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What does LIMA have to do with Positive Reinforcement Methods?



LIMA or Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive is a position statement that says teaching, or changing the behavior of a dog will be done in a way that minimizes any aversive experiences for the animal. Thus, LIMA prioritizes techniques that are respectful, and considerate of the animal's natural behaviors and emotional state. Positive Reinforcement, where desirable behaviors, such as the ones we are teaching the dog are rewarded, is a key component of LIMA.


Positive Reinforcement Methods not only teaches the dog a behavior but builds a paradigm of communication between the owner and the dog. This line of communication strengthens the human animal bond because it is built on positive experiences that are shared between the two.


For example, let’s look at a simplified version of teaching a nose target. The dog is aware that the person has a treat and wants it. The person wants the dog to touch its nose to a target stick. When the dog is presented with the target stick, they put their nose there, usually to smell it and hear the marker word, good and then get the treat. The dog is happy because they got the treat, and the person is happy because the dog put their nose on the target. When a dog experiences this paradigm of learning repeatedly as it learns new behaviors both the owner and the dog are sharing experiences in which they are both happy and getting what they want from the other.


The dog has a sense of control over their experiences because they are voluntarily figuring out what to do to get the positive reinforcer which is usually a treat but can be other things that it likes like the toss of a fetch toy. In this scenario the dogs tend to be proactive when it comes to learning because their experience teaches them their actions are rewarded.

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Gast
02. Juli

Thanks so much, Mary! These are great tips. ❤️🐕

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