Condition: A Way To Establish New Behavior

Humans and animals have witnessed or experienced conditioning at some point in their lives. Conditioning is a way of establishing new behaviors by providing either a stimulus or a reward for the desired behavior (“Conditioning,” 2007). There are two types of conditioning: classical and operant. Operant conditioning is a method of learning to use punishments and rewards for behavior. We use operant conditioning to train pets such as dogs. Training dogs to behave in a certain way is not hard once you understand how your dog learns.

If you want an animal to do something for you (called a behavior), then either provide a pleasant consequence when he/she cooperates or an unpleasant consequence when he/she doesn’t (Fenzie, 2016). Operant conditioning really works, and I know this because it worked for my dog.

I used to have a dog named Biggie. He was a black Labrador Retriever. When we got him, he was not well potty trained. He would poop and urinate all over our floors in the house, if we did not take him outside.

My mom suggested that we should keep Biggie outside all the time, but my dad said no. It was time for us to train Biggie how to use the bathroom in the house. The only way to train animals to act a certain way is to either reward or punish them.

The first thing we did was see to what he preferred to do his business on. Animals will do a certain action depending on whether it is comfortable to them.

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To decide what my dog was comfortable using, we had to try different things. For example, we tried wee-wee pads that were suggested by the pet store. However, the pads did not work because he still chose to use the floor instead. We decided to put newspaper on the floor hoping that it will work. He used the bathroom on the newspaper now and then. Every time he used the bathroom anywhere except for the designated area, we gently spanked him and said “bad dog!” If an action is followed by an unpleasant consequence, it will tend not to be repeated(Ciccarelli and White, pg 177). Eventually he learned his lesson and started to use the newspaper we provided for him. When he used the bathroom on the designated area, we gave him a treat. Biggie was now a well potty trained dog.

Many animals are trained by using operant conditioning especially dogs. Operant conditioning involves using rewards and punishments to get a positive or negative response. My family and I trained my dog Biggie to use the bathroom in the house. We had to use punishments and rewards to get the outcome that we wanted. By using punishments for him to learn from his mistakes, Biggie finally learned his lesson. As a result, Biggie gets to use the bathroom in the house, and he gets a treat when he does it correctly. Therefore, we learned that conditioning works when potty training dogs like Biggie.

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Condition: A Way To Establish New Behavior. (2022, Apr 28). Retrieved from

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