Operant Conditioning for a Dog Behaviorism Essay Example

My plan to change the behavior of a dog would be to teach it to roll over. I will be doing this through operant conditioning. According to Pastorino, E., & Doyle-Portillo, S (2019), “Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which the organism learns through the consequences of its behavior.” (p. 239). Operant conditioning serves a way for humans and animals to learn various things through positive or negative reinforcement and positive or negative punishments.

Something very important that would need to be established is a reinforcement. According to Pastorino, E., & Doyle-Portillo, S (2019), “A reinforcement is the strengthening of a response that occurs when the response is rewarded” (p. 240). So, a treat will be given to the dog upon rolling over, to strengthen the pattern of rolling over. When the dog decides to misbehave or not roll over, the dog will be prompted with a shock. The shock serves as a punishment. Pastorino, E., & Doyle-Portillo, S (2019) states that, “Punishment is the weakening of a response that occurs when a behavior leads to an unpleasant consequence” (p. 240). Ideally, the dog will not want to be shock, resulting in good behavior and cooperation.

Scheduling of reinforcement is key. It’s important that I would reward the dog with a treat regularly after rolling. This event strengthens the conditioning……(Talk about continuous reinforcement….)

So now the experiment begins. I will put a shock collar on the dog, representing the punishment. After this, I will make sure the dog is aware of the rewards, being treats and meat. The conditioning begins with me trying to make the dog roll over. First few tries the dog fails to do so, a shock is omitted to him. The dog then realizes that a shock was giving because of failure to follow instructions. A partial roll over is completed by him. He is then rewarded with a treat, this should be the start of reinforcement. After many attempts to roll over the dog becomes tired and barks, a shock is given. This serves as one of the negative punishments. After many shocks and treats the dog finally does a full roll over. He is given a large amount of meat. (FINISH THIS)



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