Author Archives: Eileen Anderson

All That’s Unpleasant Does Not Punish

I’ve written a lot about the behavior science definitions of reinforcement and punishment. That’s because they can trip us up so easily. Something can be attractive, but not always reinforce behavior. Something can be unpleasant, but not serve to decrease … Continue reading

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Posted in Aversive stimulus, Behavior analysis, Extinction, Punishment | 4 Comments

Resistance to Extinction Can Be Incredibly Annoying

I’ve written before about the concept of “resistance to extinction” and how it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be when we want strong, fluent behaviors from our dogs. Unfortunately, the situation where we are likely to notice resistance … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Extinction | 20 Comments

IAABC Writing Mentorships With Eileen Anderson: 2019

I’m pleased to announce that I am offering writing mentorships for trainers and behavior professionals through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) again in 2019. The mentorships will enable professionals to improve their writing and better represent their businesses. Mentees who … Continue reading

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Posted in Event announcement | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on IAABC Writing Mentorships With Eileen Anderson: 2019

My Dog’s Emotional State: Crucial to Training

I always flinch a little when people start to discuss dogs’ emotions. What’s coming? Relevant, evidence-based observations or woo? I’ve removed some words from my own vocabulary when talking about dogs because of this. Even though my relationships with my … Continue reading

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Posted in Aggression, Dog body language, Fear, Resource guarding | Tagged , | 17 Comments

1:1 Pairings: The Science Behind Clicking and Treating

A guest post by Eduardo Fernandez,  first published in 2001 in the now out-of-print American Animal Trainer Magazine as “Click or Treat: A Trick or Two in the Zoo.” A recent discussion on an Association of Zoos and Aquariums listserv, … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Clicker, Guest post | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Does a Wagging Tail Mean a Happy Dog?

Why do dogs wag their tails? The prevailing view is that they do so when they feel happy and friendly. Many do, but dogs also wag their tails in other situations. So the answer to the title question is no. … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language, Human and dog misunderstandings | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Doesn’t Intermittent Reinforcement Create a Stronger Behavior?

This article was first published by Clean Run – The Magazine for Dog Agility Enthusiasts, in August 2017. I changed the title after publication in this version. Please see the note about that at the end of the article.   … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Matching law, Reinforcement | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Scared Dog vs. Happy and Engaged Dog

  Here’s a little dog body language study. My dear Zani shows a lot of emotion, which means she is a good dog to observe. She is pretty easy to read and can teach us a lot. The short video … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language, Fear, Stress Signals | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Corrections Are Punishment (If They Work)

Correction is a term used in certain segments of the dog training world. It commonly applies to jerking the dog’s leash (also called a “leash correction). Sometimes “correction” refers to other physical things people might do to a dog. Trainers … Continue reading

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Posted in Operant conditioning, Punishment, Punishment culture | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

The Last Trip To the Vet: What If Your Pet’s Last Breath Is on the Operating Table?

Many years ago I lost Alexander, my dear, dear cat to stomach cancer. This was before veterinary medicine had the technology that’s available today. It was also before I took as proactive an approach to my animals’ health and welfare … Continue reading

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Posted in Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Euthanasia, Handling and Husbandry | Tagged | 12 Comments