For years I would read the term “Positive Reinforcement” contrasted with punishments in dog training books. However, these terms don’t seem to be fully understood by most dog owners. Most people seem to think that “positive reinforcement” means “good reinforcement” and all punishments are lumped into one pile. However, most of the time when people say “punishments” they mean “positive punishments.”
Because of these misunderstandings, many trainers describe themselves as “All Positive” trainers when they actually mean that they use positive reinforcement and negative punishments. I have even referred to myself as an all-positive trainer because, in the dog training world, it has taken on a meaning all its own.
I believe that it is very helpful to understand what these operant conditioning terms actually mean because it will help you to understand why different dog training techniques actually work.[Read more…] about Positive Reinforcement, Punishments, and Operant Conditioning in Dog Training