Postive / Negative Punishment / Reinforcement Explained

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Postby mnp13 » September 11th, 2007, 11:55 am

This post was written by Katrina (katiek0417) but it is excellent information and needed to be in its own thread. - Michelle

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Purely positive is a misnomer. Many trainers think there are 2 consequences: giving a reward and giving a punishment. And if they only give rewards, it's a good thing, and good=positive, right? Well, wrong. Is being positive for cancer a good thing? No, it just means you have cancer. Let me explain.

From a behaviorist point of view (where all of dog training stems from) there are 4 consequences (which are used in human behavior and animal behavior). In these consequences you can give something or remove something; and it can lead to an increase or a decrease in behavior. Positive is NO MORE than giving something or there being a presence of something (e.g., cancer). Negative is NO MORE than taking something away. Reinforcement ALWAYS leads to an increase in behavior; punishment ALWAYS leads to a decrease in behavior.

WHAT you give and take away decides whether there will be an increase or decrease in behavior.

So, let's put everything together:

If, for positive reinforcement, you are giving something to increase behavior, what are you giving? Good or bad? The example I use with my students: if I want you answer questions more (an increase in this behavior) would I yell at you for answering them (giving them something bad)? No. I would give them something good, like bonus points (which are extra credit points), for answering questions.

Positive punishment: giving something to decrease behavior. Would I give bonus points for students who are text messaging their friends in class? No, b/c I'm trying to decrease the behavior of text messaging, so why would I give them something to raise their grade? I would give them something bad, I might kick them out of class for text messaging their friends.

Now, where it gets confusing:

Negative reinforcement: I am trying to take something away to increase behavior. Would I take something good or bad? Well, let's say I want my students to answer more questions. Would I take away their participation points for answering questions? No...but, I might take away their weekly pop quizzes. See, most students would view weekly pop quizzes as a bad thing. If I take them away b/c students are asking more questions, they're more likely to continue to answer more questions.

Negative punishment: I am trying to take something away to decrease behavior. I don't want my students text messaging, so would I take away their pop quizzes everytime I catch them text messaging? No...I would take away participation points. Points are a good thing, but I'm taking them away...people don't want to lose valuable points in an already difficult class, so they won't text message...

I know this is just semantics, but most trainers don't use these terms correctly...sometimes they don't b/c it's just easier not to...but some don't realize that there are 4 consequences. I'll be honest, I was beginning to think that most trainers were ignorant to the fact that there were more than 2 consequences, and maybe dog trainers don't use them...most of my knowledge of this stuff comes from my background as a psychologist (who specializes in learning and cognition), but I'm currently enrolled as a correspondent student in Jerry Bradshaw's dog training school, and all 4 of the consequences and how they can be applied to training a dog are discussed in his course materials...so, maybe it's just semantics, but I think a much better term would be "Purely PR" (purely positive reinforcement).
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Postby pmashaney81 » September 18th, 2007, 10:53 am

Wow... that post was a flashback to my ed psych, ad psych, and developmental psych classes that I took for my education degree.

The only thing that I saw that may have been left out or emphasized was the need for consistency in reward/consequence so that the student/pet/whatever develops an association of the action with the reward/consequence, etc. If I recall correctly... that is called a schema but it has been a few years so don't hold me to that.
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Postby maberi » September 18th, 2007, 8:01 pm

Very well explained

There is actually a great book out there called The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson that delves into this
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Postby katiek0417 » September 18th, 2007, 10:10 pm

On September 18 2007, 9:53 AM, pmashaney81 wrote:Wow... that post was a flashback to my ed psych, ad psych, and developmental psych classes that I took for my education degree.

The only thing that I saw that may have been left out or emphasized was the need for consistency in reward/consequence so that the student/pet/whatever develops an association of the action with the reward/consequence, etc. If I recall correctly... that is called a schema but it has been a few years so don't hold me to that.


You may need consistency at first...however, for PR, the best results will eventually come from a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby madremissy » January 22nd, 2008, 11:19 pm

I have a hard time reading and then understanding sometimes. I need a picture drawn sometimes. Can you give me a for instance. Ok if Kinzyl comes yeah yea haw make a big deal give treats. If she sees something and runs into the woods but comes back after I have to go on a safari for about 20 feet. Then ???? I have taken the leash and put her straight on it and walked to the porch without a word. Am I asking the right way. Plus my husband works 70 hours week spends 1 hour a day with her and he can call her one time and she comes. I try to get my voice as low, do the same thing, Nothing. I have never had luck with animals, kids, husbands coming when I call. :| Remember explain in really simple terms. I am trying to learn the abbreviations. :oops:
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Postby katiek0417 » January 22nd, 2008, 11:28 pm

On January 22 2008, 10:19 PM, madremissy wrote:I have a hard time reading and then understanding sometimes. I need a picture drawn sometimes. Can you give me a for instance. Ok if Kinzyl comes yeah yea haw make a big deal give treats. If she sees something and runs into the woods but comes back after I have to go on a safari for about 20 feet. Then ???? I have taken the leash and put her straight on it and walked to the porch without a word. Am I asking the right way. Plus my husband works 70 hours week spends 1 hour a day with her and he can call her one time and she comes. I try to get my voice as low, do the same thing, Nothing. I have never had luck with animals, kids, husbands coming when I call. :| Remember explain in really simple terms. I am trying to learn the abbreviations. :oops:


Dogs tend to listen to novel things...once they are comfortable (as Kinzyl is with you) they test you more.

If your dog comes to you when you call - use positive reinforcement...praise, treats...yay!!!

If your dog takes off in the woods, and you have to chase her...well, first, don't chase...it becomes a game...they'll take off more...Until your dog RELIABLY comes to you, keep her on leash, and work the come command...use short lines, long lines, etc...give a small jerk on the leash, say come, and give treats when she comes! The one thing I almost never correct a dog for is not coming to me because what you're telling the dog is if you don't come to me, and I finally get you, bad things happen...so what makes the dog want to come to you? I work the come on leash for MONTHS...

If you have her out in the house, and she pees in the house, crate her more. You are taking away her freedom. Taking away a good thing...

And you'll probably never use negative reinforcement (taking away something bad to lead to an increase in behavior)...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby amazincc » January 23rd, 2008, 12:16 am

Start working on the "come" command in the house more as well. Before you feed her, and during play time... and always give a treat when she comes. Start carrying treats in your pocket... :wink:
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Postby katiek0417 » January 23rd, 2008, 7:58 am

I agree with Christine (all three of her posts ;)). And one thing I always do for come (and no other commands) is "name, come" (or here). So, it's always "Nisha, here," "Kaiden, here." This basically gives them 2 chances to respond to the come command because their name should get their attention, and a strongly trained come command gets them to come with you....

I can't stress enough, though, that during the time that you are really working her "come" command to not let her off-leash. You don't want her to "fail" during this time nor do you want her to get away with not coming....

I had a very hard time with Kaiden when he was about 5-6 months old getting him to come to me from outside (fenced yard)...NOTHING I was doing would get him to come to me, he was making it a game....so rather than continuously get ignored, I just really started working his come...it's close to a year later, and I'M JUST NOW letting him off-leash for the come command...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby amazincc » January 23rd, 2008, 8:08 am

:shock: I have NO idea how that happened!
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Postby ellie@ny » January 23rd, 2008, 9:07 am

Great information!
With Milo I do some things different then before...
Since I have him,the HIER command is his favorite one.
Why?Because he gets one meal every single day since I have him outside,with people,dogs around.
His food drive is excellent,so I'm using it.
And that means he has to work for every single piece of kibble,or now hot dog for training,if he wants to eat.
Now I can call him in with distractions around he flies like a bird,because it was always a good experience to him.And with this exercise he's already trained for the front sit also.
I try to upload a video I took of him...Turn down the sound,my voice is annoying for people... :mrgreen: dogs love it though! :wink:
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Postby katiek0417 » January 23rd, 2008, 10:13 am

On January 23 2008, 8:07 AM, ellie@ny wrote:Great information!
With Milo I do some things different then before...
Since I have him,the HIER command is his favorite one.
Why?Because he gets one meal every single day since I have him outside,with people,dogs around.
His food drive is excellent,so I'm using it.
And that means he has to work for every single piece of kibble,or now hot dog for training,if he wants to eat.
Now I can call him in with distractions around he flies like a bird,because it was always a good experience to him.And with this exercise he's already trained for the front sit also.
I try to upload a video I took of him...Turn down the sound,my voice is annoying for people... :mrgreen: dogs love it though! :wink:
Image


You have a very good training methods...it's the one I used with Nisha...she didn't actually have much food drive when she was younger....so the way that I trained her (and raised her food drive) was she had to earn her food. I did all of her foundation this way...and she decided she was losing interest in continuing with her obedience session, her meal was also over...she learned rather quickly that working for food was necessary!!!
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby madremissy » January 23rd, 2008, 11:30 am

I am not ignoring yall. I wrote back last night and had all my thoughts in a row but then I got an error and it wouldn't let me back on.

She is on the leash with me outside except during playtime when she needs to run and get that energy out. I am right there with her. I always have dual things in my hand so when she brings one back I throw another. We do that for about 30 minutes.

Ok I get the treats and she has got that down. Sorda, she gets tired of one thing and I switch it out. Right now it is hot dogs. What about when she doesn't do the right thing or does something wrong. I am not understanding the reward bad behavior. Or whatever it was you were saying.

Right now I am home 98% of the time. So she is either in the house with me ( which that means where ever I am she is right there) or on the porch in the sun or we are outside during play time. She pretty much has the run of the house but won't leave my side. I am trying to find a reasonably priced, big enough inside kennel to start training her in. You know with the people over here and the grand baby coming. The other day I put her in the bedroom, put up the baby gate and she was fine. She whined for a while but then was OK. So right now my bedroom is her big crate. I have been feeding her in there to start.

Let me quit rambling, I am just confused what to do when they do something wrong how to discipline?
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Postby amazincc » January 23rd, 2008, 11:41 am

Well, on the RARE occasion when my Little Prince gets caught in the act... I make him go to his pillow or in the crate.

It's very tricky w/dogs... you have to catch them in the act or they won't even understand what they've done wrong. When Kinzyl runs off, you basically can't discipline her for it later, because she won't associate the two... that's where an e-collar would be a great training tool for you. Or a long lead, but I'm guessing she won't try to run off while on-leash...

Right, Katrina??? :|
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Postby katiek0417 » January 23rd, 2008, 11:41 am

How old is Kinzyl, and what is her past?

Many people will just ignore the bad behavior, or they use corrections...I use corrections with all but one of my dogs...With Rocky, if he doesn't sit when I tell him to, I lift up on the leash, and push down on his butt...NO CORRECTIONS with him...

If she is getting bored of something, then you are spending too long doing it...I keep my training sessions to about 10 minutes at most with my adult dogs...and 5 minutes with my young ones...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby madremissy » January 23rd, 2008, 11:55 am

She will be 2 years old on March 30.

Josh got Gotty, her brother first.

We found out that Kinzyl (a dog was still over at the place, she was outside with her mom, her sister, her dad and two others that were in separate kennels) I fell in love with Gotty and Josh said she needed a home. When we brought her home she was very shy, very skiddish. Travis said she acts like somebody has beat on her.

Well she has become the big baby that showed us all she wants is love and attention. She made her way in the house because I lost precious and sweet pea and I just couldn't resist and I thought that would give me more time to train her. She is very smart and learns somethings very quickly.

I admit we didn't have a clue and we would have her outside in the yard and play. She has sit down pat. She has sit when we go outside, stay at then end of the porch until mama says go.

For instance, last night she was chewing on her kong. (There was a piece of chicken in it) Sammy was across the room and about to jump up on the ottoman. She look at Sammy still chewing and just growled a little bit. I told her know and took it away. Waited about 20 minutes then gave it back. That probably confused her though.

Here I go rambling. I just don't want her to go backwards in how far she has come with something that I am doing wrong.
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Postby katiek0417 » January 23rd, 2008, 12:17 pm

From now on, I would only give her a kong inside a crate, or when there are no other dogs around. What you did is fine, however, sometimes taking something from a dog can make them more possessive over it...

Have you thought about a martingale collar? If she acts like she's been abused, I would go throwing a prong collar on her...Also, have you thought about formal obedience training?
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby madremissy » January 23rd, 2008, 12:33 pm

On January 23 2008, 11:17 AM, katiek0417 wrote:From now on, I would only give her a kong inside a crate, or when there are no other dogs around. What you did is fine, however, sometimes taking something from a dog can make them more possessive over it...

Have you thought about a martingale collar? If she acts like she's been abused, I would go throwing a prong collar on her...Also, have you thought about formal obedience training?


I switch out and use the prong collar to see if that makes a difference on our walks. She doesn't pull but I did the manners on a leash in less than 15 minutes. Don't know if I did it right but we have been working on it.

About the formal obedience. Right now money is so tight. That is why I am having to look for a part time job. With my medical condition it is hard to find something. We took Gotty to some people when he was a puppy and that is when we showed him. They were not exactly what I would say very professional.

I guess I am not having enough confidence in me and not giving her enough credit for how far she has come. I guess I need to just tell myself that I am doing good by her and be patient. Work on things everyday and in time it will come. Thank yall for being so patient and answering all my :crazy: questions.
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Postby katiek0417 » January 23rd, 2008, 12:37 pm

On January 23 2008, 11:33 AM, madremissy wrote:
On January 23 2008, 11:17 AM, katiek0417 wrote:From now on, I would only give her a kong inside a crate, or when there are no other dogs around. What you did is fine, however, sometimes taking something from a dog can make them more possessive over it...

Have you thought about a martingale collar? If she acts like she's been abused, I would go throwing a prong collar on her...Also, have you thought about formal obedience training?


I switch out and use the prong collar to see if that makes a difference on our walks. She doesn't pull but I did the manners on a leash in less than 15 minutes. Don't know if I did it right but we have been working on it.

About the formal obedience. Right now money is so tight. That is why I am having to look for a part time job. With my medical condition it is hard to find something. We took Gotty to some people when he was a puppy and that is when we showed him. They were not exactly what I would say very professional.

I guess I am not having enough confidence in me and not giving her enough credit for how far she has come. I guess I need to just tell myself that I am doing good by her and be patient. Work on things everyday and in time it will come. Thank yall for being so patient and answering all my :crazy: questions.


If you have used a prong with her, then I'd start doing it more regularly, and for more than just walks....
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
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Postby madremissy » January 23rd, 2008, 12:44 pm

Ok. Thank you. It is sunny today so we will get out there in a little bit and work on our come.
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Postby pitacc » January 23rd, 2008, 1:06 pm

Instead of a prong collar, what can you use for a very small dog with a delicate neck and a bad attitude?
A friend is the one who is already there doing it when every one else is saying,
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Mickey is blessed with many friends just like that. :)

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