Category Archives: Negative Reinforcement

If You’re Loving It, Why Leave?

Is “choice” a code word for negative reinforcement? It can be. Seems like that’s the context where I see it pop up the most.  I’ve written a lot about choice. Two of my major points are: Many people are confused … Continue reading

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Posted in Choice, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Positive Reinforcement | 9 Comments

Using Annoying or Scary Sounds for Dog Training

Let’s pretend you saw an ad for a new dog training product. It read something like this: Introducing the Noise-Aided Obedience Device (NOD)! Never have trouble with your dog again. When you jerk or flap the lead attached to your … Continue reading

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Posted in Negative Reinforcement, Punishment | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

But It Worked for My Dog!!

What happens when someone shares a “success” story about training with aversives? Here’s my response to a commenter who did so on one of my previous posts. A Parable Once there was a woman named Reva who had a serious health condition that needed … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

Natural vs. Contrived Negative Reinforcement

I read the following online the other day: People shouldn’t object to the use of negative reinforcement! It’s just stuff like washing my hands when they are dirty or drying them when they are wet. What’s wrong with that? This is … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Negative Reinforcement | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

But I’ve Seen Stressed-Out Dogs During Positive Reinforcement Training Too!

Thank you to Jennifer Titus of CARE for Reactive Dogs for editorial advice. All errors and awkward moments are mine alone. Citing “stressed-out R+ dogs” in an argument is an old chestnut that comes around regularly. The writer usually describes a training session he or she witnessed where a … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement | 10 Comments

What Does Shower Mold Have to Do With Dog Training?

Am I really reaching today, or what? You be the judge! There is a series of articles in the behavioral psychology literature that questions whether the distinction between positive and negative reinforcement is important.* These papers are often quoted by people who … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Escape/Avoidance, Human psychology, Negative Reinforcement, Positive Reinforcement | 37 Comments

7 Effects of Punishment

Here are seven documented possible side effects of the use of punishment, negative reinforcement, and of aversives in general. Escape/Avoidance: If you hurt or scare your dog, it will likely try to avoid you, the places you frequent, and whatever else it associates with … Continue reading

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Posted in Escape/Avoidance, Fear, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Let’s Talk about Using Aversives in Training. I’ll Go First!

Today’s post is about being  thoughtful about the use of aversives. I write about that frequently, so how about if I describe what I mean by “thoughtful”? I am going to present a description of an aversive method I used to use. I am … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, Terminology | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

How Did The Aversive Get There? A Call for Honesty

I am mystified by one particular argument of those who use protocols for fearful or reactive dogs other than desensitization/counterconditioning (DS/CC). These other protocols often use negative reinforcement; if not that, then sometimes desensitization without counterconditioning; sometimes extinction; sometimes habituation. People … Continue reading

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Posted in Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Escape/Avoidance, Extinction, Fear, Negative Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 49 Comments

Thresholds: The Movie

I have made a movie about thresholds in dog training. It gives a quick overview of the work that I presented in my webinar for the Pet Professional Guild. (Click here for a script of the movie; there is a lot of … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dogs' perceptions, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Stress Signals, Terminology | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments