Category Archives: Reinforcement

The “Invention” of Cues in Training

Once upon a time, there was a girl who decided to teach her dog some tricks. She figured out that if she gave her dog something he liked after he did something she liked, he was liable to do the … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Dog training hints, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement | Tagged , , | 4 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

Herrnstein’s Matching Law and Reinforcement Schedules

  Have you heard trainers talking about the matching law? This post covers a bit of its history and the nuts and bolts of what it is about. I am providing this rather technical article because I want something to link to … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Operant conditioning, Reinforcement, Research | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Finding the Joy in Agility

What do you see in this professional photo of Summer on an agility A-frame in a competition? She’s so pretty in that photo, and running nicely, but you know what? She wasn’t happy. Here are a couple more photos from … Continue reading

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Posted in Agility, Competitive dog sports, Dog body language, Positive Reinforcement, Training philosophy | 17 Comments

If My Criticism of Someone’s Comment on Facebook Is Punishment, Why Won’t She Shut Up?

What behavioral processes may be happening when we argue? They may not be what we think.* Let’s dive straight into an example. Sadie has just commented online in a dog training group, expressing an opinion I find to be dangerous and … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Negative Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

It’s Not Painful. It’s Not Scary. It Just Gets the Dog’s Attention!

This is the short version of this post. Here is the longer version. Some dog trainers who use tools such as shock, prong, or choke collars, or startle the dog with thrown objects or loud noises, claim that these things are … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Human and dog misunderstandings, Operant conditioning, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

How Long Does It Take To Change a Habit?

Changing a habit often takes longer than we think. Habits, AKA reinforced behaviors, die hard. Here’s what happened when I changed the location of my dogs’ eating areas for the first time in about five years.

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Posted in Cues, Matching law, Reinforcing in Position | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Socially Mediated Negative Reinforcement

I’ve updated one of my earlier posts to reflect better terminology and rewritten it quite a bit. Check it out, and feel free to share! Automatic vs. Socially Mediated Negative Reinforcement   Copyright 2017 Eileen Anderson

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Negative Reinforcement | 9 Comments

Are You SURE Your Dog Prefers That Food Toy?

It just occurred to me that it is super easy to make assumptions about how much our dogs prefer a particular food toy, or even whether they really enjoy them that much. Don’t yell at me. To be clear: I use … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Enrichment, Food toys, Reinforcement | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Tossing Cookies: Delivering Treats and Toys in Dog Training

One thing I notice about experienced trainers is how well they can deliver food to dogs. Usually their hand motions are both fast and quiet, and the food goes just where they intend. This may sound like a minor issue, but it’s not. … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog training hints, Food reinforcers, Treats | Tagged | 13 Comments