What is positive reinforcement
and Applied Behavior Analysis?
Positive reinforcement is a specific teaching method based on the process of reinforcing good behavior rather than punishing unwanted behavior to modify and or teach behaviors. The term positive reinforcement is loosely used by some trainers who knowingly or unknowingly use aversives in varying forms, therefore it's important to choose an animal behavior consultant who is knowledgeable and truly adheres to the principles of positive reinforcement.
Why professional behavior
consultation is so important
Even the most knowledgeable animal
guardian may find their companion animal's
unwanted behavior too challenging to
Unintentional training mistakes can potentially cause rebound effects and escalate the
original unwanted behavior and/or create
new unwanted behaviors. Uneducated and failed attempts to modify an animal's behavior can often lead to
the animal's homelessness, rehoming, and even euthanasia.
Empower and Inspire
Although the term “trainer” is an acceptable term, I personally feel uncomfortable using it. My philosophy about behavior modification is to empower and inspire animals rather than to dominate and disempower them. I believe the words “teach” and “teacher” more appropriately express how I work with animals.
It’s often difficult for people to understand the “empowerment” philosophy because it seems contradictory to the traditional thought that we must dominate an animal to achieve results. This is especially true with animals people view as aggressive or “out-of-control”. However, animals who believe they are in charge of their own lives and allowed to make their own independent decisions, are happier and more confident. Happy, confident animals are easier to teach and they learn faster.
With professional assistance, animal
guardians can more successfully modify