Category Archives: Aversive stimulus

“I Will Never Use the Shock Collar Again!”

This is a story from a client of one of my professional trainer friends. Let’s call my friend “Phoebe.” My friend had met the client for some coaching for her young, exuberant dog, Raven. But it was a very long … Continue reading

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Posted in Aversive stimulus, Behavior Science, Shock Collars, Why Use Positive Reinforcement? | Comments Off on “I Will Never Use the Shock Collar Again!”

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 Science, Extinction, Punishment | 4 Comments

Positive Punishment: 3 Ways You Might Use It By Accident

Positive reinforcement-based trainers never use positive punishment, right? At least we certainly try not to. But it can sneak into our training all the same. Punishment, in learning theory, means that a behavior decreases after the addition or removal of … Continue reading

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Posted in Aversive stimulus, Behavior Science, Punishment | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Don’t Be Callous: How Punishment Can Go Wrong

This post includes discussion of animal experimentation from the 1950s and 1960s using shock. It is unpleasant to contemplate. But to me, it makes it even worse that the knowledge gained by those studies is not widely known. Studying that … Continue reading

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Posted in Aversive stimulus, Behavior Science, Operant conditioning, Punishment | Tagged , | 19 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 Aversive stimulus, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 49 Comments