Category Archives: Escape/Avoidance

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

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 Science, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment | Tagged , , | 31 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 Science, 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 Science, Escape/Avoidance, Human psychology, Negative Reinforcement, Positive Reinforcement | 37 Comments

9 Effects of Punishment

Here are nine 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 … 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 how people often justify the use of aversives. I’m going to use my own experience as an example. I am going to present a description of an aversive method I used to use. I am going to list many … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, Terminology, Why Use Positive Reinforcement? | 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 Aversive stimulus, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Escape/Avoidance, 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 complete script of the video; or expand the audio … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dogs' perceptions, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Stress Signals, Terminology | Tagged , , , | 28 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 Science, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Terminology | Tagged | 56 Comments

Thresholds in Dog Training…HOW Many?

I recently gave a webinar entitled, “Over Threshold: The Changing Definition,” for the Pet Professional Guild (PPG). The webinar is still available as a recording, and I encourage any interested folks to check it out. It is not expensive. (And … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior Science, Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dog Training, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, News, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments