In this episode we discuss:

  • Can we use a tactile cue like leash pressure to train in an R+ framework or is it still just R- that we put a treat on top of to make us feel better?
  • Putting food in the picture doesn’t necessarily make it positive reinforcement, so how can we tell what contingencies are really in play?
  • Review what we mean by positive and negative reinforcement
  • An example of a situation that I thought I was training with R+ but now I’m realizing it’s really R-, despite my best intentions.
  • Questions I can ask myself (and my dog):
      • Am I escalating the cue or stimulus to get the behavior to happen?
      • Do I have feelings about consequences should my dog not perform the behavior?
      • What happens if I apply that tactile stimulus in a different context outside of a training session?
      • What other behaviors – emotional behaviors and other behaviors – are happening at the same time or in this context? Are they behaviors otherwise associated with positive reinforcement? Or are they more consistent with escape/delay/avoidance?
      • Can I use the cue (the tactile stimulus) to shape another behavior? (ala start button behaviors!)
  • How to minimize the chance that a stimulus is functioning as an aversive by teaching the behavior first without that stimulus and then adding it as a cue second.

Links mentioned:

This podcast is supported by: Voilà! Pets

Visit the Voilà! Pets website and use code DFTT for 10% off of your order of sustainable, consciously-crafted treat bags.