Category Archives: Terminology

A Quadrant by Any Other Name is Still a Cornerstone of Operant Learning

There is a science that deals directly with how organisms learn and how to use that information to change the environment in order to change behavior. It’s called applied behavior analysis (ABA). It is the applied version of behavior analysis, … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Extinction, Operant conditioning, Terminology | Tagged , | 14 Comments

A Quadrant by Any Other Name Is Still A Cornerstone of Operant Learning

   

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Operant conditioning, Terminology | Tagged , | 28 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

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

Leave It: Not Just for Dead Men Anymore

The other day I was pondering the trend of talking about teaching “self-control” and “impulse control” in our dogs. I got to thinking about “leave it,” both the term and the behavior. I realized a couple things. First, the term “leave it” … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Terminology, Zen/Leave it | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

Local Enhancement and Socially Facilitated Behaviors in Dogs

This post started out as one thing and transformed into another as I went along, as many of mine do. I have been familiar for a while with the term local enhancement for a type of social learning in dogs. … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Terminology | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Opposition Reflex: What Is It Really?

Thank you to Debbie Jacobs and Randi Rossman who made suggestions about this. All conclusions and any errors are my own.  Have you heard the term “opposition reflex” used in dog training? It’s used pretty often. But recently I got to wondering … Continue reading

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Posted in Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , | 82 Comments

The Dog Decides

“The dog decides what is reinforcing.” Positive reinforcement trainers frequently say that to their human students.  What they mean is that people can easily be mistaken about whether something constitutes reinforcement. For instance, we may think praising or petting our dogs are reinforcers, but … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged | 12 Comments