his head
over the haunches and going to start a fight. And the other dog, if he's not
confident, is going to fight.

Who was our biggest
fighters in high school? Was it the guys who
were the most confident or the guys who were
the most afraid? Right? That's the dogs that
are acting aggressively, the dogs that are very
fearful, very afraid. Teach your dog that
the best place on Earth is right next to you. And that way, he
can go out, and he will go play with other dogs. And I can call him
right out of it. So once you teach your
dog engagement with you, where you go by dogs– sit,
down, all of our little tricks we learned at home. Then the dog goes,
ah, great things happen when other
dogs are around, without me engaging
with other dogs. That's how we create dogs
who are not dog-aggressive. That's how we create dogs
who are interested in us, and that's how we create
dogs who will recall even when they're out there with
other dogs, or squirrels, or fish, or whatever
your dog's into. It's by showing them that
the best place on Earth– Disneyland happens at my side.

Make sense? All right. We good? ANGIE PRIMAVERA:
We're done, yes. ROB PELADEAU: Well,
I want to thank you guys all for sharing
your lunchtime with me. Thank you for bringing that
food in because now I'm super hungry, all that. But thanks again.

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