Attn: Quercus–Negative Reinforcement
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  • V

    I'm confused. When you have time, could you explain it to me?

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  • I'd kind of like to hear that as well (it wouldn't be boring). I thought all negative reinforcement was pretty much the same (yelling, nose bops, squirts, etc.) Is that wrong?

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  • Well, I will take a stab at it…it is kinda wordy and confusing...and sometimes I get it mixed up in my head and have to think it thru...but here goes:

    In operant conditioning learning theory...which is basically any learning that occurs in the presence of the student making choices, there are four kinds of "operations" the teacher can apply to the student.

    The first one is Positive Reinforcement...that is the one that we are probably most familiar with. Positive refers to ADDING something to the equation (a treat) and reinforcement refers to making the behavior (sit) MORE likely to occur.

    The next one is Positive Punishment...probably everyone is equally familiar with that. Positive...ADD something (a smack, a shock, or a squirt) to make the behavior LESS likely to occur (urinating in the house)

    Then we have Negative Reinforcement...this is the weird one...the best way to think of it is, sadly, torture. Negative means you SUBTRACT something from the equation (pain) to make the behavior you desire MORE (reinforcement) likely to occur (confession). A good doggy example of this is a pinch collar...the dog is pulling, pressure is on his neck, when he stops pulling (desired behavior) the pressure is released.

    The last one is Negative Punishment. Again Negative means you SUBTRACT something from the equation, and punishment means the behavior is LESS likely to occur. So, an example of this would be withdrawing your attention from a puppy when they are biting on you.

    None of these four "operations" are *bad, and none are better than others (well, I try to stay away from negative reinforcement) they all work more effectively in the appropriate setting. You can absolutely choose the "wrong" one for any given training behavior. I like to think that my training approach is balanced. I don't think the ONLY way to train is positive reinforcement, but if I was looking for a trainer, you'd better believe I would want someone who knows the difference :)

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  • @spitfirekrl1:

    I'd kind of like to hear that as well (it wouldn't be boring). I thought all negative reinforcement was pretty much the same (yelling, nose bops, squirts, etc.) Is that wrong?

    Well, you are right…all those things are pretty much the same...they just aren't negative reinforcement...they are positive punishment.

    It is a technical difference...and most people couldn't care less what the "industry" terms are. I think some people use the term "negative reinforcement" to pretty up the term "punishment". When in reality there is nothing wrong with using "punishment" per se. But most people don't do it in a way that is effective, or understood by the dog, or fair to the dog (eg punishing a dog when you haven't taught him the correct behavior). And a lot of punishment is done in anger, which can ruin the relationship between the two individuals (human or dog).

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  • I find that no matter what I do to try to tell our puppy no he will do it again and again. I have tried offering something different…he will take the toy I give him but as soon as he sees that I have walked away it's right back to what he was doing before. I can assume he just wants my attention because If I say no he gets all excited and does the fall on the front paws with the butt in the air ready to dart. Clothes and shoes are the worst. He just loves em. I've pointed my finger in his face telling him no and he will try to chew it.
    (don't ya just love puppy's) lol

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  • One thing you can say about puppies, teaches humans to pick up after themselves…. remember if in reach of a puppy it is fair game.....

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  • I do that whole poiniting my finger and saying no and well my "wannabe trainer" did point out somehting interesting..my pointed finger does look like a bone, hence it's good to bite. I don't know if that's correct but at this point any suggest that makes some sense is welcomed.

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  • And yes I have become or trying to become a neat freak so I can save my clothes, shoes, pictures, etc.

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  • V

    that makes perfect sense. thanks!!!

    Vegas

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  • I agree with Andrea that getting up and leaving when the puppy begins biting is a good way to teach the puppy not to bite. When you get up you should also be sure to make sure you turn your back to the dog. Closing your shoulders and removing any eye contact is very clear body language to your dog that you are not interested in interacting. Also, be prepared that your dog will become frustrated by this very clear message and try to interact with you, do not give them that interaction.

    Another thing that we most often forget is to reward the behavior we want when it is offered. When your dog is being calm give it a treat, tell it "good dog", give it attention. Reward the behavior you want and you will see more of it. At my house, I spent a lot of time rewarding "four on the floor", four feet on the floor for my puppies meant dinner, petting, toys, treats, it didn't take very long to a puppy that sits or stands and looks at me for their reward.

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  • lol now I know why Champ looks at me everything he sits..He's so darn cute. Great here I go to buy the family pack of treats. And while on the subject of treats…is there a limit to how much is too much? Don't want to OD my B for being good.

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  • It doesn't have to be a big treat! Here's a cheap, easy way to make some fairly inexpensive, tasty, low-cal treats:

    Get a package of chicken hotdogs, cut each hotdog in half lengthwise, then cut those halves in half lengthwise again. Gather the four pieces together lengthwise and slice them, from one end to the other, 15 times. You should end up with 64 hotdog pieces from each hotdog. Put 2-3 hotdogs' worth of pieces in a single layer on a paper towel into the microwave for 2-3 minutes. After doing a whole package, you have 640 (if you started with 10 hotdogs) pieces of "hotdog jerky"!

    Depending on the brand of hotdog (I've even seen organic, uncured ones), one piece of the hotdog jerky is 1 calorie or less! My boy loves them. Besides using them as rewards, I also use them as a filling (along with other things) in kongs. Make a whole bunch, you can freeze them! :)

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  • That is a great recipe, Gbroxon :)

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  • Thanks, Andrea. I originally got the recipe from Cheryl S. You know her (or of her), don't you? Your name sure seems familiar…

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  • @gbroxon:

    Thanks, Andrea. I originally got the recipe from Cheryl Silver. You know her (or of her), don't you? Your name sure seems familiar…

    I LOVE Cheryl! I have tried to get her to visit here, but she is so busy! I think we are on a few other lists together :)

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  • @Quercus:

    I LOVE Cheryl! I have tried to get her to visit here, but she is so busy! I think we are on a few other lists together :)

    I'm sure we are! (Basenji addicts that we are!) Cheryl helped me through Magnum's separation anxiety. What a great gal she is! And her Hankster the Prankster, what a card! She's always willing to help with problems, Basenji or not! (A relative of mine had a lab with severe food allergies that Cheryl helped him deal with.) Which reminds me, I've still got to send her pictures of our indoor/outdoor kennel…

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  • Thanks Gbroxon sounds yummy. I'm sure Champ thanks you in advance.

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  • Thanks for the tip….I needed an XTRA special treat for the "watch" exercises & the thought of carrying messy hotdog pieces my pocket sounded yucky.

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  • Would these hot dog pieces be safe for my youngin's too? Missi and Cooper will be 11 weeks old on Friday!

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  • @bethp14:

    Would these hot dog pieces be safe for my youngin's too? Missi and Cooper will be 11 weeks old on Friday!

    Well, I've only been giving them to Magnum since he was a year old (that's how old he was when I got him), but I can't imagine that they'd be bad for puppies. If someone knows otherwise, please let us know.

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