5 More Advanced Greyhound Behaviour Concepts

By gapnsw.com.au
September 15, 2022 09:17
Looking for the ultimate description of advanced dog behaviour concepts? Look no further.

Recently, we published an article titled 5 Advanced Dog Behaviour Concepts and we’ve decided to expand on this with another 5 concepts.

We hope this article can help upskill readers in applying the appropriate training techniques to their greyhounds so that together, we can share positive and happy lives!

1 - Positive Punishment

Positive punishment is the application of a kind of stimulus to reduce the incidence of a particular behaviour.

Usually, positive punishment is applying something aversive, whether that's something annoying, something scary, or something painful to get the learner, in this case, a dog to do something less often.

This is something that we do not recommend to any of our adopters because it's often very difficult to implement correctly. In addition to this, it causes several negative welfare outcomes, such as increasing the risk of suboptimal responses such as repulsion behaviour. It also risks creating a negative relationship with the adopted owner, so we advise against the use of any of positive punishment.

Example of positive punishment

Examples of positive punishment are things like e-collars, choke chains, doing leash corrections, yelling at the dog, and physical corrections,

Positive punishment is unfortunately taught in certain dog training TV shows with the aim of reducing/preventing a dog from doing something.

The better strategy is to apply positive reinforcement, as described below.

2 - Positive Reinforcement

We advise using positive reinforcement with your wonderful greyhound.

Positive reinforcement is adding stimulus to increase the incidence of a particular behaviour. Usually, the thing that you add is something that the dog likes.

Often this is food because, like us humans, dogs are organisms and food has a strong emotional component to it. Giving the dog food when they're doing something desirable is a great way to get the dog to do it again.

Positive reinforcement is also praise, nice scratches, or playing and toys. Moreover, we advise food because it has such strong biological links.

Example of using positive reinforcement instead of positive punishment

Say your dog is prone to jumping up when they meet people for the first time.

What you can do is instead of doing something negative to the dog when they jump, if you know someone's coming over, you can give them a treat and you can ask them to put their hand out.

When the dog touches their nose to their hand, it can be given a treat. That way we’re reinforcing a positive, alternative greeting behaviour rather than punishing the behaviour we don’t want.

3 - Negative Punishment 

Negative punishment is taking something away to reduce the incidents of a particular behaviour.

Usually, negative punishment is taking away something (such as your attention) that the dog likes to get them to stop doing a certain behaviour.

An outdated bit of advice has been to ignore a dog that's barking and that will get them to stop barking. We tend to not advise that anymore because we see the barking as a communicative behaviour, and it's best to respond to that communication as opposed to just ignoring it.

Because that doesn't address the root cause of the behaviour.

Example of negative punishment

Another example of negative punishment is walking away when a dog is being too rambunctious say, or being very excitable during play.

Now, this is something that can work providing the owner, very quickly, gives the dog an alternative behaviour to perform and reinforces that. But, again, if they just withdraw their attention, that doesn't tell the dog what the human wants them to do instead. So it’s a subtle one!

Instead of negative punishment, what should I do?

Positive reinforcement, as described in section 2 of this article, is a lot better than negative punishment because, again, it tells the dog what you want them to do instead and creates a positive association.

4 - Negative Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement is withdrawing something to make a behaviour more likely (e.g. if the lead is tight when the dog is pulling and then loosens when the dog heels next to the owner- heeling is being reinforced)

As with positive punishment, we avoid recommending people use negative reinforcement when training their Greyhound because it can create a negative association with the adopter and can compromise the Greyhound's wellbeing.

5 - Classical Conditioning

Classical Conditioning is a form of associative learning in which a behaviour can be elicited by a stimulus that has acquired its power through an association with a biologically significant stimulus.

Example of classical conditioning

Holding a leash out in front of your dog before taking them out on a walk. When repeated enough times the dog's heart rate will increase as they now associate the lead with going on a walk.

It’s fine to do for positive things, such as walkies and dinner !

Considering adopting a greyhound from us?

At GAP NSW, we’re here to support people with adopting a new best mate.
  • We provide a wealth of resources and support
  • You can work with our caring staff with any pre or post-adoption questions
  • We have multiple locations throughout NSW
  • We are a non for profit organisation