What is Extinction In Dog Training?
Extinction in dog training refers to the process of discontinuing a certain behavior by removing the reward or reinforcement that the dog receives for that behavior. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as by ignoring the behavior or by providing an incompatible behavior.
What’s an example of extinction?
For example, if a dog barks excessively, the owner may choose to ignore the barking behavior instead of giving the dog attention or treats. This will eventually lead to the dog barking less, as the behavior is no longer reinforced by the owner’s attention. Similarly, if a dog jumps on people, the owner may teach the dog to sit instead of jump, and reward the dog when it sits. This will lead to the dog jumping less, as the behavior is no longer reinforced by the owner’s attention.
Another example is when a dog is barking for food, the owner may choose to not feed the dog until it stops barking. This will eventually lead to the dog barking less, as the behavior is no longer reinforced by the food.
Does it work?
Not always, but It’s important to note that extinction can be a slow process and it may take time for the dog to understand that the behavior is no longer being reinforced. Additionally, during the extinction process, the behavior may temporarily increase before it decreases, a phenomenon known as the “extinction burst.”
What’s the science behind extinction in dog Training?
In dog training, extinction refers to the process of decreasing or stopping a behavior by no longer reinforcing it. The science behind extinction in dog training is based on the principle of operant conditioning, which states that behaviors can be increased or decreased based on their consequences (rewards or punishments). When a behavior is no longer reinforced, it will eventually decrease in frequency and may eventually stop altogether, this is known as the extinction of a behavior.
What you need to know
Extinction is a tool in dog training, allowing owners to discontinue unwanted behaviors by removing the rewards or reinforcements that the dog receives for that behavior. One of the most important key takeaways is to be more mindful about what behaviors you’re reinforcing and rewarding without being aware of. Ex: a lot of dog parents give a lot of affection and love when their dogs jump on them. Most of the time they are not even aware of it. Affection, love and engagement are all reinforces that are encouraging that behavior. Then they complain about their dogs jumping on them or on guests.
© Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC | All Rights Reserved January 2023
The “Zoomies” is when a puppy hits a time during the day or night and starts running around back and forth like a possessed maniac.
This is a common puppy behavior. It usually starts as an expression of play and joy. Most often than not, it turns out to be an outlet of pent-up energy that ends up in a completely out of control behavior.
So why do they have the “out of control” “Zoomies”? Should you exercise more your puppy?
Restless and “out of control” behavior is caused because of the lack of sleep and structure, not because of the lack of exercise.
It’s a very common mistake to think that unruly behavior, restlessness or the “Zoomies” is because your puppy needs more exercise. As a matter of fact puppies do not need a lot of exercise, but they do need a lot of sleep and structure, just like babies.
Have in mind that puppies, like babies, are growing and developing. This takes a lot of energy out of them and that’s why they need a lot of sleep and rest.
Should I let him have the Zoomies? – “He really turns into a little devil.”
Leaving your puppy have the zoomies unchecked can lead into injuries for both humans and puppies. It can also start unwanted behaviors that will carry on as an adult dogs. Examples of these are overexcitement, unruly behavior, excessive barking, anxiety, not listening and sometimes even aggression.
There are two key elements to manage the “zoomies”
- Having a consistent schedule and making sure your puppy gets all the sleep he needs. Having a “safe area” such as a crate, an ex-pen, or some kind of confined area where they can sleep with no interruptions, is key in order for them to get the rest they need.
- Providing structure to a puppy with clarity.
But what does structure mean?
Structure means to provide guidance, boundaries and limits during their play time or activities. Just like their mothers do.
Whats important to understand is that It’s not the endless play or exercise that’s going to tire your puppy out. Quite the opposite, this will make your puppy restless, feisty and cranky. Puppies when they play the reach a point where they start getting feisty and frustrated. They stop listening and they become relentless. This is a red flag. The more you continue this activity, play or exercise the more restless and unruly your puppy will become.
On the other hand, providing structure by asking your puppy to play-stop- play; teaching your puppy to calm down in the middle of the play; and setting up clear boundaries in a calm and gentle manner will put your puppy at ease. This is precisely the meaning of structure. It’s usually the lack of clarity and consistency that creates anxiety and restlessness in your puppy.
Try and put a bunch of kids that weren’t tought any boundaries and have no self-control in a basketball court with no rules. Then see what happens. It will not end up well.
If there’s no rules, there’s no game. If there’s no game, there’s no fun.
Providing plenty of sleep/down time and providing structure to your puppy, not only will diminish the amount of “Zoomies”, but it will also keep the “Zoomies” at an intensity level where it’s just a healthy outlet of play and joy, instead of an unhealthy outlet for craziness and chaos.
© Pawmos Dog Training LLC | All Rights Reserved November 2022