Author Archives: eileenanddogs

About eileenanddogs

Passionate amateur dog trainer, writer, and learning theory geek. Eileen Anderson on Google+

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

Posted in Behavior analysis, Escape/Avoidance, Human body language, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, Terminology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Is That “Smiling” Dog Happy?

Maybe, but maybe not! We humans tend to get warm and fuzzy feelings when we see dogs “smile.” It’s true that some dogs’ mouths open in a cute smile when they are relaxed and happy. But a dog with his mouth … Continue reading

Posted in Dog body language, Human and dog misunderstandings, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

CARE for Reactive Dogs

Wow! My friend Jennifer Titus has created a wonderful thing. Website: CARE for Reactive Dogs FaceBook Page: CARE for Reactive Dogs on FaceBook CARE is an educational website that provides, free of charge, solid gold information on the protocols of desensitization/counterconditioning and … Continue reading

Posted in Classical conditioning, Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Dog training hints, Fear, Reactivity, Training philosophy | Tagged , ,

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

Posted in Desensitization and Counterconditioning, Escape/Avoidance, Extinction, Fear, Negative Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 48 Comments

The Girl with the Paper Hat (Part 1 of 2)

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

Posted in Cues, Dog training hints, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Just a Trick?

“Crossing over” is a phrase dog trainers use to refer to the act of giving up training that uses aversives and changing over to training that uses principally positive reinforcement: becoming a Humane Hierarchy trainer, a force-free trainer, or a … Continue reading

Posted in Dog training hints, Fun, Handling and Husbandry, Toys and Play, Training philosophy, Tricks | Tagged , , , , , | 32 Comments

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

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.” They may further insist that the dog … Continue reading

Posted in Cues, Human and dog misunderstandings, Operant conditioning, Punishment culture, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments