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Punishment Vs Reinforcement

What is reinforcement?


Reinforcement is anything likely to increase the occurrence of some behavior and punishment is anything likely to decrease the occurrence or behavior. When teaching a pet using positive reinforcement is the best way to teach your pet new tricks. During a pleasant event you should focus on giving positive reinforcement and take away punishment. During bad behavior you want to focus on providing a punishment and taking away reinforcement.


When we talk about positive reinforcement we mean giving a pleasant event contingent on a behavior with the goal of increasing the likelihood of the behavior in the future. For example if you are able to get your dog to sit you would give him or her food, play or praise.


When giving punishment which is the giving of an unpleasant event contingent on a behavior with the goal of decreasing the likelihood of the behavior in the future. For example if your dog sits up on a sit command you may want to find become more firm with your words or physically firm. But never, never never abusive.


“Punishment,” whether positive or negative , serves to decrease the targeted behavior. This is its ultimate goal.



“Reinforcement: is meant to reinforce and strengthen the targeted behavior. They are really the only two options available for you as your begin training your pet.

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