Category Archives: Negative Reinforcement

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

The Humane Hierarchy, Part 2 of 2: Examples

This is the second of two posts on Susan Friedman’s Humane Hierarchy. Here is Humane Hierarchy Part 1 in case you missed it. In this part, I present examples of each of the methods listed in the Humane Hierarchy. My … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior analysis, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement, Punishment, Reinforcement, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

The Humane Hierarchy, Part 1 of 2: Overview

I am a Humane Hierarchy trainer. That is the name of the roadmap I use to make ethical choices about the training methods I use. I’m going to describe the method in this post. (Humane Hierarchy Part 2, which is … Continue reading

Posted in Behavior analysis, Negative Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, Positive Reinforcement, Punishment, Reinforcement, Terminology, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Is It Really Just a Tap? Shock Collar Training Explained

Shock collar trainers have several names for the shocks that they administer through the collar. A tap. A stim. A nick. A page. Static. Application of pressure.  It sounds like something short and relatively benign. Even the word “shock,” although … Continue reading

Posted in Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, Shock Collars, Training philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , | 34 Comments