Category Archives: Critical Thinking

I Failed to Falsify—Twice! (Falsifiability Part 2)

I want to share just how tricky this falsification stuff can be. In the last few weeks I’ve received two comments from readers that pushed me to rethink some things I’ve written. They were both presented very constructively, offering some ideas in the spirit of good … Continue reading

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Posted in Choice, Critical Thinking, Research, Terminology | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Falsifiability or Falsehood in Dog Training? (Part 1)

What if we had to know our animal training theory and practice so well that we could easily tell someone what would disprove the hypotheses that inform our methods? That’s what scientists do. If we are going to claim to … Continue reading

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Posted in Critical Thinking, Research, Terminology | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Being Open-Minded About Training

Has anyone ever accused you of being “closed-minded” because you base your training on positive reinforcement? It’s pretty common. Some people come right out and say it. Others imply it by going on about their own open-mindedness. Here is a … Continue reading

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Posted in Critical Thinking, Training philosophy | Tagged , | 25 Comments

Silence is…Scary?

Trigger warning: animal experimentation (mice). This post is not directly about dogs, but it’s about something we see happening in the dog world very frequently. That is the misunderstanding and misapplication of research results. This particular example caught my attention … Continue reading

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Posted in Critical Thinking, Research | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

6 Myths about Positive Reinforcement-Based Training

Positive reinforcement-based training is subject to a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation. Many people genuinely don’t understand how it works, and others seem to deliberately misrepresent it. Some of these misunderstandings and misrepresentations are very “sticky.”  Misunderstandings, straw men, myths–call them … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Critical Thinking, Positive Reinforcement | 25 Comments

World Dog Trainers’ Motivation Transparency Challenge

What should a dog trainer be willing and able to tell you about his or her techniques? And how valuable is it to get that information in clear, concrete language? Renowned dog trainer Jean Donaldson has put a lot of thought … Continue reading

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Posted in Critical Thinking, Dog training hints, Punishment culture, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 10 Comments