Regarding of Dog Training – Focusing on how Behavior Works

What is Exercising?

This seems like a simple adequate question, but you would be shocked at the number of people who don’t realize the basics of dog training and the core principles that affect behavior. Many conjure up dreams of lion trainers together with whips and chairs or someone barking out orders (dominating) some poor dog. Training should be more appropriately referred to as behavior change, and well-studied medical principles govern just how behavior is shaped. Forget the actual trendiest new “technique” will be and spend your time more sensibly learning about the natural influences in your dog’s behavior.

Know the Essentials

Before anyone even tries training their dog, there are a few core principles one should be somewhat familiar with. Everything you carry out with your dog will likely affect his behavior to some amount, and knowing the forces discussing (or against) you can save you plenty of time and frustration. It can reduce your dog’s frustration, likewise. These forces I am mentioning are the cornerstones of operant conditioning.

At the most basic level, operant conditioning focuses on how an issue (in this case, your dog) “operates” in his environment to realize a specific result based on recent experiences. These are voluntary actions that results have modified. If something “good” transpires right after a behavior, this behavior is much more likely to occur in the future. If something “bad” happens, the behavior is less likely to occur. In the training universe, we usually refer to that as the ABCs of operant conditioning.

ABCs of Operant Conditioning

The ABCs is an initialism that stands for Predecessor, Behavior, and Consequence; this also sums up the process where operant conditioning (training) is effective. Antecedents are cues as well as stimuli that occur previous to a behavior. These are usually environmental (thunder, dog jogging down the street, the car pulling into your driveway, etc . ) as well as they can be more overt impulses from you (audio cues including sit, lay down, go the bathroom, etc . ). Behaviors usually are what occurs

immediately after often the antecedent. This can be anything from sitting down to barking to helping to do nothing (yes, dismissing certain stimuli is a action and can be a wonderful thing to educate your dog). The consequences are usually what you, as a trainer, must pay attention to. Consequences are usually what shape behavior and make the stage for just how your dog will likely behave down the road. These consequences fall into two main categories: reinforcement and punishment.

Reinforcement vs . Treatment

By definition, reinforcement is a consequence that strengthens the behavior it follows. It does not matter whether it is ” positive or “negative reinforcement.” Although quite different coming from each other, both increase the regularity of the preceding behavior. Usually, in exercising, we concentrate more on optimistic reinforcement as it applies anything “good” to strengthen a given behavior. A fundamental example is that you simply ask your dog to take a seat (antecedent); he sits lower (behavior), and you give the dog his favorite cheese (consequence). You have applied positive support (cheese) to increase the likelihood that your dog will sit the next time you ask him. Positive support is a potent tool, without a doubt, and when appropriately used, it can easily shape almost any behavior imaginable.

Unfortunately, many inexperienced canine owners do not completely understand the strength of this and train (yes, literally condition) unwanted behavior. This is a product of not grasping the fundamental ABC spiral we just explained. I cannot tell you how many dogs I realize jump up on their owners after they walk through the door, merely to have the owner begin uncovering them behind the head as they tell them to get decrease. What the dog is finding out is: you walk over the door (antecedent); I get on you (behavior), and then you might scratch me behind often the ears (consequence).

Punishment’s essentially the opposite of reinforcement; significance decreases the consistency of the behavior that precedes it. Like reinforcement, penalties can be either positive as well as negative, but both even now affect behavior the same way. When you think about training, we commonly see examples of a positive penalty, which is applying an aversive stimulus to reduce the consistency of a given behavior. An elementary example would be if a squirrel runs through your backyard (antecedent); your dog begins to bark (behavior), and you yank on a little collar to get him to end (consequence).

Although punishment can undoubtedly reduce the frequency of actions, it is also wrought with adverse side effects. For this reason, My partner and I rarely, if ever, suggest this a tool for training. One major problem is that punishment doesn’t “unlearn” a behavior. Just suppresses a behavior, and to maintain that “suppression,” the particular punishment must increase in depth over time. Yelling can turn into

being able to hit, which can turn into a lot more extreme consequences just to retain a behavior from taking place. It uses a lot of hard work, often not producing the final results. I will put it this way; if you are still yelling at your dog for barking and is still barking, it should be a clue to you that your exercising regimen is not entirely effective. These punitive techniques count on fear to influence your puppy and, in many cases, can lead to shaping undesired behaviors. Not the least is aggression.

In contrast, optimistic reinforcement motivates your puppy to want to engage in any behavior because experience (conditioning) has shown him that you will most likely give him something he or she likes (positive reinforcement). It not only improves your current relationship with your dog (he is not in constant concern around you and avoiding you); but also creates a nonthreatening understanding environment that can facilitate the speedy acquisition of new behaviors. And also, unlike punishment (in truth, the opposite), positive support can be reduced in “amount” and frequency over time, maintaining a behavior.

Let’s hope this article has helped you have a grasp on the very basics connected with dog training and behavior adjustment. This is just in contact with the core principles that must be understood when training your dog. I could truthfully elaborate and go on to get pages, but I will spend less on those details for another article. Appreciate you reading.

Read also: Clicker Training and You: Why and just how?