Monday, February 25, 2019

Behavior Principle #3: Two behaviors can't occur at the same time.

There are two ways to address what we consider to be inappropriate behavior. We can make our cue/stimuli and ourselves more important than anything else to the dog.  When we have his attention, we can redirect his behavior.  The other way is to use positive punishment whenever inappropriate behavior occurs by not giving the dog what he wants as long as the undesired behavior continues.  Then we can redirect the behavior to be more desirable in our eyes.  This second way has the advantage of causing the unwanted behavior to diminish or extinguish over time.  

Again, we need to understand what is negative from the dog’s point of view.  Dogs love attention.  Positive attention is the most reinforcing.  However—and this seems counterintuitive for many owners—negative attention, which we think is clearly not desirable, is still reinforcing to the dog as well.  For example, if we yell when the dog barks or jumps, we can be inadvertently reinforcing the behavior.  From the dog’s point of view, the worst punishment we can give is positive punishment, ignoring and turning away from him—no touch, no talk, no eye contact.

No comments:

Post a Comment