Positive Vs Negative Dog Training
Edward R. Forte
October 12, 2021
Training & Behavior
Dog owners never really questioned these methods because they seemed to work – for the most part.We don’t touch a hot stove with our bare hands to avoid the pain of being burned.Studies are exposing the unintended consequences of these methods, including increased aggressive behavior, stress, and fear.For example, you could add a strong prong collar correction when your dog pulls on leash.When considering which techniques or tools to use with your own dog, always ask yourself "Is this necessary?".Let’s look at some reasons why you should avoid using aversive training methods with your dog:.There are even studies done that prove this, such as this one, which states, "Our results demonstrate through direct evidence from real life situations, that the reward-focused training was, indeed, more efficient than methods which included potentially aversive stimuli such as electric stimuli or excessive lead pressure.".Imagine starting a new job and only being told what not to do.You wouldn’t learn how to do your job very quickly, if at all!Imagine starting a new job and only being told what NOT to do.You wouldn’t learn how to do your job very quickly, if at all!There is a variety of collars and harnesses that work just as effectively as aversive collars, without causing discomfort, pain, or injury to the dog, and are more comfortable for the human handler to use.There are many dog trainers who claim they have “fixed” a dog that previously pulled on leash by throwing a prong or choke collar on them and calling it good.But without taking the time to reinforce walking politely on leash and not pulling, the dog hasn’t learned anything other than not to pull when they’re wearing that collar.Another example of this would be bark collars, whether shock (e-collars) or citronella spray.What's most disheartening about these tools is that it's punishing a normal dog behavior.And bark collars can also have extremely detrimental effects on dogs who associate the thing they were barking at with the aversive consequence, causing long-term fear, anxiety, reactivity, or aggression issues with those particular stimuli.Your dog’s good behavior shouldn’t rely on whether they’re wearing a specific kind of collar.It’s much more rewarding as a dog owner to see your dog make good decisions because you’ve taught them what behaviors are rewarding and make you happy!For example, if you are using an electric shock collar to stop your dog from barking, the desired association is that a bark equals a shock, therefore we want the dog to learn: don’t bark and you won’t be shocked.But you can do everything possible to prevent negative associations by not using aversives in the first place.When your dog is having fun, they’re willing to work harder and more often.Or one who happily engages with you and offers good behaviors because they are having a great time?Using punitive methods also makes it harder to increase the quality of training responses from your dog.Want to see the difference in body language and motivation levels between dogs trained with aversives versus positive reinforcement?An alpha roll is when the handler uses force to push the dog down into a vulnerable position on their side or on their back while standing or laying over them in a threatening manner until they “submit.”.You might have seen this technique used by popular TV trainers, but they purposefully have their production team edit out the dog bite footage (or keep it in for shock value).Intentionally forcing a dog into a situation where they feel like they have no choice but to bite is incredibly irresponsible and leads directly to euthanasia of dogs for behavioral issues that were directly caused by human actions.Grandma won’t be able to alpha roll the family dog as well as her strong grandson, and neither of them should have to put themselves in such an unsafe position in the first place.This video is a news story showing the fallout of using an alpha roll.David Mech, wolf expert and one of the original researchers behind pack theory, has since denounced it.You can train your dog just as effectively — and have more fun doing so — by using positive reinforcement training methods.But it's a different kind of consequence than the aversives I discussed above.Well, that's more than worth it to me and better for the dog.Dogs that are deemed "high drive" breeds, such as bully breeds, Belgian Malinois, etc., are often used as examples of dogs that require aversive methods or tools to control or train.What's amazing is the success of positive trainers with these breeds, especially in protection dog sports such as Schutzhund, mandioring, or Police K9 training — areas where aversive training has been the mainstay for decades.In an unregulated industry, it can be difficult to connect with a trainer whose training methods and philosophy match your own.There are many different certifications for dog trainers, some that even include the use of aversives in training methods. .
Dog Training Positive Vs Negative Reinforcement The Facts!
In dog training, the main difference between positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement is that in positive reinforcement you are adding something your dog enjoys to make a behavior more likely to occur.While in negative reinforcement you remove something your dog views as unpleasant to make a behavior more likely to occur again in the future, both are used to make a behavior more likely to occur again in the future.The Two Halves Of Operant Conditioning.The Four Quadrants Of Operant Conditioning.A good way to think of it is if operant conditioning is made of two halves reinforcement and punishment than the 2 halves are comprised of the four quadrants:.A concept we have to understand when talking about dog training positive vs negative reinforcement is that the words positive and negative doesn’t mean good or bad!Negative punishment: The removal of something your dog enjoys to decrease the likelihood of a behavior.Essentially all animals learn through operant conditioning, the way we utilize operant conditioning when effectively creating behavior change in dogs is by teaching your dog that their behavior makes things happen whether that’s good or bad.A dog that will learn how to connect the dots on how the fastest to get rewarded while understanding what to do with his behavior to avoid things your dog views unpleasant.Everything with dog training should start with positive reinforcement and negative punishment so your dog begins connecting the dots allot easier than you begin introducing the rest of the four quadrant s t your dog!Remember that the difference between dog training positive vs negative reinforcement is that in positive reinforcement you Add something your dog enjoys to increase the likelihood a behavior will occur again in the future while negative reinforcement uses the Removal of something your dog views as unpleasant to increase the likelihood a behavior will occur again in the future both are used to make a behavior more likely to occur in the future. .
What is Negative Reinforcement in Dog Training?
Rarely looked at their owners when walking on leash, compared to those taught with positive reinforcement.If we use positive reinforcement instead, we would not get close enough to the other dog for our dog to be scared; instead, we would stay at a safe distance (from the dog’s perspective, even if that’s an inconveniently long way away).If, every single time he sees another dog, you ask him to look at you and then reinforce that behaviour, what will happen over time is that your dog will begin to learn that seeing another dog is a good thing, and this is actually a classical conditioning side effect.What you are trying to do is change the association, so that your dog learns other dogs are a good thing because they predict yummy food.If we use positive reinforcement instead, we would not get close enough to the other dog for our dog to be scared; instead, we would stay at a safe distance (from the dog’s perspective, even if that’s an inconveniently long way away).If, every single time he sees another dog, you ask him to look at you and then reinforce that behaviour, what will happen over time is that your dog will begin to learn that seeing another dog is a good thing, and this is actually a classical conditioning side effect.So now let’s look at the counter-conditioning option.(If it instead occurred less often, it wouldn’t be reinforcement).So what kind of thing can you take away to make a behaviour more likely to happen?Some models will apply the shock for a fixed time of 11 seconds after the button is pressed; read why there are calls for shock collars to be banned or about a study of using shock collars for recall training ).Another example of negative reinforcement is sometimes used when working with a dog that is afraid, e.g.In fact we’ll get to some alternatives in a moment.In order to use negative reinforcement, something aversive has to be applied first so that it can then be removed contingent on the dog doing the behaviour you are teaching.Let’s say you’re teaching sit.In this study, barking, lunging, growling and biting were all considered to be aggression.But there is one study that looked specifically at the use of negative reinforcement in dog training (Deldalle and Gaunet, 2014).This study compared dogs taking an advanced dog training class at two different schools : one that used positive reinforcement and one that used negative reinforcement.There is a risk of sensitization (making the dog more afraid) or flooding which can cause learned helplessness (in everyday language we might describe this as being “shut down”).Besides which, it violates the principle that the first priority with a scared dog is to help them feel safe.This is a great choice for teaching obedience behaviours like sit, lie down, and loose leash walking.A common mistake is to use something the trainer thinks will be reinforcing but which the dog doesn’t particularly care about, like praise. .
Dog Training Methods: Positive Reinforcement vs. Alpha Dog
So he consulted trainers of all backgrounds for his new book, Cesar’s Rules: Your Way to Train a Well-Behaved Dog.The book provides a range of theories and methods so dog owners can find what works best. .
The New Science of Dog Training
I was about a month into raising a new border collie puppy, Alsea, when I came to an embarrassing realization: my dog had yet to meet a person who doesn’t look like me.I’d read several books on raising a dog, and they all agree on at least one thing: proper socialization of a puppy, especially during the critical period from eight to 20 weeks, means introducing her to as many people as I possibly could.I don’t mean to suggest I had no better option; there was then a growing movement to teach dog owners all about early socialization and the value of rewards-based training, and plenty of trainers who employed only positive reinforcement.It’s a new day in dog training.The science upon which these new techniques are based is not exactly new: it’s rooted in learning theory and operant conditioning, which involves positive (the addition of) or negative (the withdrawal of) reinforcement.Scolding a dog to stop an unwanted behavior is positive punishment, because it’s an action to discourage a behavior.Taking away a dog’s frisbee because he’s barking at it is negative punishment, because you’ve withdrawn a stimulus to decrease an unwanted behavior.As canine training has shifted from the old obedience-driven model directed at show dogs to a more relationship-based approach aimed at companion dogs, trainers have discovered that the use of negative reinforcement and positive punishment actually slow a dog’s progress, because they damage its confidence and, more importantly, its relationship with a handler.A study from Portugal published last fall in the pre-print digital database BioRxiv (meaning it is not yet peer-reviewed) evaluated dozens of dogs selected from schools that either employed the use of shock collars, leash corrections and other aversive techniques or didn’t—sticking entirely or almost entirely to the use of positive reinforcement (treats) to get the behavior they wanted.A new dog can now be ready to guide its owner in half the time it once took, and they can remain with an owner for an extra year or two, because they’re so much less stressed out by the job, says Susan Armstrong, the organization’s vice president of client, training and veterinary operations.Even bomb-sniffing and military dogs are seeing more positive reinforcement, which is why you might have noticed that working dogs in even the most serious environments (like airports) seem to be enjoying their jobs more than in the past.Friedman applied her own research and experience to her parrot training, and discovered it all comes down to behavior.That’s not to suggest old-school dog trainers might ignore an illness, but they might be too quick to move to punishment before considering causes of unwanted behavior that could be addressed with less-invasive techniques.Even in the last year, trainers have discovered new ways to replace an aversive technique with a win: if a dog scratches (instead of politely sitting) at the door to be let out, many trainers would have in recent years advised owners to ignore the scratching so as not to reward the behavior.The bad behavior not only goes extinct, but the dog learns a better behavior at the same time.Mark Hines, a trainer with the pet products company Kong who works with dogs across the country, says that while positive reinforcement certainly helps dogs acquire knowledge at the fastest rate, there’s still a feeling among trainers of military and police dogs that some correction is required to get an animal ready for service.Dogs too often rebuked will steadily narrow the range of things they try, because they figure naturally that might reduce the chance they get yelled at.And Fenzi, another of the world’s most successful trainers, teaches her positive-reinforcement techniques online to no less than 10,000 students each term.What do they want?Can you give that to them, or give them an opportunity to earn the thing they want, and learn good behavior at the same time?I didn’t feed Alsea out of a regular dog bowl for the first six months she’s been with me, because it was so much more mentally stimulating for her to eat from a food puzzle, a device that makes it just a little bit challenging for an animal to acquire breakfast.Food puzzles make dinnertime a job.A good herding dog thinks he knows better than you. Your job is to teach him you’re worth listening to,” Caldicott says. .
Dog Training And Problem Solving: What Is Positive vs. Negative
This is not a good admission: I'm not proud.First I will start with a handy trick to remember what the terms mean, and then a quiz to help keep it straight.a) Positive Reinforcement.Positive should be good, negative is bad right?In dog training, you could add praise, treats or toys if you want to be a cheerful and fun-loving presence.Punishment is just what is sounds like; it's the opposite of reinforcement.A) Positive Reinforcement- Giving (positive) your dog something she likes to encourage her to repeat a behavior (reinforcing it).For an informative and helpful list of dog training terminology, flip to page 151 of my most recent book Modern Dog Parenting, Raising Your Dog or Puppy to be a Loving Member of Your Family.Your dog has your shoe.You hope that by using ___ he'll learn not to grab your shoes again.Your dog steals your shoe.Instead of yelling you whip out a biscuit from your pocket you call to him and exchange the shoe for a treat.You leave a leash on your dog to help with the jumping problem.When he's excited you step on the leash so he gets a tug each time he jumps up. .
Four Types Of Dog Training Techniques
Do not be fooled by the age old saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, you can teach any age of dog new tricks.It is just a matter of time and commitment to making sure your dog learns the trick properly.Most of you may balk at the thought of punishing your dog and trust me I would hate to punish any animal, but let me break down the terms so you can get a better understanding for what they entail.Continue this over time until the behavior is learned, however you must remove the reward of food slowly over time and replace with a “well done” or which ever verbal praise you wish to give and maybe a cuddle and a scratch.Positive punishment is when you add a negative consequence after an undesired behavior is preformed which will make the behavior less likely to happen in the future.Negative punishment is when you take away a desired stimulus after a undesired behavior is performed making the behavior less likely to happen in the future.For example you are walking your dog and they start to pull, You stop walking and wait till your dog stops pulling.So when training your dogs positive reinforcement combined with negative punishment is the best combination to use as it wields the fastest results without causing harm to you pet.Check out our interviews with some professional dog trainers in the area that could be a right fit for you:. .
Positive Reinforcement Dog Training: The Science Behind Operant
Positive reinforcement training involves rewarding your dog for the things they do right.This phenomenon is known as classical conditioning or associative learning.What about all the active training you do with your dog?Also known as trial-and-error learning, this is when dogs learn to associate their behavior with its consequences.Because consequences drive behavior, training is all about controlling the consequences of your dog’s actions to influence the behaviors they choose to express.This is known as reinforcement (anything that makes the behavior more likely) and punishment (anything that makes the behavior less likely).These two dimensions combine to form the four quadrants of operant conditioning.And you can use these quadrants to affect your dog’s behavior.In this case you take something unpleasant away to make a behavior more frequent.But you probably do actions to avoid bad things all the time, like cleaning the kitchen to stop your spouse’s nagging.That means they deal with things dogs want, like treats, games, or attention, and they mostly deliver them or sometimes take them away.These dogs don’t look forward to learning, they don’t want to try new things, and their bond with their owner is eroded.They will start trying new things, get plenty of mental exercise, and actively look for ways to earn rewards.And isn’t that a wonderful way to take advantage of science. .
Training: Positive vs Negative Reinforcement
This method of training is often shunned as inhumane by many pet lovers.Though the dog will quickly realize the bad habits and seek out to correct the behavior, this method is generally frowned upon as unhelpful for members of a family that may not be aggressive enough to dish out negative reinforcement.This will include rewards for good habits, such as sitting when told, while there will be slight reprimands for negative behavior such as leash pulling or stealing food from the counter tops.It is best to look into dog training classes in order to understand what types of methods work for your dog and your family. .