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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Why Your Dog Doesn’t Know Sit

By Yvette Van Veen When I was a young girl, my grandmother would send gifts of books from Czechoslovakia.  The books were filled with stunning moving pop-up illustrations.  I learned a lot from those books.  I learned how those illustrations popped up.  I learned how one moving part operated another moving part.  What I failed to learn was how to […]

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Reaching the Holy Grail of Training

 By Yvette Van Veen Years ago, I taught our Kiki a formal recall using targeting.  Systematically I proceeded to work through the exercise.  Much to my delight, Kiki developed the most fantastic competition recall.  People gasped at her speed and enthusiasm.  Her formal recall never failed us over the years.  You could say that it had behavioural momentum. Domjan, in […]

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