Understanding different concepts of Training

I thought to give some insight to training and the choices available.

Classical Conditioning

Context by repeated accosiation like food/bell for example. It brings a reflex type of response under a neutral stimulus.This means that if your dog hears you ringing a bell and then give him his dinner he will start associating the bell with his food. Or when you touch the lead he knows he is going for a walk. If you ring a bell and not give him food it won't mean anything to him but because of the timing of the event that follows he knows that the bell means food. This is subconscious learning

Operant Conditioning

The reward comes soon after the behaviour. For instance if your dog sits for you he gets a treat. The wanted behaviour is being reinforced. This falls under consious learning.

What is a Primary Rein forcer?


Secondary Rein forcer

It's associated with the primary reinforcer.

Aversion Conditioning

This is when a stimulus goes from either neutral or positive to negative. This is different from negative reinforcement as it associates something positive with negative. Example: with negative reinforcement you would make the unwanted behaviuor negative for your dog so that he does not like doing it. With Aversion conditioning instead of applying the negative reinforcement you will then make the stimulus that triggers the unwanted behaviour negative. If the dog digs wholes you would put an unwanted smell in the sand so that the dog does not want to dig there any more.

Counter Conditioning

This takes place when an unpleasant stimulus becomes pleasant because the behaviour is rewarded. If your dog is scared of thunder but is rewarded with treats at this time the dog may start to accept the sound.


It's the application of an aversive stimulus. If your dog is doing something unwanted and you then punish him for it by hitting him with a news paper. This is the less likely way to use for training as it seldom really works and only really works when you are present with the news paper but when you are absent the dog may still decide to do the behaviuor as he associates you with the behaviour being unwanted and can't be punished for it if not immediately after the behaviour.

I mostly use positive reinforcement when training. This rewards the dog for a wanted behaviuor. The moment the dog does something that is wanted he gets rewarded for it.

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