Puppy Training 101: Negative Reinforcement



Negative in the dog world elicits emotions of “bad” – however that is not what negative means. Negative means to take away. – R describes the release in applied pressure as a cue to the dog that they are correct. This pressure can be applied through the leash, spatial pressure, and/or e collar pressure. We begin with slip leash pressure with young puppies and dogs when working on adding in negative reinforcement which is paired quickly with the use of positive reinforcement.

Your leash should be used as a whisper, not a yelling mechanism and when taught in a controlled setting first and paired with +R you will get a dog who understands how to respond to soft communication levels of pressure and how to increase their speed, enthusiasm, and crispness into positions through this aspect of operant conditioning.

Not only that, it provides a clear and consistent way to communicate to your dog to fade food help with commands. We believe that slip leashes in low/no distracting environments are the best way to start with a dog who hasn’t already learned how to pull against neck pressure. Once we up the ante and move to real world and higher distracting environments a prong collar is our collar of choice majority of the time and then for off leash work we layer on the e collar.

A leash is able to provide direction with your pressure, while an e collar does not. So it is important to layer on leash work first to known behaviors before adding in your e collar.

Break the ideology that is floating around to dog owners everywhere that negative reinforcement is punishment based training because that simply is not true. Learn to use your leash appropriately, with purpose and with finesse by following our videos!

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