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Are You Just Superimposing Additional Layers on A Behavior?

04 Dec 2017 7:59 PM | Joanne Tudge (Administrator)

sable border collie dog portrait in summerEven if you are willfully ignorant regarding the ethical dilemmas of using punishment or aversive control in pet dog training then consider just the efficiency and effectiveness of what you are doing!

When we punish dogs for unwanted behaviors this does not necessarily remove the reinforcing contingencies that are responsible for maintaining the behaviors in the first place.

The reinforcement contingencies are usually left undisturbed by the concurrent arrangement of contingent punishment. Therefore the punishment just superimposes additional consequences which happen to be aversive. So when the punishment stops, you the punisher are removed from the situation, the behavior recovers in frequency under the control of the undisturbed reinforcing contingencies that have remained in place throughout punishment process! 

Teach your dog new behaviors that are more appropriate rather than punishing problematic behaviors. If you can teach your pet new ways to access the initial reinforcement that was maintaining the problematic behavior then you have a very powerful solution.

Copyright Niki Tudge 2017


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