Dog Training Terminology

Positive-reinforcement: This is when you give your dog an award for performing a behavior that you would like your dog to repeat.

Negative-reinforcement: This is when leash-pressure is applied, and it is only turned off when your dog complies.

Positive-punishment: This is when you use a physical correction (such as popping on the leash) to reduce the occurrence of a behavior.

Negative-punishment: This is when you withhold a reward from your dog. For example, your dog wants a treat, so you tell him to sit, he decides not to sit, so he doesn't receive the reward.

Leash pop: This is when you make a snapping motion with the dog’s leash to engage the training-collar to give the dog a correction (a positive-punishment).

Luring: This is when you use food to guide your dog into a desired position, and once your dog is in that position, you would then release the reward to your dog.

Chasing: This is when you make your dog chase food that is in your hand to increase food drive, prey drive, play drive and make the training more fun for your dog. You can also have your dog chase toys to build your dog's toy drive.

Value Transfer: This is when your dog has something of value, and you use something of equal value to get that item from your dog. It's like you're making a trade with your dog, so it's important to give your dog the other item when you use this technique, or your dog will lose trust in you. It's also a great technique to teach the "drop it" command.

Climb Command: This is a command that requires your dog to go to elevated positions and maintain that position until released. A climb command can be a dog bed, a park bench, the car, or whatever position you choose for your dog as long as it’s an elevated position.

Heel: Is a position either on your left or right side that your dog must maintain when commanded. As soon as you stop moving, your dog should then sit in heel position.

Sit-Front: This is when your dog is sitting in front of you looking at your face. You want your dog as close to you as possible without touching you. The dog should be center and straight.

Mark or Marker (Conditioned-Reinforcers): This is a word or sound that predicts either a reward or a correction.

Your communication channels to your dog (markers or conditioned-reinforcers):

a. Continuation Marker: This sound lets your dog know they are correct, and you will be delivering a reward to them.

b. Terminal Marker: This lets your dog know they are correct, and they may come to you to get the reward. It is a release word that always predicts that a reward is about to be given.

c. Non-Reinforcement Marker: This is for mistakes. Remember it is imperative that your dog knows that they can make a mistake and try again. This is a signal for negative- punishment; which means withholding the reward from your dog until your dog does the behavior correctly.

d. Conditioned Correction: This is a signal for positive- punishment.

Directional to the Collar: This means that your dog understands what the remote collar is and understands that it is a correction that is coming from you, and that it’s not just a random bug biting your dog's neck. So when you correct your dog with the remote collar (without a leash being attached) he knows that you are the one correcting him.

Fix Shaping: This is when you have a training goal in mind, but you're letting your dog figure out what you want instead of showing your dog. For example, you put your dog in a room with a skateboard, when your dog investigates the skateboard you then use your conditioned-reinforcer to mark your dog's behavior. This will show the dog that the skateboard is a good thing, this is how many trainers teach their dog to ride a skateboard. This is a great training technique to use.

Free Shaping: This is when you don't have a particular training goal in mind, and you are simply watching your dog to see if your dog will perform a behavior that you like. For example, your dog does a cute stretch in the morning when they wake up, and you can mark this action. After enough repetitions, your dog will start to offer up that behavior for rewards.


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