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L E S S O N T I M E! What is operant conditioning? Grow your knowledge on the topic and take your next step towards a more positive relationship between you and your pup.





























Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning is an associative learning process by which humans and their pets, alike, learn to distinguish between positive behaviors and punishable behaviors. Scientific research published on the topic indicates that our behaviors, both man and dog, are affected by the outcome of our last experience with the behavior (i.e. the response to a past behavior affects whether we will continue to perform the behavior).


Many trainers will claim to use “science-based training,” yet they will only make use of one of the four quadrants associated with operant conditioning. With this post, I hope to provide you with a well-rounded understanding of each quadrant.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the presentation of a good consequence when an action or preferred reaction is performed.


Dog Example: You say "sit," your dog sits, and you dispense him a treat. This increases the likelihood of the response in the future.


Human Example: A child completes a chore, so the child receives an allowance. This increases the likelihood of the response in the future.


Negative Reinforcement


Negative reinforcement is the removal of a bad consequence when an action or preferred reaction is performed.


Dog Example: You say "sit" and pull up on your dog's collar until he sits. When the situation arises again, your dog's response time (the time it takes to stop performing the undesired behavior) will decrease.


Human Example: Your upstairs neighbor is playing loud music. You bang on the ceiling until they stop. When the situation arises again, your neighbor's response time (the time it takes to stop performing the undesired behavior) will decrease.


Positive Punishment


Positive punishment is the presentation of a bad consequence when an action or reaction is performed.


Dog Example: You are cooking, and your dog jumps on the counter. You immediately pop him on the nose. Your response serves to decrease the likelihood of the action in the future.


Human Example: A child touches a hot oven, so the child gets a burn on their hand. The negative outcome/pain serves to decrease the likelihood of the action in the future.


Negative Punishment


Negative punishment is the removal of a good consequence when an action or reaction is performed.


Dog Example: You tell your dog to "sit." Instead, he lies down, so you eat the treat you were about to give him. This serves to decrease the likelihood of the response in the future.


Human Example: Your child talks back to you, so you ground them or take something away from them. This serves to decrease the likelihood of the response in the future.

Reinforcement, whether positive or negative causes the behavior to become more likely.


Punishment, whether positive or negative causes the behavior to become less likely.

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Did you add a puppy to the family this Christmas? Let's talk about the DOs and DONTS of puppy training!


P U P P I E S !

I love puppies because I get to mold how my new pup turns out. Yes, genetics has big role, but that’s a different discussion. With it being a few days after Christmas, I thought I’d share my dos and don’ts of training a new puppy. A lot of people think it’s a good time to gift a puppy or get one during the holidays, and it is if you know what you’re getting into! Before taking the plunge and purchasing a new pup, know that you are taking on a 10-15 year commitment. You’re going to need a lot of patience and consistency. Also, take it slow. A lot of people try to rush through the first year of their dog's life. You can save yourself so much time and frustration if you start early and fix unwanted behaviors now vs when your puppy becomes an adult.

DOs and DONTs


* Limit your pup's freedom vs giving them free roam of the house


A lot of people expect their puppy to act like their old adult dog - which isn’t the case it’s a puppy. Your new pup is going to find things to do if let unattended in a new space. Also, if you’re working on house breaking, you definitely want to have your eyes on the pup at all times; If you can’t, the pup should be kenneled.


* Putting your puppy in the kennel while you’re home vs letting them stick to you 24/7


Having your pup glued to your hip can increase the chances that your dog develops separation anxiety. If you give your puppy 30 to 60 minutes of alone time with a chew or Kong, it will help them learn it’s okay to be alone.


* Using a portion of their food to train vs giving them food freely


Giving your puppy food freely will help your puppy view you as their food source over a food bowl. It also starts to build a positive relationship with your and your pup.


* Focusing on the relationship aspect with you and your puppy vs letting them say hello to everyone and every dog


If your goal is to bring your dog everywhere, you want them to obey and listen in every situation, so I recommend teaching your pup to focus on you in every environment. I’m not saying your pup can’t meet or hang out with other dogs. Just remember, dogs are man's bestfriend for a reason!



#mck9 #mck9training #puppydo #puppydont

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