WHAT EXACTLY IS OPERANT CONDITIONING AND HOW DOES IT WORK.
FIRSTLY, THERE ARE FOUR QUADRANTS TO OPERANT CONDITIONING AND EACH ONE IS SIMPLY JUST A WAY TO TRAIN USING DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES.
TECHNIQUE No. 1 POSITIVE-REINFORCEMENT (Reward Based)
TECHNIQUE No. 2 NEGATIVE-REINFORCEMENT (Pressure Based)
TECHNIQUE No. 3 POSITIVE-PUNISHMENT (Physical Correction Based)
TECHNIQUE No. 4 NEGATIVE-PUNISHMENT (Withold Reward Based)
REWARD BASED TRAINING
This training uses a combination of Positive- Reinforcement and Negative-Punishment. This is when you give your dog a reward for a behaviour that you would like your dog to repeat.
This is a good way of training to start any dog on. This is when you use rewards to capture behaviours that you like and you use negative-punishment when the dog fails to perform the action.
They learn what pays off and what doesn’t pay off and are willing to try different positions to help earn rewards. This type of training is almost entirely stress free for a dog and it also makes the training very positive for them.
PRESSURE BASED TRAINING
This style of training is great if you want faster results. This training uses a combination of negative-reinforcement and negative-punishment and positive-reinforcement. You turn the pressure on and when your dog complies you IMMEDIATELY TURN THE PRESSURE OFF and reward your dog. Use this for teaching the dog how to turn off pressure. Some people prefer to start off this way because by beginning with this style the dog will learn more quickly to go into the desired positions to turn off pressure.
This is when you correct the dog into the desired positions. This is considered an outdated style of training and is still used by some trainers who believe in the “ALPHA THEORY”. The dog will learn very fast, but it creates a bad association with the training. The dog is learning to escape a correction by going to the desired position. This training style uses a combination of positive-punishment and positive-reinforcement.
This is when you use a combination of all the three methods above. The balance training also uses all four elements: –
This is my favourite style of training by far and will get you the highest level of reliability and a happy and willing dog.