Dog Training Methods
There are 4 components (or quadrants) to operant conditioning. Before listing them it’s helpful to know that a ‘punishment’ reduces a behavior and a ‘reinforcement’ increases it.
‘Positive’ and ‘negative’ aren’t good and bad things, they only refer to adding something or taking something away respectively:
Positive reinforcement – Increases behavior by adding something the dog sees as pleasant. Example: Giving high praise or a treat if your Labrador sits when asked.
Positive punishment – Decreases behavior by adding something the dog sees as unpleasant. Example: Your dog jumps up and you turn away and ignore him.
Negative reinforcement – Increases behavior by taking something away that’s unpleasant. Example: Pulling up on your dog’s collar until he sits. When he sits, you release the collar. So an unpleasant thing is removed when the behavior is performed.
Negative punishment – Decreases behavior by taking something away that’s desirable. Example: You want to play fetch, but your Labrador repeatedly jumps up and tries to snatch the toy. You can hold the toy in such a way that he knows he will not get it until he stops and relaxes. He will learn you will only play fetch when he is calm and patiently waiting, thereby reducing jumping and snatching.
These methods are very effective and have been used to train dogs, dolphins, parrots, rats and more besides for many decades now. To learn more click below:
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