Category Archives: Terminology

Let’s Talk about Using Aversives in Training. I’ll Go First!

Today’s post is about being  thoughtful about the use of aversives. I write about that frequently, so how about if I describe what I mean by “thoughtful”? I am going to present a description of an aversive method I used to use. I am … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, Terminology | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

How Did The Aversive Get There? A Call for Honesty

I am mystified by one particular argument of those who use protocols for fearful or reactive dogs other than desensitization/counterconditioning (DS/CC). These other protocols often use negative reinforcement; if not that, then sometimes desensitization without counterconditioning; sometimes extinction; sometimes habituation. People … Continue reading

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Posted in Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Escape/Avoidance, Extinction, Fear, Negative Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 49 Comments

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

An updated version of this post. Some dog trainers who use tools such as shock, prong, or slip collars, or startle the dog with thrown objects or loud noises, claim that these things are done only to “get the dog’s attention.” … Continue reading

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Posted in Cues, Human and dog misunderstandings, Operant conditioning, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 40 Comments

Thresholds: The Movie

I have made a movie about thresholds in dog training. It gives a quick overview of the work that I presented in my webinar for the Pet Professional Guild. (Click here for a script of the movie; there is a lot of … Continue reading

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Posted in Behavior analysis, Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dogs' perceptions, Escape/Avoidance, Negative Reinforcement, Stress Signals, Terminology | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

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