Category Archives: Terminology

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 analysis, 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 analysis, Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dog training hints, Escape/Avoidance, Event announcement, Negative Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

What’s an Antecedent Arrangement?

One of the classifications in Dr. Susan Friedman’s Humane Hierarchy that is pretty unfamiliar to most of us dog trainers is called “Antecedent Arrangements.” And look, it is on the more desirable end of the hierarchy! There’s no speed bump, caution … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Cues, Dog training hints, Management, Multiple dogs, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

Stimulus Control, Or Lack Thereof

I mentioned in a comment last week that I’m not very good at stimulus control. Then something happened this morning that demonstrates that really, really well. Stimulus control in training is all about response to cues, and goes like this: … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Dog training hints, Terminology | Tagged , , | 11 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

Successful Desensitization and Counterconditioning

I have an elliptical training machine in my back room. I’ve had it for three years. Zani loves that room because that’s where the kibble, some human food, and other interesting things are stored. But when I get on the … Continue reading

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Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Fear, Terminology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Haters

We interrupt this dog blog for a rant about rhetoric and civil discourse.  Here is why I plan never to call anyone a “hater” or refer to them as such. History: Haters Gonna Hate It’s a good bet that the … Continue reading

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Posted in Punishment culture, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

The False Hypothesis of the Pack

Hey! “Pack theory” is not a theory at all! Theories vs Hypotheses One of the biggest misunderstandings between science folk and lay folk is the definition of the word, “theory,” and here we are adding to that misunderstanding. In science, … Continue reading

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Posted in Dog behavior, Human and dog misunderstandings, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Leaving the Scene: Clarifying the Science of Negative Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement is really, really easy to get mixed up about. Recently I read something that quite bothered me until I did a little research and figured it out. I’d like to share what I learned with you. What I’m … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Dog training hints, Fear, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement, Premack Principle, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged | 21 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