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Positive reinforcement works for all beings

Updated: Apr 13

Positive reinforcement works for all beings.

It’s not just a great t-shirt (but it is a cute t-shirt from Woof Cultr). 

So, I am a positive reinforcement animal trainer and behavior consultant. That means together we’re going to have fun. We’re going to be kind! The goal will be for everyone to be confident, at ease, playful, and safe.

This includes you! In our coaching and consulting sessions, you can expect me to help you be more confident, at ease, playful, and safe as an animal guardian. 

Here are some of the basic tenets of positive reinforcement that we’ll explore together:

  1. Reinforce behaviors you want to see more of. 

  2. Ask for alternate behaviors and reward those, if you are seeing behaviors you don’t want.

  3. The more important the behavior, the more unique and valuable the reward should be.

  4. If you are seeing more unwanted behaviors, you may be inadvertently reinforcing those! (Then, see #2).

  5. Positive reinforcement works for all beings. (Beings includes humans!)

  6. If you don’t reward behavior, it will eventually go away (this is called extinction).

Fear free! And a beautiful human-animal bond.

On the flip side of positive reinforcement, we’re going to acknowledge that punishment works--with the enormous downfall that it can lead to fear and aggression.

In addition, what the animal becomes afraid of cannot be controlled (ie. it could be you!). Punishment can also be reinforcing (to the punisher! leading the punisher to use it more often and with greater intensity—yikes!). Whether it looks like a completely shut down animal who is afraid to do anything or an aggressive animal ready to defend theirself from any assault, fear and fearful behaviors are the most harmful and least fun.

While I love helping animals overcome fear, it can be a long and slow process. So, I’m a huge fear free advocate. We want to avoid instilling fear whenever possible. Positive reinforcement, for the win!

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