Tag Archives: talking points

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

Force-Free Training and the Continuum Fallacy: Defining Ourselves

Although this post is about discussions and accusations about humane training, it doesn’t provide fodder for pithy sound bites or snappy answers. The whole point of it is why it can be difficult to explain succinctly our position as science-based, … Continue reading

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Posted in Examples for Teachers, Punishment culture, Shock Collars, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 43 Comments

But “Purely Positive” is a LIE!

This remark has been hurled at me. How about you? I certainly don’t call myself “purely positive” or particularly like the term. But here it comes at me, predictable as clockwork, anyway. The reason this keeps happening is in the … Continue reading

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Posted in Operant conditioning, Punishment, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

But We Don’t Give Our Kids a Cookie Every Time they Tie Their Shoes!

Here’s another remark often addressed to reinforcement based trainers, sometimes in a mocking tone, sometimes seriously: But we don’t give our kids a cookie every time they tie their shoes or pay them a nickel every time they say thank … Continue reading

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Posted in Awards, Operant conditioning, Punishment, Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 88 Comments

But It’s Unhealthy to Protect Your Dog from All Stress!

“But it’s unhealthy to protect your dog from everything! If you do that, it’s just like overprotecting your child. They won’t be able to cope with the real world!” This is another one of the criticisms one often reads about … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog training hints, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, Stress Signals, Training philosophy | Tagged , | 17 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