Podcast - Reinforcement

Podcast Episode 09: Reinforcement

My name is Ralf Weber, and I am a TWC Certified Professional Dog Trainer. I have 18 years of experience working with dogs. This is my podcast ‘Dog Talk’ on anything dog-related. I am the author of the dog book ‘If Your Dog Could Talk – Understand Your Dog Like Never Before.’ I am also a member of the International Association of Canine Professionals.

In this episode, we’ll discuss reinforcement. There are a lot of misconceptions all over the internet, YouTube, etc., about reinforcement. Especially positive reinforcement is advocated as the singularly required approach for everything around dogs. Instead of adding to the opinion pile, I want to provide some context on the complexity of reinforcement and discuss some of the fundamentals at are often ignored. Reinforcement is essential, but it is important to understand where it fits and doesn’t in the overall picture of dog training. Our discussion includes:

  • What is Reinforcement?
    Reinforcement means making a behavior more likely to occur in the future.
  • Examples of Reinforcement
  • Underutilized Reinforcers: Scent, Chase, Locations, People, Activities, etc.
  • The Premack Principle and Deprivation
  • Reinforcement Varies by Dog and Circumstance
  • Primary and Secondary Reinforcers
  • Competing Reinforcers
  • Positive and Negative Reinforcement
  • Reinforcement in the Brain
  • The Limits of Reinforcement
  • Positive and Negative Reinforcement Can’t be Separated
  • Differential Reinforcement (DRI, DRA, DRO, DRL)
    • DRI: Differential Reinforcement of Incompatible Behaviors
    • DRA: Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviors
    • DRO: Differential Reinforcement of Other Behaviors
    • DRL: Differential Reinforcement of Low Rate of Responding

Related Article: Positive Dog Training


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