Behavior Suppression Is Not the Same as Behavior Modification

By Jenny Efimova Reactive behavior is the tip of the iceberg. It’s what we see: the lunging, the barking, the snarling, the growling, etc. It’s what’s above the surface and it’s what we often want to stop. What we don’t see and what’s driving this behavior is the rest of the iceberg below: the fear, the anxiety, the stress, the […]

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Does Your Animal Have Control?

By Karolina Westlund Ph.D. of PPG corporate partner Illis Animal Behaviour Consulting Many animal trainers, veterinarians and pet owners highlight the importance of controlling animals. Controlling them, as in restricting the animals’ movement, their choices and their opportunities to control their environment through their behaviour. Sometimes you have to, for safety reasons. Obviously. But often you don’t – and more often than you might […]

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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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The What, Where and When of Rewards

By Lily Mickleburgh  The use of rewards in dog training is becoming increasingly popular as an effective way of encouraging desired behaviours. However, subtle differences in what you use as a reward, where and when you reward them, can all change depending on your end goal. This may also vary depending on breed traits, age of the dog and whether you want to […]

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A Quadrant by Any Other Name is Still a Cornerstone of Operant Learning

This 2003 edition book is $4.89 on Amazon. Contents: priceless. There is a science that deals directly with how organisms learn and how to use that information to change the environment in order to change behavior. It’s called applied behavior analysis (ABA). It is the applied version of behavior analysis, which was referred to as the experimental analysis of behavior […]

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Which Pavlov Is on Your Shoulder?

The trainer Bob Bailey is often quoted as saying that when one is training an animal, “Pavlov is on your shoulder.” He is reminding us that while we are training operant behaviors (sit, down, fetch, weave), there are also respondent behaviors and respondent conditioning occurring. Respondent behaviors are behaviors that are generally involuntary and that include reflexes, internal surges of […]

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Five Days from Fear to Fun – Classical Counterconditioning

By Yvette Van Veen I decided to spend some recent holiday time working on a whistle recall.  This is when a dog learns to come to the sound of a whistle.  Pamela Dennison has a number of resources on how to teach this skill for anyone who might be interested. Unlike other whims, I remembered to grab my camera.  When […]

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