Category Archives: Punishment

Goodie or Doodie? A Changing Antecedent

Priiiiiiingggggg! I use WordPress.com to host this blog. It has a smartphone app. The app is most useful to me for checking statistics and getting notifications. The app has a pleasant little sound effect. You can assign it to sound … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Classical conditioning, Cues, Punishment, Reinforcement | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Shut Down Dogs (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a two-part series. In Shut Down Dogs, Part 1 I talked about the fact that people appear to believe and say that a shut down dog is relaxed or calm since it is motionless. In … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog body language, Fear, Punishment, Shock Collars, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , , | 58 Comments

But if You Use Negative Reinforcement Aren’t You Also Using Positive Punishment?

Surprisingly, no. Not necessarily. You could actually get my answer to this question by reading this other post: Only If The Behavior Decreases!  But of course I’m writing some more anyway. This issue was a big stumbling block for me when … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Negative Reinforcement, Positive Reinforcement, Punishment, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged | 20 Comments

But Isn’t it Punishment to Withhold the Treat?

Lots and lots of people think that if you withhold the treat you are punishing the dog. Some will ask the above question in a gleeful, challenging way, feeling certain that they have caught the positive reinforcement based trainers in … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Extinction, Operant conditioning, Punishment, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 36 Comments

Only if the Behavior Decreases!

This post is paired with “Only if the Behavior Increases!” You knew I would get around to talking about punishment, right? Q: If you yell at your dog when she barks, is that positive punishment? A: Only if the barking … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement, Punishment, Reinforcement | Tagged | 11 Comments

Only if the Behavior Increases!

This post is paired with “Only if the Behavior Decreases!“ Pop quiz: Q: If I give my dog a piece of kibble whenever she sits, is that positive reinforcement? A: Only if sitting increases. It sounds simple, doesn’t it, but … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement, Punishment, Reinforcement | Tagged | 7 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

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

Crossing Over

I am a crossover trainer, and we tend to like to tell our stories. “Crossing over,” and “crossover trainer” refer to a trainer who switched from punishment based, or mixed training that included aversives, to training that is centered around … Continue reading

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Posted in Punishment, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Training philosophy | Tagged , , | 3 Comments