Category Archives: Negative Reinforcement

Sharing the Blog

Every once in a while someone asks me if it’s OK to share one of my posts or videos, or perhaps link to them from their webpage. How polite of them to ask! And, um, the answer is YES! If you … Continue reading

Posted in Blog Highlights, Negative Reinforcement, Positive Reinforcement | 8 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

Posted in Behavior analysis, Negative Reinforcement, Positive Reinforcement, Punishment, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged | 14 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

Posted in Behavior analysis, Dog training hints, Fear, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement, Premack Principle, Reinforcement, Terminology | Tagged | 17 Comments

Why Scratching an Itch is Not the Same as Performing a Force Fetch

Quite often in discussions about negative reinforcement, someone brings up a plethora of examples from human life that sound harmless and benign. Here are some of the items that are often mentioned: Scratching an itch Washing your hands to remove … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior analysis, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Shock Collars, Terminology | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

Can We Determine Whether Training with Food Is Positive or Negative Reinforcement?

Yes we can. This question was pretty well answered in the 1950s. Note: You need a basic understanding of the processes (often called quadrants) of operant learning for the discussion in this post to be meaningful. You can read my … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior analysis, Dog training hints, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement, Reinforcement | Tagged , | 12 Comments

We Don’t Need to Stop Discussing “The Quadrants”

Every so often, in the midst of a discussion about operant learning,  someone will write, The quadrants* don’t matter. Talking about the quadrants just confuses people and makes them pay more attention to theory than what is going on in … Continue reading

Posted in Dog body language, Dog training hints, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Stress Signals | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

But It’s Unhealthy to Protect Your Dog from All Stress!

“But it’s unhealthy to protect your dog from everything! If you do that, it’s just like overprotecting your child. They won’t be able to cope with the real world!” This is another one of the criticisms one often reads about … Continue reading

Posted in Dog body language, Dog training hints, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, Stress Signals, Training philosophy | Tagged , | 13 Comments