Herrnstein’s Matching Law and Reinforcement Schedules

When we bake cookies, some reinforcement is on a variable interval schedule. Have you heard trainers talking about the matching law? This post covers a bit of its history and the nuts and bolts of what it is about. I am providing this rather technical article because I want something to link to in some other written pieces about how the matching law […]

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Portland Blog Competition: May I Speak to the Manager?

By Tina Ferner Last week, I received a voicemail that a trainer NEVER wants to hear. It went like this, “Tina, this is Eileen. Dolly just killed Miley.” Dolly was a rescued mixed breed dog that weighed approximately 65 pounds while Miley was a Maltese mix that weighed 8 pounds. There had been problems in the past with resource guarding […]

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Dogs and Marshmallows

I’ve been interested in dogs and self-restraint for as long as I have trained dogs. So, several years ago, a friend and I applied an adapted version of the Marshmallow Test to her guide dog. Alberta passed with flying colors. Her current guide, Koala, also aced the test. For decades, the Marshmallow Test has been a sort of shorthand for […]

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Dog Owner Confidence Crash!

There’s so much written about emotions of our dogs, how they’re thinking and what they’re feeling in various provocative situations and scenarios, but sometimes I think we, the dog owners, may end up being a little neglected! You can’t successfully help dogs with behavioral or training issues alone; you also have to see how they interact with their owner/dog guardian […]

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Portland Blog Competition: Redirecting Aggressive Behavior

By Dr. Lynn Bahr As cat lovers, we’ve all been scratched at least once. But why do some cats play so rough when others never scratch or bite? Cats, by their very nature, are ferocious hunters. These behaviors are formed when they are very young by instinct, observation and playing with their littermates. Through stalking, chasing, swatting, biting and pouncing […]

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10 Reasons Why the Holidays Might Not Be So Full of Festive Cheer for Your Pet

It’s nearly Christmas, traditionally the time of year when we look forward to enjoying lots of yummy food, time with our friends and family, hopefully a break from work and of course – pressies! Lots of us also think about involving our dogs and cats and other furries in the festivities; gifts, advent calendars, novelty costumes etc. but how often […]

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