At the beginning of the process of training your dog , it is essential to be conscious of the tenets of operant conditioning that were developed by famed Harvard Psychologist B.F. Skinner .

 

Positive Reinforcement

 

Positive reinforcement is the first significant element of the four principles of operant conditioning. When you wish for some form of behaviour to take place again , you would give your dog praise or a treat when she does what is asked of her .

 

Take the example of learning how to teach a dog how to sit. If your dog “sits” when you ask her to, reward her with praise and a treat . After some practice, your dog will likely “sit” again when you ask, as she knows that great things will happen when she does .

 

Positive Punishment

 

Used frequently as a last resort, positive punishment occurs when you reprimand your dog for doing something unwanted, so that this will not take place again . To illustrate, say your dog continually jumps up on people , and you want to learn how to stop a dog jumping up, you might pull back on her collar, and firmly say , “NO”

 

Negative Punishment

 

This principle calls for taking something away from a certain situation, in the hopes of reducing the probability of a certain behaviour happening again . For example , when your dog nips at your hand for something, put your hand over the treat, and place your hand behind your back. It is essential to be patient, and replicate the process if required . Your dog will before long get the impression that her biting conduct makes the treat vanish . Because she wants the treat, the biting conduct will stop .

 

Negative Reinforcement

 

The last element of operant conditioning consists of removing something from a situation, in the hope that this will cause a behaviour to repeat itself . For instance, taking off an uncomfortable training collar after your dog performs well in a leash training exercise .



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