Tag Archives: aversive

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

Discussing Negative Reinforcement Responsibly

I didn’t give today’s post a cute title, because this situation makes me very, very sad. There are some strange claims going around the dog training community. They are not being made by shock trainers, although I am sure they appreciate … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Terminology | Tagged | 56 Comments

But if You Use Negative Reinforcement Aren’t You Also Using Positive Punishment?

Surprisingly, no. Not necessarily. You could actually get my answer to this question by reading this other post: Only If The Behavior Decreases!  But of course I’m writing some more anyway. This issue was a big stumbling block for me when … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Negative Reinforcement, Positive Reinforcement, Punishment, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged | 20 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

But I Want to Use All the Tools in the Tool Box!

Have you heard the one about the toolbox? This is the sixth in a series that details and rebuts fallacious arguments against force free training. Today’s erroneous argument is directly related to “But Every Dog is Different!” in that it … Continue reading

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Posted in Punishment, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 37 Comments

We Don’t Need to Stop Discussing “The Quadrants”

Every so often, in the midst of a discussion about operant learning,  someone will write, The quadrants* don’t matter. Talking about the quadrants just confuses people and makes them pay more attention to theory than what is going on in … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

But Every Dog is Different!

But every dog is different! This is another common argument against trainers who train without force. It usually goes like this: But every dog is different! You can’t just use a cookie cutter! But every dog is different! Why limit … Continue reading

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Posted in Operant conditioning, Punishment, Reinforcement, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , | 55 Comments

But What if Your Dog Runs Out Into Traffic?

Anyone who spends any time on FaceBook reading the arguments between trainers who train mainly with positive reinforcement and those who don’t has seen this question. Just lately I have seen three different versions of it: But what if your … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog training hints, Punishment, Reinforcement, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 49 Comments

Operant Learning Illustrated by Examples

Many thanks to Ruth Byrn, Marge Rogers, and Susan Friedman for their generous assistance with the movie.  In the terminology of learning theory, positive does not always mean good. Actually it never means good. Likewise, negative does not mean bad. … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Operant conditioning, Punishment, Reinforcement, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 47 Comments

Being Tough

I think one of the most interesting criticisms of force free training by trainers who use aversives is that we aren’t “tough enough” with our dogs. What does “being tough” actually mean here and why should it be so laudable? … Continue reading

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Posted in Human and dog misunderstandings, Punishment, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments