Monthly Archives: September 2013

Only if the Behavior Decreases!

This post is paired with “Only if the Behavior Increases!” You knew I would get around to talking about punishment, right? Q: If you yell at your dog when she barks, is that positive punishment? A: Only if the barking … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement, Punishment, Reinforcement | Tagged | 11 Comments

Only if the Behavior Increases!

This post is paired with “Only if the Behavior Decreases!“ Pop quiz: Q: If I give my dog a piece of kibble whenever she sits, is that positive reinforcement? A: Only if sitting increases. It sounds simple, doesn’t it, but … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement, Punishment, Reinforcement | Tagged | 7 Comments

My Dogs Are Not in Charge

As a Humane Hierarchy trainer, it is part of my value system to help my dogs get what they want, within the confines of our mutual comfort and safety. It’s important for me to give them choices and let them … Continue reading

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Posted in Enrichment, Training philosophy | Tagged , | 12 Comments

8 Common Dog Training Errors: Cautionary Tales

As the great trainer Bob Bailey says, training is simple but not easy. The principles are very simple and straightforward, but actually applying them in practice can be very difficult. I’ve mentioned many times that I am not a professional … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language, Dog training hints, Dogs' perceptions, Generalization, Human and dog misunderstandings, Multiple dogs, Stress Signals | Tagged , , | 45 Comments

Why Scratching an Itch is Not the Same as Performing a Force Fetch

Quite often in discussions about negative reinforcement, someone brings up a plethora of examples from human life that sound harmless and benign. Here are some of the items that are often mentioned: Scratching an itch Washing your hands to remove … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Shock Collars, Terminology | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

Dog Faming: Zen on the Move

Pictures of dogs exhibiting self-control while covered with or surrounded by cookies, dog biscuits, or hot dogs are popular ways people Fame their dogs. You can see plenty of them on the Dog Faming FaceBook page. And here is Paisley doing … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog training hints, Treats, Zen/Leave it | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Can We Determine Whether Training with Food Is Positive or Negative Reinforcement?

Yes we can. This question was pretty well answered in the 1950s. Note: You need a basic understanding of the processes (often called quadrants) of operant learning for the discussion in this post to be meaningful. You can read my … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Dog training hints, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement, Reinforcement | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Using a Training Plan to Retrain Summer’s “Target”

In our last episode, I shared how I messed up Summer’s hand (and object) targeting behavior six ways from Sunday. Now I will share the process of retraining it. When you follow directions from a book, such as the Training … Continue reading

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Posted in Clicker, Cues, Dog training hints, Examples for Teachers, Positive Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments