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March 25, 2020 2 min read 0 Comments

 

 

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You're training your dog, but what is the best course of action? What is positive reinforcement? Is it effective? All of these questions will be answered below!

What is positive reinforcement? Is it good?

The different terms can be confused when training your dog. There are positive and negative. Seeing the term 'negative' makes you think it's bad right? Actually... the word negative, in this case, doesn't mean 'bad.' Below is a chart explaining the different terms and their meanings. 

 

Positive – Adding something

Negative – removing something

Reinforcement encouraging a behaviour

Adding something to make a behaviour more likely to occur

Removing something to make a behaviour more likely to occur

Punishment – preventing a behaviour

Adding something to make a behaviour LESS likely to occur

Removing something to make a behaviour LESS likely to occur

 

Using the chart above you can see positive reinforcement is a useful way for training. An example of this training method is simple, asking your dog to sit and giving them a treat when they do. You're ADDING the TREAT making the sitting behaviour MORE likely to occur.

Negative Punishment

Putting the words negative and punishment together makes you think this must be the worst training method... However, an example of this method could be a dog jumping up to get your attention. Simply REMOVE the ATTENTION when they are jumping up and reward them when they have all 4 paws on the floor. This will DECREASE the likelihood of your dog jumping up in the future (the more you practise) you are also adding positive reinforcement straight after by rewarding them to stay on the ground.

Positive Reinforcement

In fact, it is recommended by many professional dog trainers/behaviourists that if you do use punishment, ALWAYS follow it up straight after with positive reinforcement. Instead of telling your dog what they can't do, show them what they can do instead. Keeping the training positive can keep the dog focused and wanting to learn, meaning they learn quicker and more effectively!

Helen Best
Helen Best



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