What is a “qualified” trainer?

How can the normal dog owner choose the right trainer? What’s the difference between dog trainers? Who’s the best? There are three “types” of trainers you’ll come across: Modern, aversive-free trainers – use positive reinforcement and negative punishment Balanced trainers – use all four of the operant conditioning quadrants Correction/Dominance based trainers – use positive punishment and…

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Why Bother Hiring a Professional Dog Trainer?

smile

With all the information available through the internet and the advice given by friends a family, why would anyone bother paying someone for help with their dog? This commercial explains exactly why you should rely on professionals to get the right advice. In many professions, especially in dog training, there is a lot of conflicting…

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Another Crossover Story: Knowledge is Greater Than Force!

Jason Currie Guest Post

This is Jason Currie’s story about how he crossed over to positive reinforcement methods. Visit Jason’s website here: http://k9solutions.webeden.co.uk/ I’d like to tell people about my journey from the stone age training methods to modern science based training, a term often used for this is “crossover trainer”. Some see us as bleeding heart liberals or tidbit…

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Skinner’s Quadrants Series – Part IV

My dog prefers treats to petting and toys.

Be sure to read about the first three parts here: Part I, Part II, and Part III. Positive Reinforcement is the last and my favorite of all four quadrants. Positive – adding something Reinforcement – increasing the occurrence of that behavior in the future In dog training, it is about adding something the dog thinks is good to…

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Skinner’s Quadrants Series – Part III

Stopping annoying behavior requires negative punishment in many cases!

It you haven’t read Parts I and II, please check them out here: Skinner’s Quadrants Series – Part I Skinner’s Quadrants Series – Part II Today’s quadrant is Negative Punishment. Sounds bad, right? In fact, it is much less invasive than positive punishment and negative reinforcement as we discussed in the previous two parts. In this…

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Skinner’s Quadrants Series – Part II

Skinner's box

Now that you have learned about Positive Punishment (Skinner’s Quadrants Series – Part I), lets looks at Negative Reinforcement. This term is a bit confusing if you haven’t heard it or seen it before (and even if you have!). Negative Reinforcement refers to two things: the removal of something something that will increase the frequency…

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Skinner’s Quadrants Series – Part I

Skinner's box

In general, there is a lot of confusion (even between professionals) as to what Skinner’s operant conditioning quadrants are all about. I am dedicating the next four blog posts to Skinner and the knowledge he contributed to learning theory. B.F. Skinner was a scientist who “believed that the best way to understand behavior is to…

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Preparing for Your Group Class

I recently asked my audience what they’d like to learn more about. One of the responses I got was something I see very often on the internet: “How do I get my dog to calm down during our group class when I’m listening to the instructor?” The person who asked the question did not understand…

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