Need Examples For Negative Reinforcements/punishments

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by Johanna2, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Johanna2 Active Member


    I need some clear examples for the terms Negative Reinforcement and Negative Punishments. I understand the terms but I need to describe to non-trainers what this is without making it sound complicated. :)

    Giving your dog a treat is a clear sign of Positive Reinforcement.

    Thanks for your help!!
    MaryK likes this.

  2. Mutt Experienced Member

    positive reinforcement:
    something is offered which works stimulating (motivator) and which will stimulate the dog to offer the behavior more often.
    examples: treats, playing, greeting visitors

    negative reinforcement:
    taking away something which is unpleasant for the dog
    example: using physical manipulation to let a dog sit (putting pressure on his rear end) and taking away that pressure when the dog is in a sit position.

    positive punishment:
    adding something to the situation which the dog doesn't like, so that the dog will offer the behavior less often.
    example: you giving a hard pull on the leash, shouting

    negative punishment:
    taking something away which the dog likes, so that the dog will offer the behavior less often.
    example: turning away and ignoring the dog when the dog jumps on you (this way you are 'taking away' attention.

    hope this helps you out!
    bekah1001, MaryK, Pawbla and 2 others like this.
  3. madeleine Experienced Member

    Good explenation!!

    If you want tob know which one it is you can ask the question whether or not the behaviour will increase (=reinforsement) and decrease (=punishment).

    Another example is taking away his food.
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  4. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Or, if there are visitors in your house and he misbehaves, you get him out of the room.

    Edit: Forgot to add, this is negative punishment :). I only read that part of your post for some reason!
    MaryK likes this.
  5. madeleine Experienced Member

    Another exempel of negative reinforcement are the channel wirers used in agility for teaching the weave.
  6. Johanna2 Active Member

    But isn't adding pressure to the dog a form of positive punishment? Those two are always confusing, because I think when you take away something unpleasant, don't you first have to give it or apply it?
    MaryK likes this.
  7. Pawbla Experienced Member

    The difference between positive punishment and negative reinforcement is that a negative reinforcement increases the likelihood of the behaviour, while a positive punishment diminishes it.

    You have to apply the negative consequence, yes, but the dog isn't supposed to associate it with the command itself.
    MaryK likes this.
  8. madeleine Experienced Member

    It's easy if you remember it like this:
    What does the behaviour do? Increase or decrease.

    Adding preasure to make your dog sit is a negatieve reinforcement.
    Reinforcement because the behaviour will increase, and negatieve because he wants to avoid the preseure.
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  9. madeleine Experienced Member

    positive punishment:
    Adding (thats what positive stands for) something that will decrease the dogs behaviour. (punishment). Exemple is a shock collor.
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  10. Johanna2 Active Member

    Ah I see. Great explanation, thank you!
  11. MaryK Honored Member

    What on earth are channel wirers? They don't sound very nice:(
  12. DaniG Well-Known Member

    "But isn't adding pressure to the dog a form of positive punishment? Those two are always confusing, because I think when you take away something unpleasant, don't you first have to give it or apply it?"

    This is, for some reason, one of the most confusing concepts in dog training, yet we use it all the time! I'm still on the prep list for the CPDT-KA exam, and this is by far the most common question that comes up.

    Positive punishment and negative reinforcement go hand in hand, and it really just depends on the way you phrase it. For example, the use of a gentle leader is an example of both positive punishment AND negative reinforcement depending on what behavior you re focusing on. If you are focused on the pulling behavior, and the pressure from the gentle leader STOPS the pulling, then it is positive punishment (Uncomfortable pressure = positive, pulling stops = punishment).

    However, if you phrase it in such a way that the pressure is released when the dog is walking by your side, and therefore the behavior of walking next to you is increased, then it is negative reinforcement (Pressure released = negative, more walking by your side = reinforcement).

    So they go hand in hand, and it really is all just about the way you are looking at and phrasing it. The easiest way to decipher between the two is to break it down like this:

    What is the behavior?
    Is the behavior increasing or decreasing? Increasing = Reinforcement, Decrease = Punishment
    Is something being added or taken away? If something is added then its Positive, if something is taken away then it is Negative.

    And for your initial question of looking for example -

    Negative Punishment - Turning your back to your dog when he jumps on you, resulting in him no longer jumping (Removal of attention for a decrease in behavior)

    Negative Reinforcement - The gentle leader releasing its pressure when your dog walks nicely at your side, resulting in your dog walking by your side more (Removal of pressure for increase in walking by your side).

    It's important to point out whether the behavior increased or decreased, because THAT is what determines if something is punishment or reinforcement. For instance, if you squirt your dog with a hose every time he barks, and he starts barking MORE, you have actually reinforced the behavior, even though your intention was to punish.

    (Basically I just summed up what everyone else has said, and just put it all into one post :))
    southerngirl, Pawbla and MaryK like this.
  13. DaniG Well-Known Member

    Don't worry they are perfectly harmless! A better word for them is a guide - basically they are plastic wires that attach onto the weave poles that help to steer your dog in the right direction:
    Pawbla and MaryK like this.
  14. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank goodness, was quite worried for a moment, thank you:)

    I'm making an agility course for Ra Kismet because there isn't a school anywhere near who does agility. So, how do I attach them and what is the best type of material to use?
  15. Dogster Honored Member

    If you want to make weave poles, I suggest to use plastic pipes, the kind used for plumbing. I don't think you should use the guides, I would first start with the 2x2 method:

    Of course, sticks can also make great weave poles!!!;)
    MaryK likes this.
  16. DaniG Well-Known Member

    I agree with dogster about the guides, I've never really found them particularly useful. They've always had them in whatever agility classes we've taken, but my dogs tend to just jump over them or crawl under them (or ignore them completely and plow right through them :ROFLMAO: )

    I've never used the 2x2 method, looks interesting! I've always used the channel method which has worked really well for us - although the 2X2 method probably would have been better for Duke when he first started out, since he was afraid to run through the channel at first (the class we were taking at the time only taught the channel).
    Dogster and MaryK like this.
  17. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you Dogster:) Will do that with the weave poles, or use sticks, great suggestions:)(y)

    Thank you for the video, have watched and dowloaded, haven't seen that method used but it looks really good, as Ra Kismet can just plain RUN. "Tunnel Vision" on whatever has been thrown for him:D

    Noticed at the Pooch Park some weave poles but they are cemented into the ground and look pretty solid. Was a bit dubious about using them.:confused:
    Dogster likes this.
  18. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you DaniG:) Have a strong feeling my boy would just plow straight through them too, which kinda defeats the purpose:ROFLMAO: Won't bother about them at all.

    Haven't seen them at the last agility class I took Tiger Lily too (Zeus chose to sit and applaud agility was all too much exercise for him:ROFLMAO:) She just followed a lure though, being a very food orientated dog, that wasn't any problem:D
    Dogster likes this.

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