Curious to know the differences between dog training positive vs negative reinforcement? Learn how the combination of these two working together helps a dog learn.
Dog Training Positive Vs Negative Reinforcement Made Simple:
In dog training, the main difference between positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement is that in positive reinforcement you are adding something your dog enjoys to make a behavior more likely to occur. While in negative reinforcement you remove something your dog views as unpleasant to make a behavior more likely to occur again in the future, both are used to make a behavior more likely to occur again in the future.
The Two Halves Of Operant Conditioning
The four quadrants of operant conditioning is essentially how all animals learn not just dogs!
The four quadrants of operant conditioning are split into two halves reinforcement and punishment.
Reinforcement: Makes a behavior more likely to occur again in the future.
Punishment: Makes a behavior less likely to occur again in the future.
Operant Conditioning Made Simple
Positive reinforcement: Good things start
Negative reinforcement: Bad things end
Positive punishment: Bad thing starts
Negative punishment: Good things end
Below we’ll go into more detail on how each quadrant of operant conditioning works, if your interested in more than the simplified version.
The Four Quadrants Of Operant Conditioning
Now that we know what the two halves of operant conditioning are we’ll cover the for quadrants of operant conditioning are.
A good way to think of it is if operant conditioning is made of two halves reinforcement and punishment than the 2 halves are comprised of the four quadrants:
and negative punishment.
A concept we have to understand when talking about dog training positive vs negative reinforcement is that the words positive and negative doesn’t mean good or bad!
In this context of operant conditioning “positive” means you add something, and negative refers to the taking away or removal of something.
Below are some examples of all the quadrants of operant conditioning
Example’s Of The 4 Quadrants
Positive reinforcement: Add something your dog enjoys to increase the likelihood a behavior will occur again in the future.
Ex: give your dog a treat for sitting, You add the treat to make the behavior of sitting more likely to occur again in the future
Negative reinforcement: The Removal of something your dog views as unpleasant to increase the likelihood a behavior will occur again in the future
Ex: You release tension on leash when your dog walks in your direction, constant tension was unpleasant to your dog, the removal of the implement feeling increases the likelihood your dog will follow the leash.
Positive punishment: Add something your dog dislikes to decrease the likelihood a behavior will occur again
Ex: your dog tries to jump on a person you pop on the leash, you add of the pop on the leash to make the behavior of jumping up on people less likely to occur in the future
Negative punishment: The removal of something your dog enjoys to decrease the likelihood of a behavior
Ex: your dog tries to jump on you for the treat in your hand, you put the food behind your back or away. You remove the treats to make the behavior of jumping up on you less likely to occur in the future
How is Operant conditioning used in creating behavior change?
Essentially all animals learn through operant conditioning, the way we utilize operant conditioning when effectively creating behavior change in dogs is by teaching your dog that their behavior makes things happen whether that’s good or bad.
Dogs learn through cause and effect, all we are doing is showing our dogs is that there are always consequences for their behavior whether that’s a good consequence or a negative one.
There are essentially four consequences we can provide our dogs with, Good things can either start or end and Bad things can either start or end.
It’s important to understand that dogs are consistently trying to make the good things start, end the bad things, avoid the good things from ending and avoid the bad things from starting.
Dogs view everything in this manner and that includes you as his owner.
With that said as your pups owner you have exclusive access to everything your dog wants in his life from his food, toys and even when your pup gets to interact with other dogs so use that to you advantage!
Using Operant Conditioning To Create a Problem-solving Dog
With the proper use of operant conditioning, you will begin to develop a problem-solving dog. A dog that will learn how to connect the dots on how the fastest to get rewarded while understanding what to do with his behavior to avoid things your dog views unpleasant.
Operant Conditioning And Timing
When understanding dog training positive vs negative reinforcement in operant conditioning, there is a time and place to use a given quadrant when training!
Dogs cant make the association between a behavior they did at 9 am and being rewarded or punished at 9:10 Am too much time has passed.
Instead whenever you do implement any quadrant of operant conditioning you want to catch your dog in the act of performing the behavior you want to reward or punish!
Everything with dog training should start with positive reinforcement and negative punishment so your dog begins connecting the dots allot easier than you begin introducing the rest of the four quadrant s t your dog!
Ultimately operant conditioning is providing your dog with consequences for his behavior whether good or negative from your dogs perspective.
Remember that the difference between dog training positive vs negative reinforcement is that in positive reinforcement you Add something your dog enjoys to increase the likelihood a behavior will occur again in the future while negative reinforcement uses the Removal of something your dog views as unpleasant to increase the likelihood a behavior will occur again in the future both are used to make a behavior more likely to occur in the future.
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