Pawsitivity staff is always continuously improving, and our results prove it. Here are our notes about 8 ways to change behavior. Always start with LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive.)
- Management (Dog getting into the garbage? One option is to put the lid on the can.)
- Reinforce everything that is not the undesired behavior. (With people, you could reinforce everything that is not a complaint.)
- Put the behavior on cue (The classic example is barking.)
- Train an incompatible behavior (Mat training is great for preventing dogs from begging at the table, for instance). It's much better to train a dog to DO something, rather than try to train a dog to NOT do something.
- Extinction (not used a lot, but it's important not to accidentally reward the wrong behavior.) It's often best to just reward a different, incompatible behavior.
- Negative reinforcement (a classic example is a seat-belt buzzer, although a leash is a more subtle example)
- Punishment (this is a last resort, and rarely used, because it causes the side-effects, including fear and aggression. Also it doesn't work well because "punishment delayed doesn't work at all")
- Give the animal away (overly-aggressive dogs are often not appropriate for families, for instance)
- There is also the "Look at That" game by Leslie McDevitt, which actually changes motivation (as well as behavior). This is a tricky technique, and requires a dog trainer to teach someone how to do it.
- "Click for calm" is similar.
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